A stunning and delicious Roquefort Cheese Ball to impress your guests! A lovely Aussie friend was recently telling me about her menu plans for Thanksgiving, and my interest was piqued when she mentioned that she would be making a cheese ball for the appetiser. Her cheese ball, if she was still in Australia, would have been comprised of cream cheese with cheddar and good ol’ Coon, sprinkled with curry powder and decorated with fried onions. I was
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
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.
Gluten-free Chocolate Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) which are perfect at Christmas. Despite the fact that I rarely bake cut-out cookies, I seem to have amassed a large cookie cutter collection over the years. And one person who seems to highly appreciate this part-time hobby of mine, is my little boy.
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
My go-to recipe for Hummus which is perfect for dips and entertaining. Hummus would have to be my go-to dip. It’s quick and easy to make and, what’s more, it’s a very versatile dip. It can be served with vegetable crudités and crackers as an appetiser, spread onto flatbreads to eat as a snack or light meal, or even served as part of a main meal with some grilled lamb koftas and a
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.
A quick and easy recipe for pickled chillies. They also make great gifts! Pickled Chillies I first discovered pickled chillies at my local Chinese restaurant here in Zurich. Yes, Zurich. Despite having grown up in Australia where south-east Asian food abounds, and despite my countless trips to Asia since I was a wee tot, I only came across this delightful condiment during what would be the first of many stir-fries that I like
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
How to make these tasty Cheese Bread rolls from scratch with these step-by-step photos. This recipe uses Parmesan, Gruyère and Cheddar, but you can use any of your favourite cheeses. One of my favourite snacks when I lived in Australia were cheese scrolls from the local bakery. In fact, as a child of parents who ran a busy Vietnamese bakery, I often lived for the moment when the cheese scrolls came fresh out
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
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,
These bite-sized Mushroom Tarts have a flavoursome mushroom filling with a golden puff pastry base. They are perfect for entertaining and would delight both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. We are hosting a small cocktail party this weekend or, as they call it in Switzerland, an apéro, where the evening will be fueled by lots of small canapés and finger food. Hubby is rather excited by all of the possible wine pairings and I
A flavoursome Chicken Liver Pâté which is perfect for appetisers, dinner parties and even to use in a Vietnamese Banh Mi. Making Chicken Liver Pâté is easier than you think and it can be ready to serve after just a few hours to firm in the fridge. Chicken Liver Pâté As someone who squirms at the thought of eating livers or offal of any kind, I happen to love chicken liver pâté. Perhaps
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,
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
A simple recipe for baked Chicken Curry Puffs. Curry Puffs A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I always have a soft spot for anything wrapped in pastry. I could sometimes quite happily forego the main dish and just sit down to a huge serving of curry puffs!
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).
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
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,
I have never really been a big fan of Swiss biscuits, Christmas or otherwise. In all fairness, I haven’t really sampled too many because, quite frankly, they are not always the most appealing when lined up next to the fancy American cookies or British biscuits. When presented with the choice between a cookie oozing with morsels of chocolate and a Läckerli, the latter doesn’t stand a chance, despite the fact that Läckerli is derived from the
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.
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
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,
A tasty Vietnamese Chicken Curry Soup with vermicelli noodles, sweet potatoes and lots of fresh herbs. A quick short-cut recipe which is perfect for mid-week meals. One of my all-time favourite dishes is a Vietnamese Chicken Curry. My mum makes this dish using a whole chicken which is first marinated in a special mixture of Vietnamese curry powder and other seasoning, and then slowly simmered on the stove with an array of aromatics
Golden and Crispy Tofu served with a Vietnamese Spicy Tomato Sauce. This dish will win over both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike! Use either silken tofu or firm tofu. I had to renew my work visa the other day, which necessitated a trip to the immigration office so that I could be fingerprinted and all the rest. The only thing worse than taking an hour out of my day to visit a government office
Early this morning, one of my neighbours knocked on my door and suggested a barbeque at her place in the evening with some other neighbours. Such spontaneity is not common in Switzerland and I happen to love informal gatherings like these at short notice. Given that one neighbour happens to be a vegetarian, the first dish that came to my mind was Yotam Ottolenghi’s Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce which I made for the
I was out during my lunch break yesterday buying some teatowels (as you do) and there nestled amongst the pretty decorative linens were copies of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. It’s not a place where you would ordinarily find cookbooks, but I’m sure some thoughtful person had anticipated that product placement of this kind would work on a gullible consumer like myself. If one was in the mood for over-priced but practical teatowels, why not
Fiery and addictive Black Pepper Tofu. This mouthwatering recipe is from Ottolenghi and it is a perfect vegetarian dish served with steamed rice. This recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty and was recommended to me by the lovely Carrie, another food-obsessed cookbook lover who has become an invaluable friend to me in the online world. When she first made this dish sometime ago and raved about how delicious it was, I knew it was