A lovely combination of scallops and bacon on skewers, perfect as a hand held bite or as a dinner party appetizer.
I love scallops! And I love bacon too. So, the combination of these two ingredients is definitely a match made in heaven, in my opinion. The smokey flavor of bacon complements and enhances the sweetness of scallops when paired with it. Drizzled with a fermented black bean aioli, it adds a layer of complex flavor and a delicious boost of umami.
Fermented black beans, also known as salted or dried black beans, are made from soy beans that have been dried and fermented with salt and some other spices such as chillies, garlic, ginger etc. They can be easily found in Asian supermarkets and are sold in jars. If you do not live near an Asian supermarket, black bean sauce is often available at the international or Asian foods aisle. And you can substitute the fermented black beans with the sauce instead. One of my favorite brands that I often use is "Lee Kum Kee". And they can be found in my local HEB store.
Scallop Satays with Bacon and Black Bean Aioli
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from "Simply Ming In Your Kitchen" Cook Book
15 Large Whole Scallops
4 slices Bacon
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 1/2 tsp Fermented Black Beans (chopped)
1 bunch Scallions or Spring Onions (thinly sliced and divided)
1 Egg Yolk
1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
5 8" Skewers
1. Soak skewers in water for at least an hour. Pat dry with paper towel.
2. Skewer 3 scallops and place them toward the top of each skewer. Refrigerate them if not using them immediately.
3. Bake bacon slices in 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, until they are crispy. Drain off fat and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside for later use.
4. In a pan, heat up 1 tsp of the bacon fat from the baking tray. Add in chopped garlic, black beans and 3/4 portion of the chopped scallions. Sauté for about a minute, until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper and set aside for later use.
5. Prepare the aioli by placing 1 egg yolk, 1 1/2 tsp mustard and 1/2 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until an emulsion forms. Transfer into a bowl and mix in chopped fermented black beans. Add in 1 tbsp lemon juice and stir well.
6. Heat 1 1/2 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Season skewered scallops with salt and pepper. Pan fry the scallops for about 30 seconds each side, until they are golden brown and just cooked through.
7. Drizzle the black bean aioli over the scallop skewers and garnish with chopped bacon and remaining scallions.
Makes 5 Skewers
A healthy, quick and easy one tray bake that is perfect for your week night meals.
Here is a fantastic recipe that is not only healthy & delicious but also so quick & easy to prepare. And the best part about it is that cleaning up after would be breeze! Just your baking tray, cutting board and knife. Have I got your attention yet? And I believe this recipe (that is gluten-free & dairy-free) is Whole30 and SCD (Slow Carb Diet) compliant too.
As much as I love to cook, I often feel bad that I am spending my time in the kitchen preparing dinners when the kids are home from school. Sometimes, all they want is for me to play a board game with them or just make slime!
With this one tray bake recipe, I spend about 15 to 20 minutes before the kids get home from school to cut up the meat and vegetables, marinate them real quick and then onto the baking tray they go. And because I can get lose track of time easily, I pop the tray into the oven and set it on a timer for it to be cooked by dinner time. The kids and I get to spend time together and dinner is ready on time! I even have plenty left for the entire family's lunch the next day.
Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables One Tray Bake
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from The Real Food Dietitians
2 to 2 1/2 lbs Chicken Breast (boneless and skinless)
1 lb Broccoli Florets
3 Carrots (cut diagonally)
8 oz Mushrooms (sliced thickly)
1 Red Onion (finely diced)
8 oz Cherry Tomatoes
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 1/3 oz Fresh Basil (I used 2 packets of HEB Organics that is 2/3 oz per packet) (chopped and divided)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2. Tenderize chicken breast by placing them between plastic wrap and pounding it gently with the flat size of the meat tenderizer hammer.
3. Cut each tenderized chicken breast into 3 to 4 pieces and place them into a ziplock bag.
4, In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, minced garlic, 3/4 portion of the chopped basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper to make the marinade.
