Saturday, June 25, 2011

Serita's Birthday Treat

Simply Lasagna

The first time I heard of this dish I wondered what it was. Living in Malaysia has given me the opportunity to learn so much and hone my skills. When the girls were growing up, pasta was the in thing and so we had it every week. I even went to the extent of buying a pasta machine and made home made pasta regularly...gnocci, lasagna, tomato & spinach, spaghetti, fettuccini, cannelloni, farfelle, tortellini(this took me 4 long hours to make), ravioli, vermicelli, tagliatelli and a lot more varieties. In the beginning we could harly pronounce the names, but gradually we came to love these simple, satisfying meals and soon lasagna ruled the roost. Today is Serita's 24th birthday. So happy birthday girl, happy birthday. May you have many more and eat Lasagna in Italy one day!

The Recipe Serves Four
250 gms San Remo Large Instant Lasagna; 2 tbsp oil, 1 medium onion, chopped fine; 1 medium carrot, grated; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 stalk celery, minced; 1/2 kg chicken mince; 400gms tin tomato puree(I use Hunt's);2 chicken soup cubes; 2 cups hot water;salt & pepper to taste; pinch of Italian herbs; 2 tbsp butter; 2 tbsp plain flour; 2 cups low fat milk; 125 gms Cheddar cheese, grated.

Meat Sauce Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion, carrot, garlic and celery and cook till soft on a medium fire. Add mince, cook till brown. Next, stir in the broken soup cubes, tomato puree, hot water,salt pepper and herbs. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until thick. Keep hot.

Cheese Sauce Melt butter in a seperate pan, stir in flour and cook 2 minutes over gentle heat. Mixture should be pale and not brown. Remove from heat, stir in milk. Return to heat and gently stir until thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the grated cheese,reserving some for sprinkling on top of last layer, stirring all the time over low flame till cheese melts.

To Assemble Preheat oven to 180 Centigrade. Pour 1/2 cup of meat sauce into greased baking dish. Alternate layers of lasagna, meat and cheese sauces ending with a cheese sauce layer. (You get 4 layers usually).Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through. Test if cooked by pricking with a fork or skewer. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving with a delicious salad or on its own. Guaranteed to vanish in one sitting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eat For Success

Dream Dessert Shake

Seeing the array of tempting, irresistible confections around me, I felt the urgent need for something sweet, healthy and absolutely appetising. Something that I would have no qualms about having again and again. Something that I could indulge in whenever I needed my sweet fix. So I experimented with various things and came up with the following. I love it and look forward to having it again and yet again.

The Recipe

250 ml cold/room temperature low fat milk; 2 scoops (50 gms) French Vanilla Nutritional Mix Powder; 1 scoop (25 gms) Protein Powder. Blend with 2 cubes ice and keep ready.

1/2 avacado cubed; 1/8 cup sago boiled until transparent; 1/4 cup papaya, cubed; 2 slices starfruit for garnishing; tall glass for serving.

Place the papaya, sago and avacado in three layers in the glass. Pour the cold shaker over and garnish with starfruit. Serve with a long spoon and eat it slowly, savouring every, delicious mouthful!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yvette's Spicy Sausage Rice


Have been really busy of late and have been neglecting my blog. Yesterday, a friend asked me when my next recipe would be put up and so here I am!

The Bangalore Ham Shop on M G road is a well known haunt for those who love quality pork products. As children, we loved going to the tiny, dingy shop with our parents to buy bacon, ham, sausages and other delicacies. The smell, the people queueing up and the strings of fat sausages were a source of excitement for us. Special occasions saw us make a beeline for those wonderful meat products. Today there are Bangalore Ham shops all over the city and to tell the truth I have never eaten sausages as good as those from this tiny shop with humble beginnings. Today’s recipe was served to us at an impromptu dinner at a friend’s house many, many years ago. While in Bangalore I made it very often. Once we shifted to Kuala Lumpur, I never really got to make it as often as we liked. Recently my daughter brought back a whole lot of Bangalore Ham Shop sausages on a visit to India and so we were able to indulge in one of our favourite recipes’s from long, long ago. Yvette, this one is for you and the many happy moments we shared in Bangalore before we parted ways and went to different corners of the world.
The Recipe:
Ghee Rice
1 cup basmathi rice; 2 cups hot water; 3 tbsp. ghee; 1 onion sliced; 1 tbsp minced ginger garlic.
Wash and drain rice. Fry onions & ginger-garlic in ghee till golden brown. Add rice and stir fry till transparent. Transfer to rice cooker, add hot water and salt to taste. Cook till done. Transfer to serving dish and keep hot.
For The Sausages: 1 kg Bangalore Ham Shop Sausages; 3 dried red chillies, broken; 1 tbsp whole pepper corns.
Boil sausages in just enough water to cover them, lower flame, remove cover and cook till water evaporates and all the excess fat comes out. Drain sausages and keep aside. Heat one tsp. oil in a large non-stick pan and stir fry the red chillies for a minute. Add the pepper corns and stir fry till they pop. Quickly add in the sausages and stir fry till brown. Pour over the ghee rice and serve hot with cucumber pachdi and tomato sauce.
Cucumber Pachdi: 1 small cucumber deseeded; 1 cup thick home made curds; dsalt to taste; 1 minced, green chilli; 1 onion, sliced; 1 small tomato, diced; salt to taste and coriander leaves for garnish. Mix all together and serve with the above.