Friday, October 30, 2015

"Claypot" Chicken Rice






I am very sure many of you love claypot chicken rice. There are a few places in Singapore that do awesome claypot rice and my favourite is the one at Geylang Lorong 33. But on days when I have craving for this dish but do not want to travel all the way to Geylang, I would cook this one-pot-meal at home.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lala Clams Bee Hoon Soup




The family loves clams, cooked any style. 

Italian with garlic and white wine, Mediterranean cioppino style or Chinese-style steamed with ginger and Huadiao wine. Clams in soup, clams in pasta or risotto, clams on its own. You name it, we love it! I guess it is the natural sweetness of clams that attracts us to the shellfish.

Sweet and briny with a hint of seawater-taste, clams offer a tender chew to many recipes just like this easy Lala bee hoon soup which I cooked for the family last night. Good to the last drop!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dum Mutton Biryani in a Tagine




The haze and my eldest girl's coming PSLE are curbing our activities outdoor and keeping us homebound. That provides me more time to think of new recipes and what to cook for the family especially what to cook with the new tagine I received from the good people of Le Creuset.

The tagine was originally a heavy, unglazed clay pot with a round, shallow-sided base and a conical lid with a knob on the top that acts as a handle. Modern tagines, like the Le Creuset, are often crafted from cast iron for durability and better heat retention and distribution.

Tagine's conical shape creates a uniquely moist and hot cooking environment. The base is wide and shallow, and the tall lid fits nicely inside. As the food cooks, steam rises into the cone, condenses, and then flows down the sides back into the dish.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peppercorn Steak with Creamy Brandy Sauce




I was pretty impressed with this caramelised 200-days grain-fed Black Angus Ribeye steak with white peppercorn and brandy sauce when I first had it at Chef Patrick Heuberger's new F&B venture at Casse-Croûte.

The thick 600-gram cut was perfectly seared by Chef Patrick with lots of butter without burning the peppercorn and finished it off with brandy and thick cream. I picked up some tips from Patrick and decided to make this at home.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Butter Sage Minced Pork Capellini





During our trip to Piedmont Italy last year, we had this simple and yet flavourful tajarin (tie-yah-REEN) or ravioli with sage and butter sauce almost everyday. (Tajarin is the egg-yolk-rich pasta from the Piedmont region and classic toppings include butter and sage sauce, pork and veal sugo or porcini mushroom sauce.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Home-Baked Sesame Seed Artisan Bread




Mrs Chef and Sommelier loves to bake and the family is fortunate to have freshly baked bread and pastry for our daily breakfasts and sometimes for dinner starters.  Over the years, after much research and experiments, she had adapted recipes that made use of cast iron Dutch ovens or casseroles to bake her artisan breads to great success.

Artisan breads baked by professional bakers have features like great crumb, airiness, unbelievable flavour and a desirable crackling crust. To get that kind of a crust, professionals use powerful steam-injected ovens which are too pricey an investment for regular home bakers. But the good news for amateur home bakers is, you too can achieve such shatteringly crunchy and delicious crust using cast iron casseroles or heavy ceramic pots.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sambal Brinjal with Dried Shrimp and Minced Pork




Many people dislike brinjal (eggplant or aubergine), but if cooked well, it can be absolutely delicious. Besides taste, the low-calorie and low-fat vegetable has a string of healthy properties that might be reason enough to get you to eat it.

Last Sunday, my foodie group decided to come together for a pot-luck curry rice party. Each of us either cooked or bought a dish or two for the gathering at my place. I contributed pork belly char siew and this Sambal Hae Bee (Dried shrimp) and minced pork Brinjal dish. 

I had no plan to post this initially as I felt this was quite a common household dish in this part of the world but the beloved wife of our Durian Professor Prickly Sensations adored this dish and requested for the recipe. 

So Mrs Lim, here you go...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Scallops with Sweetcorn Puree and Ikura





This is a simplified version of the starter recipe - Scallops with Sweetcorn Puree and Quail's Eggs which I posted a couple of years ago. The magic of this recipe lies in the rich sweetcorn puree. 

