About a week ago, Rachel and I was in Popular Bookstore hunting down for mags to read for the weekend. As usual, I was busy searching for the photography ones but couldnt find any. As I was walking away frustrated, and cursing btw.. :P, one of the books in the foodie section caught my attention. The front cover was a delicious looking prawn mee. The book is entitled "Bowl Food - The new comfort food for people on the move". I was glancing thru the pages and lo and behold, in every 2 pages, there was a picture of the most delicious food Ive ever seen. The photography was excellent too. They have sections for soups, salads, pasta, rice, wok and curries, both eastern and western. All of the sudden, I wanted to be a chef. After going thru for about 10 minutes, I bought it.
And since it was a Friday, I decided to play chef the next day. I told my mum to relax and let me do the cooking. I couldnt make up my mind on what to cook at first, because all the food were not complicated and takes only about 5-10 mins. And so at last, I decided to prepare these two dishes for my family to enjoy.
400g of chicken fillets
1 stem of lemon grass, white part only (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce
200g Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced (I would recommend lettuce as it is easier to take in)
1 carrot (cut into ribbons with a vege peeler)
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves (make extras)
1/2 cup of roughly chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon of crisp fried shallots
How to do:-
Place the chicken and lemon grass in a deep frying pan of lighty salted water. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat, simmer gently until the chicken is cooked. Leave aside, but do keep it warm.
Combine the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and sweet chili sauce in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved (this will be your sauce, it is good for any kind of salad). Place the cabbage/lettuce, carrot, onions, coriander and mint in a large bowl and toss together well. Drizzle over 3/4 of the sauce. Slice the chicken thinly and arrange over the top of the salad. Garnish with extra coriander leaves, chopped peanuts and the crisp fried shallots.
500g veal tortellini (I substituted this with maccaronis, since I couldnt find the suggested pasta)
1/4 cup of olive oil
600g Swiss brown mushrooms thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup of dry white wine
300ml thick cream (double cream)
A pinch of ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
30g grated Parmesan cheese
How to do :-
Cook the pasta and drain. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 mins, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 min, then add and stir the white wine for an additional 5 mins, or until the sauce has reduced by half.
Combine the cream, grounded nutmeg and parsley and add to the sauce and cook for 3-5 mins, or until it thickens slightly. Divide the pasta or maccaroni into 4 serving plates. Dont forget to sprinkle some parmesan cheese before serving.