5. Use 1/3 cup of the marinade to marinate the chicken pieces in the ziplock bag.
6. Place broccoli florets, cut carrots, sliced mushrooms and diced red onion onto the baking tray. Pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables and toss to coat.
7. Placed marinated chicken pieces on top of the vegetables on the tray. Bake on 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
8. After 15 minutes, add cherry tomatoes and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
9. Garnish with remaining chopped basil and freshly cracked black pepper.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Curry Puff Pastries, a scrumptious and flaky variation of the traditional Singapore Curry Puff that is wrapped in puff pastry instead.
In a blink of an eye, here we are with a week of the New Year gone already. 1 week down and 51 more weeks to go. It may seem like a long time to go but time always seem to just fly by when you're not paying attention.
I have kept myself busy by spending time with family who is visiting from Singapore, hosting parties and keeping up with our annual family traditions. And before I knew it, we were sprinting toward Christmas, Bella's birthday (which falls on December 27) and the New Year. While I took a month off from my blog, I never took a break from the kitchen. I was constantly making dinners for a household of 8 people or preparing dishes for a party.
On the topic of parties, for Bella's 9th birthday party, she wanted it to be "Harry Potter" themed. I had so much fun preparing and cooking for it. And I was so glad that my family is visiting. They helped out so much! We created letters from Hogwarts as invitations, hung battery operated candles with fishing line over my kitchen island to recreate the Great Hall, made Polyjuice Potion Slime and even made a Dementor pinata. The house was decorated with "wanted" posters of Sirius Black and Moaning Myrtle made a couple of appearances in some of our mirrors.
The refreshments had to be in theme too. I found non-alcoholic Butter Beer from my local grocery store and served it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. A little too sweet for my liking but I think the kids had a blast! We even printed paper wings and stuck them onto Ferraro Rocher chocolates to make them look like "Golden Snitches". But the highlight had to be the Curry Puff Pastries that we named "House Elf Curry Puff Pastries" for the party. Inspired by Harry Potter's Pumpkin Pasties, I tweaked my traditional Singapore Curry Puffs recipe and made them with store bought frozen puff pastries instead. In fact, some bakeries in Singapore make them this way too. These flaky and crispy curry puff pastries were absolutely delightful and were flying off the platter at the party. A perfect finger food for any occasion really.
Curry Puff Pastries
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
5 tbsp Cooking Oil
1 Medium Red Onion (diced finely)
3 tsp Garam Marsala Powder
4 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 cup Chicken Breast Meat (diced 3/8")
2 large Potatoes (skinned, boiled and diced 3/8")
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
3 boxes Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets (6 sheets)
1 egg (beaten)
1. Prepare the filling first. Heat oil and stir fry onions on medium heat until golden brown.
2. Add in 3 tsp garam marsala powder, 4 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and continue to stir fry gently.
3. Add in 1 cup diced chicken and stir fry until chicken is cooked. Add in potatoes, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Remove pastry sheets from the box & packages and allow them to thaw for up to 40 minutes, until it is soft and does not crack or break when unfolding. The pastry sheet should still be cold.
6. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares. Place 2 to 3 tbsp of curry filling in the middle of the pastry and fold it over into triangles, sealing the edges with water. Use a fork to create a crimping pattern on the edges and brush the beaten egg over the top.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees F.
Makes 24 pieces.
Curried Pumpkin Soup, a creamy and yet light soup that makes a great appetizer and a perfect start to an chilly winter's meal.
Curried Pumpkin Soup, a combination of flavor that marries the complex essence of South Asian spices with one of the most popular winter squash. This creamy and yet light soup is perfect as an appetizer or as a meal on it own when coupled with some warm bread
After a cold, winter-like weekend that we just had in Houston, this steaming bowl of Curried Pumpkin Soup will help you stay warm and cozy during the winter months. While the temperatures now are a range of between 40 to 60 degrees, that is pretty typical weather for -mid-winter in Houston. A tasty bowl of soup to warm your body and soothe your soul is always welcomed.
Curried Pumpkin Soup
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, inspired by Epicurious
2 Medium Onions
2 cloves Garlic
1 oz Ginger
2 tbsp Butter
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Mild Curry Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 15 oz Canned Solid Packed Pumpkin
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1. Using a food processor, minced the onions, garlic and ginger.
