The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Archive of ‘Sides & snacks’ category

Zespri 14-day Challenge : Kiwi Avocado Salsamole

I found this recipe while looking for ideas for kiwifruits. It’s a kiwi and avocado salsamole. And i happened to have a very ripe avocado waiting to be eaten, so I thought, ok, let’s make a dip and get some chips with it.

Two expensive fruit and veg, mixed into a dip. Le sigh, why are some fruits and veg just so expensive!

Kiwi Avocado Salsamole2

Anyway, of the recent months, I’ve been making my own dinner, and sometimes for my brothers at home. And it’s when I just cook what I feel like eating or cooking! I mean, one has to eat anyway and eating out seems to boring at times (not to mention full with MSG) So my dinner idea always comes right from that day itself. Then I would just drop by the grocer / supermarket after work (which is quite nearby) and get my stuffs. Usually I would get meat or fish on that day itself. I’ve learnt not to buy and store because when I do so, by some cosmic rules, I always end up eating out. So the ingredients would be…. not that fresh.

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kiwi avocado and chips

 

Quiche was what I wanted to eat that day. So, with whatever ingredients I had at home that day, I made caramelized onion, pancetta chips and feta cheese quiche. With the extra caramelized onion, it’s a dip for the chips as well. Man, I feel like making that, and sandwiching it with some provolone or cheese and panini it. Is it just me or do people also think of their food always ? Not really talking about cravings or which stall has the best laksa. But like making their own food. These days when I make dinner at home, simplicity is it, but also try to be a tad creative la.

Some things are really not that difficult to make, what makes it difficult, is effort and perception. How much effort you put in. No, how much effort you are willing to put in. OK la, I’m just being emo.

Kiwi Avocado Salsamole

So! this dip, was quite yummy although it was too watery for my liking. The kiwis were quite mushy when I wanted to use them (hence making it into a dip) but because of it’s water content, a couple of mixed and some 20 minutes later, it because slightly watery. But still taste good.

Kiwi Avocado Salsamole
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 2 green kiwifruits, peeled and chopped
  • coriander leaves, lightly chopped
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Stir all of the ingredients together. Taste to see if you want more lime, salt, or cayenne kick. Serve with chips. The lime will keep the avocado from browning, but this is still best if you eat it sooner rather than later.
  2. *If you would like to, add some finely diced chilli

Zespri 14-day Challenge : Crumbed Boxing Chicken with Kiwi Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Creating a blog post everyday is not an easy fret especially one still has a full time job. And also I’ve been diligently cooking something with kiwifruit everyday. Ok Not just cooking, but baking and making it into drinks and just slicing them and just popping them into a bed of greens.

Today’s challenge is to try out some of the new recipes from Zespri. You can check out their website http://www.zespri.com.my and look for some very interesting recipes. Like the Spicy Zespri Kiwifruit, Glass Noodle and Chicken Salad.. So I’ve actually been putting sweet recipes using Kiwi, and not much cooking involved. In fact, this one is no different. I fried the boxing chicken in a Philips Air Fryer. Haha

Zespri kiwi dipping sauce

It was just an idea of putting kiwi into a chilli dipping sauce as it then adds sweet and sour to it as well. This little cup, packs a mouthful of flavour; sweet, spicy, sour, and refreshing (as I’ve also added mint)  It’s also a good way to use up over ripe kiwifruits that are mushy and soft. I had a few of the green ones that are really soft already, so I had to use them in smoothies, sauces and dips because it’s okay for them to be out of shape. Haha

This dipping sauce can be used with fried calamari, maybe potato wedges or even…. cucur udang Hahaha.. Why not right ?

 

Boxing chicken with Kiwi chili dipping sauce

Air Fried Crumbed Boxing Chicken with Kiwi Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Crumbed Boxing Chicken
  • 8 mini chicken drumlets
  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • tapioca starch and Japanese breadcrumbs for frying
Kiwi Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
  • 2 Zespri Green Kiwifruit
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5-6 mint leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp Lingham Sweet Chili Sauce
Instructions
Crumbed Boxing Chicken
  1. To prepare the chicken – first remove the excess fat, with a sharp knife cut around the thin end of the drumlet til the skin and sinewy bits are separated from the bone.
  2. Pull the meat down with the help of a knife and you will get a little chicken lollipop. Repeat with the rest of the drumlets.
  3. Marinade with the rest of the ingredients for 1-2 hours or overnight
  4. Dip the chicken in tapioca starch and panko.
  5. Put it in the Air Fryer for 15 minutes at 180 C. Check doneness, it may take another 5 mins, depending on the chicken size
Kiwi Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
  1. Cut kiwi into smaller pieces. Mash half of it.
  2. Roll the mint leaves and slice them thinly (chiffonade)
  3. Add everything in just mix.

The sauce was actually quite spicy but overall somewhat refreshing because it has lime and mint in it. The mushy kiwifruit adds to its sweetness and tartness.

x

Lithuanian Cuisine with Plate Culture (and Hummus Recipe)

Hey hey

You know this TV show “Take Home Chef by Curtis Stone” ? I can’t help but feel it’s similar but instead of bringing the chef to your house, you go to the chef’s house for your meal. We’re not talking about professional chefs, but home cooks. How many times have you seen food blogs posting up photos of their delicious food (like mine.. HAHAH ) and wish you can have that because you’re just sick and tired of eating out?

Well, Plate Culture is here to do that!