Searing scallops on high heat brings out their fresh briny flavor and the sweetcorn puree brings out the sweetness of the scallops. Combine these with the bursting of the ikura orbs in your mouth, Oh my... I can literally hear the song playing through my head.... And I think to myself, what a wonderful world! :)

You can prepare the puree days ahead, keep in the fridge and heat up when needed. On the actual day, it will take you just minutes to serve this impressive dish.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sous Vide Coq-Au-Vin with Potato Puree




Few years ago, when I first had my Sous Vide machine, I made this Coq-Au-Vin dish using a recipe I found on the web. It was a nice recipe but I felt the sous vide time of 8 hours was too long. Two Sundays ago, I bought some Chicken Maryland for our weekend dinner but I did not have that much time so I decided to experiment with a 4-hour sous vide window. It was a huge success.

I panfried the Maryland skin down to crisp the skin (like a duck leg confit) before cooking them again (skin up) in their own juice from the sous vide process with garlic, mushroom and cherry tomatoes. This makes the meat tender, juicy and it gets nice and crisp for the kids (and me!!) who like the skin.

Try this for your next weekend dinner!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Grilled Seafood with Mushroom Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts and White Sauce





Wife loves gnocchi but not the kids. They prefer their pasta in noodle form.

So when Mrs C&S requested gnocchi for dinner last weekend, I had to think of a creative way to make the dish appealing to the kids too. I did not want to end up eating their share, I had enough of carbo last week.

Seafood is a safe bet with the kids so I came out with this dish for our Saturday dinner. The creamy white sauce dressed up the seafood very well. The spoonful of oyster sauce I added to the mushroom gnocchi gave the pasta an umami flavour that I thought would change their opinion about gnocchi and it did wonders.

    "Dad, somehow I like your gnocchi today. What did you add?" said Ashley as she finished her plate. I smiled.

Friday, May 1, 2015

See's Cookies for Charity





Hi everyone! I'm Mrs Chef and Sommelier.

Hitting the big 40 made me think about life. Looking back, I am thankful for what I have and made me think what I can share and give back.  Thus, this project.

Baking has all along been my interest.  I thought it will be meaningful to combine my baking interest with charity work, giving back to Society.  So to celebrate my big 40th birthday next year, I will take orders for See's Cookies from today May 01, 2015 till Apr 30, 2016.  100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Children's Cancer Foundation of Singapore.

See's Cookies for sale at S$40/jar:

(1) Blueberry and White Chocolate
(2) Almond
(3) Polvorones

If you are interested to join me in this meaningful project, you can send me your order through FB message or simply leave me a note at chefnsommelier@gmail.com

You can refer to See's Cookies Facebook Page for more updates.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wagyu Steak with Braised Chestnut and Mushroom Selection with Sweet Potato Puree





Wagyu is all about fat.

The beef's high level of fat marbling is not just any fat but it has a high proportion of monounsaturated fats with high levels of omega 3 and 6. The soft low-melting point fat is therefore healthier than the regular saturated kind.

But I love Wagyu not for this health reason. People who know me or eat regularly with me know that I am someone who "Live to Eat" rather than "Eat to Live". I love Wagyu for its depth of flavour and melt-in-mouth texture and tenderness.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The day I fell in love with a Piemontese white...




I love wine.

My first love affair with wine was with an Australian Barossa Shiraz. She was sexy, spicy, intense and full-bodied. She was my best companion in various dinners and parties in the early years of my wine journey as I grew and learnt about wine.

