Author Archives: Gourmet Traveller 88

Homemade Creole Seasoning

I had 6 weeks holiday in Hong Kong. Had so much good food that I have to slowly go back to my cooking mood. I had hardly cooked during these 6 weeks. I miss the hot and sunny weather there, coming back, the air temperature has already cooled down considerably and feel a bit chilly in the morning and evening.
I like one pan or one pot rice. Prepared Jambalaya for the first time and one of the important seasonings is Creole seasonings which I don’t have a stored bought version so I found in the internet and has created my own bottle which I have used some smoked paprika to give a little twist to the original version. It is also a great gift which I made enough to give to my friend.

Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef Salad)

Last week, after my German class, I went to Lily’s for lunch. Weather was so hot that I did not feel like to have curry with rice or Pad Thai which I normally would order. I wanted to have something like and wanted to try something new, so I saw Bo Luc Lac and gave a try. I was a little worried if I would like it but I took the courage and came out from my comfort zone. I have never tried Bo Luc Lac in Hong Kong or Asia so I cannot tell if this is a really good one. But it came out to be a very light and refreshing dish, the beef was very tender and was cooked just right at medium. I was so happy to know this dish and tempted to make something similar at home the following day.

I searched online and found that you should use watercress but I have never seen watercress here, so I used salad cress and baby spinach instead, and I used the garden herbs I have namely thyme, small leaves basil and oregano. Most recipes I saw used oyster sauce in the marinade but I skipped it as I got a piece of US entrecôte and with good quality beef, it’s not necessary to use too much or too strong seasonings.

This is a great summer salad, I was lighter after having this no carb salad 2 times. I felt so satisfied and did not feel hungry without any carbohydrate intake. I highly recommend this as a fitness salad and it is so easy and quick to prepare as the ingredients for the vinaigrette are stock at home at all time.

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Raw red beet & carrot salad

Last Saturday I finally visited Lörrach food market in Germany which happens every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I was never keen to go to the food market across the German border but since I have had some German lessons since January, I am more excited to explore more in Germany. I am not even close to fluent yet, still a long long way to go but the big difference in the exchange rate between Euros and Swiss Francs. We can really save a lot from shopping in Germany. Previously I preferred to go across the French border (St. Louis and Mulhouse) because I can communicate better in French. Now it’s time to explore the German side.

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white asparagus salad with soy vinaigrette dressing

Hubby has gone for a long business trip for 10 days, I am using this opportunity to eat as little meat and carb as possible.

Today is Mother’s Day, to be honest, Marc is not even two years old yet, I don’t have strong feelings that we need to do something special today. He has been really good that allowed me to lie in this morning and he was able to sleep next to me. After we had breakfast, I prepared carrot and leek soup, then we planted the baby sunflower plant together. We played football for a while in our garden, watched Formula 1 on TV and Bas stopped by briefly to give me a red rose for Mother’s Day. What a nice surprise!

Marc did not have afternoon nap today, glad he was able to hang out until after dinner and was able to turn in at 8:10pm! New record of an early night! That’s why I can take my laptop out and enjoy a glass of wine.

It’s white asparagus season right now. This season I have eaten more white asparagus than last year. Last Sunday we ate directly at the farm @Berriland Bottmingen, they have organized 3 days Spargelfest. After lunch, we bought some asparagus to take home. We asked for 500g and they gave us 1 kg. I used 500g to make cream of white asparagus soup and the remaining, I made a salad. In Basel, we have easy access to get white asparagus from the Alsace, France; Badischer, Germany, or from Greece and Spain. Alsace and Badischer are more local but my favorite is from Bottmingen which is just nearby, maybe because the production is limited and feels more special.

I love this salad with an Asian twist, another variation compared to the traditional way serving with Hollandaise sauce and ham.

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Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork with Homemade Noodles (台式肉燥麵)

Last week, I finally got the grip and took out my pasta machine which had been untouched for a while. Made a batch of fresh pasta and then I thought let’s experiment and make some ramen, it has been a long time in my to cook list. And for the first time, it came out beautifully, I feel it’s even easier than making Italian pasta. If you let the ramen dough rest in the fridge overnight, it makes it easier to roll out. The rolled out ramen freezes well. You don’t even need to sprinkle flour, simply wrap them up in portions with cling film, keep in a plastic box and put in the freezer, done. I am so excited that I am now keeping the pasta machine clamping on the wooden table as I foresee myself to make more ramen in the common weeks. I am trying to control myself not to freeze too many portions as they are best when cooked freshly rolled. One quicker way I found is to prepare a few dough in advance and keep in freezer, in this way, whenever I crave for ramen, I have the dough standing by. Thanks very much to Marc @No Recipes for sharing his homemade ramen noodle recipe. I have got to crack on a batch of ramen broth.

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Basel Bagels' Elouisa (Scamorza affumicata & avocado) sandwich



Thanks to Cara for introducing Scamorza to me, it’s similar to mozzarella but firmer and the one I got here is smoked, known as scamorza affumicata. Cara and her friend came up a bagel sandwich which consists of smoked scamorza, avocado, rucola and ranch dressing or tzatziki. A few weeks ago I was lucky to get to try this sandwich for lunch when I did some photo-shooting for her bagels. It was a new combination to me, I like trying new flavors to expand my palate and I like it a lot and I immediately went to search for smoked Scamorza thereafter. The best was that I was able to enjoy it with fresh bagel just came out from the oven, that was really the best bagel I ever had.

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Roasted pumpkin pasta with breadcrumbs

A few weeks ago, my friend Monica came over to my place with her baby Simon for lunch but the main purpose was to let Simon and Marc to play together. With kids at home, of course I could not spend too much time in the kitchen. Monica initially said to me that she could eat before she came to me because she is meat free on Friday, I said to her no problem I can figure something out.

So with the Kabocha squash left in the fridge, I made the same Ottlenghi Roasted pumpkin wedges as in my previous post, the night before to save time and let them rested at room temperature covered until the next day. I was very happy that one dish could turn into a beautiful and delicious veggie pasta. I have read that it’s pretty common to use breadcrumbs in pasta which is known as peasant pasta in the old days. By adding pumpkin, this takes the peasant pasta to another level.

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