Cheese soufflé

Cheese soufflé is a French classic. It is perfect for a quickly made diner. All it needs is a touch of veggies such as green salad on the side or a simple fresh tomatoes, basil and cucumbers salad that will please the kids.

Generously serves 3 adults and 2 young children

cheese souffléINGREDIENTS
40g flour
75g butter + a drop of vegetable/canola oil
500ml warm milk
150g shredded cheese ( Basque sheep milk cheese or emmental, cheddar, gouda)
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 pinch of nutmeg freshly grinded
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

A bit extra butter to lightly grease the dishes.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven 210°C
  2. In a pan, on medium low heat, put the butter and a drop of oil. Adding the oil will prevent the butter from turning brown.
  3. When the butter is melted, take the pan off the heat.
  4. Gradually stir in the flour using a whisk until the mixture is homogenous .
  5. Continue to stir and little by little add the warm milk until your mixture is quite smooth.
  6. Put the heat on low and your pan back on the heat.
  7. Let this mixture cook very gently, stirring frequently, for almost 10 minutes or until it thickens.
  8. take off the heat.
  9. Add the egg yolks one by one, stiring vigorously to incorporate them well.
  10. Add the cheese, stir again to blend homogeneously.
  11. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Now whisk the whites of the eggs, in a large bowl, until very firm. To make sure they are firm enough, tilt the bowl head down, they should not move!
  13. A bit at a time, add the whites to the butter-flour-milk-yolk mixture. With a spatula, incorporate them slowly rotating the bowl with your left hand, lifting rather than stirring the mixture.
  14. when all the whites have been incorporated, put the mixture into soufflé dishes.
  15. Put in the oven. Rack in the middle.
  16. Lower the temperature to 180°C. Let cook for about 30 minutes. Timing depends on the size of your dish so you have to adjust a bit. Never open the oven door as the soufflé will drop.
  17. Serve immediately.

Egg-free sponge cake

DSCF4105As you know, food allergies are more and more common. My first son used to be allergic to eggs and has now grown out of it. We discovered recently that my second son, although still a baby, was also allergic to eggs by just cracking one open in the kitchen… Big chock! So when I am told that some boy at my kids birthday party cannot take eggs, the least I can do is get in the kitchen and make them a special cake so they do not feel left out and do not have to come with their own snack.

Ingredients
175g unbleached flour
3 tsp baking powder
70g unsalted butter
60g brown sugar
150ml milk

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease cake mold.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Add a little flour then a little milk  to the sugar and butter mixture and repeat until all of the flour and milk has been added and the mixture is smooth and well combined. (Add a little extra milk if the mixture is too stiff.)
  5. Pour mixture in cake mold. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown, this depends on the size of the cake mold. If you are making small stars 10 minutes should be ok.
  6. Remove the cake(s) from the oven and set aside to cool. Repeat the procedure until you finish the mixture.
  7. Remove the cake(s) from the molds, spread the chocolate or fruit or coconut jam and sandwich the cakes 2 by 2 .
  8. Decorate, Serve.

DSCF4113 The round cake, not egg-free, was covered with the egg-free stars and the fondant. Take note that I hate fondant, I find this shot of sugar useless and that it kills the taste of the actual cake. Moreover, during the party, we realized that once the “Wouha” effect of the cake decoration was done, the kids actually took out most of the fondant before eating the cake… Promise, I feel find a smarter way to decorate the next birthday cake!

Thin and Crispy Pizza crust

Very easy to make. Fun with the kids as you can choose to make individual pizzas. It was a good time out of the boxes during our move. Feel free to use what ever you like to garnish, you can be so creative with pizzas, that’s what’s fun about them! From meaty to veggie!

The interesting thing about this pizza crust, the whole interest of this recipe being the crust and not the garnish, is that it does not requires yeast but only baking powder which is most commonly found in your kitchen cupboard so you can pretty much decide to make this at the last minute.

Another thing, I always keep shredded cheese in the freezer, it works really well and it makes it easy to take out anytime; Use the desired amount and put the rest back in, no problem.

