Posts tagged Seafood
Australia GP 2019: Shrimp on the Barbie (Grilled Shrimp and Corn Rolls with Smashed Avocado)

What an exciting start to the 2019 F1 season! I love a good first turn upset and seeing someone other than Lewis win! The start to the season was definitely a tough one with the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting, who was adored by everyone in F1, just before the first race. But as Martin Brundle says, the world keeps turning and the race must go on.

All in all it was a great race, the cars looked crazy fast, and there was more than just strategy calls mixing up the field.

For the Australian Grand Prix this year we made Grilled Shrimp and Corn Rolls with Smashed Avocado spread. They were delicious! Served with a bright little salad and a few bottles of Cooper’s Beer, it was a lovely start to the new season. I couldn’t resist find a recipe for grilled shrimp, just so I could say we were having shrimp on the barbie!

Shrimp on the barbie is one of those things that Americans in particular think all Australians eat and say and indeed that it is a pastime of the ages. According to the internets it actually originated from an Australian Tourism ad campaign with Paul Hoge where he states “there’s plenty of shrimps on the barbie”, I’ve posted the video below for your viewing pleasure. I suppose the world just took it from there! Liam Hemsworth, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert is particularly adamant that this is one of the most annoying things people say to him, perhaps even more than “thats not a knife!”, furthermore, they don’t even call them shrimp! So maybe we will make amends by doing a prawn boil next year and writing an apology letter to Liam Hemsworth and all of Australia for our terrible attempts at Australian accents and for insisting that we all eat more shrimp on the barbie!

Though perhaps I can change his mind by sending him this recipe, because these sandwiches were delicious! It sounded like an odd combination at first, but honestly all the elements work great together and these were super tasty. I highly recommend you heat up the barbie and throw some shrimp on :)

Shrimp and Corn Roll

Grilled Shrimp and Corn Rolls with Smashed Avocado

Adapted from Gourmet Traveller  

2 corn cobs, husk and silk removed
olive oil
24 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and cleaned (approximately 1 pound)
3 limes, halved
2 large avocados, halved
½ small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red chili, finely chopped
½ cup cilantro coarsely chopped
4 large white rolls  or 6 small white rolls

Spiced salt
1 tsp coriander seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp sea salt

 For spiced salt, dry-roast spices in a small sauté pan until fragrant about 1 minute, remove from heat and then grind with a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Combine in a small container with lime zest and sea salt, seal and shake to combine. Set aside

Preheat a grill to high. Drizzle corn with a little oil and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and slightly blackened (15-20 minutes). At the same time, grill the lime halves, cut-side down, until char marks appear and they become juicy (4-5 minutes). Remove both corn and limes from grill and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, thread shrimp onto metal skewers or soaked bamboo skewers, drizzle with a little olive oil and juice of a grilled lime. Season with a few pinches of spiced salt and set aside for flavors to combine (10 minutes).

Scoop avocado into a bowl, add onion, garlic, chili and a little oil, season to taste with spiced salt and coarsely smash the avocado. Squeeze in juice of barbecued lime to taste, stir in cilantro and set aside.

Grill the shrimp, turning once, until they’re just cooked through (3-4 minutes). Meanwhile, cut corn kernels from cobs.
Once cooked, remove shrimp from skewers.

Spread rolls with a little mayo on the bottom, spread smashed avocado on the top and stuff with shrimp and some grilled corn. Serve with lime halves and extra spiced salt to taste.

As promised, the Australian Tourism Ad Campaign

And Liam Hemsworth telling us to cut it out.
(Minute 4:35, if you don’t want to hear about his water buffalo catching father and being stuffed in a dryer by his brother).

Pre-Season Testing - Tapas y Rioja

After week two of testing, I am more excited than ever for the upcoming season. I’m off to a slow start just given how busy life is these days, but I was inspired by a co-worker to get back on the blog bandwagon and get ya’ll some content! Shout out to you Mike!

