Friday, April 6, 2012

Eye Candy

I first heard the term "Eye Candy" when I saw a post from a young girl calling my son, Nicholas, "Eye Candy". 




That was few years ago, when he was first getting into singing and songwriting. Back then, I did not know what it meant so I googled and found out the meaning. Eye Candy means someone or something that is visually attractive or pleasing to look at. Recently, there were Eye Candies at Jaya Grocers, Subang Empire. LOL!

Jaya Grocers, Empire Subang is the supermarket that I usually shop in. I like shopping there because the store Manager, Wilson, and the supervisor for the vegetable section, Janet, are very helpful people. The cashiers there are efficient and cheerful. I found the staff at Jaya Grocers understand what customer service is all about. I have met the owner, Mr. Teng, on several occasions. He is a warm and friendly gentleman who makes his customers feel very welcome. There was one occasion that I was at the meat section and he recommended that I try some imported salami. It was over-the-top delicious. Furthermore, it is a one-stop center for me for most of my baking and cooking needs and my favorite table wine. It is so convenient for me. I was very happy that now they give free cooking demos every Saturday at their cosy pantry,  one schedules for 1.00pm and another at 3.00pm. I have been to two of these demos so far and both were conducted by young promising, friendly and handsome chefs. Oh yes, they were "eye candies"! LOL! If you are interested in attending a demo, just go to Jaya Grocers’ facebook and book your seats in advance or if you are at Jaya Grocers Empire Subang, you can inform the staff there to book a seat for you.  I enjoy attending cooking and baking demos by chefs because I found that I will learn something new each time. Many of thes tips are things that you will not find in a cook book.

The first demo I attended was Berrie Pie by Chef Ryan Khang,


and last Saturday’s lasagna was by an award winning chef,  "Christopher".  I liked his recipe because it was a vegetarian recipe. I brought a friend with me and she liked the recipe too, so after the demo, she got all the ingredients in Jaya Grocers itself and was eager to go home and make the dish for dinner.

Chef Christopher is a talented young chef who won many awards during his culinary career. His roots are in modern French cuisine and his wizardry with fine-dining dishes can only be described as a palate-pampering experience. He brings with him a firm culinary foundation and a passion for creativity.  He has gained much exposure in restaurants such as Zen Satori and Nippon Tuk in Hilton Metropole London. He also conducts cooking and baking classes at The Cooking House and has been assigned to conduct public demonstrations for food companies in malls and exhibition. Here are the step-by-step photos on how Chef Christopher made the lasagna. I think these pictures will benefit those who wants to make this dish but do not know how. My Quay Lo said it was funny that a chef was needed to demo lasagna. He said every cook in the U.S. likely has a recipe for this family favorite. But I pointed out to him just how different lasagna is compared to the standard table fare that is common here in Malaysia. He thought about it and realized what an opportunity this is for a grocer here to sell into the growing desire to experience different foods here.


Vegetable Lasagna
recipe from Chef Christopher



Ingredients:

8 sheets Banila Lasagna Bolognesi La Collezione DItalia
1/2 small pumpkin
1 long eggplant
150gm spinach
40gm parmesan cheese, grated
Olive Oil

Tomato Sauce:
Ingredients for tomator sauce:
3 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion chopped
1 stick celery, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
500gm tomato puree
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground oregano
6 sweet basil leaves, sliced
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Method to make tomato sauce:
Saute garlic, onion in oil until softened. Add Celery, capsium tomato puree and dried herbs. Cook until reduced and thickened. 


Bechemal sauce:

Ingredients for bechemal sauce:
60gm butter
60gm flour
550gm milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
a good dash of ground black pepper

Method to make bechamel sauce:
Heat the milk. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the flour, stirring to prevent lumps forming. Add the milk gradually and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and boil. Remove from heat and stir in the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Preparation of vegetables:
Peel, core and slice pumpkin to about 1/4 inch thick. Slice eggplant to 1/4 inch thick. Rub both pumpkin and eggplant in olive oil and roast in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C until cooked. 


Blanch the spinach in salted water until soft but still green, drain and transfer to a bowl ofice water to stop further cooking. Chop the spinach.