If you are not a cow milk person, you can use the goat cheese or sheep’s cheese that you shred yourself. If you want to go dairy free, use the crust and put tones of roasted veggies on it, it is just perfect!

thin and crispy pizza

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:
3 cup of whole wheat or unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup of water
6 tbsp olive oil

For the toppings:
3 tbsp tomato paste
8- 10 tbsp organic basil tomatoe sauce
20 cm long chorizo piece sliced
15 pitted black olives
250g sliced mozzarella block ( perfect cheese)
150g + shredded gouda and cheddar cheese

PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC, traditional heat ( only top and bottom).
  2. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add the water and olive oil.
  3. Mix to form dough. Knead for a few minutes on a lightly floured board or working surface until the dough is smooth.
  4. Shape the dough into ball and flatten it using a rolling pin to give it a round shape and the desired thickness.
  5.  Transfer the dough to a baking sheet or an oven pizza pan. 
  6. Using the back of a spoon, spread tomato paste on the dough first.
  7. Add the tomato sauce, the slices of mozzarella + any other ingredients ( sliced chorizo, sliced mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, olives, other vegetables cut into small pieces, ham, sliced sausages, pineapple, pesto…)
  8. Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the pizza. 
  9. Put the pizza in the oven and bake it for about 20- 30 minutes or until the crust is golden, crispy and the cheese is bubbly.

 

Senegalese Chicken Yassa

When i was a baby, my parents were expatriated to Dakar, Senegal for almost a year. My mom brought back this recipe with her. She has always been making it. I cannot tell why but I am very attached to this dish… Maybe it reminds me of the smell of the kitchen then or just of soul of the country I lived in.

Side note: Apparently, in the Casamance region of Senegal, where the dish originated, Monkey Yassa, is considered a delicacy. Food for thought. :)

SENEGALESE YASSA CHICKENTime: 1h + at least 3h to marinate

INGREDIENTS
1 big fresh chicken
2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1kg thinly sliced red onions
1 chili (optional with kids)
peanut or canola oil
3 tsp cider vinegar
4 minced garlic cloves

500g rice to serve with it

PROCEDURE

  1. Cut the fresh chicken, separating the breast, thighs and wings.
  2. In a large bowl, prepare marinade by mixing the lemon juice, onions, salt, pepper, minced chile, and 5 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Place the chicken pieces in the marinade, making sure that they are all well covered.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator. Over night is even better.
  5. Preheat the broiler. 
  6. Remove the chicken pieces and reserve the marinade.
  7. Place the chicken pieces on the broiler rack and grill them until they are lightly browned. If you have a BBQ, doing this on the BBQ, it is even better as you get the traditional “charcoal taste”.
  8. Pour the marinade ( mostly just onions) in a pot and stir fry. Cook them slowly until tender. It is ok to let them burn a bit, it will give the dish a “traditional” taste.
  9. Add just a bit of water, with a wooden spoon, scrap the “burnt” off the pot’s side to mix it with the rest.
  10. Add the chicken pieces and 2 cups water and let simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Serve hot with white rice.

Cost: Fresh Hormone and antibiotic free chicken 23SGD, 1kg red onions 2,60SGD

 

Mexican style Red bean soup

My husband is a big fan of Chili con carne, I tried making a lighter version with this red bean soup :) .

DSCF3874
Time 1h30+

INGREDIENTS
For the soup:

2 cans of 500g red beans: 600g when water taken out
2 roughly diced onions
2 thinly sliced celery stalks
1 very large carrot
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp vegetable oil
110g back bacon sliced diced
2 chopped tomatoes
2/3 can of dices tomatoes
1 Tbsp ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
6 big tsp of sour cream
1 avocado, diced at the last minute + juice of 2 limes
3 spring onions ( green+white), thinly sliced
2 red chillies, seeds removed, very finely chopped (optional)
1 small bunch coriander roughly chopped

METHOD
The soup:

  1. MEXICAN STYLE RED BEAN SOUP 2Chop the onion, celery carrot and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil over a low heat in a large heavy-based pan.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.
  4. Cover the pan and let the vegetables sweat, covered, on a low heat, for 10-15 minutes until they are juicy and tender.
  5. Add the beans, all the tomatoes and the cumin and enough water to cover.
  6. Bring up to the boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, half covered, until the beans are very tender. 45 minutes or more.
  8. When the beans are tender, add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Let simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and smashing some of the beans in the pan to obtain a thick soup with some whole beans.
  10. At the end of the cooking, you can add more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  11. The Soup is done.
  12. Now prepare the toppings.

The toppings

  1. In a small bowl put the chopped coriander
  2. In a 2nd bowl put the sour cream
  3. In a 3rd bowl put the chopped spring onions
  4. Cook the bacon using a pan or the microwave, dice it using a pair of kitchen scissors and put in a 4th bowl.
  5. Last minute, in a 5th bowl put the dices avocado with the juice of 2 small limes.
  6. In a 6th, optional bowl, put some tortilla chips.