2. Heat up a cast iron pot or heavy bottom pot and add in butter. Once the butter has melted, add in minced onions, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes until it is fragrant.
3. Add in 1 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tsp mild curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala and mix well.
4. Stir in pumpkin, chicken stock, coconut milk and red pepper flakes (optional). Bring it to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minute or until the soup has reduced to the thickness of choice.
5. Puree the soup with a hand held blender. Season with salt and pepper, if required and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Makes 10 servings
Egg Foo Yong, a hearty and fulfilling Chinese style omelette that is perfect for any meal of the day.
Egg Foo Yong is an Asian style omelette dish, specifically Chinese Cantonese. It is fried until the omelette fluffs ups and the edges are crispy, leaving the middle moist. It is a common dish on the menu of a "Zi Char" stall (a Hokkien term used in Singapore to describe a Chinese stall that offers a wide selection of common and affordable dishes that are very much akin to having a home cooked meal).
Growing up, my mom would often make this dish on the weekends. Both my parents worked when we were growing up so my mom would always make it a point to prepare home cooked meals for us on weekends. I have fond memories of having porridge for lunch on Sundays and Egg Foo Yong was a frequent side dish that went along with our lunches. The fragrant and flavorful was a perfect side dish and my mom often added onions or Chinese chives to it. You can add anything to it, which makes it such a versatile dish.
So last week, instead of having lunch out on Saturday, which we normally do after the kids' gymnastics classes, I cooked lunch at home and had Egg Foo Yong as well. It brought back so much memories of my childhood and I shared those stories with our kids. Even Kian mentioned that we have not had lunch at home like this on a weekend in a long time and it was really nice and we should do it more often.
Egg Foo Yong
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from "The Meat Men Sg"
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper Powder
1/2 Onion (sliced)
1/4 lb Shrimps (shelled & deveined)
1/4 cup Chinese Char Siu Pork (diced)
1 Spring Onion (cut into 2" slices)
1/4 cup Mung Bean Sprouts
1/2 Iceberg Lettuce (shredded)
7 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. Whisk 5 eggs and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper powder. Place shredded lettuce on a serving plate. Set them both aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a non stick wok and add in sliced onions. Stir fry until they are translucent.
3. Add in 1/4 lb shrimps, 1/4 cup diced Chinese char siu pork, 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts and sliced spring onions. Mix well and stir fry for a minute. Spoon mixture out and add it into the eggs.
4. Clean the wok and heat 6 tbsp of vegetable oil until it is hot. Gently pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the wok gently to allow hot oil to partially cook the omelette. Cover and let it set for a few minutes.
5. Once the bottom and edges are golden brown and crispy, gently flip it over using 2 spatulas. Continue cooking until the eggs are cooked through. Serve over shredded lettuce.
Sweet Potato Pie, a subtly spiced Southern favorite that is often served during the American holiday season, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Sweet Potato Pie is a traditional dessert, originating in the Southern United States. It is often served during the American holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For our Thanksgiving dinner last week, I decided to make a Sweet Potato Pie for dessert. Sweet potatoes are also frequently used in Singaporean cuisine, often as a dessert as well, such as "Sweet Potato Soup". At times, we would simply wrap the whole sweet potato in foil and place them in hot charcoal while we grill our main meal and then have the hot, soft sweet potato as a dessert.
This Sweet Potato Pie recipe is made easy and simple with store bought pie crust and canned sweet potatoes. The pie filling was quick & easy to make and so tasty & delicious. I actually found it to be pretty light too. It did not feel too dense nor too sweet. I will definitely be making this recipe again for Christmas!
Sweet Potato Pie
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from Trisha Yearwood
1 29oz Canned Sweet Potato
3/4 cup Sugar (divided)
4 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
1 Unbaked 9" Pie Crust (I used Pillsbury)
1. Drain the liquid out from the canned sweet potatoes and blend them in a food processor until a smooth puree is formed.
