Gg’s Japanese Salad

You may add whatever you like to your Japanese salad. This combination just happens to be a favourite of mine.

My perfect medium-boiled egg

Gg’s Japanese Salad Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients nicely in a dish.
  2. Drizzle with dressing and serve with extra dressing on the side.

T’was A ‘Hotdogs & Salad’ Kinda Day

I LOVE MEAT! I do not know how vegetarians do it but I will be absolutely miserable if my existence was meatless. But this is not exactly a carnivorous post.

There are times however when all I want is a fresh salad. My favourite dressing is the Japanese sesame dressing. Almost like the sesame dipping sauce for Shabu Shabu. It’s creamy, sweet tang is addictive! Even if I cook another type of cuisine and I include a salad, I will dress my portion with Japanese sesame dressing. See recipe here.

If you are too lazy to make your own. this is the best brand of sesame dressing you can find in the supermarket.

Lately it’s been all about avocado and tofu for me. Cream on cream on cream. Delicious and healthy.

My DCM & I are mad for avocados!

I decided to jazz up my favourite combination a little to make it more substantial as it was going to be dinner for my DCM and me. I was in the mood for tuna-mayo. I know, I’m weird like that. See recipe here.

And I saw broccolini so I had to buy some. It was such a good salad. If you’re not a sesame dressing fan, any other Japanese dressing will probably work fine. But you should be a Japanese sesame dressing fan. See salad recipe here.

Whilst luxuriating in the glory Cold Storage’s pricey but lovely groceries, it suddenly dawned on me that a salad alone would not be enough for my DCM. I was feeling a tad tired from being out all day so the simplest thing came to mind. Hotdogs! My DCM adores hotdogs. I got hotdog buns. What about the sausages? I always have Johnsonville sausages in my fridge. Johnsonville! WE LOVE YOU! All the flavours you export to Singapore, we love! We’ve tried them all. They are all fantastic! Some days when I am too lazy to even cook them proper and just throw them in the microwave, they are still awesome… I know Singapore only carries a few products. What a shame…

Johnsonville sausages are soooooo good!

Hotdogs. Simple. Hotdog buns, good sausages, ketchup, mustard, relish, maybe chopped raw onions, fried onions (it’s a Danish thing), maybe crispy bacon bits, cheese and anything you want to top a hotdog with. The only thing important here is the quality of the ingredients. Otherwise you might as well have an IKEA hotdog.

It wasn’t a gourmet dinner but it was good eating. I love hotdogs as much as he does and he loves salads as much as I do. I reckon there will be many more hotdog and salad days. Some healthy to offset a bit of naughty makes it a well-balanced meal right?

Cooking For Love With Love

When you have a man as wonderful as mine who is so supporting in your endeavours, you want to do a little something something for him from time to time to show your appreciation. I do so with making him a good meal (amongst other things).

Japanese ranks first on our list of favourite cuisine followed very closely by Italian. And in third place it’s Mexican for him and Chinky food for me.

I decided on Italian.

I bought fresh, meaty snapper from the wet market, beautiful, fresh fat scallops at Meidi-Ya and found arugula, broccolini, Burrata, Parma and squid ink pasta at ThreeSixty Marketplace, All the makings of a good meal I should think.

And it was a good meal. Burrata and Parma on arugula, drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil, pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground four peppers. It’s that sort of salad that is about premium ingredients and letting their flavours shine.

We love fresh seafood. Anything frozen-thawed is a waste of money and time. There have been times I’ve found good quality frozen seafood like King Crab legs from America but those are far and few between. Scallops are never good frozen-thawed. Yes they look nice but will be tasteless. Aside from that bouncy texture, you eat scallop for the briny sweetness that is a scallop! Do not compromise.

Fresh fish is also very important. The Mumsy raised me to eat fresh. Do not compromise. Good ingredients are key to a good meal. You can apply amazing cooking techniques to sub-par food and still have a sub-par dish. Spend the money on good ingredients. Do not compromise.

It was a good meal. The complication of preparing this meal is in the sum of its parts. Fortunately, each part is minimum effort. The squid ink pasta is simply cooked and tossed in a sliced garlic, crushed tomato and olive oil sauce seasoned with lemon thyme, smoked sea salt and a crackling of pepper.

The scallops were firm, sweet and worth every dollar paid. All you do is season very lightly with smoked sea salt and freshly cracked pepper then seared in a smoking hot pan for three to four minutes a side with a little butter. For me, that is the best way to have scallop aside from sashimi style.

