Cottage Pie

This Cottage Pie recipe has a rich meaty beef sauce as the base, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked until deliciously golden. An easy Cottage Pie recipe – make a double batch of the sauce to serve with pasta! Difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie One of my winter favourites is this traditional Cottage Pie which I have, confusingly, wrongly called a Shepherd’s Pie for most of my life. It appears that

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Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

This Hot and Sour Soup is a Chinese restaurant classic which takes only 30 minutes! Chinese New Year As a child, my mother went to great lengths each year to prepare a Chinese New Year feast which could feed our entire neighbourhood. The menu always featured a sticky rice cake filled with mung beans and pork, a Chinese Turnip Cake, endless platters of spring rolls (egg rolls), roast pork with gorgeously seasoned crackling – all served with fresh

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Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce

slow cooked lamb shanks red wine

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Red Wine Sauce, served with a fresh gremolata. The lamb shanks are deliciously tender and the rich, full-flavoured sauce is perfect for serving with mashed potatoes, polenta or pasta. Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks It’s no secret that I love slow-cooking. With two young children to entertain, I find it easiest to do the sort of cooking that requires a leave-it-and-forget-it approach. But I hardly need the children as an

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Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

easy sweet sour chicken

Get dinner on the table in 30 minutes with this Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken. A fresh and healthy version with less calories, but tastes amazing with a homemade sweet and sour sauce. No need for Chinese takeaway anymore! Sweet and Sour Chicken Recently, my son’s kindergarten teacher asked me if I cooked sweet and sour chicken at home. At first blush, I thought she was asking me (you know, the only Asian mother

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Bun Cha – Vietnamese Meatballs with Vietnamese Noodle Salad

A tasty recipe for Bun Cha – grilled Vietnamese meatballs served with a Vietnamese noodle salad with fresh herbs and citrus dipping sauce (nuoc cham). A healthy and delicious dish, perfect for lunch or dinner. Bun Cha My latest contribution to Discovery, the in-flight magazine for Cathay Pacific, is currently out now on all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights. This month’s foodie feature is the classic Vietnamese dish called Bun Cha, consisting

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Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu Pork)

A delicious and simple recipe with step-by-step photos for Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu Pork) which you can make at home with everyday pantry ingredients in just 10 minutes! Char Siu Pork One thing I miss about living in Australia is being able to visit the local Chinatown, whether it be for a traditional Dim Sum breakfast, a browse through the colourful aisles of the Vietnamese grocer, or a visit to the Chinese bakery for their

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Spaghetti Bolognese

A traditional Spaghetti Bolognese recipe which is rich, meaty and full of flavour. This traditional bolognese sauce requires slow cooking to develop the rich and meaty flavours, and uses fresh and good quality ingredients for an authentic taste.  Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Growing up, my mother never really cooked Italian food. I think our closest encounter with Italian cuisine was Pizza Hut, and I loved it! When she did attempt any Italian food, it

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Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)

Quick and easy Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles) using fresh rice noodles or dried noodles, beef and vegetables. Have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! Asian Noodles There are a few popular Asian grocery stores in Zurich which cater to the very small Asian population living here. But they are so popular that they often sell out of their fresh produce on the same day that they receive their

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Coconut Chicken Noodle Stir Fry

Serve dinner in less than 30 minutes with this incredibly tasty and easy Coconut Chicken Noodle Stir Fry using basic Asian ingredients which you can find at your local supermarket. Coconut Chicken Noodle Stir Fry This is one of my go-to recipes for when I need to get dinner on the table quickly. Any by quick, we’re talking less than 30 minutes!

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre)

A delicious Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre) which can be made in 30 minutes! Use beef fillet or filet mignon for a delicious treat with this easy and creamy peppercorn sauce. Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre) A nice piece of steak is hard to turn down, especially when it is served with a creamy peppercorn sauce. Served simply with some steamed greens or even just a green salad, Steak

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Grilled Thai Chicken

This Grilled Thai Chicken is bursting with flavour with lots of lemongrass, coriander (cilantro), ginger and chillies in the marinade. You can roast, grill or barbecue the chicken for crispy and golden skin. Great to make on a weeknight or for entertaining. I love marinated and grilled chicken and am always on the lookout for new recipes, though I think my mum makes the best version which I have tried endlessly to recreate

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How to Cook Artichokes

How to cook artichokes – instructions for boiling, Instant Pot, pressure cooker, grilling and frying. Don’t be intimidated by artichokes any longer! Plus recipes for a delicious aioli and vinaigrette to go alongside. I adore artichokes. As a child, my mother would boil a whole artichoke for my dinner on those nights when she was preoccupied with other things or, more likely, fed up with cooking and needed to give me a no-fuss

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Satay Chicken Stir Fry

satay chicken stir fry with rice

Make dinner in about 30 minutes with this totally delicious Satay Chicken Stir Fry which uses peanut butter, creamy coconut milk and your favourite vegetables. You could also substitute the chicken for beef. Minimalism with Kids In the past 12 months or so, I have been on a mission to declutter our home. I have long aspired to have a minimalist home (I blame Pinterest) but I always felt that minimalism was incompatible

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Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy

jamie oliver get ahead gravy

Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy is the perfect accompaniment to any roast. Make it ahead of time for maximum flavour with minimum stress! Christmas Gravy When it comes to roast dinners, I think the gravy can make or break the meal. And as someone who needs lashings and lashings of hot gravy with her roast potatoes, I take no chances in this department and always try to make my gravy ahead of time.