2. In a bowl, beat 4 tbsp butter with 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.
3. Add in 2 eggs, 1/4 cup whole milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Mix well with the electric mixer.
4. Place pie crust in a pie dish and pour mixture in. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar with a sieve (for an even spread) over and allow the pie to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before baking (to let sugar melt).
5. Bake at 300 degrees F for 60 minutes. Cool thoroughly and serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken, a wonderful quick and easy recipe that is perfect with rice or pasta, or just on its own.
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken is a wonderful recipe that you can just prepare in your slow cooker and then just forget about it. In a matter of a couple of hours, you'll have an extremely flavorful chicken dish that will be great over rice or pasta.
My little brother is currently visiting from Singapore and we've been hanging out, going to the gym together and both Bella & Jamie are absolutely thrilled to have their uncle around. I had been looking forward to his visit and to cooking meals for him too. Last week, I made Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken for dinner and he loved it. I make this dish pretty often and my family never gets tired of it. We usually have it with rice but this time, I paired it with spaghetti. The flavorful lemon garlic sauce was so tasty and went so well with the spaghetti. It reminded me of Vongole Pasta.
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from All Recipes
3 to 4 lbs Chicken Thighs (with skin and bone) (approx. 6 to 8 pcs)
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
4 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Water
5 tbsp Lemon Juice
5 cloves Garlic (chopped)
2 tsp Chicken Bouillon
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro (divided)
1. Mix 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper powder in a small bowl. Rub the mixture onto the chicken pieces and set aside.
2. Mix 1/2 cup water, 5 tbsp lemon juice, 5 cloves chopped garlic and 2 tsp chicken bouillon in another bowl and set aside for later use.
3. In a wok or cast iron pot/pan, melt 4 tbsp butter over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces in the melted butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the browned chicken pieces in the slow cooker.
4. Add the liquid mixture that was set aside earlier to the remaining butter in the wok or cast iron pot/pan and bring it to a boil. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker over the chicken pieces.
5. Cook on low for 5 hours, adding in 1/2 the portion of chopped cilantro at the last 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Serve chicken pieces over rice or pasta with the sauce and garnish with more chopped cilantro, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
Slow Cooker Chinese Char Siu Pork Ribs is so finger licking good with its sweet, sticky and savory flavors, you will not believe how easy it is to make at home.
Slow Cooker Chinese Char Siu Pork Ribs is an extremely easy recipe to make at home, with a delicious sweet, sticky and savory flavor. Char Siu is a popular way to flavor and prepare barbecue pork in Cantonese cuisine. This Slow Cooker Chinese Char Siu Pork Ribs is a slight variation from the Chinese Char Siu Pork (Pot Roast Style) that I had shared a while.
With this recipe, simply marinate the ribs and then allow the slow cooker to do its job. Once that is done, baste and broil the ribs before serving. The ribs are so tender from the slow cooking and lightly charred from the broiling.
Slow Cooker Chinese Char Siu Pork Ribs
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 lbs Pork Spare Ribs (cut)
2 oz Ginger (skinned)
6 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
1/4 cup Honey
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
4 tsp Light Soy Sauce
4 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Sambal Olek
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 cup + 4 tbsp Water
2 tbsp Cornstarch
1. In a food processor, combine 2 oz ginger, 6 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 4 tsp light soy sauce, 4 tsp dark soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil and 1/4 cup water. Blend until a smooth marinade is formed.
2. Place ribs into the slow cooker and pour marinade over. Mix well and ensure that the ribs are covered with the marinade. Allow it to marinate for 1 hour (or overnight in a ziploc bag, if time permits).
3. Cook on low for 5 hours in the slow cooker.
4. When cooked, remove ribs and place them onto a baking tray. Baste the ribs with the sauce from the slow cooker. Broil on high for 2 minute on a rack that is about 6 to 8 inches from the top. Baste the ribs again with the sauce and broil on high for another 2 minutes.
5. Pour the sauce into a sauce pot and bring it to a boil. Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 4 tbsp water and pour mixture into the boiling sauce, allowing it to thicken.
