Dear readers, we wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year and we hope that 2014 turns out to be a great year for everyone of us! We also want to thank you for your encouragement, comments, sfeedback and for checking out at this blog.
How was your NYE celebration? This year, we have decide to just stay in to cook as the thoughts of braving the traffic jam and the crowd give us the shivers. So I came up with a simple three courses meal and KampungBoy literally licked his bowls and plates clean. Thanks for giving face!
Here’s some easy pumpkin soup, mushroom risotto and peach yogurt cheesecake trifles recipes for your reference. Try making it at home to impress your families and friends!
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1kg peeled pumpkin, diced
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1L chicken or vegetable stock, low salt
Roast pumpkin in oven for a beautiful flavour through out your soup. Just drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the pumpkin pieces and cook in oven until soft.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add pumpkin, potato and stock and bring to the boill. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then blend in batches using blender or food processor.
Number of Servings: 6
I cut all the ingredients portion by half since I’m only cooking for the two of us. Nutmeg powder can be easily found at most supermarkets together with other bottled dried herbs. I also added a little bit of full cream milk as I’m worried that the soup will not turn up creamy due to the exclusion of heavy cream.
KampungBoy said that it was the best pumpkin soup he has ever had. I agreed. It was so smooth and so creamy, and the addition of nutmeg really spice up the soup a little bit. I heard that curry powder works too!
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shiitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces
2/3 cup brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine
5-6 cups chicken stock* (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots (OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped)
1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives
*If cooking gluten-free, use homemade stock or gluten-free packaged stock.
1 Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
2 Melt the butter in a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter). Add the rice and stir to combine.
3 Add brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly — stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you’re looking for in a risotto. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
4 Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.
Number of Servings: 4-6
Recipe Source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mushroom_risotto/
Again, I cut the ingredients portion by half. I also use shiitake mushroom due to its strong flavors. If you are lazy, you can use maggie or knors chicken cube to prepare the stock. I added in some pan seared risotto to make my main course looks more luxurious. Searing them in bordier border really works, no extra seasonings required.
For the Crust:
1½ C graham cracker crumbs
¼ C sucanat(or any other granulated sugar)
6 tbsp salted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling:
1 250g package full fat cream cheese, room temperature
¼ C lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
½ C mild flavored liquid honey
¾ C Greek yogurt
pinch sea salt
Fresh fruit such as blueberries, cherries, strawberries, etc
Your favorite pie filling(cherry, etc)
In a bowl stir together the crust ingredients until completely combined. Press firmly into the bottom of an 8×8 square baking dish or a pie plate. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
To make the filling, place the room temperature cream cheese in a food processor along with the lemon juice, vanilla, honey and Greek yogurt. Process until completely combined and smooth. Alternatively you can use a hand or stand mixer, but be sure to beat the cream cheese first before adding all the other ingredients to avoid lumps.
Pour the filling mixer into the prepared crust, smooth out, cover and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Once the cheesecake has set slice, top as desired and serve immediately.
Instead of a whole cheesecake, I turn the recipe into trifles. I have many empty jars at home, so I just layer the jars with crumbs, cream cheese, fruits and repeat. The jars make a good gift for friends and families. For our dinner, I make the trifles on wine glasses to make it look presentable. I also use canned peaches as I have plenty of them at home. You can use any type of fruits for this recipe.