Monthly Archives: October 2010

Chicken Milanese & French Onion Soup

Made french onion soup tonight , with chicken milanese topped with fresh spinach for dinner . I love french onion soup , who doesn’t like french onion soup ? When i heard people saying yuck to french onion soup .. i would think they never taste a great home made french onion soup . I had canned french onion soup and of course it doesn’t have a great taste like a homemade soup does .. of course it would traumatize you enough to think that french onions soup is yuck .. Anyway .. this homemade onion soup is super good , especially when you put them under the broiler to melt the cheese and served it with french baquette . Unfortunately i was busy enough to do the baquette .. and i didn’t have the gruyere cheese on hand . I do however have mozzarella cheese .. which will work just fine .

For chicken milanese , it’s just like chicken parmigiana , minus the sauce on top . It’s quite bland , but i used panko bread to make it crunchier and added a little garlic powder , salt and pepper into the batter , along with freshly grated parmesan cheese . It was a good dinner !

For recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

I tried making butternut squash with rigatoni and shrimp few years ago . We didn’t like very much .. Nicholas did though . But not us .. So , i was not too sure about making this butternut squash soup , but was tempted to try it . Especially that butternut squash was pretty cheap at the farmers market . Tempted , so i ended up buying it , it only costs me $0.91 for 2 lbs of butternut squash . It looks cute too with the shape .. LOL

This soup turned out to be delicious , i like it !! I certainly don’t mind making this again in the future , i guess this is not old boring butternut squash soup , since it has jalapeno and cumin in it . Although it has jalapeno but it wasn’t spicy , you can def.tatste the cumin . The only thing about this soup was , preparation takes quite a while , the skin of the butternut squash was hard , so i had to peel them after cutting it in smaller pieces . But other than everything was easy .. chopped onions , jalapeno and garlic was quick and easy to do , well except i cried chopping the onions LOL .. All and all this was an easy soup to make and it is good ! Go try it , it’s fall .. and butternut squash is everywhere , not to mention it’s cheap ! 🙂

Btw , butternut squash reminds me of Blewah , if you’re indonesian you should know what blewah is . I can never find blewah here , it comes from the Melon family , and actually blewah has almost the same smell of butternut squash , except butternut squash is harder than blewah 🙂

For recipe click here

Sausage Chili

Ingredients :

2 lbs of andouille sausage  , or any hot sausages ( you can always use 1 lb sausage and 1 lb ground beef too )

2 cups of chopped onion

2 tbsp. of minced garlic

1 tbsp. of essence of emeril

2 tbsp. of chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 bottle ( 12 ounce ) dark beer

1 -28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes , crushed and use the juices too

3 tbsp. of tomato paste

2 cups of chicken broth

1 tbsp. of sugar

1 can of hot chili beans

grated cheese and green onion to garnish

1. In a heavy pot , heat oil , add the sausages and ground beef into the pot . Cook about 5 minutes until brown on all side . Add garlic and onion , essence of emeril , cumin and chili powder for about 1 minute , mix well . Deglaze the pan with a bottle of beer ,until foams subsides . Add tomatoes , tomato paste and chicken broth , sugar , and beans , bring to boil , then simmer to medium low for about 30 minutes , uncovered . Serve with grated cheese and chopped onion .

Sausage Chili

Originally i was going to make traditional chili , the one with ground beef .. but for some reason when i was in the shower .. ( yes , strange time to think about cooking stuff ) , i thought about what if i put sausage in there too . Well .. i did .. i ended up making sausage and ground beef chili . Put 1 lb of each and it turned out delicious !! The preparation does not take long at all either , the cooking part isn’t a big of a deal , and once you get it all going , leave it to simmer for half and hour .. and it’s done .

My husband loves this , he said this is the best tasting chili he had , and also my 5 years old agreed ! It’s a little spicy , but amazingly my son loves it too . LOL ..

For recipe click here

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

It is called Indonesian , but i cannot recall i had this back in indonesia .. but who knows . Who cares ? Everything was good .. this meal was good and super easy to make . I just had to marinate it last night , overnight , and baked it this morning after i got home from the gym . It is a great idea especially for busy day like today , when i had to be at the gym , and then picked up Nic , and had swimming tonight and my husband had to leave work in the late afternoon , so this dish was perfect choice . By 1.30 dinner was ready .. all i had to make was side dish ,which wasn’t a big deal at all .

So .. here is indonesian ginger chicken , it needs lots of garlic , not my favorite thing to do , peeling garlic is the worse job ever ! Then ginger and soy sauce and honey , voila .. that’s the marinate for the chicken . Easy right ? everybody can make this ..

Here is the recipe

1 whole cut up chicken

12 cloves of garlic , minced

1 inch of ginger , grated

3/4 cup of soy sauce

1 cup of honey

Mix all the garlic , ginger , honey and soy sauce , pour over the chicken ( skin side down ) . Marinate overnight , cover with foil .

Next day , preheat oven to 350 F , bake with the foil on for 20 minutes , turn the chicken , bake uncover , crank up the heat to 375 F , bake for about 30-35 minutes .

