Superb Homecooked 6pax Family Dinner on 24Oct2014

wife's quinoa salad

wife’s quinoa salad

had a 6pax family dinner on 24.10.2014. missing our son who is in london. 🙂

wife made a very nice quinoa salad, with some avocado & roasted nuts. i really liked this. she brought this salad with some packed food sometimes for office lunch in.

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

our helper made a pan-grilled portobello mushroom. this was also very nice with simple sea salt, pepper & olive oil.

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

i recently came up with a new very light miso salmon recipe. this was quite different from the miso belly pork & nobu miso cod recipe which used a lot more miso & infused flavours. i served this to my friends during 11pax lunch on 15.10.2014 (first attempt of the new recipe). they all loved it. & i did this the second time this evening. again it was everyone’s favourite. even my wife & eldest daughter who generally didn’t like salmon that much, liked this dish.

pan chargrilled kurobuta

pan chargrilled kurobuta

i did a pan chargrilled kurobuta. it was not as good as the other day. i should not play safe & try to cook it totally well done & have it just a little pink instead.

the tagliata di manzo (sliced pan chargrilled beef) was excellent today, both the USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5, very nicely charred for maillard reaction and nicely medium rare. my wife did the very nice restaurant plating with rockets & cherry tomatoes. 🙂

i did a squid-ink linguine today, with squid & littleneck clams (la la). it was excellent, and the la la were done very nicely. 🙂

& i have kind of perfected my “miky monterosso” seafood risotto, very sweet & tasty prawn stock (head & shells) with vegetables (celery, leek, yellow onions, carrots). 🙂

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pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

1 charmed dish was my very first time new dessert – a pumpkin cheese cake. i could taste the cake paste i mixed & knew the taste was good. but it was the first time i baked it so uncertain about timing & texture & how it would turn out. as it turned out it was almost perfect – beginner’s luck! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Lunch @ Papermoon Milan on 22Apr2014

fungi papardelle - good

fungi papardelle – good

paper moon at via bagutta was just a short walk from our duomo apartments, past piazza san babila fountain. it was also recommended by Giuseppe. well he did recommend us the excellent fresco & cimmino, so we had to try this paper moon. 🙂

clam & mussels pasta

clam & mussels pasta

veal with asparagus - ok

veal with asparagus – ok

veal with asparagus ok

veal with asparagus ok

we were early. paper moon opened at 12noon, so we went around wandering a bit window shopping etc & back at the restaurant 12pm on the dot.

lunch was good (but fresco was still better!)

the veal with asparagus was pretty ok. the clam & mussels pasta was good & creamy fungi papardelle look plain but was tasty. well almost all pasta in all the places we dined in italy were good, with little exception.

we couldn’t be eating lunch & dinner for 3 days at fresco, so i would consider this a pretty good alternative.

c.h.e.f andy

Best Meal at Lake Como @ Alle Darsene on 17Apr2014

7 lake fishes done in different ways

7 lake fishes done in different ways – 15euros

had the best meal at lake como at alle darsene on 17.4.2014. 🙂

alle darsene is located next to villa melzi, but it is on the other side, so a rather long walk from the bellagio ferry jetty. we had a leisurely morning & visited varenna (& the shopping). we walked on the narrow road just bordering villa melzi to reach alle darsene. on the way back we decided to just pay 9euro each & walk through villa melzi. ok la..it was but a pleasant stroll through the gardens. 🙂

our first order was the lake fishes (top photo), since we were at lake como. it was excellent, better even than that at daserna. all the 7 fishes, cured or smoked or pickled, as well as the roe, were all excellent. 2 thumbs up! 🙂

grilled octopus on a very tasty broth

grilled octopus on a very tasty broth – 15euros

and the grilled octopus, that was the best i had during this trip, better even than miky at monterosso, cinque terre. the broth was really good! i would recreate this at home, that is if i can find the octopus. 🙂

beef tartar with burrata & truffle - 15euros

beef tartar with burrata & truffle – 15euros

& the beef carpaccio was again par excellence. so sweet & tasty. my daughter & i loved it(though my wife was a bit off beef tartare). i could have this again! 🙂

fillet of sole pan seared then baked with lentils & mussels - 20euros

fillet of sole pan seared then baked with lentils & mussels – 20euros

and the fillet of sole was so good. even the lentils (though i don’t like too much of it) was very tasty with the sweet, lovely mussels. such great dish this! 🙂 i not so successful with western fish dishes except for my quite excellent cod, but i might try to do this as well. 🙂

very good catavelli with octopus, clams & muscles, excellent seafood broth - 16euros

very good catavelli with octopus, clams & mussels, excellent seafood broth – 16euros

the catavelli pasta was likewise excellent, and the octopus, clams, mussels & the seafood broth. 🙂 this i would also try to recreate.

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my daughter ordered a chocolate – so pretty

every single dish was excellent. this a restaurant i would not miss if i come again. 🙂

because of the location, it is inconvenient though for dinner if not staying at bellagio as there is a ferry to catch! 😦 that was why we changed our prior booking from dinner to lunch.

c.h.e.f andy

Spicy Vongole Fettucine with White Wine

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spicy vongole fettucine with white wine

I bought “la la” (littleneck clams – see here for interesting write-up about littleneck, topneck clams etc) from Sheng Shiong today. I have never cooked vongole before but since I do pretty ok in the pasta department, I thought I give it a go. Here comes my first vongole! 🙂

There’s only my eldest daughter Su Min at home for dinner, so I cooked just enough vongole fettucine for 2 of us, PLUS trying out a grilled sotong (squid) recipe.

My preferred pasta is spaghetti but since there is an opened yet unfinished packet of fettucine, I used that instead.  I did the usual browning of peeled garlic cloves in olive oil over low fire and soaked in the aroma. I then emptied the olive oil & browned garlic into a bowl. I added some salt & oil to water in a sauce pan and bring it to boil and put a bunch of (say 200g) fettucine in the boiling water for 11 minutes according to the timing instructions. I tested the texture to make sure it is just al dente & transferred the fettucine to a colander & set aside. In the pan still greased with olive oil I added 15g butter & threw in cut chilli padi & cut spring onions (green onions). I transferred the bowl of olive oil with browned garlic back into the pan. I then turned the fire high & put in the clams. Next I added 1.5 cups of white wine & 1 teaspoon sugar, cover the pan & let it reduced for few minutes. The clams opened up when cooked. I added the fettucine, turned off the fire, tossed and added sea salt to taste.

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spicy vongole fettucine with white wine

The shellfish broth, sweetness of the white wine, fragrance of garlic & olive oil, & the spicy kick from the chilli padi all combined very nicely to make this a very tasty dish.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 200g fettucine (or liguine or spaghetti)
  • 700g littleneck clams
  • 15g butter
  • 3 stalks spring onions chopped
  • 1-2 chilli padi
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar OR to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare the pasta – add salt & oil to water in a saucepan & bring to boil. add fettucine and boil according to timing instructions. test to make sure the pasta is just al dente & empty into colander & set aside.
  • Cook the vongole pasta – brown whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves in olive oil in a pan over low heat. empty oil & garlic into a bowl. add butter to the pan & throw in cut spring onions & cut chilli padi. add the clams, turn up the fire, add the white wine & sugar, cover while the clams cook. The clams will open up when cooked. add in the fettucine, turn off the fire, toss & add sea salt to taste. serve.