Category Archives: Food-Main Dishes

Spicy Pulled Pork Pop

Lately i have been a fan of a quick easy and last forever meal .. I just hardly had the time to spend in the kitchen with running around here and there , and homeschooling , and the new hobby of mine of knitting . The kitchen took a step back , but that doesn’t mean i can forgo my family’s meal . I still am a make from scratch kind of a girl , but i love how easy some meal can be prepared but it still delicious and nutritious . Not that this recipe is very healthy for you .. since it has pop / soda in it .

Sounds crazy ? well i made ham with coca cola before , so the idea of cooking pork shoulder or pork butt with dr.pepper to me wasn’t so crazy . The recipe was found online and i’ve made it 3 times so far . My family likes it , i like it because it has a good taste and it lasts a long time .. you can make pulled pork sandwich , you can turn this into taco , you can turn it into burrito bowl , just by adding pico de gallo that is super easy to make , and warm up some shell and make some pinto beans . So it is very versatile , or you can just eat it with rice and vegetables .. so there .. what more could you ask ?

pulled pork pop

 

Ingredients :

About 5-6 lbs of pork shoulder or pork butt , trim a little of the fat but dot remove all of them

24 oz of dr.pepper or any store brand would do

2 large cans of chipotle in adobo sauce , if you don’t like spicy just use 1 , or small can . I like the spiciness

2 tbsp. of brown sugar

salt and pepper

2 large onions , quartered

Throw all these ingredients in a large dutch oven , put the lid back on . Turn your oven to 300 F , and throw the dutch oven in the oven , let it slow cook for at least 6 hours . By 6 hours your pork should be so tender , and will fall apart . Serve in a sandwich buns or make taco or burrito etc ..

Breakfast Burrito

The other day i was invited to a friend’s house for a breakfast . She made us breakfast burrito , which was very yummy . I never had breakfast burrito , but as the name calls , it contains tortilla shell ,with scrambled eggs , potatoes , chorizo and salsa . It was delicious . So this morning i thought i should give it a try , beside my family loves chorizo . It turns out really good , not to mention it’s so easy , barely anything to it . The chorizo gives out all the flavor you need so you don’t even need to add any more seasoning .

I added onion and cilantro into my breakfast burrito , i would make the salsa , but as i went to pick up tomatillo from local grocery store , they ran out of hot peppers , they had nothing left , no serrano , no jalapeno .. so i put the tomatillos back and i didn’t buy a thing for the salsa . We ended up having the burrito with tabasco , good enough for now .

You need :

a package of chorizo

1/2 large onion , chopped finely

4 potatoes , skin on , diced very small

4-5 large eggs , beaten

Tortilla shells

Brown the onion , then add potatoes , cook about 5 minutes , add the chorizo and cook until the potatoes are tender and chorizo is done . Once you see fat on the skillet , you can crank up the heat to high heat to burn all the fat . Then add eggs into the same skillet , keep stirring or else you will end up with omelette . That’s it !! Serve on warm tortilla shells !

breakfast burrito

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo

This was our dinner last night .I think i’ve made them few times already , just forgot to blog about it . Although i don’t know how i forgot .. because this meal is totally awesome . Months back i borrowed a cooking book by Nigella Lawson from the library . She used to have a show on the cooking channel and i used to watch her show .

One of the recipe that attracts me in that book was this spanish chicken with chorizo . Me and my family are a big fan of chorizo . This spanish sausage is full of flavor that would burst out in your mouth and gives so much flavor when you cook it together with chicken . Not only that it has an awesome taste , it is super easy , everyone can cook this and will come our delicious ! Note one thing though , make sure you have the best tasting chorizo because that is where most of the flavor comes from . I adjust a little with the original recipe .

spanish chicken

 

Ingredients :

About 8 chicken thighs , i chose and always choose chicken thighs for braising and long cooking because they have the best taste and won’t dry out like chicken breasts , but it is your choice .

8 small shallots or 4 large shallots , or you can even use red onions if you’d like

2 packages of chorizo , or you can just use 1 , whatever you want

4 medium size of potatoes  , skin on

smoked paprika , kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

So all these are your ingredients , just rub the chicken with olive oil , skin side up , add the chorizo all over , crumble it with your hands , and add potatoes , and onions on top .In fact i was actually thinking maybe i should add brussel sprouts and bury it between the chicken , because an hour at 425 F cooking will totally smush and burn the brussel sprouts LOL . But anyway , throw them in the oven at 425 F and roast them for an hour or so , once in a while use turkey baster to baste the chicken with the juices that comes out .

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken is really not that hard to make . I’ve heard about jerk chicken quite a bit , read about it , but never really tried it . Until finally yesterday i decided to try to make this popular dish . First you make the marinate for this chicken , and don’t ask me why they call it jerk . And the ingredients are not that complicated , probably most of you should have it in the pantry already . Garlic , ginger , onion , allspice , if you don’t have allspice , you can always make your own allspice , which is with ratio 1:1 of cinnamon and clove . I used bone in chicken thighs , you can always use whole cut up chicken also . The recipe can be broiled , but i grilled them last night , the smells was so delicious , and the who would have thought combination of cinnamon , cloves and ginger garlic could be so delicious !! Serve it with rice , or you can grill plantains for a real jamaican dish !

jamaican jerk

Ingredients :

About 6-8 pieces of bone in chicken thighs , with skin on , or you can use whole cut up chicken also .

