Sushi Bowl


As you all may know, I recently bought way too much smoked salmon for two people in my household... and hubby doesn't even like salmon that much!! He would eat it, just not on its own. I think he's weird.

So I was busy making salmon dishes and thanks to all of you, my previous Smoked Salmon Appetizers and Salad blog post made it to FoodBuzz Top 9! Thank You, Merci, Muchos Gracias, Terima Kasih, Shie Shie and Arigato to all of you!

I've decided to save this dish for last and to feature it on its own because it is absolutely awesome! The idea originated from Twitter when my lovely friend Fieran commented and said I should try this! It never even crossed my mind to make an "open sushi" dish in a bowl... what a brilliant idea! So I started googling for recipes and ideas and finally decided her recipe was the best guide because it was so much simpler than the rest of the recipes I found online and just as delicious!

Ingredients:
200 grams of smoked salmon, sliced into strips
1 large avocado, cubed
1 cup of rice, cooked
4 stalks of spring onions, sliced
A handful of sesame seeds
100g cubed tofu, fried
2-3 sheets of seaweed - sliced into strips

For the sauce:
2 oranges
1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons of Japanese soya sauce
1-2 tablespoons of Japanese rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of sugar

Method: 
  1. To have grains of rice cooked without sticking to each other, cook rice in 400ml boiling and salted water. Once the rice is soft enough to your preference, drain the water off and serve rice on bowls.
  2. Boil juice of 2 oranges and 1 lemon with some orange and lemon zest. When the juice starts to bubble, add in soya sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Stir quickly and switch off the stove. (The amount of soya sauce, rice vinegar and sugar is up to you. The mixture should be a slight brownish/orangish colour).
  3. Serve rice with a little bit of everything. Drizzle the sauce on the rice and sprinkle sesame seeds and seaweed strips.

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    Smoked Salmon Appetizers and Salad


    Earlier this week, while shopping for some smoked salmon so we can have a healthy salad for dinner - I was stuck in a serious dilemma at the supermarket for a good 3 minutes! You see, I only needed 200g of smoked salmon to make my salad. But, I've worked it out that if I buy 200g only, the price per kg was $60! On the other hand, buying a whole 1kg packet of smoked salmon was only $30/kg. There is another twist - the 1kg bag was on special because it has already been thawed and therefore I could not re-freeze them. Once opened, it needs to be used up within 24 hours. Could hubby and I really eat 1kg worth of salmon within 24 hours? That's dinner + lunch + dinner, lol. YEAHHH why not! A bit of a salmon overload, but salmon's a good source of Omega 3 so that's our intake for the month all sorted! Umm... I don't think it works that way but oh well!

    To make these Smoked Salmon Appetizers, you will need to stack these ingredients:
    • Paris Mini Toasts
    • Spreadable Creamed Cheese
    • Smoked Salmon, cut into squares
    • Fresh Dill herbs

    Another way you can serve a Smoked Salmon Appetizer using the same ingredients (without mini toasts) is to roll a chunk of creamed cheese using your palms to form a thin cylinder shaped mould, and then wrap the sliced salmon pieces around the cheese, cut them into chunks and serve garnished with Dill. Absolutely beautiful presentation and delicious!

     

    And then, to make an easy Smoked Salmon Salad, toss these ingredients together:
    • Mixed Green Salad Leaves
    • Half a cucumber, thinly sliced
    • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • Smoked salmon, sliced
    • 1 avocado, sliced into pieces
    • Pecan nuts, crushed (optional)
    • Ranch / Caesar dressing
    • A drizzle of lemon juice
    Just when I thought I have had enough salmon, there is still ONE more salmon dish to blog about... that one is kinda special so I will reserve a solo blog entry for that recipe.

    P/S: Happy Australia Day!


    What To Do With Leftover Roast Lamb


    A couple of weeks ago, I bought a massive boneless leg of lamb from CostCo and left it in the office freezer. Over the weekend, I decided to take the lamb (now frozen) home and planned to quickly put it back in the freezer at home before it thawed. After all, I could not possibly cook the lamb for just the two of us.. this could easily feed 8 hungry people!

