Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cooking without Recipe - Stuffed Tomatoes

Haha.. another cooking without recipe post. 'cause it is just that simple. You don't need a recipe! It is also a good dish to make when you have vegetarians friend coming over. 

Pictured here is the non-vegetarian version though. You need those big super-sized tomatoes. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture so that you could gauge the size of these babies but they are roughly as large as my palm.

Preparation is easy peasy. First, cut off the top of the tomato then spoon out the inside part of the tomato. Chop what you got out into smaller cubes. Mix them with some minced meat (I used beef) and add salt, pepper and some olive oil to taste. The stuff them back in. I sprinkled a bit of breadcrumbs and some Herbes de Provence (but this is just because I have them) and put the 'cap' back on. ((I always have some Zucchini left, I have them because I buy lots of them.. you can make lots of yummy things with Zucchini and eggplant!)) Well, so I sliced up the Zucchini (seasoned it with salt, pepper, olive oil) and pop them together with the tomatoes and then bring them in the oven. 180'C fan and 20-30 min later, ta-da.. this comes out:

A vegetarian option is to use rice instead of minced meet and that's very tasty too.. But keep in mind that the rice grows when it is cooked and the meat shrinks.. so 'stuff' wisely..

You can have this as a main meal when you have 2 of them.. it fills you up.. or as a starter.. either way, it is something that is easy to make and looks pretty attractive when served. 

Have fun!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cooking without Recipe - Salmon & Leek Quiche

I love Quiche. It is my go-to food when I have something left in the fridge that I need to get rid off or make a simple starter when I have friends over for dinner!

Basically, it is a bit like pizza - there is no limit to what you can do. Although Fred insist that there are some rules and tend to shake his head when I do a new strange-to him combination.

As we had some leek left the other day, I thought of a quiche.. mm.. and maybe a fish quiche for a change.. so I got some smoked salmon and had 2 tomatoes left uneaten - might as well add that too. 

As  this is a 'cooking without recipe' post, it is more of an idea to what you can do rather than a precise recipe of how to make something. I am going to also add some tips that I discovered a long the way to make a 'beautiful' looking quiche. I did a lot of trial and errors on this and welcome new tips for you too! hehehe.

Ok, let's start. You  need a base. We use 'pate brisee'.. We buy this from the supermarket and keep it frozen. If you don't have it.. it is easy to make, just look up a shortcrust pastry recipe (e.g throw everything in the food processor and voila!

I usually use the basic fillings of a 'Quiche lorraine'. 

Crème fraîche + cheese (I use Emmental) + eggs.  Some people add milk.

I usually use around 1 cup of  Crème fraîche, half a bag of grated emmental and 3 eggs.. the quantity of course depends on the size of quiche that you want to make.. Here is a simple recipe you could try. There is just so many of them on the web that you'd be spoilt for choice. 

First, I sauté the leek in olive oil to soften it. Then I make cream + cheese + egg mix while the leek cools. Usually most recipes will ask that you mix the other ingredients into this mix. While it taste great, it leaves you usually with unattractive brownish top. The ingredients don't 'float' like how they seem to do in those glossy recipe books. I have discovered that you should instead 'deck' the quiche last with the 'main ingredients'. After preparing the mix, I pour it into the pastry then I add the leek, followed by the salmon and then the sliced tomato on top of this mix. This way I am controlling how it looks on the quiche instead of having one big lump of mixture. Then I pop it into the oven. I bake for usually 30 min under 180'C with fan in the oven.. and this comes out:

You can make it with anything you have left in your fridge. I love Tomato + Spinach, Ham + Zucchini + Goat cheese, the lorraine version of course.. and I once mixed 4 different kind of cheeses into on cheesy quiche..

Try it out with a conventional recipe and once you know your way around.. this is one great dish to experiment with. Usually it has lots of success in parties too! Have fun & enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Ahhhhhhhhhh.. I am alive..  no doubt I have not been making any updates.. but I have a good excuse.. many things have happened since the last few months.. one being- Fred and I got married.

 It was one of those simple registration at the town hall with just the immediate family members. We were busy with our new apartment, with the papers to get married, papers to stay in Germany, having my parents around and we did a fair bit of travelling that I should also soon post about.

So ta-da, and cheers to a new beginning.

Speaking of new beginnings, I am lucky enough to have a new contributor. Amy, the founder of Pikaland will be joining us. I can't heap enough praises on Amy. She is incredibly talented, just head to Pikaland to see- but most of all, she is the kind and nourishing person that gives you nudges in your life. She has given me a quick kick to get of my ass and start doing something with this blog... "What do you love most?", she asked. "Eating and travelling!!", was of course what I answered.

So more is coming... on eat, laugh and travel...