Thursday, November 26, 2015

Rustic Eggplant Spaghetti

When I  feel like going vegan with pasta, this eggplant spaghetti is my best choice. I saw this recipe a while ago when I watched David Rocco's Dolce Vita. He called it Pasta alla Norma, and I never imagined that pasta would go so well with eggplant. Here in Tangerang or other regions in Indonesia, we can buy eggplant everyday, all seasons, anywhere, traditional market or supermarket, and it's cheap also. So, this veggie can go fancy too.

Here's the recipe for 3 servings.


300 grams spaghetti or any kind of pasta
1 medium eggplant, cubed
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped or puréed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil, or fresh basil if you can find
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooking oil to fry the eggplant
salt and ground pepper to your taste


  1. Fried the eggplant until golden crown and drain on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  2. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Then sautée the garlic very quick before getting brown, then add tomato puré. Stir slightly, then add oregano, salt and pepper. Stir until it reach the thick consistency.
  4. Add the eggplant to the sauce, and stir gently, and sprinkle it with basil. Then turn off the heat.
  5. Plate the spaghetti and top it with the eggplant tomato sauce. Sprinkle the cheese before serving. 
Now, you have it! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fried Carp with Sweet-Sour Shallot Sauce

Cooking carp is little bit tricky. As fresh water fish, sometimes it has earthy smell that can reduce your appetite. Indonesian 'pepes' method is the best for carp, I think. It's slow cooking method (steaming) using many herbs and wrapped with banana leaf. But it takes hours to have the best result. Another way to minimize the earthy smell is frying method. It's the simplest way, and that's what I do here. 

Fried fish has crunchy texture and to add the flavor any kind of sauce will do. This time I use many shallots to make this kind of sauce. It's the simplier version of dabu-dabu sauce. I only need 5-6 cloves of shallot, 4-5 rawit chilli (or chilli padi or any kind of hot chillies), juice from 1 lime, hot oil, water, sugar and salt. It's better if you make the sauce in advance, so the sauce will have a deep, strong flavor.

Before making the sauce, I prefer to marinate the fish, using only lime juice and salt. First, carve slightly the fish that already scaled, gutted, and rinsed. Rub it with lime juice and sprinkle it with salt. Set it aside. And then it's time to make the sauce.

Making the sauce:
  • Thinly slice the shallots and chillies, put them in a glass bowl.
  • Add the lime juice, sugar and salt, then stir until it's all incorporated. Taste it if it has a good flavor, a balance of sweet-sour-spicy taste. If it's too tangy, give a little amount of water, then set it aside.
And now just frying the fish:
  • In the frying pan put it oil until it's enough to deep fry.
  • Pat the fish to eliminate the excess of water, so that it won't explode when frying. 
  • Fry the fish on medium heat, until it's crisp and golden brown.
Before you serve the sauce, add 2-3 tablespoons of that hot cooking oil into the sauce. And then pour it to the fried fish. Enjoy it with fresh cooked rice. Yum! And beware, it can be too spicy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Easy Lazy Puff Pastry

This is maybe the simplest thing I've ever made so far. Just one lazy afternoon and I found myself craving for puff pastry. That flaky texture with buttery creamy aroma... it just never fail to blow my mind. Thanks to the creator, whoever he/she is, I have at least my favorite tranquilizer in this crazy world.  

And then...voila...I started to bake. Well, if it's worth to call baking. :)

You just need  puff pastry crust. I bought the crust in supermarket, but if you care enough to make it yourself, just give it a go. And then granulated sugar, cinnamon powder, and butter.

  • Preheat the oven, about 150 centigrade.
  • Cut the crust equally in squares. The size is totally up to you, mine was around 3cm2.
  • Brush them with little amount of butter, and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over them. If you want your pastry to look better, brush with egg yolk.
  • Bake them in a tray for about 10-15 minutes, until they're rising and golden brown.
Very easy, right?! Then you have it,  a good company for your coffee or tea. Well, at least for my coffee :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Simple Meatball Soup

I had never intentionally made this meatball soup. It's just one lazy rainy day before June, and my daughter was nagging all day, asking me to cook for dinner. I hadn't bought groceries, so my fridge was almost empty. There were some frozen stuffs, some greens and leftover, that's all. One thing that caught my attention was frozen meatballs on the top shelf. Actually, it's a variety of seafood meatballs that I bought from supermarket several days ago. And on the door shelf, there's a bottle of chicken broth that I made a week ago. So, it's all just came to my mind. As long as you have chichken broth, you can make any soup. :)

All I needed was those frozen seafood meatballs: crab, fish, shrimp. I had 20 meatballs at that time. Since I cooked for 3 people, it's just enough. And another main ingredient was chicken broth, about 1 liter, could be more or less. And for seasoning, I just used: garlic (3 cloves), 3 small red chillies (Indonesian call it cabe rawit merah, very spicy and hot), salt to the taste, and dried parsley (or fresh if you have it). And you can add lettuce for garnish.


  • Boil the broth on medium heat, until it simmers.
  • Add the chopped garlic and chillies.
  • Add the meatballs, and after they're cooked (usually they're getting bigger for a while), add salt.
  • Wait 1 minute until all is corporated, then put off the heat.
Eat this soup with rice or noodles, it really gives you a kick on a gloomy day. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pan Fried Sausages with Jam

Sausage has been one of my favorite food for all time. You can just fried them or grill them, eat them with buns or nothing else. Their smoky savory  flavour just goes well every time. And usually I season the sausage with butter or hot sauce or any other sauce. But, recently I just found out, that sausage and jam could make a perfect marriage.

I got the inspiration after watching an episode of Rachel Zoe Project when she made her famous baked salami with apricot preserves. Afterward, I tried it with beef sausages, since I don't eat pork, and I used dragon fruit jam to subtitute the apricot. Not trying to be fancy, but at that time I only had the dragon fruit jam in my fridge. And the result was amazing. The sweet-sour jam got caramelized and add extra richness to it. I also prefered to pan fry them, just to make it simplier.

This light meal is great for snacking, or for your party platter. You just need a few ingredients, and a short time of preparation.


  • 6 beef sausages (10cm long)
  • 3-4 tbs fruit jam.
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 
  • oil/butter
  • Mix jam and chilli powder in a mixing bowl.
  • Make incision in every sausage so that they won't explode when exposed to the heat.
  • Rub the sausage with the jam mixture, and let it rest for several minutes (approx 15-30min)
  • Grease the frying pan and put it on medium heat.
  • Put in the sausages, and turn every 1-2 minutes to keep them from burning. Cook until they're slightly charred.
You can use any kind of fruit jam, but I prefer sweet-sour jam to make the best result. You can also mix the jam with hot sauce or chilli sauce. It all depends to your imagination.