Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Good Life

Sunday mornings are always lovely. Having a bit of a lie-in, watching the plants dance around in the breeze. And when one does decide to get up, there's the usual Sunday breakfast.

So it has become a "custom" for me and E to rustle up a fluffy omelette, usually made with sun-dried tomatoes or porcini mushroom, with toast and freshly brewed coffee every Sunday, and read the newspapers leisurely. Ahhh...... the good life.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My lil' herb garden

I have always been attracted to the idea of having freshly-plucked herbs to use in my cooking, like what Jamie Oliver does. So I decided to start my own little garden in the 8 sq ft of balcony just outside the bedroom, with sweet basil, mint, thai chilli padi, and pandan leaf! I have used the sweet basil to make pesto, and the mint to make tea and in sandwiches. As for the chilli padi, this is an indispensable part of each meal.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Roast for Christmas Eve

For the past 3 years, we have been having a small Christmas party with a few close friends. This year, we decided to try out a beef roast and home-made pasta (previous post). It was truly fab - melting, juicy, pink interior and sea-salt seasoned crust. Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Home made pasta

I have been making home-made pasta quite a few times now, and the results are well-worth the effort put in. Like what one of my favourite cookbooks say, you can't go back to commercial dried pasta after tasting home-made pasta.
But the rolling out of the dough into thin sheets does take quite a lot of effort, especially if you're making larger quantities of pasta. So I was really pleased when a nice Ban Mian hawker told me to try Joo Chiat Complex to buy a pasta machine.
Here's the new pasta machine - made in Italy, hand-cranked version, for only $25. If you buy online, it costs 29 Euros! The results using plain flour are shown below... it definitely tasted much much better than how it looks! Next time I shall use high quality durum wheat for more "bite" and al dente texture.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Roast Prime Rib

We bought this lovely prime rib from Esprito Santo at Parkway Parade, and asked the friendly butcher there to marinade it for us. The next night, we roasted it at 180 deg for about 25 min, till the inside temperature was 62 deg. It tasted simply wonderful and juicy! Useful tip for lovely, just right roasts - get a meat thermometer.

Lunch at Biscotti

Two weeks ago E and I were in Bangkok taking a short break from work. Apart from the usual massages and Jim Thompson outlet shopping, we also decided to try out some nice restaurants. On our second night there, we tried Mes Amis, deep in the heart of diplomatic territory where we had a 950 baht foie gras- excellent, but so rich that we couldn't really eat our main courses after that. Total damages came up to about SGD150 for two of us, sans wine.
And if that wasn't enough indulgence for the entire trip, the very next day, we decided to try out the set lunch at Biscotti, Four Seasons Hotel, for which there was a rave review about in the Bangkok Nation newspaper that very morning. The pasta, was indeed, to die for. Service, one of the warmest and friendliest that I've experienced. Ambience, lovely and modern! We even managed to get an autograph from the very handsome chef, Danilo, who looked mightily offended at first when we asked if his pasta was handmade! Photos above show seabream pasta and duck at Biscotti.
Yum Yum!