So here goes… We had a tapas night to celebrate the start of Pre-Season Testing. Rachel Brooks from SkySports signed off night one with “We’re off to go have some tapas and rioja!” and lo and behold, that was what graced our table too! Always nice to know we are in good company.

I delved into two new cookbooks for this tapas menu. Cooking Spanish by John Newton, where I found a quick and simple Clams in White Wine sauce, I also found a recipe for mushroom croquettes which sounds amazing, but not quite as quick or simple. That is something to look forward to for next time! The other two recipes are from Pintxos by Gerad Hirigoyen; White Bean Salad with Apple, Manchego, and Avocado, so bright, more complex than the ingredients appear, and a great foil to the next item on the list: sausage and pepper pintxo (mini skewers). While reading this lovely little volume I discovered the author/chefs have two restaurants in San Francisco! We will definitely be checking them out sometime soon.

This spread came together pretty quickly and hit all the right buttons for a little bit of finger food, a little bit of crusty bread to sop up some saucy stuff, and some veggies strewn throughout. A nice glass of Spanish Rioja topped off the evening perfectly.

With week two of testing done and dusted it is only two more weeks of waiting and then F1 is back!!

Tapas y Rioja

Chili Marinated Olives

Spanish Marinated Olives

Adapted from Cooking Spanish by John Newton
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cured black olives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, move to sterile mason jar. Seal and let marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.  

Clams with White Wine

Clams with White Wine

Adapted from Cooking Spanish by John Newton

 Serves 4

2 lbs clams
2 large tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 teaspoons chopped parsley
a pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup dry white wine

 Country bread, for serving


Soak the clams in slated water for 1 hour to release any grit. Rinse under running water and discard any open clams.

 Cut tomatoes in half, de-seed, then chop finely. Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes, Add the parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 1/3 cup water.

 Add the clams and cook, covered, over low hear untul they open (discard any that do not open). Add the wine and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce thickens, gently moving the pan back and forth a few times, do not stir, so as to keep clams in tact.

 Serve immediately with bread.


Sausage and Pepper Skewers

Adapted from Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition, Gerad Hirigoyen with Lisa Weiss

 Makes 4 skewers

4 pearl onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
4 slices Spanish sausage or 4 cocktail sausages (recommended: cantimpalitos)
4 whole pickled peppers such as pepperoncini (recommended: guindila)
4 small bamboo skewers

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices baguette, lightly toasted

To prepare onions:
Have ready a small bowl of ice water. Bring a small saucepan filled with water ro a boil over high heat, add onions, and boil for 1 minute. Drain and plunge into the ice water until cool. Cut off the root ends and slip off the skins.

Rinse the saucepan and return the onions to it along with the butter, sugar, and ½ cup water .Place the pan over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Uncover and boil until the water evaporates. The onions will begin to sizzle in the butter remaining in the pan. Continue to cook, turning the onions as needed, for about 5 minutes, until browned all over. Remove from the heat and keep onions warm.

To prepare sausage:
In the same saucepan over medium heat, sauté the sausages for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fully cooked.

To serve:
Thread 1 sausage slice, 1 onion, and 1 pepper onto each skewer.

Spread a little mayonnaise on each slice of baguette and place skewer on baguette slice. Serve warm.

Sausage, Manchego, and Cherry Pepper Skewers

Pintxo pepper and cheese

4 slices Spanish sausage or 4 cocktail sausages (recommended: cantimpalitos)
4 whole sweet pickled cherry peppers
4 cubes manchego cheese
4 small bamboo skewers

To serve:
Thread 1 sausage slice, 1 cube of cheese, and 1 pepper onto each skewer.

White bean salad

White Bean Salad with Manchego, Avocado, Apple, and Meyer Lemon

From Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition, Gerad Hirigoyen with Lisa Weiss

 Serves 4-6 as a side 

1 large avocado, diced
1 large tart apple, diced
1 ½ cups cooked small white beans (canned cannellini beans work well)
3 ounces manchego cheese, diced small
¼ cup basil, chiffonade
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
¼ cup lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemon)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine the avocado, apple, beans, cheese, basil, and pine nuts and toss gently with the beans until combined. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and toss with bean mixture.