7 garlic cloves

3 inches of fresh ginger root

3 green onions

2 tbsp. of ground cinnamon

2 tbsp. of ground allspice ( replace this with 1 tbsp. of cloves , and 1 tbsp. of ground cinnamon )

2 tsp. of salt

35 grinds of fresh black pepper

juice of 2 limes and the zest

1 habanero ( i used 2 jalapenos yesterday but i can hardly tasted the heat , so habanero next time )

2 tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves

2 tbsp. of dried oregano

2 tbsp. of canola oil

1. Blend all ingredients in food processor until mixture becomes smooth and pasty , marinade your chicken thighs with the spices . Rub all over the chicken and let it marinade for at least an hour , up to overnight .

2. Grill the chicken skin side up for 25 minutes , then turn it around and grill for another 25 . Make sure the juices run clear to make sure the chicken is totally done .

jerk chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhani , is one of my favorite Indian dish . My husband loves it , and my son loves it as well . So what’s the reason not to re-create this wonderful , rich , and delicious dish at home ?

This probably the easy way to create chicken makhani , i will someday will do it the right way with fresh tomatoes and all , but for now , this actually works pretty good , and i was quite surprised with the taste , pretty much similar to the buffer that we usually go to .

butter chicken

 

Ingredients :

About 2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs , cut into bite size pieces and then marinated with 1-2 tbsp. of garam masala , salt and pepper , set aside .

For the butter sauce :

1 tbsp. Olive oil

2 small shallots , chopped

1/2 large onion , chopped

2-3 tbsp. of ginger garlic paste ( i just chopped garlic and ginger and then throw them into the food grinder to make it very pasty )

1 tsp. of lemon juice ( optional ) , i found the use of the lemon juice really makes the dish tangier than it should be .. next time i probably either cut down half or not even adding it

2 tbsp. of unsalted butter

1 bay leaves

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

1 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaves

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. of cayenne pepper

1 cup of tomato puree

1/2 c of greek yogurt

1/2 c. of heavy cream

1/2 c. of half and half

1. In a large skillet , heat up the oil , and then add chopped shallot and onion until translucent , add ginger garlic paste , saute for another minute , add lemon juice if using , and butter , then add the spices , cook for another minute until aromatic . Add  the tomato puree , mix well until almost boiling . Add yogurt and half half and heavy cream , let it simmer for 20 mins for the flavor to blend .

2. Meanwhile , cook and brown the chicken in the wok , and once it’s done , add the sauce into the chicken in the wok , and bring to boil , then simmer again , cook about 20 mins until the flavor combined .

3. Serve with basmati rice , and sprinkle with chopped cilantro .

 

Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Vegetables

I never grilled before , grilling is my husband’s area. He’s really good at grilling , but yesterday , was Father’s day and although i got him some present for Father’s day , i still wanted to make something for him . Something that i never done before , i made him a boston cream pie for the dessert , and i asked him if he would teach me how to grill . He said sure . So , while i was busy preparing the side dishes , which actually takes longer to cook than grilling the steak . I baked the potatoes , wrapped in foil for an hour , and then i sauteed our own home grown green beans with caramelized onion , and i roasted the brussel sprouts . All of these , took time , compared to grilling the steak .

My husband told me to season the steak , i’ve heard this a lot from watching cooking show , good steak doesn’t need to much of spices to complicate the flavor , all you need is a generous salt and pepper . So i seasoned the steak with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper , and rubbed it all over the steak . Oh i also took the steak our an hour before grilling , to bring it down to room temperature .

Then it’s time to grill .. just place it on the grill , for 5 minutes undisturbed , the only thing was .. it started to smoke like crazy .. which means i could have burnt the steak instead of grilling it . LOL .. Get ready for water , i removed the steak to the side , and sprayed some water into the burner , thank goodness !!  Time to flip the steak , and grilled for 5 more minutes .

And now time to check , if the steak was done or not .. we like it slightly pink on the inside , not welldone but no raw . It has to be cooked well  , with slight pink inside , it can be juicy and delicious instead of dry steak , who likes dry steak . Yuck ..

So .. i grilled my rib eye steaks for father’s day to perfection !!  It was so juice and tender and little pink inside , just the way we want it  !!

grilled rib eye steak

Shrimp Rolls

I need to catch up with my food entry , there are so many food items that needed to be uploaded . So , here is shrimp roll , i believe you can always replace the shrimp to a fancier entry such as lobster meat . It tasted just fine when i used the shrimps for it , in fact it was quite good . This recipe can be considered a healthy food recipe . I used greek yogurt for the majority instead of mayonaisse . You can serve this in a hot dog roll , or sub roll or even toasted wheat bread , whatever your choice will be fine .

