Monthly Archives: May 2012

Chicken Pot PIe

I remember the first time i made this recipe , i thought boy .. this meal is a lot of work !! But now that i know my way around the kitchen , what should i do first and moving on to the next step while preparing other things , it’s really not that bad . Wasn’t hard and well .. though it took a little time , but when you prep everything , it will go quick . You can also prepare this meal , part of it , a day ahead of time . Such as , make the pie dough ahead of time , you can make it a day before . Then you can roast the chicken earlier that day .. by then everything will go pretty quick .

Chicken pot pie is like 1 pot meal , i don’t think it’s necessary to serve it with any other thing , it has the vegetables , it has the chicken which provides your protein , and it has the pie crust .. those yummy pie crust .. So , even if you have to spend couple hours in the kitchen , it’s really worth it . This meal is particularly comforting during cold winter months .

The Recipe :

For the pastry dough :

3 cups of flour

1/2 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 cup of vegetable shortening

1 stick of unsalted butter

1/2 c – 2/3 c of ice cold water

In a food processor , mix the flour , salt and baking powder . Add the shortening and butter , pulse few times until it becomes crumbly . Then with the motor running , add the ice cold water , the dough should started to come together , don’t pulse too long , the dough will be too turn out hard ( pie crust ) . Just enough , so when you press the dough together it will stay together . Then shape into a ball / disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes .Set aside , use until it’s ready to be used .

Meanwhile .. prepare the chicken

3 splits chicken breast with bone in , rub with little olive oil , sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper . Bake in the oven at 350 F ,  for about 30-35 minutes , if you have to bake longer , no more than 40 minutes or your chicken will get too dry .Once it’s done , set aside , let it cool enough to handle . Then cut the chicken into cubes . Set aside .

Let’s get the filling ready ..

2 large carrots , diced , then blanch for about 3 minutes , then set aside

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1 large onion , chopped

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

almost 5 cups of chicken broth

1/4 cup of heavy cream

salt and pepper

chicken

frozen peas

In a pot , or dutch oven , heat up the olive oil , then add onion , cook about 7-8 minutes on medium low heat , then add 3/4 cup of flour , cook for 2 minutes , keep stirring . Then add the chicken broth while whisking , it should started to get thick , and keep stirring until it boils , then add the salt pepper , heavy cream , chicken , and carrots and peas . Simmer for about 10-15 minutes , stirring often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom .

Let’s assemble it ..

In a big bowl or pie plate or ramekins ( which i used ) , add the filling in , then cover with the pie crust ( that has been rolled out and cut into the right size to cover the filling ) . Then brush with beaten egg and bake at 350 F for about an hour ( for pie plate ) , or 30 minutes for ramekins .

 


 

 

 

 

Flat Bread Mini Pizza

Flat bread pizza is really not hard to make , i like it , because the regular pizza gets too filling for me , big thick crust .. is really not my favourite . This recipe here is really easy and not only you can make them for pizza , you can also make it for crackers , or dip it in hummus , it’s good . Speaking of hummus .. i miss hummus !!!

You need :

1 3/4 cup of flour

1/2 tsp.

2 1/4 tsp.of active yeast

pinch of salt

herbs of your choice ( garlic powder , thyme , onion powder .. whatever .. or just leave it plain is alright too )

3/4 cup of water

1. In a large bowl , place all the dry ingredients together , then mix well .

2. Add the warm water into the flour mixture , mixing with wooden spoon or mixer , whatever you choose , it eventually forms a ball , then take it out and starts kneading . If it gets too sticky then add little flour . Keep kneading for 5 minutes until it becomes elastic . Let it sit in warm place , cover , for 1 hour to rise .

3. Take it out , then divide into 8 small balls and flatten with your hands to make your flat bread . Then heat up a skillet on medium heat , place 1 flat bread at a time , cook for 2 minutes , turn the other side , cook for 2 minutes , then remove . And start build your topping for pizza .

Parmesan-Garlic Breadsticks

So , after making pizza dough 2 days ago , i had 2 balls of dough laying around . This morning i turned 1 into stromboli , and this afternoon while cooking dinner , i turned the other dough into breadsticks .Now if you don’t have the dough ready , it’ll take a while to make and honestly , it’s not worth it , because you’re worrying about what’s for dinner , and then you have your hands full in the kitchen making the bread dough for hours , well you have to make the dough then let it rise , and shaped it and let it rise again .. so of course that part takes a lot of time . Different story , if you have the dough ready few nights before , all you had to do just take it out shape it , and let’s work on it !!