Serve within 30 minutes of mixing to prevent apples and avocado from oxidizing.

Calamari and Tapas Platter
Calamari and sides

Freshly fried calamari with tangy cucumber and slightly spicy smoky dip might be my new favorite thing. I mean, I've always loved calamari, but I never knew how easy it was to make at home! I was concerned at first because it feels like a bit of a splurge if you might not get it right, but it turns out to be simple and easily comes out delicious the first time around! 

Try it with the quick pickled cucumbers and smoked paprika dip and you'll be sold too. 


Calamari with Tangy Cucumbers and Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise

Adapted from Delicious Magazine

For the Calamari
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plain cornmeal
salt and pepper
1 lb fresh squid, cleaned (ask your fishmonger to do this), body sliced into rings

For the Quick pickled cucumbers
½ cup white wine vinegar
½  tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp caster sugar to taste
5 small or 3 medium cucumbers, cut into wedges
Handful fresh dill, roughly chopped

For the Smoked Paprika mayonnaise

1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp smoked paprika

1. To make the quick pickled cucumbers, combine the vinegar, sea salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the cucumber and dill, then cover with cling film and chill for at least 3 hours or until crunchy and tangy

2. For the smoked paprika mayonnaise, whisk all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season to taste.

3. To fry the calamari, heat about 3-4 inches oil in a large pan until it reaches 375F.

4. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a large bowl and season well. Drop in the squid a handful at a time and coat with the flour.

5. Fry, in batches so as not to crowd the pan, for 2-3 minutes until pale golden, then drain briefly on paper towels.

6.Serve with the pickled beans and mayonnaise for dipping.

Tapas Platter

A Spanish dinner party is never completed without an all out tapas platter. Bites to savor while drinking and talking with friends. I made the Smoked Paprika Almonds I discovered during Pre-Season Testing, and includes the necessaries: jamon iberico and manchego. In addition we had some fresh fruit, marinated olives, goats cheese, and tangy sweety drop pickled peppers! 

Where there are tapas... there must also be drinks. Try a super simple 5 ingredient Sangria, or a Vermouth Cocktail, or if you're feeling adventurous check out this year's addition to the repertoire a Mediterranean Sauco Cocktail. And, in the end, if you're not feeling adventurous at all, you are welcome to stick with the classics and have a nice glass of Tempranillo or Verdejo. 

2018 Spanish GP: Paella with Guest Chef: Rob!

The Spanish Grand Prix is a lovely spectacle and a great excuse to eat tapas and drink sangria.

It's always fun rooting for drivers at their home races. Swaths of yellow Sainz hats, and an abundance of Alonso flags filled the audience. Alonso as usual, out drove his car and made his way into the points in 8th to the pleasure of the crowds, but his Spanish compatriot Carlos Sainz showed him up to reach 7th place. 

Hamilton and Mercedes managed to outpace the whole field and came home with a resounding 1, 2. Ferrari seemed a little perplexed about Hamilton's new pace and maybe even a little worried about what's to come. Hopefully we continue to see competition at the front, it's definitely too early in the season to see a dominant team run away with the championship. All in all a fun race despite Romaine Grosjean taking out Hulk, Gasly, and himself in the first lap. It was great to see Leclerc earn his first points and the two Spainards being up there for their  home race gave the crowds a lot to cheer for. 

For this race, we had a guest chef! Talk about something to cheer for :) 

For over a year now, our friend's Liz and Rob have been inviting us over for Paella. Life and work and god knows what else always seemed to get in the way. And believe me there must have been good reasons because I rarely say no to someone offering me food and even more rarely would I say no to Paella. But whatever the circumstances were, we could never make it happen... until now! Sometimes things just work out for the best. This was the perfect opportunity to have my first Guest Chef post, and honestly it was fabulous. I worked all day on Friday and Saturday at a work function, and to have someone step in and make me a fantastic Paella which was passed on from father to son, was beyond amazing. 

