Pancetta-wrapped Trout with Honey Balsamic Salad


Hey y’all fellow foodies!This recipe is all about paying homage to the best of surf and turf, and we feel that a beautiful, tenderly cooked trout embraced by crispy rashers of pancetta does so best. What makes the pancetta-wrapped trout even more awesome is how it is such a treat to the senses and oozing finesse without really putting in a ton of work, and paired with our homemade honey balsamic salad, this is one of those sophisticated dishes put together with effortless simplicity that we simply love. Hope you love it as much as we do! x

(Pancetta-wrapped trout recipe courtesy of Barney Desmazery)



For Pancetta-wrapped Trout:

  • 1 Lemon 
  • 2 Rainbow Trouts (cleaned and descaled)
  • 1 Clove of Minced Garlic
  • Large Bunch of Thyme
  • 4 Slices of Pancetta
  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil

For Cookism’s Honey Balsamic Salad:

  • 120g Greens of Your Choice
  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 100g of King Oyster Mushroom (chopped into bite-sized strips)
  • Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Spigs of Thyme
  • A Few Squeezes of Lemon Juice

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of Honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)

Serves 2


imageimage1. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan or 200C/Gas 7. Cut half of the lemon into 4 thin slices, reserving the other half for serving and the salad. Score each fish 3 times on one side.image2. Season each fish with salt and black pepper inside out. Stuff each cavity with garlic and a sprig of thyme (fold them into half to fit).image3. Lay generous sprigs of thyme along the trout and top it up with two slices of lemon.image4. Wrap two slices of pancetta around, holding thyme and lemon in place. Tuck the ends of the pancetta under the bottom of the trout to secure. Repeat steps on the other fish. Transfer trouts onto a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper. Drizzle olive oil over trouts and bake for 20 minutes until pancetta is golden and fish is cooked.imageimageimage5. While the trouts are baking, make honey balsamic vinaigrette by just combining all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Next, sauté the mushrooms in a large pan of olive oil over medium heat. Lay them in an even layer and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, cut leftover lemon into 3 wedges and reserve 2 wedges for serving. Stir in thyme leaves and a few squeezes of lemon juice. Stir and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat and allow the mushroom to cool slightly.imageimage6. Combine greens, mushroom and the dressing in a large bowl. Toss well and season with salt and black pepper if needed.image7. Serve trouts with salad and lemon. Squeeze lemon over each trout and feast on!

Coming up next from the Cookism kitchen: a sophisticated dish that’s uber easy to whip up (our favorite kinda dish!)

Sesame Prawn Toast

In the real world, the true heroes are not the swashbuckling studs but unassuming, life-sized folks with big, defining impact. So it is in the culinary world, where going over-the-top is not always the modus operandi. Sesame prawn toast is one such dish that proves that the small fry can save the day and more than hold its own against the big boys of gastronomy. Despite the humble ingredients, every one of them packs a unique flavor that is instrumental to the eventual amalgamation of the crispy golden-brown triangle smothered with a juicy prawn coat that we find it hard to hold back from. So applaud the plebeians, for we are all prawns in the game of life. 

(Adapted from Oi Cheepchaiissara)



  • 280g of Prawns (peeled & deveined)
  • 2 tsp of Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
  • 7 Coriander Roots
  • 1/4 tsp of White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • 8 to 10 Slices of White Bread (crust removed and cut diagonally into halves)
  • Sesame Seeds (as needed)
  • Peanut Oil (for deep frying)

For Cookism’s Spicy Mango Mayonnaise:

  • 140g of Mayonnaise
  • 60g of Mango (chopped into small chunks)
  • 2 Bird’s Eye Chili (deseeded and thin strips)
  • Handful of Cilantro (chopped)

