Monthly Archives: June 2012

Paprika Meatballs Sub

I will try to keep this short and sweet as you may notice that the instruction section is quite lengthy. Not this is a difficult recipe but I try to add as much details as I can, as if you are standing beside me watching me in action. Or perhaps I’m just long-winded. You decide. ;)

This is a Hungarian Goulash inspired dish. Initially, I started to maintain its authenticity by not to add tomatoes or anything which may take away its authencity. But hey, who am I kidding? The fact I’ve switched from chunks of meats to these cutesy meatballs has obviously derailed my attempt. Anyway it is no less delicious and hearty. It’s meat all the way for this dish, so you better add some vegetables on the side!

And I didn’t mean potato chip or fries! ;)

Paprika Meatballs Sub

Makes about 19 meatballs – can feed 3 to 4 people with salad as a side dish

What you’ll need:-

  • 500g/17.6 ounces mince beef
  • 2 medium sized onions, peeled
  • 1 slice fresh bread/ 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps Hungarian sweet paprika
  • Salt to taste (I put a teaspoon)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Crusty bread
  • Finely grated cheese

To make meatballs: (1) Use a small food processor, process a slice of bread until becomes fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a large mixing bowl and set aside. (2) Roughly cut 1 onion and use the same food processor, process until finely chopped. Add onion into the mixing bowl with mince beef, 1 tbsp paprika and salt. Mix the ingredients together using your hands until well combine. Then, roll the meatballs between your palms until resembles a ping pong ball.  500g/17.6 yielded 19 meatballs for me.

To make meatballs in sauce: (1) Use a non stick medium sized pot, with a little oil, brown the meatballs over medium-high heat (i.e no need to cook all the way through). Set the meatballs aside on a plate. (2) Try to remove and discard any burnt bits from browning the meatballs using a spoon. (3) Then add one finely diced onion with a tbsp of butter and saute until the onion becomes translucent over low-medium heat. (4) Turn the heat to low, add garlic and 1 tbsp of paprika and saute until aromatic. (5) Gradually add 1/2 cup water when the paprika mixture feels like it’s drying up and about to stick to the pan. Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes. (6) Then add the meatballs and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to boiling point over medium heat and turn down the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 0.5 hour over low heat, covered. - See Note 1. (7) 0.5 hour later, check the meatballs if they are cooked and taste if you need to add more salt. Serve the meatball and sauce in the bread and top with shreded cheese.

Note 1 – When you add the half cooked meatballs and water, I won’t try to stir them at this stage as they are still fragile and will fall apart if you try to meddle with them too much. After reaching the boiling point, I will them rotate the meatballs around to ensure they all cook evenly as at this time they are cooked more and become firmer. It may seem like there’s not much liquid to start with, by simmering them over low heat, the juices will gradually ooze out and become saucy.

Please note that the amount of sauce in this recipe is not enough to ladle over pasta. Should you require more sauce for pasta, I’d suggest you add a 400g/14.1 ounces canned tomatoes in Step 6 and simmer for an hour to ensure the tomato sauce is well infused with the meatballs and paprika.

Please also note that I did skim off some oil before serving.


My week so far…

{I can never find a fruit bowl that’s big enough for me. So I have decided on a wooden crate from A Slice of Orange which is meant to be used as the base of a gift hamper.}

{My rosemary plant has decided to call it quits. Thankfully, my Vietnamese mint is still hanging in there. Oh grow Vietnamese mint, grow..!}

{Trying a new instant soup}

{After my last disaster of making scones, I have found a recipe that works for me. Happy days! :)}

{If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you probably know I have a soft spot for cute birds. This is to show you that my bird craze continues…}

The .


Fast Food Apple Pie Inspired

Fast food apple pies are top of my list of guilty pleasures. I love the mix of a slight savory pastry couple with cinnamony apple innards which I find hard to resist. They are mostly deep fried (woohoo!) but I can’t help to feel super guilty after woofing down a packet of this bad boy.

Since I’ve made a conscious decision to live as far away from fast food joints as possible (last year I was living right opposite to them), it surely demotivates me driving all the way there just to get a packet of hot apple pie. So I’ve decided to make my own but minus the deep frying.

Fast Food Apple Pie Inspired

(The filling is recipe is by The Original Masterclass Le Cordon Bleu – Tarts & Pastries Series)

(Pastry recipe is mum’s)

Makes about 7 x  11cm by 5cm (4 inches by 2 inches) sized pies

What you’ll need:-

Apple Filling

  • 2 apples, peeled and cored and diced
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon (I added about 1/2 tsp)
  • 30g (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 30g (1 ounce) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • Pinch of vanilla sugar (I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 50 ml (1.75 fluid ounces) water – which I have omitted – see Note 1


  • 200g (7 ounces) all-purpose flour + extra while rolling the dough
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • *optional* caster sugar t0 your liking
  • 1 egg, beaten (as eggwash)

Note 1 – I didn’t add water because there’s a fair bit of juices ozoed out of the apples while cooking. If yours seem a bit dry, add water as specified in the original recipe.

