Herb & Caper-crusted Salmon

Herb & Caper-crusted Salmon

Hello Everyone and happy first of July! If you’re a little pressed for time when it comes to preparing and cooking, this should be one of your go-to, quick yet healthy and light weeknight dinner recipes. The salmon is full of fresh flavours, tang, and heat! It could not be any simpler to make and goes from fridge to table in 20 minutes, even including all the sides you need to make this a complete meal! Simply chop up your herbs and capers, slather it onto your salmon filets, then bake. Easy peasy lemon squeezy right?

Herb & Caper-crusted Salmon

Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods you can find. This popular fatty fish is loaded with nutrients and may reduce risk factors for several diseases. It’s also super tasty, versatile, and widely available. Salmon is rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease. Salmon is also rich in high-quality protein, which is needed to heal, protect bone health, and prevent muscle loss, among other benefits. The list goes on.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on Iowa Girl Eats by Kristin. The original recipe crusts the salmon with a caper and dill-infused gremolata – which is just a fancy name for chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. I used basil and green onions/scallions in place of the dill and parsley only because I could not find those herbs at the grocers. I think it worked well with the herb substitutes that I used, so don’t be afraid to mix up your herbs for the crust to what’s readily available at your local grocers.

Herb & Caper-crusted Salmon Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 7-9 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 salmon filets, about 150g per filet
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, minced
  • 2 stalks green onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Zest of 1 lemon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 4), and line a baking sheet with foil. Grease with a little bit of oil or butter and set aside.
  2. Mix the chopped/minced basil, green onions, chillies, capers, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and black pepper to the centre of a large plate. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the mixture to moisten.
  3. Rub the salmon filets with olive oil and then season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Press the top and sides of each filet into the herb and caper mixture to create an even crust.Place the filets onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes. Be careful and do not over bake them!
  4. Once done, transfer the salmon filets to individual serving plates. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on the salmon fillets, and some creamy mashed potatoes on the side with blanched asparagus or any other greens of choice. Enjoy!

Herb & Caper-crusted Salmon

Herb & Caper-crusted Salmon

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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

Seafood Thai Red Curry

Seafood Thai Red Curry

Hello Everyone! The secret to a great, vibrant, and spicy Seafood Thai Red Curry is of course the quality of the red curry paste, spices and aromatics, vegetables, and the freshest seafood you can find out there. The best thing about this dish is that it is pescatarian-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free!

Seafood Thai Red Curry

When it comes to a seafood-loaded curry, versatility is one of the things that I love about it. You can pretty much load it up with any type of fish, shellfish, and seafood of your choice. The same goes with the vegetables. Also, depending on the ingredients you choose to add to the dish, it can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

For those who know me, I would normally tackle recipes like this by making my own paste. However, due to the limited availability of certain ingredients here in the Philippines, I thought long and hard before I opted to use store-bought paste. Just make sure that if you are using good-quality and authentic Thai Red Curry Paste. They can usually be found in the international aisle of any large supermarket chains.

Seafood Thai Red Curry Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g salmon belly, skin removed* and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 100g baby clams, de-grit and cleaned**
  • 100g baby mussels, cleaned and debearded***
  • 100g baby squid, cleaned
  • 50g snow peas
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 bunch baby bok choy, halved
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, whole or sliced
  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into large cubes
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
  • 1 small piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, halved then sliced
  • 3/4 cup fish stock (or 1 fish bouillon cube dissolved in 3/4 cup water)
  • 3/4 cup extra light olive oil
  • 200ml full cream coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp Authentic Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Thai basil leaves or spring onion, to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

* Do not discard the skin
** Find out how to de-grit and clean clams over on Just One Cookbook
*** Find out how to clean and debeard mussels over on Epicurious