6. Baste the ribs with the thicken sauce and garnish with sesame seeds before serving.
Makes 4 servings
Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup, a healthy and well balanced meal in a bowl that is so hearty and wholesome.
Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup is my go-to recipe using one of my favorite cooking tool in the home, the slow cooker. This is one of the simplest recipe and it is essentially just tossing all the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it and forget about it, until it is time for dinner. Based on my previous slow cooker recipes that I have posted, I realized that many readers share the same amount of love for their slow cookers as well.
Let's be honest, even if we decided to make the simplest meal for dinner, you would still need some time to prepare the ingredients and to actually cook it. At least 15 to 20 minutes? And this can be really challenging for me, especially on the days when we get home from after-school activities at around 6.45pm. Bella and Jamie will be famished by then and giving them a snack is not an option as it would just ruin their appetite. Hence, they cannot wait 20 minutes for me cook them their dinner, no matter how quick and easy the recipe may be. They turn into "hangry" monsters, I get frustrated because they cannot be patient and the evening can just spiral out of control.
So, during the school year, I use the slow cooker a lot. I cannot express enough how helpful it is. Especially on days where I know that Kian's work commitments prevents him from taking the kids to their activities, I will prepare my slow cooker meals while the kids are in school, set it to be ready at the required time and when we get home that evening, all they need to do is to wash their hands and dinner is served!
Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 pieces Chicken Breast (approx. 2 to 2 1/2 lbs)
Salt & Pepper
1 to 2 Yellow Squash (cut into bite size)
1 to 2 Zucchini (cut into bite size)
4 to 6 Carrots (cut into bite size)
5 stalks Celery (cut into small pieces)
2 medium Onions (cut into wedges)
8 cups Chicken Stock
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Oregano
Extra Wide egg noodles (cooked and drained)
Avocado (sliced) (optional)
1. Place 3 pieces of chicken breast at the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add in cut yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, celery, onions, chicken stock, 2 bay leaves and 1 tsp oregano. Cook on low for 5 hours.
3. Before serving, add in cooked egg noodles, top with sliced avocado and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon is a perfect fuss-free weeknight dinner with little clean up after and yet special enough to be served at a dinner party.
Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon is such a breeze to prepare, making it a perfect weeknight dinner as it is fairly effortless to make. I whip up this recipe once every few weeks and my family never gets tired of it. Using just a foil lined baking try and popping it into the oven to broil, it makes cleaning up after dinner fuss-free as well. You don't even have to plate it on a serving plate. You can just serve it in the tray for a rustic feel.
My family have always enjoyed salmon and I've always felt that salmon is a good source of protein and omega-3 fats. It is also my personal preference to only purchase and consume wild caught sockeye salmon. One little challenge with cooking salmon is the unappealing white substance that oozes out of the salmon every time I cook it. So, I researched and found that the white substance, known as albumin, is totally harmless and will happen to all salmon, regardless of what you do. But there is a way to significantly reduce the albumin collection; with a quick brine. I tried it out and lo and behold, my filet of salmon had no albumin at all and looks extremely pleasing to the eye.
Bella and Jamie loves this recipe. The flavors of the herbs come together so well with the butter and lemon. It was so tasty that they did not even mind the cilantro garnish. Bella even said that the cilantro adds a smokey flavor to the salmon and that she actually likes it.
Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
1 1/2 lb Salmon Filet
4 cups water
4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
1/4 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Rosemary
2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
Salt & Pepper
1. Brine the salmon filet in 4 cups of water and 4 tsp of salt for 10 minutes.
2. Pat the salmon filet dry and remove all bones from it. Set it on a foil lined baking tray.
3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a microwave for 30 seconds and mix it with 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp rosemary.
4. Pour melted herb butter over the salmon filet and spread it all over the fish.
5. Broil on high on the second highest rack in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked to your preference of doneness.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
A Singaporean SAHM living in Houston, Texas. Discovering her potential in the kitchen with authentic Singaporean Cuisine. And exploring the dynamic food scene Houston has to offer.