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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thyme Infused Salmon with Sauteed New Potatoes and Tomato Basil Coulis

Thyme Infused Salmon with Sauteed New Potatoes and Tomato Basil Coulis recipe

Ingredients : 
1 or 2 portion fillet of Salmon
1 sprig of Thyme herb
1 bunch of Basil herb, chopped
1 can of Tomato sauce
2 clove garlic chopped finely.
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 or 3 no. of Baby New Potatoes/Brastagi ( boiled and sliced)
1 tablespoon of butter


1) Salmon fillet, make sure it's dry and not watery. If so, pat down with kitchen towel. Score the skin side of Salmon, 1/2 an inch through the Salmon and across the skin. This prevents the Salmon from curling up when cooking. Take the Thyme leaves minus stalks, and slit it thru the scored side of the skin. Then season generously, with salt and pepper on both sides.

2) Potatoes, peel off skin and part boil them for 20-30 minutes. Once cooked, place them in cold water to stop the process of cooking. Set aside to cool down. Now for tomato coulis. Pan on medium heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, garlic in. Don't burn the garlic it will destroy the taste of the sauce. Add in tomato sauce immediately after the garlic and add in chopped Basil leaves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and sauce is done. Set aside.

3) Slice the potatoes into 3 portions, each removing the top and bottom part. You will get a round shape.. Place them on plate and season the top with salt and pepper. Heat pan, 2 tablespoon olive oil in. Seasoned side first into pan and sauteed for 2 minutes each side. remember to season the other side with salt and pepper too. Once both sides get that golden color, a knob of butter into pan and a sprig of thyme. Baised/scoop the butter over the potatoes. That gives the potatoes flavor of the thyme infused butter and the gloss onto potatoes. Once done, remove potatoes and drain on kitchen towel to drain the butter. Set aside.

4) Now heat pan and 2 tablespoon olive oil into pan. Once hot, place skin side of salmon into pan and sear it for 2-3 minutes and then flip over to the other side and continue searing for 3 minutes. Simple, 3 minutes each sides. Baised the skin side of salmon with the oil getting it to crisp. Once cooked, flip to the skin side of salmon and remove from heat and let it rest for 1-2 minutes in pan. This will get the skin becoming more crisp. Set plate, a tablespoon of sauce onto middle of plate, stack potatoes on top and finally Salmon on the potatoes. finish off with sauce on the sides and garnish with thyme and basil leaves. drizzle olive oil and ready to serve.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mille Fueille of Caramelized Apples Recipe

Mille Fueille of Caramelized Apples Recipe


Recipe for Mille Fueille :

1 egg, beaten (For egg wash)
3 sheets of filo pastry sheets or you can use filo spring roll sheets.
I whole Red/Green Diced apples ( Can use strawberries, blueberries)
50 g of caster sugar
30 g of icing sugar for finishing
50 g of melted butter (once melt butter, strain away foam)

Methods :

To assemble the pastry sheets, brush the first layer of sheet with egg wash, followed by the next sheet and another. Total 3 sheets.

Use a round (or whatever shape you wish) /cookie cutter, and cut the sheets into 3 portions. Dust your plate with a bit of icing sugar and place the discs onto plate and dust the top with icing sugar.

Now melt butter on low heat and once the butter melts, strain off the foam at the top and the melted butter becomes clarified butter. The purpose is not to burn your pastry sheets when cooking it. Set aside and ready to use for cooking.

Heat the clarified butter on low heat and once it's hot, place the discs into pan and fry till golden brown on both sides. Once done, set a side on kitchen towel to drain off the butter.

Next is the caramelized apples, Heat pan on medium, add in the caster sugar, let it dissolve. It will turn slight brown. Don't use a spoon or spatula at this point. If it turns out too thick, just add a few drips of water to loosen it. Add apples into caramelized sugar. Just shake the pan in circular motion to coat the apples gently. Once the apples are nicely coated and softens, the pan off heat and set aside for assemble of pastry.

On plate, display the first layer of disc in the middle of plate, add a tablespoon of apples, then place the 2nd layer on top of the apples and followed by the last layer. At the top, Just place a tablespoon of apples and drizzle the caramelized sugar on top and around the inner plate. For finishing touch, sith icing sugar on top layer and ready to serve. Can be eaten warm but not piping hot. You can use strawberries, blueberries filling topped with lemon curd, butter cream or meringue too. Just be creative.

