Strawberry citrus daiquiri

Given the wonderfully hot weekend weather, I figured it was a good time to share this super simple slushy recipe. All you need is 1 cup frozen strawberries, 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, a teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 cup of ice, and as much rum as you can manage. Throw it all in a blender on high speed and you're set with drinks for 4 in under 3 minutes. Serve in chilled martini glasses.

Still blogging from the poolside. I might be turning an unflattering shade of pink as we speak.

Transient

Lamb Chops Play Along!

This might be the world’s best lamb chop recipe. I know, I say this ALL the time of practically ALL the recipes I’ve shared online, but really my friends this recipe is the winner of all winners for a few reasons.

I actually never have lamb, I don’t like it – it rarely tastes good, is often gamey and is almost always overdone. Because of this, cooking lamb actually scares the bejeezus out of me (I’d rather wrestle with some lobsters), but yesterday while I was stuck in cold storage for an entire half hour, completely uninspired by anything in the meat or seafood section, I decided to take a chance on the most appealing-looking thing in the cold section which happened to be the discounted lamb cutlets. I had to deal with P’s raised eyebrows for most of the way home – scepticism over what he was going to have to have for dinner.

Fortunately for me, there was a wonderful rosemary-and-garlic crusted lamb recipe that popped up near the top of the search. Rosemary? I like. Garlic? I love. It’s safe to say I have an unhealthy obsession with it, and though the dressing was designed for 12 lamb cutlets, I made it for just four pieces (only cutting back on the salt). Which explains the incredibly intense and flavourful outcome that landed on our dinner plates.

You will need:

  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary (take the leaves off the stems please!)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used ¾ teaspoon of sea-salt and 1½  teaspoon of cracked black pepper)

Combine all 5 of the ingredients above and coat both sides of the chops. Turn your grill on high and wait for it to get “sizzling” hot (drop water, see if it sizzles). Place coated chops on grill and let cook for just 3½ to 4 minutes per side for a medium-rare that is closer to the rare than medium side. If you don’t have a grill, you can use a broiler or a pan, but you might have to experiment with the amount of time per side, but my guess would be 5 minutes a side for the broiler.

This recipe is jam-packed with flavour, and because of the coating of garlic and rosemary, the lamb will turn out pink, juicy and tender even with the extremely high heat. If you’re using the grill, you’ll go from chopping ingredients to plated in approximately 20 minutes. It’s a really good week day dinner option.

rust me and try it.

Lobster pot pie

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It’s Friday and there's a line up of social activities to attend to. This is what you get when you pair a somewhat-social-person like me up with a super-social-person like P – an endless array of weekend festivities. I’m normally a massive fan of these shenanigans, but today, I just want to go home and cook up a lobster pot pie.

Why lobster pot pie? You might ask.

Well (to me at least), lobster pot pie lies right smack in the epicentre where luxury and classic comfort food meet. I mean, what can be more decadent than filling a humble flaky golden pastry with generous chunks of succulent lobster meat, smothering it all in a velveteen roux of white sauce with hints of onion, fennel and a ton of butter and baked to heavenly goodness? Nothing is more decadent. Nothing is more delicious. Few things make me happier than chowing down on a luscious little pot of lobster pie.

You know what’s tragic? A decent pot of lobster pie is practically impossible to find on this tiny island of ours. And somehow, the thought of wrestling live lobsters on a Friday night kind of kills the magic – I used to buy my lobster in nice medium sized chunks that came wrapped in white paper packaging, all ready to slip right into the stew with no further ado. I miss the convenience of American grocery stores.

So I’ll have to save these culinary dreams for another night, but in the event you’re up to the challenge, may I recommend Ina Garten’s take on it? It’s delightful, and you can cheat with store-bought pastry to save on time. The best part of this dish is that it goes from oven to table! No need for fancy plating or further fussing around.

Damn I want a luscious little pot of lobster pie.

Image credit.

Addendum

A friend of mine just sent over the most fabulous read on lobsters. Did you know that

Up until sometime in the 1800s, though, lobster was literally low-class food, eaten only by the poor and institutionalized. Even in the harsh penal environment of early America, some colonies had laws against feeding lobsters to inmates more than once a week because it was thought to be cruel and unusual, like making people eat rats.

Moreover, a crustacean is an aquatic arthropod of the class Crustacea, which comprises crabs, shrimp, barnacles, lobsters, and freshwater crayfish... And an arthropod is an invertebrate member of the phylum Arthropoda, which phylum covers insects, spiders, crustaceans, and centipedes/millipedes, all of whose main commonality, besides the absence of a centralized brain-spine assembly, is a chitinous exoskeleton composed of segments, to which appendages are articulated in pairs

The point is that lobsters are basically giant sea-insects. My brother was right all along!

More reading here.

 

 

    Taco Party

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    I do wish I had better pictures of the impromptu taco party D, P and I put together one random weekday night about 2 weeks ago, but we were so starved by the time we put everything on the table that this was the only image we managed to capture.

