Monthly Archives: May 2012
I remember the first time i made this recipe , i thought boy .. this meal is a lot of work !! But now that i know my way around the kitchen , what should i do first and moving on to the next step while preparing other things , it’s really not that bad . Wasn’t hard and well .. though it took a little time , but when you prep everything , it will go quick . You can also prepare this meal , part of it , a day ahead of time . Such as , make the pie dough ahead of time , you can make it a day before . Then you can roast the chicken earlier that day .. by then everything will go pretty quick .
Chicken pot pie is like 1 pot meal , i don’t think it’s necessary to serve it with any other thing , it has the vegetables , it has the chicken which provides your protein , and it has the pie crust .. those yummy pie crust .. So , even if you have to spend couple hours in the kitchen , it’s really worth it . This meal is particularly comforting during cold winter months .
The Recipe :
For the pastry dough :
3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 c – 2/3 c of ice cold water
In a food processor , mix the flour , salt and baking powder . Add the shortening and butter , pulse few times until it becomes crumbly . Then with the motor running , add the ice cold water , the dough should started to come together , don’t pulse too long , the dough will be too turn out hard ( pie crust ) . Just enough , so when you press the dough together it will stay together . Then shape into a ball / disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes .Set aside , use until it’s ready to be used .
Meanwhile .. prepare the chicken
3 splits chicken breast with bone in , rub with little olive oil , sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper . Bake in the oven at 350 F , for about 30-35 minutes , if you have to bake longer , no more than 40 minutes or your chicken will get too dry .Once it’s done , set aside , let it cool enough to handle . Then cut the chicken into cubes . Set aside .
Let’s get the filling ready ..
2 large carrots , diced , then blanch for about 3 minutes , then set aside
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 large onion , chopped
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
almost 5 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup of heavy cream
salt and pepper
In a pot , or dutch oven , heat up the olive oil , then add onion , cook about 7-8 minutes on medium low heat , then add 3/4 cup of flour , cook for 2 minutes , keep stirring . Then add the chicken broth while whisking , it should started to get thick , and keep stirring until it boils , then add the salt pepper , heavy cream , chicken , and carrots and peas . Simmer for about 10-15 minutes , stirring often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom .
Let’s assemble it ..
In a big bowl or pie plate or ramekins ( which i used ) , add the filling in , then cover with the pie crust ( that has been rolled out and cut into the right size to cover the filling ) . Then brush with beaten egg and bake at 350 F for about an hour ( for pie plate ) , or 30 minutes for ramekins .
Flat bread pizza is really not hard to make , i like it , because the regular pizza gets too filling for me , big thick crust .. is really not my favourite . This recipe here is really easy and not only you can make them for pizza , you can also make it for crackers , or dip it in hummus , it’s good . Speaking of hummus .. i miss hummus !!!
You need :
1 3/4 cup of flour
2 1/4 tsp.of active yeast
pinch of salt
herbs of your choice ( garlic powder , thyme , onion powder .. whatever .. or just leave it plain is alright too )
3/4 cup of water
1. In a large bowl , place all the dry ingredients together , then mix well .
2. Add the warm water into the flour mixture , mixing with wooden spoon or mixer , whatever you choose , it eventually forms a ball , then take it out and starts kneading . If it gets too sticky then add little flour . Keep kneading for 5 minutes until it becomes elastic . Let it sit in warm place , cover , for 1 hour to rise .
3. Take it out , then divide into 8 small balls and flatten with your hands to make your flat bread . Then heat up a skillet on medium heat , place 1 flat bread at a time , cook for 2 minutes , turn the other side , cook for 2 minutes , then remove . And start build your topping for pizza .
So , after making pizza dough 2 days ago , i had 2 balls of dough laying around . This morning i turned 1 into stromboli , and this afternoon while cooking dinner , i turned the other dough into breadsticks .Now if you don’t have the dough ready , it’ll take a while to make and honestly , it’s not worth it , because you’re worrying about what’s for dinner , and then you have your hands full in the kitchen making the bread dough for hours , well you have to make the dough then let it rise , and shaped it and let it rise again .. so of course that part takes a lot of time . Different story , if you have the dough ready few nights before , all you had to do just take it out shape it , and let’s work on it !!
