Tag Archives : cheese


Watermelon Salad – An Antidote to Winter 5

watermelon salad

Being a born-and-bred tropical girl, Winter is definitely not my favourite season. I hate having to rug up and battle the Winter wind and rain that Melbourne has to offer. I hate getting out of warm bed to the cold in the morning. I hate seeing trees without leaves. You get the idea. it is not my favourite season.

So while I love my citrus fruits and warm nourishing soups, stews and casseroles, I miss Summer terribly. This is why I have made this dish a few times in Winter to remind us of the good times ahead. Using all the ingredients that are available all year around (thank you, Queensland) – this salad is really simple to make and fabulous for a light dinner when it’s too cold to bother with anything. Just make sure you don’t make it with cold watermelon from straight the fridge.

watermelon salad

Watermelon Salad For Two

  1. 700 g watermelon at room temperature, seedless variety or seeds removed, chopped into large cubes
  2. 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  3. 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  4. 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 lime, juiced
  6. 50 g goat’s cheese or feta cheese
  7. 3 spring onions, chopped
  8. 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
  9. salt & pepper, to taste

In a nonstick frying pan, drizzle about 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and heat. Add pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Toss the seeds in the olive oil and toast gently on low heat until they start to colour. Take the pan off the heat off immediately as the seeds will continue to cook and may burn. Continue to toss for another minute or so.

toasted seeds

The seeds will now be excellent finger food. But refrain yourself from nibbling them. Save them for the salad!

Mix together the lime juice and 1 tsp of olive oil. Season to taste and drizzle on the watermelon. Add the spring onions and mint and toss gently. Sprinkle with the seeds.

Or you can file this recipe away for Summer and take it to your first barbecue of the year and wow your friends.

This time last year I made: Prawns and Glass Noodles in Claypot (Goong Ob Woonsen)


Breakfast Bruschetta 1

I’m really tired and lazy tonight, so I give you one of my breakfast inventions while I was in Singapore:

breakfast brushetta

The Breakfast Bruschetta!

First of all, I have an issue with people correcting my pronunciation. I may not be Italian, but we’re talking about food here. So believe me. I know. And it’s broo-skeh-ta. So please, dear twenty-one-year-old-uni-student-slash-actor-slash-waiter-at-the-pub, do not try to correct me with broo-chet-ta non-sense.

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What it is, really, is just toast topped with veggies sauteed in a bit of pasta sauce. I was just trying to make it sound posher than it is 😛

For 4 pieces of toast:

  1. 4 pieces of toast, obviously. I recommend GOOD crusty bread.
  2. 4 slices of cheese (I just use Colby because it’s always in the fridge)
  3. 2 cups of sliced zucchini, red capsicum, eggplant,
  4. 1 tablespoon of pinenuts
  5. 2 tablespoons of Leggo’s Stir-Through pasta sauce – Tomato, Olive and Chilli

IMG_6449

This recipe dates back to my time in Singapore when my then-housemate used had a little toaster oven.  I would toast the bread slices topped with cheese so that the cheese was nice and melted. I haven’t tried to replicate this back in Melbourne where I am toaster ovenless. Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

IMG_6448

So toast the pinenuts in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat until browned. Keep moving the nuts, they toast really fast if you’re not careful and the last thing you want in the morning in burnt bits of pine nuts to set off the smoke alarm. Set the toasted pine nuts aside. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and add in the veggies. Keep moving them around the pan until they colour nicely. Add the pasta sauce and stir around for another two minutes or so. Sprinkle in the toasted pinenuts In the pictures, I added some spring onions but this isn’t necessary at all. I think I must have just had them lying around.

IMG_6452

Chuck the veggies on the toasts.Gobble. Run for the train. Miss the train. Be late for work. C’est la vie.


Red Centre Trip: Breakfast and Picnic Lunch at a Rest Stop 4

My breakfast the next day after we left Adelaide:

fried eggs, bacon and salad

Fried eggs, bacon and salad (who says fried breakfast can’t be healthy?) Pretty much the same ingredients from the night before. Josh had settled on banana on toast and Mum on the leftover fried rice.

fried eggs

I fried up the bacon first and ended up with a lot of bacon fat, which I fried the eggs in. Hmmm. Bacon fat. I then scrambled a few eggs together, add a touch of soy sauce and made omelet. I also threw in the leftover bacon – only the rindless part though. The streaky bits would have been wrong eaten cold!

omelet

After we left Adelaide (ridiculously early, might I add), we headed onto the Stuart Highway on our way to Coober Pedy and had lunch somewhere along the way at one of the rest stops. It was amazing how the trees just disappeared.

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(That’s Josh. Not me.)