METHOD

  1. Crispy Salmon Skin: Place the salmon skin into a bowl and toss with about 2 tablespoons of salt. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. This is to draw out the moisture from the salmon skin to get it nice and crispy when fried. Pat the salmon skin dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the 3/4 cup of extra light olive oil, or enough oil for shallow frying, over medium-high. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking or else the salmon skin will burn before fully crisping. Stir the skin around frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. The skin will look rubbery at first, so take your time as it can take a full 10 to 15 minutes for it to crisp up. Once crispy, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Set aside.
  3. Preparing the Tofu: Meanwhile, if using tofu from a package, drain and allow to sit on a clean tea towel or paper towel to get rid of any excess water. Set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes for it to fully extract moisture.
  4. In the same medium-sized frying pan, over medium-high heat, carefully add the tofu in and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and let it sit on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes, and set aside.
  5. Seafood Thai Red Curry: In a soup pot or heavy duty Dutch oven, heat about 2 tablespoons of the extra light olive oil over medium-high and sauté the onions, ginger, lemongrass, and chillies until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the Thai red curry paste and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the fish stock and cherry tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and black pepper, as well as with the Thai fish sauce and brown sugar to get the balance of flavours up to your liking. Feel free to add more chillies in if you feel you need a bit more of a spicy punch to the soup base.
  7. Add the lemon juice for some tang, together with the tofu bites, and followed by the snow peas. Cook the snow peas for about a minute and then remove them from the pot. Transfer to a separate plate. Do the same with the baby bok choy. This is to prevent the vegetables from overcooking.
  8. Add the baby clams and mussels and cook for 2 minutes before adding the salmon belly and baby squid to the pot, together with the coconut milk. Cook for a further minute, or until the soup comes back up to a rapid simmer.
  9. Turn the heat off and transfer the curry to a serving dish. Garnish with the crispy salmon skin, Thai basil leaves or spring onions, and fresh chillies. Serve immediately with steamed rice and enjoy!

Seafood Thai Red Curry

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Salmon Belly Paksiw sa Gata (Stewed in Vinegar & Coconut Milk)

Salmon Belly Paksiw sa Gata (Stewed in Vinegar & Coconut Milk)

Hello Everyone! I find it hard to believe that it’s already the middle of the month – oh how time flies by so quickly! I don’t have a long-winded tangent to go on about tonight so this post will most likely be shorter than the previous two.

Paksiw sa Gata is a Filipino cooking procedure that involves two cooking styles – Paksiw (stewed in vinegar), and Ginataan (stewed in coconut milk/cream). This cooking procedure is a quick and easy way of preparing a fish dish; a staple amongst Filipino families.

Salmon Belly Paksiw sa Gata (Stewed in Vinegar & Coconut Milk)

You can use other cuts of salmon such as the heads, tails, and the flesh itself. Likewise, you can also use other types of fish such as Threadfin Bream (Bisúgo) and this unnamed White/Silver Fish that my mom used to get from the markets in Brunei for her paksiw (without the gata) dishes that we grew up on. The only reason why it’s unnamed is because I don’t actually know the name of it *cheeky grin*

Besides the protein, it is also an easy dish to incorporate greens into. Bitter melon (ampalaya) leaves are most common, but not restricted to. I absolutely detest bitter melon and its leaves, and so I opted to use malunggay leaves for this dish. Other common/favourite alternatives include spinach, water spinach (kangkong), and chilli leaves.

Salmon Belly Paksiw sa Gata (Stewed in Vinegar & Coconut Milk) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg salmon belly, washed, scaled and, cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup spicy vinegar*
  • 3 long green chillies
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies**
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch malunggay leaves
  • Thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Salt, to taste

*Or you can always use normal white vinegar if you don’t sit well with spice

**Optional – only if you want your paksiw sa gata to have a spicy kick to it or not

METHOD

  1. Add the ginger, garlic, onions, chillies, black peppercorns, vinegar, and water into a medium-sized cooking pot. Heat over medium-high and bring to a brisk boil. Continue boiling for about 10 minutes to allow the vinegar to cook and for the aromatics to infuse into the liquid.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, and slowly stir in the coconut milk in and season with a touch of salt. Bring to a slow boil. It is important to bring it back to a boil slowly to avoid curdling the coconut milk. This happens when it is heated too quickly.
  3. Add in the salmon belly chunks and allow to cook for a further 5-7 minutes before adding the malunggay leaves in. Turn the heat off and cover for about 30-60 seconds to allow the malunngay leaves to wilt.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy with steamed jasmine rice. Paksiw and Ginataan dishes are always best eaten with rice!