    But... DOH! I took it out of the car (in an environmental friendly shopping bag) and just left it there on my office chair and forgot to put it straight into the freezer! So guess what, the meat thawed overnight and I did not have a dinner party planned... but I did manage to share some of that meat with my brother and sister in law who lived across the road, and two other last minute guests. A lot of meat for 6 people.

    Here is the recipe for my Garlic and Rosemary Slow Cooked Roast Lamb.

    But still, there were leftovers!! What to do with it the next day??


    I chopped up the leftover roast lamb, cooked some elbow pasta, and added some green peas and tossed it in Leggo's Alfredo Sauce. I then sprinkled shredded tasty cheese all over the top and baked the casserole for approx. 40 minutes in 180 degrees preheated oven. Voila! I was happy, hubby was happy, and no food was wasted. There was even enough of leftover casserole for lunch the next day. All good!

    That was just one of the many ways you can use leftover roast meat. Other options would be meat for sandwiches or wraps or kebabs, a hearty stew / soup and of course, eat it the way you had it the night before! Served with gravy, roast potatoes and steamed veggies!


    Epic Meal Time Inspired Feast


    Have you seen the Epic Meal Time YouTube Channel? I've only been introduced to this by one of hubby's friends recently - when a bunch of guys came over to help hubby with some work in our backyard, they specifically asked if I could prepare an "Epic Meal Time" dinner feast for them once they've finished working hard. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I said "ok" anyway. He gave me two clues "meat" and "quantity".. I still went "OK" without doing my research on the internet, lol.

    So, just based on what I was told - I decided to cook up a feast for 4 people. Epic feast.

    (Please read the end of this entry before checking out Epic Meal Time on YouTube)


    Basically a spread we couldn't possibly finish even if we tried. And we tried. And we failed. There were plenty of leftovers, lol.


    I cooked up a massive Pork Crackling Roast with Rosemary, the crispy crackling was amazing. We barely ate half of the entire roast, but the skin was gone in a few seconds.


    Just when you thought there was more than enough meat, I also brought out a small portion of Chicken Mignons.. cut in half, because we definitely could not eat a whole one with the rest of the spread to chow down. Recipe for the Chicken Mignon here.


    A pasta and potato salad from Coles, couldn't be bothered to make this one from scratch!


    A wonderful Green Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Avocadoes, Cucumber and Feta Cheese!


    Potato Gems! They're as good if not better than chips. Oven roasted, of course.


    And, if you notice at the very far corner I have some steamed corn cobs... as well as some garlic bread on the table. It was quite a feast!

    So, the verdict was "oh look, there's BACON wrapped chicken! Definitely Epic Meal Time.."

    I was still confused.

    So after dinner, the boys showed me the YouTube Channel. I was in shock, haha. It was basically a full on blokey food channel featuring an overdose of greasy meat dishes covered in potato chips or fries or too much cheese or anything creamy and just completely unhealthy. Supposedly very manly. Yep.. their food creations actually make me feel extremely healthy in comparison. It was pretty awesome yet I felt pretty sick watching all that food they were eating.

    Ok, I know you're curious now... go ahead and check out Epic Meal Time :)



    Peanut Satay & Chilli Chicken with Green Beans


    Cooking for two doesn't have to be fancy. However, you shouldn't compromise on the delicious factor and the fulfilling factor. I always need to be fully satisfied with my meals - whether it's a light or moderate or heavy meal, it just needs to have that "YUM" factor. This dish is definitely one of them!

    Ingredients:
    3-4 chicken thigh fillets, sliced into bite-sized pieces
    1 tsp chilli paste
    150g peanuts, roughly crushed
    1 tbsp light soy sauce
    1 tsp caster sugar
    2 tbsp canola oil
    2 tbsp crunchy / light peanut butter
    1/4 cup full cream milk
    Salt and pepper to taste
    300g green beans, chopped 1-inch long
    Cooked noodles to serve

    Method:
    Marinate chicken pieces in chilli, crushed peanuts, light soy sauce and caster sugar, preferably overnight. To cook, heat canola oil in a wok. Toss chicken in oil until just browning. Add green beans and stirfry for approx. 3 min. Add peanut butter and milk, season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for another approx. 5 mins, or until green beans are just tender. Serve hot on a bed of cooked noodles.