 

 

shrimp rolls1

Ingredients : 

1 lb of large shrimp ( you can buy the cooked shrimp , but i prefer to buy it fresh or frozen shrimp and then cook it myself )

1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt

3 tbsp. of mayonaisse

1 stalk celery , chopped

2 green onions , chopped

pinch of smoked paprika

salt ,  pepper

1 tbsp. of lemon juice

hot dog buns or bread

1. If you buy cooked shrimp , then you can skip this step . For fresh shrimp , peel the shrimps and clean the shrimps , then bring water to boil , once it comes to boil , drop the shrimps in , for 60-75 seconds  , the shrimps cook very fast ,  you don’t want to overcook it or it will be so chewy . Once it turns orange everywhere , you should bring them out from the pot , and rinse it with cold water for few seconds to stop the cooking . Set aside .

2. In a medium bowl , mix the mayonaisse , greek yogurt and celery , green onion , paprika , salt and pepper and lemon juice , mix to combine . Add the cooked shrimps in , mix well . Then place in the refrigerator at least few hours .

3. To serve , brush with olive oil on inside the buns and grill or place on a skillet for few minutes . Add the shrimps and serve .

Amish Beef and Noodles

My husband was born and raised in Midwest , and beef and noodles is one of his favorite meal . I have only cooked beef and noodles a few times . But since we left Midwest couple of years ago , i never made them over here in South . Even back then , i hardly cooked beef and noodles . So , this weekend , he asked me if i would make him beef and noodles , and sure i said . After cooking so long , i was quite sure cooking beef and noodles shouldn’t be a hassle . It was pretty easy . And i was right .. it was easy even now . Beef and Noodles is a famous dish by the Amish people , according to my husband . I didn’t believe him , he said he was being serious , then i googled it and i believed it was true .

My beef and noodles turned out really good , since both my husband and my son said this should be a $40 dinner ! And it was so good , they both had the second plate on top of having the first place with home made dinner rolls . The beef that i picked was a good quality beef . And i do believe to make a good beef and nooldes , a good beef is required . And then it needs to be cooked slow and steady , and i simmered in the dutch oven for about 3 hours , the beef came out very tender , and one more key , not to be so cheap on the seasonings . Fresh black pepper , kosher salt , i even added red chili flakes . So anyway here is my beef and noodles

beef and noodles

 

Ingredients : 

2 lbs of beef boneless chuck roast

5 garlic cloves , minced

1 large onion , chopped

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs of thyme leaves

beef stock

home made noodles

1. Cut up the beef into smaller chunks , then sprinkle with fresh black pepper and kosher salt , mix well . Be generous with your seasonings .

2. Heat up olive oil , be ready to sear the beef , you don’t want to boil it , you want to sear them . After searing on all sides , remove and in the same pot , saute the onion until translucent , and then add garlic , bay leaves and thyme leaves . At this point you can add white wine if you would like to and scrape off the bottom .. or you can skip this wine , and continue by adding the meat back into the pot , with beef broth . I added about 4-5 cups of beef broth , enough to cover up the beef , then bring to boil , and then cover with the lid and simmer for 3 hours . Stirring once in a while .

3. When the beef is really tender , then you are ready to add in your home made noodles , make sure you have enough broth to cook the noodles , if not , add more water before cooking the noodles , and if you do add a lot of water you might have to adjust your seasonings .

4. After cooking the noodles , the broth should be thicken up , if it’s not thick enough ,  you can always add cornstarch to help to thickened it up . Chop some parsley and then sprinkle on the beef and noodles and serve with dinner rolls .

beef and noodles1

For home made noodles :

4 large eggs

2 tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. salt

3 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

If you don’t have pasta maker you still can make this home made noodles manually . Make a well in the center of the flour then add water salt and eggs , beat the eggs , then start mixing the flour into the eggs mixture until incorporated . Then knead the dough , let it sit for 20 minutes . Roll the dough with rolling pin until it’s quite thin but not too thin . Let the noodles dry and ready to be used when  your beef and noodles are done cooking .

noodles1 noodles2

 

Citrus Braised Lamb Shank

I was on my facebok page when  i ran across this recipe from a company that sells lots of kitchen stuff . I thought that was interesting , i believed i never tried lamb shank , i did however tried veal shank for osso bucco not too long ago . So , i thought .. i’d like to try it . It wasn’t so hard , the smell was wonderful though , still next time i probably will try minus the citrus . The recipe calls for lemon , orange and lime , family of citrus into the sauce . However i do believe , just the flavor from garlic , onion , celery and carrot will be enough without the ctirus . It is different with citrus in lamb shank , if that’s what you’re looking for then i would suggest , go ahead , add the citrus .

citrus lamb shanks

 

Ingredients :

About 2 lbs of lamb shanks , ask the butcher to cut it

salt and pepper

In a large deep skillet , heat olive oil , until it’s really smoky hot . Salt and pepper the shanks generously , then sear the shanks on all side . Make sure you put it on a high heat , you don’t want to steam the shank , you want to sear them , until they have nice golden brown color on all side . Then remove to a plate . Do the same with the same with the rest , don’t overcrowd the skillet .

