Asian Risotto Recipe


I believe I just made something up - but my palate loves it! And my hubby goes for seconds on this one, so it's worthwhile sharing. It was another one of those nights when I only had 30 minutes to cook dinner, and challenging myself to use whatever ingredients available in the pantry / fridge. The result, is a wholesome risotto-ey dish which is not quite the traditional risotto most Australians are familiar with... so I've named it "Asian Risotto" lol, it's like my own Invention Test in Kimba's Kitchen! I really hope you guys like it, it's very simple and packed with flavour :)

Ingredients:

2 cups medium grain rice
4 cups of water (you may add more if you want it to be extra sticky)
Half a packet of Chow Mein Veggie Mix from Coles
1 cup of corn kernels
3 bacon rashers, sliced.
2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp chicken stock powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a large pan / wok, cook the rice in water 3 cups of water to start with. 
Add the chicken stock and season with some salt and pepper. 
Cook until the water is starting to simmer / boil slightly - add the pork rashers.
Cook until the rice is just tender, and water starting to absorb into the rice turning it into a "sticky" mixture. Add the Chow Mein veggies and corn kernels. Add paprika and coriander... and give it a really good mix.
Continue to stir until the rice is fully tender. You can add more water if the mixture starts to dry out.
Cook for another 10 minutes, and serve hot.

30-Min Meal: BBQ Pork Spareribs & Stirfry Indo Mee Goreng with Veggies

Whenever you watch cooking shows like MasterChef, whenever the contestants are given only ONE HOUR to prepare and cook and plate up a dish, they always freak. It may seem like a lot of time, but do not underestimate the preparation and organisation required to cook a meal within an hour... it's always going to be tight! Unless you're cooking 2-minute noodles of course... but even 2-minute noodles take more than 2 minutes sometimes!

So tonight, I got home just before 7pm and I really wanted to watch MasterChef, which leaves me with just 30 MINUTES to whip something decent up. So here, in order of method and preparation... is a step-by-step recount of my 30-minute cooking task.

  1. First thing is to always preheat the oven. Always the first thing. 190C fan forced to be specific.
  2. I mixed tomato sauce, dark soy sauce & honey to make my marinade.
  3. I dipped my pork spareribs into the marinade and coated it generously. Onto the baking tray, straight into the oven. The pork will take almost exactly 30 mins to cook, so it had to be done really quickly.
  4. Now that the pork is out of the way, I fill a pot with water and started cooking it to get the water to boil.
  5. Chopped up the veggies - red capsicum, spring onions, snow peas and carrots.
  6. Cooked the noodles out of 4 packets of Indo Mee Goreng.
  7. Heated oil in a separate work to start stir-frying the veggies.
  8. DO NOT overcook the noodles, they need to stay firm... so I drain the water and started mixing the flavoring into the drained noodles.
  9. Back to the wok, fry 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
  10. Add the veggies into the wok and stirfry for about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the Indo Mee Goreng noodles into the veggie stirfry and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  12. Plate up the noodles, and the pork comes out of the oven at exactly.... 29.5 min mark, lol.
See? Who says you need to eat instant noodles just on its own? Spend some extra time prepping some veggies and you get more flavor, variety and crunch in it. Also makes you feel slightly better about eating so-called "junk food" by adding some fresh vegetables into the mix!

Triple Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Serves 8
Recipe from www.bestrecipes.com.au


These brownies are lovely and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside - just as a good brownie should be. Beautiful served on their own or with ice cream or cream for dessert.

Ingredients

200g butter, chopped
200g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup self raising flour, sifted
180g white cooking chocolate, chopped
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease and line with baking paper in a lamington tin.
  3. Microwave dark chocolate and butter together, uncovered, for 2 minutes on 70%. Stir until smooth.
  4. Add cocoa and sugar into chocolate mixture and stir well.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Mix in sifted flours. Stir in white chocolate and nuts if using.
  7. Spread mixture into prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin.
  9. Dust with cocoa or icing sugar and cut into squares to serve.

Simple Indian Butter Chicken Recipe


Indian Butter Chicken is definitely a classic Indian favorite especially in Australia. So I thought I'd share a really simple recipe you can use at home! It is a lot cheaper than getting takeaway from Indian restaurants and this recipe could easily feed 6 people. Enjoy! :)

Ingredients

  • 700g chicken drumsticks (you may also use skinless, diced chicken breasts or chicken thighs)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (425ml) tomato sauce
  • 3 cups double cream
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori masala

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook slowly until the onion caramelizes to a dark brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat along with the tomato sauce, heavy cream, salt, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in caramelized onions.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, toss the chicken with vegetable oil until coated, then season with tandoori masala and spread out onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake chicken in preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 12 minutes. Once done, add the chicken to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes before serving. 
Serve with Saffron Rice and garnish with mint leaves.

