Fried tomato galette with corn and zucchini

Adapted from smitten kitchen

refrigerated puff pastry dough
15 ml olive oil
coarse sea salt
250 grams cherry or grape tomatoes
1 ear corn (I used canned)
1 small (225 g) zucchini and summer squash, diced
1 bundle (3 to 4 ounces or 85 to 115 g) scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 g) grated parmesan


Saute tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes at high heat until they burst. Add zucchini and cook on medium until soft. Add corn and scallions and cook until done. Remove from heat. Preheat oven at 200 deg C. Add vegetables onto puff pastry with the cheeses. Pleat edges and bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve.

Happy Earth Day!



Butter paneer masala

Adapted from Padhu’s Kitchen and Sanjeev Kapoor

2 Onions
Ginger-garlic paste
-250 g Tomatoes, chopped (I used 500 g)
200 g Paneer (I used smoked tofu)
50 g Cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water for 15 min, ground to a paste
Fenugreek leaves, dry (if you can find, I couldn’t)
Salt to taste
Garam masala, Coriander, Turmeric powder
Cinnamon, 2 Cloves,  1 Cardamom pod, Dried red chilies

Fresh cream
Finely chopped cilantro leaves (wish I had!)

Heat butter, and saute cloves, cinnamon stick, red chilies, and cardamom. Stir-fry and brown the onions, then the ginger-garlic paste. Add the cashew paste. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, and tomatoes. Cook on high. Puree. Cook the paneer, and add it. Remove from heat and add cream.


Peanut sesame noodles

Adapted from smitten kitchen and Ming Tsai

For the peanut dressing
creamy peanut butter (I had Dutch PB! Less sweet than the USA)
soy sauce
chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
rice vinegar
toasted sesame oil
Dijon mustard
coarse ground coriander (if you have it, I did not)
canola oil
dried red chili flakes or a splash of your hot sauce or chili paste

Toss with:
500 g  soba noodles (spaghetti will work in a pinch, cooked and rinsed)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed (I didn’t have this time)
sesame seeds, toasted
chopped roasted peanuts for garnish (I didn’t have this time)

Mum’s Instructions:
Cook your skinny pasta, then rinse cold. In the meantime, mince 2 cloves of garlic, and soak them in 2 tablespoons of water. Mix your sesame sauce with water  and keeping stirring until it thins out. In another small bowl, mix soy sauce and rice vinegar, sugar. Julienne the cucumber and carrots thin. Toss the noodles in a bowl, then pour in the sesame sauce, then add the rest including your veggies. N.B. The noodles should be chilled before you mix in the sauces. Served cool, it’s the perfect meal for summer dining!


My mum’s version


My version

Alas, mum wins!




Throwback Thursday (from August):

I grilled the shrimp (marinated in garlic, salt, wine, pepper, and paprika) and it came out great! It’s one healthy way to eat them. A comparable recipe is that of Rasa Malaysia or No Recipes or Damn Delicious‘s Gambas Al Ajillo.

I grilled the frozen corn, which came out not too bad.

And I made a chicken salad with cranberries, blueberries, walnuts, and feta cheese. Like Eating Richly. Jessica wouldn’t mind a Simply Recipes Cobb salad either at a barbecue though.


Matar paneer

Matar / mutter paneer is my favorite Indian dish, mostly because I like the paneer, but also the peas’ bursts of flavor. Squeaky fun to chew paneer!

Adapted from Spice Up The Curry and Edible Garden

400 g green peas, boiled 2-3 min (I used frozen)
175 g paneer, cubed (I used smoked tofu instead)
1 lemon
ghee (if you have it, otherwise I used butter)
2 large onions
2.5 cm ginger, grated
1 garlic, minced
chopped, ripe tomatoes
2 small green chilies, chopped

1 pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) — I didn’t have
garam masala, cumin, turmeric, red chili, coriander
salt to taste

1 spoonful of cream
50 g Cashews, soaked in water for 30 min.

Fry any spices (that you have whole) and chilis in oil/butter. Saute onion, ginger, garlic until fragrant. Season with salt. Add tomatoes. Add your powdered spices now and cook until the liquid evaporates. Grind soaked cashews into a paste with some water. Fry the paneer separately, then add this to the sauce with the peas and cashew paste. Add the cream and cilantro. Serve hot.

Smoked tofu is extra-firm and ideally smoked in tea leaves, but I don’t taste it much. Very similar to dry tofu, but lighter in flavor. Serving suggestions: Mater paneer masala can be served with roti, paratha, or naan; if served with plain rice, thin the sauce.


Japanese cheesecake

aka Japanese soufflé cheesecake

Inspired by Ochikeron’s viral Gâteau au Chocolat and Japanese Cotton Cheesecake but really… Adapted from Rasa Malaysia and Just One Cookbook

6 eggs, separated
100 g caster sugar (I only had regular granulated)

Wet ingredients
240-400 g cream cheese, softened (I had 175 g)
100-200 ml heavy whipping cream (I used 250 g)
50 g unsalted butter, softened

Dry ingredients
20 g cornstarch + 60 g cake flour or 80 g all-purpose flour (I used latter)
Pinch of salt
10 ml lemon juice + 1 spoonful of zest
1 spoonful of rum (optional, I would have liked Bailey’s)

N.B. Keep the cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream all at room temperature, but chill the egg whites in the fridge (to make the meringue more stable)!

  1. If you want a chocolate cake, melt 240 g dark chocolate (broken into pieces) in a double boiler (not boiling water). Remove the bowl from the double boiler, cool the mixture. Otherwise just mix the cream cheese, butter, and heavy cream together.
  2. Fold in the flours and salt, then the egg yolks and lemon juice, and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl (make sure there’s no oil/fat in it, feel free to wipe the inside with a slice of lemon), whisk egg whites THEN whip in the sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Whipping by hand is masochistic. You know it is thick enough when you can turn the bowl upside down.
  4. Take 1/3 meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3 of the meringue. After incorporated, pour the batter back into the remaining 1/3 meringue and FOLD GENTLY with a spatula.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Rub some oil/butter on parchment paper (to help prevent the cake from cracking). Line the round cake pan with the parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and drop the pan lightly on the counter to raise the air bubbles out of the batter.
  6. Place the cake pan on a baking sheet. Pour hot water into the baking sheet, to keep the cake moist. Bake for 15 minutes on the lowest shelf in the oven (to prevent cracks on top and over-browning), 160 deg C for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and bake with the remaining heat for 15 minutes.
  7. When it is done, place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool slowly.
  8. Refrigerate the cake (with or without the cake tin) for at least 4 hours or overnight.

You can brush the cake with some jam syrup and/or dust with powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) to finish. I would prefer to serve with whipped cream ~_^

What I Messed Up: Not chilling the egg whites in their bowl enough (should chill in the same bowl they will be beaten in), not beating the eggs BEFORE adding the sugar, not rubbing lemon on the inside of the meringue bowl before beating, not having enough cream cheese, and not using caster sugar (faster to dissolve).


World Rat Day

Did you know April 4th is World Rat Day?


Johnny and Timmy are friendly, loyal, intelligent, and cute. Witness:

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BuzzFeed likes rats too. I just learned rats “spend about 76 percent of daylight hours sleeping.” Who knew? And can you handle this Instagram star dumbo rat cuteness? They only live 2-3 years, but rats can be such highly trainable, great pets. Last but not least, here are some cute rat photos to consider. I do like it when rats stalk cats because rats are way more social than cats. ^_^