To serve, put the soup and its toppings on the table or set up the soup plates individually as shown on the picture.

PS: The soup can be prepared in advance, store in the fridge when cold then reheated.

Cost: bacon 3,2SGD ( Swissbutcher), 2x 454g red kidney beans cans 2,45SGD each, Lite sour cream 3,45, Avocado 2,45SGD,  Celery, carrot, onion, garlic, tomatoes 4SGD

Honey-Ketchup glazed meatballs

yes, I know this is a bit regressive but everyone loved it and everyone is all adults :).

Of course you can give them to your kids and serve them with whole wheat or quinoa pasta :) .

DSCF3639Makes 60 medium size meatballs (bite size)

INGREDIENTS
For the meatballs:
600kg lean minced beef
600kg minced pork
2 big thinly chopped shallots
2 tbsp Coleman’s mustard
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

oil for frying

For the marinate:
1 cup honey
1 cup ketchup

METHOD

  1. In a big bowl mix together: beef, pork, shallot, salt pepper, eggs and mustard.
  2. With your hands make medium size balls with the mixture and set aside on a plate.
  3. Put 2-3 tsp of oil in a pan and turn the heat to medium high.
  4. When oil is hot, put the balls only a couple at a time to fry just to give them the right shape and little golden brown color: 2 minutes. Do not cook them yet.
  5. Set them aside on a plate.
  6. When you have done this with all the meatballs, pour the mixture of honey and ketchup over them and let them marinate for 15 minutes.
  7. Now you can cook the balls in the same pan over medium heat.
  8. Serve hot, immediately.

Cost: lean beef 19,8SGD ( Coldstorage), minced pork 14SGD ( cold storage), Coleman’s mustard 50g tube 2,60SGD ( red mart), organic eggs 2SGD( fairprice finest)=approx 40SGD+

Moving in party buffet ideas

We had a little party with a few of our new and old neighbors last saturday. We had planned a simple buffet for the occasion.

Here was the menu:

  • Veggies and tortillas to dip in American sauce or Cottage cheese with herbs
  • Grilled bell peppers “without BBQ”

Followed by:

And:

  • Fruit salad
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • and Crème anglaise

All served with cool people and lots of fun!

Party mix 2: Stilton Walnut crème

This mix can be spread on crepes or on toasted bread, even put in pasta or served with a good medium rare beef rib. :)

CREME STILTONWALNUTSTime: 5 minutes.

INGREDIENTS
1 stilton
1 very big Tbsp of Sourcream lite
A dash of milk ( for the texture)
40g of walnuts broken into small pieces

METHOD

  1. Put the stilton and sour cream in a mixer. mix until well blent.
  2. Add the dash of milk to the mixture. Mix until creamy.
  3. pour the mixture into a bowl.
  4. Using a spoon, incorporated the walnuts saving a bit for decoration.
  5. Once well incorporated, Top with saved walnuts for decoration.
  6. Store in the fridge or serve.

 Cost: Stilton 17 SGD from Marketplace, Sour cream lite 3,10SGD for 250ml, Roasted walnut 4,25SGD (Coldstorage)

Party mix 1: Crab combava

Party mix n°1. This mix can be spread on crepes or toasted bread and served along with a salad.

CRABCOMBAVATime: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 can of Chicken of the sea premium crabmeat
2 tbsp full of thinly shredded coconut
juice of 1 big lime
zest from 1 combava
1 big thinly chopped shallots
salt and pepper to taste

 

1 STEP METHOD

In a bowl, using a fork mix all the ingredients together.

Cost: 454g can of Chicken of the sea Premium crab meat (Greenwood fish market) 24SGD, combava from Tiong Bahru wet market

Party mix 4: Bit’sy cream of ham

Good to serve on crepes, bread, with mashed potatoes or in pasta.

CREME DE JAMBON PARSLEYTime: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS
500g thinly sliced ham (not shaved)
4tbsp sour cream lite
25g finely chopped english parsley
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Pile up the slices of ham and cut them into very small rectangles
  2. Add the chopped parsley and the cream.
  3. Mix together well.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve or store in the fridge.

Cost: 500g of Cold Storage Premium smoked ham 18SGD, sour cream lite 250g container 3,10SGD ( Fair price finest), pasley 0,50SGD ( Fair price)