Crab Linguine in Pink Sauce (Creamy Tomatoes)

crab linguine in pink sauce with medium prawns & pan-seared scallops

crab linguine in pink sauce with medium prawns & pan-seared scallops

bought some frozen crab claws from giant, thought to try out the excellent mud crab cold pasta i had at au jardin on new year eve but had yet to do. 🙂

had sudden inspiration (心血来潮) to cook a crabmeat linguine in pink sauce, & since i had the other ingredients like hokkaido scallops, medium prawns, canned tomatoes etc, it was easy to do.

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i used the same crabmeat pasta in pink sauce recipe i did almost a year ago in mar2013. the pink sauce looked & tasted yummy.

i had earlier sauteed an entire clove of garlic bulbs in olive oil (full of aroma) & set aside. i then fried in butter medium prawns that were shelled, butterflied & deveined. after i cooked the linguine to just below al dente (just below the 11mins instructions on the packet) & drained, I pan-seared the hokkaido scallops over a very hot pan greased with vegetable oil.

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crab linguine in pink sauce with medium prawns & pan-seared scallops

crab linguine in pink sauce with medium prawns & pan-seared scallops

the last step was just to toss the pasta with the sauce & ingredients & add some sugar (or agave nectar) & sea salt to taste.

the result was brilliant, the best pink sauce pasta i have made so far, not that i made so many, maybe just 4 or 5 times. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

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Fabulous New Year Eve Dinner Degustation @ Au Jardin on 31Dec2013

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

au jardin new year eve degustation menu

au jardin new year eve degustation menu

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wanted to buy my wife a nice new year eve dinner, and saw the quite attractive menu in au jardin’s website, so decided to make a reservation for 2pax dinner on 31.12.2013.

we had couple of degustation dinners at au jardin many years back (my wife said 10 years ago). they were like 8-course priced at S$200pax  & were really good. i had considered trying the S$150pax table d’hote  (ie prix fixe)menu, but never did. subsequently, the regular menu did not look attractive as it does not today (ie 4-course at S$150pax), so i did not do dinner at au jardin but only occasional lunches (especially the recent maybank 1 for 1 promotion set lunch).

my wife & I generally have the practice not to dine out during public holidays, festive periods, mothers’ day etc as those occasions were very commercilaised & one often ended up paying through the nose (like 50% – 100% more) & getting poor food & poor service. anyhow for this new year eve dinner, au jardin served a 7-course+amuse bouche dinner at $198pax which was no difference in price from 10 years ago & far better menu than the regular S$150pax course menu, so the arrangement suited us fine.

i just wonder why they don’t do such menu regularly, especially when their business had not been good, and they are closing down by 31.3.2014 as a result of huge rental increase (& to me perhaps poor strategy & marketing). sign!

i do not rate au jardin degustation as better than the creative & excellent degustation at Jaan which cost only S$119pax after 50% feed at raffles discount, however one need a change of menu & environment, and most degus restaurants like iggy’s, gunthers etc are far more expensive. others like keystone & saint pierre are a little cheaper but not as fine, and private affairs had closed down.

wife ordered a red. it was expensive, 1/2 bottle for S$85++, but it was a grand cru classe & was really nice though i took maybe 30ml.

amuse bouche - foie gras terrine

amuse bouche – foie gras terrine

blue fin tuna ceviche

blue fin tuna ceviche

cold pasta with mud crab, caviar & uni

cold pasta with mud crab, caviar & uni

iberico pork cheeks, joselito proscuito, egg confit & winter truffles

iberico pork cheeks, joselito proscuito, egg confit & winter truffles

dover sole with razor clam & clam emulsion

dover sole with razor clam & clam emulsion

the 7-course dinner (+amuse bouche) came with 4 appetisers, 1 palate cleanser, 1 main, 1 dessert; as well as coffee & petit fours.

we had a warm bread basket. both the baguette & a raisin bread were good. the amuse bouche was a foie gras terrine with tobiko (flying fish roe) & jelly. this wasn’t exceptional & but still a great start to the evening dinner. 🙂

1st course was blue fin tuna ceviche with tobiko. it was nothing inventive, but very sweet & tasty.

