How to roast bell peppers on your gas stove

Bell peppers, better known as capsicums here is really yummy. There is no room for doubts of its superiority because Chairman Kaga himself chose to bite into one at the opening scenes of Iron Chef. Then he smiled and began to laugh manically but that’s another story.

I roasted bell peppers on my gas stove the other day. It was great. Here’s how I did it:

Roast bell pepper on gas stove

1 – Have bell pepper. I chose red as it’s sweeter. Yellow works too. Green may be slightly bitter. Have gas stove. If your pan stand is not long enough to hold the fruit, then use a steel mesh like me.

Turn the fire to medium high, place bell pepper on top of pan stand/ steel mesh. Let the open flames char the fruit until it’s blackened. Use tongs to turn it to the other side, until all sides are blackened. Should be done between 7 and 10 mins.

2 – Remove the fruit into a clear plastic bag, close it and leave to steam inside for 15 mins.

3 – Use the plastic to help slide off most of the charred skin. Remove the rest of the charred skin using paper towels and/or knife. Use creativity.

4 – Slice the fruit open, remove the seeds. At this point, it’s still damn hot inside so be careful. At no point should you attempt to give up and wash the fruit with water to remove the seeds + black bits, as it will severely affect the taste (speaking from experience here!).

When you’re satisfied with the cleaning process, cut the fruit to slices. Eat it just like that, or use it as a side dish, or add it to your sandwich or wrap. The world is your roasted bell pepper!

The Ryan-approved Spanish-style Baked Shrimps

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps I made this twice. First time was overcooked but edible. I have a tendency to overcook, something about fear of poisoning myself and others around me just because the ingredients are raw-er than they should be. Food poisoning doesn’t sound like a dignified way to go, if you get what I mean.

The second time, I separated it into two bowls. One with chilli for me and one without for Ryan the Nephew. I’m a great aunt like that. You should be so lucky to have an aunt like me.

This is a real easy and simple way to enjoy your shrimps. By the way, do you know the difference between shrimps and prawns without googling? I don’t, they’re the same to me. I’d always thought that shrimps are smaller and prawns are bigger. According to this article, they are biologically different. Shrimps have large front pincers and shorter legs. Prawns have longer legs and their second pincers are big. Interesting eh? There, you learned something new today. With the following recipe, you’d learn two new things! La vida es maravillosa!

Here’s what you need for the Ryan-approved Spanish-style Baked Shrimps:

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - ingredients

– 400g Shrimp meat, de-shelled with tail intact, deveined
– 8 garlic cloves. More if you like, less if you like
– 1/3 cup / 80ml olive oil. I use extra virgin
– 1 tsp Salt
– Chilli Powder or Flakes for Adults (optional)
– 1 tsp Lemon Juice for Kids (optional)
– Fresh Italian parsley or cilantro/ coriander

First step: clean the shrimps. Village Grocer sells shrimp meat sans shells with tails intact, less work for me yay! But you still have to devein the darn things. Deveining prawns is a thankless job, and you only do it for the people whom you really love. It’s really

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - cleaning shrimp

Take a sharp knife and run it through the back part of the prawn. See the yucky black line thingy in the photo above? Toss. Do the same for the opposite part of the prawn, there would be a small, yucky clear line thingy. Toss. Rinse and repeat for all prawns.

At some point, you should pre-heat your oven to the highest setting for about 15 mins. Mine goes up to 250 degree Celcius.

Next: Lay the shrimps on a single layer on an oven-friendly baking dish. Or two dishes, if you are making an adult version (chilli) and a kids version (lemon juice). Feel free to arrange them like how I did. It earns you brownie points too, ‘cos your nephew would be praising you to high heavens for being so clever to make two prawns stick together like that.

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - arranging

Your garlic cloves should have been peeled and cut to thin slices. I love garlic and I go way liberal with them. You can add or reduce the amount of garlic, but I’m telling you that they taste absolutely yummy.

Sprinkle the salt all over the prawns. Add however much chilli powder of chilli flakes your taste buds can take. The amount of chilli powder that I added in the photo below wasn’t enough for me 🙁 I think chilli flakes give more kick.

For the kids version, you can opt to add the lemon juice. Or not. It makes some difference but not world-changing.

Lay out the garlic slices all over, then pour the olive oil on them.

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - final preparation

Dump them into the pre-heated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. They’ll come out looking like this:

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - out from the oven

Add some chopped parsley/ coriander if you want to. Serve to appreciative nephew.

Spanish-style Baked Shrimps - end

Bask in the following adoring praises:
“Xiao Yi, this is the best prawn ever!”
“Xiao Yi, next time you should only cook this kind of prawn ok.”
“Xiao Yi, you are so clever!!”
“Xiao Yi, I love them so much! They are so delicious.”
“Xiao Yi, I don’t want to eat any other prawn but this prawn ok!”


Homemade French Fries with a bottle of mayonnaise

Homemade Fries I love fries, especially if the French cut. Even more so if they are done crispy outside and squishy inside, O Fry Heaven!

I also love mayonnaise with my fries. Unfortunately not every establishment that I used to frequent understand this. Their stinginess with their mayonnaise sometimes leave me so frustrated that I have to think twice when ordering fries.

Why make things so complicated? Will giving me additional mayo bring loss to your earnings, or bring forth the end of the world? Charge me extra for it, I don’t care (much), but lying about the availability of mayo in your kitchen will make me flip.
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The Screw-Your-Diet Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce & Pan-Fried Chicken

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce and Pan Fried Chicken 01 In my unprofessional opinion, you should be able to screw your diet every day. But that’s me and I’m fat. If you don’t want to be fat, eat healthily every meal and be a gym bunny. If you want to be fat, eat lots and lots and don’t exercise. Guarantee balloon up one.

