Monthly Archives: April 2011

Roasted chicken breasts with leeks , thyme and pancetta

Another great recipe from Jamie Oliver , this one was also super easy , but not too quick to make . Unless you’re making it with boneless chicken . You have to be really careful when baking / cooking chicken breasts , because a lot of people tend to overcook it , and ends up with dry chicken breast . This is one of the reason i’ve never liked chicken breasts , until i found out how to really cook it right , not overcook it !!

Anyway , i used chicken breasts with bone in this recipe , i removed the skin , and the rest was just so easy , here is one tip for you , so u won’t overcook it , make sure you stick meat thermometer in there , so u wouldn’t end up with raw or overcook chicken . If you can’t find pancetta , which is italian bacon , you can always use regular bacon , it should work just fine too .

You need :

4 chicken breasts with bone or boneless ( i used with bone ) , remove the skins , discard them , set aside .

In a bowl , mix :

3 leeks , washed and chopped into 1/4 inch

leaves from bunch of thyme sprigs

salt and black pepper

few glugs of olive oil

2-3 tbsp. margarine

couple glugs of white wine

Mix them all together in a bowl

1. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish , wrap the chicken breasts with pancetta , arrange the chicken on top of the leeks mixture .Drizzle with olive oil and scatter some thyme sprigs on top of the chicken .

Bake at 400 F , for an hour for bone in chicken , and maybe about 35 minutes for boneless chicken , use the meat thermometer until it reaches 160 F .

Saturday Afternoon Pasta

Don’t ask me why it’s called saturday afternoon pasta , this recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s cook book . Wasn’t sure at first since i never really had tuna pasta that has cinnamon in the ingredients . I never used cinnamon for cooking , i usually use cinnamon for baking . Period ! But , i am glad i tried this dish though , it’s super easy , did not take long at all to make , and it turns out pretty delicious .Jamie was right though , that you have to use the good quality of tuna . I tried to get the white albacore tuna in oil , but i could not find it in our grocery store . The best tuna that i could get , tuna in the can that is , was light tuna in olive oil . The result was pretty good , i could imagine if you could fine albacore in oil would have been a lot better . The thing that scared me was the cinnamon , i wasn’t talking about adding a pinch of cinnamon into the dish .. it was 1 tsp. of cinnamon ! But anyway , if you have any doubts in trying this recipe because of the mix of cinnamon with red onion and tomatoes ?? don’t be scared , it’ll turn out really good !!

You need :

1 medium red onion , chopped

2 thai chili , chopped ( remove the seed if you don’t like it spicy )

bunch of basil stalks

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of salt and ground black pepper

28 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes

2-10 oz canned good quality tuna in oil

juice of 1-2 lemons

olive oil

freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 lb of rigatoni ( i used penne )

1. In a pan , heat up olive oil , add the red onion , and chili , basil stalks and cinnamon , cook low medium heat for 5 minutes . Add the tomatoes , break up tomatoes with potato masher , add tuna , bring to boil . Simmer for 20 minutes .

2. Cook the pasta until al dente follow the instruction . Once the pasta is done , reserve the cooking water ( u need this in case your pasta gets too dry after mixing it up with the sauce )

3. Add the pasta into the tuna and tomato mixture , mix well , add couple glugs of olive oil and lemon juice , add the starchy water to loosen up the pasta .

4. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese .

Falafel with Pita Bread

Ever since i tasted hummus , i became interested trying more and more some of middle eastern dish / cuisine . I thought they’re healthy enough , so why not trying it ? Falafel was made from ground chick peas , just like hummus , except we added few ingredients such as parsley , onion , cumin , coriander , some recipe even calls for mint in it . The recipe that i used to make this falafel does not use mint , and only used canned chick peas .Although i have other recipe of falafel that requires soaking the dry chick peas overnight . This recipe is quite easy and very tasty . For a healthier option , i suggest to not deep fry this , although deep frying always brings out the taste really good

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don’t use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
  2. In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form 8 balls and then flatten into patties.
  3. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides.
  4. In a small bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

 

Shish Kebabs

Yesterday we made shish kebabs , although it was still chilly outside , but we grilled anyway . I always enjoy this yummy dish . Easy to prepare and so quick to cook too . Actually there is no special ingredients in here , you can use any kind of meat and veggies or even fruits in the skewers to your preference . I love using chicken thighs , so it doesn’t get overcook easily like chicken breasts . And i also liked using either italian or bratwurst , i don’t quite enjoy the smoked sausage or kielbasa , because a lot of time , they’re too salty . I also like adding pineapple , because once they caramelize they get really sweet , the same goes with red bell pepper , compared to green bell pepper , red pepper is a lot sweeter when roasted .

