Wrap of Lamb


Now that you’ve roasted a whole leg of lamb, how does one make the refrigerated leftovers look appetising again? Stick them in a wrap for lunch in a snap!

  • roast lamb leftovers, sliced
  • tzatziki, a few tablespoonfuls
  • salad leaves or spinach, handful
  • wholewheal wrap/s, as needed

  1. If eating immediately (as opposed to packing a school or work lunch), the lamb may be heated gently in a 200C oven for 10-15 mins, in aluminium foil. When done, slice thinly
  2. Prepare the wraps – spread tzatziki over the wrap
  3. Dot with tabasco if desired, arrange salad leaves on top
  4. Top with meat and roll up
  5. As an alternative to the tzatziki, yoghurt may be used, flavoured with some fresh, chopped mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice

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January 21, 2009. Tags: , , . Dinners, Herbs, Mains, One-dish meals. Leave a comment.

Oatmeal


I had taken oatmeal for granted until loads of friends began asking how to cook it ‘from scratch’ – as opposed to the ready-prepped packages with sugar thrown in. Well, here’s how.

  • rolled oats, 1/2 cup per person
  • salt, pinch of
  • milk or water, 3/4 cup per person
  • cinnamon, sugar, etc – according to preference
  • fruit – berries, bananas, raisins, as desired

  1. The minimal-mess way to prepare oatmeal, I find, is to bung it in the microwave
  2. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Microwave on High for 2 mins 40 seconds if only preparing for one person, and about 3 mins 30 seconds for more people. Watch that it doesn’t spill over ūüėČ
  4. Remove bowl from microwave and stir a couple of tablespoons of cold milk into oatmeal – this gives it a smooth, creamy texture
  5. Add other flavourings at this point as desired
  6. Slice fresh banana or throw a handful of berries over the top
  7. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle brown sugar over.
  8. Et voila – a healthy low-glycemic breakfast with fibre that could help lower cholesterol levels!

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January 18, 2009. Tags: , , . Breakfast, Kids Cuisine, Nutrition. Leave a comment.

Peter Piper picked.. a Pita Pocket with Falafel


Not the tidiest looking of meals but certainly one of the speediest to put together – quicker, even, than a McDonald meal. This protein-packed pita pocket is delicious and will do one a lot more good than a production-line burger.

Falafel is a popular street food which hails from the Middle East. They are deep-fried veggie balls made of fava beans, chick peas (garbanzo beans) or a mixture of both.

  • wholegrain pita pockets, 2 (to serve one)
  • crisp romaine leaves, handful – torn or chopped
  • falafel, 2 or 3 per pocket
  • spicy tomato salsa, 1 generous tbsp
  • tabasco sauce, a couple of drops
  • hummus, 1 1/2-2 tbsp per pocket
  1. Lightly toast pita pockets or zip in microwave a few seconds to warm them
  2. Warm the falafels in the oven or microwave for 25-30 seconds on high
  3. To assemble, spread hummus in a pita pocket, layer romaine on top
  4. Add some salsa and stuff with falafel
  5. A couple of dashes of tabasco (if you like the heat) and you’re off!

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January 15, 2009. Tags: . Dinners, Kids Cuisine, Mains, One-dish meals, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Malaysian Curry Puffs


I get fits of nostalgia for Southeast Asian food. Once you’ve had a whiff of those spices, it’s hard to go back! My mother used to make these at Christmas or for birthdays or sometimes when we nagged her to. While the original versions tend to be deep fried and nevertheless are exceedingly delicious, I have become a little obsessed with worries about clogged arteries, and so prefer to bake the patties. The end result is pretty much as tasty as what you’ll find on Malaysian streets, with a lot more meat content and a whole barrel less grease!

For the pastry:

  • butter, 250g of the real thing, cold and cubed
  • plain flour, 500g
  • salt, 1 to 1 1/2 tsp
  • egg yolk, 1, beaten
  • very cold water, a few tbsp

  1. In a food processor, pulse the butter, salt and flour till it resembles bread crumbs
  2. Add the egg yolk and pulse a few times
  3. Add water by the tablespoonful until the pastry comes together
  4. Remove from the processor, divide into two discs, wrap and refrigerate


For the filling:

