Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spicy Meat Sauce

Nothing too fancy here, just a meat sauce I made today to have alongside pasta, although I believe it wouldn't be too bad with some form of bread or rice...


  • 1 pound (~ 500g) Ground Beef
  • 500ml (about 2 cups) Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms
  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 bell peppers (I used about 2/3 of each, green and orange), diced
  • 2-3 Tbsp Sambal Oelek (chili paste)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking oil


  • In a wok, add butter and a bit of cooking oil. Turn stove on medium heat. Add chopped onions. Remove onions from wok when they start to brown.
  • With wok on medium heat, add the ground beef and allow to cook.
  • Once the beef starts losing its reddish color, add salt, pepper (to taste), garlic, chili powder, coriander powder and Italian seasoning.
  • Once the meat starts to brown, add 2 Tbsp sambal oelek and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the onions back into the wok. Add the bell peppers and allow to cook on low-medium heat.
  • After the meat has lost all of its pinkish color, stir in the pasta sauce. (Optional: Add 1 Tbsp of sambal oelek and mix, if you, like me, think that the pasta sauce is way too sweet and should be spicier.)
  • Allow the sauce to rise to a simmer. I allowed the meat sauce to cook on low heat for about 20-25 minutes (could have been more, time flies when you're in the kitchen...).
  • Sprinkle parsley flakes before serving.

Serve with spaghetti (just a suggestion!).

Questions/comments are welcome!

Notes: Possible addition of shredded cheese to make the sauce richer (and heavier, for the calorie conscious folks!).

Update: Leftover meat sauce folded inside an omelette makes for an awesome meal!
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Salmon in Lemon Butter Sauce

Yesterday, I decided to experiment a bit with salmon, something I hadn't cooked myself before. Fairly quick to prepare and cook. Turned out pretty well, even if I say so myself...


  • 1/3-1/2 lbs salmon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (alternative: parsley)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or pressed)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Lemon slice (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil (olive oil will probably be better, I just used whatever I had on hand)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Prepare a marinade by mixing the cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper, butter and oil.
  • Cut the salmon however you like. I had 3 smallish slices.
  • Preheat oven to 450 °F.
  • Place the salmon on a foil lined baking tray, skin-side down (the foil prevents the fish from sticking to the tray, and consequently, helps you avoid the intense scrubbing required to clean the baking tray).
  • Pour and spread the marinade over the salmon. Make sure to also apply it on the sides of the salmon pieces. Place the lemon slice on top of the salmon
  • Place in oven for about 10-15 minutes. Do not over-cook - salmon is awesome even if slightly under-cooked.

Enjoy with a side of veggies, mashed potatoes, boiled rice, or even on its own!

Tonight, I'm going test it out with a spicier marinade. May make a new post, or just add to this one...

Update: The spicier marinade was a lot more interesting. Made the following modifications:

  • Replaced 1 Tbsp oil with a bit of extra butter and 1 Tbsp of Sambal Oelek (chili paste).
  • Sprinkled a bit of paprika powder just before baking.

Here's the modified version, with a side of couscous:

Keep reading ...