    P/S: Don't forget to enter my cookbook giveaway! Click on image below:




    Easy Chicken Mignon Recipe


    It sure feels good to be back in the kitchen! I'm sure you're all familiar with the "Fillet Mignon" but I've decided that chicken goes just as good with bacon wrapped all around it! Here is a really simple recipe for your weeknight dinner meal, very easy to prepare and almost hassle free!

    Ingredients:
    2 chicken thigh fillets
    2 slices of middle bacon
    1/2 red capsicum, chopped
    1/2 green capsicum, chopped
    1/2 cup shredded cheese
    1/2 cup bbq sauce

    Method:
    Marinate the chicken thigh fillets in bbq sauce, preferably overnight. The next day, compact the fillets as much as you can into a round-shaped fillet, wrap the bacon around it and secure with two toothpicks. Sprinkle shredded cheese, red and green capsicum on top. Bake in the oven for approx. 35-40 minutes at preheated 180 degrees. Serve with green salad and garlic bread.

    Well, that was an easy not too complicated comeback wasn't it! Don't forget to enter my cookbook giveaway - open to all residents anywhere in the world!






    Another Random Cookbook Giveaway!

    Hello everyone!

    To start off this new year, and to thank all of you for your wonderful support, I am feeling generous and would like to giveaway a FREE cookbook and some random mystery gifts compliments of Kimba's Kitchen.

    All you need to do to qualify for this giveaway:

    1. Comment on this post with your name and email address
    OR
    2. Follow me on Twitter (all new followers from today's date will qualify)
    OR
    3. Like me on Facebook (all new followers from today's date will qualify)

    If you do ALL of the above you will of course TRIPLE your chances!

    I will pick ONE lucky winner randomly, and ONE lucky winner whom I will choose personally if I feel he / she probably deserves a prize or in serious need of a cookbook, lol.

    This little giveaway is OPEN TO ALL RESIDENTS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD so spread the word! Ends January 30th 2011.

    South Pacific Christmas Cruise 2010 - Rhapsody of the Seas - Vanuatu and New Caledonia (Part 4)

    Part 4: Port of Calls

    According to Wikipedia, the most reliable yet unreliable source on the internet, a Port of Call is "an intermediate stop for a ship on its sailing itinerary, which may include up to half a dozen ports. At these ports, a cargo ship may take on supplies or fuel, as well as unloading and loading cargo. But for a cruise ship, it is their premier stop where the cruise lines take on passengers to enjoy their vacation".

    Hubby and I well and truly enjoyed our vacation over the Christmas break in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands. We stopped at four Port of Calls where we had about 8 hours in each stop to explore each island. In my final part of this cruise holiday series, I will run through each Port of Call and its main attractions. Enjoy!

    21st December 2010 - Isle of Pines, New Caledonia


    Being the first stop, this island truly took my breath away. It was a very warm day, and even from a distance we saw the tall pine trees clearly distinguishing its uniqueness and thus the name. The crystal clear blue waters were so inviting, we spent hours in the water just admiring the beauty of our surroundings.


    When we first arrived, we were greeted by the locals. I love seeing the local kids run around and I loved absorbing the French influenced culture of the New Caledonians.

    There were some shopping opportunities - although not much, it was enough for me to acquire my one and only desired souvenir whenever I travel - a FRIDGE MAGNET! Hehe.

    Hubby and I went for a little walk before I gave up due to the heat. I just wanted to skip to the snorkeling part of our trip! So hubby went on with another guy we've made friends with while we were on the ship, and I went on to the beach to join his wife and kids.

    A picture of hubby when he proudly completed the intensely hot 5km walk to the town centre.. :)


    A picture of the Catholic Church at town.


    When hubby finally came back, we spent hours snorkeling and admiring the beautiful coral reefs and the colorful fish and other sea creatures just within arms reach. It was one of the most incredible first experiences for me (yes - I've never been out snorkeling before this day) and I really looked forward to doing more snorkeling in the next few port of calls because that was basically all this trip was about!


    Snorkeling especially around "The Rock" was incredible.