Happy cooking and pass it on! (Fad Foodski)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Istanbul, The Capital of Culture.......And Kebabs (Day 1)

Istanbul, The Capital of Culture.......And Kebabs (Day 1)

Istanbul is a beautiful city with lots of culture, heritage and of course Kebabs. I decided to backpack solo again in November 2009 after my first solo trip to Shanghai back in May 2009. I'm starting to get a hang of it. The feeling of traveling all alone, without any friends, family or even loved ones gives you this sense of adventure into the unknown or i should say, foreign territory. I had to clear my work annual leave as i have more than 7 days left in the past year. So, i applied for 6 days and then booked my flight tickets on Emirates which was having a sale and i only paid S$1,250 economy class return fare to Istanbul, Turkey. My aunts and my late grandfather have all been to Istanbul, as it was part of the Pilgrimage tour package and Istanbul was included in their itinerary.

This trip was also a culinary adventure for me, as i'm getting exposed to authentic Turkish cuisine available in Istanbul and not those copycats that are served back home. The currency was no difference to Singapore dollars at that time. I didn't bring as many cash with me as i have my card on standby for last minute and unnecessary purchase. Only changed about S$500 and that was suffice for my 6 days there. Hotel i booked online from, was Atlantis Hotel. Cheap price, S$25 per night and i was laughing. It included daily breakfast and free in room Wifi. Good deal i must say! Made some necessary arrangements and i was good to go.
Boarding pass and passport ready
Ready for pushback and taxi to runway
Seat number 36K
Menu card distributed
First meal, breakfast of the day.
Inflight progress
2nd meal, a light snack of crossaintwich and chocolate flan.
Audio playlists on I.C.E
My plane took off from Changi  Airport at about 9.45am and the flight time was 7 hours and 10 mins to Dubai International (DXB). The food that was served on board was much much better than the ones i had on Malaysia Airlines. Morning breakfast consists of Noodles with Cod fish fillet, shrimps with teriyaki sauce accompanied by a Danish pastry, fruits, bread roll, Cheese cake and a cup of yoghurt. It was a rather full house meal and managed to stuff it all down. Then watched some GI Joe on Emirates I.C.E which is the best form of Inflight entertainment by far in the skies.  It has over 600 channels of premium entertainment, flight path progress, external aircraft camera views and live news such from BBC. Try topping that SQ. Service of the crew was nothing special but still attentive to passenger demands and needs. Second meal came about 1 and a half hour before landing. It was a Crossaint-wich of thick sliced cheese and Turkey ham and Chocolate Flan and choice of Coffee or Tea. Once landed, i went thru transit and went to my boarding gate for my connecting flight.
Interior of DXB Terminal 3
Plants and mini garden inside of Terminal 3
Loading up and ready for Istanbul
The old I.F.E with AVOD
Flight time to Istanbul was 3 hours and 45 mins and the flight was uneventful with little turbulence during take off. Meals were served after reaching cruising altitude. I chose the Chicken Tikka With green beans, carrots and Tortellini. This was the best main course by far. Chicken Tikka has that smokey flavor and the greens are sauted to perfection. Appetizer was Shrimp Cocktail and dessert, Chocolate Mousse.
Inflight meal from Dubai to Istanbul
Chicken Tikka With green beans, carrots and Tortellini
Shrimp Cocktail
Chocolate Mousse
Sun setting view from plane....Priceless
After my meal, watch a few movies to pass the time and before you know it, we were starting to descent into Istanbul. Crew did all the S.O.P before landing and took their places. Landing was smooth as silk. Once reached the gates, grabbed my sling bag and proceeded out to immigrations. No hassle there as i was cleared within minutes, then went to collect my backpack and off to look for the Havalamani Airport Metro station. Got lost for a minute finding the damn station, so asked the info counter for directions instead. Maybe was the long flight That messes me up in the head. The Metro was located at B2 and you have to buy a token before entering the gantry. My hotel is located in Sultanahmet. The train ride into town was about 40 mins and i stopped at the wrong station and got lost again(must be the long flight). So i took a taxi to my hotel and costs me 35 Turkish Liras. Found my hotel located in an alley, which i find a bit eerie at night as i was arriving at 7pm, it was already dark. Checked into hotel and went to bed after i sorted my things out. 
Welcome to Ataturk Istanbul Internatinal Airport
Walking towards the Metro station
Hafif Metro
My room
                                           Second day in Istanbul in the next part.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Istanbul, The Capital of Culture.......And Kebabs (Day 3)

