Lotsa new experiments today..(05/04/09)

Sunday, April 05, 2009 Posted by YY on 4:55 PM

Extra: 杏仁瓦片

Today's Dinner Menu
Sides: Baby Portobello
Soup of the day: Vegetable Minestrone
Main Course: Plain Risotto with Braised Lamb Shank
Dessert: Mango and apple in yogurt

I was supposed to do the almond biscuits last week but we totally forgotten about it -.-'
Receipe was taken from here.
Simple ingredients: Egg whites, cake flour, icing sugar/ sugar powder, melted butter.

Top left: Mix melted butter + icing sugar

Top right: After above is mixed and cooled, mix in flour and egg white. Lesson learnt here is flour should be sifted and added separately into the first mixture else there will be flour clumps -.-'

Bottom left: After everything except almond flakes is mixed in.
Bottom right: Impt! Toast almond flakes in pan till browned then mix into mixture gently.


  • Remember to separate each almond flake so that they don't overlap each other.
  • Remember to bake till brown else the non-browned portions are going to taste chewy and elastic.
  • Use non stick baking paper else you will have to eat paper biscuits.

Baking time 10mins at 160 degrees celcius.
Indeed using non stick baking paper is great, the biscuits slided off the paper easily =D

Close-up. I think the recipe lacks vanilla essence as the biscuits taste sweet and eggy..but not really "fragrant".

At the same time while I was making the biscuits, K was starting on the soup broth. So I was doing my biscuits, watching the oven and taking pictures of my stuffs and his. @.@''

Ingredients in veggie broth: Celery, carrots, leeks, onions, garlic.
First sweat the garlic and onion till slight brown, then add in all the other veggies and stir fry.
Add in water and boil till..you are satisfied with the taste?

After 2hours of boiling...

We bought the lamb shank from MMMM at about $6.50 which was a steal considering a fresh one would cost twice as much. Whilst the broth was boiling, K started removing the fats from his lamb shank and coated it with flour and seasoned it with salt and pepper. He says this process serves to seal in the juices for the lamb shank.

Top left: Seared the sides of the lamb shank.

Top right: Sweat garlic and onion.

Bottom left: Add in diced tomato and bay leaf. Do note that salt may have been added to the processed tomatos, taste before deciding whether to add salt.

Bottom right: Add abit of red wine, some veggie broth and black peppercorns.
Simmer for awhile before sending lamb shank into oven. The broth was added as there was not enough liquid.

Cooking time approx. 3hrs at 180 degrees celcius. The whole pan went into the oven covered with foil(top). And this was how the lamb shank looked after 1 hour, it's important to "turn" the lamb shank over every 1hr or so. Oh and we removed the bay leaf before it got overpowering.

After 2nd hour of cooking.

Now its time to prepare for tonight's soup: Vegetable Minestrone.
Ingredients include: Onion, tomato, celery, carrot.
As usual, sweat the onions then stir fry the veggies.

Add in water and tomato paste. The picture below was how it looks when we added half a can of tomato paste. We added one whole can of tomato paste later on cos the colour seriously doesn't look right. On hindsight, I think we could have added one piece of chilli in as well.

After we were done with the soup, its time to make the risotto using the veggie broth we made earlier on. It is K's second attempt on risotto, this time he had some good tips from the internet.

  • Cook risotto rice grains with onions till grains looks 'glassy'
  • Make sure the wine/broth is heated to boiling stage before adding into the rice. Food science has it that ingredients of similar temperature mix easily together.
  • Ensure wine is fully absorbed before adding stock to the risotto.
  • Do not over-stir risotto.
  • The last ladle of broth to be added to the risotto is the hardest estimate, too much of it results in a watery dish while too little of it ends up taste dry. Do note that cheese and butter thickens the risotto.
Top left: Swatting onions with risotto rice grains
Top right: Heated wine goes into risotto.
Bottom left: Cheese and butter added to semi final product, the risotto instantly thickens.
Bottom right: End product looking yellow and creamy.

Finally dinner is ready at 8pm+. The braised lamb shank with tomatos *slurp* It's really fantastic with fall-off-the-bone meat and the tomatos absorbed the essence of the lamb juices.

This time the risotto tasted so much better. It's now softer and it has this nice creamy, fragrance to it. We cooked 3 handful of rice grains and it was actually enough for 2 persons o.O

Portobello mushrooms with parsley and garlic, to be eaten with olive oil + balsamic vinegar dip.
This is done by me *heh*

Dessert at about 1 hour later: Mango cubes + apple slices + plain yogurt. Yum Yum~

I would give the dinner an overall of 8/10 =) *K says I haven rated his cooking for sometime*
It would have been higher if the soup was more sour or rather something was lacking in the soup taste..maybe MSG? LOL~