How to Make Raclette

how to make raclette

How to make and serve raclette, a traditional Swiss dish, at home with a raclette grill. Tips on what kind of cheese to use, and what to serve with raclette. Raclette Cheese has featured quite a bit on my blog lately, and for good reason – we are coming into winter here in Switzerland! As soon as the nights start to become a bit chilly, the Swiss can be seen tucking into a

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Fried Lambs’ Brains

fried lambs brains

Follow this easy and straight-forward recipe for golden and crispy Fried Lambs’ Brains. When the folks at Cathay Pacific asked me to cook, style and photograph fried lambs’ brains for an upcoming edition of Discovery, their in-flight magazine, I was somewhat nervous. And that was before they disclosed that the accompanying article would be written by Umberto Bombana, the head chef at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, the only Italian restaurant outside

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Roman-Style Fried Artichokes with Herb Mayonnaise

roman style fried artichokes

A traditional dish from Rome are these delicious deep-fried artichokes, cooked Jewish-style. My favourite, and usual, way of cooking and eating artichokes is boiled and served with a spiky vinaigrette or garlic mayonnaise, the recipe which you can find here in one of my earlier posts.

Honey, Soy & Sriracha Cocktail Sausages

honey soy sriracha cocktail sausages

Deliciously sweet, sticky and spicy cocktail sausages. Perfect for entertaining! As an expat living in Switzerland, it is hard to ignore comments about the cost of living here and how everything is extraordinarily expensive. Indeed, when you compare the cost of some products sold in neighbouring countries, the same product can sometimes be triple the cost in Switzerland.

Vietnamese Meat Pies “Pâté Chaud”

vietnamese meat pies pate chaud pate so

These Vietnamese Meat Pies (also called Bánh Patê Sô) are based on the French Pâté Chaud. They have a delicious pork filling seasoned with fresh Asian herbs and spices, and wrapped in golden puff pastry. Perfect for snacks or a light meal. Meat Pies Growing up in Australia, I ate my fair share of meat pies, especially as the daughter of a baker. Pepper steak pies were my favourite, with a layer of mushy peas under

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Thai Green Curry with Chicken

thai green chicken curry

Make this easy Thai green curry paste and turn it into a delicious Thai Green Curry with Chicken or make it vegetarian with your favourite vegetables and tofu. The choices are endless! There comes a time during the week when I find myself with lots of bits of vegetables in the fridge, none which can be used on their own to make any meaningful meal, but it would be a shame and a

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Chinese Tea Eggs

chinese tea eggs

An easy & delicious recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs, perfect for a simple dinner or as part of a Chinese New Year meal. Chinese Tea Eggs Following on from my previous post where I shared my recipe for Chinese Turnip Cake, it seemed only fitting to also include my recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs. If you are planning a Chinese New Year lunch or dinner, or any Chinese-inspired feast, these Chinese Tea Eggs

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Celeriac and Chestnut Soup

celeriac chestnut soup

A simple and delicious Celeriac and Chestnut Soup. Christmas is often a time for indulgence, whether it be treating yourself or loved ones to a special gift (or three), or enjoying the festivities with an abundance of good food and maybe too much champagne. After feasting on Duck Confit Parmentier and multiple serves of our favourite Chestnut Cream Pavlova for Christmas lunch, my husband asked for a simple vegetable soup for dinner later

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Vietnamese Spaghetti Bolognese

vietnamese spaghetti bolognese

This Vietnamese Spaghetti Bolognese is a delicious Asian twist on an Italian classic. Vietnamese Home Cooking Recently in the kitchen, I have been busy rustling up various Vietnamese dishes, including one of my favourite soups called Bun Rieu – a pork broth flavoured with crab and tomatoes, and served with vermicelli noodles and a pile of aromatic herbs. I love to make a big pot of this soup so that we can eat

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Lyonnaise Sausage Roll

A  Lyonnaise Sausage Roll has a delicious pork sausage encased in a brioche loaf. One of the advantages of reading cookbooks like novels (I’m sure you have heard of many foodies using this phrase) is having a repository of recipes stored in the memory for those many moments when I find myself holding an ingredient and wondering how I can cook it.

