Let’s have a 4-course dinner at home!

Being called a food blogger, I don’t think I’ve live up to this title just yet. Not in terms of eating but about getting into the kitchen and getting a proper meal done.

Knowing which ingredient is best paired with what flavours, the timing and presentation. I’ve always thought these was an easy-peasy task while watching The MasterChef on TV excitedly. Getting the right menu could be head throbbing. Blame me for not getting into the kitchen so often. *pats forehead*

Well, if it’s for Chris, then it’s worth all the time 🙂
This year, we put aside the ritual expensive candle light dinner outside and decided to cook him a nice dinner.

Why not spend some time putting in a little more effort in organizing a home-cooked full course meal for your loved ones?
I know to most of you this might sound a little too easy for you guys but it was a hell of a experience for me as I promised Chris dinner at 6.30pm sharp on his birthday in just one attempt and it’s my first 😉

Let’s have a 4-course dinner at home!

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I said to Chris as I hand him a box with menu:)

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Starters
Chili Prawn Skewers served on a bed of Shiitake Mushrooms & Asparagus

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Chili Prawn Skewers
Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chili or cili padi, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • 750g raw king prawns, peeled, deveined, tails intact

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Methods:

  1. Place the garlic, chili, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a large non-metallic bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the prawns and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a barbecue grill plate to high. Remove prawns from marinade and thread onto metal or bamboo skewers. Or… you could stir-fry them in a frying pan and thread them onto the bamboo skewers later 🙂
  3. Grill prawn skewers for 2 minutes each side or until prawns are cooked through and golden.

Notes:
If using bamboo skewers, soak then in cold water for at least 30 minutes before threading prawns to prevent burning while cooking.
If you prefer, do not remove the seeds from the chili for some extra heat.

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Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms
Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 10 oz. stemmed, sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped

Methods:

  1. Stir the lemon juice, soy sauce and sugar together.
  2. Heat a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until very hot. Add oil.
  3. Add shiitake mushrooms and stir until the juices from the mushrooms are released and evaporate, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add butter and garlic and sauté, stirring, until butter is absorbed.
  5. Add lemon mixture to mushrooms, stirring until sauce is absorbed.

 

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

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I try not to keep Chris too satiated, I omitted the whipping cream. Still, it turned out to be real creamy. A recipe everyone should try!

  • 2 pounds of fresh pumpkin
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cube of chicken Maggi or 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • salt, pepper to taste

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Method:

  1. Chop the onion fine. Clean the pumpkin of all the filaments, separate the seeds and clean them under running water.
  2. Sprinkle the seeds with salt and roast in a slow oven or dry in a sunny spot. (*This step is optional, but highly recommended, as pumpkin seeds are full of health benefits)
  3. Melt the butter, add the onion and fry gently for 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cut in coarse chunks and fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add the water and bouillon cube or chicken stock as well as the cinnamon, salt and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Cool the soup till lukewarm and process in a blender till smooth, adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with the roasted pumpkin seeds or parsley leaf for decoration.

 

Main Course
Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Teriyaki Salmon

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Spaghetti Aglio Olio
First attempt and luckily it turned out to be a memorable one *sweats*
Decided to add in some prawns for better texture and flavours

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 servings of pasta (about 180g spaghetti)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced or chopped (not too finely)
  • 2 chili padi, sliced or 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes/ chopped dried chili (adjust or omit to your preference)
  • 30g Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 20g butter, cubed
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Raw king prawns, peeled & deveined

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Methods:

  1. Fill a pot with water (enough to submerge pasta) and about 1 tbsp sea salt and olive oil. Bring the water to a boil and then cook pasta according to the timing indicated on the packet, until al dente. Drain and set aside the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.
  2. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, add garlic and chili padi/chili flakes/ chopped dried chili (if using).
  3. Add in the prawns. Saute the garlic together with the prawns until it turns light golden brown.
  4. Turn off the stove. The garlic will continue cooking in the hot oil on its own for a few more seconds in the hot oil, until they turn a lovely golden brown.
  5. Add cooked pasta, 1-2 tbsp reserve pasta water, chopped parsley and cubed butter to the garlic & oil mixture. Stir to coat all the ingredients evenly. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

