Step-By-Step Recipe: Panna Cotta

Don’t let its plain appearance fool you. Each spoonful of panna cotta carries the rich flavour of dairy cream which gives way to a delicate mouthfeel as it melts in your mouth. This elegant dessert is quintessential to Italian restaurants, and no wonder – this is a very lovable dish which, as I have come to discovered, is extremely simple to make.

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Baked Apples with Red Wine & Cinnamon

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Winter is fast approaching and the skies have turned ebony black so much faster than I have expected. Temperatures have also dipped so quickly – Looks like it’s another painful long winter in the UK this year! To combat the perpetual cold and gloominess, I have turned to one of my go-to-desserts that combine 3 of my favourite food items into 1 dish: Red Wine, Apples and Cinnamon! When served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the sweet, sticky and slightly alcoholic dessert really hits the spot!

What’s more, it also leaves half a bottle of red wine for me to gulp down as plain water – No, I mean to sip and enjoy in the night. ;)

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Minced Meat Noodle / Bak Chor Mee (肉脞面)

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Bak Chor Mee, which means “minced meat noodles” in the Chinese Hokkien dialect, is often hailed the unsung hero of Singapore’s hawker food scene. A typical tourist in Singapore would definitely try to have a taste of Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice and even Char Kway Teow (Fried Flat Rice Noodles) – But Bak Chor Mee? Who would go out of the way to try minced meat noodles and list it on their “Top 10 Must Dos” in Singapore? Perhaps, noodles tossed in a myriad of seasonings and topped with random condiments might not make this dish sound the most exciting: After all, such variations could be found all over South East Asia and even East Asia. So what makes this humble food that used to be sold from street-side carts so special?

The answer is: It is really one of the most uniquely Singaporean dishes we can find. There are always similar versions of whatever can be found in Singapore in other neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand et cetera (just think the regional Satay or different types of Laksa in every state of Malaysia). But minced pork noodles the way we eat it in Singapore, can hardly be found in the same form anywhere else in the world (well correct me if I am wrong, but that’s what my research tells me!) And if you ask any Singaporean what their favourite Singaporean hawker food dishes are, Bak Chor Mee is probably one that pops up often enough.

Today, TummyTroll aims to recreate a taste of home by making Bak Chor Mee in our very own kitchen in the United Kingdom. We are definitely not your Tai Hwa or Seng Kee, but we think our rendition is authentic enough to please the average Singapore’s tastebuds (which are not that easy to please at all if you ask me haha). We hope you’ll enjoy our step by step guide to making Bak Chor Mee at home, illustrated with photos of the process and some tips along the way – Makan! :)

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Three Cheese Smoked Salmon Rolls

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Christmas is still more than a month away but do these salmon rolls already make you think of the fancy dinner parties that are often thrown during the Christmas period, with all the delicate finger food displayed on long tables? I actually thought of making these after picking up a Waitrose magazine promoting their Christmas food packages, and cheese-filled salmon rolls were actually one of their more popular items. The advantage of making this at home is of course the lowered prices, but also the choice of your favourite cheeses paired with a smoked salmon you prefer! Hence I decided to try being slightly more creative with these classic salmon rolls, with the combination of three cheeses namely ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino romano! The interplay of different cheese textures is also interesting – A much less boring alternative to the usual salmon rolls with just cream cheese!

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Bruschetta

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This was supposed to look like the Italian flag, but we kind of flipped the order of the colours about… It’s actually green on the left and red on the right. We are sorry for our ignorance :(

What… Italian food? Again? Yes once again this is another post on Italian food, and I do not apologize. You know how it’s so easy to go to a new country and start craving for your home country’s food after a few days just because you’re not used to it? I think Italy had the reverse effect on me. Of course, I did feel enraged that the beauty of Italy’s gastronomic gems got destroyed along the way with the proliferation of frozen pizza, spaghetti  soaked in ketchup-like gravy, grainy gelato et cetera but this also means that everywhere else in the world, people are trying their best to appreciate this cuisine even though they’re not always getting it right. Kind of like Chinese food everywhere else as well. Hmmmn.