To Assemble:
To assemble the lasagna, line a 7 inch square baking pan with aluminium foil, with a 2 inch overhang at the sides. Stir in 30 gm of parmesan cheese into the bechamal sauce. Spread a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the tin and lay on 2 pieces of lasagna sheets side by side. Spread 1/3 of the tomato sauce over the lasagna sheets, cover with a layer of pumpkin and 1/4 of the bechamel sauce. Lay another layer of lasagna sheets, then tomato sauce, eggplant and bechamal sauce. Next, layer with lasagna sheets, spinach and bechamel sauce. End witha final layer of lasagna sheets and top with the remaining bechamel sauce. Sprinkle an even layer of parmesan cheese over the bechamel sauce. Cover with alumnium foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20minutes. Remove the aluminium foil and return to bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or till cheese is brown. 







56 comments:

  1. Ive never attempt to make lasagna before, though I loves this dish alot. Guess it is time I have to make it now after seeing you post this delicious lasagna! delicious and drooling now :-)

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    1. I love vegetable lasagna, less sinful! haha Chef Christopher's recipe is a good one. Try it my dear.

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  2. Your son, Chef Ryan and Chef Christopher are all eye candies.

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    1. Yan, I agree with you. Even this old lady cannot take my eyes of the two handsome chefs. I can't help admiring their good looks. hahaha

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  3. eh...how come i dont bump into u? ESG is my 2nd home too.
    where is the demo taken place? inside Jaya grocer where they serve western food or ??? would love to bump into you once of these days.

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    1. Oh I know why, when I go shopping at ESG, I never put on my war paint and also dressed up VERY "chin chai". So how can you recognised the sloppy old lady lah! I will be there this Saturday. Chey Ryan is going to demo how to make a Salted Caramel Cake. I am attending the 3pm session. The Jaya Grocers' pantry is inside the supermarket next to the wine shop. Come join me so that we can meet in person.

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    2. Thanks QP. May I know is there a schedule (online??) on the type of demos given? I would like to learn how to make savory stuff..

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    3. Yes click on Jaya Grocers in my post, it will bring you to their FB. I don't think they have a demo schedule for the whole month but when there is a new demo, they will publish in their FB.

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  4. Will need to go for one of these cooking demos soon and admire the eye candy.. oops I mean food. LOL

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    1. Just noticed there is a salted caramel cake demo this week..... mmmmmmm so tempted.

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  5. oh wow, this sounds amazing, very delicous vegetarian dish! you have a very handsome son, must be strange to have young women refer to him as eye candy!!!The cooking demo's sound really great, we never have anything like that here, sometimes store employees do sample trays of new products but no real chefs, Have a wonderful easter weekend

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    1. Thanks Laurie for compliment to my son. haha, nowadays young people really got a very creative way to description. Wishing you and yours Happy Easter:D

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  6. I ve been to the Cooking House too few times... love the place!

    I cant blame the girls for calling your son an 'eye candy'! He simply fits the bill! ;)

    Happy Good Friday QP!

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    1. Thanks and Happy Friday to you and family. I have to check out Cooking house soon. haha, ya I have to admit that Nicholas is a good looking guy:D

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  7. I wish my store offered cooking demos. This lasagna sounds wonderful.

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    1. It is truly wonderful to see free demos by chefs. We can learn a thing or two from them for sure.

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  8. They are both handsome chefs....ooh la la lasagna

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    1. Angie, you forgot to say OOH LA LA, those EYE CANDIES! hahahaha

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  9. lol....nowadays Chef must be good looking also....ha ha ha

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    1. I am not sure if it is a prerequisite that one has to be good looking to be a chef but then looks like there are many young and handsome chefs in the market nowadays.

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  10. So many steps in preparing for lasagna @_@

    I opt to eat at the restaurant then.... where do these handsome chefs work, you mentioned before? Will go there for the handsome chefs, opps, I mean the food :D

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    1. Yes, a lot of steps but simple steps. You can do it. Hahaha sure or not just for the food?? LOL!

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  11. Your son is definitely a handsome young man! As for you, Veronica - you have such a tough time meeting all these handsome young chefs... you lucky girl! Thank you for sharing them with us.xx

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    1. hahaha Yes, I am a lucky old lady who still know how to appreciate Eye Candies. LOL! XOXO

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  12. Lasagna is not difficult, just a little time consuming with the preparation and different steps. I think the owner of this store is a good business man getting people to watch the demonstrations and then buy the ingredients at his store. Lasagne is delicious though and I am sure those that make the effort will enjoy, it is even better with homemade pasta!

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    1. Yes, not difficult at all but just a bit more work than cooking pasta. It is a very good marketing strategy for the supermarket.