Scallops Provencal

Tonight i made Scallops Provencal . I bought them yesterday when we went grocery shopping . Living in the midwest .. chances are you can’t get any fresh seafood . I saw sea scallops , except they’re expensive , they’re like $14.99 / lbs , also it’s end of season too , so that could be why it’s quite expensive . I settled with Bay scallops , which was actually not the best choice .

The recipe calls either bay or sea scallops , but i am sure sea scallops would be better for this dish . Very easy and quick , it doesn’t even take longer than 15-20 minutes . That’s how quick t his dish was . Although i would replace the butter with just regular oil next time , if not , it’s pretty rich dish . Or probably just cut the butter into half what it calls for . Either way , this dish is quite delicious , one thing should remember though , do not overcook the scallops !!

For recipe click here

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 Butternut squash, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the squash and cut into 1 inch pieces. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, and then add squash, jalapeno pepper, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and puree the soup using an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Return to the heat, add the cream and adjust the seasonings. Serve with the shrimp salsa.

Oven Baked Fried Chicken & Sauteed Bok Choy

Who doesn’t like fried chicken ? I think we all do , except they’re not always the healthiest choice of meal . Well .. this time i made oven baked fried chicken , instead of deep frying it , i baked them in the oven . Used Japanese breadcrumbs for the breading , it was good . But i think i prefer the one with cornflakes breading .

For the side dish , i made sauteed bok choy , this is a chinese style side dish . Easy and quick , just like the chicken , serve everything with rice and you have a complete meal .

For recipe oven fried chicken and bok choy

Sauteed Bok Choy

There is no exact measurement for this recipe , i just eye ball it

2 bundles of bok choy

1 chicken thigh fillet

soy sayce

all purpose flour or cornstarch

3 cloves of garlic

oyster sauce

sesame oil

vegetable oil

sugar , salt and pepper

1. Cut the chicken fillet , add soy sauce and cornstarch , mix well , let it sit for a while

2. In a skillet , heat vegetable oil , add garlic , stir for 1 minute , add sugar , salt and pepper , add the chicken , cook for few minutes , add little water , let chicken cook for few more minutes , add the hard part of bok choy , add oyster sauce and stir , cook again few more minutes . Add the leafy part of bok choy , cook couple more minutes . Sprinkle a lil of sesame oil . Serve warm.

Uptown Down Home Chili

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning) a palm full
  • 1/2 pound baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juices or 1 generous palm full ground chipotle chili powder, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, half a palm full
  • 1 bottle imported beer (recommended: Stella Artois (…imported just ’cause we’re Uptown and that’s all they drink here.)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock (8-ounce box)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 8-ounce piece smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped

Directions

Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and the meat. Season it with grill seasoning and sear it up, browning and crumbling it, for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate and return pot to stove. Reduce heat to medium- high and add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add the mushrooms and begin to brown them before adding the other veggies. After 2 or 3 minutes the mushrooms will begin to shirk and soften. Push the mushrooms off to one side of the pot and add all the remaining veggies to the opposite side of the pot surface. Once the onions, celery, peppers and garlic have been working for a few minutes as well, mix the veggies with the mushrooms. Add the meat back, season with Worcestershire sauce, chipotle in adobo or chipotle powder and cumin. Add in beer to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the pan drippings. Reduce the beer by half, about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, tomatoes, stock and thyme to chili and simmer 10 minutes for flavors to combine. Taste to adjust seasonings. Top bowls of the chili with shredded smoked Gouda and finely chopped raw onions.

Herbed Rice

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain (white) basmati rice (recommended: Texmati)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh curly parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh scallions, white and green parts
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine the rice, 1 3/4 cups water, the salt, and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, stir once, and simmer, covered tightly, for 15 minutes. (I need to pull the pot half off the burner to keep it from boiling over.) Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit covered for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, dill, scallions, and pepper. Fluff with a fork, and serve warm.

Scallops Provencal

  • 1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in 1/2

Directions

If you’re using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you’re using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer. Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Chicken Fried Steak

I never made chicken fried steak before , this was my first time . My son Nicholas loves chicken fried steak , but it was from the frozen dinner box . Which obviously , not good for your body , but he kept saying he likes chicken fried steak .

So , originally last night i was going to make this chicken fried steak . I thawed out the meat , which was bottom round meat and sliced against the grain and it was all ready , except my husband , Jay and I ended up having a night out alone . Didn’t get the chance to cook this last night . But tonight i did .. it was easy , but it’s a messy business . With oil popping here and there , i guarantee that you have to clean your stove after this . I did .. and mind you , i cleaned this morning too . So it was like cleaning my kitchen 2 times . But it’s def. worth it .

The steak didn’t take long to cook , only 4 minutes on each side , i cheated on the gravy , i used ready made gravy . I am sure you can use your homemade gravy too . But we were quite busy with carving pumpkins , making rolls for the dinner , and so we opted to use the ready made gravy . But the steak was delicious , it was not tough at all .. and goes perfect with the asparagus and baked potatoes and rolls .

