Orange-glazed Salmon with Tarragon

Orange-glazed Salmon with Tarragon

Hello Everyone! As I stated in my very first post for the year 2020, I mentioned that I would not be revealing the theme for the year as I want to give you guys a chance to guess. I also mentioned that it might not be obvious for the first few months. But as a new month dawns upon us, this means that it’s time to change it up a little bit; to make it start to look a little clearer on where the journey of Amcarmen’s Kitchen will take us this 2020.

Tonight’s recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight meal, yet also fancy enough to impress your guests on the weekend! What’s even better is that it’s ready in under 30 minutes! It’s full of vibrant orange flavour and pairs well with the fresh tarragon. Actually, a little side note – the recipe uses fresh rosemary to pair with the salmon. I had a hard time sourcing rosemary the weekend I wanted to whip this dish up and so I ended up using the next best thing I could find – tarragon!

Orange-glazed Salmon with Tarragon

This Orange-glazed Salmon is a hearty and filling dish packed with fresh flavours and healthy fats. Sear the salmon first so that you get that delicious and slightly crisped golden-brown exterior with a tender, fall-apart interior. As this dish makes quite a bit of sauce, it is best served with a side of rice or couscous to soak up all that yummy goodness. Don’t forget a side of veggies too for some added fibre to your diet!

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please check out the original where I drew my inspiration from, another recipe from Jaclyn over on Cooking Classy.

Orange-glazed Salmon with Tarragon Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 salmon portions (1-inch thick, skin on)
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 small Navel oranges)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 shrimp bouillon cube, dissolved in 5 tbsp of water
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp fresh tarragon, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tarragon sprigs, to serve

To serve

  • Blanched vegetables of choice
  • Navel orange wedges/slices
  • Steamed plain rice or couscous

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium-high. Make sure that it is hot enough, but not too hot that it starts smoking.
  2. Season both sides of the salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper before adding to the pan. Cook, skin side down first before flipping, about 3-4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Once done, transfer the salmon to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
  3. With the same oil in the pan, add the garlic and minced tarragon. Sauté for about 20 seconds, taking care not to burn them, and then add 4 tablespoons of the shrimp bouillon cube dissolved in water. Simmer until mostly reduced. Stir in the orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, and honey.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of the shrimp bouillon cube dissolved in water with the cornstarch. Pour into the pan and whisk until thickened. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for about a minute while constantly whisking.
  5. Return the salmon to the pan and spoon the sauce over. Remove from the heat.
  6. Serve with vegetables of choice, in this case I used mustard leaves, on the side with extra slices of fresh oranges and steamed rice (optional). Enjoy!

Orange-glazed Salmon with Tarragon

Orange-glazed Salmon with Tarragon

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe the month is going by in the blink of an eye! It’s already the third week of Cooking with Quinoa and I’ve got another colourful recipe to share with y’all. I’ll keep tonight’s post short as I’ve got nothing much to tell really – other than the fact that it was a slow day at work today, and has been for the second half of last week up until today. Tomorrow may be another slow day and I guess it will be like this for a while until another event creeps up on me. Even though there’s not much to do, I’m still slowly preparing the things that I need to deliver for January’s event so that I won’t find myself stressing out and doing things last minute a month before the event. At least I can enjoy my Christmas and New Years when it comes.

All that aside, if you’re obsessed with fresh fruit, then this is a dish you’d want to whip up as an easy pre and/or post workout meal. This salad is also very versatile in a sense that you can easily mix and match fruit combinations depending on what you like and what fruits are in season. The original recipe can be found over on The Recipe Critic: Tried and True.

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the salad

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup tri-colour quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 large orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1 punnet (125g) blueberries
  • 1 punnet (125g) strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

For the honey lime glaze

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

METHOD

  1. Rinse the quinoa before combining it with 2 cups of room temperature water in a medium-sized pot. Turn the heat up to high and bring the quinoa to a boil. Once boiling, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and then set aside to cool. Note: Quinoa holds lots of water, so you have to make sure you drain it thoroughly after it’s cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the honey and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add all the fruits into a large mixing bowl together with the cooked and cool quinoa. Mix until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish with the spinach leaves and then drizzled with the honey lime glaze. Serve as a healthy morning or afternoon snack, pre or post gym workout. Enjoy!