    The evening went something like this... Head to Raffles City intending to have dinner... All the restaurants are crowded and/or unenticing... Spot the grocery store... light bulb in head... rush in for random ingredients, decide that Tacos are the best way to tie it altogether, and BOOM you have a week-day-last-minute-taco-party at home.

    This is a meal that will actually take you about 20 minutes to prep and cook - with fresh ingredients, and the right seasoning, everything tasted pretty good.

    • Green salad with tangy garlic-soy dressing.
    • Store bought taco skins toasted on the grill according to box instructions.
    • Two types of taco fillings: (1) Grilled (white) fish with cilantro-salsa-verde dressing and (2) Garlic-seasoned seared beef -- Coat steak in garlic, salt and pepper to taste, then sear to desired doneness, slice and serve.
    • Store-bought enchilada which turned out to be the most tasteless thing on the menu.

    I'm also pretty excited to re-create this over the summer on a much larger scale (pool party anyone?) - think TACO BAR with all kinds of crazy delicious taco-filling options, with giant jugs of pop coloured margaritas on the side. I'll give my friends a month or two to get their bodies bikini-ready for swimsuit season - though it seems like an exercise in futility as I foresee much stuffing-of-faces once the food lands on the tables.

    But yes, very easy idea for entertaining at home, you should try it sometime.

    Brunch at Roomorama HQ

    When P flew the coop a few weeks ago to attend a wedding in Indo, I took the opportunity to play host at Jia's with a bunch of old friends, new friends, common friends and Jia's houseguest (as the co-founder of Roomorama, house sharing is something she firmly believes in!) Thought Catalog published an article sometime in March about the 5 Things We Are All Jealous Of and let me tell you, #4 couldn't ring truer for me and my feelings towards Jia's amazing space.

    4. A perfect apartment.
    “What is this? A bedroom and a charming home office? Is this from Crate & Barrel? Why are there so many kinds of spoons? Why is there a bakery on this street corner — who actually has a bakery? I thought all baked goods came from the Dunkin Donuts stand in the 7/11… Please don’t tell me those are peonies, I can’t even hear the word peonies right now, I’m going to projectile vomit all over this aubergine accent wall. Fuck, this is tasteful.”

    Her stuff isn't from Crate & Barrel, it's from Crate & Barrel's much cooler cousin, West Elm. As for a bakery? Carpenter & Cook is actually in her area (can it get more perfect? Guess what? It can!) Because she has a freaking herb garden on a rooftop. Yes. My friends. A roof top garden that grows some herbs. It's where we got the mint (top picture) for the lychee-mint-coolers. You'll admit that it's much more Kinfolk-worthy than a pot of peonies. Peonies are weak. And her accent wall is brick. Brick. BRICK > Aubergine in my books. So yes, projectile vomit if you please but this girl's pad is pretty much perfect. And she really does have a ridiculous range of kitchen equipment (including one of those giant spades you use to extract pizzas from ovens....), so you can imagine how delighted I was - pretty much died and went to hostess heaven that day.

    Anyhoos, onto our Brunch menu, we had...

    Blini with salmon and caviar - super simple and you can totally cheat with this one. You can either buy pre-made blini (available at Culina and at some Cold Storages) or you can make mini pancakes from your regular from-a-box batter. Then slather on the cream cheese, top with salmon and finely chopped chives, or load up on sour cream and top with caviar. I also tried a fig jam and foie gras combination that turned out spectacularly - so good they never made it to the dining table (therefore no pictures). Perfect bite sized snack for when folks are waiting for everything else to be ready.

    Momofuku poached eggs over green salad - any kind of green salad with your favourite dressing and a healthy portion of Momofuku's super simple poached eggs. I know the idea of poaching eggs scares you (it used to scare me), and then you discover this brilliant recipe and you're like whaaaat - poached eggs all the time! Recipe here.

    Sauteed wild mushrooms - mushrooms. butter. you're done. It's the kind of combination that cannot be beat.

    Roast chicken with grapes and thyme - a long standing favourite of mine (this recipe has outlasted entire relationships), if you've been reading it for a while, you know it's my go-to whenever I don't really have time to fuss around and truss up a chicken right. It is always juicy, tender, and tasty. ALWAYS. Idiot proof is the way to go when you're running on 4 hours of sleep and may or may not still have alcohol in your bloodstream.

    Lemon poppy cake - baked by Woofy. I wish I had a recipe for you. I wish I had a recipe for me. Brilliant stuff.

    Lychee mint coolers - 1 can of lychee+syrup, half a blender of ice, a sprinkling of mint leaves. Blend and you're good to go.

    Fantastically easy. Fabulously tasty. Super Simple. I know I've said that a lot but this is the only way to cook up a storm while you're waiting for the hangover to strike. And I know you suffered through this entire post on food when all you care about is pictures of Jia's fabulous place. So here you go:

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    Are you not suffering from incredible house envy? I am green. Like the plant. Right above. It's not a flattering colour. At all. 

    If you want to staycate here, you totally can! Maybe one day I'll run into you while whipping up brunch. Otherwise, you can check out the rest of the simply fabulous accommodation options around the world over at Roomorama.com!