Monday, November 14, 2005

Fish in a Parcel

Fish in a Parcel

This technique is one of the many influences I got from Jamie Oliver, I am a big fan of him. He has another way of doing the parcel, but I have my own way as well. Very easy and convenient to make and it’s like a surprise when you open the parcel in front of you coming straight from the oven! Each parcel is good for 1 portion, so each person gets 1 parcel on his/her plate.

Here’s what I did:

2 Slices of lean fish
2 spinach leaves
1 knob of butter
1 garlic (grated)
Juice of half of a lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Roll out a 14 inches long aluminum foil and fold equally into two. Place the foil vertically towards you in a flat surface or big flat plate. Place the 2 slices of fish on the foil ;about 1/3 of the foil allowing the half of the foil to cover and seal after later; add the grated garlic, knob of butter on top of the fish, squeeze half of a lemon unto the fish, season with salt and pepper, cover the fish with spinach and drizzle olive oil on top of the leaves and around the fish. Add a little salt and pepper on top of the spinach. Cover the rest of the foil by bringing the other opposite end. Seal the ends by folding 1 cm of the edges and pressing them forming like an envelope or parcel, taking care not to pierce the foil. Make sure the foil is completely closed to ensure that the steam can’t get out of the parcel. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a hot oven. To serve cut a slit on the upper side of the foil using small sharp knife vertically and horizontally. I’d like to cut the foil with a knife vertically first and use a pair of scissors to cut horizontally to a nice cross cut. Open the parcel by bringing out the four leaves of the foil you just cut to expose the surprise. Serve with plain rice.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Grilled Mussels with Apricot Sauce

Grilled mussels with apricot sauce


12 Large Mussels
1 Teaspoon olive oil
Apricot sauce
Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)

Apricot sauce:
8 Pieces Dried Apricot (cut in half)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Teaspoons Syrup
1 White Onion (sliced thinly)
1 Teaspoon Chili sauce
1 ½ Cup Water
1 Piece mussel

Prepare the mussels and set aside.

To make apricot sauce:
In sauce pan, mix all ingredients and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and pass through a fine sift. Take out the mussel and apricots then return back to the sauce. Blitz in a blender until the mussel and apricot are fine. Pass through a fine sift again to get rid of solids. Set aside.

Meanwhile, coat the mussels thoroughly with olive oil by tossing 2 ingredients together. Lay the mussels flat and cook in a very hot heavy-based pan or grill 2 minutes each side.

Arrange mussels and garnish with finely chopped parsley around the sauce. Place 1 dried apricot at the center. Sprinkle musses with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Crab Sushi

Crab Sushi

This is one of the successful sushi I had! Funny I failed a couple of times doing sushi but I never gave up! First it was so messy! Second, the rice layer was so thick, third, they were too big for a bite. And at last, I succeeded without complain from hubby! I really love sushi specially with fresh salmon.. California rolls… etc. Now, its becoming more easy for me to do after a couple of failures. The labor is worth every bite!


1 cups short grain rice
2 cups water
5 sticks crab meat
3 sheets nori
4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons wasabi paste
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 small green cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into thin strips
1 ripe mango, peeled, cut into thin strips

2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
½ Teaspoon lemon juice
1 Teaspoon sesame oil


Combine rice and water in a pan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered until water is absorbed. Cover pan, simmer 5 minutes. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Cool down the rice until room temperature by fanning over. When slightly cooled, stir in combined vinegar, sugar and salt. Carefully fold in the mixture until well mixed and set aside.

Place the bamboo mat on a work surface, facing you with the strips horizontal. Place 1 nori sheet on the mat, shiny side down, with the edge of the nori 2 cm away from the edge of the mat closer to you. (a)

To make the rolls, spread about 1/3 cup of sushi rice onto the nori with your fingers, leaving a 2 cm space at the top of the nori sheet. (b)

Dab a thin line of wasabi paste down the middle of the rice and place 2 or 3 pieces of cucumber and mango. Place crab stick on top of them.

To roll, hold the edge of the mat nearest to you with one hand over the crab meat to hold it in place and roll the mat over the rice, away from you. Lift up the top of the mat and turn the roll over a little so that the empty nori strip seals the sushi roll. (c)

Unroll the bamboo mat and remove the sushi roll. Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into 6 to 8 uniform pieces. (d)

To prepare the sauce mix all the ingredients.

Serve sushi with the sauce.


Marinated Calamari

Marinated calamari


1 kg. Calamari (squid) cut into rings
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup olive oil.

4 Tablespoons lemon juice
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 ½ Tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

In a mixing bowl, place lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Add calamari, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

For the dressing, place all ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk well until thickened.

Heat large pan or wok over a high heat and cook calamari 2-3 minutes until just cooked. Drizzle the dressing over calamari and serve.

Source of recipe:
Essential Cooking Series by Hinkler Books Ltd.,
First published in 2005 , Dingley, Victoria 3172 Australia

I love this calamari. I added lemon zest with the dressing. so easy and simple. I served this with parsley rice that would compliment the flavors.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Squid Stir-Fry

Squid Stir-fry


3 pcs. Squid
1 pc. Red bell pepper
1 pc. Yellow bell pepper
2 pcs. Carrots
1 pc. Green pepper
8 pcs. Green beans
1 white onion (diced)
2 garlic (finely chopped)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 teaspoons sesame seeds


Prepare all the ingredients.

In a preheated pan, add the oils, add squid and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally, remove the squid and set aside. With the remaining oil in the same pan, add onion and garlic, cook until the onion becomes soft and garlic becomes slightly brown. Add Carrots, cover for 30 seconds or until carrots becomes slightly cooked, add peppers and green beans, season with salt, put back the cooked squid, stir-fry for about 2 minutes until vegetables are done. Sprinkle sesame seeds before serving.

Tip: To prepare the squid, remove the outside blackish lining; leaving the squid clean and white. Cut the squid into quarts. Using a sharp knife, cut parallel lines in down the length of the squid, taking care not to cut right the way through the flesh. Make more cuts in the opposite direction to form a diamond pattern.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Grilled Fish with Ampalaya

Grilled Fish with Ampalaya


To prepare the fish:
Fish Fillet (Any white flesh fish)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. olive oil

To prepare Ampalaya:
Ampalaya (thinly sliced)
Chopped Onion
Finely chopped garlic
2 T olive oil
1 slightly beaten egg
Pinch of sugar


To prepare fish:
Squeeze lemon to fish fillet, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil. Heat a heavy bottom pan or grill pan and place fish straight to the pan and cook 3 minutes each side until well done but still juicy.

To prepare ampalaya:
In a strainer, sprinkle salt over the ampalaya, mix thoroughly to spread the salt but not breaking them. Set aside for 20 minutes until it becomes wilted.

In a preheated pan, add oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until onion are soft but not burned. Add tomatoes and continue cooking till tomatoes are wilted, sprinkle some drops of water, add ampalaya, sprinkle a pinch of sugar and cover the pan for 2 minutes. (Don’t mix with the other ingredients; otherwise it will be very bitter) Allow to cook slowly with its steam. Add slightly beaten egg and mix. Serve immediately.

Fresh fish is at best when cooked simply. This is one of my favorite meals!! Simple, quick and easy. Here, I served with Ampalaya to make it healthier, but it could be served alone with rice and a wedge of lemon.