I usually marinate my cut up chicken in a wine and sweet soy sauce mix , sprinkle with garlic and onion powder , let it sit for 20 minutes , before putting all ingredients in the skewers . The picture below shows , there is chicken , sausage , button mushroom , pineapple , red onion , red and green bell pepper . Before putting them on the grill , i added some more sweet soy sauce , the result .. is yummy !

Pizza Margherita

When we make pizza , we usually make the pizza with full topping , like the works or some place , calls it , supreme . But tonight , i thought i should try making the authentic pizza margherita , I decided to make 2 kinds of pizzas tonight , since , obviously , Jay would not want pizza with only fresh mozzarella and basil as its topping . And Nick probably wouldn’t like it either . It’s light and it’s not as filling as the works or the supreme .

So , i made my own pizza sauce earlier during the day and then made my pizza dough this afternoon too . The sauce was delicious and i thought it was perfect pizza margherita !!

Pizza sauce recipe :

6 oz of tomato paste

6 oz of warm water

3 tbsp. of parmesan cheese

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. honey

3/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 cayenne pepper

1/8 red pepper flakes

salt to your preference

Mix all ingredients in a small pot , bring to boil . set aside .

Pizza dough recipe :

3 1/2 c. – 4 c. of bread flour

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cup of warm water , about 100-110 F .

2 tbsp. olive oil plus 2 tsp. olive oil

In a mixer bowl , mix together dry ingredients with dough hook . Add warm water and olive  oil , mix together until mixture becomes a ball , if it’s too sticky , add flour , if it’s too dry add water 1 tbsp. at a time . Keep kneading until mixture becomes elastic . Remove from the mixer , knead for 1-2 minutes on a lightly floured surface ,  shape into a ball . In a large bowl , add 2 tsp. olive oil , put the dough in there , covered with plastic , let it sit until double in bulk for 1 hour . After 1 hour , take the dough out , divide into 2 , let it rest for 10 minutes before roll  it out on the pizza pan / stone .

Assembling pizza margherita :

1. Grease the pizza pan , roll out the pizza dough . Spread pizza sauce evenly on top , spread thinly sliced fresh mozzarella , and scatter some fresh basil leaves on top . Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil .

2. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes or until the pizza crust is golden brown .

For The works / supreme , i would bake the pizza crust before adding any topping , at 425 F , about 10 minutes . Then when it’s done , spread the pizza sauce , add your toppings , i used red onion , red pepper , cooked sausage and pepperoni , mushroom and grated mozzarella cheese , and colby jack cheese . Bake for another 12-15 minutes until cheese are melted .

Korean Sweet and Crispy Chicken

This has become of our favorite dish too . This morning i decided to make this sweet and crispy korean fried chicken . They’re easy to make , except it takes time to deep fry them . And plus you have re-fry them again to guarantee the crispiness of the chicken . Other than that , it’s pretty easy and delicious . The sliced ginger in the sauce turns out to be like a candy by the time the sauce is caramelized . Make sure do not over cook the sauce , or else the sauce not only caramelized , but it’ll get tough and break your teeth LOL ..

