Creamy Corn and Chicken Lasagna

While this does not look as appealing, it was certainly tasty. A lighter dish than the usual lasagna as it uses cream corn in the “creaminess”. What I needed to do, however, is to not skim on the sauce at all. The more of it, the better I say. The result should have been a more moist lasagna. Oh well, lesson learnt and I will try this again in the future with more filing and tomatoes!



Creamy Corn and Chicken Lasagna  
600 grams of lean chicken mince
2 cans of creamed corn
1 tin of chopped tomato
1 tablespoon of mixed spice
seasoning
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 onion chopped
lasagna sheets

Mix cheese (I used parmesan and cheddar)

Saute onion and garlic. Add mince and all the rest of it. Simmer. Mean while, pre heat oven to 200C. Place dried lasagna sheets on baking dish. Spoon mince over it. Sprinkle cheese. Layer with sheets and chicken mixture. Repeat one more time. Finish with cheese on top.

Bake it for 25 minutes till it is bubbly!

Nutty Meat Loaf

Masterchef taught me many things. I learned that cooking TV can be very entertaining. I learned that the cooking world is soooo wide and there are so many cusines and techniques to learn. This was one that I picked up- to add veges in meat loaf., meat balls or even sausage rolls! Grated carrots is one lovely way to do it.

You know my love for mince (it has been quite abit of a mince week hasn’t it?), so I thought of grating some carrot into mince and make it into a loaf. By adding pine nuts, it adds this crunch and texture to an otherwise plain meat loaf.

I served it with some steam veges.

Nutty Meat Loaf
500 grams of pork mince
1 grated carrot
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
3 or 4 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 generous tablespoon of bbq sauce
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
1 tsp of chili sauce of any sort
 heaps of white pepper/ or ground black pepper
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup of corn flour

1/4 cup of pine nuts

Mix everything up and press it into lined loaf pan. Sprinkle pine nuts on top. Bake in a preheated oven (of 200C) for around 30 minutes.

Jacket Sweet Potato

Most of us would have used potato as the “jacket” for the filling. Well, I thought of using sweet potato one day. Just because it has a lower GI content and I love it’s sweet texture. This is really easy for lunch. Just frying up some remaining mince, top it on a cook jacket potato. Sprinkle cheese and tadah.. all done!



Jacket Sweet Potato 
Whatever mince you like
2 sweet potatos-scrubbed and baked in oven for 45 minutes or so.
Cheddar cheese

Salad to serve with it.

Saute mince. Once sweet potato is cooked, top with mince and cheese!

Chicken Meatballs with Mee Suah (Or Min Seen)

It’s winter now. We wake up to 3C in the morning and the same low temperature at night. All we want is hot curries, casseroles and soup. I love this dish not only because it is so simple to make, but also because it is clean tasting.

Mee Suah or Min Seen (In cantonese) are thin wheat noodles. They come in small bundles in a box and takes only 1 minute to cook a bunch. Love them when I am running late for dinner.





Chicken Meatballs with Mee Suah (Or Min Seen) 
200 grams of chicken mince (I marinated 500 grams and used the left overs for… see next post!)
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 tablespoon of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of corn flour
1 egg
salt and heaps of white pepper
chopped chives
1 chopped chili
1 tsp of chopped garlic

500 ml of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of soya sauce
some chinese wine (maybe around 1/4 cup)
1 bunch of baby bak choy
3 bunches of mee suah

Mix chicken mixture with marinate. Form into little balls.

Meanwhile, cook stock with wine and soya sauce. When it is boiling, drop tsp of chicken mince into the boiling water. When they are done, add the noodles and veges. I sprinkle more dried chili into the soup mixture. Serve HOT.

Sambal Egg Prawns

I would have never thought that sambal sauce from a can, tastes good. As the Ayam brand Sambal sauce was on special,  I thought I would give it a go.

Frying some onions and then prawns… pouring the sambal sauce over it…letting the egg set over it.. The creamy eggy yet spicy taste goes very well together. One thing though, this sambal is hardly what I know.. it’s on the sweet side. Still, it tastes good.





