Monthly Archives: May 2011

Braised Chicken Thighs w/ Lime and Brown Sugar

I ran across a recipe online , and it gave ideas using limes and brown sugar . A little nervous in the beginning , i usually don’t use lime in chicken , lemons yes , but limes ? No , but i went along with it . It was pretty easy and simple ,i liked smoked paprika , so i made a mix of flour , smoked paprika and salt , and dredge the chicken on it . Braised them and finished cooking in the oven . The recipe is so easy and quick , not to mention it’s not that much of a mess that i had in my kitchen . I served this with jasmine rice and some sauteed vegetable .

You need :

10 chicken thighs , skin on

2 limes , zested and juiced

2/3 cup of all purpose flour

1tbsp. of salt

1 tbsp. of paprika

1 tbsp. of smoked paprika

4 tbsp. of brown sugar

1 cup of white wine

1 cup of chicken broth

mint leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375 F , wash and pat dry chicken thighs , and sprinkled with juice of 2 limes .

2. Heat up vegetable oil to braise the chicken . Mix flour , smoked paprika , paprika and salt , then dredge the chicken on the flour , shake off the excess , and brown chicken on each side , 5 minutes each , set aside . Continue with all the chicken thighs .

3. Put the chicken thighs on the baking dish , and then mix brown sugar with lime zest , and sprinkle on top of the chicken thighs , mix white wine and chicken broth , and pour into the baking dish . Chopped some mint leaves and sprinkle on top of the chicken thighs .

4. Bake chicken for about 45 minutes , once it’s all done , pour the juices into a skillet , and mix 2 tsp. cornstarch with little water , pour into the skillet , and whisking until it’s thicken . Or you can just have the broth as is without having to thicken it up with cornstarch .

Creole Style Shrimps w/ Jasmine Rice & Brussel Sprouts

This is super easy dish that will not take long at all to fix . I guess it’ll be a good week night meal . Didn’t take much ingredients either , but it has a great flavour . Would be great if you could get a jumbo shrimps , except around here , the jumbo shrimps here are too expensive , i ended up just getting the regular size shrimps . For the creole seasoning , i am sure you can make it yourself , google it , and should find how to make creole seasoning , but i didn’t make it myself , i used Cajun seasoning by Emeril , which tastes wonderful too .

I serve the shrimps with jasmine rice and sauteed brussel sprouts on the side . For the brussel sprout i just cut them in 2 , and then sauteed them in a heavy pot , that has heated oil , and then i added salt and pepper , onion and garlic powder , also essence of emeril , just a few dash of it . Cook them high heat and then turn it down after few minutes . They need to be cooked properly , or else they have this strong almost like alcohol taste if it’s still a little raw . You do not want to overcook it either , or it will become very soggy and doesn’t taste good . Probably about 12 minutes cooking should be enough for the brussel sprouts to get done .

For the shrimp

1.5 lbs of large shrimp , about 24 ( i used regular size ) . peeled and de-veined , reserve the peel .

2 bunches of green onions

vegetable oil

1/4 c. of Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 c. of warm water

2 tbsp. cajun / creole seasoning

1 can of sweet corn

2 plum tomatoes

2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with water to thicken up the sauce

1. Heat oil in a skillet , add half of the green onion , add the shrimp shells / peels , cook until turns pink , about 2 minutes , add Worcestershire sauce , and water , cook until reduce , about 5 minutes . Remove all the shells and set aside .

2. In a same skillet , add the veggie oil , and green onions and the shrimps ( shrimp has to be wiped dry and sprinkled with the cajun / creole seasoning all over ) , cook about 1 minute , add the shrimp broth and cook about 3 minutes , simmer , do not overcook or your shrimp will be chewy .

3. Add corn and tomato , mix well , add the cornstarch mixture to thicken up the sauce . Serve warm with jasmine rice .

Baked Yellow Plantains ( Maduros Asados )

I had never tried plantains before . To me , plantains are huge banana , king banana , it reminds me back in Indonesia that we have what we call Pisang Agung , it’s huge , long and skinny . Of course back in Indonesia we have few varieties of bananas , unlike in US , what they call banana is just banana , almost looks like ” pisang ambon ” back Indonesia . Over there we have pisang raja , pisang ambon , pisang susu , and many many more .

