AFC GRILLED : Chef Sean Connolly

An evening of good food.

Lap Cheong Watermelon Bites

An asian take on watermelon bites!

Baked Fish with Kiwi in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add a twist to sweet and sour fish!

Semperit Pandan Cookies

Cute cookies for the festive season!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fluffy Cloud Eggs

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" It's so fluffy, I'm gonna die! " - Agnes (Despicable Me)


My feelings exactly. Cottony white cloud eggs are, I daresay, the stuff of foodie dreams from the enthusiasm I saw sweeping Facebook and Instagram a couple of months ago. I don't know if it's still a thing online but we love it here. My husband is an egg-loving person so it was something I had to try. Variety is the spice of life, right? Poached eggs, fried eggs, soft-boiled eggs, now cloud eggs.

Imagine biting into a savoury marshmallow - the best description I can come up with to give you an idea what this tastes like. Would you believe that it's easy to make?

Fluffy Cloud Egg

A hand mixer and an egg is all that is needed to create this. For taste, I top mine with cheese. It goes into the oven for awhile and voila! 

Cloud Eggs
Ingredients:
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp grated cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp grated Vergeer Old Holland cheese (or cheese of choice)
- 1 slice of tomato
- Some chopped spring onions
- A pinch of black pepper

Method:
1) Separate egg white from yolk.
2) Using a mixer, beat egg white until stiff and fluffy.
3) Pour the beaten egg onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Use a spoon to gently spread the top of the egg white to make a hole in the center, for the egg yolk to sit in.
4) Slide the yolk in. Sprinkle cheese over.
5) Bake in a pre-heated oven for about five to seven minutes until lightly browned.
6) Serve with a pinch of black pepper and the tomato. Garnish with chopped spring onions.

1) Cheese, Tomato, Egg Yolk, Spring Onions.
2) Beat egg white until stiff and fluffy.
3) Transfer egg white onto baking tray. 4) Make a hole in the center.
5) Slide egg yolk into the middle. 6) Sprinkle with cheese and bake!

There you go, a delicious cloud egg.

Cloud Egg with Cheddar Cheese and Tomato

Cheesy Cloud Egg

Here's one I made with just some Old Holland cheese sprinkled over.

A Fluffy Cloud Egg


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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Penne Rigate With Cream Of Mushroom Soup

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A shortcut meal born out of a chilly day with dark clouds and dimmed sunlight streaming through. I heeded the call for quick comfort food to soothe my growling tummy and match the quiet mood. Nothing complicated, I told myself as I pictured me slurping on a hot bowl of creamy soup in my mind.

Penne Rigate With Cream Of Mushroom Soup

It was a lazy day. I flipped the kitchen cabinet doors open. There it was - a can of Cream of Mushroom soup staring back at me as though it knew what I was craving for. Pick me, it whispers. Oh, my imagination when I'm hungry! I reach out for it and the Top Shell I'd gotten from a hamper; there began my cooking adventure.

A bit of pasta, flat-leaf parsley and what I call the Chinese Bacon aka lap cheong completes the dish. The saying 'less is more ' cannot be applied to cooking surely. I think onions would make a nice addition?

Penne Rigate With Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients
- 2 cups Penne Rigate (Alce Nero Organic Penne Rigate)
- 1 can 470g Campbell's Cream Of Mushroom
- 1 can New Moon Braised King Top Shell in Abalone Sauce (slices)
(Drain sauce into a container for future use. Optional: Slice Top Shell into bite sized pieces)
- ½ yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 to 2 pcs lap cheong / chinese sausage (sliced)
- Flat-leaf parsely (chopped)

Method
1) Cook pasta according to packet instructions or to preference. Keep aside.
2) Use a deep pan. Pan-fry lap cheong without oil until lightly charred. Remove from pan and chop finely. Leave aside.
3) Using the same pan, now left with a little oil from the lap cheong, saute the onions.
4) Add top shell and stir-fry for a bit.
5) Pour in cream of mushroom soup. Then, fill the can to the top with water. Pour the water into the pan. Stir until well combined and simmering.
6) Add the pasta. Stir until the pasta is well coated, inside and out.
7) Finally, switch the heat off and stir the chopped parsley in.
8) Serve sprinkled with chopped lap cheong.

1) The Ingredients 2) Pan-fry the lap cheong
3) Saute the onions 4) Add Top Shell and stir-fry
5) Pour in cream of mushroom soup with water
6) Add the pasta 7) Finally, stir in parsley

Eat and be comforted.
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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pan-Fried Breaded Nian Gao

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Nian Gao , a sweet sticky cake which sounds like Year High when spoken in Chinese, is said to symbolise reaching new heights in our lives - it is generally a wish for us to have a better year than the last. It is also known as the Chinese New Year cake because it is most sought-after during this festive season.

Mom-in-law (MIL) gave us some to bring home earlier this week. I was pretty excited about it because I do love the stuff. My mom used to fry it with eggs for us when we were young. I carried the tradition on every New Year.

Fresh out of the pan, the nian gao is gooey soft and stretches like mozarella cheese. It is always best eaten warm. Since I had some breadcrumbs left over, I thought I'd make my nian gao a little interesting this year. The result is a delicious sticky snack which is easier to handle.