3 stalks of celery , chopped

1 large carrot , chopped

1 large onion , chopped

3 cloves of garlic , minced

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs of thyme

1 1/2 tbsp. of tomato paste

2 cups of white wine ( i didn’t have white so i used red )

1 cup of chicken broth

In the same skillet , after searing the shanks . Add little more olive oil , then saute the vegetables , carrot ,celery and onion about 5 minutes . Then add garlic , and the herbs in , stir about 1 minute . Add the tomato paste , stir for another minute . After that add the white wine along with the broth , and juice from lemon and lime . Bring to boil , and return the shanks into the deep skillet .

Cover and cook the shanks in the oven , at 250 F , for at least 2 1/2 hours . Turning the shanks every hour or so . After 2 1/2 hours , take the them out , and place the shanks in the platter . Pour the broth into a large pitcher , let it sit for a minute or so , the fat should rise up , using the turkey baster , take out the juice from the bottom , and place it in a medium sauce pan . Bring to boil to thicken , then add the juice from orange , adjust with the seasoning . Pour the sauce on top of the lamb shanks on the platter . Serve warm , with rice or orzo .

Beer Can Roasted Chicken

This one recipe is super easy and simple . I made this chicken in the oven instead of the grill . Meat thermometer helps if you have one , since you tend to overcook chicken and yet you don’t want to have an under cooked chicken on your plate . Make sure the thermometer reaches 165 F before taking the chicken out from the oven . And place the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken which is the thighs area and don’t hit the bone or else it will give you false temperature .

My chicken turned out with crispy skin the way i like it .. and very juice meat inside . I served them with home made mashed potatoes and seasoned blanched green beans

beer can chicken1

Ingredients :

1 whole chicken , i used about 4 lbs organic chicken

1 beer can

2-3 cloves of smashed garlic

dry rub mix :

1 tbsp. of chipotle chili powder

1 tbsp. of chili powder

4 tsp. of light brown sugar

1 tsp. of kosher salt

2 tsp. of cumin

2 tsp. of coriander

1/2 tsp. of fresh black pepper

1 tsp. of garlic and 1 tsp. of onion

mix all together , and use this dry rub to rub all over the chicken , including the cavity and underneath the skin .

Then place the chicken on the beer can , and bake at 450 F for 15 minutes then turn it down to 350 F , cook about 1.5 hours or so , or until the thermometer reach 165 F . Let the chicken sit a while before slicing it .

beer can chicken

Braised Chicken w/ Mushroom and Almond

Surfing through the web and i found this one recipe , we like chicken , i think it’s the one type of meat that i cook the most . And to me , anything braised is worth to try . This one in particular looks interesting to me , since i hardly used any type of nuts in cooking , now if it’s baking , it’s a different story . I also happened to have all kinds of variety of mushrooms on hand , so no reason not to try it . It is quite easy , i don’t think it’s time consuming at all . In fact i braised the chicken when suddenly my neighbour called and see if i wanted to go for a walk . So finished braising the chicken for about 20 minutes for all 8 pieces and i left for a walk . But i would suggest you do the prep right before started cooking , it will make the job a lot easier and quicker .

Ingredients : 

8 pieces of chicken thighs , dark meat always have better flavor than white meat , plus dark meat is your choice of meat for any braising recipes .

salt and pepper

2 onions , sliced thinly

4 cloves of garlic , minced

2 pounds of mixed mushrooms , i used shiitake , cremini , white and oyster mushrooms

6 slices of pancetta , or bacon if you don’t have pancetta .

2 cups of white wine

bundle of thymes

4 bay leaves

about 4-6 cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup of almond meal mixed with little olive oil

1. In a heavy pot , heat up olive oil , then brown the chicken ( salt and pepper it ) , on all side , about 5 minutes on high heat on each side . Remove and set aside . Discard the fat , and add little olive oil .

2. Cook pancetta or bacon until crispy then add the onion , cook about 7 minutes until it started to caramelized . Add crushed red pepper and garlic , saute for 1-2 minutes . Then add mushrooms , cook until juices comes out and then add white wine , scrap off every little bits on the bottom of the pan , the wine should evaporate , until it’s half , then add your chicken in , along with bay leaves and thyme .

3. Add about 4 to 6 cups of chicken broth , just make sure the broth almost cover the chicken thighs . Bring to boil , then simmer for 35 minutes .

4. Once the chicken is done , take it out from pot . add the almond meal mixed with olive oil into the broth and whisk well . It should somehow thicken the broth a little bit , if you want it thicker like a gravy like consistency , add cornstarch as a thickener agent .

5. Serve with green beans or salad of your choice .

braised chicken mushroom

Shrimp Pad Thai

One of thai dish that i enjoy is pad thai , of course curry is still the top on my list , but i was always wondering is it hard to make pad thai ? It doesn’t seem so because it’s just stir fry noodles .. except there is that special flavor in pad thai , sweet and sour blends together .. unlike any other stir fry noodles .

So last night i decided to try this pad thai recipe that i found online . It seems like it was pretty easy , as long as you get the right ingredients . A trip to asian market is a must , we did that over the weekend and i made sure to pick up tamarind paste which is one of the main ingredients in the sauce . Everything else is pretty much easy to find in the regular grocery store .

shrimp pad thai

 

Direction : 

For Pad Thai sauce : 

150 grams of tamarind pulp

300 ml of water

200 grams of palm sugar

50 grams of sugar

150 ml. thai seasoning sauce ( i used maggi seasoning sauce )

1. Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water , and then using your hands , start breaking them apart , it should dissolve in the water pretty quick . Strain the water , add the rest of ingredients for sauce in a pot .Then bring to boil and simmer for a good 15 minutes until it becomes very syrupy .Once it’s done , set it aside .

