Thursday, February 17, 2011

Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice

Chicken rice is one of the MUST TRY food when you visit Singapore, it is one of our national dishes in Singapore, well known and well known by both the locals and tourists too. It is also one of my daughter´s favourite food too! She could eat it everyday and never get tired of it.

My mum used to tell me, countryside chicken is best when making this dishes because this chicken are free-range chickens that are allowed to roam instead of being caged. Though scrawnier than their farmed counterparts, these chickens are generally considered to have higher nutritional value. Mum prefer older chicken because she prefer she think that they are sweeter in flavour and she like to chew the tough texture of chicken meat compare to young tender chicken. I remember once her false teeth flew out of her mouth when she was trying to get a big bite on the huge chicken drumstick!

Whenever Mum make chicken rice, I could smell it from far away. The unique aroma is very strong, the fragrance keep reminds me of Chinese New Year. Whenever I cook chicken rice here in Sweden, just imagine even 3 layers of glasses window could not keep the smell from escaping out of my house.

If you are at a food mall in Singapore and do not know what to eat, watch out for customer on qeue..if there are many people qeueing at a particular stall, this mean that most likely the food from that stall are good. Take a look at this chicken rice stall for example, the qeue are so long!! Singaporean will do anything to eat good food including waiting 2 hours for a donut!

Here´s a video I find quite easy to fellow if you like to have a better understanding of how to cook this dish.

And also the recipe for chicken rice if you like to experience this popular dishes without having to travel to Singapore. Good luck!

Ingredients (6 servings):
1 chicken drum stick ..about 2 kgs
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2" fresh ginger root, crushed
2 spring onions, chopped briefly
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil

3 cups long grain rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemongrass, crushed
2 screwpine leaves
4-5 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste

Chilli Sauce:
2-3 calamansi limes, seeded
2 tbsp chicken broth
2 tsp sugar
2-3 red chillies
4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger

2 cucumbers, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced


Remove excess fats off and reserve for cooking rice IF DESIRED.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with some sea salt (enough to submerge the whole chicken), add in garlic, ginger and spring onion.
Submerge the chicken into boiling water, then cover and reduce heat down to slow poach. Let it cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
When chicken is cooked, remove and plunge immediately into a bath of icy cold water, submerging the chicken for about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the water, drain well and set aside.
RICE: Rinse rice till water is running clear, drain well.
Heat wok on high, add in vegetable oil and sesame oil. If using chicken fat, add in reserved chicken fat and cook until the oil is rendered. Fry chicken fat untill crispy. My cat was roaming around my leg while I was frying the fat..I gave her a few when it was done..she love it!

Add in some vegetable oil if oil to make up 3 tablespoons of oil if chicken oil is insufficient.
Add chopped garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds or till browned lightly. Add in raw rice, stir-fry till the rice grains start to look translucent.
Transfer rice into an electrical rice cooker, add 5 to 6 cups chicken broth (up to level "3" in the rice cooker pot), pandan leaves and lemongrass. Add salt to taste if necessary and cook as if cooking plain rice.

Once the rice is cooked, turn heat off and wait for 10 minutes before opening the lid. Steam inside will gently finish steaming the rice.
Fluffy up the rice with a wooden spatula, remove pandan leaves and lemongrass.
SAUCE: Put all ingredients in the blender and pause the blender a few times to make paste. It does not need to be very smooth. I separated the chilli sauce because I like the strong clean sharp flavour of the ginger and garlic.

SERVING: Line a serving platter with sliced cucumber, arrange chicken pieces on top and drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over, garnish and serve with rice, soup and chili dipping sauce.

Do you like .. spaghetti al sugo :-) ?

spaghetti al sugo (with tomato sauce)
This is a classical spaghetti with easy to prepare tomatoes sauce.
Is quite fast to do , it need something more than half hour if you put to boil the water for pasta  during the sauce preparation.
I used the vegetables I had in the fridge, you can put what you have instead of carrots and cucumbers ;-) . Sometimes I make it with squash , potatoes , beens, egg plants or what else I have.
Usually I save half of tomatoes sauce in the fridge , it will be good for pasta for one week. So I can prepare again spaghetti or other pasta at evening very fast.

Part 1 .. the tomato sauce:
This is a very easy to prepare tomato sauce
1 can of tomatoes pulp
1 carrot
half cucumber
half onion
1 garlic clove
olive oil
a pinch of chily pepper

Cut and mince the half onion and the garlic clove.
Put olive oil in a little pot and add the minced onion with garlic.
Cook it for 5 min with middle fire (till the onions became golden).

Cut the carrot and the half cucumber in little pieces and add it in the pot, let it run with low fire for a couple of minutes. Add the pinch of chily pepper.

Add the tomatoes pulp and about two tablespoon of water (usually I use this water to clean the can of tomatoes pulp to take all the pulp!!).
Add a teaspoon of salt and less than half teaspoon of sugar and cook it for about half hour with low fire.