Makes 16 to 20

Methods:image1. Finely chop prawns into a smooth paste. In a bowl, combine prawn paste, light soy sauce and egg. Stir well and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge to marinate and firm up for 30 minutes.imageimage2. In the meantime, pound garlic, coriander roots, salt and white pepper using a mortar and pestle into a smooth paste. Add to prawn paste and mix well. For tips on how to prepare coriander roots, please refer to this link. Alternatively, you can whiz all the following ingredients using a food processor to save time.image3. Lightly toast the bread till firm and slightly crispy. Spread one side of the bread evenly with prawn paste.image4. Sprinkle a generous layer of sesame seeds, enough to cover the surface. Slightly tilt the bread and gently tap off any excess sesame seeds. Chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.image5. Add oil to a depth of 1” in a deep frying pot and heat it over medium heat. To check if the oil is ready, drop in one leftover bread crust into the pot. When it sizzles instantly, the oil will be good for frying. Gently place the bread one at a time, paste-side down into the oil. Fry each side for about a minute and a half or till the bread turns golden brown. Remove and drain them on paper towels.imageimageimage6. To make the dip, combine mayonnaise, mango, chili and cilantro into a mixing bowl. Mix well and transfer it to a dipping dish.image7. Serve prawn toast with spicy mango mayonnaise. Enjoy! image

A toast with much to boast!
Please click photo for recipe!

Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta with Oreo, Chocolate & Blueberries



I always say that I have a separate stomach for dessert. And I’ll add that within this separate dessert stomach, there’s a sub-stomach for panna cotta. An Italian classic which literally translates as ‘cooked cream’, a sublime panna cotta is one that is creamy but not heavy; delicately sweet and dances around while still holding its shape. Oh, and it should melt in your mouth within seconds of contact. To us, panna cotta is like a sweet and understanding darling - unobtrusive, gentle and drop-dead gorgeous.



For vanilla panna cotta:
2 tbsp of Water
1/2 tbsp of Powdered Gelatin
Neutral tasting oil (for oiling the moulds)
1 1/4 Cups of Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup of Full Cream Milk
Vanilla Bean from half Vanilla Pod
3 tbsp of Sugar (to taste)

For pairings:
2 - 3 Oreo Cookie (cream removed and roughly crushed)
Block of Good Quality Chocolate for chocolate shavings (Chilled)

Serves 4

1. Add water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Stir well and allow it to stand for 5 to 10 minutes to soften. In the meantime, oil the interiors of the moulds. I am using a 7 x 5 cm mould that looks like a big thimble.image2. Split the vanilla pod into half. Extract the beans by running your knife along the inside of the pod.image3. Combine cream, milk, sugar, vanilla beans and pod into a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring once in a while. Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin-water mixture. Stir well till all the gelatin is dissolved. Place saucepan in the ice bath and whisk till mixture is lukewarm. You can check by rubbing a little mixture on your fingers for unwanted grittiness.image4. Divide mixture into moulds and chill for 4 to 8 hours or even better, 24 hours for a firmer panna cotta. image5. To unmould the panna cotta, run a small knife around the interior of the mould, followed by dipping the mould quickly in hot water. Carefully turn out onto a serving plate.image6. Using the blade of the knife, scrape off thin shards of chocolate.
image7. Serve with Oreo crumbs, blueberries and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!image

Behold, the dome of decadence!
Please click photo for recipe!

Strawberry Risotto (Risotto alle fragole)

Love is in the air! We believe that romance starts with the stomach, after all, love is tasteless without food. Likewise, food is tasteless without love, hence, here’s a dish made with love for your lover. This unusual risotto should not be mistaken for a rice pudding. The sweetness of the strawberries adds an extra dimension and color to the smooth,creamy succulence of the risotto rice. Finally, this is when the words ‘I Love You’ are not merely words.