I assume you already have the dough on hand , if you don’t , please check it out here

You need :

pizza dough

3 tbsp.melted unsalted butter

1/4 c. of grated parmesan cheese ( use food processor and pulse it )

salt

garlic

1. Divide the dough into small balls , probably you will end up with 12 or 16 balls , you can make a large sticks or mini sticks , whatever you want . Then roll into rope , place on a parchment paper . Cover and place in a warm area and let it rise . About an hour .

2. Preheat oven to 400 F , and then brush the bread with melted butter . then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and little salt .Bake about 12-15 minutes .

3. Once it’s done , brush with little more butter , and then sprinkle with salt-garlic mixture . Serve .

Pizza Dough Tutorial

Don’t be intimidated to make pizza dough , a lot of us are thinking , oh i can’t do it , bread dough scares me !! I used to think this way too 🙂 Really , it’s not as bad as you think , and it actually is really fun making bread dough , in this case pizza dough . Pizza dough is a lot more easier than dough with eggs , and milk , and butter , which could be messy . This pizza dough is really easy to make . If you have standing mixer , that’s even better , but this tutorial is for manual only , which means  you’re going to use only your hand , knead the dough with your hand . Standing mixer comes in handy though , i have kitchenaid standing mixer and it’s been a really good help making bread dough , therefore i never really kneaded it myself . Until recently we relocated and while waiting for selling our house , i bought myself a hand mixer , since i left my kitchen stuff at home still . The hand mixer comes with a bread hook but of course they’re not even half as strong as standing mixer 🙂 So , i am left without any choices but to make bread dough manually . This is when i found out , making it without a machine is not really hard , it is easy and the result is really good !

In a large bowl , place 3 1/2 cups of bread flour , 1 tsp. sugar , 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast and pinch of salt . Mix them together , with spoon or hand , whatever , just mix them up .

2.Mix the ingredients with your hands or spoon . Mix well .

3. Mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water ( about 100 F ) , and 2 tbsp. of olive oil .

4. Pour the olive oil and water mix into the flour mix .

5. If you have regular hand mixer , use that to mix the dough . If not , you can use wooden spoon to mix the dough .

6. When you use your mixer or spoon , you can only go so far with the dough , because it started to get heavy , and you might burn the motor of your mixer ( unless you have standing kitchen , but then again we won’t learn about this , right ? ) . So , stop with the mixer or spoon , and start to use your fingers .

7. When you mix the dough with your hand in that bowl , you probably have to add more flour , add little at a time , don’t dump a large amount into the dough just because it’s so sticky , remember add little at a time , until the dough is not too sticky , but not too dry either . If you add too much , the dough will become too dry and your bread won’t be good . Keep adding as you need it while you mix / knead the dough with your hand .

8. It is time to remove it and place it on counter top when the dough cleans the side of the bowl . It should not be sticky and not dry either .

 

9. I like to knead my dough on counter top instead of the bowl , it gives me more space to work with . Use your strength from your arms while you knead the dough , turn the dough and knead , over and over . If you find this too sticky to your finger , then add little flour . Keep kneading non stop for 6-8 minutes .Work those muscles !!

10. After kneading it for 8 minutes ,  your dough should be elastic . It’s not too dry , but not too sticky either , you should be able to pull the dough gently and won’t tear , and yet , it doesn’t stick to your finger . It’s elastic .

11. Now , add 1 tbsp. of olive oil in your large bowl , then wipe it all over with paper towel . And place your dough in the bowl , make sure you turn it around so it won’t stuck to the bowl later on . Let it sit in a warm place for an hour to rise .

12. Now , after an hour , this is how your dough looks like . Amazing , isn’t it ? 😀

13. Once it’s done rising , let’s take the dough out from the bowl , DO NOT PUNCH IT DOWN ! Just take it out , like you’re pouring something out from a bowl , it should slide out easily because of the olive oil around the bowl .

14. Divide the bread dough into 2 big balls , and wrap it with plastic wrap if you don’t plan to use it right away . Store in the fridge , it should last about 4 days .

Okay , if you plan on to make pizza crust , you can roll it out , and bake it for 15 minutes at 425 F , then you can add your topping , or if you don’t want to use it right away , you can freeze this crust , for future use . Of course you have to wrap it really good to prevent freezer burn . When you’re ready to bake it just thaw it out before adding your topping .