  • minced beef or chicken, 300g
  • potatoes, 2 large
  • onions, 3 medium
  • chilli, 1 green, chopped finely
  • ginger, 1 1/2 inches worth, minced finely
  • garlic, 5 cloves, minced finely
  • ground cloves, 1/4 tsp
  • ground cummin, 1 tsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tbsp
  • ground chilli, 3/4 tsp
  • coriander leaves, 1 large handful, chopped
  • curry leaves, handful
  • mustard seeds, 3/4 tsp
  • 1 beaten egg, to brush pastries with


  1. Preheat the oven to about 200C, 400F
  2. Fry the onions, garlic, ginger, chili, along with the mustard seeds and curry leaves till fragrant
  3. Add all the ground spices, saute for about five minutes
  4. Add the minced beef or chicken, stir till everything is combined
  5. Separately, boil the potatoes till almost done, cool, skin and cube
  6. Add a little stock or water, cover and cook the meat for 10 mins, then add potatoes
  7. Cook for a further 15 minutes, add coriander leaves, stir into the meat, allow to cool
  8. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge after 20-30 mins and roll out
  9. Cut into small rounds with a pastry cutter
  10. Fill with the filling, bring the edges together and combine firmly (you may have to get creative here but you could twist the pastry in the style shown in the picture above)
  11. At this stage, the pastries may be frozen for future use
  12. Brush the top of the pastries with a mixture of beaten egg
  13. Place them on a Pam-ed baking sheet lined with aluminium foil (to save on cleaning)
  14. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!


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January 12, 2009. Tags: , , . Asian, Baked Goods, Indian, Savories. Leave a comment.

Cheesy Shapes


This is an easy and healthy snack for kids which I’ve adapted from a recipe of Nigella Lawson’s. Although it’s definitely her creation and I clearly remember the picture that went with it (of cheesy feet!), I have guessed at the ingredients to produce these because I couldn’t immediately locate the original recipe. Nevertheless, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. Trust me!

  • cheddar cheese or mix of cheeses, grated, 500g
  • plain flour, 150g
  • butter, softened, a couple of tablespoons of

  1. Preheat the oven to about 175C, 390F
  2. In a food processor, pulse the grated cheese with the flour
  3. Add the butter and pulse further till the dough comes together
  4. Divide it into managable rounded pieces, wrap and refrigerate
  5. After 15 minutes, roll out each round and cut into whatever shape you fancy
  6. Bake till golden brown, about 10 mins
  7. Allow to cool and place in an airtight container
  8. Serve whenever the kids are hungry!

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January 8, 2009. Tags: , , . Baked Goods, Kids Cuisine. 2 comments.

Hazelnut and Blackberry Torte


The one that got away before I could photograph it. This is what’s left of my new year’s experiment – a hazelnut and blackberry torte, which everyone wanted seconds of.

Please enquire Indoors if you’re interested in this classified recipe. It’s my birthday so I can have my cake, and keep it too! ūüôā

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January 3, 2009. Tags: . Baked Goods, Cakes, Desserts, Festive. 1 comment.

Easy as (Banoffee) Pie


There are three things about cooking that I enjoy – the doing of it, the satisfaction of seeing the end product and the vicarious pleasure of having everyone else eat it with gusto.

What better way to start off the new year than with a luscious, sweet banoffee pie. Easily put together (after the toffee is made), it vanishes quicker than you can say ‘Banof..’

  • heavy cream, 1 cup
  • sugar, 2-3 tbsp
  • vanilla, 3/4 tsp
  • condensed milk, 2 cans
  • readymade graham pie crust, 1
  • bananas, ripe, 3-4
  1. First, cover the two cans of condensed milk in a pan with boiling water and boil for two hours, topping up with fresh boiled water as needed. This is the easy, clean and miraculous way of making toffee
  2. The safer alternative (in case you have a dud can or are worried about one) is to open the cans and pour the cream into a baking receptacle, cover with foil and bake at 180C for an hour or till caramelized (you will know when the milk’s colour has turned a caramel golden brown
  3. Then, assemble the pie: Slice the bananas directly onto the graham crust
  4. Once cool, open the cans of toffee and pour over the bananas
  5. Whip the cream till almost stiff, add vanilla and sugar, continue whipping till stiff
  6. Plop over the toffee and smooth it or decorate as you please
  7. For a final touch, grate some dark chocolate directly onto the cream
  8. Refrigerate till needed

Happy new year!

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January 2, 2009. Tags: , , , . Baked Goods, British, Desserts, Kids Cuisine. Leave a comment.