Rob learned to make Paella from his father who in his army days was stationed for a time in Morocco. It was great hearing stories about food, travel, and family tradition. Rob now uses the Paella Mixta recipe from Saveur as a base recipe, as it is the closest he has found to his father's take on Paella. 

Hope you enjoy it! 



Paella Mixta

Adapted from Rob’s fathers time in Morocco and Saveur

10 threads saffron, crushed
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2" pieces
10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 dried bay leaves
3 medium tomatoes, minced
1 small onion, minced
7 cups chicken broth
2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
8 oz. fresh or frozen peas
3 jarred roasted red peppers, torn into 1⁄2"-thick strips
12 mussels, cleaned and debearded (optional)
1 (9-oz.) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1. Soak saffron threads in ¼ cup hot water, let sit while preparing chicken and shrimp.

2. Season chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in paella pan over medium heat. Add chicken and shrimp, cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.

3. Add smoked paprika, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes and onions to pan, stirring often cook until onions are softened about 6 minutes. Add saffron mixture and broth, do not add more broth than almost reaches the top of the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Add rice by sprinkling over pan to distribute evenly. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid. This will take 10-12 minutes. Rotate on burner every 2-5 minutes, if pan is larger than your burner.

5. Add shrimp back to pan, and top with mussels. Nestle mussels gently into the paella and cook until mussels have opened and rice has absorbed the remainder of the liquid. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

2018 Pre-Testing - Catalonian Rice with Caramelized Onions
rice with caramelized onion

Pre-Season testing is an opportunity for teams to properly get out on track and assess reliability and performance of their updated cars. It is also a chance for teams to show off all the new liveries, rookie drivers get to head out on track for the first time, and fans get to see their favorite teams and drivers back in action. 

This year in the first week of testing it was bitterly cold, and... it snowed. F1 cars do not do snow. Teams quickly adapted and built snowmen, messed around on social media, and prepared for week two. 

Too bad they weren't here with me, because these dishes would warm anyone's bones. Both of Catalonian origin, the rice dish is emblematic of a common Catalonian cooking style where they freely mix meat and seafood, apparently this even has a name: mar y montaña (sea and mountain). And the greens were a perfect complement, though an "everyday first course" they added a special element to the meal. Followed up by a Vermouth Cocktail, this was a great foil to any poor weather. 

arroz con cebolla


All Recipes from The Cuisines of Spain by Teresa Barrenechea

½ pound Manila or small littleneck clams
1 tablespoon coarse salt
½ cup olive oil
½ small chicken, about 1 ½ pounds, cut into large bite size pieces with skin on
2 yellow onions, grated (I highly recommend you do this in a food processor with a garter attachment - to save your cryin' eyes!)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
⅓ cup sweet vermouth
1½  cups water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
4 cups Fish Stock
2 tomatoes, halved crosswise, grated on the large holes of a handheld grater,skins discarded
1 teaspoon sweet pimentón or paprika
Pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
¼ pound squid, about 7 inches long, cleaned and with bodies cut into rings and tentacles halved if large
2 cups Spanish rice
½ pound medium shrimp 

1. Scrub the clams under cold running water, discarding any that fail to close to the touch. In a large bowl, combine the clams, coarse salt, and water to cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours so that the clams release any sand trapped in their shells.

2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown, turning as needed, for about 10 minutes, or until golden on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside.

3. Decrease the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, vermouth, water, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated (can take up to 30 minutes). Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes longer, or until the onions are caramelized.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 ° F. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer.

5. When the onions are ready, add the tomatoes, pimentón (paprika), and saffron to the pan and mix well. Add the squid, decrease the heat to medium, and stir briefly to mix with the rest of the ingredients. Transfer the mixture to a large (about 15-inch) cazuela (I'm planning to use a dutch oven), place over high heat, add the chicken pieces and rice, and stir to combine. Pour in the hot stock and cook for 5 minutes without stirring.

6. Drain the clams. Place the clams and the shrimp on top of the rice, and place the cazuela (dutch oven) in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. After 15-20 minutes the liquid will be absorbed, the rice will be tender, the clams will have opened, and the shrimp will turn pink.