I assume you already have the dough on hand , if you don’t , please check it out here
You need :
3 tbsp.melted unsalted butter
1/4 c. of grated parmesan cheese ( use food processor and pulse it )
1. Divide the dough into small balls , probably you will end up with 12 or 16 balls , you can make a large sticks or mini sticks , whatever you want . Then roll into rope , place on a parchment paper . Cover and place in a warm area and let it rise . About an hour .
2. Preheat oven to 400 F , and then brush the bread with melted butter . then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and little salt .Bake about 12-15 minutes .
3. Once it’s done , brush with little more butter , and then sprinkle with salt-garlic mixture . Serve .
Don’t be intimidated to make pizza dough , a lot of us are thinking , oh i can’t do it , bread dough scares me !! I used to think this way too Really , it’s not as bad as you think , and it actually is really fun making bread dough , in this case pizza dough . Pizza dough is a lot more easier than dough with eggs , and milk , and butter , which could be messy . This pizza dough is really easy to make . If you have standing mixer , that’s even better , but this tutorial is for manual only , which means you’re going to use only your hand , knead the dough with your hand . Standing mixer comes in handy though , i have kitchenaid standing mixer and it’s been a really good help making bread dough , therefore i never really kneaded it myself . Until recently we relocated and while waiting for selling our house , i bought myself a hand mixer , since i left my kitchen stuff at home still . The hand mixer comes with a bread hook but of course they’re not even half as strong as standing mixer So , i am left without any choices but to make bread dough manually . This is when i found out , making it without a machine is not really hard , it is easy and the result is really good !
In a large bowl , place 3 1/2 cups of bread flour , 1 tsp. sugar , 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast and pinch of salt . Mix them together , with spoon or hand , whatever , just mix them up .
2.Mix the ingredients with your hands or spoon . Mix well .
3. Mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water ( about 100 F ) , and 2 tbsp. of olive oil .
4. Pour the olive oil and water mix into the flour mix .
5. If you have regular hand mixer , use that to mix the dough . If not , you can use wooden spoon to mix the dough .
6. When you use your mixer or spoon , you can only go so far with the dough , because it started to get heavy , and you might burn the motor of your mixer ( unless you have standing kitchen , but then again we won’t learn about this , right ? ) . So , stop with the mixer or spoon , and start to use your fingers .
7. When you mix the dough with your hand in that bowl , you probably have to add more flour , add little at a time , don’t dump a large amount into the dough just because it’s so sticky , remember add little at a time , until the dough is not too sticky , but not too dry either . If you add too much , the dough will become too dry and your bread won’t be good . Keep adding as you need it while you mix / knead the dough with your hand .
8. It is time to remove it and place it on counter top when the dough cleans the side of the bowl . It should not be sticky and not dry either .
9. I like to knead my dough on counter top instead of the bowl , it gives me more space to work with . Use your strength from your arms while you knead the dough , turn the dough and knead , over and over . If you find this too sticky to your finger , then add little flour . Keep kneading non stop for 6-8 minutes .Work those muscles !!
10. After kneading it for 8 minutes , your dough should be elastic . It’s not too dry , but not too sticky either , you should be able to pull the dough gently and won’t tear , and yet , it doesn’t stick to your finger . It’s elastic .
11. Now , add 1 tbsp. of olive oil in your large bowl , then wipe it all over with paper towel . And place your dough in the bowl , make sure you turn it around so it won’t stuck to the bowl later on . Let it sit in a warm place for an hour to rise .
12. Now , after an hour , this is how your dough looks like . Amazing , isn’t it ?
13. Once it’s done rising , let’s take the dough out from the bowl , DO NOT PUNCH IT DOWN ! Just take it out , like you’re pouring something out from a bowl , it should slide out easily because of the olive oil around the bowl .
14. Divide the bread dough into 2 big balls , and wrap it with plastic wrap if you don’t plan to use it right away . Store in the fridge , it should last about 4 days .
Okay , if you plan on to make pizza crust , you can roll it out , and bake it for 15 minutes at 425 F , then you can add your topping , or if you don’t want to use it right away , you can freeze this crust , for future use . Of course you have to wrap it really good to prevent freezer burn . When you’re ready to bake it just thaw it out before adding your topping .