If you just want to indulge once in a while, here’s one for you. I call it the Screw-Your-Diet Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce & Pan-Fried Chicken. You can call it anything you like as long as you make it.

When is the best time to make it? I reckon Monday, which was the day when I made it. Or Sunday because it’s the end of the week and you’re allowed. Or any day in between. Go crazy! 😀

First, have a recipe to refer to. I followed Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce rather faithfully. Just added chicken ‘cos I didn’t feel like eating plain pasta. Since it’s a Screw-Your-Diet thingamajig, might as well go all the way, right?? 😀
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Boulangère Potatoes – third time’s a charm!

Boulangère potatoes. From what I gathered, at the end of a long day of baking, the French bakers would place their potatoes into the oven to cook while the oven cools down. I never had it before but the many sources I referred to described it as thus: a thinly sliced bed of potatoes with onions and black pepper, the bottom half simmered in stock to produce soft, tender potatoes and the top half roasted to a slight golden crisp.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? If I remember correctly, I wanted to make potatoes that wasn’t heavy, as in creamy stuff. I had to make this 3 times because obviously the first 2 were miserable flops. Bloody hell, right?? I’m not even a huge fan of potatoes!! So the 1st time I wanted to eat potatoes. The 2nd and 3rd times, I just wanted to get the darn thing right.

So here I document my attempts + failures + success + thoughts at making Boulangère potatoes.

Boulangère Potatoes  - Ingredients

– 3 or 4 potatoes, depending on how large your tray is. I used Russet potatoes.
– 1 large onion. Or 2 medium onions. Or 3 small onions. Har har har.
– Stock: either vegetable, chicken or beef. I used 1 cube = 500ml
– Butter, enough to grease and some bits to fleck on later.
– Flat/ Italian parsley. You can skip this if you want.
– Black pepper and if your stock’s not salted, salt.

Things to do:
– Roughly chop up your onion(s). Zwilling knives chop the best onions!
– Roughly chop up parsley. Or don’t if you don’t have parsley.
– Slice potatoes VERY thinly. As thin as you can get without hurting yourself.
– Pre-heat oven about 15 mins at 180C.

Boulangère Potatoes - Methods

1 – Grease your tray/ pan. I think it helps?

2 – Arrange your potatoes! This is the fun part. Lay your potatoes slice by slice to make a thin bed. Then sprinkle onions and black pepper on top of the layer. If your stock isn’t salted, add some salt. If you have parsley, go ahead and sprinkle also. Then lay on another layer of the thinly sliced potatoes, repeat onions + black pepper etc. Then another, then another until everything’s used up.

3 – Pour in your stock. Then throw flecks of butter on top. Or chunks, if you’re lazy like me. Ok here are some things that I learned from the 3 attempts:
: If you use cubes, make sure you add adequate water to the stock. My stock cube ratio is, 1 cube = 500ml water. In my 2nd attempt, I was overconfident and wasn’t thinking; I added 1 cube with about 250ml water. Smart right? (not). It was way too salty, had to throw everything away.
: I think for 4 potatoes, about 400ml stock should do it. This should produce a crispier top.

4 – Cover the top with foil. Toss it into the preheated oven. Turn knobs to: top+bottom heat, 180C, 40mins. Then go read a book or something. After 40mins, remove the foil and throw it away. Switch knobs to: top heat, 180C, 20mins.

Here’s what you SHOULDN’T do: Misread instructions. My eyes skipped over the part where it says to remove the foil at some point. Well, you learn from my mistake, yah? Here’s what it looks like after 60mins covered in foil:

Boulangère Potatoes - almost

Pretty lame, right? I was crestfallen, wondering why the heck it turned out like that when I did everything according to instructions! …. until AD pointed to me the part where it says, REMOVE FOIL. Yeah, skipped that one. So here’s what happened after I stuck it back to the oven, foil removed, grill setting, 20 mins:

Boulangère Potatoes - 2nd bake

A lot better. Looked a mess, I know. But at least now I know how it’s supposed to look + taste. And this was my 3rd (finally successful) attempt!

Boulangère Potatoes - 3rd try

Kah kah kah, I’m damn proud of it okay. Soft at the bottom, slightly hard at the top. Basic Boulangère potatoes, yay!

So the tips here: very thinly sliced potatoes, stock to cover 2/3 or 3/5 of the potatoes, read instructions properly.

If at first you don’t succeed, roast, roast again!

I know you cannot see it, but I have a huge smirk on my face.
I have learned from my mistake, and I have roasted again.
And I have succeeded, yeay!

Suanie's Roast Chicken #2

Ignore the vegetables, they were a last minute thing.
I did use them for something else.
Okay, much later I ate them with white rice. Yum.

But yeah, I used mostly this recipe, which came from this recipe.
It was great. It was moist. It was juicy.
It was everything I’d hoped for in a homemade roast chicken.
I rock.

Got lemon? Make Fried Calamari with cheat aioli!

Suanie's Fried Calamari When I shopped for my roast chicken, I bought an additional lemon for reasons I cannot explain. Oh wait, I think I wanted to make lots of honey lemon drink. But as days went by, I didn’t feel like drinking honey lemon and the sole lemon sat in the fridge feeling very unwanted.

Fear not lemon, I thought of a better use for you! You will be thoroughly squashed for my Fried Calamari with Cheat Aioli! It’s a noble cause, your sacrifice was well worth it. There’s really no better reason to die than to contribute to a great seafood dinner.

Off I went to Jaya Grocer to buy fresh squid. You know, Jaya Grocer should pay me for advertising already. But your lemon very expensive, RM1.30 for a single lemon so maybe not.

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