Now as your wish you can let the pieces of vegetables or mince it with handy mincer, I often mince it all to get a creamy sauce!!
PS: Taste it and add some salt or some water if is too salty ;-)

Part 2 , spaghetti.
Ingredients :
spaghetti (about 100 gr for person)
olive oil
grated parmesan

(mm , is really necessary explain how to do ? :-) ) You' ll need your pasta pot , put water, let it boil , add half fist of salt (and a table spoon of oil) to the water , add spaghetti and let it cook for 11 minutes.
Then serve it with the sauce and add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fast Food?

Hamburger with fried cauliflower "svizzerina e cavolfiori impanati"
Sometimes I like to eat some hamburger, this dish is also fast to cook ;-) .
In Italy we called hamburger also "svizzerina" ( this means little Switzerland )
My granny use to call it like that. I searched about why we prefer Switzerland to hamburg :-)  I find that we call it just to indicate the "origin" of recipe, and we link it to germans languages areas , the near place with german recipes maybe was Switzerland ..
hamburger preparation : Usual we think hamburger as fat and not healthy food, here I try to make it as much healthy as possible.
I grilled it with olive oil , little pinch of salt and few chili pepper (that have good anti-bacterias property) . 
Of course not much red hot chili pepper , otherwise it will burn your tongue as hell :-)) 
Anyway if you like it spicy , or if you put too much pepper as mistake consider that some bread or  drink some milk will reduce the burn sensation, much more than one liter of water!!
I didn't add any mayonnaise (too fat!) if you like.. put some ketchup  ;-)
cauliflower preparation: This take sometimes more ;-)
I steamed cauliflower (if you re hurry you can steam it faster in pressure pot , but consider that this maybe will destroy all vita-mines)
I whip in a plate  the white of an egg then I add the red and I whip it more :-) , I add some salt and again few chili pepper.  I put pieces of cauliflower in the egg, then I pass it in dry bread dust.
I fried it and then I dry it in cooking paper and serve with the grilled hamburger!


1 beef hamburger (pork hamburger or chicken hamburger is also good!)

olive oil


chily pepper

some cauliflower
1 egg

dry bread powder


Step 1 Grill the hamburger with some olive oil , little pinch of salt and few chili pepper .
Step 2 If you like.. put some ketchup
Step 3 Cauliflower preparation:
Step 4 Cut cauliflower in some pieces
Step 5 Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes
Step 6 Whip in a plate the white the egg
Step 7 Add the red and I whip it more
Step 8 Add some salt and few chili pepper.
Step 9 Put pieces of cauliflower in the egg.
Step 10 Pass it in dry bread dust.
Step 11 Fried it
Step 12 Dry it in cooking paper
Step 13 Serve with the grilled hamburger

Something good against flu and cold :-)

A list of food that  help the immune system and raises the body's natural defenses:
1) ... cinnamon, which has antibacterial and disinfectant. 
When I find this I was surprised, now I add often some cinnamon powder , also the taste is good ( I try it in beef, tomatoes sauces) 

2) The onion, diuretic and anti-inflammatory, capable of promoting recovery from colds and bronchitis. 
I knew this, I often add minced onions every time I can .

3) Blueberries, the antibacterial function, useful in case of urinary tract infections.
Also this surprised me, I knew blueberries have a lot of vitamins that help eyes but I didn't knew it help and that's good as anti-bacterias.

4) The chili pepper, known antibacterial, used in very hot countries to improve the body's defenses against infections and food-borne diseases.

I knew this , I use chili pepper instead of common black pepper very often.

5) Prebiotic foods such as fruits and vegetables (especially chicory), are characterized by the presence of carbohydrates, which stimulate the growth and metabolism of certain specific types of intestinal bacteria, with positive results on the functioning of the intestine, and everything ' body.

I knew also that veggy are very healthy, but I didn't know is because of carbohydrates

6) Probiotics, which regularize the intestine, considered the heart of the entire immune system: the intestinal flora, in fact, is able to release substances that fight inflammation and strengthen the defenses.

Yeah I think a good idea is eat yogurt ( pro-biotic)  with fresh blueberry and maybe some cinnamons.
Then a salad with fresh vegetables , light cooked carrots (cook too much destroy vitamins) , with some fresh cut onions can be very good in winter ;-)
Also fresh fruit salad is very good!!

7) Garlic To this list I add also garlic that is know  as natural antibiotic.

8) Walnuts Walnuts is very good for omega 3 balance and is a natural resource of magnesium that help metabolism of glucose in cells.

9) Mallow , mallow is a natural herb. this is a natural and good antiflamatory , it's very good against cough. Tea with mallow is great for this.

