Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Jenny's Seafood Carbonara

Quite arguably the best dish of the night and one of my finer dishes.

Spagetti Carbonara with Seafood.

During Christmas, I was in KL with my family and my aunt always had a her annual Christmas Luncheon with the relatives over. She asked for a carb dish and dessert. So hence, I baked a Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake (she had Baileys in her fridge which she hardly drank) and for the carbo, I've always prepared tomato based pasta for my family, and although tomato base pasta is my favourite way to have pasta. I was watching Masterchef the other day, (currently my fave show) and was intrigued at the carbonara they made, making the sauce from scratch.

Of course, the italians like the carbonara purely just the egg yolk, pecorino cheese and parmesan cheese. But adding cream to the sauce brings in much better texture and creaminess.

All in all, making the sauce like that, is so much better than that cheat mushroom soup gunk, cheap restaurants here serve. I wanted to try to make carbonara from stratch. And I did.

The carbonara was good but was really under-season (not salty, not much taste) and the eggs were scrambled due to me rushing to cook it cause the guest had arrived earlier than expected.

Well fast forward a few days later, I came back wiser and more determined to master this bad boy.
And master it I did.

Instead of bacon, I opt for a seafood variety because seafood sauteed, gives out so much awesome juices and flavours that complement pasta so much.

My dad brought home a kilo of clams, some squid and prawns and we were ready to cook out a storm.

My seafood carbonara is essentially....

500g of spagetti boiled to Adante.
250g of cream + 4-5 egg yolks mixed together. (this is the creamy sauce)

Firstly sauteed the seafood with generous heaping of onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, fish sauce, vinegar and white wine.

throw in parsley and spring onion if so desire. And then add in the creamy sauce.

Bring to a boil to the seafood creamy mix before throwing in the pasta. Throw in some herbs or rocket leaves if so desire.

Last but most important, generous!! heap of parmesan cheese all over the pasta. Rmb the cream sauce is not salty, so the cheese is crucial to give taste and flavour to the pasta. Otherwise you'll get tasteless pasta.

And thats it!! Pretty fast and easy too. And I gurantee you, absolutely delicious! If I was served this seafood carbonara at any restaurant, believe it, I would be a happy camper. Definitely one for keeps in my future restaurant. :)

Cheesy, creamy, pack with seafood flavour and freshness from rocket and parsley. Yums

Seafood Carbonara, Roast Chicken and Apple Pie, Can't believe I made all that in the same day!
Happy 2014 guys.

Roast Chicken

Along with the apple pie, came a good old fashion roast chicken.

There is always something nostalgic about an oven baked roast chicken. The homey flavours, the crispy skin, the tender succelent meat that falls straight off the bone. And don't forget the perfectly roasted vegetables and potatoes that accompany this dish. And everyone surrounding the bird with eager eyes while someone skillets the meat to pass around and share. A little piece of humble heaven!

Nothing fancy when it came to the roast. But I did brine the chicken for 10 hours or so before I marinated it. Brining is a method where you put the chicken or meat in a salt solution to alter the proteins, making the proteins in the meat lose its rigid toughness, and hence more tender. Nothing fancy, a little osmosis in the works. :)

After the brine, I marinated my bird with a good dollop of mustard, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
Pop some garlic and thyme into the cavity for extra flavour. And then lastly rubbing the chicken with butter.

Place onions, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes into the baking tray and together baked the dish for about an hour on high heat.

The result, a simple and delicious roast. If anyone wants to attempt cooking something, you really can't go wrong with a roast chicken. There are many varieties of course, honey and sugar varieties make it more sweet and sticky, dry rub or black pepper, make the skin more crackling. But atlas whichever you choose, its safe to say, everyone enjoys tender chicken and roasted vegetables in whatever fashion!

Fresh Bliss

Roast Chicken with roast vegetables roasting in the oven. 

Apple Pie

Credits to Allrecipe's Grandma Ople's Apple Pie and Butter Flaky Crust recipes respectively.

Its been awhile since I updated this blog. 3 years or so to be exact. In the most honest sense, business and struggles with weight issues have led me to take time out.

But atlas, I do cook and bake occasionally and still love it with passion. Nothing beats good food and good company.

Today I bring you a three course meal I did for new year's eve for my family and relatives.

For dessert. Apple pie with homemade pie crust.
Butter + Flour + Water = Flaky Crust  

Let that babe refrigerate for a few hours

Chopped the apples into fine slices/cubes

The sauce consisted of unsalted butter and fine sugar melted in a saucepan

Homemade crust shaped into a deep dish

Apple Cubes!

Added some cinammon and star anise to the sauce

Baked for an hour at 150'C to golden brown flakiness and VOILA!


1. For the sauce, the recipe calls 60ml water, DONT EVEN BORTHER PUTTING IN WATER. Apples in itself contains a lot of water, so the end product turned out a bit runnier than desired when I added the required water. So next time, I'll just ommit the water and let the sauce get all gel and sticky.

2. As you can see in the picture, I wasn't sure whether the apple would be cook if I just dumped the sauce on top and baked it straight away, so I hesistantly put half the apple cubes into my sauce. That step was unecessary guys. Sorry

3. Peel the apple skin. Laziness got the better of me and I didn't. Skin has bitter and tart notes, would have had a better pie without skin.

