Archive for May 2010
Gambas al ajillo is a popular Spanish dish, typically served as tapas. It is extremely simple, the base ingredients being just shrimp, garlic and olive oil.
1st course: Hokkigai sashimi salad
Hokkigai is known as surf clam and it is one of the most identifiable sashimi due to its bright red colouring on one side. It has a clean and crisp texture, moreso than the other shellfish I’ve had for sashimi. The crunchy texture provide a good contrast with the Japanese rocket salad.
I’ve made amatriciana twice in the past, each time getting closer to the authentic version. This time however, I have finally reached the promised land!
With some luck, I managed to buy all the necessary ingredients to make 100% authentic amatriciana, with guanciale being the one that was the hardest to get.
And this is a slab of the extremely rare guanciale - heath-conscious people please don’t see or you’ll get a heart attack! Guanciale is the cured meat that is usually used in most of the Italian recipes but since it is also usually quite rare, the typical substitute used is pancetta. It’s made by curing the pig’s cheek, which gives it a strong and much more gamey flavour.
It was a lazy Sunday morning that I trooped down to Wild Honey at the Mandarin Gallery to have a scrumptious brunch with my friends!
For all of that long name, it actually just means something like “Amalfi baked lemons”. This is actually an appetizer that I picked up from watching Jamie Oliver’s Great Italian Escape. He planned to use it for his Italian mentor’s father but the clay oven was too random and spoiled them.
Nonetheless I decided to try them out as an appetizer for my friends because it seems rather easy to make. 1 lemon will serve 2 persons as you just need a lemon halve for each serving. I used a juicer to get rid of the pulp and used the juice to make iced lemon tea, so as not to waste it.
First I started with the tomato sauce with onions and butter. This is a classic and simple recipe from Marcella Hazan – just tomatoes, onions and butter. But it tastes so rich and sinfully good!
You will need 2 halves of a large peeled onion.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking
I’ve never tried eating pesto before even though I’ve passed by the bottled stuff in the supermarkets so many times when I went to look at sauces. But since now I finally decided that I wanted to try it out, I wanted have to make it by hand so that it would be fresh!
Pesto is a sauce that originated in Genoa, the capital of Liguria, a province in northern Italy where basil was very abundant. The sauce is called pesto because of how it was originally made: by crushing basil leaves with a pestle and mortar. Together that is how the name of the sauce was known as pesto alla genovese.
Traditionally, pesto is made of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses and salt. There are other variations such as pesto all siciliana or pesto alla calabrese.
But I’m going to stick with the original Genovese version for this dish which also calls for boiled potatoes and green beans. However since I didn’t have green beans at hand, I substituted it with broccoli.
Of course the most important ingredient are the basil leaves! The smaller leaves provide the subtler flavour but I didn’t want to waste the other leaves so I used them anyway.
I was looking for a simple meal to cook so I decided to try out this one that just involves sausages, onions, tomatoes and waiting.
Using simple pork sausages with mild herbs and no spices.