For noodles : 

200 grams of flat wide rice noodles , soak in warm water for 30 minutes .

tofu

ground roasted peanuts

1/2 lb of shrimp , cleaned , peeled and deveined

green onions

1/4 of medium onions

2 eggs

beansprout

1 tsp. of shrimp paste

1. In a wok , heat up the oil , add the shrimp , cook until it turns orange , just few minutes , don’t overcook . Then add onions , tofu , and shrimp paste for few minutes . Push the rest aside , and crack the eggs , and start scrambling them , half way cooking , add the noodles ( without the water ) , add few tablespoon of pad thai sauce , add ground roasted peanut , green onions and beansprout , sprinkle with little lime juice . Serve right away

 

Indonesian Chicken Curry ( Kare ayam )

Curry is known in Indonesian as Kare . My mom used to cook this quite a bit , although it wasn’t on my favourite list of the food that she cooked . It could be that my taste has changed , but i do love curry . We used to go to thai restaurant a lot and we would order curry . This Indonesian curry has a very similar taste to red or yellow curry that we used to get there . Not only they are easy to make , as long as you have the fresh herbs and spices , they’re quick too . I used boneless chicken thighs in this dish , you can always use chicken breast , the reason i like using chicken thigh is because they have more flavor to me and they’re good for long slow cooking or braising as well . Don’t forget mortar pestle or food processor is a must in this south east asian dish . And serve it with jasmine rice .

 

curry

 

Direction : 

2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts , cut into 2 large strips or you can cut into bite size

2 lemon grass , bruised

1 cinnamon sticks

6 cloves

about 25 grams of galangal , peeled

curry paste

Make a paste from these spices , just throw them all in the food processor until it becomes very smooth paste about 2-3 minutes .

About 2 tbsp. of canola oil

25 grams garlic cloves

100 grams of shallots , about 2-3 large shallots

75 grams of red chilies , i used a mixture of thai bird’s eye chilies and cayenne pepper and hot korean peppers

5 candlenuts

40 grams fresh turmeric , peeled

15 grams of fresh ginger , peeled

2 tsp. of ground cumin

2 tsp. of ground coriander

1 tsp. of fennel seeds

5 grams of shrimp paste

50 grams of sugar

about 1 tbsp. of kosher salt , adjust to  your preference later on

2 cans of coconut milk plus water to thin it out , about 1000 more or less

2 large potatoes , cut in chunks

red bell pepper , cut in chunks

1. In a large pot , heat up oil , stir fry the paste with the fresh herbs until it’s fragrant about 3-4 minutes . Then add coconut milk and water , stir to mix . Bring to boil , add the chicken in .

2. Bring to boil , then cook on low for 25 minutes . Add the potatoes , cook additional 20 minutes . 5 minutes before it’s done , throw the red bell pepper in . Serve warm with rice .

curry1

 

Gulai Ayam

Gulai Ayam is Indonesian dish , it is chicken cooked in rich sauce . The sauce itself made from all kinds of spices , and then the chicken is cooked in it for a good hour , resulting a very tender , full of flavor chicken . As most asian , particulary south east asian dish , they’re not that complicated to do , but they do require lots of spices , herbs , and blending them into a smooth paste . So a mortar pestle or a food processor is a must here . I use food processor for most of my Indonesian cooking .

I grew up in Indonesia , and gulai ayam , although it is not something that i had quite often , it’s delicious , mom used to buy it from the local restaurant , and most of gulai used lamb , instead of chicken . Since lamb is quite expensive here , i thought i should try it using chicken , this is my first attempt of cooking gulai , so i wouldn’t want to spend too much money if it turns out to be a failure .  But this wasn’t a failure , this dish turned out to be pretty delicious ! It is quite easy with a bunch of prep .. mostly are peeling the spices .. but other than that everything comes pretty easy ! My 8 years old son loved it so much he said he could eat this everyday .. lol .. i was quite surprised considering the level of spiciness was quite up there .

gulai ayam

 

Direction : 

1 whole cut up chicken

3 Tbsp. of canola oil

3 lemon grass , bruised

2 bay leaves

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

40 grams of galangal

50-60 grams of palm sugar

juice from 1 key lime

750 ml of water

300 ml of coconut milk

Throw these spices all together into mortar pestle , or make it easier , using food processor , let it run for about 2-3 minutes to form a very smooth paste .

60 grams red chilies , i used a mixture of hot korean red pepper and bird eyes chilies

6-8 large shallots , use about 10 if it’s small

5 cloves of garlic

5 candlenuts

5 grams of ginger

5 grams of turmeric

2 tsp. of ground coriander

1/2 tsp. of ground cumin

Salt

1. If you’re buying whole chicken , cut it into 8 pieces . Set aside .

2. In a dutch oven , heat up the oil , then stir fry the spice paste , along with lemon grass , galangal , star anise , cinnamon stick and bay leaves , for about 3-4 minutes until it’s really fragrant , under medium heat , keep stirring so it won’t be burnt . Add the palm sugar when it’s almost done stir frying . Then throw in the chicken pieces , mix well until it’s pretty much covered with the spice paste .

