The Trattoria Project and Spectaculars: February 2008

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Little Sump'm

Nothing satisfies a night of starvation like a mind blowing quickie, especially when it is done at the comfort of your own home and made by Uncle Dee.

Steak Sandwich.

Simple and absolutely delicious, done under 5 minutes. It doesn't get any quicker than that.

Toast bread. Any bread you'd like. Uncle Dee suggests Pullman, Ciabatta or Rye. Picture shows Pullman.


Marinate steaks(Ribeye or Fillet) in EVOO, salt, pepper, thyme and crushed garlic. Sear on hot pan, 2mins a side for medium rare, 4 for well done.


Baste mustard on bread while it's at its hottest. Butter toast and lay steak.


Top with rockets.



Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pan-fried Sea Bass with Wilted Spinach and Red Wine Sauce

I be honest, my culinary creativity has run dry and I haven't been producing original dishes. Mates tell me to think out of the box. Well screw them, there is no box. All I need now is some solid inspiration. Therefore, I've been whipping up interesting dishes I've gathered from magazines, shows and books.

Pan-fried Sea Bass with Wilted Spinach and Red Wine Sauce,
a recipe I recalled from a show on TV that I cannot remember the name of. I was curious about the combination of red wine with fish and I wanted to find out, so I gave it a try today.

It wasn't amazing, but it was good. The sauce had good acid, good flavor and a sweet touch to it. And did the sauce compliment the fish? Yes to the taste but not particularly well with the flavor. Nonetheless, it's really quick to prepare and inexpensive. Anyone can make this at home. Try it.

Mise en Place
serves 2

2 Fillets of Seabass
100g Button Mushrooms, halved
75g Shallots, halved and peeled
300ml Red Wine
100g Pancetta, chopped
1 clove of Garlic, chopped
1 bundle of Spinach, washed
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Tbsp Balsamico
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Butter
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Pat fillets dry. Season.

Hot pan. Cook Pancetta to release its oil and brown them.

Add shallots and saute for 5 mins. Add mushrooms, brown sugar, red wine and balsamico. Reduce. Thicken with butter.

Wilt spinach in hot pan with EVOO and garlic. Do not season.

Sear fish skin side down for 2 mins and cook other side until fully cooked through.

Lay spinach in middle of plate, squeeze lemon juice. Put fish on top and ladle sauce and vegetables around. Serve.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sesame Crusted Tuna with Sauteed Dou Miao


It's the Chinese New Year yet again. To the happy unmarried people who are blessed to be in a traditional Chinese family, like me, this is an occasion to get all excited about. All thanks to the ancestors who brought about the heritage that obliges wedded couples to give money to the jolly singles in exchange for their verbal blessings. Whether you think it's corny or not, it's tradition, and I'm loving it.

And when there's a festive season, there's always good food. My relatives are fantastic cooks and they make some of the best dishes the country has to offer(I'd like to think it's in the bloodline). Unfortunately, I got carried away and not a single dish photo was taken. Also, I don't have a habit of taking my camera with me wherever I go. I apologize. Because it is a great deal of information you're missing out.

With the nice amount of extra money received, I wasn't hesitant to spend it on something I really wanted to get for a long time. Fresh Tuna Steaks. It might seem like it's not much of a big deal, but it is for me because Tuna Steaks are rare in Singapore and cost a lot.

I don't know about you, but when dealing with food that's rare, expensive and flavorful, I'll try to keep it as simple as possible to accentuate it's natural taste. Initially, the plan was to turn the Tuna Steaks into Sashimi, but that is boring as hell so I did some homework and decided to adapt a recipe from the F word.

Glad I did that because it was sublime. I did not do the watercress salad because I had too much for the past few days and I can actually see them in my poop. Substituting it is a seasonal vegetable that is consumed during Chinese New Year, I don't know what it is exactly but I do know that it has nothing in relation to pea shoots. It has peppery tones with a nutty and bitter after taste. Which I think it's perfect for the dish.