7. Remove from the oven, cover with a lid or a kitchen towel, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Discard any clams that failed to open and serve.


swiss chard


2 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 pounds Swiss chard (2-3 bunches), stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts (or almost any nut or seed, I used pepitas)
¼ cup raisins, soaked in hot water to cover for 1 hour to soften, and drained

1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and Swiss chard, cover, and cook at a high simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain the chard in a colander, pressing on it firmly to remove any excess liquid.

2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pine nuts, stir well, add the Swiss chard and raisins, mix well. Cook briefly, stirring, until all ingredients are heated through.

3. Serve immediately, or remove from heat, set aside, and reheat when ready to eat.




24 Hours of Daytona - Shrimp and Pepper Skewers

The Winter Break is long and dull, with no races to watch, drivers to cheer on, or countries to cook for. 

But lo, our drivers have not abandoned us to lay low the entirety of the Winter with no entertainment or drama. One of our favorite personalities in F1, Fernando Alonso, did what he does best and added a little excitement to the doldrums, by racing in the 24 Hours of Daytona over the weekend. Although admittedly we did not watch all 24 hours it was fun to see another type of racing and to cook some fun food for the race. 

In looking for Florida recipes I came across an excellent piece of terminology: Floribbean, any guesses? You got it: Floridian and Caribbean. It seems like most foods in Florida have a few things in common: seafood, bright bold flavors, rice and beans are ever present, and most were washed down with a libation (or two).


In the mood for something bright and summery to battle the 'meh' feeling of it being dark at 5:00 and consistently blustery outside, we made grilled Shrimp and Pepper Skewers (we even pulled the cover of the grill and brought it out of dormancy for the occasion), Black Bean and Rice Salad, Fresh Pineapple Salsa, Mojitos, and Key Lime Pie! 

Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp and Sweet Pepper Skewers

Adapted from: Fresh from Florida

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
2 large bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
Fresh pineapple chunks
10-16 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Skewer Marinade

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Skewer Marinade

1. Combine olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Taste marinade and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.


1. Mix shrimp with ¼ of marinade in a medium bowl until coated.
2. Make skewers by alternating shrimp, peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.
3. Season the completed skewers with salt and pepper and brush on additional marinade.
4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
5. Add skewers to grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minute each side, brushing on more marinade when flipping.

Black bean and rice salad

Black Bean and Rice Salad

From: The Spruce

1 -15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups long-grain rice, cooked and chilled
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato (or ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes), chopped
2 to 3 green onions, sliced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Garnish: fresh chopped cilantro     

1. In a large bowl, combine the black beans with the cold cooked rice, green and red bell peppers, chopped tomato, and chopped green onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, cumin, and pepper. I like to do this in a mason jar – just add all ingredients put the lid on and shake.
3. Add the dressing mixture to beans and rice and stir gently to blend ingredients.
4. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
5. Toss again before serving and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Pineapple Boat

Fresh Pineapple Salsa 

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 bell pepper (any color or combo of colors), finely chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed and minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1⁄4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. kosher salt

Mix together all ingredients, serve. 

If you're feeling extra ridiculous you can serve this in... a pineapple boat. To make a pineapple boat, err, bowl, cut 1/3-1/2 of pineapple (vertically) off. Cut up and scoop out inner part of pineapple (use chopped up in recipe and for shrimp skewers), and fill with salsa. Top with cilantro for extra style points. 


For desserts and drinks... Mojitos and Key Lime Pie (posts coming soon!).

Singapore GP - Chili Crab & Char Kway Teow

The Singapore Grand Prix, always delivers in style and excitement. However, this year's race, despite the sparkling lights, awesome grid line up, and promising race prospects ended in a blaze of glory before even turn one. Watching Hamilton float around the track in front felt like nothing new and Vettel may very well have lost himself the championship. But unlike the race which was disappointingly brief in it's excitement, these dishes are anything but boring. 