    22nd December 2010 - Mystery Island, Vanuatu


    Mystery Island is a really, really small island. Seriously you can walk all the way around the island in less than 30 minutes! That's how small it is. But the beauty of Mystery Island is the untouched corals and yes, another amazing location for snorkeling and diving. On the day we were here, the weather wasn't that friendly. It rained and then stopped, then rain and stopped again. But that didn't stop us from enjoying our day!


    This is how we got on and off the tender boats. The busiest days in these islands are when cruise ship tourists come!


    Despite its size, Mystery Island actually has quite a large marketplace compared to Isle of Pines. Souvenir galore! Of course, we were only interested in fridge magnets ;)


    Hair braiding is a very popular activity here at these islands. However, I didn't get my hair braided - I didn't want to ruin my hair or have to deal with the massive poofy hair afterwards!

    Fresh Lobsters! We didn't try these "just in case" we get food poisoning..

    Also very popular, fresh lobsters!!

    I didn't get to eat them though, just in case our stomachs couldn't handle it - wouldn't want to go through the rest of the cruise with food poisoning! I know that's silly, life is short and we should've just gone for it. Others did and they were fine!


    A random photo opportunity. I would've been quite scared actually, haha.


    As you can see the waters at Mystery Island is just as blue and clear and gorgeous!


    Simply incredible. Writing this now, I can't believe we are back at work living our daily routines and no longer there in PARADISE! Arghh...

    23rd December 2010 - Noumea, New Caledonia

    Noumea was the only Port of Call where the ship actually docked at the port instead of just tendering. In the morning, we hopped on a bus to get to our pre-planned excursion aka kayaking expedition.

    Kayaking in Dumbea

    We were kayaking on the Dumbea River, about 25 minutes away from the port. We kayaked for about an hour and a half including swimming in the river. Then, the bus took us back to the ship. We freshened up and then took another bus to the town centre in Noumea.

    To be perfectly honest, other than the pretty trees and the nice looking church we saw on our way - we didn't really like Noumea very much! Kayaking was okay, but when we got to town we were just too HOT to really enjoy walking - and the buildings were normal, and the streets were unclean, and the only time I really relaxed was when we stepped into a large souvenir shop with really strong air conditioning! I made sure I look at souvenirs very slowly in that shop, to make the most of the air con. We ended up buying a fridge magnet AND a wooden shark, lol. Overspent!

    A photo of the streets in the middle of town.


    This was where our bus dropped us off and picked us up. I suppose Noumea wasn't THAT bad, but because of the extreme heat it just wasn't that enjoyable without the beautiful water to look at, hehe.


    Even in the shade where people sat to eat lunch, it was HOT!

    24th December 2010 - Lifou, Loyalty Islands


    Thankfully, Noumea wasn't our last stop or I would've been pretty annoyed! When we arrived at Lifou the next day, I was back in my happy place. Lifou is just as amazing if not more amazing than Isle of Pines!


    We saw some cute village huts :)

    Souvenirs, souvenirs..

    Shopping was just as plenty :)

    We saw a massive TURTLE in the water! Although the pics ended up bad, we saw the turtle very clearly it was so awesome :)

    Butterfly!

    We went for a walk and there were butterflies everywhere!


    We got up to the top of the hill where the church was, and the view from the top was spectacular! We saw our ship from a distance... with the tender boats at work!


    View of Lifou from the top of the hill where we walked up to.. hmm... this photo makes it look like we walked very far to take this picture from the port, lol.


    View of the other side of Lifou!


    A random awesome shot :)


    And finally when we were done exploring and needed to cool off, we jumped into one of the best locations IN THE WORLD for snorkeling, right here at Lifou island. I've overheard some people say it's even better than Australia's Great Barrier Reef! It was truly magnificent - the perfect end to our cruise holiday as we headed back to Sydney, Australia that night.
    Well, boys and girls that concludes my series of blog posts dedicated to my recent cruise holiday. I hope you enjoyed the little stories and especially the photos I've shared. This holiday was a very memorable one, so I'm actually quite happy to share this here on my blog.

    I will be back to blogging my day to day cooking adventures very soon! In fact, I already have a few posts up my sleeve while I took the time to write these cruise blog entries. Stay tuned