Sambal Egg Prawns
1 can of Ayam brand Malaysian Sambal Sauce
300 grams of shelled prawns
1 red onion sliced
4 eggs beaten lightly.

Sauté onion. cook prawns till nearly done. Add sauce and wait for the aroma to hit u. When it does, pour beaten eggs over it. Let it set for around 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

Moussaka

Lunch time at work is always a game of guessing “who brought what to lunch?” Surprisingly, or perhaps not THAT surprisingly, my colleagues and I have a huge common interest. FOOD. (bet u thought it should be our line of work). Conversations usually go like this

Me:” client a…etc..”
J: “I’m hungry…..”
C: “what should I have for lunch.”
Me: “did you watch master chef last night…”
and so on and so forth..

Anyhow, one of the girls brought Moussaka to work and I was instantly intrigued. Egg plant- that is one of my favourite vegetable of all time. Most of the time though, I associate egg plant  with sambal and dried shrimps. Although I have heard of Moussaka before, for some reason I have never thought to make it.

Oh wait, there is one big barrier…

AR HATES eggplant.

For once, my line of thinking became…
“too bad, he got to give it a go. And if he doesn’t like it.. he can have toast for dinner.”

In the end though, AR’s comment was “I like the mince mixture, so the eggplant wasn’t too bad.”

grrr.. Men and their fuss with food.

Moussaka (Adapted from Donna Hay Classics 1) 
1 tsp of garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
600 grams of lean lamb mince
2 cans of chopped tomato (Donna Hay had 700ml tomato puree)
1 cup of beef stock
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
seasoning

2 eggplants thinly sliced
3-4 cups of mixed grated mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar cheese.

Sprinkle eggplant with salt and set aside for 15-20 mins. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Spray some oil on them.

Pre heat oven at 200 C.

Meanwhile, fry garlic and onion in pan. Add mince and cook till browned. Add tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook till it reduced (around 15-20 minutes) ]

To assemble, place 1/3 eggplant slices in base of oven proof dish. Top with 1/3 cheese them mince. Repeat. Finish with eggplant and layer of cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Sweet Corn Fritters

I have been reading “Australian Healthy Food” and I come across this cute little recipe call “Super Healthy Sweet Corn Fritters”. Now, anyone will know that it is rare that fritters are healthy (Especially if they are fried with heaps of oil), but I have a weakness for anything corn (i mean it!) and since it says healthy, I decided to give it a go.

I have only used polenta once, and that turned into a mess. So when I saw that this recipe calls for polenta, I went “hmmm…” not only that, it has beans in it as well!

The result was a thick satisfying fritter. One thing though, it has more of a “grainy” texture to it-which I actually didn’t mind. It could be because I wasn’t using the fine polenta (Although the package did not say anything?). This dish consisted of 5 grams of fat (including salad), so I think it is a satisfying and healthy lunch altogether.





Sweet Corn Fritters 
2 cups of corn kennels
1 can of cannellini beans
1 cup of polenta
1/4 cup of flour (the recipe calls for wholemeal flour)
1 cup of buttermilk
1 egg
spray oil

Process beans and corn together. Add polenta, flour, buttermilk and egg. Pulse till combined. If time permits, sit mixture for 20 minutes. Spray pan with oil. Ladle 1/4 cup of mixture each time to hot pan. Flip it over when cooked. Serve with salad and herbed yogurt if you like (herb yogurt-mix 1 cup of yogurt with chives)

Roasted Pumpkin and Capsicum Pasta with Pinenuts

From time to time, I like to organise my meals for the week in such a way that it takes less than 10 minutes for dinner to be ready. In this case, I roasted my vegetables on the weekend, so that by the time Monday/Tuesday roll along, all I needed to do was to cook pasta, warm the roasted veges up, toss them together-add some cracked pepper and fresh chives, and I’m done.