This picture below is what we call Plantain , they’re big , more than normal size of bananas , and the more black spots they get , the better , and the riper they are . This below , is a picture of ripe plantain .I bought them about 2 or more weeks ago , it was still green when i bought it , that’s how long it took to get really ripe .

It is so easy to enjoy these plantains , i just line a parchment paper on the baking sheet and slice the bananas , brush with melted butter and i baked them for 20 minutes on each side , at 400 F . Because they’re sweet , they caramelize pretty good without having to add anything such as brown sugar , i guess you could if you want to , but i didn’t . And the result was delicious !! I guess the real maduros was supposed to be fried plantains , and i love fried food , everything tastes better fried i think , but in order to try to have a healthier snack , i think baking them is a better choice and beside it tastes pretty good anyway .


Salami , Roasted Red Pepper Calzones

I made pizza last week , and i froze the other half of the dough , a good way to use the left overs pizza dough , either you make another pizza , or make calzones . I ended up using it for calzones . I thawed out my frozen pizza dough in the fridge this morning , by late afternoon it was pretty much ready to be used . The pizza dough i used freezes very well , and i can use it as if it’s a just made fresh today . For the filling , i put some salami , added some mushroom , roasted red pepper , and used mozzarella cheese and provolone cheese . It was super easy and pretty yummy . For the dipping sauce , i used my regular pizza sauce , i made it from tomato paste mixed with water , and some spices , such as basil , oregano , marjoram , onion , etc .

You need :

1 pizza dough and pizza sauce

1/4 lbs of salami from deli, thinly sliced

1 can or fresh button mushrooms

1 roasted red pepper , chopped

1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese

about 4-5 slices of provolone cheese

bunches of parsley leaves , chopped

2 eggs

In a bowl , beat the eggs and parsley , set aside half of the beaten eggs . Add mozzarella into the half beaten eggs with parsley . Preheat oven to 400 F , preheat the baking sheet too . Roll out your pizza dough into 9 x12 rectangle on a parchment paper , spread the mozzarella egg mixture on the one half of the dough , topped with salami , mushroom and roasted red pepper , and provolone cheese . Fold the top over it , crimp well , and slide the calzone on the parchment paper into the preheated baking sheet , and bake for 15 minutes . Brush with the beaten egg mixture , bake for another 5 or 10 minutes until it’s golden brown . Serve with pizza sauce as the dipping sauce .

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

The simplest , easiest , pasta dish ever !! You’d be surprised , there are only 3 main ingredients in this delicious dish . Sometimes , the simplest meal is the most delicious one . As long as you have extra virgin olive oil , garlic and red pepper flakes , i think you should be set to make this yummy dish . Oh not to forget salt , and pepper if you like . I think this will be good for summer , where you don’t want anything heavy , something light yet delicious ..

You will need :

1 lb of spaghetti ( al dente , cook according direction , reserving 1/4 cup of starch water )

6 garlic cloves

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 tsp. of salt

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes .

In a bowl , mix the olive oil , garlic and salt , add into heated skillet , under low heat , cook for about 8 minutes until garlic turns soft and golden brown . Once the pasta is done , add the pasta into the skillet , mix well , add 1/4 reserved starch water into the skillet . Add chopped flat leaf parsley and lemon zest if you like . Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese .Serve

Proper Blokes’ Sausage with Rotini

Another superb recipe from Jamie Oliver , not only it’s delicious , it’s super easy and quick !! From the start until i finish my dishes , it only took me 45 minutes total . And surprisingly there is no garlic or onion in this pasta dish , but it tastes great !! I have nothing else to say , just try it !!

You need :

2 tsp. fennel seed

2-3 chili pepper , i used thai chili

In a pestle or mortar , mash these together really good , set aside .

