Monthly Archives: May 2013

Giveaway with Grand Cucina winner is announced **edited**

 

Chef-Inox - 300 We are excited to annouce that Rachael is the winner of the above giveaway. Hi Rachael – I have sent an email to you to request for postal information.

Thanks for your all entries!

Please look out for more giveaway on this blog – it is my way of saying thank you for reading my blog. :)

Note – I have to re-select another winner due to the  residential location of the previous one.

Giveaway Winner - Grand Cucina 590b

 

Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu Pasta

Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu Pasta a1

I have struggled with cooking red meat in the past. It’s either turned out dry and stringy and/or too light handed with the seasonings. Hence, it’s not surprising I cook with chicken a lot. Later on, someone told me about the aftermath of eating too much chicken for men - which is all men’s worst nightmare - man-boobs! It was the same reason I stopped giving soy milk to my beloved ha!

Regardless whether the above is a myth or not, I probably don’t want to test it via the hard way, especially not for my beloved’s sake. So, I’ve tried to work with red meat again.  Before I go further, I would like to highlight that I’m not going to start a red meat heavy diet and stop eating chicken completely. It’s more from the point of view of trying to diversify our meat intake, a healthy rotation between white and red meat instead of a chicken only diet. In addition, I’m not forgetting the inclusion of a lot fruits and vegetables.

From the cooking’s point-of-view, it’s my goal to be a versatile cook. I like to venture out of my comfort zone to try cooking with different ingredients. It’s part of the fun of cooking at home, exploration and experimentation. It is also a great way to stay away from cooking rut, no?

As I’ve mentioned a couple of posts ago, slow cooker is my favourite kitchen gadget at the moment. As the weather in Orange is getting colder, the need for a slow-cooked dish becomes more apparent. Besides throwing together a no fuss Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, I’ve found myself making slow-cooked beef ragu fairly often.

Usually, you’ll find broth, red wine and bay leaves to be among the ingredients for beef ragu. To keep it rather simple in the ingredient department, my ragu recipe contains only 6 ingredients, not counting olive oil, salt and black pepper. Despite the simplified ingredient list, it delivers in the taste department. Rich, meaty and luscious sauce with the subtle hint of dried Italian herbs to tame the meaty aroma - it is the kind of comfort meal you yearned for on a cold, cold autumn night in Orange.

Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu Pasta a10

Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu Pasta a9

 

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Thai Beef, Vegetables & Basil Stir Fry

Thai Beef & Basil Stir Fry a12

For the past weeks, my beloved and I were on a mission to build up our tolerance towards chilli.

Hold on a sec, what did you just say?

I know it is something trivial to bring to people attention but yes, I’ve said it. We somewhat lost our tolerance towards chilli over the years and it’s something we both are working on as a couple. I love a couple’s project. Okay I get it. It’s not your typical life-changing project like having a baby or building a dream home. But it is no less excited for us. (I admit, we are your typical goofy couple ha!)

When it comes to hot food, Thai cuisines come to mind. I used to have super crazy, perspiration inducing and tongue numbing Thai food back in Penang (in Malaysia). The seafood tom yum that I had was … let’s just say I needed a glass of water for every spoonful of soup. Now you’ll ask, why the torture? It may be hard for you to understand, but it is part of the fun. Getting all sweaty, burning sensation in the mouth and getting a temporary (and naturally) lip plumped was really shiok (a Malaysian/Singaporean colloquial term means “satisfaction”). If you are a spicy food lover, you’ll understand what I meant. ;)

You don’t have to embark the same journey as we do in the spicy department, which is why you can adjust the hot level of this Thai beef stir fry to your liking. I’d prefer bird’s eye chilli for this dish because not only the spiciness of this chilli adds to the dish, but also the “chilli aroma” that often lacks in the conventional chilli. However, if chilli isn’t your thing, it is okay to leave it out completely because you’ll still have garlic and fresh basil as the base flavours of the dish.

Thai Beef & Basil Stir Fry a19

Thai Beef & Basil Stir Fry a13