Salmon Belly Paksiw sa Gata (Stewed in Vinegar & Coconut Milk)

This only just came into mind as I was finishing this post off. I thought back to popular (highly viewed) dish that I made a while back that also uses Salmon Belly (Pan-fried Salmon Bellies).

The next time I make this dish, I’m going to pan-fry my salmon bellies to get it nice and crisp. Then, cook the vinegar and coconut milk sauce separately and just pour it over the pan-fried bellies. There’s nothing I love more than a mouthful of crispy yet melt-in-the-mouth belly fat!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Everyone loves food. You have some who love to cook it and some who enjoy eating it. For me, passion for cooking only really started while I was studying abroad. I enjoyed the luxury of having control of what I ate and what I bought. Coming from a big family you don’t get to pick what everyone else eats. So having that choice was amazing. I couldn’t take it for granted.

I started getting serious with cooking when I moved to Sheffield in the UK. I wasn’t a Michelin style chef but I loved being able to create meals in minutes. Simplicity was my game and ShefShaz started all because of that simple concept. I wanted to share with students alike that making meals didn’t have to be difficult. That you could save a lot and look after yourself all at the same time.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

As a mum, I live by the same concept. Keep things simple which reflects very well in the food I make. Having a kid is no joke but knowing you can put aside 30 minutes and whip up a delicious meal makes you feel super accomplished.

I have known Allison (Ally) more or less all my life. From childhood classmates to now still good friends. I think it’s great we both share a passion for food with a healthier twist. Ally has always been a very visual person. She knows how to make everything look good.

ShefShaz, Little ShefShaz, and Amcarmen's Kitchen
L to R: ShefShaz, Little ShefShaz, and Amcarmen’s Kitchen

The inspiration from my dishes are a very Jamie Oliver take on food. Simple, delicious food, fast. Something I know kids will enjoy as well as adults and bitesize to make each spoonful a party in your mouth.

Hope you enjoy this simple and quick recipe for Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs!

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the salmon fish cakes

  • 500g salmon fillets, skin off* and de-boned, minced
  • 20g fresh coriander
  • 6cm fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, finely minced
  • 1 chilli, minced with seeds in
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salad greens
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Lemon wedges

*Do not toss out your salmon skin! You can pop these into the oven to make crispy salmon skin for an extra added crunch texture to the dish.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with foil and set aside.
  2. Salmon Fish Cakes: Add all the ingredients for the salmon fish cakes into a large mixing bowl and combine.
  3. Form the mixture into patties, you should be able to make 8 patties with this recipe.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (more or less depending on the side of your patties). Once done, remove from the oven and leave it to rest. Turn the oven temperature down to 160C (300F or gas mark 2).
  5. Toast: Cut a hole in each slice of bread using a round cutter.
  6. Crack one egg into each hole and then bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with fresh salad greens, cherry tomatoes and sweet chilli sauce.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

The optional recipe below is actually a recipe by Allison that she whipped up for her Colombian style Arepas that she made during our weekend cook-off. We both paired the salsa together with our Salmon Fish Cakes just too see what it would taste like – and it was magical! So feel free to give this a go with this recipe!

OPTIONAL Aji (Colombian Salsa)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup spring onion (white and light green parts only), finely minced
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely minced
  • 1/2 small tomato, finely minced

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix well, cover, and let it sit it the fridge for at least an hour for all the flavours to infuse before serving.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Recipe Copyright © 2018 | shefshaz

BON APPÉTIT

– ShefShaz

myTaste.com

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts (3 Ways)

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Hello Everyone! Firstly, I would like to apologise for getting this post up TWO days late (compensating by posting earlier in the day today). I’ve been hibernating for the past few days after mentally and physically tiring days and nights of work. I don’t want to get into a long winded description of why since I’m not a 100% in the mood to write, so I’ll just hop on forward to tonight’s recipe. Hopefully I’ll be in a better mood to write next week. Apologies once again! It’s nothing serious by that way, it just that while I’m writing this, my mind seems to doze off and my eyelids just keep getting heavier and heavier, making it hard for me to concentrate even the slightest bit.