10) honey and propolis  (two other products good against coughs and colds)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Salmon Pizza

If you like salmon then it´s good to try salmon pizza. I got this idea from Fabio..he told me I should try it so I did! I think the Swedish will love this recipe because they LOVE salmon!
In Sweden, there are lots of Pizzaeria..mostely these pizzaria are owned by people from Middle Eastern. The topping is far too complicated for my taste..I wonder where all this ideas come from? Would you be surprise if I tell you there are Swedish people eat banana, starwberry, , kebah, curry chicken, jam even chocolate on pizza? To me that´s weird! I prefer the classic one, I feel that pizza should have clean taste, if too many different topping, the taste will be too complicated. I prefer to spend more time making sure the bread are prepared properly..with quality and care. If possible, I like to used wholemeal flour because it´s more healthier!

Here´s is a great recipe I tried using wholemeal flour


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp fresh yeast ,crumbled
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil or oil
1 tsp salt


1. Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough water until it is smooth and elastic (approx. 5 to 7 minutes).
2. Add the olive oil and knead again.
3. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and allow it to prove till it doubles in volume (approx. 15 to 20 minutes).
4. Press the dough lightly to remove the air.
5. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
6. Roll each portion into a circle of 250 mm. (10") diameter and 6 mm. (1/4") thickness.
7. Use as required.

How to make swedish grav salmon? You can either buy it ready from supermarket or marinate it yourself.

Here´s is how you can do it yourself from scratch:

This traditional Swedish method of curing salmon is easy to do at home. Fish must be very fresh.

Fillet or have filleted by the fishmonger, leaving the skin on:

1 salmon (4 to 5 pounds)

Mix together:
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups salt
2 Tbspns. of crushed white peppercorns
1 Tbsp. black pepper

Rub fillets all over with this mixture. On the flesh side of one of the fillets, lay:

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh dill, including stems.
Sprinkle with:
2 Tbspns. brandy, aquavit, plain or lemon-flavoured vodka, or other spirits.

Lay the other fillet flesh side down on top of the dill-covered fillet. Wrap in plastic wrap or cheesecloth, sprinkling the outside with any scraps of dill or remaining salt mixture. Place on plate, cover with another plate, and top the whole package with 3 or 4 pounds of weight. Refrigerate.

Twice a day, open package and baste the fish all over with the juice it has exuded. Wrap it up again. The gravlax is done when it is opaque, usually in 3 days but it could be 2 or 4. Thinly slice.

Gravlax keeps well, covered and refrigerated for several days. To keep gravlax in the refrigerater be sure and pour off all the brine -- otherwise it will get too salty.

This salmon pizza is not the typical pizza with tomatoes sauce.

I like more flavouur in my filling, so I marinated the mozellla cheese in olive oil, little salt and some dried basil leaf.

I also sitr fried the onion & yellow pepper with a little with some balsam vinegar and sugar so it´s more tastier and softer.

It´s better to add mozzarella cheese 5 mins before due time so it´s not over will give a pizza cheesy effect and it more moist too! Make sure the oven is hot..I have it set at 250 degree and the first initial baking time is 8 mins fellow by another 5 mintues with the mozzarella.

You put the salmon and rucola salad ONLY before serving because the pickles salmond is more tasty raw. You can also add more parmesan cheese for extra flavours!

Hope you like this recipe too! Ciao!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Onion Soup - A Natural Remedies for Cold, Flu and Asthma

I have astma. I knew I should have had vaccine every year so I do not to put up with this troublesome illness. I heard from Fabio about the natural remedies to fight cold and flu so I thought I gave it a shot! I am surprise that Onion is the number 2 best remedie for flu.First place is Garlic as it can kill harmful bacteria and viruses and even eliminate fungi, 2nd place is Onion, Onion soup is also used to fight flues, common colds.
Garlic is used in seasoning since hundreds of years for many conditions, and garlic is also known to bolster your immune system, making your body more efficient at fighting off invaders as well. Garlic should be included in foods regularly, and you can also chew on a raw clove if you do not mind the garlic breath or strong taste and odor. This natural remedy will definitely clear your sinuses and relieve symptoms.
One of the most common and effective natural remedies for flu is an onion. One method is to mix equal parts of honey and onion juice, and take a couple of teaspoons every four to six hours. Onion soup is also used to fight flues, common colds and asthma at times. The heat of the soup and the nutrition can help relieve symptoms while shortening the duration. Onion tea can also be made by slicing one small onion and boiling in water until cooked. Strain out the onion and drink the tea. The taste is not great, so you may need to add sweeteners, but this natural flu remedy can help you get better sooner.

To be kaisu, I added both garlic and lots of onion in this French Onion Soup recipe!
Hope for double killing!!

To make this delicious soup, I chopped 4 large onion finely with 30gm of butter. I slowly cooked it till light brown under low heat..(15 mins) I think if you add salt, it will speed up the browning process.

After that, I add 100ml of sherry, 850ml of boiling water, I cube of beef broth, some chilly peppers, 3 tables spoons of tomatoes puree, and a little dark soya sauce. Let the mixture simmer under medium low heat for half hour..the liquid will eventually evaporate. I added 100ml of fresh full cream for the creamy dont have to add it if you afraid of fat.

The soup is nice with a couple of toast topped with some Franch Cheese or any mealting cheese.