 

Salmon Teriyaki

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb salmon fillet, cut into two equal-sized pieces
  • Olive Oil, for searing
  • Teriyaki sauce

Methods:

  1. Marinate the salmon with the Teriyaki Sauce in a sealed plastic bag for 4-6 hours, or best overnight.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F (about 180 degree Celsius).
  3. Heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the oil and pan-sear the marinated salmon until the surface is charred, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Brush the remaining Teriyaki Sauce on the seared salmon and transfer them to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through.
  5. Remove from the oven, drizzle the leftover Teriyaki Sauce on the salmon and serve immediately 🙂

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Note:
For the salmon, the secret is to not to overcook the fish so it remain tender and moist. I first pan-seared the salmon until the surfaces turn slightly charred, and then finished it up by baking in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degree F. To serve, just drizzle the homemade teriyaki sauce on top of the salmon and you will have a perfect & delicious juicy Salmon 🙂
Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia

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Dessert
Baked Peach Yoghurt Cheesecake


Special thanks to Citygal for her idea & AiWei for her brilliant recipe and guidance, I managed to pull it out. Sorry that it looked a little not-too-pretty. It should have a smoother texture though.
Recipe will be shared upon request from AiWei 🙂

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Remember to layer some peach beneath too 🙂

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Thank god Chris was satisfied 🙂
Easy recipe for everyone to try!

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25 Comment

  1. Wow, so sweet of you! Got menu also! And a full course dinner, haha, you worked so hard! =)

    1. Thanks dear 🙂 You could do this for Shaun too. Nasi Lemak? hehe

  2. wyyv says: Reply

    That’s an excellent idea for the loved one! I like your pumpkin soup recipe. I shall try making a surprise dinner for Wy too 🙂

    1. yeah it’s easy to make. Try not to put too much cinnamon as it’ll mask the pumpkin flavours. Hope Wy would love it 🙂

  3. Yummy. So homey feel, especially the plate used for the prawn skewer lol.

    1. haha.. u noticed! 😛

  4. can i have this for my bday too???? 😀

    1. ai wei says: Reply

      Zhi, she said only for chris lee
      Sob 🙁

      1. no worries dear… this is upon request for u guys too.. But before that, let me brush up my skills first LOL

    2. can dear… no problem 🙂

  5. Waaa…such detail!! Chris is sooo lucky. Rif has been complaining about how I haven’t cooked for him a proper meal for almost 2 years. Most of the time, he gets a basic steak, beef stew or simple pasta. 😛

    1. steak, beef stew and pasta…
      That’s very detail too babe! 🙂
      Maybe this time… bake him a cake! ^^

  6. FiSh says: Reply

    wow he is so lucky there 🙂 i love the menu that you presented him, creative idea!

    1. Thanks a lot 🙂
      But I’m luckier cos Chris can cook better haha

  7. daphne says: Reply

    good on you!! what a satisfying dinner that must be! Lucky Chris!

    1. I think that’s a little too much for fine dining. Haha. Very satiated in the end 🙂

  8. yvon says: Reply

    WOW!!!! So sweeeettt <3 I gonna try this out one day (but duno when yet. haha)

    1. try try! and let me try! haha 😀

  9. Hehe good job. I’m sure the birthday boy was very pleased.

    1. thanks! yeah he was cos I literally can’t cook 😛

  10. Well done!! Such detailed planning and effort in planning everything out. I know it’s not easy but it’s so worth it when it’s appreciated by the people you love, right? 🙂 Lucky lucky Chris!

    1. yeah.. the best feeling was when I saw a smile on his face as he enjoys what I did for him 🙂

  11. ciki says: Reply

    you are a terrific cook! very impressed!!

  12. Wow! that’s not the easiest to replicate at home. gonna try it for the coming valentine’s day dinner. fingers crossed that i am not too exhausted from my bali hols.

  13. Vyen says: Reply

    I just saw this entree. Christine it looks so yummy! When r u Going to throw a dinner party and have ur friends tasting those delicious food??? 🙂

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