But of course I won’t just leave you guys with a less than mediocre introduction – it is a new month after all on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and I have yet to introduce to you the theme for this month! So just a little bit of inside information, probably about a year ago, I saw these beautifully colourful sweet potato toasts in a Coles Magazine spread and instantly knew I had to give these a go. Fast forward a year (or more) later, and I’ve finally decided to whip up Three Savoury Sweet Potato Toasts for you. They are definitely not as aesthetically pleasing as those you’d find on Pinterest though so don’t hate it these toasts look… Underwhelming. I think my toppings were WAY too massive for the potato slices I had, hence an imbalance proportions. I don’t know – the photographs just look weird to me *insert cold sweat emoji*.

So yes, as you can already see, I’m a bit late on the then hot and trendy sweet potato toasts, but that won’t stop me from sharing them with you guys. Sweet potato toast is basically toast, but without the toast. Skeptics question how can it be called toast without the actual toast? Well, if you’re gluten-free, want a little more fiber in your diet, or are tired of bread for toast, then sweet potatoes are a great option as a substitute. In addition, sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A in our body – just like carrots and other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A is important for hair, skin, nails, vision, and plays a key role in immune function.

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts (3 Ways)

Preparing your Sweet Potato Toasts

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS* | MAKES 5 SLICES**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your sweet potato slices.
**Or how-ever-so-many slices you can get from a single sweet potato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange sweet potato, wash and dried

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Trim both ends from the sweet potato using a knife and slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs using a knife or mandolin slicer.
  3. Arrange the slabs in a single layer on the wire rack and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but not fully cooked.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool on wire rack completely before transferring to a storage container. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

When it’s go-time simply add the desired number of slices to your toaster and toast away. Setting it on the highest setting takes only one toasting cycle to get them how I like them (warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges). Just be wary that yours may need more or less depending on the toaster that you are using. Adjust to your liking!

Notes/Tips:

    • Look for sweet potatoes that are relatively shaped like a tube so that they’re easier to slice.
    • Don’t remove the skin because fibre in it is good and it helps the slices hold up better during storage.
    • Using a mandolin slicer gives you uniform slices of sweet potatoes, and is easier and safer than using a big knife.
    • Allow them to cool completely after baking before stacking them in a container or they’ll get sweaty and will definitely take longer to toast when you’re ready to eat them.

Now the fun starts – you get to add toppings! The possibilities are pretty much endless but these three are my absolute favourite combinations for a yummy start to my day!


Avocado, Beetroot & Goats Cheese

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts: Avocado, Beetroot & Goats Cheese

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Avocado slices
  • Beetroot slices
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns
  • Goats cheese, crumbled
  • Lemon zest
  • Spring onion, chopped
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Smashed Avo, Crispy Bacon & Poached Egg

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts: Smashed Avo, Crispy Bacon & Poached Egg

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Bacon slices
  • Balsamic reduction
  • Poached egg
  • Smashed avocado
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Crispy Bacon: Heat a medium size non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon strips and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and fry in the bacon fat for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Set aside in an oven to keep warm before serving.
  2. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour the 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you have impatient tendencies like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess.
  3. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  4. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  5. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Beet & Salt-cured Salmon

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts: Beet & Salt-cured Salmon

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

***Or store-bought smoked salmon will do just fine as well.

METHOD

  1. Crispy Salmon Skin: Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly brush olive oil and sprinkle some salt on both sides of the salmon skin. Place the salmon skin, shiny side up, on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Allow the salmon skin to cool before eating.
  2. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  3. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

And there you have it! Three simple Savoury Sweet Potato Toasts for a great fix of a seriously nutrient-packed brekkie! What do you think about sweet potato toast? Have you tried it for yourself, and if you have what did you think?