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Mango Shake

Mango Shake

Hello Everyone! I’ll be keeping today’s post very simple and straight forward as tomorrow I will be doing a special post for two very loved people in my life. What I like about being back in the tropics around this time of the year is that it’s summer and summertime means MANGOES! Once, someone asked me a question: “If you were to be shipped to a deserted island and you could only take 1 item of food with you, what would you bring?” I thought a while about this and I remembered that my final answer was mangoes. The moment I said it, everyone nodded and agreed that it was a good choice; I could tell that their mouths watered as soon as I said it.

Mango Shake

I love mangoes, especially Philippine mangoes. I’m sorry but Kensington Pride mangoes, which are the ones I’ve been buying from Coles during summertime down under, cannot compare. Today’s recipe is very simple, and is definitely much better than what you get at restaurants. I remember the one that I had at Arabela, it was very watered down, and more on ice than mango.

Mango Shake Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ripe Philippine mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Mint leaves, to garnish

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the mint leaves, into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with mint leaves.
  3. Serve and enjoy a refreshing drink in the summer sun!

Mango Shake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

 

Hello Everyone! Today’s post is a special one as this is my 100th recipe on the blog! I wanted to make something special, for my 100th recipe post, but I wasn’t in the mood to bake a cake for it because I baked one just last week, and I will be baking one this coming Thursday ready for my Mom’s birthday on Friday!

Fresh Fruit Salad

Anyway, today’s recipe is a classic dish that you will find on every Filipino’s table during Noche Buena (the eve of Christmas) and/or Media Noche (New Year’s eve) feasting celebrations. ‘Fruit Salad’ is a general term referring to a dish that is typically composed of an assortment of fruits, fresh or canned. The Filipino version of the fruit salad consists of these fruits, condensed milk, and table cream, making the dish a rich and sweet dessert. I personally don’t like the use of canned fruits just because of the amount of preservatives in them. Anyway, there are plenty of fresh fruits that can be bought at the local markets – and Philippine mangoes are in season right now so why substitute that for canned fruit cocktail?! However, buying a can of fruit cocktail is definitely cheaper for the average Filipino.

Here’s what you’d get if you use canned fruit cocktail to make your fruit salad; not as vibrant as the one above right? Also, by using fresh fruits, you get to play around not only with the type of fruit but with the many colours as well, for example vibrant green kiwis or bright orange mandarins/papayas? Take your pick! Just don’t forget to include bright yellow mangoes and definitely those luscious red dragonfruits.

Fruit Salad

Now, I’ve had a look at a few recipes online and none that I have come across add cheese in their fruit salads. From what I know, or I guess what my mom has told me is that, since this would normally be a dish served during Christmas and New Year’s time, a fruit salad would not be complete without the addition of pieces of queso de bola. Queso de Bola (translated: “ball of cheese”) is just Edam cheese, traditionally sold in spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat of red paraffin wax.

Other than fruits, fresh or canned, and cheese, palm seeds and nata de coco can also be added. I love nata de coco; I’d always fish these out from the serving bowl! Nata de Coco, for those of you who don’t know, is produced by the fermentation of coconut water. It is translucent and has a jelly-like and chewy texture.

Fresh Fruit Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 young coconuts, flesh removed and shredded*
  • 1 can (380ml)  Nestlé cream
  • 1 can (570g) palm seeds, with syrup
  • 1 jar (340g) nata de coco, drained
  • 1 red dragonfruit, cut into chunks
  • 1 green apple, cut into chunks
  • 1 red apple, cut into chunks
  • 1 ripe Philippine mango, cut into chunks**
  • 1/2 block (125g) cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 large pomegranate, peeled and deseeded
  • 3 tbsp condensed milk
  • Handful of small black and red grapes

*The best thing about using fresh young coconut is that you get to have a nice tall glass of fresh coconut juice! The best thing in the world especially if you’re living right on the equator and experiencing high 30s all year round!

