Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beans with Meat Balls

This dish is my experiment. I had this spice - Chinese five spice powder - sitting in my cupboard for a long time and I don't know what to do with it. So one day I tried mixing it with this dish and it worked so well. My family just loved this dish. Even friends of my kids enjoy this one. I like using frozen baby beans because I find them handy and they work well in this dish as well. And one seldoms find fresh baby beans in the supermarket anyway. Usually, the beans in there are old and stringy, unless of course, one spends heaps of time picking all the small beans. And one advantage of using frozen beans, I can cook this dish anytime I want, I don't need to wait until the beans are in season. Clever!!!


For the meatballs:

500 grams minced beef or pork
1 onion, minced
1 tsp of minced dried garlic
Salt to taste
1- 2 eggs, whisked
2 – 3 slices of bread, soaked in water, squeezed out extra water

Mix all ingredients. Make small balls and bake in 180 C oven until cooked.

For the beans:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 500 grams packet of frozen baby beans (or fresh if you prefer – top and tail)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tsp five spice Chinese powder
1 – 2 tsp of fish sauce
1 400 ml can coconut milk/cream


Sauté garlic in oil.
Add onions, stir until translucent.
Add the five spice powder, stir thoroughly.
Add the beans, cooked until soft.
Add the fish sauce.
Pour the coconut milk and let simmer.
Add the cooked meat balls, stir through. Remember, the meatballs are cooked already.
Thicken the sauce with corn flour dissolved in water if necessary.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Pavlova is a meringue dessert named after a Russian Ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The dessert is believed to have been created to honour the dancer during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand. Australians say it's an Aussie dessert, New Zealanders say it's a Kiwi dessert. One thing is for sure, it's a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently eaten during celebratory or holiday meals such as Christmas dinner. But we don't have to have something to celebrate to eat pavlova, I just have to be in the mood to make one ...

6 eggs separated
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
300 ml thickened cream
Any fruits you want to decorate it with. I used peaches (from a can) and fresh bananas.
  1. Preheat oven to 120°C.
  2. Line an oven tray with foil. Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour, shaking off excess. Mark a 24cm-diameter circle on foil.
  3. Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved.
  5. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still "gritty" with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.
  6. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined.
  7. Spoon meringue onto the foil, using the marked circle as a guide.
  8. Smooth sides and top of pavlova.
  9. Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova.
  10. Bake in oven for 1 ½ hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch.
  11. Turn off oven.
  12. Leave pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely.
  13. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.
  14. Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks form.
  15. Spoon cream onto the top of pavlova.
  16. Decorate pavlova with peaches and bananas,

Spaghetti with Oil and Garlic sauce with Parsley

Aglio ed olio con prezzemolo spaghetti. That's how you say it in Italian. Not that I speak Italian but it just sounds so authentic if one says it in Italian.

This is a very simple way of cooking spaghetti. No fuss at all. It's also the most delicious spaghetti I have ever tasted. Eat it by itself or with some bread, it is just simply divine.


½ cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, whole or minced
1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
500 grams of spaghetti
Pepper, chili or cayenne (if desired)


Brown garlic, minced or whole, thoroughly in olive oil.
Stir the chopped parsley through. Add salt to taste.
Boil spaghetti 10 – 12 minutes in salted water or cook according to the packet’s instructions.
Drain very dry.
Add to oil, garlic and parsley mixture in the pan and turn until thoroughly moistened.
Add pepper (if desired) or serve pepper separately.
Turn out in platter and serve.

You can also use spaghettini, fettuccini or linguine instead of spaghetti.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork

This is one of our favourite meal. My family likes eating this with fried rice, but I prefer simple steamed rice. However you want to eat it, it's just simply divine.


½ c. all purpose flour or corn flour/starch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
½ tsp. salt
1/2 k. lean pork, cut into 1" cubes
Cooking oil for frying
1 c. broth or water
1 c. pineapple chunks or rings then cut into pieces
1 green or red capsicum, diced
1 carrot, cut in rounds
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
Sweet and sour sauce
1 tbsp. cornflour dispersed in
1 tbsp water

  1. Make a batter with flour, eggs and salt.
  2. Dip pork cubes in batter one at a time.
  3. Fry in hot cooking oil until golden brown.
  4. Remove and drain in absorbent paper.
  5. Fry garlic and onion in oil, add pineapple chunks, capsicum, carrot and ½ cup broth.
  6. Stir fry for few minutes. Add the pork pieces.
  7. Prepare Sweet and sour sauce and pour in saucepan.
  8. Let boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Thicken with cornflour. Serve hot.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vinegar
the juice of the pineapple

Combine all ingredients

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mamon Cake

Mamon is an all time favourite snack/merienda. This is a very easy recipe. I made a cake instead of putting them in individual molds so that there's less washing, LOL. The taste is still there. This is very popular to family and friends because it's not very sweet.
6 eggs (separate yolk from white)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup white caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Spray cake tin or mamon molds (you can use regular muffin pans if you don't have molds)
  1. Sift plain flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy like meringue but not stiff
  3. Add sugar gradually and continue beating
  4. Add vanilla and vegetable oil
  5. Add egg yolks one at a time and continue beating
  6. Add plain flour and baking powder and continue mixing
  7. Spray the cake tin or molds or muffin pan and pour mixture about 2/3 full
  8. Bake in preheated 160 C oven for approximately 12-15 minutes for molded mamon or 25 minutes for the cake or until golden brown