Updates: 338 recipes added!


Celebration time - Part 8.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1/4 cup vodka
2/3 cup pink grapefruit juice
1/3 cup pomegranate juice

1. Fill 4 glasses or a jug with ice.
2. Pour the vodka and grapefruit juice into the glasses or jug and drizzle with pomegranate juice.

For a non-alcoholic version, substitute the vodka with 1/2 cup of soda water, sprite or 7-up.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Red wine and plum upside-down cake

Celebration time - Part 7.

Ingredients (serves 8):
50g unsalted butter
50g dark brown sugar
5 tbsp red wine
6 ripe plums, halved and stoned
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
215g sugar
175g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g walnuts, coarsely ground
50g almonds, chopped
Vanilla or maple walnut ice cream, to serve

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar and red wine, then stir. When the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and pour into a 20cm non-stick cake tin.
2. Arrange the plums in the cake tin with their skins facing down.
3. In a food processor, blitz the butter, eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder till smooth, then fold in the walnuts and almonds.
4. Pour the cake batter over the plums and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. The top of the cake should be golden brown.
5. Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides and turn it upside down onto a plate. Slice and serve with ice cream.

If you are not using a food processor, cream the butter and sugar till pale, then add the eggs and beat well before folding in the flour and baking powder.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Viennese red cabbage

Celebration time - Part 6.

Ingredients (serves 8):
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 large red cabbage, cored and shredded finely
1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup beef stock
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup creme fraiche

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep pot. Add the onions and fry till they start to soften.
2. Add the sugar and stir till it turns golden. Put in the cabbage and mix well, then add the apple.
3. Add the apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and stir well. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
4. Heat the beef stock and add it to the cabbage mixture. Cook for 2 hours over very low heat, or in an oven at 150 deg C.
5. After 2 hours, add the butter and flour, and mix well. Add the creme fraiche and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add more apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt or pepper to taste.

To reheat leftovers, cook over a medium-low flame for 20 minutes, or in the oven at 150 deg C for an hour.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Roast pork loin

Celebration time - Part 5.

Ingredients (serves 8):
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 1/2 kg boneless pork loin
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup table salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 deg C. Mix the figs, macadamia nuts, parsley, mustard and bread crumbs in a bowl for the stuffing. Set aside.
2. With the tip of a sharp knife, make incisions on the skin of the pork loin at 1.5cm intervals. Halve the loin so it opens up like a book.
3. Place the stuffing in the centre, and roll the loin to contain the stuffing. Tie it with kitchen string, using the incisions as a guide.
4. Rub the skin generously with oil and salt and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200 deg C and bake for another 50 minutes. Remove the string, slice and serve.

Before cooking, place the pork loin on a plate in the fridge to dry out the skin, which gives it a crunchy texture after roasting.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Spicy anchovy pasta

Celebration time - Part 4.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 packet of spaghettini
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
100g anchovies, minced
2 to 4 chilli padi, chopped
Salt to taste

1. Cook the pasta till al dente. Drain and set aside. Keep the water used to cook the pasta.
2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic over medium heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the anchovies and chilli padi and fry till caramelised, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the pasta and mix well. Then add water, one ladle at a time, until pasta is moist.
4. Add salt to taste. Serve warm.

When making pasta for a party, cook half a pack at a time to ensure there's enough water in the pot to cook them well.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Braised beef short ribs in red wine

Celebration time - Part 3.

Ingredients (serves 8):
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1.5kg beef short ribs, cut into chunks
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
2 carrots, cut into large pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into medium-sized pieces
1 leek (white part only), cut into large pieces
1 tomato, seeds removed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bottle dry red wine
3 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
4 sprigs flat leaf parsley

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 deg C. Mix the flour, salt and pepper, and coat the ribs with the mixture. 2. In a large oven-proof pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat till hot, but not smoking. Fry the ribs till golden on all sides. Remove and set aside.
3. In the same pot, fry the onions, carrots and celery for 7 minutes. Add the leek, tomato and garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and mix well.
4. Add the wine and cook over high heat for 10 minutes until it reduces by half. Put in the beef stock, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and bring to a boil. Add the ribs and return to a simmer.
5. Remove from heat. Cover the pot with a round piece of greaseproof paper and the lid.
6. Braise in oven for 3 hours. Cool and keep in the fridge overnight. To serve, skim off the fat and reheat.