**You can use any other kinds of mango i.e. Kensington Pride mangoes, but honestly, Philippine mangoes are simply the best!

METHOD

  1. Combine all the fruits (except the dragonfruit), cheese, palm seeds with syrup, and nata de coco in a large serving bowl. If you add the dragonfruit in now and mix everything together, its colour will bleed into the cream and make everything pink!
  2. Add the condensed milk and cream and mix well, being careful though so that the fruits still remain intact and do not get crushed when mixing. Once everything is mixed, top with the dragonfruit chunks.
  3. Chill in the fridge/freezer for at least three hours.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Greek-inspired Barley Salad

Greek-inspired Barley Salad

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already February, which means sad times ahead as I only have less than two week in this beautiful city I have been calling home for the past 4 years. I’m finding it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that once I leave, the possibility of coming back is unlikely. Yes I will be back for graduation, but after that it’s quite possible that it’s sayōnara for good.

So why am I starting off my blog post on this matter? Well it’s because leaving and knowing you won’t be back in a long time has me in this cleaning-up-the-pantry phase. I discovered that I have a tin of pearl barley in my pantry and so I wanted to make use of this. I came across a recipe on the Food Network for a Barley Greek Salad and decided to give this a try. I didn’t change much of the recipe besides the fact that I used balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar only because I had about a quarter of a bottle left of balsamic. I didn’t want to buy a whole new bottle of red wine vinegar seeing as I didn’t have any (since my whole point is to clear the pantry)! I also decided to throw in some avocado chunks instead of cucumber because for those who know me, cucumber isn’t my thing.

Greek-inspired Barley Salad

Easy, simple, and packed with lots of flavour. Good for a light and healthy (I presume) lunch or as a side to a classic Aussie summer BBQ. The flavours worked really well together; you’ve got the saltiness from the olives, counterbalanced with the acidity of the balsamic vinegar. You’ve got the freshness of the added vegetables as well as the crunch from the diced capsicum, chewiness from the pearl barley, and creaminess of the avocado. Like fireworks in your mouth I tell you; an absolute burst of flavours to the palette!

Greek-inspired Barley Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup danish feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into chunks
  • 1 punnet (250g) cherry tomato medley, quartered
  • 1 small red capsicum, seeded, ribs removed, and diced
  • 1 small red spanish onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp balsamic (or red wine) vinegar
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD

  1. Combine the barley, 3 cups water, and a pinch salt in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the barley is tender, approximately 45 minutes. Strain* and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, feta, olives, mint, capsicum and shallots in a large bowl. Once the barley has cooled down, add it to the bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a separate small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and dress the salad and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s best to make the barley salad at least 3 hours ahead of time so the flavours have time to incorporate and mingle into each other.

*Optional: when straining the barley, reserve the water for drinking. There are numerous health benefits associated to drinking barley water such as lowering cholesterol levels in the body because of its high fibre content. Barley water also helps reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It is a good source of magnesium, which reacts with various enzymes involving glucose levels in the body. To find out more about the health benefits of barley water, check out the Diet Health Club.

Greek-inspired Barley Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Hello Everybody! Short post today as I have no long-winded back story for this dish. I just wanted something fresh on the plate to accompany my wings and this came into mind! Please do check out the original recipe here though by allrecipes once again.

Corn Salsa Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (420g) sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Handful of rocket leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss together until well combined. Chill until ready to serve. Simple as that!

Corn Salsa

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Steamed Whole Snapper

Steamed Whole Snapper

Hello Everyone! My fridge (or should I say, my part of the fridge since I share a house with about 20 other people) has been looking a bit lonely for the past week. Nothing makes me happier than going to Paddy’s Market, and coming home with bags of fresh meat, seafood, and vegetables – and a bonus development of arm muscles from carrying heavy shopping bags, but probably not good for my back in the long run. My part of the fridge is looking happier now with all that food!