It is hard to say what is truly "Singaporean" cuisine. What I do know is that Singaporean cuisine is vibrant, complex, and incorporates many different cultures including influences Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan and Western traditions. I tried my best for this race to find some definitively Singaporean dishes. See what you think!

Kaya Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs

Kaya Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs

Everywhere you look you find Kaya Jam being a singularly Singaporean thing. It is an extremely popular breakfast of a coconut/egg jam (??) spread on toast and is generally served with soft boiled eggs and soy sauce. Turns out to be pretty delicious. 


I've also found that wrapping things up in pretty little packages seems to be a common thread, so I also made Popiah, which is a fresh spring roll with sautéed veggies and crunchy goodies all wrapped inside.




Last but not least for main courses, noodle dishes and seafood including Chili Crab show up in a good amount of the research I did. Though Char Kway Teow is not solely Singaporean (it stems from Chinese cuisine), it is very common and well known in Singapore (according to... the internet -- where I get most of my facts!) Chili Crab seems on the other hand to be properly Singaporean and though it has both Malay and Chinese influences it appears to be defined as a Singapore dish. 


In the end, my indecision and over zealousness at 99 Ranch paid off with a whole day of Singapore dishes! You can reap the rewards with lots of options and ideas to choose from. 

This race post will come in four installments:

Breakfast: Kaya Toast
Lunch: Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls)
Dinner: Chili Crab and Char Kway Teow
Cocktail: Singapore Sling 


Singaporean Chili Crab

From Serious Eats

1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 to 3 shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2-inch knob ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
4 Thai chiles, minced
2 whole Mud or Dungeness crabs (about 1 pound each), (steamed, cleaned and cracked)
2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup hot-sweet chili sauce (ABC chili sauce is a great choice)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Rice or steamed chinese buns to serve on side

1. In small bowl, stir cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; set aside. In large wok with lid (or Dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in shallots, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1-2 minutes.

2. Add broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Add crab pieces and cover pot loosely, reduce heat and gently simmer, until crab is heated through, about 2 minutes.

3. Remove cover and stir in tomato paste and chili sauce. Simmer 1 minute and season to taste with salt, sugar, or chili sauce. Stir in cornstarch and bring to boil to thicken.

4. Remove from heat and stir in egg. Stir in green onions. Ladle into serving dish, and serve.

Char Kway Teow

Adapted from

1/2 pound chicken thigh fillets, chopped
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 fresh red thai chilli, finely chopped (or more if you like some heat)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
3 cups baby bok choy, sliced in half (or quarters if large)
10 green prawns, peeled, deveined
1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh flat rice noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
4 green onions, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch lengths
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce

1. Combine chicken, oyster sauce and cornflour in a bowl.

2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add chilli, garlic, and shrimp paste, and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

3. Add the chicken mixture and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until brown and just cooked through.

4. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

5. Add baby bok choy and continue to stir fry for 2-3 more minutes, cover to produce some steam, cook until noodles and bok choy are just tender. 

6. Add prawns and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until prawns curl and change color.

7. Add the bean sprouts, green onions, soy sauce and additional oyster sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Belgian GP - Moules Frites

The Belgian Grand Prix is like Christmas come early in our household. Not only is it the first race after the summer break (FOUR weeks without F1!) but it also the home of absolutely delicious food, the most amazing beer, and a whole contingent of my husband's awesome relatives. 

Last year we went a little overboard and bought every Trappist beer we could find in a 50 mile radius, along with a few other Belgian beers we just couldn't resist. It took us about a month of diligent beer drinking to make our way through the stash, but it was well worth it. This year we were a little more particular and found some options that would pair well with our meal and remind us just how good Belgian beer is. 

Moules Frites
(Mussels and Fries!)