You can also use pizza dough for Calzone and Stromboli , just roll them up into rectangle shape on a parchment paper , then you can add your fillings for calzone and wrap it . For stromboli , add your fillings and roll it like jelly roll cake . Check out my other entry for calzone and stromboli for the recipe .

 

 

Spicy Thai Fried Rice

I love fried rice , my husband loves fried rice too . Growing up in Indonesia , we ate a lot of fried rice , my grandma used to make this big batch of fried rice for breakfast , and then she would call my mom or my aunts , then words would spread . ” grandma is making fried rice , come over for breakfast ” So , we usually stopped by , because grandma made big batch of fried rice . But that was Indonesian Chinese Fried Rice ..

What i am posting here is Thai Fried Rice , they’re slightly different than the fried rice that i grew up with . It has been bugging my mind for quite some time , ever since we lived in Kansas about 7 years ago , and made our first trip to Thai restaurant . Jay ordered spicy fried rice , and it was really good . The color isn’t as rich as indonesian fried rice , and all i can think of .. that they probably just use soy sauce .. i never thought that they used  Fish sauce !!! But then again .. don’t they use fish sauce a lot in thai food ? 😀

I was supposed to use thai basil .. if i had made this dish back in my house in Indiana .. i would have been able to add the thai basil , that i grew in my garden , but i couldn’t find any in any stores over here , i settled with italian basil just for a decoration .Just so you know , when you mix the sauce , it’s not going to smell good , because of the fish sauce has a very pungent smell . If you are okay with that smell then that’s great , if it bothers you , like it does to me , add sesame oil at the end of cooking , it helps to eliminate the pungent smell of fish sauce .

The recipe :

2 chicken thighs / or 1 chicken breast , boneless , cut in strips

1/2 onion , thinly slice

1 red bell pepper , thinly slice

lots of bird’s eye chilis , i used about 10

10 garlic cloves

5 tbsp. of oyster sauce

3 tbsp. of fish sauce

2-3 tbsp. of soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp. of sugar

sesame oil

sesame seed for decorations

thai basil

about 5 cups of rice ( day old would be best choice )

1. In a small bowl , mix sugar , oyster sauce and fish sauce .

2. In a wok , heat 1-2 tbsp. of vegetable oil / canola oil , saute minced garlic and chopped pepper , for a minute , then add the bell pepper , onion , chicken , cook until the chicken is half way done , then add the sauce in . Cook again until chicken is totally done .

3. Add the rice , stir well , then add soy sauce , keep stirring or else it’ll be burnt , cook until it’s mixed well and warm .Add few drops of sesame oil . Sesame oil helps to omit the fish sauce smell .  Serve , sprinkle with sesame seed .

Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata is super easy meal that you can fix within half an hour and you should be able to have your meals ready . People who loves lemons should def.try this dish , it is lemony , tangy , but you can always tone it down , by adding a little sugar . I also used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts , but i am sure it’ll be healthier if you use chicken breasts and omit the butter .

You need :

2 lbs of boneless chicken , use meat tenderizer , pound it flat

salt and pepper

flour to dredge the chicken

2/3 cup of fresh lemon juice

1 cup of chicken broth

sugar

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper , then dredge the chicken on the flour . Add into the skillet ( with heated olive oil and 1 tbsp. of butter ) . .When the skillet sizzles , add the chicken , cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until it turns brown . Remove from the skillet , set aside .

2. Add lemon juice and chicken broth , bring to boil , scrapping up the brown bits , then return the chicken into the skillet with lemon juice and broth. Simmer for 8 minutes . Place the chicken on the plate and then pour little bit of the sauce . Serve with mashed potato or pasta .

Calzone and Stromboli

Actually , there are not much difference between the two . Both are made with pizza dough , you can either use sausage , pepperoni , salami , any vegetables you like . And both are good , the only difference is , with calzone , you just wrap up the meat with the dough , while stromboli , you would have to roll it like a jelly roll style . I don’t add pizza sauce inside either one of them , because we usually like to just dip them into the sauce . You can skip the sauce too and it tastes just as good .

Recipe for the pizza dough is here .

This is the calzone , you can make small individual calzone or one big one like the picture below .

This one is stromboli

 

Pastel Goreng ( Indonesian Empanadas )

Pastel Goreng is Indonesian snack , i used to eat this a lot when i was younger . Mom never made it herself though , we used to stop by at this one restaurant , and bought it from them . They’re delicious , now that i think about it .. it is similar to Empanadas , not so much similar to Calzone , because Calzone is using bread dough , while empanadas , has a crust almost like pie crust , similar to Pastel Goreng . The filling though is totally different , but then again you are free to use any fillings you want to . I used chicken , carrots , peas , green beans and rice vermicelli ( if i happen to have it on hand ) . This time i didn’t have rice vermicelli on hand , so i skipped it .