You can make this dish up to three days in advance. The flavour improves when left to steep.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Smoked salmon blinis

Celebration time - Part 2.

Ingredients (makes about 30):
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat Pancake Mix*
2 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 tub creme fraiche
100g smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
A handful of dill sprigs

1. Put the pancake mix, eggs and olive oil in a bowl and whisk until well-blended. Add water, a quarter cup at a time, to make a thick batter.
2. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a frying pan. Scoop a tbsp of batter into the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Repeat with the remaining batter.
3. To serve, place a dollop of creme fraiche on each blini, and top with a piece of smoked salmon and a small sprig of dill.

* Blinis are Russian buckwheat pancakes traditionally served with sour cream and caviar. You can buy Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat Pancake Mix at Tanglin Market Place and selected Cold Storage supermarkets

Store extra blinis in the fridge. To serve, reheat in a frying pan and serve with jam or honey.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Tomato cream tartelettes

Recipes for a sumptuous New Year's Eve family meal or party.

Celebration time - Part 1.

Ingredients (makes about 50):
For the bechamel sauce:
50g unsalted butter
2 1/2 tbsp plain flour
300ml fresh milk
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
A pinch of ground nutmeg

1 packet frozen puff pastry, thawed
10 cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved
1/2 cup dried mint
1/2 cup sea salt

1. To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy bottom pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the milk, a bit at a time, and whisk till the mixture is smooth. Cook over a medium-low flame, stirring constantly for 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens (it should drip off a spoon in 1 second).
3. Add the tomato puree, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir until well mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C. Roll the pastry to a 5mm thickness. Cut into round pieces with a cookie cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Spread a teaspoon of the sauce on each piece. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and top each tartelette with a tomato, some mint and sea salt. Bake for another 7 minutes until the pastry turns a pale gold.

If the bechamel sauce turns lumpy, strain it through a sieve before spreading on the pastry.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2008)

Chocolate-coated ginger cookies

Ginger - Part 3.

Sweet and soft.

Ingredients (makes about 60 pieces):
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
225g dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 egg
1 bar Green & Blacks ginger chocolate

1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, molasses and ginger with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, then add the egg and beat for 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed for 1 minute.
3. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C.
4. Shape the dough into 3cm balls and place on a baking tray lined with a cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. Break the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Its base should not touch the water.
7. Melt the chocolate for 7 minutes, until smooth. Dip the cookies and place on the cooling rack.

Place a baking sheet below the cooling rack to catch the chocolate drips.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Oct 2008)

Poached black bass

Ginger - Part 2.

Fresh and fragrant.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 black bass, cleaned and scaled
1 piece 2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
2 green onions, thinly sliced, with the white parts separated from the green ones
1/3 cup Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Make three diagonal slits on each side of the fish. Place it on a dish and rub the ginger over the body and into the cavities and slits.
2. Place the white parts of the green onions over the fish and into the cavities.
3. Whisk the rice wine, soya sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil into a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the fish. Cover and leave it in the fridge for 45 minutes.
4. Place the fish and the marinade in a large wok. Add water to cover the fish.
5. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.
6. Ladle some poaching liquid over the fish.

Use fish stock or wine instead of water to poach the fish for a stronger flavour.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Oct 2008)

Prawns with ponzu and home-pickled ginger

Ginger - Part 1.

Refreshing and tangy.

Ingredients (serves 4):
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 piece 2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
20 prawns, peeled, deveined and boiled
100ml ponzu

1. Mix the sugar, salt and rice wine vinegar in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
2. Place the ginger in a bowl and pour the boiling mixture over. Cover the bowl with cling wrap for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the cling wrap and leave the bowl in the fridge for 1 hour.
4. Set the prawns on a plate and arrange the pickled ginger around it. Serve with the ponzu sauce in a saucer to dip.