Moules Mariniere

(Belgian Steamed Mussels – Gestoomde Mossels)

From Everybody Eats Well In Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek

“To experience the truly Belgian addiction, make sure to serve a small bowl of homemade mayonnaise, strongly flavored with mustard, to dip your frites in and a fresh pint of beer to wash it all down”

3 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
(1 leek sliced white and light green parts, chopped)
(1/2 fennel bulb, chopped)
4 pounds mussels, thoroughly cleaned
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ½ cups dry white wine*

1. Melt the butter in a pot large enough to hold all the mussels, over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, leek, and fennel; cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened and just slightly browned. Add the mussels, sprinkle with thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and 1-2 grindings fresh pepper. Pour the white wine over the mussels, cover the pot tightly.

*We ended up using a chardonnay because that is what we had on hand, and it turned out great!

2. Bring to a boil over high hear and steam the mussels in the covered pot until they open, 3-6 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the mussels as they can easily get tough. As soon as the mussels have opened, take them off the heat. Shake the pot several times to toss the mussels with the buttery vegetables. Discard any that have not opened.

3. Spoon the hot mussels into large bowls along with some of the broth. Sprinkle with additional parsley.


A Vôtre Santé (Cheers!) 

A Vôtre Santé (Cheers!) 

We have overtime collected a rather extensive beer glass collection, thanks in part to our local Ale House offering a Thursday night Pint Night in which you buy a pint of beer and get the corresponding pint glass to take home! And thanks also in part to an amazing trip to Belgium we took 4 years ago where we bought every Belgian beer glass we could get our hands on. Now, to my great joy, we can almost always pour our beer into its proper glassware and enjoy it as it is meant to be served. If you are not a crazy collector/ hoarder/ beer enthusiast, you can serve Belgian beer in a red wine glass or a goblet or tulip glass if you have one. Otherwise a mason jar, pint glass, mug, or bowl will do, just not out of the bottle!! 

Pommes Frites
(Belgian FrieS)

From Everybody Eats Well In Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek

You know how they tell you to read through a recipe in advance so you don’t miss a step or end up missing an ingredient? Well, I did not indeed read the tips provided for this recipe and particularly the part about the fact that the older the potato, the better the fries. My potatoes were brand-spanking new, so they were not the magical crispiest-ever fries promised, but they were properly delicious nonetheless. So that you don't make the same mistake, I am telling you now -- use those old potatoes sitting on the back of your shelf somewhere! Your fries will thank you. 

3 to 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
2 pounds russet potatoes, rinsed and dried

1.     Pour enough oil in a deep fryer or large pot (I use a dutch oven because it has great heat retention). Heat oil to 325F.

2.     Cut the potatoes into sticks ½ inch wide. (If you prefer skinny or thicker potatoes, just make sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.) Dry all the pieces thoroughly with a clean dish towel. This will help prevent oil splattering. Divide the potato sticks into batches of no more than 1 cup each. Do not fry more than one batch at a time

3.     When the oil has reached the desired temperature, fry the potatoes for 4-5 minutes per batch. They should be lightly colored but not browned. Be sure to bring the oil back up to 325 between batches. At this point the frites can rest for several hours at room temperature until you are almost ready to serve them.

4.     Heat the oil to 375F. Fry the potatoes in 1 cup batches until they are nicely browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on fresh paper towels. (Do not cover with a lid this will lead to limp potatoes.)

5.     Serve with freshly made mayonnaise.


Homemade Mayonnaise

From Everybody Eats Well In Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek

2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups safflower oil (or ½ cup olive oil and 1 cup safflower oil)

1.     Place the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Whisk until the mixture is well combined and slightly thickened. Watch carefully so that the eggs don’t scramble. Set aside to cool.

2.     Whisk a few drops of the oil into the cooled egg yolks until completely incorporated. Add a bit more oil, whisking to incorporate. Continue adding the oil in a slow, steady steam while whisking constantly. You should end up with a smooth emulsified sauce.