You can also use pizza dough for Calzone and Stromboli , just roll them up into rectangle shape on a parchment paper , then you can add your fillings for calzone and wrap it . For stromboli , add your fillings and roll it like jelly roll cake . Check out my other entry for calzone and stromboli for the recipe .
I love fried rice , my husband loves fried rice too . Growing up in Indonesia , we ate a lot of fried rice , my grandma used to make this big batch of fried rice for breakfast , and then she would call my mom or my aunts , then words would spread . ” grandma is making fried rice , come over for breakfast ” So , we usually stopped by , because grandma made big batch of fried rice . But that was Indonesian Chinese Fried Rice ..
What i am posting here is Thai Fried Rice , they’re slightly different than the fried rice that i grew up with . It has been bugging my mind for quite some time , ever since we lived in Kansas about 7 years ago , and made our first trip to Thai restaurant . Jay ordered spicy fried rice , and it was really good . The color isn’t as rich as indonesian fried rice , and all i can think of .. that they probably just use soy sauce .. i never thought that they used Fish sauce !!! But then again .. don’t they use fish sauce a lot in thai food ?
I was supposed to use thai basil .. if i had made this dish back in my house in Indiana .. i would have been able to add the thai basil , that i grew in my garden , but i couldn’t find any in any stores over here , i settled with italian basil just for a decoration .Just so you know , when you mix the sauce , it’s not going to smell good , because of the fish sauce has a very pungent smell . If you are okay with that smell then that’s great , if it bothers you , like it does to me , add sesame oil at the end of cooking , it helps to eliminate the pungent smell of fish sauce .
The recipe :
2 chicken thighs / or 1 chicken breast , boneless , cut in strips
1/2 onion , thinly slice
1 red bell pepper , thinly slice
lots of bird’s eye chilis , i used about 10
10 garlic cloves
5 tbsp. of oyster sauce
3 tbsp. of fish sauce
2-3 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. of sugar
sesame seed for decorations
about 5 cups of rice ( day old would be best choice )
1. In a small bowl , mix sugar , oyster sauce and fish sauce .
2. In a wok , heat 1-2 tbsp. of vegetable oil / canola oil , saute minced garlic and chopped pepper , for a minute , then add the bell pepper , onion , chicken , cook until the chicken is half way done , then add the sauce in . Cook again until chicken is totally done .
3. Add the rice , stir well , then add soy sauce , keep stirring or else it’ll be burnt , cook until it’s mixed well and warm .Add few drops of sesame oil . Sesame oil helps to omit the fish sauce smell . Serve , sprinkle with sesame seed .
Chicken piccata is super easy meal that you can fix within half an hour and you should be able to have your meals ready . People who loves lemons should def.try this dish , it is lemony , tangy , but you can always tone it down , by adding a little sugar . I also used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts , but i am sure it’ll be healthier if you use chicken breasts and omit the butter .
You need :
2 lbs of boneless chicken , use meat tenderizer , pound it flat
salt and pepper
flour to dredge the chicken
2/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of chicken broth
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper , then dredge the chicken on the flour . Add into the skillet ( with heated olive oil and 1 tbsp. of butter ) . .When the skillet sizzles , add the chicken , cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until it turns brown . Remove from the skillet , set aside .
2. Add lemon juice and chicken broth , bring to boil , scrapping up the brown bits , then return the chicken into the skillet with lemon juice and broth. Simmer for 8 minutes . Place the chicken on the plate and then pour little bit of the sauce . Serve with mashed potato or pasta .
Actually , there are not much difference between the two . Both are made with pizza dough , you can either use sausage , pepperoni , salami , any vegetables you like . And both are good , the only difference is , with calzone , you just wrap up the meat with the dough , while stromboli , you would have to roll it like a jelly roll style . I don’t add pizza sauce inside either one of them , because we usually like to just dip them into the sauce . You can skip the sauce too and it tastes just as good .
Recipe for the pizza dough is here .
This is the calzone , you can make small individual calzone or one big one like the picture below .