Caramelized Beetroot Tarte Tatin

This Caramlized Beetroot Tarte Tatin is a delicious way of serving beetroots. Most Australians will have some memory of soggy lunchtime sandwiches. When I think of the sandwiches of my childhood, they were most often sliced multigrain bread filled with lettuce, grated carrots, tinned beetroot and a slice of plastic cheese. The beetroot always left a red stain on the bread, on my hands, on my school uniforms. And they almost always made the sandwiches soggy,

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Steamed Tofu with Soy, Chillies & Sichuan Pepper

A spicy and delicious Steamed Tofu with Soy, Chillies & Sichuan Pepper You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love tofu. In fact, I think I like it more than meat … Salt & Pepper Tofu is one of my favourite dishes ever, especially when it is fresh and piping hot. At other times, you will often find me adding tofu to most Asian soups and stir-fries. Recently, I started experimenting with recipes

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Sticky Chicken Pho

This Sticky Chicken Pho is a delicious twist on a Vietnamese classic. As a Vietnamese, I could eat a bowl of pho at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is something so nourishing about about a steaming bowl of slippery noodles, fragrant with fresh herbs and laced with spicy chillies for that much needed kick.

Sticky Chinese Pork Ribs

Delicious Sticky Chinese Pork Ribs which are marinated overnight for maximum flavour. Sticky Pork Ribs I wish I could be more comfortable eating ribs in public but, the reality is, I enjoy eating them more in the comfort and privacy of my home; somewhere where I can gnaw at the bone like a messy cavewoman and lick my fingers with glee. I think it is definitely a dish best eaten in the company

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Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise

These soft-centred Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise are perfect for picnics and light meals. If there is one thing that is getting me through the middle-of-the night feeds with the baby at the moment, it’s TV. It happens to be the only time that I get to watch TV, uninterrupted, and something which is not Peppa Pig.

Merry Christmas! My Christmas Feast for 2014

Merry Christmas everyone! It is a rare occasion for us to celebrate Christmas in Zurich, a rather welcome change as it has given me the opportunity to cook on Christmas Day, something which might prompt fear and dread in most people but has instead filled me with glee as the Christmas season started to approach.

Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce

A delicious Vietnamese recipe for Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce. The chicken wings are marinated in fish sauce and then fried to crispy perfection, served with a sweet and sticky mouthwatering dipping sauce. My mother used to cook a lot with chicken wings when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was just because they were cheap, or if she merely enjoyed cooking them. I certainly enjoyed eating them. She would sometimes

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Spaghetti with Tuna, Chilli, and Lemon

This Spaghetti with Tuna, Chilli, Rocket & Lemon takes only 20 mins from start to finish! I have been a long-time admirer and follower of Donna Hay’s cookbooks, even as early back when she was the food editor of the Marie Claire cookbooks in Australia. Her clean and refined approach to food styling is what normally attracts the attention of readers in the first instance; food which looks so stunningly beautiful on the

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Vietnamese Pork Ribs

Tasty Vietnamese Pork Ribs, perfect serves with steamed white rice. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my blog seems to feature very few Vietnamese recipes, despite the fact that I cook Vietnamese at home every second day or so. So in an attempt to rectify the situation and to bring some more balance to this blog, I hope to feature more Vietnamese recipes which are quick, easy and delicious to make at

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Easy General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

An Easy General Tso’s Chicken Recipe which is light and healthy. There is no deep-frying but you can still enjoy the classic flavours of this Chinese takeaway favourite. There’s Chinese food, and there’s American-Chinese food. I wasn’t even aware of the latter until we were posted in Chicago for a few years where lunch with colleagues was often at P.F. Chang’s or Big Bowl, two popular Chinese restaurant chains in the US. There,

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Vegetable Barley Soup

An easy and delicious recipe for Pearl Barley Soup with step-by-step photos. It is a popular soup in the Swiss alps, called Gerstensuppe in German. The pearl barley thickens the soup as it cooks, making the soup quite substantial and comforting. A Weekend in Kandersteg A trip to the Swiss mountains usually guarantees good, hearty, winter fare. After a day of heavy duty winter sports, the body is likely to crave something substantial,

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Chicken Dumpling Soup

A simple and nourishing Chicken Dumpling Soup from the Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. Recipe with step-by-step photos. A little while back, I had posted quite a few reviews on recipes from Rachel Khoo’s delightful French cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. For a short time, it looked like I was cooking my way through the book, and indeed I was – just a lot of the recipes haven’t made it to my

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Chargrilled Lemongrass Beef with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

From looking at the recent entries on my blog, you wouldn’t think that I cook a lot of Vietnamese food at home. The fact is, I probably cook Vietnamese food about 4 to 5 times a week! Of course, the frequency varies, but hardly a week goes by when I haven’t made something at least Vietnamese-inspired. After my mother, Luke Nguyen would have to be my greatest source of inspiration when it comes

