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Easy peasy onion and chilli angel hair pasta with crabstick

This was actually adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Angel Hair Pasta with Crab, Chilli and Lime. I made his original version many times and it always turns out absolutely delicious! This afternoon, I thought of making it for lunch but realised I had no lime, no parsley and not crabmeat :(

So what I did was substitute lime with lemon, parsley with onions and crabmeat with…well, crabsticks :D The result was a fresh, light, sweet (from the onion) and lemony pasta, perfect for a satisfying lunch. And the best thing about this dish? It’s so easy to cook!

# – You may notice that my lemons look a bit ghetto, that’s because they were zested a couple of days ago. No wastage in this kitchen! Hehe.

The ingredients:

  • 140 grams of angelhair pasta
  • 4 pieces of crabsticks
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Around 6-7 tablespoons of vodka
  • Salt for season

# – First, boil the angelhair pasta according to instructions on the package. Then drain, toss with olive oil and set aside.

# – In a large saucepan, heat up some oil and fry the garlic.

# – Dump in the chillies.

# – Followed by the chopped onions.

# – And then, the chopped crabsticks.

# – Stir everything for a bit till the crabs are slightly browned and the onions have wilted slightly.

# – Then you pour in the vodka, w00t!

# – Season with salt and stir…

# – After the vodka had reduced a bit, remove pan from heat. Dump in the drained angelhair pasta. Mix and toss till everything’s combined.

# – Serve on a plate and lightly drizzle with olive oil. This recipe serves 2, by the way.

# – And finish it off with juice of half a lemon for each plate.

# – Easy onion chilli angelhair pasta with crabstick.

This is perfect for when you don’t have to cook for so many people. Portions are easily controlled and ingredients are easily available. Most of them are probably in your pantry already.

You can always substitute crabsticks with fishpaste or fishballs or better real crabmeats. I guess you can probably use chicken or pork too, but make sure they are tenderised properly (try marinading them in lemon juice with a drizzle of olive oil) otherwise they might not go so well with such a light tasting pasta.

Happy cooking!

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Noodles, Pasta - Continue Reading

A kickass beef lasagna borne out of true love.

I tend to avoid ordering lasagna when I’m eating out because they often turn out to be too try, too tart or just downright nasty. So my BF has decided that the only way to get me to appreciate Garfield’s favourite food is to make them at home.

And what do you know….he makes the meanest lasagna in town! It’s so delicious and so cheap (compared to eating out) that it really doesn’t make any sense for us to eat lasagna outside.

I know how some people might find making lasagna quite a daunting task. But truly, it’s really simple! The secret is…COMPARTMENTALISATION! Just file all the lasagna making steps into 3 categories:

(1) Cooking awesome minced beef
(2) Making white sauce
(3) Assembling lasagna.

I find that once you’ve compartmentalised cooking tasks like that, the steps would become much, much simpler and straight forward. It’s also easier to know which ingredients to prepare or take out first, which utensils to use and generally, it keeps the stress level down! Okay, it keeps my stress level down!

So here’s the recipe to my BF’s meanest lasagna in town, with step by step pictures of the man doing the works ;)

p/s: Mom, these are not my fingers…don’t freak out please.

(1)For the awesome minced beef:

  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300 grams of minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tin of tomatoes
  • 50ml milk
  • Oregano
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper

(2)For the white sauce:

  • 25 grams of butter
  • 25 grams of all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 300ml milk
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • ground nutmeg
  • 90 grams of cheddar cheese

(3)For the assembling

  • Lasagna sheets
  • Oregano
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of grated parmesan cheese

Lets begin with………(1) Making the awesome minced beef:

# – First of all, dump the grated carrots, minced onions and minced garlic into a well-oiled wok or a big pan. Stir a bit.

# – Add 2 bay leaves.

# – A dash of oregano. You can use fresh herbs of course!

# – And a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Personally, I think Worcestershire sauce makes everything tastes better!

# – Don’t forget a dash of salt to bring all the taste out.

# – And finish of with black pepper. By now, you should probably have the the best damn tasting carrots and onions in the world!

# – Next, dump in the minced beef…

# – Some tomato puree for colours.

# – Followed by whole can of chopped plum tomatoes and a bit more….

# – Don’t forget the milk.

# – And lastly, a dash of Tabasco sauce for a good kick.

# – Stir till all the minced beef are cooked. Then, set aside.

Now, it’s time for for………(2) Making white sauce:

# – Melt the butter in a saucepan.

# – Then dump the flour in and beat with a wooden spoon….

# – Till it looks like sticky yellow dough!

# – Add 1/3 of the milk and replace the wooden spoon with a whisk.

# – Whisk till smooth.

# – Then add more milk and whisk till smooth again. Repeat till milk’s finished.

# – Now add some nutmeg for taste.

# – And cheese and black pepper. Whisk, whisk, whisk, till smooth…

# – Till it looks something like this. Smooth and smells so delicious! White sauce, DONE!

Now that we’ve gotten (1) and (2) out of the way, it’s time for………..(3) Assembling the lasagna:

