Monthly Archives: September 2013

Smoked Bacon Soup with Kale and Quinoea

I’m so happy – I found kale ! After reading all your posts about how delicious it is, and how wonderfully nutritious it is, and the amazing recipes you share (eg kale chips which are being made as I type this), I FINALLY FOUND KALE. We went to Pasar Bella yesterday and bought an entire trunkfull of delicious meats, cheese and vegetables.

Today for lunch I made a vibrant, bursting-full-of-goodness soup, with a smoked bacon stock – making it bursting-full-of-flavour soup.

Again soups like this can be entirely adjusted depending on what vegetables you have handy in the fridge – I used yellow and purple carrots and the leaves of purple and green kale. The quinoea gives the soup an added protein boost.

Ingredients serves 6 for lunch or as a starter at dinner

  1. 400g smoked bacon bones
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 3 stalks celery, sliced
  4. 2 medium carrots, diced
  5. 1-2 bay leaves
  6. large handful kale leaves, stalks removed, thickly sliced
  7. 1/4 cup raw quinoea

Method

  1. Brown the bacon bones on medium-high heat in a large, heavy-based saucepan
  2. Remove from pan reduce heat to medium and soften the onions for 5 minutes
  3. Add the celery and carrots and soften, an additional 5 minutes
  4. Add the bacon back to the pan, add the bay leaves
  5. Add water so that everything is just covered, and simmer on low for 2 hours
  6. Remove the bay leaves
  7. Add the quinoea and continue to simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Add the kale leaves and simmer for a final 5 minutes
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper
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Pasar Bella

Giant paella being cooked

Hurrah for Pasar Bella ! It’s been open for a few months now, and we finally went yesterday to our utter delight. Finally Singapore has a selection of good food purveyors, offering beautiful cuts of meat, deliciously smelly cheeses, organic vegetables, fresh seafood and yummy bites – all under one airconditioned roof.

Despite the fact that most of the produce is imported – it still gives me the same feeling as a true farmers market where everything is sourced locally. Or one of the European markets like the Mercato Central in Florence where you have the similar stall after stall of everything good to eat.

Bone-in Rib-eye Steak

We found James’ Butchery & Co where we bought a ridiculously large bone-in rib-eye steak. And after chatting with James, ended up buying lamb chops, thick rib-eye and striploin steaks, beef brisket, and osso bucco with the intent of going back next time to try the pork and chicken that he has to offer. Amazing. James also gave us advice on how long to finish the bone-in rib-eye in the oven, after searing well on the stove first (15-20 minutes for medium rare).

The Cheese Ark is a dark cavernous room where four obviously cheese-loving women will tell you anything and everything about the cheese they offer. We bought cheeses that we’ve never even heard about and enjoyed them last night after dinner.

Vibrant green and purple kale

Of course every market needs to have organic produce and at the Organic Grocer I was delighted to finally find the elusive-in-Singapore, kale ! That’s been pan-fried and served with the steak last night, been added to a soup today, and currently baking in the oven to make kale chips. Yes, I’ve been waiting eagerly for a long time to get my hands on this delicious leafy vegetable.

The AMAZING roast pork belly at Roast & Host

By this stage we had our hands literally full and we will happily make the trek to Turf City again, but an honourable mention needs to go out to Roast & Host by Keith and Kin. We’d worked up quite an appetite after all that shopping and we followed our nose to Roast & Host. Ribbons of crispy crackling greeted us. It was so popular that they couldn’t cook the pork quickly enough for demand and we had to wait a while before we went back and were rewarded with the most awesome roast pork.

Happy happy happy is all I can say – well done and THANK YOU to the organisers of Pasar Bella !

Pasar Bella
PasarBella @ The Grandstand Bukit Timah Singapore
200 Turf Club Road Singapore 287994
Tel: +65 6887 0077

Open daily from 9.30am – 7.00pm


Cauliflower Soup

Warming and simple, I whipped this soup up in less than 15 minutes. Don’t be fooled though, into thinking simple isn’t delicious. Blending the soup gives it a wonderfully thick and creamy consistency.

Ingredients – serves 4

  1. 1 onion, diced
  2. 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  3. 3-4 cups chicken stock

Method

  1. Sweat onions in a little olive oil over medium heat in a heavy based saucepan
  2. Add the cauliflower and enough stock to just cover the cauliflower
  3. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the cauliflower is just tender
  4. Blend thoroughly
  5. Season to taste with salt
  6. Serve hot with a good drizzle of good olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper

Seared sesame tuna, fig and prosciutto salad

Whenever I can get my hands on juicy plump figs, this is my go to salad. Vibrant and fresh, it’s such a versatile and simple salad, and I love the delicate balance of salt, sweet and savoury. You can also coat the tuna in fennel or coriander seeds instead of sesame seeds (I used what I had available in my pantry).

It makes a healthy light lunch, or would work as a starter for dinner.

Ingredients
Serves 4

  1. 6-8 figs quartered
  2. sashimi grade tuna – about 400g
  3. 4 tbs sesame seeds (I used black)
  4. 2 tbs coarsely cracked black pepper
  5. 2 tbs coarse sea salt
  6. 2 tbs olive oil
  7. 4 large handfuls of rocket
  8. 4-8 thinly shaved slices of prosciutto
  9. 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  10. 2-3 tbs lemon juice
  11. lemon wedges to serve

Method

  1. Combine the sesame seeds, black pepper and salt and place on a flat plate
  2. Cut the tuna into thick strips – about 5cm wide
  3. Coat the tuna with the sesame seed/pepper/salt mix
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan.  Sear the tuna strips on all sides for 1 minute on each side – it should be rare inside.  Set aside to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Thinly slice the tuna and arrange with the figs on top of the rocket.
  6. “Drape’ slices of prosciutto on top
  7. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice
  8. Serve immediately