The fish was firm yet flaky. I don’t know why I decided to use the sticky lemon glaze from Tart Me Up on the snapper but I did. Radical but what a delicious random spur of the moment act! Get recipe here.

Have I told you about my obsession with broccolini? I love the stuff! It’s more expensive but I don’t care! I love it! If I see it, I will buy it! Get recipe here.

I also bought a little steamer for the microwave from Meidi-Ya. I love the stuff the Japanese create! It works really well too! Perfectly steamed broccolini.

My Japanese microwave steamer

Perfectly steamed broccolini

I love cooking for my DCM. Watching him enjoy my cooking is such a rush! Cook for the one you love everyday and sometimes make it a little extra special just to emphasise your love.

Gg’s Mini Farfalle Salad

Farfalle‘s known as “bow-tie pasta” or “butterflies”. I found a mini version and just had to buy it. I have a thing for mini things… Here, I made a simple and versatile yogurt dressing to perk up some already great ingredients. This yougurt dressing may also be used with fruits for a fruit salad. Just omit the olive oil, salt and pepper. Did I also mention it’s healthy?

Gg’s Mini Farfalle Salad Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of any small pasta (cooked in boiling salted water and cooled)
  • 6 quail eggs (hard-boiled and shelled)
  • 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella (torn into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ½ cup sweet corn kernels (defrosted)
  • 5 stalks baby asparagus (quickly blanched in boiling, salted water and refreshed)

   Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons natural or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • juice of half a big lime
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add pasta, vegetables, mozzarella and quail eggs to dressing. Toss well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

If You’re Hoarding & You Know It, Clap Your Hands

Because I hoard, I discovered there was a whole de-boned chicken breast and half a chicken breast on the bone with a wing in the freezer early in the week. I randomly defrosted and marinated them. They came in handy when my DCM said he’d be home for dinner on Wednesday.

I pruned my basil plants the day before and had some leaves n the fridge. I was glad I saved them as they were used to cover the wing portion during roasting. The wings always burn before the rest of the bird cooks. This serves as a simple preventive method and flavour enhancer as the basil  imparts some of its herby goodness to the chicken.  A baby buttercup and some green grapes added more freshness to the meal. See recipe here.

Pasta salad can be healthier when you substitute yogurt for mayo. This yogurt dressing is also great as a cooling dip for spicy food or just to dunk vegetable sticks in. Vegetables, some quail eggs and buffalo mozzarella I found in the fridge joined the salad for added texture. I always have buffalo mozzarella in my fridge as it’s my DCM’s favourite. I decided to use it as it is a subtle enough cheese to go with the light yogurt dressing. See recipe here.

I reckon a clean plate and bowl are an indication that your food was good.

Gg’s Blackened Garoupa with Crunchy Passion Salad

Fast to cook, good to eat. And good for you too! Spicy Grilled Blackened Garoupa is served with a lime yogurt sauce and a sweet and sour salad. Who says eating healthy has to be boring? My DCM also commented this was the best fish I’ve made so far.

Gg’s Blackening Rub Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions

  1. In a small jar with a lid, combine all ingredients. Seal securely and shake vigorously. Use immediately or store in a cool dry place. Shake jar before each use.

Gg’s Blackened Garoupa Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 thick Garoupa fillets
  • Gg’s blackening rub (enough to coat seabass)
  • drizzle of olive/ vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven on the conventional cooking setting () at 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Lay a piece of baking paper on a metal rack placed on a baking tray.
  3. Coat flesh of Garoupa with as much or as little blackening rub as you like and pat down gently.
  4. Arrange Garoupa on baking paper, drizzle lightly with oil and place in the oven on the second rack from the top. Switch the oven to the fan assisted grilling setting ().
  5. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the Garoupa and how well done you like it.

 

Gg’s Lime Yogurt Sauce/Dip Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons natural or Greek yogurt
  • zest of half a big lime
  • juice of half a big lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

 

Gg’s Crunchy Passion Salad Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 big broccoli (divided into bite-sized florets, quickly blanched in boiling water and refreshed)
  • ½ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small Japanese cucumber (sliced ½ cm thick)
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 8 quail eggs (hard-boiled and peeled)

   Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons passion fruit vinaigrette (store-bought and can be substituted with 2 fresh passion fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of half a big lime
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add vegetables and quail eggs to dressing. Toss well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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