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  13. Quay PO Quay Po, I feel like I'm an out-dated & old aunt now, I also don't know what eye candy means! So is this the same place where you placed special order for your rhubarbs? Coz I recall that Sonia said you had to make a special order to get this in her posting? I always have bad memories about things like where have I put my keys or my girl's dummy but very strange, I could remember this!

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    1. Yes for the Rubbarb I ordered because I wanted a lot to keep some in my fridge and give some to my blogger friends. You are too young to have bad memories lah.

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  14. I've learnt a new word today - eye candy. I had lasagna once many years ago. Kinda forgotten how it tasted like. Haha....have to give it a try again when I have the chance. Hubby never like cheese......hmmm......can't share with him.

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  15. Wow..i didnt know Jaya Grocer can be that happening.

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    1. Yee Ling, come and check out the eye candies. OOPS I mean the food. hahahha

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  16. Mmm mmm..now I know why you said eye candy. That is really a good marketing gimmick you know? To draw the crowd there. haha. Although I know they are established chef. Didn't know that chef can be so handsome too! And of course your son is also an eye candy that's for sure..;)

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    1. A brilliant marketing strategy to lure in targeted customers. Those who love to cook and bake. Nowadays there are many young handsome chefs. I have seen a lot of them. Thanks for your compliment to Nick.

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  17. Chef Ryan is too China Apek looking for me ... but then, what do I know, I'm just an old aunty. :)
    Do attendees get to eat what's been demo-ed? Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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    1. Aiyoh, why you call people China Apek lah. You are a TRUE Quay Po lah! You cracked me up!! LOL! Yes, you get to eat what were demo-ed. Come lah join me tomorrow. I will be there at 3pm.

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  18. Oh my goodness ~ your blog photos make me very hungry!! Yummy!
    Thank you for visiting me the other day.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

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    1. You are welcome Catherine. You have a nice space and I enjoyed myself there. Thanks for dropping by.

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  19. Replies
    1. That is my favorite photo of Nick singing.

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  20. I would love to watch him cook everyday! Lasagna is always good to make, vegetables make such a good one.

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    1. Same here:D I watched him again yesterday, making salty caramel chocolate cake.

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  21. I love cooking demos & what a treat, u lucky eye-candied devil! Hahaha! Am I a fast learner of what?? Hey, will u be attending the blogging event in Malacca sometime in May?

    Veron, do chk out my new post Limpets, The Poor Man’s Abalone & at the same time, take a look at my newly revamped Cooking Page & let me know if u like the new change. Thks, dear!

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    1. Shirley, I like to be called lucky eye-candied devil better than Aunty Lucy, hahaha. No, I don't think I am attending the blogging event in Malacca. I kind of lost interest in that. I have checked your post out last night from my Iphone so did not leave a comment yet. Will go back and do this later and check on your Cooking Page at the same time:D

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  22. What a fantastic lasagna recipe from a very cute chef...it looks delicious!

    Hope you have a great weekend my friend.

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    1. I wonder the recipe was fantastic because of the cute chef or because it is really fantastic. hehe Jokes aside, it is a good recipe and the lasagna taste really good. I had a very relaxing Sunday and hope you enjoyed yours too.

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  23. yes, it isnt weird at all to do a lasagna demo cos i think a lot of us do not actually know what to do with that..me is one of them! i would like to bring home these ' candy men!' LOL!

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    1. hahaha, you cracked me up my dear Lena. You want to bring home those "candy men"?? What are you going to do with them?? LOL!

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  24. cooking demo by the eye candy. nice experience:D

    the vegetarian lasagna looks good and hearty to me. I wonder how I could convince the carnivores at home to eat this without winching.

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    1. Bribe them into take a bite and taste will do the rest:D

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  25. Great post..and delish lasagna! Now you got me craving it..lol! by the way I am loving your photos...

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    1. Sandra, yes, the lasagna taste great. Thanks for loving my photos. I hope to do better.

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  26. I just want you to know how much, I enjoy, reading your posts. They are delightful.

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    1. Bizzy, thanks so much for your kind words. That is so encouraging. HUGS.

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  27. Hi, I bumped into your blog when I was browsing thru Cooking House baking classes and saw Ryan's salted caramel cake demo class at Jaya Grocer Empire Shopping Mall. I goggled it and your blog appeared on the top.
    I was at Empire that particular Sat attending bday party but was not aware of this baking demo class.
    I'm wondering if you attended that salted caramel cake class and if you would post the blog and resipe on it.

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    1. Yes, I did and the post on Ryan's salted caramel chocolate cake will be up soon. You might want to come back and check next week:D

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