Hello fellow readers, I am back! PonPeko is still alive and eating!
My apologies for not updating my foodie adventures here. What have I been doing? Well, I have been busy visiting cafes and restaurants every weekend, trying out new places as well as exercising. I totally enjoy the privileges of staying near the city as I have many different eating places to choose from. Remember my motto, ‘Eat first, worry later’? I have been practicing the first half of the motto ever since I moved up here. Suddenly it dawned on me that I should start worrying now as I have been putting on weight and my five-year-old jeans is feeling tighter than it used to be. Hence, I signed myself up for gym membership to ensure that I can have the best of both worlds (Yes, I am greedy! :P).
As promised in my previous post, I would like to share with you my pasta making experiments. Homemade fresh pasta has different texture and taste compared to the store bought ones. These are especially apparent when you have them with lighter sauce. You would be glad to know that fresh pasta is not difficult to make. In fact, they are pretty easy and fun to make. It is like playing with play dough :D.
Gnocchi are considered to be a type of dumpling and they are extremely soft and light. I know nuts about them before I came over to Australia. Two years ago I was at an Italian restaurant at Lygon Street in Melbourne and decided to try the dish with the cute name called Gnocchi Gorgonzola. It was pleasantly tasty. The second time I tried gnocchi was at Sapore, a one hat restaurant at St. Kilda. The gnocchi was absolutely divine. They were lighter, fluffier and softer compared to the ones at the previous restaurant.
I enjoyed gnocchi so much that I decided to make it at home one day. At that time, I was too lazy to make the potato gnocchi myself so I bought the pre-made ones from the supermarket and mix it with my homemade sauce. It was clearly a bad choice as I barely touched the dish. The sauce was OK but the problem lay in the store bought pre-made gnocchi. They tasted appalling and due to the high flour content, they were super tough, gluey and tasteless.
Last weekend, I decided to re-visit my gnocchi dish and this time I did not take any shortcuts. I made everything from scratch and it was extremely fruitful and rewarding. Be careful not to add too much flour to prevent it from being too heavy and hard. The thick and dense tomato sauce combined with the melted cheese enveloped the pillowy soft gnocchi creating a silky smooth sensation in your mouth. The sauce is simply marvelous. Simple yet packed with flavor.
I absolutely adore banana bread! I was delighted when I found a banana bread recipe while I was flipping through Nigella’s recipe book (thank you Goon!). Initially, I was a bit concern that Nigella added a few teaspoons of instant espresso powder in the banana bread ingredients. I was afraid that the coffee would overwhelm the banana taste but luckily it didn’t. The espresso gives the bread a nice aroma yet not too overpowering and complements really well with the banana taste.
After letting it cool for 30 minute, I couldn’t resist and took a slice. I was so disappointed with it as I couldn’t taste any banana flavor. I was thinking to myself who is going to finish the rest as I don’t like to waste my stomach space on something that taste bad. The following day, I couldn’t find anything in the house for breakfast except for the banana bread that I baked the day before. I was hungry so I forcefully took a slice for breakfast and was glad that I did as it was surprisingly good. The banana flavor intensified over night and it was super moist. I brought some to my workplace to share with my colleagues and they loved it. So, it is important to follow Nigella’s advise, let the banana bread stand for a day after baking! Continue reading