(Recipe courtesy of Gennaro Contaldo)



  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • Two Knobs of Butter
  • 1/4 of Onion (finely chopped)
  • 200g of Arborio Rice
  • 60ml of Dry White Wine
  • 400 to 500ml of Hot Vegetable Stock
  • 250g of Strawberries (hulled and chopped into chunks, keep some for garnishing)
  • 50g of Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra to serve 
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (to serve)

Methods:imageimageAs it is hard to grab hold of commercial vegetable stock in Singapore, we have decided to cook it ourselves. Making your own stock requires patience but it is definitely worthwhile as you can alter certain ingredients to achieve your desired taste. Our vegetable stock for this recipe uses a selection of leek, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, button mushrooms, parsley, bay leaves and black peppercorns.imageimageimage1. Heat large pan over medium heat. Add in a knob of butter and olive oil.image2. When the butter-oil mixture is heated, add in diced onions and sweat it until translucent and aromatic. Stir in rice followed by white wine and cook till the alcohol has evaporated. Stirring regularly prevents the rice from burning and sticking onto the pan.image3. Reduce the heat to low. Pour in a ladle of stock or two, stir frequently and allow it to simmer for a minute.image4. Stir in strawberry chunks and add in more stock along the way, one ladle at a time until the liquid in the pan is reduced and absorbed into the rice.image5. Continue to cook till rice turns al dente. Remove from heat and add in another knob of butter, freshly grated parmesan and salt to taste. Cover pan with a lid and allow it to stand for a minute.imageimage

6. Serve with strawberries, grated parmesan and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar as you wish. Enjoy!

Strawberry, meet Risotto. Risotto, meet Strawberry.
Revealing this love story soon!

Pineapple Tarts



Firecrackers, red packets, lion dances and reunion dinners - these are the quintessential elements that make Chinese New Year mirthful and vibrant. But beyond these, the small pineapple tart is the biggest unsung hero of the festive season. This unforgettable mainstay of the New Year goodies spread comes in all shapes and sizes, but the effect and pleasure derived from a single bite of these precious ingots is always the same. The crumbly tart melts in your mouth, yielding its succulent pineapple paste within that teases your palate with irresistible joy. So go ahead, do yourself a favor and have a taste of prosperity, good health and all things nice!

(Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)



For the pastry:
350g of Plain Flour
4 tbsp of Icing Sugar
2 tbsp of Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g of good quality Unsalted Butter (softened to room temperature)
2 Egg Yolks
1/4 tsp of Vanilla Bean Paste

For egg wash:
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 tbsp of Condensed Milk

For pineapple paste:
2 Fresh Pineapples or 3 cans of Sliced Pineapples (20 oz each)
Heaping 1/2 Cup of Sugar (to taste)

Makes 30 large or 40 medium pineapple tarts

Methods:image1. For fresh pineapples, remove the skin and cut them into chunks for easy blending. If you are using canned pineapple slices instead, drain and squeeze away excess liquid with your hands. Blend pineapples just enough till mushy.image2. Add blended pineapple and sugar into a non-stick saucepan. Stir well and cook under medium low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent burning. This process will take a while, It will be ready when most of the liquid has evaporated and the paste turns golden. Transfer pineapple paste to a large bowl and let it cool in the fridge.image3. In the meantime, make the pastry. Sieve flour, icing sugar, salt and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Add in softened butter into flour mixture.image4. Gently rub butter into the flour with your fingertips until mixture appears like fine crumbs.
image5. Add in egg yolks and vanilla bean paste. Gently mix the dough till the ingredients begin to combine.imageimage6. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead to form a dough.The dough is ready when it does not stick to your hand. Add a little butter if it is too dry. Shape dough into a ball and wrap it in a plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes before using. In the meantime, you can roll cooled pineapple paste into 30 or 40 equal balls, depending on the size of the pineapple tart that you are aiming to make. Firm the pineapple balls in the fridge if you have time.
imageimage7. Likewise, divide dough into 30 or 40 equal balls. You can use a kitchen scale for higher accuracy. Flatten dough ball with your fingers and place the pineapple ball in the middle. Carefully wrap the pineapple paste with the dough and shape it into your preferred pineapple tart design.
image8. Preheat oven to 180C. Transfer the pineapple tarts onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Combine egg yolk and condensed milk in a bowl and brush the tarts with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till tart turns light brown.image9. Allow tarts to cool before digging into it! Enjoy!

CNY’s round the corner, and so are these guys. Recipe coming up soon!

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