1 lbs of good quality italian sausage , remove from casing

olive oil

about a glass of white wine

1 tbsp. of dried oregano

lemon zest

juice from 1 lemon

grated parmesan cheese

flat leaf parsley , chopped

2 tbsp. of butter

In a skillet , heat the olive oil , crumble the sausage , and brown them , add the spices , and cook 5 minutes longer to caramelize them . Add a glass of white wine , and oregano,  until it reduced into half , add lemon zest , lemon juice . Then add the pasta ( cook them according to direction , keep about 1/2 cup of starch water , u might need it later ) , mix well , add butter , parmesan cheese and parsley . Serve immediately .

Weekend Cooking : Green eggs and ham , Chicken Tikka Masala and EZ strawberry napoleon

It’s our weekend cooking , this morning after i woke up , i tried to think what would be good for breakfast . Usually i would make french toast , but i ran out of maple syrup , then i thought about eggs , since my husband mentioned just making scrambled eggs . But i’d like to make something a little different , i ended up trying to bake the eggs . I put ham on the bottom , layered it with sauteed veggies , and finally topped it off with the eggs . Super easy , and looks good. I guess you can call it green eggs and ham .. LOL .. Here if how it looks like

Another thing that i made today was Chicken Tikka Masala , i was very happy with this recipe . The recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s cook book . This was by far the best chicken tikka masala recipe , i’ve made chicken tikka masala few months ago , but it was dissapointing , it was using jar sauce too !! But this time it’s different , it was all made from scratch , my house smells so good from cooking this . All the spices , and the dish turned out to be really delicious !

And for the dessert , i made something simple and easy . I’ve got plenty of strawberries , so i made strawberry napoleon , i’ve made the custard the other day . So it was very easy and quick to make . I used puff pastry sheets that i bought from the store .

Anyway , here is the recipes :

For Baked eggs with Ham and Veggies ( Green eggs and ham  )

Grease 4 ramekins with cooking spray .Set aside

Saute : 1/4 c. chopped onion

1/4 c. Red bell pepper

about 5-6 asparagus ( break off the bottom ) , sliced

In a skillet , warm up the butter , and saute onion, red pepper and asparagus , just until the veggies get tender . About 5 minutes .

To assemble :

In a greased ramekins , layer ham on the bottom , then add the sauteed veggies , and top it off with eggs , and add 1 tbsp. heavy cream on top of the egg . Bake at 350 F , for about 18 minutes .

For Chicken Tikka Masala

You need :

3 Chicken Breasts , cut up in chunks

6 cloves of garlic

3 inches of ginger

2-3 fresh chili pepper

1 tbsp. mustard seed

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground coriander

3 tbsp. garam masala

3/4 cup of plain yogurt

Olive oil

Grate the ginger and garlic in a bowl , then in a skillet , heat up olive oil about 1 tbsp. and then add the mustard seed , until it starts popping then add into the bowl and mix with the rest of the spices , except ONLY 2 Tbsp. of garam masala , reserve the other 1 tbsp. of garam masala for later use . Mix well and then divide it by half . Set aside half for the sauce later on .

In a small bowl mix the spices with yogurt , mix well , add the chicken chunks . Marinade for 1 hour . After 1 hour , grill the chicken or sear on the skillet or broil .

2 onions , slices thinly

2 tbsp. of tomato sauce

2-3 tbsp. of tomato paste

1/2 cup of nuts ( i used honey roasted peanuts , the recipe calls for almond or cashew ) , ground

2 1/4 cup of water

1 tsp. salt

1/4 cup of heavy cream

handful of cilantro

juice of 1-2 limes

While the chicken is being grilled , let’s make the sauce . In a skillet , the same skillet u used for mustard seed , heat up 1 tbsp. butter , add the sliced onions and the other half of the spices mix . Cook on low heat for 15 minutes , until just brown , then add tomato sauce , tomato paste and water and salt . Mix well and let it thicken and simmer for a while . When you’re ready to add the chicken , warm up the sauce again , add the OTHER 1 tbsp. of garam masala and 1/4 cup heavy cream , once it boils , turn the heat off and add the chicken chunks . Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and juice of the lime , serve with basmati rice .

For strawberry napoleon , you can check the page about vanilla custard . That’s all you have to make , bake the puff pastry according to direction , and then slice the strawberries and make the custard .