Ponzu is a sweet, sour and salty Japanese sauce available at Cold Storage and Japanese supermarkets.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Oct 2008)

Mango sago dessert

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
80g sago pearls
250ml water
3 tbsp sugar
3 honey mangoes, peeled and cubed
400ml packet mango juice
125ml evaporated milk
Pomelo or grapefruit, peeled and divided into segments

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the sago pearls and cook over low heat, stirring constantly.
2 Remove from heat when the pearls turn translucent. Rinse them under running water. Drain and set aside.
3. Boil 250ml of water with the sugar. Remove from heat when the sugar is dissolved and add the mangoes, mango juice and evaporated milk. Stir to mix well.
4. Add the sago pearls and mix well.
5. Chill for 1 hour and top with pomelo or grapefruit before serving.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Oct 2008)

Vietnamese rice paper rolls

This healthy wrap-and-roll finger food is light and refreshing.

Ingredients (serves 4):
60g tung hoon (mung bean vermicelli)
8 pieces rice paper wrappers
8 butter lettuce leaves
8 cooked prawns, peeled, deveined and sliced lengthwise
A handful of mint leaves
1 cucumber, peeled and finely julienned
1 carrot, peeled and finely julienned
A handful of coriander leaves

Nuoc cham (dipping sauce):
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar

1. Place the tung hoon in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Drain and rinse under running water.
2. Fill a deep plate with hot water. Dip a rice paper wrapper into the water for 15 seconds, until soft. Lay it flat on a tea towel.
3. Lay a lettuce leaf over the wrapper. Place 2 pieces of prawn, mint leaves, cucumber, carrot, coriander leaves and tung hoon on it.
4. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling. Fold the two sides in and roll it tight. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.
5. To make the dipping sauce, pound the chillies and garlic into a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves.
6. Add more lime juice or sugar to taste.

Substitute the prawns with shredded chicken or roast beef slices.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Oct 2008)

Chicken pot pie

This traditional favourite provides homely comfort to both adults and kids.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 packet puff pastry
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic, peeled and diced
1 sprig rosemary leaves
4 chicken thighs, deskinned, deboned and diced
1 cup green peas
2 carrots, parboiled and diced
2 potatoes, skinned, parboiled and diced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. Roll the puff pastry to a 2cm thickness. With a cookie cutter (about 6cm in diameter), cut 4 circles and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and stir-fry the onion, garlic and rosemary leaves for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
3. Add the green peas, carrots, potatoes, oyster sauce, pepper and mustard and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock and water and stew until the liquid is reduced to half.
5. Add the cornflour and boil for 5 minutes. Pour the filling equally into 4 ramekin bowls.
6. Place a piece of pastry on each ramekin and fold over the sides to seal. Prick holes in the centre of each pastry with a fork.
7. Brush pastry with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

This can be kept in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave just before serving.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Oct 2008)

Chocolate semifreddo

Freezer-friendly dishes - Part 5.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
4 egg yolks
100g castor sugar
180g dark chocolate couverture, chopped
500ml whipping cream
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
10 pieces Almond Roca
A handful of cherries, sliced

1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Place the yolk mixture and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Stir the chocolate continuously until it melts. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form.
4. In a dry bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
5. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, stir in the cream till the mixture is evenly mixed. Then fold in the egg whites.
6. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with cling film. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
7. Before serving, place the Almond Roca in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
8. Invert the loaf tin on a plate, unmould the cake and remove the cling film. Top with Almond Roca and cherries.

Use only good-quality dark cooking chocolate; regular chocolate bars give a grainy texture.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Aug 2008)

Borscht soup

Freezer-friendly dishes - Part 4.

Ingredients (serves 6):
300g beef flank or shank
1 litre water
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 round cabbage, shredded
3 beetroots, peeled and grated
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 beef stock cube
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
9 tbsp sour cream

1. In a pot, cover the beef with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook till tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove the beef from the pot, and strain the stock through a fine sieve. Set aside.
3. In another large pot, heat the oil and brown the onions. When softened, add the carrots and cabbage. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and bring it to a boil.
4. Add the beetroots, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat.
5. Cut the cooked beef into small pieces. Add the beef and beef stock cube to the pot and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat.
6. Add the red wine vinegar and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and freeze.
7. After reheating, spoon 1 1/2 tbsp of sour cream into each bowl before serving.

For extra flavour, add a sprinkling of ground paprika to the sour cream.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Aug 2008)