3. Add the water , mix well , bring to boil , and turn down to medium low heat for a good 30-45 minutes . When the chicken is done , add coconut milk , adjust the seasoning with salt , and then bring to boil gently again for about 15 minutes . The coconut milk will make it look so rich although you don’t add that much of coconut milk . After 15 minutes , the sauce should be really thick and it’s done , served warm with white rice .

gulai ayam

 

 

Indonesian Chicken Satay ( Sate Ayam )

Chicken Satay , as in Sate Ayam in indonesian is one of the famous dish . I think everyone like sate ayam , and they’re widely available . We didn’t even have to bother to make this , since it’s a bit time consuming . Dicing the chicken , then put them in skewer , then grinding the nuts into paste . Well , lucky us , we had street vendors to do that all the time . Every night around dinner time , you would hear sate cart all over and all you have to do just listen and if you want to buy then just call them , they’ll grill it in front of your house , 10-15 minutes later , it’s done and time to pay them . You got your dinner ready .

Well .. i haven’t had sate ayam for years and years , for reason that it’s time consuming , and i couldn’t find raw peanuts everywhere . But ever since we moved down south , raw peanuts are pretty much easy to find in regular grocery store , i don’t even have to go to asian market for this . So this is my version of sate ayam , it’s quite easy , simple , just a bit time consuming with the chicken and the skewers , but trust me it’s totally worth the time 🙂

sate ayam

 

Direction : 

Boneless chicken breast or chicken thigh , diced set aside

Skewers , soak in cold water for an hour or so

5 garlic cloves , minced

4 large shallots , minced

2 cups of raw peanuts , then roasted on a skillet

salt and sugar

sweet soy sauce

1. Prep the skewers by soaking it in water for an hour or so , diced the chicken , set aside and refrigerate it while you prepare the peanut sauce .

2. For peanut sauce , heat up oil in a skillet , then add garlic and shallots together , stir fry for few minutes , then add 2 cups of ground peanuts into the skillet , mix , then add about 2 cups water , i started with 1.5 cups and i added more as i go along . You might end up adding more than just 2 cups , the consistency should not be too thick or too thin . Then add little of soy sauce , adjust the salt , and the sweetness . If you need it sweeter than add sweet soy sauce .Set aside .

3. Go back to the chicken , and put the chicken into the skewers .

4. In a plate , add about 3/4 cup of the peanut sauce you just made , add more sweet soy sauce if you prefer , then coat the chicken sate with this sauce , then grill until it’s cooked . Discard the sauce from this plate .

5. Once the sate is cooked and done , serve with peanut sauce you made earlier ( not the one you used before grilling .. that HAS to be discarded ) , with sliced shallots , rice or indonesian rice cake , and cucumber . If you like it spicy , just add chopped chilis .

sate ayam1

Steamed Shrimp in Chili Paste ( Pepes Udang )

Steamed shrimp in chili paste is indonesian dish , very simple and humble meal . You can replace the shrimp with tofu , or fish to make a good delicious yet quite simple meal . If you don’t have banana leaves on hand , not to worry , you can always use foil , in my opinion , foil is a lot better than banana leaves to work with , although .. banana leaves is the one that they use to wrap this and then steam and grill them . It is best served with white jasmine rice . Delicious !!

Pepes udang is wrapped in banana leaves or like i said you can always use foil too . This reminds me of some american french dish where you wrap the fish with a wax / parchment paper , Fish en Pappilote . But instead of parchment , we wrapped it with banana leaves , the traditional way 🙂

Make sure that you have either a big size of mortar pestle or food processor . I don’t own pestle , so my food processor has been working pretty hard lately to make all these spices into a very smooth paste , which is usually a must in Indonesian dish .

 

pepes udang

Direction : 

15 small / medium shallots

8 garlic

bunch of bird eye chili pepper , esp. if you like it very spicy

indonesian large pepper , not bell pepper , but if you can’t find , you can use hot korean red pepper , or bell pepper too

1 inch of ginger

1 inch of turmeric

2 stalks of lemon grass

2 lbs of shrimp , wash and clean

banana leaves or foil for wrapping

toothpick to secure the package

1. Throw all spices except lemon grass and the shrimp itself in food processor , until it becomes a very smooth paste about couple minutes , don’t forget to add your seasoning , salt , pepper and sugar , to your preference .

2. Wash and clean , peel and deveined shrimpe , then add into the paste and mix it by hand to cover the shrimps with the paste .

3. On a clean banana leaves , add about 2-3 tbsp. of the mixture along with lemon grass and then wrap and secure with toothpick . Steam for 30 minutes , then grill it for 10 minutes .