This one is stromboli
Pastel Goreng is Indonesian snack , i used to eat this a lot when i was younger . Mom never made it herself though , we used to stop by at this one restaurant , and bought it from them . They’re delicious , now that i think about it .. it is similar to Empanadas , not so much similar to Calzone , because Calzone is using bread dough , while empanadas , has a crust almost like pie crust , similar to Pastel Goreng . The filling though is totally different , but then again you are free to use any fillings you want to . I used chicken , carrots , peas , green beans and rice vermicelli ( if i happen to have it on hand ) . This time i didn’t have rice vermicelli on hand , so i skipped it .
As for the wrapper , it would have been a lot easier and saving so much time if i had pasta maker , since i didn’t have one , i just used rolling pin and rolled it as thin as i can and cutting it using a small bowl . Not as bad as i thought it would be , so i am pretty happy with the result
These are the pastels before they’re being deep fried :
For the wrapper , you need :
300 grams of all purpose flour
25 grams cornstartch
25 grams rice flour / powder
salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
50 grams of melted margarine
100 ml. of water
1.In a large bowl , mix dry ingredients together . Set aside . In a small bowl , mix the water , egg and the margarine .
2. Make a well in the center and pour the wet ingredients into the well , mix it with wooden spoon , and finish up with your hands . Knead it until it becomes a smooth ball .
3. If you have pasta maker , use it , if you don’t , divide the dough into 3 or 4 small balls , and then roll it out with your rolling pin , until it’s very thin where you can see your fingers when you lift up the dough , but not too thin where it might tear . It needs to be strong enough to be folded .Cut the dough about 10 cm diameter circle , and then add your fillings . Shape just like the picture .
For filling , you need :
1/2 lb of ground chicken
1/4 lb of chopped shrimp
2 large eggs , diced small
boiled potatoes , diced small
salt and pepper
shallots and garlic
1. In a skillet , heat up vegetable oil , add shallots and garlic ( chopped , minced ) , then add green beans and carrots ( also chopped well ) , and then add chicken , cook until no more pink .
2. Add chicken cube , frozen peas and mix well .
3. Add little flour , about 1 tbsp. and cook for about 1 minute , then add water or milk , it should thicken up really well . Simmer for a little bit , you don’t want it to be too dry . It needs to be a little moist .
Living in the south give us the advantage of having fresh vegetables almost all year round , not to mention it’s cheap ! Back when we were living up north , we could only do this during spring and summer , where we got to buy from farmer’s market at a great price . During winter time , it’ll be too expensive and the vegetables wouldn’t be as good as when they’re in season .
So , given that , we decided to make fresh veggies soup tonight , and it has all the yummy vegetables in it ,and it’s so easy to make too . Preparation doesn’t take that long either , so .. here it is .. basically the picture shows you the vegetables i am using in this recipe .
You need :
2 large carrots , diced
2-3 ears of corn, scrapped
4-5 plum tomatoes , diced
2 large potatoes , diced
3-4 garlic cloves
2 leeks , chopped
8 cups of vegetable broth , or chicken broth
1. Heat the oil in the pot , then add leeks , and garlic , cook for about 4 minutes , then add carrots , potatoes and green beans . Let it cook for another 5 minutes .
2. After that , add vegetable or chicken broth , and bring to boil . Once it boils , add tomatoes and corn , and simmer for 25 minutes .
My mom used to make this a lot when she was still alive , i’ve watched her , i’ve helped her , but never really made them myself until today . It is perkedel daging , made from potatoes that were fried , then mashed . Some families , such as mine , like to add ground beef in there to make it more hearty , and therefore , you can just eat them with rice , nothing else , and you’ll full already ! Or it can be just potatoes , without any meat added , and it can be a side dish . Either way with meat or not , it is delicious , eaten alone as a snack or with rice . Whatever you want .
You need :
4-5 large potatoes , i used yukon gold potatoes , diced
1/4 lb of extra lean ground beef
salt and pepper
fried shallot ( optional )
1. Heat up the oil , .once it’s hot , drop your potatoes in the oil carefully , and cook until they’re golden brown . Remove and drain from the oil using paper towel , do the same with the rest of the potatoes .
2. Once the potatoes cool a little bit , smash it with potato smasher or food processor , then add 2 egg yolks ,salt , pepper , nutmeg , and mix it , taste it , make sure you have enough spices , then add your ground beef , mix well , and shape into ball and flatten it , do the same with the rest of mixture .
3. Drop into the vegetable oil again and cook until it’s golden brown .