I cooked pasta again. Pasta now is often in my cooking list of the week. I never thought I would be in love so much with pasta like this before. Just by a proper way of cooking pasta with basic principles about the nature of pasta in mind, we can always make a good pasta dish.
Once I hosted a year-end party with around 20 friends at my home, most of whom are Vietnamese students studying in Singapore. That time I treated them with only pasta, pizza and wine. I made three kinds of pasta and three kinds of pizza. They were all finished much faster than I could imagine, which caused me think whether I had prepared enough or not
That’s one good memory about pasta since I started to venture into this interesting section of food. I’m often eager at trying new pasta dish and revisit the most amazing recipes when I want to treat my family and friends. This pasta with asparagus and peas is also very easy to eat, very refreshing with the crunchy texture of the asparagus. Some cream is used helping to combine all the ingredients harmoniously. Pasta with veggies is never out of fashion for me.
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I learned this dish from one of my Japanese cookbook. This stewed pork is applicable but it is quite troublesome. I actually didn’t understand the cooking process and the purpose of some required techniques applied in making this dish.
The result was quite pleasant to the taste but I didn’t see much outstanding taste or flavor after all those cooking procedures. Maybe I didn’t cook well enough to get the best from this dish.
I used to like and cook curry dishes when I was still in Vietnam. Not until had I come to Singapore when curry food turned out as a nightmare to me. Maybe it’s because the smell is too strong for me and almost all the Indian or Malay food stalls terrify me with the heavy smell of their food. Most of the dishes are either orange or red in color with no trace of green stuffs, which already make my mouth and stomach feel hot. I no longer feel the inviting distinctive flavor of the curry food but only try to get away from those stalls as quick as possible to avoid the strong smells.
It has been four years I’ve never eaten any curry dishes. Not until I found a recipe of potato curry which guarantees a very mild taste and flavor. When reading the recipe, I felt relieved and got the eagerness back to cook this dish, just because this curry has peas – which are green, and they are good to serve with fresh cilantro. Moreover, plain yogurt is added to this curry, which persuades me to believe that the taste will be mild.
And so, I cooked this after a very long time I’ve touched any curry dishes. The final result was a really mild curry, which was absolutely what I longed for.
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Thai pineapple fried rice is quite well-known when mentioning about Thai food. There are many varieties of this fried rice. When I travelled to Phuket in Thailand, I was impressed by the pineapple fried rice served at Rang Hill restaurant. So, when making this fried rice, I tried to cook it as similar as the one I ate, according to my memory.
For fried rice, the steamed rice should be prepared in advance. Because cooked rice will be used for frying, you can cook it a bit drier than normal, and let the rice cool completely. You can cook the the rice on the day before and reserve in the fridge, the rice will also become drier.
Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 10-12 large shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 large pineapple, cut into chunks
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup roasted cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup golden raisin
- half a garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- vegetable oil, as needed
- 1 tbs fish sauce (or more, to taste)
- Marinate the shrimp with a little fish sauce.
- Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, add half of the garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute, add the prawns. When the prawns start to turn pink, add the carrot and peas, cook together for another 2 minutes, remove from the pan. Set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and cook the remaining garlic and onion for 1 minute. Add the rice and enough fish sauce, stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the egg, stir well to coat the rice evenly.
- Combine the turmeric powder with about 1/2 tbs water, then add to the rice, stir well.
- Return the prawns, carrot and peas to the pan. Add pineapple chunks, stir constantly for a few minutes. Add the raisins and cashew nuts, adjust the seasoning, then remove from the heat.
- Serve while the rice is still hot or warm.