Cheesy Cob Loaf Recipe

Recipe by Frances S.


OK guys you are in for a treat, because this recipe comes directly from someone who REALLY knows how to make good food! A cob loaf is very good for entertaining, and Frances has entertained us with her Cob Loaf a few times and each time we all truly look forward to it! Here is the recipe, enjoy :)

Preparation Time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

1 cob loaf
8-10 rashes bacon cooked & diced
500g sour lite cream
8 springs onions
1 onion chopped
Chopped chives
250g grated tasty cheese
250g grated mozzarella cheese

Method:

Cut off top of cob loaf, remove bread from inside cob loaf making the loaf hollow.
(Be careful not to break the outer crust)

Mix all ingredients together, then fill hollow cob loaf with mixture.

Place on tray in over (180 degrees) for 30-40 mins.

Break bread and top which has been cut of loaf into 2-3cm pieces 10 mins before the cheese dip is ready to be removed from oven.

Place pieces of bread on oven tray to brown & crispen.

Use these pieces to dip into cob loaf.

Vietnamese Pancakes Recipe


Vietnamese Pancakes are so delicious. I will say that again, Vietnamese Pancakes are SO delicious! The only thing that probably comes close would be Japanese Pancakes, lol. It's just full of flavor... and the combination of the pancakes + leaves / herbs + the chilli sauce = a delightful texture in your mouth, a burst full of flavor and you just want to keep eating more!

Here is a recipe for Vietnamese Pancakes: Recipe from http://www.thenibble.com

Ingredients
  • 20 medium shrimp, shelled
  • 5 ounces pork loin, cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (nam pla or other sauce, available at Asian markets)
  • Pinch of MSG
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 teaspoons (1 ounce) mustard green leaves or lettuce leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (mint, basil and/or shiso leaves)

Pancakes
  • 2/3 cup rice flour
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron powder
  • 6 ounces coconut milk
  • 7 ounces water

Chile Sauce
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 dried red chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of MSG

Preparation
  1. Marinate the prawns and pork loin with the fish sauce and umami seasoning for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the rice flour, green onions, saffron powder, coconut water and milk. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, add 1/4 of the mixture and fry a large, thin pancake. Put 1/4 of the prawn and pork mixture on the pancake.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and fry until the edge curls slightly. Add 1/4 of the bean sprouts, and fry until the underside of pancake is golden and crispy. Fold the pancake in half, remove and put on a plate. Make 4 large pancakes.
  4. Mix all the sauce ingredients well. To eat, roll the pancake up together with the herbs in a mustard green leaf or lettuce leaf and dip in the sauce.

Amazing Entrée: Ricotta & Spinach rolled in Chicken Breast and Prosciutto

Last night, we were invited to dinner at our friends' lovely new home and I was introduced to an entrée that was introduced to our hosts the weekend before! LOL good recipes do get passed on... as this particular one is so simple and so tasty!

You start with placing the chicken breast flat in glad wrap and then beating it with a rolling pin so you get a nice, flat consistency to the fillet. Then you mix the ricotta and roughly chopped spinach in a bowl, place the prosciutto followed by the chicken breast, followed by the ricotta and spinach filling, and start rolling. You may use a toothpick to secure the roll.

Then you pan fry these for a few minutes just until it turns brown.

Then they go in the oven preheated at approx. 185C for about 30 minutes.

Serve it as an entrée on its own, or part of a main meal with accompaniments e.g. salads and chips, roast potatoes, steamed vegetables, etc.

I absolutely love it! I will definitely make these myself... as I was very involved in the kitchen while our friends were preparing this to make sure I know exactly what to do next time!

Banana Fritters Recipe (Pisang Goreng)


I absolutely LOVE these banana fritters.. they bring back childhood memories! So crispy on the outside and as soon as you bite into it, it melts into a soft, gooey and sweet banana filling. Shall I call this one of my guilty indulgences? Now I'm going to pass it on so you can indulge in it too! 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
180ml water (or until the batter reaches the right consistency)
1 tbsp oil for the batter mix
4 ripe / browning bananas
Enough oil for deep frying

Method:

In a bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add water slowly and mix to form a batter. Add the tablespoon of oil for smoothness.

Slice the bananas diagonally so it forms longish approx. 1.5cm thick strips.

Heat oil until it gets very hot. Dip and coat each banana strip with the batter. Deep fry until it turns brown.

Serve with chilli sauce as a savoury dish.. or serve with vanilla ice cream as dessert.