 

 

 

 

pepes udang1

pepes udang2

Soto Ayam ( Indonesian Chicken Soup )

Soto ayam is a soup dish from Indonesia , unlike regular chicken soup where basic ingredients are only garlic and onion . This broth from this soup is made from many south east asian spices . Such as lemon grass , turmeric , galangal , etc . Super easy to make , which i was surprised . Soto ayam is sold everywhere back in Indonesia , every area has its own specialty soto ayam . Some areas using coconut milk in their soto recipe , where as my area , east java , we don’t use any coconut milk . This soto ayam is so refreshing , and very flavorful .

The condiments are a must , fried shallots , ground up nuts , candlenut chili paste , mungbean sprouts , and slice of lime or lemon to sprinkle . It is so good !!

soto ayam

 

Direction : 

1 whole young chicken , or 3 chicken breasts , bone in

Poach the chicken , and once it’s cooked , set aside , let it cool before shredding the chicken . 

Spices made into paste :

5 large shallots , or 10 small shallots

10 garlic cloves

8 candlenuts

about 2 inches of ginger

about 3-4 inches of turmeric

Throw all these spices into a food processor , until it becomes a very smooth paste , about 2 minutes . 

2 stalks of lemon grass , bruised

2 indonesian bay leaves

2 inches of galangal , bruised

Condiments :

– hard boiled eggs

– mungbean sprouts

– fried shallots

-candlenut chili sauce

-rice or rice cake , indonesian style

– rice vermicelli

– green onions or leeks

– parsley

-slices of lemon or lime juice

1. Poach the chicken until done , let it cool and shred the chicken , set aside . Do not throw away the broth from poaching the chicken .

2. In a different pot , heat up canola oil , then saute the spices paste , about few minutes , throw in the lemon grass and indonesian bay leaves , along with the galangal , keep sauteiing few more minutes on medium heat .

3. The spices should become very aromatic and pour about 2.5 liters of the broth that you used from poaching the chicken , or water is okay too . Stir , mix well , and bring to boil , then simmer . Add the shredded chicken in the pot , keep simmering for a good 45 minutes or an hour .

4. Soup is done , ready to be served . To serve , prepare a bowl , add the rice or indonesian rice cake , top with the chicken and the broth , then add the bean sprout , fried shallots , ground nuts , rice vermicelli , parsley and sprinkle with lime juice and candlenut chili paste .

 

 

Ayam Rice Rica

Today’s cooking was Ayam Rica Rica , originally from the city of Manado , in North Sulawesi island in Indonesia . From what i heard people love their food spicy over there , but then again i think most Indonesian love spicy food . This was not a hard dish to make , it’s a bit time consuming just like most indonesian food are . What i meant by time consuming is especially if you don’t have food processor , it will def. take your time to grind the spices into paste . Other than that it’s pretty good .

I also took the time to make a side dish earlier , which is Sambal Goreng Kentang , it is also another indonesian dish , made from potatoes , diced fried potatoes , and then saute in chili spiced paste with coconut milk and lemon grass . Love this dish .. it’s really yummy .

 

 

Direction for ayam rica rica : 

1 package of whole cut up chicken , or get a whole chicken and cut it up yourself

For the spice paste :

About 6-7 large shallots

About 5 garlic cloves

About 10-12 thai chilies

2 inches of ginger

1 roma tomatoes

Dump everything in the food processor and pulse until it’s all become smooth paste . Or you can use your mortar pestle to make a paste.  Heat up canola oil in a wok , then fry the spice paste for 4 minutes until it’s fragrant , then add the cut up chicken along with the salt , pepper and sugar , and smashed lemon grass about 2 stalks and smashed 2 inches of galangal . Cover and let it cook medium low for 30-45 minutes , then open the lid and cook out some of the juice and the spice paste becomes very thick and covering the chicken . You don’t need to stir often , but just watch it so it doesn’t burn on the bottom .Adjust your seasoning when it’s done cooking .

Direction for Sambal Goreng Kentang ( Fried diced potatoes in spiced chili paste and coconut milk ) 

About 6-7 medium yukon gold potatoes , diced

250 ml of coconut milk

3 garlic cloves

2 large shallots

1 inch of ginger

smashed 1 inch galangal

smashed 1 lemon grass

1. Deep fry the diced potatoes until it’s light brown on the outside .Set aside

2. In a skillet , heat up canola oil , then stir fry the paste , for few minutes . Add lemon grass and galangal , and coconut milk . Bring to slightly boil , simmer for few minutes until the coconut milk is slightly reduced . Then add the potatoes and mix well .

ayam rica rica sambel goreng kentang

Indonesian Beef Rendang

I love Indonesian Food , it’s a given since i was born and raised in Indonesia . I spent first half of my life in Indonesia , growing up eating delicious spicy food . Living overseas for so long , one thing that makes me miss Indonesia the most is their food . Indonesia food to me , is one of the best food in the world , and to me it is my favorite , compared to chinese , or american or italian . Indonesian food are so complex , that a lot of times , it takes a while to prepare one from scratch . I always saw my mom cooking dinner in the morning , because if she started to cook around an hour before dinner , i don’t think it’ll be enough from prep in the kitchen to the table in the dining room .