PlateCulture connects people who love cooking & hosting dinners to those who love eating authentic home cooked meal. You can taste authentic home cooking around the globe. Share culture over the plate. Each dinner is an unique experience where people share food, learn new things and build friendships all over the world. Guests have a unique opportunity to try authentic home cooked dinner while having a quality time with host and getting a real picture of the place they are traveling in. Hosts can showcase their cooking skills and meet interesting people not leaving their kitchen. Literally, we fit entire world in your kitchen.

 

Plate culture - guest

 

So a couple of weeks ago I went to check out a dinner hosted by Plate Culture. It was a Lithuanian Dinner! There are more choices, Indian cuisine, Mauritian food and even just a casual dinner or lunch… Here’s how you can book your next meal.

 

plate culture page

Head on over to their website http://plateculture.com/ and click on the date you want to be all adventurous and eat in someone else’s home.

plate culture hosts

Results are out, these would be the homes available for your chosen time and date. then choose one that is most favourable to you. (see someone familiar ? Kelly Siew is hosting too!)  be adventurous!

 

plate culture - how to book

All hosts have a short description about their cooking style, what to expect in the meal and also a brief location. All you need to do now is click on the “BOOK IT” button and you’re almost ready to go!

Generally in most descriptions, there are no definite dishes to expect, because you’re going to a home, not a restaurant! But you get an idea of how many dishes to expect for the amount you pay. It would be a main, and a dessert, or just appetizers and main. Or even 4 dishes for table sharing?

If you have any questions regarding the meal, you can “Ask a host” prior to booking.

plate culture - how to book 2

Once you click “BOOK IT” you would be transferred to this page where you need to fill in YOUR details. Especially food preferences. And also a little bit about yourself. Be true and don’t play games. I think if home cooks are opening their houses for people to come and eat, we also want honest people coming thru those doors.

After you submit, you would receive a confirmation email with the address of the host (and also contact number) And please try not to cancel the reservations…. it will break our heart…

So then, get ready for a meal… of surprises.

For one, you don’t know what exactly will be served. Two, you don’t know who the other diners are (if there are any) So I’d say, it’s a good place to meet some new friends and expand your network as well!

I booked for the Lithuanian Cuisine, and it’s hosted by Audra (one of the founders of Plate Culture)

Photo Jun 08, 6 33 40 PM

For starters, we were served 2 types of hummus. We had this in the living room coffee table while waiting for other diners to arrive. There were 5 diners (inc me and another friend) in total and while waiting, we chit chat and got to know each other (sounds like speed dating HAHAHA) but if we’re going to eat on the same table, I reckon we at least know the names of the person sitting next to you.’

It can be a little awkward if conversations don’t get along well and there are no ice breakers. Some of the diners were Audra’s friends, so in all we felt comfortable and Audra, as a host has done a good job!

Photo Jun 08, 7 20 56 PM

Saltibarsciai - Cold Lithuanian beet soup or saltibarsciai is made with buttermilk, sour cream, hard-cooked eggs, cucumbers and dill. This was very refreshing, although VERY FILLING. It’s traditional Lithuanian food where they have this all the time during Summer. I think for most people, soup are served hot, so this is a real experience of stepping a little out of the comfort zone.

Photo Jun 08, 7 43 02 PM

Photo Jun 08, 7 45 00 PM

For main,we had Balandeliai. It’s a cabbage roll dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. We also learnt from Audra that Lithuanians consume lots of potatos and they can make many dishes out with potato. Since the country is cold all the time, potato acts as the carb-provider.

She also told us that in Lithuanian cuisine, the usage of spices are less compared to other European countries. This dish was truly that, simple and homey without being over pretentious.

Photo Jun 08, 8 12 01 PM

Lastly, for dessert, we had Tinginys (she said it also means a lazy male person?) hehe Tinginys is a popular dessert in Lithuania. The dish is typically prepared with biscuits or crackers, cocoa, butter, sugar and solidified milk. Here, it’s served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

But that’s not all… we also got to try Lithuanian liqueur. T__T

Photo Jun 08, 8 03 23 PM

It’s called Malunininku. 50% alcohol content T__T It’s a little caramelish and tasted abit like dark kirsch. I think this wasn’t part of their menu, but that’s the flexibility of dining in someone’s house.

Photo Jun 08, 8 01 11 PM

This would be Audra, out lovely host of the evening! And it’s kinda funny how we used tea cups as shot glasses instead. I think it’s all part and parcel of dining at home. You don’t necessarily find all plates and glasses to be exactly the same like how you do in restaurants.

I have lots of small plates with different designs, but only 2 pcs of each. So I’m pretty sure my guests would have some colourful plates on the table hehe.

Photo Jun 08, 8 58 47 PM

We don’t always get to take photos with the chefs in the particular restaurant, but I guess with Plate Culture, we’ll be able to know the cook more and understand their passion and cooking. PlateCulture is a great initiative to introduce home cooking, be it authentic or not. I think the essence of dining at home, or just sitting around the table and having a meal together is an important tool in communicating.

Surely, dining in someone else’s home, or having someone unknown walking thru those doors right into your dining room may be unfamiliar and out of the comfort zone. But beyond that, we may all become friends or acquaintance once we step out of the door.

 So what happens next ? Yours truly will be hosting with Plate Culture very soon. Be sure to watch out this space, and it will definitely have lots of desserts!

Oh before I go, here’s a simple recipe of Hummus which I made 1-2 weeks ago. After I had it in Audra’s place, I wanted to make some myself..

Hummus
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 can garbanzo beans / chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, mash and minced
  • 3 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • half a lemon, squeezed (or to taste)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pine nuts
  • dill or parsley
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.
  2. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped dill.
  3. Serve with raw dip vegetables such as carrots, celery and cucumber.

 

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