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Hello Everyone! I hope it’s been a good week for y’all so far. So the original inspiration for this dish was actually drawn from a dish that I had back when I was still studying in Australia – a simple dish that is packed with beautiful flavours that sing in our mouth upon every bite. The pop of citrus that you get from the fresh king salmon, the explosion of salt from the caviar, the crunch from the broccolini, and the fluffiness of the blini to just soak up all the creaminess from the maltaise sauce combined with that liquid gold – pure heaven.

Devon Café's Eggs Blini
Devon Café’s Eggs Blini • buckwheat blini • poached eggs • citrus cured king salmon • salmon caviar • broccolini • maltaise sauce

If I remember clearly, the first time I had this dish was also the first time I had stepped into Devon Café – one fine Sunday(?) morning I believe. I was waiting outside with Jialing for – of course – Yvonne to show up for our ‘brunch’ meet up. While waiting, I saw one of my high school friend’s brother inside the café with a group of his friends. We both displayed shocked expressions on our faces as we made eye contact and realised each other’s familiar faces. Why? Well because firstly, I hadn’t seen him since I graduated highschool, which at that time would’ve been 3-4 years ago, and secondly, he doesn’t live Sydney, he was just travelling through at that time – what a small world amirite? Anyway we talked for a bit, but I let him enjoy his Eggs Blini (yes he was having that dish) while Jialing and I continued to wait for Yvonne. If not mistaken, we had planned to meet up at 10am, but Yvonne didn’t show up until quarter to one, or even at one maybe. I can’t actually remember, but I know she was super late which is typical. Not hating on her though because Jialing and I know her so well for this to be her thing *cheeky grin* We still waited for her, though I also don’t know what Jialing and I did for 3 hours of waiting. Another one of a brunch-turned-late-lunch sessions! The wait was all worth it though for that spectacular Eggs Blini dish!

The second time I had this dish wasn’t planned at all. The initial plan was to take, my then housemate’s friend to have the BEST sandwiches ever in Sydney, but I had totally forgotten that they were closed on Sundays! So I told him that I’d take him to the next best place on my list for our brunch date – which was of course, Devon Café! I had convinced him to order the Eggs Blini because he was being very indecisive. I told him that he would not regret it – and he didn’t! I could see it in his face as he savoured and devoured each bite he took.

Floris & his Eggs Blini
Remember guys, the camera ALWAYS eats first!

Alright, I apologise for the long-winded introduction, but nowadays it’s very rare that I have something to share with you guys, since I do nothing now but eat, sleep, work, repeat 6 times a week. My social life has gone down the drain, which is also my fault because I can’t be bothered to make the effort to go out. I’d much rather sit in front of the TV after work or just lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. Nevertheless! Here’s my take on Devon Café’s Eggs Blini:

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 3

*Includes time for the buckwheat blini batter to rise and rest.

INGREDIENTS

For the buckwheat blini (original recipe from The Spruce Eats)**

  • 1 cup milk warm
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 large free range egg, at room temperature, yolk and white separated
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 bunch purple kale, stemmed
  • Fresh salmon, cut into 15 equal sashimi slices***
  • Fresh salmon roe
  • Lemon wedges, to garnish
  • Micro-herbs, to garnish

**I recommend that you follow the link to learn more about what a blini is especially if this word is foreign to you.

***If you don’t possess the knife skills to do so, you can always pop by your local fish market to get lovely and readily fresh cuts of sashimi.

METHOD

  1. Buckwheat Blini: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl – the plain flour, buckwheat flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warmed milk, mixing until smooth. Cover and let rise until the mixture has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Then, stir in the cooled melted butter and the egg yolk into the batter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter and cover to stand 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop quarter-size dollops of dough into pan without crowding. Cook for about 1 minute or until bubbles form and break. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds more. Cover blini and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Hollandaise Sauce: While the buckwheat blini batter is underway and left to stand, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  6. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  7. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  8. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, tom yum paste, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  10. Kale: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add salt to taste and the kale. Blanch for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking, and drain. Take the blanched kale up by the handful and squeeze hard to expel excess water.
  11. Assembly: Lay the blini on the plate, and place the blanched kale leaves on top. Build up with the salmon sashimi slices, 5 per serving, and top with the poached egg. Drizzle a generous amount of hollandaise sauce and garnish with the salmon roe, about a teaspoon or two per serving, and micro-herbs. Squeeze with a bit of lemon juice before indulging. Enjoy!