3.     Taste to correct seasoning. Store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 10 days.

Optional add ins:
Garlic mayo: 4 Tbsp mayo + 1 clove smashed and very finely minced garlic + 1/2 tsp salt
Curry mayo: 4 Tbsp mayo + 1/2 Tbsp curry + 1 tsp Sriracha (or more to taste)
Lemon mayo/aioli: 4 Tbsp mayo + 1/2 clove smashed and very finely minced garlic + juice of half a lemon (1/2-1 Tbsp)

Want more dip ideas? Some of these sound flipping amazing: Saveur's 10 Dipping Sauces for Frites

Everybody Eats Well in Belgium

This cookbook is pretty magical. Not only does it have delicious recipes, but Ruth Can Waerebeek offers great anecdotes and stories about tradition, history, and cooking tips that are interesting and at times invaluable. 

I highly recommend it! Or you can check out her newer cookbook The Taste of Belgium which I am thinking about exploring myself, as it is filled with beautiful pictures and new stories too! 

Cheers to a job well done! 


Japanese Grand Prix- Sushi and Shrimp Stir fry

The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka always proves interesting. The fans are crazy, the racing great, and the food... so fun!  If you've made your own sushi, you know the key is two things. Well made rice and the freshest fish.


With a little sugar and some rice vinegar, sushi rice has it's own unique flavor and texture.


Even though we planned to give a tutorial to our resident Brazilian, it turned out he was way better at making sushi than we were. Who knew!?


My resident beer pourer also did his job sportingly.


We made quite a feast, despite using only about 5 ingredients. That's the magic of sushi.



Basically the rice is the only thing you need a recipe for. Vinegared rice + fresh fish+ sliced vegetables + toasted nori = homemade sushi rolls.

Vinegared Rice (Sumeshi)

from   sushi: easy recipes for making sushi at home by Emi Kuzako, Fiona Smith, Elsa Petersen-Schepelern

1 3/4 cups Japanese style short-grained rice
3 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt

Put rice in large bowl and wash thoroughly, until water is clear. Drain and leave in strainer for 1 hour.

Transfer to a deep, heavy saucepan, add 2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes.

Lower heat and simmer, covered for about 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Do not lift lid until the end. Remove from heat and leave, still covered, for about 10-15 minutes.

Mix the rice, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small glass measuring cup and stir until dissolved.

Transfer cooked rice to a large shallow dish. Sprinkle generously with vinegar mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, fold the vinegar mixture into the rice. Do not stir. While folding, cool the rice quickly using a fan. Let the rice cool to body temperature before using to make sushi.


Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound snow peas
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon Sriracha

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, cornstarch and Sriracha; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add snow peas, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in soy sauce mixture until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.

Spanish Grand Prix - Paella

This race is all about the food and drink, though for me they all are. Paella and Sangria are like a match made in heaven. Easiest Sangria recipe ever, plus Paella covered in all the yummiest things: shrimp, clams, and mussels. And tapas to start off this food love affair.


5 Ingredient Sangria

from the Minimalist Baker

1 750 ml bottle red wine
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 pineapple, chopped
1 orange, sliced into thin rounds and then halved
1 pear, cubed

Slice fruit and drop into a large pitcher.
Add orange juice and wine and stir.
Refrigerate until serving - 4-6 hours would be ideal.

Our paella pan gets a lot of use in our kitchen because it sears perfectly, has enough space not to crowd mushrooms, and it reminds me of big meals that serve friends, family, and everyone in between. It is definitely a joy to get to use it for its true purpose though.

Traditional Spanish Paella

adapted from

1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half (skin on optional)
2 links Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
½ lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with just tails remaining
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen green peas
8 mussels, scrubbed
8 clams, scrubbed

  1. To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken; saute 2 minutes on each side. (If you chose to leave skin on, sear skin for 2 more minutes to crisp up and cook fat layer). Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add sausage; saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside with chicken.
  5. Add shrimp, and saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Set aside in separate dish.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes.
  8. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  9. Stir in herb blend, broth, chicken, and sausage.
  10. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  11. Add peas and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes.
  12. Add mussels to pan, cook 5 minutes more until shells open, discard any clams or mussels with unopened shells. Arrange shrimp in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done.
  13. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes.
  14. Enjoy!

If possible, eat this outdoors on a gorgeous May night.

And just ignore what the kitchen looks like...