Chicken and Vegetable Curry Recipe

Kimba's Winter Weeknight Recipe


On a really cold weeknight, instinctively I search the pantry for ingredients to make a quick and easy, delicious curry. This only takes approx. 45 minutes to cook and prepare simply because you eliminate the process of making the curry paste from scratch. However, it takes more than just a packet of Malaysian curry paste and coconut milk to satisfy my palate. So I've created my own version of a simple curry that is wholesome and very satisfying... enjoy :)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Canola Oil
200g Malaysian Chicken Curry Paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Indian Tandoori Paste
400ml light coconut milk
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
200ml water
600g chopped chicken drumsticks / thigh
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and cubed
100g green beans

Method:

In a large pot, heat oil and cook the curry paste, garlic and tandoori paste until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook for approx. 5-7 minutes or until the chicken has browned. Reduce heat and add coconut milk, water and yoghurt. Stir and let it simmer until the water starts boiling.

Add the potatoes and carrots and let it gently simmer in the curry for approx. 10 mins on medium heat. Add the green beans, stir and close the lid. Reduce to low heat and let the curry simmer for another 5 mins.

Serve with yellow rice / steamed rice.

Malaysian Beef Rendang Recipe

Recipe provided by: Allrecipes
 

A classic Malaysian favorite, the beauty of beef rendang is that it is not an overly spicy curry dish... I don't even know if it's classified as a "curry" as Malaysians have always just put it in a way that "rendang" is almost like a category on its own! This dish has a very unique flavor, and if you play around with the quantities of sugar and chilies, a whole range of effects can be produced. Serve this dish with rice.

Kimba's Tip: For super tender chunks of beef, cook the beef in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes before following the methods below. You may also boil the beef beforehand for approx. 40 mins in the 220ml water which will be re-used in Step 5 of the preparation method below.

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded coconut
100g shallots, roughly chopped  
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
15 dried red chillies, roughly chopped
5 slices fresh ginger root, roughly chopped
5 lemon grass stalks, whites only, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons coriander seeds 
2 teaspoons fennel seeds 
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 pinch grated nutmeg  
1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
625g beef stew meat (rump steaks), cut into 2.5cm cubes  
1½ tablespoons white sugar
5 whole cloves  
1 cinnamon stick  
1 2/3 cups (420ml) coconut milk
220ml water
Salt to taste

Method:   
  1. Heat the coconut in a dry wok, stirring continuously until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, chillies, ginger and lemon grass to a thick paste.
  3. Grind the coriander, fennel, cumin and nutmeg together in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
  4. Using the wok, fry the shallot paste in a little oil for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add the ground spices and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Add beef and cook over a medium heat for a further 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until meat is browned all over.
  5. Stir in sugar, coconut, cloves, cinnamon stick, coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt.

Simple Ideas for Salads, Marinades & Pasta

This is more of a "random" post with bits and pieces of simple ideas using some of the photos I have in my food archive. Just in case you're busy cracking your head wondering what's for lunch / dinner!



Idea #1: A colorful mediterranean salad immediately creates a positive appeal to eaters. Therefore, when putting a salad together, think COLORS. This example includes avocados, yellow capsicum, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and mediterranean leaves. You could go a lot further by adding cucumbers, olives, semi dried tomatoes, smoked salmon, go crazy!! The natural flavors of everything put together beats any dressing, so the salad remains reasonably healthy. Great for when you don't feel like cooking anything on a hot day.



Idea #2: Make your own BBQ marinade! I made some very delicious and sumptuous beef ribs a few nights ago for dinner, and I just mixed sauces together to make a delicious marinade. For this picture above, I combined:

4 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp Maggi hot chilli sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
A pinch of pepper

And that's about it! Who needs to spend money on a bottle of readymade marinade when you can have all these very basic ingredients you use everyday, put them together and create your own delicious flavor!


Idea #3: You don't always have to make spaghetti carbonara or spaghetti marinara or spaghetti bolognese. For a simple weeknight dish using whatever you can find in the fridge - try tossing bacon and chopped prawns together with spaghetti cooked in garlic butter sauce. That's minced garlic and melted butter. Top with your favorite herbs and a splash of lemon juice to neutralize the greasiness which comes from the butter and bacon. 

Quick Tour of Kimba's Kitchen

 
This is where all the action happens!
  • Few things to note: Bad hair day = camera shy Kimba :) 
  • The "sound" before I said "oops..." before u get any ideas.. it's the sound of the stool scraping the tiles when I pushed it back under the kitchen island!! :p
  • Spot the "recycling" corner ;)
  • Spot the leftover Sticky Date Pudding ;)
Hopefully next time when I've actually washed my hair in the morning, I will APPEAR to you and cook! 

