Fresh scallops are wonderfully sweet and taste like the sea. The sweetness matches well with the zing of lemon zest and white pepper. This ceviche is so easy to prepare. A great starter to any nice meal at home. Happy cooking ^.^~

5 raw scallops
3 teaspoons good olive oil
6 leaves mint plus 2 top snips for garnish
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
A small pinch of white pepper
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt

Clean the scallops and reserve the edible muscles. Place a knife underneath the muscle and scraping across the bottom shell. Remove the top shell, take away all the inedible innards. Slice the scallops thinly across the top into 1 to 1 1/2 mm thickness.

Roll the mint leaves together and cut into chiffonade (long and thin strips).

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, mint chiffonade, lemon zest, white pepper and sea salt.

Mix the scallops and coat well with the citrusy dressing. Plate and enjoy.


We have been gone a while, trekking and eating through South East Asia. Over our stop in Singapore, we have found some really great Hainan chicken rice, Indian curries and Katong laksa. The components of a good Hainan chicken rice are the tender meat that is expertly cooked, fragrant chicken broth infused rice and perfectly concocted ginger & chili sauces.

Heng Heng Hainanese Chicken Rice at the Maxwell hawker food center.

Little India, where colorful temples and mosques, shophouses stocked with spices, gold and incense lined the streets. We found a small, unpretentious corner food stall mobbed by locals.  Despite the heat, loud street noise and wobbly plastic stools, the food had our undivided attention. It was simple, spicy and straightforwardly good.

Last but not least, Katong laksa–made with slightly sweet coconut curry and strong aromatics. The noodles are cut up in small pieces so the soup can be eaten with the only utensil provided, the spoon. The version we had eaten had shrimp, strips of fish cake, bean sprouts and garnished with laksa leaves and sambal chili paste that was available on each dining table.

Wontons are a perfect appetizer for dinner parties. They’re easy to make and you can stuff them with practically anything from seasoned ground pork with vegetables, cheesy mixtures to fruit fillings. Our recipe of these savory cheesy fortune bags are great served with a citrusy sauce like raspberry puree, made from cooked raspberry with sherry, cinnamon, sugar and water. Cool the sauce, puree and pour into a squeeze bottle (see recipe below.) The wontons freeze well, so you can store the extra ones you’ve made to enjoy later. Dust the pie tins or dinner plates with flour before lining the wontons to prevent sticking. After the wontons are frozen, take them off the plates and store in heavy duty freezer bags. If you think 100 wontons are too much, scale down to 50 and just cut all ingredients to half. Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon to all!

2 cups Mascarpone cheese
2 cups cream cheese
1 package fresh wonton skins (about 80-100 sheets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium pumpkin
3 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
5 leaves sage, finely minced
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A pinch of sugar
Oil for frying
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Half the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool, scoop out the roasted pumpkin and set aside.

In a sauté pan. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and throw in the diced onions and minced garlic. Season with salt & pepper and a pinch of sugar. Sauté until onions are caramelized and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, sautéed onions, minced sage, cheeses, cayenne, Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients well together.

Wrap filling in traditional Chinese wonton skins. Deep fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce:

2 cups raspberry (fresh or frozen)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sherry
1 2″ cinnamon stick
2 cups water

In a sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil then immediately turn down to a very small simmer. Reduce to half, about 35 minutes. Watch it closely so you don’t burn the sauce.

Cool the raspberry sauce and purée in a blender. Pour the sauce in a squeeze bottle. Decorate the sauce over the plate in whatever fashion you’d like.

We love a steamy bowl of mac & cheese! Our version has an addictive garlicky flavor and a little cayenne heat. All of the ingredients can be found at Ole’! super market at Grand Gateway in Xujiahui. We made a big batch so to heat left overs back up the next day, just mix in a little milk and grate extra cheese on top. Enjoy ^.^~

1 package tiburon or macaroni, 250g
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
2 cups loosely packed sharp cheddar, grated
2 cups loosely packed Gruyere, grated
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
A small pinch of nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the tiburon pasta according to the package directions, about 6 minutes. Drain well.

Warm the milk in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan, add the minced garlic and flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Lower the heat and while whisking, pour the hot milk in. Continue to whisk until smooth and thickened. Simmer for 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.

Take the saucepan off the heat, add the cheddar and Gruyere, kosher salt to taste, cayenne and nutmeg. Put back on the stove with a very low heat. Add the tiburon pasta and stir until combined with the creamy cheese sauce.

Ladle mac & cheese into a bowl and serve immediately.

Velvety and comforting, this recipe transforms any left over poultry into a bodacious meal with its own identity. Enjoy ^.^~

2 cups left over turkey breast, diced
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 leaves fresh sage, finely minced
1 stick butter, 1/4 cup
1 cup mixed mushrooms (button, beechwood and porcini), sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small carrot, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1-2 cups cream
4 cups water
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan, heat the butter on low heat, add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Use a whisk to stir until smooth. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

In the mean while, heat olive oil in a medium pot. Add chopped onions and saute until lightly caramelized for good flavor. Season with salt & pepper. Add the thyme, garlic, sage, mushrooms, carrot, celery and cook until vegetables are soft. Season again with salt & pepper.

Add the water, cream, turkey and the butter mixture. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil, this will separate the butter and cream. Serve hot with crusty bread.

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