Sesame Crusted Tuna with Sauteed Dou Miao
recipe adapted from the F word

Mise en Place
Serves 4

4 Tuna Steaks, patted dry with kitchen paper
7 Tbsp Soy Sauce
6 Tbsp Wasabi, mixed with a little hot water
60g Sesame Seeds(I used black because white was out, feel free to use either.)
White Pepper
100g Dou Miao or Watercress
40g Alfafa Sprouts or Bean Sprouts
Fresh Coriander, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
1 tsp grated Ginger
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Juice of half a Lime
1 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Baste Tuna Steaks with Soy Sauce, White Pepper and Wasabi. Coat with Sesame Seeds.
Mix all ingredients for dressing.
Sear Tuna Steaks 1 min a side with olive oil and allow to rest.
Get a pan really hot and add olive oil, cook Dou Miao for 15 secs and set aside.
Slice Tuna Steaks and serve them on a plate with sauteed Dou Miao and Alfafa Sprouts at the bottom. Drizzle with dressing and coriander.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Plausible Threat

I think that people who call themselves vegetarians for the sake of stopping animal deaths or to abide 'kill no life forms' rules are a bunch of ludicrous and lifeless donkeys because of their sheer ignorance for mother nature and for their own well being.

These anti animal killing vegetarians believe that vegetables like carrots, cabbage and celery grows solely on sun, water and soil and therefore won't harm animals in the process. These idiots are wrong. Little did they know, hundreds or maybe thousands of lesser intelligent herbivores and/or omnivores like rabbits and bears are painfully dying everyday by being shot down or by getting caught in barbed wires and bled to death because they are hungry and desperately want to feed on vegetables in farms. And don't blame the farmers you dipshits, they are merely trying to earn a living by protecting their crops. Remember that the more vegetables they demand the more cute little animals will cruelly die.

I won't blame you if you think that was a pile of bullshit but imagine what will happen if the campaign of the vegetarians becomes successful and the governments of the entire world bought their bullshit and not eat meat? Will life be better? Will man and Bambi infatuate? Will there be a whole new meaning to 'Puppy Love'?

No. So put away the pipe. This is what will happen:

Everyone will die much earlier because they won't have enough red blood cells. New Zealand will perish because livestocks will be set free to eat a shitload of greens that vegetarians live on and produce immeasurable amounts of offspring to eat more greens. Animal porn industry will rise and so will the number of newly discovered STDs. Great chefs will commit suicide. People allergic to legumes, citrus, iodine and such will commit suicide. The world will be experiencing a perpetual famine because of the unnatural nature cycle. The world will end.

In other words, every voluntary vegetarian is potentially a terrorist. For the love of mother nature and mankind, dictate your vegetarian friends or family to eat meat like a human should, use force if you need to, it's only for a good cause.

Existing in this world is another group of people volunteering to vegetarianism because of 'kill no life form' beliefs. Kudos to them for their faith and determination, but I feel sad for them for suffering for nothing. Not because I'm distrusting their beliefs, but because there are things they don't know.

If any living thing is able to kill no life form in this world, I will cut off my bollocks with a blunt knife. By killing no life forms, you are actually telling me that you:

1. Never flush your toilet and you love the smell of abominable rancid decomposed turd because flushing them down will kill bacteria lives that are present.
2. Can exist in this world by not eating because everything we eat are life forms. In case you're wondering, plants are life forms too, they need sunlight, water, fertilizer and air to grow, yes?
3. Keep your ejaculation in an incubation storage.
4. Are already dead because breathing kills organisms in the air.

It is only natural and enjoyable for us to eat meat, so go forth and grab a burger now. The only vegetarians that are sane and I completely empathize are the people who love meat but cannot consume so because of some lethal allergies. Just for this group of unfortunate people, I hope you will like this really delicious vegetarian recipe.

Wild Mushrooms with Fresh Pasta

Mise en Place
serves 4

450g Fresh Pasta
400g Mixed Wild Mushrooms
1 medium Onion, chopped
3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
300ml White Wine
2 Tbsp Butter
3 sprigs Thyme
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Italian Parlsey, chopped
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Freshly Grated Parmesan

Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic in butter and EVOO.
Add thyme and white wine then reduce.
Cook pasta in boiling hot salted water until al dente. Drain.

Toss with mushroom mixture and add parsley, lemon juice, Parmesan and season.