Monday, April 26, 2010

Simply Salmon and AsparAgus

Roses are red, Violets are blue,
Salmon is sweet, you can do it too.

Ok, that was lame, but thats how simple it is to enjoy a good slab of salmon at home.  The magic of fish, especially fresh ones, is that they don't need much to prepare.  Well, except for removing the insides and scaling of course.  And it depends on what kind of fish you're preparing.  Some have tiny bones that can really jam into your throat and sabotage your entire day, or two! 

On second thought, fish is not easy to prepare.  So I'll skip all the BS sentiments and say this, "go get a good slab of fresh salmon, a healthy portion of asparagus, some lime, and rush home.

Because a good meal is just 15 minutes away! No frills!

Clean the salmon.  Sprinkle some salt and black pepper, or white if you prefer. Break the asparagus into manageable pieces, say thumb length. Chop some garlic, as much as you prefer.

Get a non stick pan and heat some oil.  Non stick pans allow you to use as little oil as possible.  But if you love olive oil, go extra virgin, go wild! 

Grill the salmon on both sides.  To save time, saute the garlic at the same time.  As the garlic sweat and turns golden, throw in the asparagus.  Stir the asparagus with a chopstick at best, while taking care of the salmon, make sure all sides are cooked.  That includes the skin on the sides.   This requires a good set of thongs; just be careful not to scratch the pan, and try to look sexy with them thongs!  Remember the limes?  Some lime juice will give a tangy flavor to the mix as well.

When the salmon is cooked, take it out of the pan and put aside. Now you can have some fun while tossing the asparagus. Apart from getting evenly cooked, this will also mix the asparagus with the salmon flavor in the oil and lime juice all over the pan.  Sprinkle some water if you'l like your vege wet.  Don't forget some salt to taste.

After some fun your meal is cooked.  Pour the vege to the salmon side and dig in.  Have some mustard on the side just in case.  Some tomato ketchup could also do the trick.  Enjoy!

After the meal, you'll only have one pan to clean, one plate and a set of fork and spoon, and a pair of thongs.  You might want to clean the ones you're wearing as well.  But that's another story ain't it?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The simplest honest to goodness prawn spaghetti

Here's my all time favorite recipe, inspired by pizza hut's prawn spaghetti many years back.  It requires five basic ingredients namely spaghetti, prawns, broccoli and garlic and dried chili.  The essential part to remember is the deshelling of the prawns.  The head 'juice' or the brain blob of the prawn is the flavor foundation for this dish. That is why the prawns must be as fresh as possible, otherwise the juice would easily fall off the prawn during the peeling process.

Ok, nuff said. Let.s get to the pictures.

These are your major ingredients. Before you start to prepare them, boil water in a stock pot; they're for your spaghetti.  While the water is boiling, prepare the prawns, brocolli, dried chili and garlic. In the midst you'll have to throw in your spaghetti into the boiling water and continue with the ingredients preparation.

If you're cooking for one person, the whole process will be done simultaneously. And viola, you can start to saute the garlic and dried chili in extra virgin olive oil, or any of your favorite.  Bring the garlic to light brown and then add the brocolli.

Notice the quantity of my vege? I love them this much!
Stir fry the brocolli till they are soft, probably 5 minutes, and some juice seeps out to moisten the mix.  Add some salt, just enough for the vege.  Then throw in the al dente spaghetti, or whichever texture you wish.

Mix well and bring everything to uniform heat, just in case the spaghetti got cold for any reason. Add some salt for the spaghetti.

Finally throw in the prawns, quantity depends on how many you like and can take before it gives you a headache.  I recomend not more that 12 per person, coz that's a little risky for the heart, I guess.  Well, think of it as your prawn buffet. Stir fry and mix well for about 5 minutes or till the prawns are cooked.

That's it! Dig in! 
You can add some parmesan cheese, lime and coriander if you wish.  In fact, the vege can be any of your favorite, like snow peas or asparagus. They're mine actually. 

Oh, don't forget to scrape every ounce of the rich prawn paste in the pot.  That's where the magic really is.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Las Vegan @ Salad Bar

I finally satisfied my curiosity over this new joint called 'the salad bar' located just a few doors (and levels) down my office.

Having made to 'sapu' my coleague's yong tau fu at the pantry, I lost my lunch direction; I suddenly have no idea as to what I'd have for lunch.  Can't blame her though. She forgot that she's a very small eater and took more than she could chew.

Now I'm a person who needs to complete my daily routine, including lunch.  Since it was already late afternoon, I thought I drop by somewhere near and have something light.  And there's no nearer place than this new cafe called 'the salad bar' which serves no lighter meal than salads.  I've been meaning to check it out for a while now since I walk by it almost everyday.

At first glance, the exterior doesn't really look inviting.  The blinding sunlight, the glare and reflection from the glass window doesn't help during afternoon lunch time.  Luckily the only banner standing outside the shop shows sufficient variety, enough to entice even the non health conscious to pay more atention. Myself by the way, am on the border.

"Step inside! There's something for everyone" says the outlook.

I did.  The atmosphere instantly changed form a blinding hazy glare to a crisp, clean and calm setting.  Maybe I came in late, and there was just one diner. Nevertheless, it was serene.  The same concept they have for their website,

I don't know much about salads so I chose the old granny caesar.

My fresh brewed coffee came in a big mug; note to self: I should have ordered fresh fruit juice instead.  Besides, coffee isn't exaclty the pairing for a healthy meal like salad.  And at a joint like this, it's totally my bad.

My old granny came in a big plate.  I like the italian dressing, mild but flavorful.  The toast, really good! If only they come in the form of croutons.  Easier to distribute with every spoonful of fresh cut greens.  And the sliced olives gives the salad that savory depth.  And while the sliced chicken pieces complement one's carnivorous desires, it was rather dry to be appreciated.  Or maybe that's just caesar.  The grated cheese could be more tasty as well; must be cheddar.  Parmesan or romano would have been perfect.

Halfway through my plate I was already full.  There I was thinking I'd have a light snack. 

Wrong... People say that the best way to 'trick' your body into feeling full without accumulating all the fat is to eat more vege, just as Maggie would say in her latest ads. So I slowly downed every last bit of green, for health, fertility and beyond....!

After paying for my meal, I thought to myself, 'that wasn't bad at all.  I could use some salad once in a while.'  I walked out of the cafe as the last vegan of the hour, well almost, if it wasn't for the chicken and egg; doesn't matter which came first.

P/s:  I wonder if anyone dining at darabeef would make a pit stop at the salad bar to get their green shot prior to their meat agenda.