# – Very importantly, remove the bay leaves from the minced beef so you won’t bite into a tough piece of leaf while eating your lasagna…

# – Then pour half of the minced beef into a 10″ roasting pan or a deep baking tray

# – Flatten the minced beef down so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered.

# – Then lay the lasagna sheets over the minced beef. Try to keep all the minced beef under the sheets.

# – If you have exposed minced beef, just break the sheets into the desired sizes ;)

# – Next, pour 1/2 of the white sauce over the lasagna sheets.

# – And spread it out till it covers everything.

# – Followed by the rest of the minced beef. Spread it out to cover everything.

# – And more lasagna sheets.

# – Now pour in the rest of the white sauce & spread it all around.

# – Slice 2 tomatoes and lay them out over the white sauce like this.

# – And NEVER EVER forget the cheese! Top off with some salt, oregano and black pepper. Stick it in a pre-heated oven at 225 degrees celcius and bake for 25 minutes.

25 minutes later….

# – A delicious looking, oh so gorgeous lasagna for 9 people!

# – Serve with homemade garlic bread.

# – There were only 4 of us, but we ate 7 portions of lasagna among us hehehe.

# – Juicy, beefy, cheesy lasagna…

# – Simply superb.

To my BF: Thanks for such a beautiful lasagna! <3 And how we roll it. Happy lasagna making!

Posted in: Beef, Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading

Delicious fusilli with tuna in mushroom sauce.

Don’t be fooled by the title of this post. It’s so easy to make that a 9 year old would have no problem doing so. But best of all, you’d probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry. Especially if you’re one of those lazy people (ie: me) who shop for convenience (read: frozen food, instant food, canned food, errr ready-diced garlic FML). One thing I’m sure of is that if a nuclear bomb were to go off now, I would probably survive better with all the food stuff that we have, due to the fact that they don’t have expiry dates and therefore do not expire.

That’s my version of immortal food. Okay without wasting anymore text space on my grocery shopping behaviour, lets move on to the ingredients that goes into the making of “Delicious Fusilli with Tuna in Mushroom Sauce”:

# – Italian herbs. Just to pay homage to the fact that it’s sort of an Italian dish.

# – Paprika. Because chopping up fresh chilis is such a bloody chore.

# – Olive oil. You can use whatever oil that rocks your pants but we’re sticking to olive oil because it makes me feel like I’m eating healthily.

# – Butter. You may use any kind of aromatic solid fat really (ie: lard and ghee) but please for heaven’s sake, throw away the margarine! You might as well melt a plastic spoon and eat it. As you can see, ours is blended with vegetable oil – same reason as to why we use olive oil above.

# – Salt for taste.

# – Drumroll!!!! Here comes the mushroom……soup. Didn’t expect that did you? Yeah, the entire mushroom content of the dish belongs to this box of powdered mushroom soup (which by the way is my favourite powdered mushroom soup of them all).

# – Tuna. If you’ve got fresh good cuts of tuna, good on you! But I’m nothing but a mere mortal, so I’m getting my tuna from a can.

# – Last but not least, the fusilli of course. Make sure you get a packet that says ‘Authentic Italian’ because that will inject more culture into your dish.

And now…..the cooking!

# – Boil 3 fistfuls of fusilli in a pot of water seasoned with a dash of salt and olive oil. Salt is supposed to make your pasta less bland and olive oil is supposed to keep them from sticking together in case you got too engrossed with checking your Twitter timeline and overcooked the poor pasta.

# – If you have botched the above up, it’s okay, you can start over but make sure you switch off the computer before you begin. If you didn’t botch it up, congratulations! Now pour off the water but not all of it, make sure to leave some for the pasta sauce. Throw in a dollop or 5 dollops of butter into the pasta. Mix well.

# – Now open a packet of powdered mushroom soup and slowly pour the content into the pasta. Mix as you pour. This is the part of the cooking where your logic needs to kick in. Don’t get too excited and dump the entire packet in because it might end up to be too salty. Taste as you go. Remember, taste as you go.

# – While still stirring the mushroom soup + pasta mixture, put some paprika into it. This serves to give the dish a little kick. If you prefer spicier, you may throw in leftover Domino’s chili flakes in (I save them all the time, don’t you?).

The pasta part is now done, set it aside and keep it warm. Which in my world means, turn off the flame for now and turn it on again later when the tuna’s done :P

# – In a different pot, heat up some olive oil.

# – Get the tuna as dry as possible by draining the brine. You don’t want to have oil popping in your face from cooking tuna, seriously. Then chuck them into the pot. They’re already cooked, but the point of this exercise is to brown them to a crisp, so you’ll have crispy and juicy tuna to chomp on. You may throw in a dash of Italian herbs to flavour the tuna.

# – Lastly, transfer the fusilli onto a plate and lay the tuna carefully on top. Garnish with more Italian herbs, paprika and some black pepper.

# – Ladies & gentlemen, delicious fusilli with tuna in mushroom sauce. Tasty and feels surprisingly healthy. Must be the olive oil ;)

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Noodles, Seafood - Continue Reading