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Before I sign off, I just want to let you guys know that next week will be a little different as the recipe that I will be sharing will be in three parts. I will be posting part 1 of the recipe on Tuesday night, the main Eggs Benny recipe on Wednesday night, and another dish on what you can do with the leftovers! So get your mouths watering for three new recipes next week!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli

Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of March, meaning quarter of the year has just zoomed past in the blink of an eye! I felt like the first part of March went by really quickly for me, and the rest of the month just dragged on slowly to be honest. Maybe it was just because I spent the final week of my travels to New Zealand and Australia in the first week of March and the second week pouting about my post-vacation depression, and then of course dragging myself out of bed and to the office through the rest of March. I sound so pessimistic in this post in comparison to Wednesday’s post when I was all motivational and whatnot. Haha! I don’t mean to be pessimistic, I’m just stating the obvious lack of adventure in my life the moment I arrived back from my trip to Australia and New Zealand.

Negativity aside, I forgot to mention this in my previous post: last week, I was contacted by a student from Spain who was drawn to the concept of Amcarmen’s Kitchen following the concept of a ‘third culture kid/foodie’ and my style of food photography. She sought my help through an interview that we shared earlier on the week on Monday evening and she was interested in having me as a sample in her research thesis on International Food Bloggers, which I found this to be quite an interesting topic. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for choosing to sample Amcarmen’s Kitchen in her work and I am looking forward to seeing her work when it’s done!

Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli

​Moving forward, I just want to make mention that this is not the final recipe for this month’s theme. If you’re a new follower on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I have been posting a recipe up every Wednesday evening, Brunei time, since the beginning of 2016, and since there are 5 Wednesdays in March, you will be getting 5 recipes that hero/include broccoli in it! So there’s just one more to go before after this recipe is up before I dive into the theme for April!

Tonight’s recipe is a simple one. Nothing too fancy and over-the-top, just fresh ingredients with humble flavours brought to your plate from Sicily. Bake or pan-fry your salmon portions that have been massaged with some smoked paprika and chilli powder for that added kick. Pair them with some sautéed garlic mushrooms, and poached broccoli for a nice crunch to the plate and you’ve got yourself a delectable fish supper. Before we delve into tonight’s recipe, please don’t forget to check out the original recipe over on BBC Food Recipes by Gino D’Acampo.

Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

For the salmon

  • 3 salmon portions (100g-150g per portion)
  • 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

​For the mushrooms

  • 1 punnet (250g) brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lightly oil.
  2. Place the salmon portions on the baking tray and drizzle a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice over the salmon. Gently massage the chilli powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternatively, you can pan-fry the portions for about 5-6 minutes per side over medium heat.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat and then add the tablespoon of olive oil until foamy. Sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add in the finely diced onions and cook until soft, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli florets in. If you prefer a crispy bite, a minute or two is enough for the boil. If you would like to have it softer, then 2-3 minutes is great. Once done, drain immediately.
  7. Plate up and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon on top!

Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Hello Everyone! A new month means a new theme on the blog – and I’m sorry to start off on a negative note but I had plans to do a month-full of recipes that emphasise mangoes as the hero of the dish since it’s been in season for a while now here in Brunei. However, if you’re a regular reader on my blog, you’ll know that I have been working for the past 4 Sunday’s (which is basically my only time to enjoy myself in the kitchen), and because of that, I haven’t actually prepared any dishes for the theme that I had planned for my blog. I also haven’t been cooking any other dishes since my last free Sunday back in April, and so I decided that for this month, there will be no theme for the blog. Do not fret though! I will still be posting recipes, but they will be recipes that I have cooked up in the past – some taking us back towards the end of last year – that I didn’t get around to posting or fitting into a theme every month.