To make the pastry: (1) Use a food processor to process the butter and flour until resembles fine crumbs.  (2) Pour the crumbs into a medium mixing bown and gradually add cold water and stir with a fork until a dough is formed. (3) Wrap the dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

To make the filling: (1) Dice the peeled & cored apples. Set aside. (2) In a medium sized pot, melt butter and sugar over medium heat and cook until lightly colored (golden brown).  (3) Add apples and saute for 2 minutes. Then add lemon juice, vanilla sugar or extract, cinnamon and water (if needed). Bring to the boil  and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

To make the pies: (1) Use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a floured surface. The dough may feel a little sticky so be generous with dusting the dough with extra flour on the surface of the dough so it won’t stick to the rolling pin. Use a sharp knife to cut the flatten dough into rectangle sections (14cm/5.5 inches by 11 cm/4.3 inches) – the thickness of of the flat dough is approximately 0.25cm/0.1 inch. Scoop the apple filling to fill half of the pastry and fold the pastry into half (see picture above). Use your index fingers to press the sides gentle to adhere the openings. Then use a fork to press around the sides. Make some holes on the apple pie to let the steam out while baking.  Just before baking, brush the pies generously with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 degree Celsius (350 degrees F) for 20 minutes or until golden brown and pies are a bit puffed up.



Tim Tamisu Tart

I love everything with coffee. It has such a wonderful aroma and bitterness which in my opinion, has the characteristics to be the perfect ingredient for desserts. When I speak of coffee desserts, it’s hard not to think of Tiramisu – which is a favourite of mine.

The classic Tiramisu that we are familiar with is a beautiful assemble of espresso filled Savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers) and the luscious liquer-laden-custardy mascarpone filling. I’ve decided to take the Italian ladyfingers out of the equation and substitute with a fine rubble of Tim Tams (the iconic biscuits of Australia) in the form of a tart shell.


Tim Tamisu Tart

Makes a 20cm/7.8 inches tart

What you’ll need:-

Tart Shell

  • 1 x 200g/7 ounces packet of Tim Tams + 4 individual biscuits (this means you’ll need to buy 2 packets of Tim Tams) – see Note 1
  • 50g/2 ounces of butter & extra for greasing, melted & cooled – see Note 2
  • 1 x 20cm/7.8 inches loose-bottom tart pan


  • 300ml/ 10.1 fluid ounces pure cream (whippable cream)
  • 200g/7 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar (super fine sugar)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Berries as accompaniment *recommended*

Note 1 – you may notice that I used double coated chocolate Tim Tam for this recipe. I would recommend if you use the normal one i.e. more biscuit bits than the chocolate so that it is easier to process into fine crumbs.

Note 2 – the melted butter has to be cooled so that it won’t melt the chocolate biscuits.

Note 3 – My version is a child-friendly one i.e. no liquer. If you wish to add liquer such as rum or Tia Maria, add 1 tbsp of your preferred liquer and reduce the water to 1 tbsp.

Prepare tart shell: Using a food processor, process Tim Tams until resemble fine crumbs (confession: I could have processed mine a bit more). Transfer the Tim Tam crumbs into a mixing bowl and add cooled and melted butter, mix until well-combined.  Transfer the Tim Tam crumbs onto a greased tart pan. Use the back of a spoon and press the crumbs from the bottom to the sides of the tart pan. Chill the tart shell in the fridge while you move on to making the filling.

Filling: Stir the coffee with warm water until fully dissolved. Set aside. Whisk mascarpone in its container (or if it comes in a bag, whisk it in a bowl) until fluffy and set aside. In a clean (separate) mixing bowl, beat the cream and sugar until soft peak (using a handheld or stand mixer). Then using a rubber/silicone spatula, fold in the mascarpone, coffee mixture, liquer (if using) and  vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the marcarpone mixture over the tart shell and smooth the top using a spatula. Cover and place in the fridge to chill overnight. Dust the tart with cocoa powder just before serving.

To serve: Please note that the tart doesn’t resemble no-bake cheese cake as the filling maintains a mousse-like texture (slightly firmer than mousse). Hence with a little courage, use a large serving spoon to “scoop” a good section of the tart and serve it in ice cream bowls. To add a flair to the dessert, I’d recommend topping each bowl with your choice of berries.

When Harry Met Sally, you got this unforgettable romantic film.

When Tiramisu Met Tim Tams, you got this unforgettable dessert called Tim Tamisu.

Let’s get Truly, Madly Tim Tam, shall we?


Note – This is a RocketFuel sponsored post.