Friday, November 03, 2006

Come Dine with Me

Blessings of the day:
My mom is not going to Ipoh anymore! Praise Praise God! I really must give thanks for this answered prayer. Quoting Xinyi: "God is sovereign!"

I am absolutely mad about this cooking cum hosting dinner party show - Come Dine with Me. Why can't Singapore have such reality cooking show? Aside Jamie Oliver's cooking show, this is really one of my favourite from Travel and Living.

Each week, five amateur chefs compete for the title of ultimate dinner party host. The prize? The host with the most points at the end of the week wins £1,000. Seriously even I don't win that sum of money, having 5 days of non stop good food are rewarding enough. I am also very surprise by the type of winner chosen:

Firstly you may not win the challenge even/if:
1) You buy the most expensive food to serve your guest
2) You hire entertainer to amuse your guest during the party
3) You create a 2 pages long menu
4) You introduce some kind of foreign object/culture/fruit that spoil the dinner
5) You try too hard to make everything work

Suprise Winnings goes to:
1) You can hire a caterer or restuarant to cook the food and you relax and taking a nap 2 hour before your guest arrive
2) You buy ready-made or pre-packed frozen food from supermarket
3) You make your guest happy by making them feel relax
4) Serve them food that are normal and easy to prepare but yet impressive in presentation
5) Impressive Home decor helps too


My favourite recipes and will surely try them out after my exams! YUM!


12 large raw King Prawns
6 slices of Parma ham
1 large red chilli pepper
1 clove of garlic
Olive oil
Knob of butter

Shell and clean the prawns, leaving the tails on. Cut each slice of Parma ham in half, length-ways, and wrap around each prawn. Finely slice garlic and seeded chilli pepper and sprinkle over the prawns. Pour over the olive oil and, using your fingers, gently mix in the marinade and season.

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan or wok and add some butter. Tip in all the prawns with the marinade into the pan. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side and serve immediately with crusty bread and crisp salad.



1 kg plum tomatoes, halved
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, halved
A handful of basil
1 litre of chicken stock
3 sun-dried cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 220/gas mark 7. Using a large roasting tin, heat the oil in the oven until very hot. Gently add the tomatoes, onion and garlic and sprinkle with sugar. Season generously and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stir, then add basil near the end of cooking.



5 large potatoes
1 egg
1 onion

Lightly boil and mash the potatoes. Mix in half the mash potatoes, the egg, some chopped onion, flour and salt and pepper seasoning. Using a blender, blend the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Then add the remaining potatoes and some hot chicken fat or oil. Bake in the oven for about an hour until golden. Serve with spit roasted chicken and vegetables, including tzimmes (sweet carrots).

*this is the most difficult recipe i ever seen. The host make it so easy to but to tell you the truth is really about the skill to cook that. This is the winning recipe which earn him that £1,000. I don't think i will cook that. IS TOO RICH!


Serves 4 as a main course

4 duck breasts
4 small apples, granny smith or similar
16 fl oz cider (dry vintage type)
5 fl oz crème fraiche
Large sandwich loaf
Olive oil for frying
1 oz flour (preferably sauce flour)
1 oz butter
Lemon juice

Peel and core the apples, leaving them whole, and coat with lemon juice to stop the browning. Carefully remove the skin from the duck using a sharp knife, but replace the now detached skin on the breasts. Put them in a roasting dish and season (under the skin).

Cut all crust from the loaf, leaving a neat rectangular block. You are now going to cut out the interior crumb leaving a box without a lid, with walls ¼” thick. Using the bread knife, carefully cut along one of the long sides, leaving a ¼” wall, and judging how deep you need to go (¼” from bottom). Do this on all four sides, making sure the corners meet neatly. Remove the crumb, at first with your fingers, and then finishing off with a spoon to level off the bottom.

Roast the duck breasts for about 25 minutes in a medium oven. The detached skins will baste and protect the breasts during cooking.

Bring the cider to simmering point and gently poach the apples until tender but still al dente (about 5 minutes - do not overcook). Keep them warm on the serving dish. Make a roux by melting the butter in a thick saucepan and stirring in the flour, cook gently for about 5 minutes but do not allow to start browning. Add any liquor from the duck (but only a very little fat, of which there will be plenty) to the cider. Add the hot cider little by little until you have a good coating sauce. Keep warm.

In a frying pan, shallow fry the bread box one side at a time in slightly smoking hot oil, gently splashing oil into the interior so that it cooks as well. Fry until a good golden brown (this can be done 1 hour in advance and than reheated for a few times in the oven if necessary). Put in the centre of an oval serving dish and arrange the apples around the outside. Place the duck breasts on end inside the box discarding the skins. Finish the sauce with the crème fraiche, then pour the sauce into the box until it is full. Hand remaining sauce in a separate jug.

When serving you will need to display the complete dish first, then cut up the box. One loaf will do up to about 8 portions. Delicious with new or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable


If you asked me why i writing all these down.. all thanks to Teck Hwee.., her posted photos on the home cooked dinner inspired me this blog entry.

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