I am a big fan of roasted pumpkin because it adds bulk to food without the cost but with the taste. Also another way to add 1 more serving of veges into our daily diet. It is however, slightly higher on the sugar side and perhaps not the “lowest GI” food around. Hey, but I bet it is better than eating red meat every day right?

If this recipe sounds familiar to you, that’s because I turned the same mixture into a warm salad before. The difference? I toasted some pine nuts, added some goats cheese and chives to it.


Roasted Pumpkin and Capsicum Pasta with Pinenuts 
1/2 butternut pumpkin chopped in cubes
2 red capsicums cubed
2 tsp of paprika
1 generous tablespoon of honey
1 tsp of dried chili flakes
some cracked black pepper

handful of pine nuts
chopped chives
30 grams of goats cheese
250 grams of cooked pasta

olive oil spray
Pre heat oven to 200C. Mix all the above together and spread them on a baking tray. Spray with oil and roast for around 20 minutes, checking after 10 minutes or so. Cool and store.

Toast pine nuts and add it to mixture. When ready, warm roasted veges and toss them through cooked pasta and pine nuts. Serve with crumbed goats cheese and chives.

Sharing this with the Presto Pasta gang organised by Ruth. This week, Sweet Kitchen is hosting. Be sure to check the round up on Friday!

Crepes with Smoked Trout

You know my love for light meals- and anything to do with smoked salmon and smoked trout is a winner. Browsing through my “Simply Heaven” cook book by philadephia cheese, I saw this recipe that I knew that it would be perfect for lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

I rarely chose smoked trout because I prefer the stronger taste of salmon. However, in this case, I find that trout is a great (and cheaper) substitute as the cream cheese provided abit of a zing (together with the rind of a lemon- u can choose to use lime). One thing that surprised me was the addition of tabasco sauce, but that really fitted in very well with the sauce. I probably would put less cream cheese next round as well.

Crepes with Smoked Trout (it says served 4 but really…it served 2!) 
1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup of milk ( I used soy and it was ok)
2 tsp of oil

250 grams of light cream cheese (i think reduce to 200 grams)
1/4 cup of sour cream (I obmitted this)
1/4 cup of chopped chives
1 lemon juiced and rind
few drops of tabasco sauce
250 grams of smoked trout

Salad for serving

Whisk flour, eggs, milk and oil to form a smooth batter. Stand for 30 minutes

Pour 2-3 tablespoon of mixture into a grease crepe pan (I used normal pan). Cook crepe till set on top. Turn it over. Continue to make more crepes

Combine cream cheese, chives, lemon rind and juice, tabasco and trout together. Divide mixture and wrap the filing into each crepe. Serve with salad.

All the goodness- Spicy Lamb Shank Soup

Friday afternoon,. I spotted lamb shanks on sale! Grabbing it, I decided that a pot of hot soup is the way to go for dinner tonight. What can be better than lamb shanks on a cold wintery night?

Except of course.. I have never attempted lamb shanks at home before. Never ever. It has always been my assumption that lamb shanks are for pubs and pretty restaurants. Well, time to conquer my fear.

Pan frying or browning the shanks, I realised how huge they are! As I stucked them into my soup pot, it struck me that i have used too small a pot for the whole shank to be submerged into the soup. Oh well, I just gave it a few good turns through that 2 hours of making this soup.

And it’s full of vege goodness too! What a win.

All the goodness- Spicy Lamb Shank Soup  
2 lamb shanks
1 tsp of garlic
celery
2 carrots
mushrooms
can of tomato
chili
corn (I added it later!)
chopped onions.
1 ltre of beef stock
another 500ml of water to add gradually

I didn’t add the amount as I was just clearing my fridge so I used up whatever that was there. =)

Brown lamb shanks. Mean while, in a soup pot, saute onions, chili garlic and all the other veges. Fill pot with stock and start to cook it. When the shanks are done, place them into the soup. Add water when it is needed.

After around 1.5 hours, take lamb shanks out. Start to shred the meat once it is cooling. Add meat back to the soup and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Serve with crusty bread.