Monday, July 18, 2011

Italiano - Bon Appetito!

Its not official lar but we (nurul, yati and me) tot that it would be nice to cook and eat together once a month.  Not only we cook and eat, we also share the experience. Today's lunch was awesome! Thanks to Nurul and Yati for their lovely dishes.  Not only that we got to share with some of our fwenz in office.  we can't afford to share with everyone ... perhaps ... next time lar ... hee hee

Awesome Monday and smiles ard the table! A nice way to start the week.

L to R: Mircowaved focaccia, Baked Mushroom, Shepherd's Pie and Zuppa Seafood

Very Flavourful Baked Mushroom by Nurul

Here's the recipe for Baked Mushroom

Preparation time: 15mins
Total cooking time: 15mins
Serve 4

250g (8oz) button mushrooms
200g (6 1/2oz) oyster mushrooms
200g (6 1/2oz) shiitake mushrooms
100g (3 1/3oz) swiss brown mushrooms

1 cup (80g) fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (25g) freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to moderate 180C.  Wipe the mushrooms with damp paper towel. Trim away the hard tips and discard.  Cut any large mushroom in halflengthways

Sprinkle the base of a large baking dish with a little water.  Place the mushrooms in a single layer in the dish, stems upwards.

To make Toppings: Mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, herbs, garlic and pepper, sprinkle ove the mushrooms and drizzle with oil.  Bake for 12 - 15 mins and serve warm.

C O O K ' S   F I L E
Note: Use day-old bread which slightly stale to make breadcrumbs.  Simply remove the crusts and chop in a food processor until the crumbs form.
Hint: Always wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel - washing will make them soggy.

Nice, light and flavourful broth: Zuppa Seafood By Yati
Here's the recipe for Zuppa Seafood

200g (7oz) squid tubes
4tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
15g (1/4 cup) roughly chopped parsley
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine omitted
400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes 
1.5L (6 cups) fish stock
300g (10 1/2 oz) fish fillets, such as red mullet, monkfish, cod, deep sea perch
250g (9 oz) scallops, cleaned
12 prawns (shrimp)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 slices 'country-style' bread, such as ciabatta

Place the squid flat, with the skin side up, and score a crisscross pattern into the flesh, being careful not to cut all the way through. Slice diagonally into bite-sized strips.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and chopped parsley over moderately low heat for 5-6 mins, or until softened but not browned.  Add the cayenne pepper and season well.  Stir in the fennel and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the white wine, increase the heat and cook until it has been absorbed. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the fish stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins.

Add the squid to the pan with the fish pieces and simmer for 1 min. Add the scallops and prawns and simmer for another 2 mins. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

To make the crostini, heat the olive oil and crushed garlic in a large frying pan over moderately low heat.  Add the slices of bread and fry on both sides until golden.  Place a slice of bread into each of four warmed serving bowls. Ladle the soup on the top and serve immediately.

Shepherd’s Pie
  • 1 big red onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 300g ground beef
  • 30 dried chilli (soaked and blend)
  • ½ packet frozen mixed vegetables
  • 10-12 button mushroom (sliced)
  • Bell peppers (red, green and yellow) diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and white pepper/freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 10 medium potatoes
  • 250ml milk
  • 250g butter
Potato: Wash potatoes thoroughly.  Cook in boiling water until tender. Mashed potatoes, add milk, butter and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Adjust thickness by adding more milk, if desired.

Beef: Saute onions and garlic. Add ground beef. After beef is browned, add blended dried chilli.  Cook till dry, add salt and black pepper to taste.  Add tomato sauce and mix well. Off the heat. Mix in vegetables, sliced mushroom and bell peppers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F after 10 mins change to top heat only.
Grease butter on pyrex or any similar casserole dish. Layer half way up with the mashed potatoes. Next, spread the beef mix on top of potatoes. Layer a handful of mozzarella cheese. Cover it with mashed potatoes.  Dot butter on the potatoes and sprinkle generous amt of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until top is golden brown.

This recipe is special to me cos, it was given by my Secondary School teacher when we were doing our Food & Nutrition class.
I like this recipe cos I have improvised and change some of the ingredient to make it my own.  And I also make it richer in flavour.

For Tiramisu, click here for recipe.

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