Steamed Whole Snapper

I probably bought more than 5 kilos of meat ranging from beef, chicken, and yummy pork ribs. I also got 2 whole snappers for $15, one of which will be featured in today’s post, and the other probably later in the week, as well as some prawns and salmon portions. I know that this sounds like a LOT of food for a tiny girl like me, but all this will probably last me a month or so. Paddy’s is not difficult to get to from where I live, but it is quite a bit of a trek and time consuming to go to every week to shop especially when there are a few other supermarkets close by. The reason why I go to Paddy’s at least once a month is because of their meat, seafood, and vegetables – cheaper and definitely fresher and of better quality than your local Coles or Woolies. I once got sick from meat that I got from Coles… That’s all I’m going to say.

Anyway, onto the recipe – this is a dish that my mom would always make for dinner, using a different fish of course and a different method of cooking. She usually cooks it over a charcoaled barbecue and I don’t know, there’s just something about it being cooked that way that made it so much more tastier. I obviously wasn’t going to start a barbecue for just one fish, plus, I don’t actually have a barbecue in the house (well I do but it runs on gas and I kind of blew it up towards the end of last year – don’t ask). So I stuck to steaming the fish today, but if you do want to give this a try, I highly recommend my mom’s way of cooking. Lip-smacking goodness I tell you!

Steamed Whole Snapper Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole snapper, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced

METHOD

  1. Nestle the snapper on a large piece of foil and scatter the red and white parts of the onions, ginger, tomatoes, peppercorns, and salt. Drizzle the lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil over the fish.
  2. Loosely seal the foil to make a package, making sure that there is enough space at the top for the steam to circulate while the fish cooks.
  3. Steam for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can place the parcel on a heatproof plate, or a stainless steel wire steamer rack, over a pan of gently simmering water, cover with a lid and steam.
  4. Garnish with the remaining green onions and chilli slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Steamed Whole Snapper

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Scallops with Bacon and Beet Purée

Scallops with Bacon and Beet Purée

Happy Tuesday everyone! Beetroot is making an appearance in today’s post (from the leftover purée I had from the Beetroot Gnocchi recipe I posted last week). So, as you all probably know if you read that post, beetroot isn’t quite to my liking and I have no valid reason as to why I don’t particularly like it. As I said, can’t quite put my finger on it, might be the taste but I honestly have no idea. However, I did not want to waste such good produce so I decided to make something that goes with beet purée, and I found this recipe online that appealed a lot to me, mainly because I love scallops and I rarely get to eat them, or even cook with them because it’s a little bit over the ‘student’ budget (but today I will make an exception).

The original recipe garnishes the dish with goat cheese, and I would’ve added the goat cheese in if I hadn’t actually forgotten about it – yeah, it’s now sitting in my fridge and I’m trying to think of a dish that can incorporate this so I don’t have to store it in the fridge for a long time and eventually forget about it and then throw it out. But enough chitter-chatter, time to get on with the recipe (check out the original recipe here)! Also, before I continue, my scallops weren’t as thick as the ones in this recipe, so it looked a bit flat on the dish for me, but nonetheless, flavour was definitely there.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup roasted beet purée*
  • 1 bacon strip (in this case I used hickory-smoked bacon), diced
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream
  • Ground sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • Fresh goat cheese

*See my Beetroot Gnocchi recipe on how to roast beets if you don’t have any ready at hand.

METHOD

  1. Melt butter in a medium-sized frying pan and cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain off any excess oils. Pour out any excess oil from the pan leaving a bit behind, then add in the onions and sauté over medium heat until soft and caramelised (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add the Chardonnay and boil until reduced by half, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add the cream and beet purée. Simmer until a thick purée is formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, pat the scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt a knob of butter in a small frying pan and then add the scallops and cook until they’re brown, about 30 seconds to a maximum of 45 seconds per side (they will be slightly translucent in the centre).
  4. Spoon the beet purée onto a serving plate, spreading in a circular motion. Top with the scallops, drizzling any juices from the plate over the top. Spoon small dollops of the goat cheese, and sprinkle with bacon and fresh Italian parsley.

Scallops with Bacon and Beet Purée

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com