Speaking of which , it brings us here , to learn how to make rendang . Rendang is originally from Padang , back in Indonesia , often times , people could just go to restaurant esp. for this , they usually are called Rendang Padang . And in that restaurant too , they put rendang and other condiments , specialty on the display . So walk around the street and you see restaurant ” rendang padang ” and usually you can see the food on the display . This was back over 10 years ago , which i believe still is true til now . And the cool thing is , that they will bring your food with their arms full of plates . I am serious .. not talking about 1-2 plates .. but the whole arm , from hands to forearms , all to your shoulders are full with plates .. that’s how they serve you 🙂 Interesting ..

But my problem is .. i haven’t been there for a long time , and i do miss rendang . I cooked rendang few times since it’s my husband’s fave ( sometimes i wonder if he’s actually indonesian in disguise lol for his love of indonesian food ) So , few days ago i made up my mind , no more packet seasoning for rendang . My husband and i deserve the real authentic rendang , cooked by me , someone who was born and raised in Indonesia 😛 So , although the spices are hard to find , but i found them in korean market . I know they’re not available through regular grocery store but at least the korean market had them .

As hard as it can be to find some of the spices , please don’t give up . You should try this beef rendang , it is listed as number 1 out of 50 best food in the world ! Yes , Rendang takes number 1 place .. and who can blame them ? It is really THAT good 🙂 So please .. don’t be discourage , and try it !! I am happy that i made it from scratch , it’s def. worth the time !! Psst .. It’ s actually not that hard to make at all !! 🙂

beef rendang

 

Directions : 

About 1 1/2 tbsp. of ground cloves

1 oz. of red chilies , bird eye chilies , thai chilies

10 large shallots

7 garlic ( not the head )

About 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

About 2 inches of fresh ginger

About 2 inches of galangal

5 pieces of candle nut , if you don’t have it , try macadamia nuts

2 lbs of boneless beef chuck , cut in thick slices , thick and wide

7 Kaffir lime leaves ( i had to skip this because i couldn’t find any )

2 stalks of lemongrass , 1 smash , and the other 1 smash and tie into a knot

5 pieces of star anise

2-3 indonesian bay leaves , daun salam , if you don’t have it , just throw in regular bay leaves

2 1/2 – 3 cups of coconut milk , mixed with little water

Kosher salt and palm sugar

1. The paste for rendang can be made a day ahead . In a food processor , throw in the garlic , shallots , chilies , ginger , macadamia nuts . I can’t seem to smash the galangal since it was so hard , i just pound them with a mallet but i didn’t throw it in the food processor , you can if you want to . Add the ground cloves , ground turmeric . Add in the smashed lemon grass , and star anise . Store in a container , in the refrigerate and ready to be used anytime .

2. In a dutch oven , mix the beef and the paste together by hand until it’s all covered with the paste . Then add the coconut milk , kaffir lime leaves , bay leaves . Then bring to boil stir often , lower it down to medium low , and cook , stirring often for about 90 minutes . Then after a while , the liquid should be decreasing . Keep cooking another 1 to 2 hours , it will bring down the liquid even more . This is where i usually stop , Rendang that i know , from the way my mom always cooked it , is not dry . But if you’re from Padang , where the famous Rendang is from , i think it is supposed to be cooked dry until it’s dark brown / black . Now , it is up to you , if you do want it dry , i suggest you could cook it longer , let it go an hour or so .. until liquids are all absorbed and gone and the meat is dark . The way i like it , is when the liquid becomes very thick and so it’s not really dry as you can see from the picture of my rendang . So it’s up to your preference .

When you first mixing and bringing to boil , the color will white mixed with the red paste , will bring about light yellow orange color .. After about 1  – 1 1/2 hour , it’ll look like this

beef rendang1

 

Then , keep cooking on med low and stirring often , after 90 minutes it will look like this

beef rendang2

 

After about 2 1/2- 3 hours , it will look like this served on a plate

beef rendang

3. After total cooking of 3 hours , my rendang is done , for you who likes it dry , i am sure cooking hours is pretty close 4 to 4.5 hours . Serve warm with jasmine rice , and enjoy it !!

Light Wheat Pasta

Instead of whole wheat pasta , i tried making light wheat pasta . It is very similar in color with whole wheat pasta if not just a little bit lighter . It tastes good , as most of fresh pasta does . The only thing that i really don’t care in making light or whole wheat pasta is that the dough gets tough , i can’t put too much water in or else it would be too sticky and won’t be pliable .

Direction : 

2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 cup  of bread flour

4 eggs

1/2 tsp. of salt

2 tbsp. of water ( i ended up adding more .. it really depends on the humidity in your house , the less humid , the more water you need , the more humid your house is , the less water you need )

1. In a large mixer bowl , combine all ingredients , use a flat beater , and mix for 2 minutes on speed 2 , and then switch to dough hook and beat for 2 minutes on speed 2 . If the dough looks very crumbly and dry then add little water at a time until the dough somewhat comes together , try to press it with your hands / fingers , if they stay together then your dough is ready .

2. Use the pasta roller to make it thin all the way to number 5 , then switch to fettucine maker , and proceed as directed .

 

Here is our fresh pasta drying on the pasta hanger . I made it in the afternoon , about 5 hours later , they’re all totally drying pretty well . So after that i decided just to store them and used it the next day.

light wheat1

Pasta is dried and ready to be stored .

light wheat2