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So anyway, following the success of a very simple recipe of an Italian dish Cacio E Pepe Romano last week, I decided to write another one that is considerably easy. In fact, bruschetta (pronounced broos-ket-ta not broo-shet-ta) is not only easy but also highly versatile because you can put any topping on these little pieces of toast! Just about anything you can think of. You can even serve these fancy versions of toast as tapas or canapes at functions, like I did at my brother’s wedding reception, because it’s simple but still impresses your diners! :)

What’s more, you get to use up your stale bread, which is why I wrote this post… Lol, shhh. Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Cacio E Pepe Romano

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You might recall me raving about a certain Cacio E Pepe Romano in a previous Travelogue about Rome. 3 months after visiting Rome, I still think about this pasta once in a while – For it to have left such a deep impression on me, you must realize that this pasta is capable of being really, really good. And this is why I am posting this recipe here – It’s so delicious yet it’s so simple! Only 4 ingredients, which includes its own pasta water AND the pasta itself. I think it makes a perfect quick but quality meal for anyone who is in a rush for time (or just extremely hungry and in need of instant gratification)! Continue reading

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Travelogue: Roma’s Aromas (my sense of humour is questionable I admit)

Hello everyone! No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you – TummyTroll is actually up and alive again! Our sincere apologies for the inactivity – Updating this blog took a backseat when all of us started to prepare for our Final Examinations sometime in May (just for your information, we’re actually full time students). And then this blog got shoved to the side again when we all embarked on our various travels and summer activities. Despite this, we are actually pretty surprised to realize that we’d maintained a steady readership these few months even during our hiatus. So a big thank you to everyone who’d been following this blog religiously – We promise that we’re back for good, now that we’re back in school again (the irony)! :D

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To kickstart our blog again, we would have loved to do full travelogues like what we did for Iceland last Summer, but it is to our regret that we are unable to do so this year because we didn’t manage to travel anywhere together as the TummyTroll gang. Hence this post would actually be a reflection of my personal gastronomic journey in Italy, which would focus Rome in particular even though I went to Tuscany too. And if the photos in this post are looking a little lacklustre compared to our usual ones, this is because they were mostly taken from my iPhone, digital camera or film camera, so they lack the professional touch of #chubkaichun. In any case, presenting to you the wonders of… Rome!

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 A quintessential photo of Rome’s favourite pasta Cacio e Pepe just to get things going. And yes, even though the common Pasta alla Carbonara did originate from Rome, it’s only second to the above “holy” pasta in terms of popularity in the capital city! Continue reading

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Short Recipe: Asian Style Wild Alaskan Salmon (Guest Post from #koolala)

For this entry we have a special guest post from my good friend #koolala, who recreated a Jamie Oliver salmon recipe with much finesse. We decided to feature this recipe for TummyTroll as we felt that it was a simple, easy dish that students like us could easily whip up even with our limited culinary skills; yet nutritious, refreshingly creative and most importantly delicious! Thank you #koolala :)

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The above is Asian Style Wild Alaskan Salmon, a dish adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe of Asian Style Salmon. Like typical Southeast-Asian cuisine, this dish derives strong flavours from garlic, shallots and ginger. The chilli and lime enhance the flavours further and give it a more refreshing taste as well!

Garlic, shallots and ginger usually go well with salmon; they add much “fragrance”. For those who prefer simpler and plainer dishes, Jamie Oliver’s recipe would be just right as the flavour of the marinade is relatively milder. However if you prefer strong flavors like me, you may add more garlic or shallots. Do not use them excessively though, or they will dominate the delicate taste of the salmon. Without further ado, let’s look at my adaptation of the recipe! :) Continue reading

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Short Recipe: Indonesian Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake / Kueh Bolu Ketan Hitam (黒糯米糕)

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I love kueh kueh (or kuih or kue or kway whichever way you spell it). Due to my mother’s good (or bad) influence, since young I’d developed a tongue that is deeply appreciative of Malay, Nonya or Indonesian kueh kueh. While I’m not an expert at making kueh because making kueh is so laborious, I’m glad to say that there are still simple enough kueh recipes for amateurs like me to try. This Indonesian Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake, or Kueh Bolu Ketan Hitam, is one of them. There are only a few simple steps and steaming involved, yet the result is a rich, moist and delectable kueh with a taste of home. The only downside is that it doesn’t keep long due to the high egg and coconut milk content… But with a kueh this delicious I don’t think its shelf life needs to be taken into consideration, does it? ;)

P.S. It doesn’t look particularly appetising due to its blacker than death appearance, but don’t be deterred by the charcoal appearance!
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Happy Bento / Short Recipe: Baked Eggs in Ham Cups (Breakfast Ham Cups)

45648_559352184098078_522383969_nThis has got to be the simplest recipe on TummyTroll so far (and probably for a long time to come) – Two ingredients needed, ham and eggs. It doesn’t even need salt or pepper to taste. Really? Really! And the best part is, these Baked Eggs in Ham Cups, or Breakfast Ham Cups, are so delicious I’d take them over poached eggs or scrambled eggs for breakfast. Really! Whoever thought of this deserves a Nobel Prize of the food world. What’s more, it’s just perfect in a Bento for a convenient packed lunch isn’t it? Yum! Continue reading

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