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Indian Chicken Curry with Lentil Dahl

An easy Indian Chicken Curry which is perfect for weeknight dinners, served with a fresh and fragrant Lentil Dahl. Recipe with step-by-step photos. Back in the Kitchen The weather has been blisteringly hot in Zurich lately, which should be a welcome change given the torrential rain which we’ve had in the preceeding months. But after a few days of soaking up the sun and several impromptu lakeside evening picnics, the lack of air-conditioning

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Coq au Vin Skewers

It was never really my intention to cook my way through Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen, but so rarely has a cookbook resonated with me so much that I have found myself trying a new recipe from this book every few days since I first purchased it. If only I had this level of enthusiasm for all of my cookbooks! With the weather warming up recently in Zurich, I was curious to

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Cream of Tomato & Potato Soup

In case you were wondering what the soup is which is photographed with the Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread, it is the Cream of Tomato & Potato Soup from French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. Long before cooking became a passionate hobby and was more of a matter of survival for me, I heavily relied on cookbooks to put together really basic and simple meals like … vegetable soups. Yes, for something which

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Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake

A delicious Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake, or a no-yeast savoury bread, which is perfect for serving alongside soups or on picnics. Delicious served warm or cold. I love savoury cakes and this particular recipe is a firm favourite of mine. Given my New Year’s resolution to cook more vegetarian food, this has frequently been in the form of vegetable soups. After several days of eating rich food like Swedish Meatballs or Boeuf

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Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

I have been cooking quite a bit lately from Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen and am loving everything I have tried so far. This is a bit of a revelation for me considering that I am quite familiar with French food, having grown up eating this cuisine as a child and now married to a French husband. Sure, I have always enjoyed eating French food but, for so long, everything I had

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Pot-au-feu and Pho

Pot-au-feu literally translates into English as “pot on the fire”. It is a classic French beef stew, a peasant dish at heart. Traditionally made from beef bones and stewing beef, the broth is typically served as a clear soup, preceding the main dish of sliced beef with vegetables which have been cooked in the broth. It is honest and hearty French fare. Although the dish may take several hours to cook, you are

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Savoury Waffles with Gruyère & Thyme

Delicious Savoury Waffles with Gruyère & Thyme which are perfect as a light meal or served alongside a bowl of soup. Savoury Waffles Faced with some bits and pieces of leftover cheese in the fridge, I thought I would try my hand at a savoury waffle for lunch today, and these waffles with Gruyère and fresh thyme were absolutely scrumptious!

Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice

A deliciously tangy Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice which is easy to make and takes only about 30 minutes to cook! Forever Summer With spring just around the corner, my thoughts have been turning to more light and fresh meals. A cookbook which I frequently turn to during the warmer months is Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer (re-titled as Nigella Fresh in the US).

Chilli, Cheese & Rosemary Polenta with Tomato Sauce

Due to hubby’s request to eat more vegetarian meals this year, I saw no reason to not buy the latest book from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of the River Cottage fame, Veg Everyday. The book is dedicated to eating vegetarian meals, though it is not written by a vegetarian – an important distinction in my mind because it means there are no spooky and holistic ingredients which would otherwise make vegetarian cooking too much of

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Pumpkin Laksa

I have long been a fan of Nigel Slater, his books having been instrumental in my initial forays into the kitchen, along with Nigella Lawson and, dare I say it, the Australian Women’s Weekly. One of my favourite cookbooks would have to be Appetite, a hefty book filled with amazingly delicious recipes but provided in a manner that encourages the cook to develop some intuition in the kitchen. Rather than call for, say,

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Chestnut Soup with Bacon & Parsley

As soon as the street vendors start setting up their chestnut-roasting stations in Zurich, I know that Christmas is around the corner. I adore these roasted beauties, their sweet and fluffy interior making for the perfect street snack when you need something warm and filling. Sometimes when the air is bitingly cold, a little bag of roasted chestnuts is the perfect excuse to warm your hands while you are waiting for your tram.

Chinese Braised Beef with Carrots

I always look forward to Autumn, that time of the year when the trees change their colours and their golden leaves line the streets with their warm tones in contrast to the biting chill that is beginning to pervade the air. I also love Autumn because I can start to pull out my favourite trench coats, turtleneck jumpers and knee-high boots, a welcome change in wardrobe when I can start to cosy up

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Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops

Tasty and succulent Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops, with a simple marinade to give maximum flavour. Here is another fabulous short-cut recipe for Vietnamese pork chops from Bill Granger’s new book, Bill’s Everyday Asian. The Vietnamese have a popular dish called sườn nướng where the main component is a pork chop which is typically marinated with garlic, lemongrass and fish sauce. The pork is either grilled or pan-fried until it is golden in colour and caramelised,

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