Day 3 in Istanbul. Legs were feeling a bit sore after walking for so long the day before. Woke up early as usual for breakfast, then proceeded to my first location, Hagia Sophia....after that i went to and underground Bascilia Cistern....its dark in there but very beautiful as the dim lights shadows the basement.  

                                                         Entrance into the Hagia Sophia

                                Seated high on the dome of the apse are the Virgin and the Holy Child.
                                                           Arabic wordings on the walls

Bascilia Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Also dubbed as the 'Sunken Palace'. The cistern is located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Basilica is open every day from 09:00 hrs to 18:30 and the entrance fee is 10 TL (~7 USD) for foreign visitors. Underground waterway was used as a reservoir for water storage for the Great Palace and other buildings. Walk to the back of the Cistern, you'll find one upside down Medusa head supporting one of the columns. The place is dark and you feel as if like you're in a monsters lair. Beautifully lit up in the dark, perfect for photography.

Upside down Medusa head.

Turkish tea
This fish restaurant is located next to the Bosphorus ferry terminal
Grilled Mackerel with Potato salad
Boats docked at jetty next to Galata Bridge.
Strawberry Cheesecake.
I had to stop for lunch after i have visited the Bascilia Cistern

Silhouette of the New Mosue in Eminonu

 A floating restaurant selling Balick Emin or Grilled Mackerels


A cart selling picked fruits

The front entrance of the New Mosque

 Pigeons everywhere

 Close up of pigeon looking over his flock

 Inside the foyer of the New Mosque. A bidet

                                                                                      Next to the Spice Bazaar

After having lunch at the restaurant underneath Galata bridge, i decided to cross over to the the other side of the road to visit the New Mosque. There is a tram station just next to the Galata bridge, it's called Eminonu Station. Once you alight, you can see many booths selling Bosphurus ferry cruise. Some are authentic and some of them are simply touts offering cheap tickets for a lesser cruising time. Well back to the New Mosque. Hundreds of pigeons are flying around the entrances and the surrounding of the mosque and it's a perfect opportunity for tourists to take a photo up close and personal of the pigeons. There's a man that feeds them bread and selling merchandise around the front gate of the mosque too.

The Yeni Camii, The New Mosque or Mosque of the Valide Sultan (Turkish: 'Yeni Cami, Yeni ValideCamii') is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the EminönĂ¼ district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the Golden Horn at the southern end of the Galata Bridge. It is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul. Next to the mosque is an L-shaped market other wise known as the Spice Bazaar. Thousands of spices all over the world is imported or exported to this bazaar, which offers unique sense of taste, smell and look. Turkish sweet delights, cinnamons, nuts, seeds and dried fruits are available. So too are those flavored Turkish tea. I had bought a Rose flavored Turkish tea back home, and it was so fragrant and different from our normal breakfast or Lipton tea. There was numerous shops selling these items and if you buy in bulk or a dozen, you might get an opportunity to make a bargain, that is if you are confident of making one. but it's worth trying and you won't regret it.

 Karakoy tram station

 Galata Tower in the background

 A long walk from the tram station to Galata tower

 Magnificent view of Istanbul City

 View of the Galata bridge

I then took the tram from Eminonu to Karakoy, to visit the Galata Tower. It's just one station away and the tram passes the bridge and you will get a view of the sea. It's long walk uphill towards the Galata Tower. It is a medieval stone tower in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and affords a panoramic vista of Old Istanbul and its environs. The nine-story tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59 m without the ornament on top, 51.65 m at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35 meters above sea-level. The tower has an external diameter of 16.45 meters at the base, an 8.95 meters diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75 meters thick. There is a restaurant and cafe on its upper floors which commands a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a nightclub which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels. It is not recommended for those who have fear of heights and the opening times are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (7 pm in summer) for a few liras (half price on Monday). 

                                     Next part will be day 4. Stay tuned......