the 2nd course, cold pasta with mud crab, caviar & sea urchin, was heavenly, par excellence. it way surpassed gordon grill’s (no comparison really as gordon grill’s was for a S$48pax lunch) & according to my wife likewise c/w gunther’s. 🙂

the 3rd course was a braised iberico pork cheek, with joselito proscuito, egg confit & winter truffle. sous vide low temperature poached egg is a regular feature in fine dining & i really loved the texture enhancement it gave to the dish, the proscuito was excellent, pork cheek so-so & i had already written about the excellent winter truffle here. 🙂

the 4th course was a lightly breaded dover sole served with razor clam & clam emulsion. the dover sole was ok, tender, i guess considered good in a good restaurant, but really average dish by comparison to other courses. the razor clam was great. 🙂

palate cleanser - watermelon, sorbet & lime jelly

palate cleanser – watermelon, sorbet & lime jelly

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

pistachio cake, green tea soil, raspberry sorbet

pistachio cake, green tea soil, raspberry sorbet

next we had the palate cleanser – a watermelon confit with sorbet & lime jelly. it was good.

the grilled wagyu striploin MBS5 rare (top photo & second above) was excellent. this was much better than what i did at home. it was done rare & yet totally charred (for maillard reaction that gave flavour to the beef) & served with carrot & root vegetables and a tiny piece of black garlic. superb! 🙂

for dessert, we had pistachio cake with raspberry sorbet. the cake was bland but when taken together with the slightly sour sorbet, it was good. 🙂

my cappuccino was great. the petit fours though was miserable (same as they served for set lunches). mini macarons were too sweet, chocolate was ok.

overall we had an excellent evening of food, wine & conversation. Jaan’s degustation gave far better value.nevertheless i enjoyed this dinner very much & would come back but regrettably they do not serve this in their regular menu. i may consider trying ala carte or their course menu. not sure for now!

happy new year everyone!

happy new year everyone!

and before signing off, happy new year 2014 to all my friends, readers & everyone!

c.h.e.f. andy

Crabmeat Spaghetti in Pink Sauce (Creamy Tomatoes)

crabmeat spaghetti with prawns & scallops in pink sauce (creamy tomatoes)

crabmeat spaghetti with prawns & scallops in pink sauce (creamy tomatoes)

N.B. = did an excellent crab linguine in pink sauce with medium prawns & pan-seared scallops using this recipe on 11.1.2014. 🙂

One of my favourite pasta is the crab meat linguine in pink sauce. Many moons ago, when Chef Valentino was still working (I guess he was a partner) in Cantina which was a short stone-throw from my place, we dined there a few times and also “da bao” (take-out) his crab meat linguine in pink sauce.

The good Chef left & set up his own Ristorante da Valentino at Jalan Binga and later shifted to the much larger premises it is currently located at Turf City. Some months back, a friend & his wife invited me for a lunch there, and I enjoyed immensely the burrata cheese and also relished my old-time favourite – but this time a squid-ink seafood linguine in pink sauce.

I thought I would give it a go myself, so I googled and assembled this recipe, tried it and was ok the first time, and I was able to repeat the dish w/o difficulty.  The result is in the picture above, which I made for my friends at one of my homecooked dinners. It is nothing even close to what Valentino serves, but still it is a pretty nice pasta. 🙂

To make the sauce, I saute minced garlic and 1 small onion (diced) in olive oil on medium heat. I then add chopped basil (I have fresh basil from the garden), 1 can of diced tomatoes with sauce, sugar, dried oregano, sea salt & coarse black pepper, boil for about 5 minutes. I then turn off the fire and mix in the heavy cream & butter.

pink sauce (creamy tomatoes)

pink sauce (creamy tomatoes)

The spaghetti is cooked in the usual way following the timing instructions. For the scallops (optional), I pan sear them first (see recipe); and likewise for the prawns I stir-fry them in olive oil first to almost cooked. All these can be set aside first and toss together when ready to serve the dish. I heat up the pink sauce, add the prawns & drained crabmeat, cook for few minutes, then turn off the fire, add the spaghetti & toss, and then add the seared scallop, and serve.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 250g crabmeat drained (I use frozen crab claws from NTUC Fairprice)
  • 12 Hokkaido scallops (I use frozen scallops from Sheng Shiong)
  • 15 pieces of medium prawns (shelled)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • sea salt & coarse black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pink sauce – saute minced garlic and diced onion in olive oil on medium heat.  add chopped fresh basil, 1 can of diced tomatoes with sauce, sugar, dried oregano, sea salt & coarse black pepper, boil for about 5 minutes. turn off the fire and mix in the heavy cream & butter.
  2. Prepare the scallops (optional) – see pan-seared scallop recipe.
  3. Cook the dish – stir-fry the prawns (shelled) in olive oil first to almost cooked. cook the spaghetti in the usual way following the timing instructions. heat up the pink sauce, add the prawns & drained crabmeat, cook for few minutes, then turn off the fire, add the spaghetti & toss, and then add the seared scallop, and serve.