For recipe click here

Parker House Rolls

I made parker house rolls before , but this one is definately the best i ever had . It is so light and fluffy and not to mention it’s sweet . It almost tastes like Hawaiian Sweet Bread .. or maybe i should call it .. ” Almost Hawaiian Sweet Bread ” LOL ..

Like any other bread making , it takes time and patience , especially when you do it manually . Luckily i have a bread machine to do the dough for me . Although it took a little preparation , warming up the milk , mixed with butter , and proofing the yeast , but it’s not that bad at all . When it’s rising the second time , i left to the store to pick up some apples to make more apple butter tonight . So , it really comes in handy when you have this thing called bread machine 🙂

But if you do not own one , do not discourage either . Bread making is not hard at all , it’s just takes time and practice . And beside what better method to tone out that arm muscles while busy in the kitchen ? Yeah .. kneading .. knead it .. or if you have mixer with a dough hook .. you don’t even have to worry about kneading too long with your arms .

So good luck trying to parker house rolls .. we paired it with our southern style dinner earlier . That looks yummy and tastes yummy !

For recipe click here

Lemon Vanilla Yogurt Cake

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

2 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Mix this in a bowl , and set aside . Preheat your oven to 350 F .

1 -6oz vanilla yogurt

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cup of sugar

1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

In a bowl , whisk these ingredients together except for the vegetable oil . Until the first 4 ingredients mixing really well , add the flour mixture into the bowl , whisk it well until incorporated . Add the vegetable oil , stir well using spatula . Pour into 8×5 loaf pan , lined with parchment paper and grease and flour it . Bake for 50-55 minutes or until it’s done .

Olivia’s Mini Burgers

On a busy day like today .. it’s always good to have a quick meal to fix . Doesn’t take much time to prepare or to cook and not too many dishes to do . We made this little burgers , sliders , whatever you call it . Super easy , and quick , doesn’t take long to cook on the grill . If you don’t have the gas grill , you can always use your skillet .. no problem . I used a lean ground beef for the meat , feel free to use ground turkey , i am sure it’ll taste okay too . Use caramelized onions for the topping , or if you have some mushrooms , that would be good too . I only had red onions on hand , so i used that . Make the mustard sauce .. and you’re done . My husband doesn’t care too much for the mustard sauce , although when i spread a little mustard sauce on the bun , and spread some BBQ sauce on the burgers , topped with onions .. it tasted really good ! My 5 years old ate 2 of them !! So give it a try !

For recipe click here

Bulgogi Pork Chop w/ caramelized onion

Tonight we made something easy , delicious and super quick to cook . The only thing you need on hand that is rather unusual for american pantry would be bulgogi sauce . Bulgogi sauce is a korean BBQ sauce that’s made from pear and soy sauce and a lot of garlic . You can always make your own bulgogi sauce , but here , i have my store bought bulgogi sauce , one i picked up at the korean market .Another ingredients you need would be panko bread crumbs , for its breading , and then eggs and flour .

Have 3 plates , 1st would be flour , 2nd would be beaten eggs , and 3rd plate would be panko bread crumbs . And just roll your pork chop on the flour , dip into the egg mixture and roll into the bread crumbs . And brown them on a skillet for 4 minutes on each side . Be very careful , pork chop is cooking quite fast , and if you overcook them , pork chop would be dry and hard , which you don’t want . So 3 and half minutes to 4 minutes on medium  heat should be enough . Do the same on the other side . Then set it aside .

On the same skillet , add chopped onions and cook until it almost caramelized , and then add the shiitake mushroom , and cook until it’s done , watch that you don’t burn the onion , add the store bought bulgogi sauce or your own homemade bulgogi sauce . Cook for 1 minute and return the pork chops into the skillet . And you have it all done .. It is yummy when you serve it with jasmine rice !

Oven fried chicken

Ingredients

  • Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces, skin removed

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a pie plate or shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, mustard, honey, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste, together until thoroughly combined.

Add the panko, salt and pepper, to taste, the paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder to another pie plate and whisk to combine.

Dredge the chicken through the wet mixture, then the dry mixture, patting the breading on so it adheres. Arrange on a wire rack lined sheet tray, making sure there is ample space between each piece of chicken. Give the chicken a spritz of the olive cooking spray. This will help brown and crisp up the coating.

Put on the upper rack of the oven and bake until the chicken is golden and crisp. The temperature should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Olivia’s Mini Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 to 15 small potato rolls, split in 1/2
  • Mustard sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat a flat top grill pan to high heat.

Add sliced onion to grill pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, onion powder, salt and freshly ground pepper. Make burgers equal in size, about 2-inches across.

Cook burgers on the flat top for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve on split rolls with grilled onions and mustard sauce.

Mustard Sauce:

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Chicken Fried Steak w/ gravy

  • 2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the meat with the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices. Season each piece on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour. Tenderize the meat, using a needling device, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick. Once tenderized, dredge the meat again in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch slope-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a wire rack set in a half sheet pan and place into the oven. Repeat until all of the meat is browned.

Add the remaining vegetable oil, or at least 1 tablespoon, to the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour left over from the dredging. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk and thyme and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.