Friday, March 16, 2018

A Stir-Fry of Greens and Mushrooms

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we are cooking Greens! 
I'm cooking with Nigel Slater for this week's theme. I have a few bunches of pak choy in my garden containers that are ready to be harvested and they are perfect for this simple stir-fry dish.

Is pak choy a spring green? No idea! Ha! Instead of shredding the greens finely, I've cut them to about 2" or so in lengths. I have used fresh shiitake mushrooms and have omitted the sugar and dark soy sauce.  The pak choy already tastes great without the sugar and they do not need the dark soy sauce to cover their fresh greenness! 😁 

A simple and tasty stir-fry greens. Makes a great side dish with some fried rice and of course, with a fried egg for a complete and filling meal!

A Stir-Fry of Greens and Mushrooms
(The Kitchen Diaries II, Nigel Slater)
serves 2
3 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 red hot chillies
150gm small closed-cup mushrooms
2 heads spring greens
3 tablespoons rapeseed or other flavourless oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon caster sugar (omitted)
a little dark soy sauce (omitted)
a handful of roughly torn coriander leaves

Peel and finely shred the shallots. Peel the garlic and slice it finely. Halve the chillies, discard the seeds and cut the flesh into thin shreds. Cut the mushroom in half. Shred the greens finely. This is easier when the leaves are piled on top of one anotheer and rolled up like a cigar.
Get a wok or large, thin-bottomed pan really hot. Pour in the oil and then, just as it starts to smoke, add the shallots, garlic, chillies and ginger. Stir-fry them for thirty seconds or so, till they are fragrant and just beginning to colour. Add the mushrooms and let them colour appetizingly, moving them and the aromatics around the pan regularly. Add the shredded greens and continue cooking till they have softened but are still bright and vibrant in colour - a matter of two or three minutes. Add the fish sauce, caster sugar and soy. Wait till everything is sizzling, then throw in the coriander, toss and stir, and eat immediately.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs, theme for this week
Monthly Featured Ingredient : Greens !


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #27 hosted by 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday Morning Oatmeal

It's Breakfast Buffet at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Made Ina's oatmeal for breakfast! And I am not an oatmeal person, but this is rather nice. I'm influenced by a talk on wholegrain foods at an organic shop I always frequent, by two lovely young ladies, both are final year degree students in diet and nutrition. So, here's my wholegrain breakfast! 😀

Made it for myself since I am always alone for breakfast, so I've used only 1/3 cup of oats. Did not have any bananas, so I've cut some apple slices and added some homemade granola on top.  Used dried cranberries instead of dried cherries and the lovely golden sultanas are a gift from my neighbour during one of their travels abroad a couple of months ago.  I did not drizzle any syrup or brown sugar, even though I had my jar of orange blossom honey close by.  The oatmeal is sweet enough from the dried fruits and the granola.  I can say that this is a nice breakfast even though I am not an oatmeal person, maybe I'll try a savoury one the next time.

Sunday Morning Oatmeal
(source from
1-1/2 cups whole milk, plus extra for serving
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
Pure maple syrup or brown sugar, for serving

Heat the milk plus 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan until it starts to simmer. Add the oatmeal and salt, bring to a boil, then lower the heat ad simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occassionally, until thickened. Off the heat, stir in the bananas, cherries, and raisins. Place the lid on the pot and allow to sit for 2 minutres. Serve hot with maple syrup or brown sugar and extra milk.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Breakfast Buffet !

Friday, March 9, 2018

Penne with Pancetta, Onions and Chopped Tomatoes

A simple easy and tasty pasta dish, a recipe from Gino D'Acampo. Have you heard of him? I first watch him cook when he was a frequent guest chef at Saturday Kitchen, a BBC cooking show hosted by Antony Worrall Thomson, that was years ago.

I've used streaky bacon as pancetta is not easily available. And I've added more chilli flakes, which gives a mild spicy taste to the sauce.  I made this pasta for a weekday after school lunch, and it was delicious. One that I would not mind making again, as it is quick, easy and tasty! 

Penne with Pancetta, Onions and Chopped Tomatoes
(Pronto by Gino D'Acampo)
serves 4
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 large white onions, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
250gm diced pancetta
2 x 400gm can chopped tomatoes
500gm penne rigate
4 tablespoons freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
salt, to taste

  1. Bring 5 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan with 1-1/2 tablespoons of fine salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onions for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the chilli and pancetta and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, stir well and gently simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt once the sauce is cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. To get the al dente perfect bite, cook the pasta for 1 minute less than instructed on the packet and always keep the pan uncovered. A good-quality dried pasta will take 8-10 minutes to cook.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and tip back into the same saucepan in which you cooked it.
  6. Pour over the sauce, add the parsley and stir together for 30 seconds allowing the flavours to combine.
  7. Serve immediately with a large glass of Italian red wine.

If you have any of Gino D'Acampo's cookbooks, join us at Cookbook Countdown. This month's theme at CC is cooking from any of Gino D'Acampo's books. Or simply cook from any of your cookbooks (not necessarily Gino's) or magazines and link your post at CC here.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #27 hosted by