We had the leftover bacon fried rice, the uber spicy, a bit of the left over salad and some sandwiches. It was a bit of a smorgasbord really.

tuna, tomato and cheese sandwich

(Josh’s invention #1: lemon & pepper tuna, tomato and Colby cheese on rye bread)

omelet and bacon sandwich

(Josh’s invention #2: omelet and bacon sandwich)

The strawberries were gone by lunch time. But the lovely cherries were still there:

cherries

I found Siamese twin cherries! Hehe.

Siamese twins!

And then we drove on to the dusty little mining town called Coober Pedy.


Ocean Trout Enchilada

Part 2 of the $20 Mexican Feast continues…

Ocean trout enchilada

I felt like a bit of fish and since enchilada seems to accommodate fish very well, I decided that enchilada would be perfect. I bought a nice ocean trout fillet from the fish monger (possible about 200g) and that was plenty enough for two of us. Remember to uncook the fish because you’ll have to bake it.

baked ocean trout enchilada

I ended up buying the Old El Paso enchilada kit from the supermarket which consisted of 8 (tiny!) corn tortilla and enchilada sauce. I know. It wasn’t supposed to be though. Unfortunately, my local supermarket didn’t carry corn tortilla on its own. And there was no way I was going to make enchilada with flour tortilla. So recap: corn tortilla not flour tortilla.

Note: this recipe makes 6 small enchiladas (there were 8 in a pack, used 2 for the soup)

Making the enchilada sauce

peeled, roasted red capsicum

(Peeled, roasted capsicum – still steaming!)

I start by roasting a capsicum under the grill on medium for about 5 minutes on each of the four sides until the skin blackened and blistered. Cover and rest the capsicum. The steam will continue to cook the capsicum until soft. Peel the capsicum, discard the seeds and chop it into piece.

Making enchilada sauce

(Adding roasted red capsicum, fresh chilli and coriander to prepacked sauce)

Bring the pre-packed enchilada sauce to boil (or if you want to make it from scratch, simmer a can of diced tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, 1 each tsp of cumin, coriander, tumeric, salt and a bit of chilli powder for 20 minutes), add the chopped roasted capsicum, 1 chopped fresh red chilli (alter depending on how spicy you want it) and 4-5 stalk of fresh coriander chopped. The one trick I learn is to add fresh ingredients to zing up bottled sauces. It tastes fantastic like you make it from scratch!

enchilada sauce

(the sauce after fresh ingredients have been blended in)

Simmer the sauce for a few more minutes. Blend the sauce and put aside while you prepare other ingredients. I used my Sunbeam Stickmaster and I can’t rave about it enough. It was the best wedding present ever!

Making the enchilada fillings

onion, capsicum, mushroom and coriander

(cooking the vegetables)

  1. 200 g. ocean trout, pinboned and cut into 3 cm cubes (don’t worry about remove the skin)
  2. 1/2 onion, sliced
  3. 3 button mushrooms, sliced
  4. 1/2 red capsicum, cut into strips
  5. 1/2 yellow capsicum, cut into strips
  6. Yet more coriander! Pile them on!

First of all, start by preheating your oven now to 200’C. Fry the onion, capsicum and mushroom together in a bit of oil until the vegetables soften and start to colour. Add chopped coriander. Set aside.

pan-frying the trout

(pan-frying the trout)

Turn the heat way up and add oil. Cut the fish into 3cm cubes and fry very them quickly on high. No more than half a minute on two sides only. You need to really under cook the fish here because it will be baked later on as well and nothing is worse than overcooked fish.

Putting them together

Heat the sauce up and fill the bottom of a baking dish up to about 2 cm.

filled tortilla

(putting the fillings together)

Place a corn tortilla on a plate. Spoon some vegetable filling (about 1 tbsp), place two cubes of cooked trout (the skin will come off easily here if you wish to remove it) and flatten the fish a bit. Roll the tortilla by folding the two side into the centre. Hold the side that the two ends meet up. It won’t stay close, don’t worry. Place the tortilla into the sauce in the baking dish, move the tortilla in the sauce a bit and then turn it upside. So now you end up with the sealed part at the bottom and the other side nicely sauced. Are you confused yet? This is basically to dispense with the need to spoon more sauce on top of each enchilada. It gets messy so I do it this way. Do the same for the rest of the enchilada. It’s important to use a baking dish that fits all of your enchilada properly.

bake until the cheese melts

(bake until the cheese melts)

Sprinkle with some grated cheese. Tasty is good. American Cheddar even better. But I have mozzarella. It doesn’t matter so much (imo, anyway). Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts.* We don’t really have the luxury of baking it until it’s nice and golden because the fish will be overcooked. If you’re using another meat, or like to cook the hell out of your fish, I recommend baking it for longer.

* The more I think about it, I should have just grilled it so the cheese will melt and browned and the fish won’t overcook. Ah well. Next time.

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