24 March, 2013

Recipes - Perfect Italiano Masterclass by Chef Lino Sauro, Gattopardo

This was a blog post that was supposedly due eons ago, and HFB could conveniently forget about it, but he had so much fun during the session that he had to share it with everyone. At the beginning of the month, he was invited along with several other bloggers to attend an exclusive Perfect Italiano Masterclass by Chef Lino Sauro from Gattopardo – to learn how to make simple and delicious dishes with Perfect Italiano cooking cheeses.

Perfect Italiano

We arrived at Palate Sensations Cooking School at Biopolis, and was quickly briefed on the three dishes that we would be attempting.

Perfect Italiano (1)
Why so serious Chef?

We started off with the Wanton Ravioli with Soya Marinated Prawns and Parmesan Fondue, and HFB have to say that this was easily the simplest and his favourite dish out of the trio. He could definitely foresee himself recreating this dish next time.

Perfect Italiano (2)

Ingredients (serves 4 pax)
10pcs Tiger prawns, halved
20g Light soya sauce
2 Garlic cloves, minced
30g Olive oil
1 stalk Spring onion
100g Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese
110g Full cream milk
100g Unsalted butter
20g White wine
To taste White pepper
20pcs Wonton skin (square shape)

1. Peel and marinate prawns with soya, garlic, olive oil and spring onion.
2. Make Parmesan fondue by mixing Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese, milk, butter and white wine.
3. Warm up mixture in a bain-marie till creamy and season with white pepper.
4. Fill wanton with prawn. Seal nicely with egg wash, and cook in boiling water for 2-3 mins.
5. Ladle fondue on plate and lay down the cooked ravioli.
6. Garnish with Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese and spring onion.

Next up, Sushi Rice Roll with Mozzarella Cheese and Smoked Salmon – a fusion of East meets West.

Perfect Italiano (3)
Chef Lino contemplating who to throw his cucumber at, heh

Perfect Italiano (4)

Perfect Italiano (5)

Perfect Italiano (6)

Ingredients (serves 4 pax)
4 sheets of nori (seaweed)
200g sushi rice, cooked
150g cured/smoked salmon
100g cucumber (cut into strips)
300g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese
5g wasabi
200g mayonnaise

1. Place a sheet of nori on bamboo mat.
2. Distribute the rice evenly over the nori, leaving ¼ from top of the edge.
3. Lay down salmon, cucumber and Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese in the middle.
4. Hold on to the ends of the bamboo mat and roll, making sure that the ingredients are held inside it.
5. Remove bamboo mat and cut sushi roll.
6. Sprinkle the top of the sushi with more Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese and gratinate cheese in an oven till it melted.
7. Serve with mayonnaise and/or wasabi.

Chef Lino gave the last dish an Asian twist from his very own homemade recipe – the Deep Fried Potato with Mozzarella Cheese.

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Chef Lino finally broke into a smile after much coaxing

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Ingredients (serves 4 pax)
400g potatoes
5g cinnamon powder
5g ground black pepper
5g curry powder
50g corn starch
50g onion (chopped)
2 eggs
4 garlic cloves
30g lemongrass (minced)
20g shallots (minced)
Lemon zest
200g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese
300g Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
Some oil to fry

1. Shred potatoes in food processor and place in strainer. Sprinkle with salt. Drain for 15 min.
2. Mix dry seasonings.
3 Squeeze potatoes dry and place in mixing bowl.
4. Add cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add all remaining ingredients (except panko crumbs and oil) and mix well.
5. Add Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese. Drop a tablespoon mixture into the panko crumbs. Coat all the way around.
6. Heat oil in pan. Lower patties into oil and flatten patties with a spatula. Patties should be 2 inches across.
7. Fry until crisp and golden on the bottom. Fry the other side.
8. Drain the ready to serve. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Overall, HFB had tons of fun from the cooking session and if you are keen to find out more about their products or other recipes, do visit Perfect Italiano website here.

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11 March, 2013

Restaurant Reviews - Original Sin

Patrons who frequent Holland Village and Chip Bee Gardens along Jalan Merah Saga would certainly be familiar with Michelangelo’s restaurant and his sister outlet Original Sin – the latter in 1997, became Singapore’s first vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant.

Unlike the typical boring bland and green usually associated with vegetarian food, Original Sin’s dishes came packed with vibrant colours and full of flavours. This was evident in the Mezze Platter ($22.00 for starter, $30.00 for main), a Middle Eastern platter with a selection of dips consisting of Hummus Chick Pea Dip, Aromatic Pumpkin and Carrot, Eggplant Baba Ganoush and Yoghurt Tzatziki, served with Falafal Ball and Pita Bread. HFB was fascinated with the eggplant baba ganoush that was surprisingly flavoursome, but he was most impressed with the freshly baked pita bread that was baked in-house and served warm, soft and fluffy – so good that one could eat it on its own.

Original Sin

Although Original Sin’s version of Magic Mushroom ($18.00), a baked Portobello Mushroom with Ricotta Cheese, Spinach and Pesto topped with Tomato Basil Sauce and Mozzarella, did not come with hallucinogenic effects when eaten, it’s moist and juicy texture served with a balanced sauce that was not too tangy was truly first class and definitely intoxicating.

Original Sin (1)

Haloumi ($18.00), a pan fried Haloumi Cheese served with Salad Greens, Roasted Capsicum and a Lentil, Cucumber and Mint Salad, was simply delightful. The texture and the flavour of the cheese were really enjoyable that made this dish a must-have for one’s starter dish. Fantastic!

Original Sin (2)

Bosco Misto ($26.00) a dish made of Spinach, Feta and Tofu Patties coated with Crushed Almonds and Sesame Seeds, Asparagus, served with a Button Mushroom Plum Sauce was one of Original Sin’s signature dish. Although HFB is not a huge fan of tofu patties, Original Sin’s version was a refreshing one – the exterior crust was enjoyable and the interior a hint of nice creamy finishing. The sauce was also surprisingly more savoury than sweet, which was a good thing.

Original Sin (3)

A staple of Mediterranean cuisine, Original Sin’s version of Capsicum Quinoa ($26.00) came with Roasted Capsicum stuffed with Spiced Quinoa, Carrot, Chickpea and Mint with Tzatiki, with a side of Pickled Grape, Onion, Cherry Tomato, and Olive Salad. The Quinoa was perfectly prepared in a fluffy, almost al-dente-like texture and nicely flavoured with spices. The caramelisation of the roasted capsicum also provided an added sweetness to this dish.

Original Sin (4)

Nothing beats a nice cup of Affogato ($8.00), or Espresso with Vanilla Ice-cream, after lunch. Rich and refreshing…… a suiting finish.

Original Sin (5)

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited media tasting. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Original Sin for their hospitality.

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