That intense and passionate relationship slowly faded. Not that I got bored with Shiraz. She is still one of the heavy red that I would usually go for when I have my beef. But over the years, I started to appreciate old world wine more. Do not get me wrong, both old world and new world styles of wine have wonderful things to offer, it was just that personally and currently I prefer the complexity and earthy nature of old world wines to the straight-forward fruity new world wines.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sous Vide Pork Cheek in Garlic Soy Red Wine Sauce




Pork cheek is one of my favourite cuts for the sous vide cooking method. My earlier sous vide pork cheek recipe was featured in SousVide Supreme website. This is a variation to the earlier recipe. Instead of cooking the cheek further in its own juice from the sous vide process with carrots and mushrooms, I braised the cheeks in a dark soy and red wine mixture reduced to a thick sauce with whole garlic cloves.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mui Choy Stuffed Chicken





Mui Choy (梅菜), or preserved mustard green, cooked with pork belly was one of my favourite childhood dishes. The traditional Hakka delight was a common dish on our dining table during my growing up years at my grandma's place. The slow-cooked melty pork belly slices and the sweet-salty pickled mustard greens tasted especially good after a few days of sitting and reheating and I could have bowls of rice or porridge just with this dish alone.

This Chinese New Year, I gave this humble dish a slight twist by using chicken instead of pork belly. Mui choy was stuffed into the cavity of a whole chicken and steamed for an hour until both the chicken and preserved vegetable were tender and flavourful. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Almond Cookies





It is that time of the year again when wife would be going non-stop in the kitchen, baking trays and trays of See's cookies and packing them into containers for our relatives and friends.

This year, we tried a few new recipes and this is my personal favourite - crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth. You have to bake this!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Abalone and Spinach in Garlic Oyster Sauce





As a kid, I was not thrilled about eating vegetables. In fact, I avoided most of the greens for its bitter taste except spinach, for reasons unknown even to myself. I remember then I used to follow my dad to wedding and lunar 7th-month celebration dinners. One of the most common vegetable dishes served was spinach and I had always looked forward to this dish.

To this day, spinach is still the most commonly cooked vegetable in my household. Adding abalone elevates the vegetable dish to another level and this is an ideal dish for occasions like the coming Chinese New Year.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chinese New Year Ang Pow Giveaway



Win US$160 Paypal cash this Chinese New Year!

For the first time, 16 fabulous cooking bloggers have come together to bring you the chance to start the Year of the Ram in the best way - by winning an Ang Pow*!

To take part, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Open to overseas entrants.



This Giveaway is brought to you by:

Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids
Alvin from Chef and Sommelier
Ann from Anncoo Journal
Cheryl from Baking Tai Tai
Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY
Fion from XuanHom's Mom Kitchen Diary
Jasline from Foodie Baker
LY from LY's Kitchen Ventures
May from Mayck-law
Ms B from Everybody Eats Well in Flanders
Regina from Mummymoo
Sharon from Delishar
Susanne and Phay Shing from Lovingcreations4u
Veronica from Peng's Kitchen
Victoria from Victoria Bakes



*Terms and conditions apply.

One prize of US$160 will be sent to the winner via Paypal. An email will be sent to the winner to notify him/her of the win. If the organiser (Diana) does not receive a reply within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Please note if the winner does not have a valid and working Paypal account, another winner will be selected.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chinese New Year Recipes





Chinese New Year (CNY) is less than a month away. I am sure many of my Chinese friends have already started your shopping and baking all those CNY biscuits and goodies. What would be on your reunion dinner menu and what would you be cooking during the festive seasons?

I handpick some of my previously published recipes for your consideration. Most of these are my favourites and I hope you have a chance to try some of them. Let us wok together this Lunar New Year. Huat Ah!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chicken and Mushroom Cheese Filo Rolls





I am into quick and easy recipes lately and this is one of them. Mushrooms and cheese have always been a perfect combination for me and my first choice filling when planning for this recipe. I added chicken breast for the extra bite but you can omit it totally for a vegan recipe or get creative, use any of your favourite fillings.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Garlic Lemon Prawns





If you like garlic (like me) and prawns, this super fast and delicious recipe is ideal for you.

I prepared this dish for our tapas dinner last weekend but you can also toss spaghetti with the prawns for a complete 1-dish meal.

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