Pan-Fried Breaded Nian Gao

Pan-Fried Breaded Nian Gao
Ingredients:
- 2 x 220g nian gao (sliced)
- ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten with a pinch of salt)
- Cooking oil

Method:
1) Dip nian gao slices in beaten egg. Then, coat well with breadcrumbs. Set aside.
2) Heat cooking oil in pan - just enough for a pan-fry.
3) Pan-fry the breaded nian gao in low-medium heat, turning once, until nicely browned. Remove gently as it is soft.

Best enjoyed warm with tea.

1) Three Ingredients - Egg, BreadCrumbs, Nian Gao
2) Dip Nian Gao In Egg
3) Coat Nian Gao With BreadCrumbs
4) Fresh Out Of The Pan Breaded Nian Gao

Pan-Fried Breaded Nian Gao

A Facebook friend suggested that I try it wrapped with popiah skin. I'm game for anything nian gao related! That will be my cooking project this week.

Nom nom nom Pan-Fried Breaded Nian Gao

How do you prefer your nian gao?

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Foil Baked Prosperity Prawns

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For many Chinese, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with food that carries an auspicious meaning. For instance, uncut noodles represents 'longevity'. Hence the tradition of eating Mee Sua, in my family at least, on the first day of the New Year. It is to wish all of us a long life.

Foil Baked Prosperity Prawns

You must be wondering why I call these Prosperity Prawns. It's because I'm serving 8 in a plate. Here, eight is pronounced 'fatt ' in Chinese which means prosperity. I believe one of the best things about Chinese New Year is the fanciful names you'll hear for the dishes which is always about wishing friends and family well.

Other than that, I also find prawns to be a great dish to have for reunion dinners because it is red, a mark of happiness and good fortune. In Chinese, prawns are called ' Ha ' . Double it - haha is laughter. Hence, joy.

This is one of the many dishes I love preparing because it is easy to do and doesn't take up wok space. I need to use the stove for many other dishes so it is good to utilise all the available cooking appliances for better time management and to ensure food is served hot.

I don't believe we should tire ourselves out or stress over important occasions. Therefore, my menu often revolves around simple delicious dishes, with most recipes passed down by friends and family or having run through Mom's old recipes books.

Here's what I did but really, there is no need to follow the recipe to the dot. We have always gone the 'agak-agak' (more or less, a rough calculation) way, with several variations from garnishing with spring onions to using Bornean rice wine and more.

Foil Baked Prosperity Prawns

Ingredients:
- 300g prawns or 8 large pieces (deveined, leave whole)
- 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 thumb ginger (grated, about 1 ½ tbsp)
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine mixed with 1 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh coriander and slices of red chilli for garnishing

Method:

1) Pre-heat oven to 180C.
2) Line baking tray with foil. Place prawns on top. Spoon ginger and garlic over.
Drizzle with Shaoxing wine and sprinkle some salt over.
3) Cover with foil and bake until just done - about 12minutes for me.
4) Plate. Garnish with fresh coriander and slices of red chilli.

Top, left to right : The Ingredients, Place Ingredients Onto Foil Lined Baking Tray
Bottom : Prawns Fresh Out Of The Oven

There you go, short work.

With that, the team at Sweet Home-Chefs wishes you Gong Xi Fa Cai for the Year of the Rooster!

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Calamansi Lime Juice With Asam Boi

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A toast to 2017! Wishing all of us a fabulous year blessed with magical moments that will stay as fond memories for us to reminisce about in time to come.

Seeing that it's the season for clinking glasses, I thought it would be appropriate to share this delicious drink that we regularly make to enjoy on special occasions and humid days. It's easy to whip up and requires only two ingredients, not counting the water. Some people add sugar syrup for a bit of sweetness. For me, I think it all comes down to the variety of asam boi (dried/preserved plums) that we use. Some are more strongly flavoured than others.

Asam boi is an acquired taste of sweet, salty and tangy. Also known as Li Hing Mui , this is the stuff that jolts you awake with one small bite. Hence, I always bring a packet along for road trips. It keeps the person on the wheel awake for the long drive and gives everyone else in the car a burst of energy.

Calamansi Lime Juice With Asam Boi

I often choose the white variety for my asam boi lime drink. It is sweet enough for me not to add any sugar and tastes wonderful.

Calamansi Lime Juice With Asam Boi

Makes two glasses
Ingredients:
- 2 cups cold drinking water
- ½ cup hot water
- 3 white asam boi
- 4 calamansi limes (slice into half)
- Some ice cubes

Method:

1) Add asam boi into hot water. Steep for five minutes. This brings the flavour out.
2) Squeeze calamansi lime juice in, over a small strainer to catch the seeds. Add cold water. Give it a good stir and add ice.

Serve immediately.

Note: The amount of lime juice and quantity of asam boi you wish to add is really up to you - a personal preference thing.

All The Ingredients You Need - Asam Boi (From Tesco Malaysia) and Calamansi Limes

Calamansi Lime Juice With Asam Boi

That done, I'm off to the balcony - nothing like sitting outside with a delicious chilled drink in hand, the plants for company and the sky as my TV to make my day.

Calamansi Lime Juice With Asam Boi
Cheers!
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