Oct 292011

Halloween’s around the corner!

No pumpkin dessert or anything Halloween theme desserts for me this year. I’m gonna be boring and give you this instead… Hee! Something which i’ve been wanting to try for the longest time and boy, was i glad or what.. now that i can finally strike this item off from the To-Cook-List.

I think i have an unexplainable love towards dumpling, or gnocchi if you must. I crave for it from time to time. Pumpkin, potato, spinach & ricotta, or even just plain like that with flour, i, will eat them all. Period. :)

damn, i really love this nail colour laa! heheee!

Truth be told, this was my first time using fresh sage leaves. Before, it was always dried sage for other dishes but never fresh. To top it off, i’ve also never eaten dishes with fresh sage even when dining out. Grin. Yup, sometimes, i can be really sua-ku. Wait, make that most of the time. Bet you’re laughing your head off now eh?

Imagine my surprise when i browned these sage leaves in the butter. I have always wondered what is so great about sage leaves but now i know. The scent from sauteed sage… simply blew me away. I knew instantly that this would be a hit with me. I’m not sure about the boys but then, who cares! HAHA. Very often, i cook and bake stuff for myself, not them. :Pp

True enough, it was love at first bite, for me that is.  I love this so much so that i’ve cooked it twice to date despite knowing no one else enjoys it that much except me. Muaahahahahaaaaa!

Pumpkin Dumpling (gnocchi) with Sage-scented Butter


  • 1 Pumpkin, when cut and peeled around 500 grams
  • 1 egg
  • 150 grams flour
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 30 grams grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 sage leaves, picked
  • 50 grams butter, unsalted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted walnuts, optional


  1. In a large steamer, steam the pumpkin until soft, around 25 minutes. If the pumpkin feels a bit wet, dry it out a bit by placing it in a large pan over a low heat to remove some excess moisture.
  2. Use a potato ricer to mash the pumpkin in a large bowl then add the egg, flour, nutmeg and parmesan cheese (add some salt and pepper to taste). Using a fork, mix the ingredients together, the mass will look quite sticky. You can add more flour at this point but doing so will make the mixture much more dense and heavy which is not what you want. Remember also to handle the dough as little as possible.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and then lower the heat to a medium boil. Shape the dumpling with 2 spoons, drop the pieces into the boiling water immediately and let cook until they start floating to the top. Remove from the water and place on some kitchen paper to absorb the water. Keep warm.
  4. For the sauce, heat the butter until nicely browned and it smells nutty, then add the sage leaves. Stir in the dumplings and let it sauteed in the browned butter sauce and sage leaves for a good 1 minute or so. Serve immediately with generous amount of shaved parmesan.

Adapted from Trissalicious


Because the dough was too sticky for me to handle, i had to resort to shaping these babies using 2 spoons. I’m not sure it was me or what, but twice, i cooked this twice and both times, the dough was too much for me to handle.

During my first attempt all the way back in August, i actually added more than 50g of flour, hoping that i could shape something out of it but to no avail.Shaped or not, it doesn’t quite matter anymore as long as it tastes good to me. Nevertheless, i do hope one day, one fine day when i will be able to shape these properly without the spoons!

Meanwhile, please make do with these not quite appetizing looking dumplings from me. :)

ps : my apologies to you who waited this long for the recipe when i first posted the photo on the Facebook. paiseh!

Feb 212011

When i first laid my eyes on John’s first picture for this entry of his, i was sold.

I knew i HAD to make these dumplings. Just the sound of it — Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings — could get me go wild! I’m a gnocchi lover. When i learned that these dumplings were somewhat similar to gnocchi, i went wilder!

Unfortunately, i couldn’t make these dumplings much earlier. But hey, it’s better late than never right? ^_^

Verdict : I. LOVE. IT!!!!

Seriously, these dumplings rock! I could eat these again and again and will never get bored of it. Because the cream reduction (flavoured mostly from the prawns) goes so well with the dumplings, i cut each and every one of the dumplings into tiny pieces and mop it around the plate to coat it with the cream before popping it into my mouth. Not too long after that, everyone started to follow suit. Hee!

Truly, this dish is unforgettable. Methinks this is one of the few rare times that my mouth would actually water (yes, i’m so drooling right now! :P) while doing a food post! HAhaha! Guess i’ll be cooking this again very soon aye?!

Spinach & Ricotta Dumplings with Prawns & Mushrooms in Cream

(adapted from heneedsfood.com)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch English spinach, washed, trimmed & chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 500 g fresh ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ plain flour, ½ cup extra for rolling (i ended up using 1 cup plain flour, ½ cup extra for rolling, all because i added water while cooking the spinach ; see method below)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 g butter
  • 20 green prawns, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 1 packet of shimeiji mushrooms, washed & cut
  • 1 cup cream


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook until the spinach wilts and pan juices evaporate. (DO NOT ADD WATER) Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add ricotta, mix until combined and set aside to cool. Beat in eggs and flour and season well.

  1. Using just over 1 tbsp ricotta mixture per dumpling, form the mixture into little quenelles. Lightly roll in flour and shake off excess. Place on a floured plate or one lined with baking paper.
  2. Cook dumplings, in batches, in a large saucepan of boiling water for two minutes or till they float. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

  1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the dumplings and cook, turning occasionally, until golden.

  1. Transfer the dumplings to a warm plate.
  2. In the same frying pan add the prawns. Cook on both sides of the prawns for a couple of minutes but never let it cooks completely. You won’t want the prawns to overcook.  Saute the mushrooms before stirring in cream. Season. Turn off fire just when the cream starts to thicken. Spoon the cream, prawns and mushrooms to the dumplings and serve immediately.

*note to self : smaller quenelles next time, using teaspoon.


Jan 212011

This really simple but not effortless dish was inspired by Swee San after i saw her droolicious risotto.

As usual, i cheated. Instead of using the real stuff (read : arborio rice), i cooked this with Japanese short grain rice. I guess i’m not fussy enough to get myself behind the wheel and drive to the nearest supermarket to haul a packet of arborio rice back just to cook this risotto :P

Not sure if anyone feels the same but what i did was i grilled the mushrooms instead of sautéing them in the pan because i find the flavour is more intense that way.

My unauthentic Mushroom Risotto

3-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
a packet of brown mushroom, white mushroom and shimeiji or use any that’s available (washed and sliced)

1. Mix all together and grill on high heat (i used 200C) till golden.

4-5 tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/3 white wine
1 cup cream
1.5 L chicken stock (do adjust accordingly)
salt and pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups Japanese short grain rice

1. Melt butter in pan over medium high heat. Stir in chopped onions and fry till brown.
2. Add rice and stir to coat with butter.
3. Add wine and simmer for few minutes before stirring in cream.

4. Add simmering stock, half cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next half cup. This takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how you like your rice. I like mine soft but still chewable and with bite.
5. Stir in the grilled mushrooms, together with its heavenly stock that is found in the grilling pan (don’t throw it away!).
6. Finally, add in salt and pepper to taste before shaving some generous portion of freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.


Enjoy! :)