Seafood Laksa

Ingredients

5 oz dried rice vermicelli
3 cups coconut cream–do not shake the can
3 cups fish stock
1-1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz Japanese kamboko
8 oz scallops
3-1/2 oz deep-fried tofu, halved
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup vietnamese or regular mint
1/4 cup fried red asian shallots

Paste

2 teaspoons shrimp paste
6 large, dried red chilies
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh galangal or ginger
8 red asian shallots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 candlenuts or macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and roast for 5 minutes.
  3. Soak the chilies in boiling water for 15 minutes. Roughly chop the chilies and place into a mortar and pestle with the remaining paste ingredients. Pound to form a smooth paste.
  4. Soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well and set aside.
  5. Spoon the thick coconut cream from the top of the can and fry with the paste in a wok until the oil from the coconut starts to separate from the paste and the mixture is fragrant.
  6. Add the fish stock and the remaining coconut cream. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and stir in the seafood and tofu, cooking for 5 minutes or until tender.
  7. Season with the fish sauce and palm sugar.
  8. Divide the noodles between 4 serving bowls, ladle on some of the soup and serve topped with the bean sprouts, mint and fried shallots.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food Style – Noodles

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Italian-style Lasagne with Bolognese and Spinach

Ingredients

12 No-boil dried lasagne noodles
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bolognese Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds ground beef chuck (not lean)
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ricotta Filling

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk

Method

  1. To make sauce, heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden and softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps, until meat is no longer pink, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine, milk, tomato paste, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist, about 1 hour.
  4. To make the ricotta filling, put spinach in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and twist to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  5. Whisk together ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Transfer 1-1/2 cups ricotta mixture to another bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup milk; set aside.
  6. Whisk spinach into remaining filling with remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F, with rack in middle.
  8. Soak noodles in a bowl of very warm water until pliable but not softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on a kitchen towel (it’s not necessary to pat them dry).
  9. Spread 1-1/2 cups Bolognese sauce in a 13-by 9-inch baking pan (3-inch deep) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Cover with 3 noodles, leaving space in between. Spread half of spinach filling on top, then 1 cup Bolognese sauce, and top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 3 noodles; repeat. Top with remaining Bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and remaining 3 noodles.
  10. Pour reserved ricotta mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  11. Cover pan tightly with parchment paper and foil (or just buttered foil) and bake 50 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and bake until top is browned in spots, about 15 minutes more.
  13. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before cutting.

Cooks’ Notes:

  1. The Bolognese sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
  2. The lasagne can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350°F oven, loosely covered with foil.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

Pasta with Long-simmered Meat Sauce from Bologna

Ingredients

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 thick slice rindless pancetta, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
8 oz ground sirloin
8 oz ground veal
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 cups canned Italian tomatoes and juice, strained
1 tablespoon tomato puree
a bundle of herbs (sprigs of parsley tied with 1 bay leaf and 1 sprig rosemary)
1-2/3 lb fusilli
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet, add the pancetta, and saute until the fat starts to run.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is soft and golden, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Add the ground meats and cook only until they lose their color.
  4. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates.
  5. Add the milk and cook until it evaporates.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, and bundle of herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very, very slowly, partly covered with a lid, for 4-5 hours (the longer the better), stirring occasionally.
  7. Add a little extra water toward the end of the cooking time to prevent the sauce from sticking, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and toss with the remaining olive oil and 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Add 1 ladle of sauce per person and toss well. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Noodles and Pasta

Steamed Fish Combining the Taste of North Africa and the Flavour of India

Ingredients

1/4 cup orange juice
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
2-1/4 cups water
1-1/2 cups couscous
8 oz canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 red snapper fillets, 5 oz each
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Method

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the orange juice. Add the onion and saute until wilted, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the peas, salt, cumin, and curry powder and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, chickpeas, and lemon juice. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Arrange a single layer of the fish fillets on top of the couscous and dust with the paprika. Cover and simmer until the fish is opaque throughout and the couscous has absorbed all the liquid, about 10 minutes.
  5. To serve, divide among individual plates.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Mayo Clinic

A Popular Pasta Dish Around the Region of Nice in France

Ingredients

8 oz orrechiette
1 lb salmon fillet
2 tablespoons oil
1-1/2 cups green beans
1 cup marinated kalamata olives
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into very fine slivers
6 anchovies, halved lengthwise
3 cups young spinach leaves
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

Dressing

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon honey

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling water until al dente, then drain.
  2. Remove the skin and any bones from the salmon and cut into large chunks.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the salmon in batches over high heat until crisp and browned—take care not to overcook or it will fall apart in the salad.
  4. Cook the beans in boiling water until tender, then drain.
  5. Gently toss together the salmon, beans, olives, pepper, cherry tomatoes, onions, anchovies and pasta.
  6. Serve on a bed of young spinach leaves. Top with the eggs.
  7. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Food Style – Pasta