3 lbs of chicken wings , or about 20 chicken wings

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp.ground black pepper

2 eggs

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of cornstarch

Mix them all together well , deep fry about 7 minutes , take them out , and re-fry them again for another 7-10 minutes to guarantee its crispiness .Set aside

Meanwhile in a wok :

1 cup of water , boil

1 cup of ginger , sliced thin

1 cup of brown sugar

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 cup of white vinegar

Bring water to boil , then add ginger and the rest of ingredients , bring to boil , for 5 minutes , then add :

1 cup of corn syrup

Cook about 30 minutes , low to medium heat until caramelized . Should be stringy when you try to drop the sauce from a spoon . Then return the chicken into the sauce , mix well , add toasted sesame seed and red pepper flakes ( optional )

Hot Milk Cake w/ Strawberry and Cream

I was wondering when i found this recipe in my Bon Appetit book , i bought this book few months ago , it has tons of recipes , from cakes , cookies , ice cream to pies . I’ve tried some of their recipes and they’re delicious . One day i ran across this recipe when i was browsing through it , and i thought what the heck is hot milk cake ?? Why do they called hot milk cake ? Well for a good reason , it literally uses hot milk , and the hot milk is poured into the batter . Now come to think of it , it’s just like shortbread ! So easy to make , if you’re not a baker and you want to try something , this is for you . Super easy and delicious .

Here is the recipe :

1 lbs of strawberry , hulled and sliced

1/2 cup of sugar

Mix this together , let it sit in the fridge , you can use it after it sits for 20 minutes , or save it for whenever you’re ready to serve it .

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1 tbsp. of powdered sugar

1-2 tsp. grand marnier ( orange liquour , this is optional )

Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a mixer , until stiff peak is reached , this could take several minutes , maybe 5-7 minutes , make sure your heavy cream is cold . Chill the mixer bowl too if necessary .Store in the fridge when it’s done .

Hot milk cake :

2 large eggs

2/3  cup of sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract ( i used vanilla beans , ran out of vanilla extract )

1 cup and 2 tbsp. self raising flour ( if you don’t have this , just mix and make your own , 1 cup all purpose flour plus 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder , and 1/2 cup of salt , this would make 1 cup of self raising flour )

5 tbsp. butter

2/3 of milk

1. Beat 2 eggs in a mixer , medium speed for about 3 minutes . Add the sugar little at a time , keep beating high speed until mixture is thick and pale yellow . About 2-3 more minutes .

2. Add vanilla extract , and then add the flour . Beat about 30 minutes .

3. Heat the butter and milk together in a saucepan , boil until butter just melted . Pour into the flour mixture , and beat 30 seconds .

4. Pour into 6 custard cups and bake at 425 F for 16 minutes . Rotating halfway . Let it cool 20 minutes before taking it out from the cups .

To assemble :

Slice the top of the cake , add strawberries on the cake , then cover with the top of the cake and put a dollop of the cream and add more strawberries and its juices .

Oreo Blizzard

This was an attempt to imitate DQ’s oreo blizzard . I would imagine .. how hard could it be ? It has the vanilla ice cream as it’s base and then you can go from there , and in this case .. i used Oreo cookies . DQ has so many type of blizzard ice cream , which is only vanilla ice cream with treats , any kind .. kit kat , butterfinger .. etc . So after making the vanilla ice cream base , i put it in the ice cream maker , and let it run it’s cycle . About 4 minutes before it finished , i added the oreo cookies , i used about 10 of them , and i pulsed them in the food processor , but i think i pulsed it too long , next time i would make them chunkier , instead of more ground up like this ..

Strawberry Sorbet

Tonight we tried a new recipe from Ben and Jerry ice cream book that i bought the other day . Instead of choosing ice cream , i decided let’s just try making sorbet , we bought lots of strawberries earlier anyway from the grocery store , why not putting them to a good use . The recipe only calls for half a pound , not much at all , but it makes about 1 quart of sorbet . Sorbet is made from fresh fruits , sugar and water , no milk and no heavy cream involved . But i guess if it’s Americanize sorbet , it would be involving milk somehow .  This , the one i made tonight was a better choice i think , because it has no milk or heavy cream , it is low in calories . And not to mention it’s so refreshing !

You need :

1/2 lb of fresh strawberry , sliced and hulled

3/4 cup of sugar

juice from 1 large lemon

1/4 cup of corn syrup

2 cups of cold water

1. Mix the strawberry , lemon and sugar , mix them well , cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour .

2. After 1 hour , mash or use immersion blender to make strawberry puree . Add water and corn syrup , mix well with whisk .

3. Pour into ice cream maker , and follow your ice cream maker direction .