Homemade Meatballs & Salt and Pepper Prawns Recipe

Tonight, I was expecting 7 guests to come over to our house for Bible Study. I love Monday nights. It is not only the opportunity to study God's word, but it is also the chance for us to catch up & enjoy the fellowship. Whilst we enjoy each other's company, I thought I would make some freshly made, hot finger foods so we can enjoy the experience to the fullest! After all, isn't food all about sharing? :)

So tonight, I decided to make Gary Mehigan's Homemade Meatballs and Salt & Pepper Prawns.


The recipe for these homemade meatballs have already been posted previously on this blog as part of a saucy pasta dish. Check out the recipe here.

So that brings our focus to the Salt & Pepper Prawns. It is actually quite simple, consisting of only 5 ingredients... and 3 out of the 5 ingredients are named in the title of the dish, lol. Salt, pepper & prawns! So what are the other two ingredients? Oh let me just do the whole recipe layout thing...


Ingredients:
1 cup of corn flour
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp grounded black pepper
600g raw tiger prawns, deveined and shelled, tail on.
Canola / vegetable oil for deep frying


Optional: Fresh red chillis for garnish.

The method is pretty simple. In a bowl, mix the corn flour, salt and pepper. Heat oil in the wok until it is hot. Lightly coat the prawns in the corn flour mix, shake off excess and deep fry for about 3-4 minutes until the prawns turn opaque.

To garnish, lightly pan fry sliced red chillis and sprinkle on top of the prawns.

Serve prawns with seafood cocktail sauce, and serve meatballs with sweet chilli sauce.

All About Good Food & Good Company

The thing I love about today is that it was all about good food & good company. To protect the privacy of my friends, no names will be mentioned... but you will soon see from my photos that we had a FEAST enough to feed an entire soccer team! Ok maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but it truly was a lot of food and we had plenty of leftovers and everyone went home really, really full ... :)

I hope this is not becoming a typical Sunday otherwise hubby and I will end up really fat really quick, lol. We went to a gathering and had a lovely typical Aussie lunch BBQ.

Firstly, take a look at what we had just for pre-lunch nibbles and snacks!

By the time we got through most of this, I was already half full.

And then of course we had salads and BBQ meat... lamb chops, sausages...

Chicken wings... more sausages...

There was even a vegetarian lasagna for the non-meat eaters aka vegetarians...

And we also had CAKE for dessert! What a feast...

And that was just for lunch.. if you think we have had enough meat, think again... because after a few hours "break" while we went off to see Iron Man 2 at the cinemas, we came back to our friend's place and he cooked us a fantastic dinner...

SUPER HUGE Rib Eye Steak served with roast potatoes, long beans and dutch carrots... shiny and tasty dutch carrots I must say, all caramelised in butter and sugar.. yummmm...

To end our meal, and to end the DAY of eating lots of food! Steamed pudding served with vanilla ice-cream. By this time, I really just couldn't finish my dessert. I'm spoilt! I should go and do an hour's worth of exercise now really... but it's late so I will say goodnight :)

Marinated Lamb Rack served with Mashed Potatoes w/ Spring Onions & Asian Stirfried Vegetables

Serves 2, Kimba's Original Recipe

Marinated Lamb Rack
Marinate Lamb Rack with rosemary, dark soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Cook in the oven for approximately 25 mins at 200C preheated.

Mashed Potatoes (with spring onion)
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 stalks of spring onions
75ml full cream milk
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in water until it is tender. Drain the water and combine with milk, butter and spring onions. Cook for approx. 1 min and mash the potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Asian Stirfried Vegetables
1 carrot, chopped into medium sized sticks
Green beans, chopped into medium sized sticks
Snow peas
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp of pounded dried shrimp
Cooking oil

Heat oil in a wok/pan, add garlic and dried shrimp, fry until fragrant.
Add carrots, green beans and snow peas until cooked. No need to add salt/pepper as the natural flavors of the dried shrimp and combination with potatoes, lamb and mint sauce later on would create an overall flavor to the dish.

To serve: Serve the vegetables on bed of mashed potatoes, top with lamb racks and drizzle mint sauce on top of the meat.

Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Recipe from www.taste.com.au - Serves 8


I am not a huge dessert person but I do love Sticky Date Pudding, it's one of my favorites! Nothing beats warm sticky date pudding served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream. The recipe is actually quite simple! I hope you like this one... something sweet for a change eh? :)

Ingredients

250g pitted dates, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
125g butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted

Caramel Sauce

1 cup brown sugar
300ml thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g butter, chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 7cm deep, 22cm (base) cake pan and line base with baking paper.

Place dates and bicarbonate soda in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand, uncovered, for 20 mins or until dates are tender.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, stir in date mixture and flour. Mix until well combined.

Spoon mixture into cake pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.

Make caramel sauce: Combine sugar, cream, vanilla and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 mins or until boiling. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour warm sauce over warm cake. Cut into wedges. Serve with vanilla ice cream.