Tonight, I will be sharing with you, a recipe that I came across when I was exploring the Sydney Fish Markets for the nth time. Most of the fresh seafood stores there provide mini recipe cards to encourage the public to purchase their fresh catch. Every time I visited, I would always grab a recipe card, and one of the recipes that I was interested in was for Seared Tuna with Salsa Verde – and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today, a recipe for an easy, simple, yet yummy Salsa Verde with pan-fried salmon in my case, but it’s completely up to you on what type of fish you’d like to pair it with!

For those of you who don’t know, Salsa Verde literally just means green sauce that contains mainly herbs, common in Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Mexican cuisines, each with their own twists and variants. The recipe that I will be sharing tonight gears more towards Mexican  where it is typically made up of puréed cooked or raw tomatillos, with jalapeños or other chili peppers, white onion, cilantro, and sometimes lime to enhance the taste. Salsa verde can range in spiciness from mild to mouth-searing. It may be served warm or cold, as a condiment – a dip for tortilla chips and served with tacos, or paired with grilled pork, grilled meats, and even fish.

Salsa Verde Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME — MINS | SERVES 250ml

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 7 anchovy fillets
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp baby capers in brine, rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  2. Serve and enjoy as a condiment with your choice of dish (a dip for tortilla chips and served with tacos, or paired with grilled pork, grilled meats, and even fish). This recipe makes enough sauce to fill about a 250ml sized jar and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde with Pan-fried Salmon

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

Hello Everyone! Today I’ll be keeping it short as I don’t really have an elaborate story to tell for this recipe. I basically came across these beautifully cut, extra large salmon bellies when I was doing my monthly grocery trip to Paddy’s Market back when I was in Sydney. Salmon was already a favourite fish of mine, and salmon BELLY is THE favourite part of mine. To fully understand how much I love salmon belly, I can eat it all day every day, until of course that is, if I get sick from the amount of good fats I’m consuming!

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

Anyway, so as I was saying, while I was at the seafood market looking for some prawns and shellfish, I came across these bellies and they looked too good to pass up! They were a bit pricier than the ones that you kind find at the Sydney Fish Market, but these were fresher and handled with care when it came to cutting them. Other places that sold salmon belly cuts had bones in them and looked like they were a week old – I didn’t mind spending about 10 bucks a kilo more for a much better quality cut.

I couldn’t think of any way that I could cook these bellies so I did a bit of research online on ways to cook salmon bellies. The most popular way of cooking it was by baking it, but I didn’t want to bake them to be honest just because I know I wouldn’t like the texture of the fatty bits. Then I got to thinking about why I liked salmon belly in the first place – it was because I liked how my Mom used to cook a salmon portion back whenI was in Brunei, by pan-frying it until the skin is super crispy and the little bit of fat at the end of the portion was crispy on the outside, but then melted in the mouth when you ate it.

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies Ingredients

So that’s how I decided to prepare my salmon bellies for you guys tonight, by simply pan-frying them and then topping them off with a simple soy sauce mixture to slightly coat it with a bit of flavour – nothing too intense to mask the goodness of the salmon belly. Okay, I know I said it’d be a short introduction, but I kind of said that before I even knew what I was going to talk about – I was going to say that I wasn’t in the mood to write anything, but I guess we know now that that wasn’t the truth! 😛

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-7 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g salmon bellies, washed and pat-dried
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 stalks of spring onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper
  • Lemon wedge
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, julienned

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the salmon bellies with a bit of ground salt and black pepper. If your salmon bellies are too long to fit into your frying pan, you may cut them in half.
  2. Place into the pan, skin-side down and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn it over and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside onto a serving plate.
  3. Add in the ginger and chillies to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Turn the heat off and then add in the soy sauce together with the spring onions. Pour over the top of the salmon bellies and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top.
  4. Best served with some steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Pan-fried Salmon Bellies

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com