4. And lastly, keep the apple pie thinner. Deep dish didn't work well for this apple pie recipe.

Here are the links to the recipes. :)

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie


Butter Flaky Pie Crust

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cioppino Fish Soup

CIOPPINO FISH SOUP. (forgive the picture quality, Im only using my handphone camera)
Had this for lunch along side some vedge and rice. Cooked it for my sister as parents were out.

I only had dory fillet, as my mom bought that only but do use something less fishy.
Slice the fillet into cube size pieces
Season with salt and pepper.
Chops lots of garlic.
Chopped the shallots / green onions
Some chicken stock at the side...
Butter the onions and garlic.
Throw in the fish, add in the stock, some water, basil, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, pepper.
And thats it! =)
If u have some dry white wine, do include it, some alcohol compliments the fish.
And if you have real chicken stock or fish stock, do use that instead of ready made granules.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Sorry guys,I'm been really busy nowadays and havent found much time to cook nor bake. Its been rather busy now as this year is my senior year in high school. We have a year end examination called the SPM which roughly determines our pathway to college. So yea, its kinda important. Nevertheless I have found some time this weekend to bake! Today is the day I wanted to try on something simple and fast. I decided to buy those pre made flour mixtures that could produce products in an instant, hence I saw this and got really curious.

They just needed these ingredients, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 tbs water, 1 egg
I started mixing the above ingedients with the flour mix..
And formed it into a dough by hand.
it turn out pretty wet and sticky...
Prepared the foil and pans...
Scooped a generous tablespoon of dough on each section and popped it in the ovem. 10 mins. 175-200C...
The result was fairly good. The chocolate melts in your mouth. XD

It was alright, but honestly, making your own is much more satisfying and tasty....this mix was particularly pricy so I do recommend you make your own.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New York Cheesecake. A first love.

What can I say, I love baked new york cheesecake! It was surprisingly my first genuine success. I mean a cheesecake doesn't require anyone to be of experience to master the dish when it comes to taste. Of course, the cracks do get annoying, but the taste will always stay true to its flavour.

Basically a cheesecake, is mainly made out of a large amount of cream cheese and sugar, with a a biscuit or sponge layer as the base. yes, there are other ingredients, but most of the taste of the cake comes from these 3 main ingredients. The cheesy sour taste from the cheese, the sweetness from the sugar and a biscuit or sponge taste to round it off.
Baking a new york cheesecake is very easy actually. And as it is also very versatile, you can add anything to it! Oreos, raspberries, blueberries, chocolate etc...( I top my cheesecake with strawberries and mix my base with ordinary digestives together with oreos, but it looked like organic fertilizer though, not something you should try)

The only thing that requires a bit more skill is the presentation. A beautiful cheesecake completely smooth and free of cracks, with that golden colour on top and edges of crisp brown.

I tell you, its like perfection.

A few ways to achieve these are.
Don't over beat. (I know when you get the feeling its not enough? Yes, I struggle with that too, but seriously you can to control yourself)

After its been beating at high speed for the required time, proceed by hand.

Never check the oven. Once you put it in, leave it in till you want to take it out. Its fine.

After its done, let it stay in the oven for 2 hours or so before taking it out.
Run a hot knife through the edge of the cake. The circumference!
Then cool it at room temp with a towel over it till its base isn't hot anymore.
Chill it for another couple of hours in the refrigerator and its ready to eat!

I actually made this recipe myself after a lot of different testing. Try it if you like.You can substitute sour cream with whipping cream too, I tried it and it still produce good results.
8 biscuits, crushed
30g butter

500 g cream cheese
150 g white sugar
100 ml milk
2 eggs
115 g sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
15 g all-purpose flour


-Preheat oven to 175 C. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
-In a medium bowl, biscuits crumbs with melted butter. You can melt the butter in the microwave. Press onto bottom of the pan. Make sure you mix the butter well.
-In a large bowl, beat at high speed the cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate.
-Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.
-Pour filling into prepared crust.
-Bake in preheated oven for 50 mins to 1 hour. follow tips above.

Ingredients are expensive, so do be careful, but its I really think you should give it a try. At least once. Extremely worth the money. Enjoy! =)

The old fashion way..Just stick to ONE colour.


I don't have any tray large enough to partially submerge the pan with water. So I used 2 separate ones to as replacements to increase the humidity of the oven. (this prevents cracking so that the cheesecake's surface becomes moist)Simply delicious.

Chocolate Cake

The good old fashion chocolate cake.

Moist. Fluffy. Sweet.
Yes it is a guilty pleasure...there's just something about a slice of chocolate cake covered in frosting. Almost everyone loves chocolate...there's just something about the richness of delicate and yet destructive. aha...

This recipe was taken by Hersheys. Definitely worth a try. From what I gone through recently...baking is not something that's easy to do at first, but as you practise and learn from you mistakes...(which means actually finding out why, and not continue on with another round of hope and luck, mind you that was what I initially use to do) and sooner or later, the cake is picture perfect and delicious. Edible art...I can tell you there's little else that could be more satisfying than seeing your effort producing great results.

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/3 cups water

Directions:1. Heat oven to 175°c. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat on high speed of mixer 3 minutes. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add alternately with water to butter mixture, beating until blended. Add candy, if desired. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


tablespoons butter or margarine, softened2-2/3 cups powdered sugar1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa1/3 cup milk1 teaspoon vanilla extract.Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.