As for the wrapper , it would have been a lot easier and saving so much time if i had pasta maker , since i didn’t have one , i just used rolling pin and rolled it as thin as i can and cutting it using a small bowl . Not as bad as i thought it would be , so i am pretty happy with the result 🙂

These are the pastels before they’re being deep fried :

For the wrapper , you need : 

300 grams of all purpose flour

25 grams cornstartch

25 grams rice flour / powder

salt and pepper

1 beaten egg

50 grams of melted margarine

100 ml. of water

1.In a large bowl , mix dry ingredients together . Set aside . In a small bowl , mix the water , egg and the margarine .

2. Make a well in the center and pour the wet ingredients into the well , mix it with wooden spoon , and finish up with your hands . Knead it until it becomes a smooth ball .

3. If you have pasta maker , use it , if you don’t , divide the dough into 3 or 4 small balls , and then roll it out with your rolling pin , until it’s very thin where you can see your fingers when you lift up the dough , but not too thin where it might tear . It needs to be strong enough to be folded .Cut the dough about 10 cm diameter circle , and then add your fillings . Shape just like the picture .

For filling , you need :

1/2 lb of ground chicken

1/4 lb of chopped shrimp

2 large eggs , diced small

green beans

boiled potatoes , diced small

peas

carrots

chicken cube

water

salt and pepper

flour

shallots and garlic

 

1. In a skillet , heat up vegetable oil , add shallots and garlic ( chopped , minced ) , then add green beans and carrots ( also chopped well ) , and then add chicken , cook until no more pink .

2. Add chicken cube , frozen peas and mix well .

3. Add little flour , about 1 tbsp. and cook for about 1 minute , then add water or milk , it should thicken up really well . Simmer for a little bit , you don’t want it to be too dry . It needs to be a little moist .

Fresh Vegetables Soup

Living in the south give us the advantage of having fresh vegetables almost all year round , not to mention it’s cheap ! Back when we were living up north , we could only do this during spring and summer , where we got to buy from farmer’s market at a great price . During winter time , it’ll be too expensive and the vegetables wouldn’t be as good as when they’re in season .

So , given that , we decided to make fresh veggies soup tonight , and it has all the yummy vegetables in it ,and it’s so easy to make too . Preparation doesn’t take that long either , so .. here it is .. basically the picture shows you the vegetables i am using in this recipe .

You need :

2 large carrots , diced

2-3 ears of corn, scrapped

4-5 plum tomatoes , diced

2 large potatoes , diced

3-4 garlic cloves

2 leeks , chopped

8 cups of vegetable broth , or chicken broth

fresh parsley

lemon juice

1. Heat the oil in the pot , then add leeks , and garlic , cook for about 4 minutes , then add carrots , potatoes and green beans . Let it cook for another 5 minutes .

2. After that , add vegetable or chicken broth , and bring to boil . Once it boils , add tomatoes and corn , and simmer for 25 minutes .

3. Before serving , sprinkle some chopped parsley and lemon juice .

Perkedel Daging

My mom used to make this a lot when she was still alive , i’ve watched her , i’ve helped her , but never really made them myself until today . It is perkedel daging , made from potatoes that were fried , then mashed . Some families , such as mine , like to add ground beef in there to make it more hearty , and therefore , you can just eat them with rice , nothing else , and you’ll full already ! Or it can be just potatoes , without any meat added , and it can be a side dish . Either way with meat or not , it is delicious , eaten alone as a snack or with rice . Whatever you want .

You need :

4-5 large potatoes , i used yukon gold potatoes , diced

vegetable oil

1/4 lb of extra lean ground beef

ground nutmeg

salt and pepper

fried shallot ( optional )

1. Heat up the oil , .once it’s hot , drop your potatoes in the oil carefully , and cook until they’re golden brown . Remove and drain from the oil using paper towel , do the same with the rest of the potatoes .

2. Once the potatoes cool a little bit , smash it with potato smasher or food processor , then add 2 egg yolks ,salt , pepper , nutmeg , and mix it , taste it , make sure you have enough spices , then add your ground beef , mix well , and shape into ball and flatten it , do the same with the rest of mixture .

3. Drop into the vegetable oil again and cook until it’s golden brown .

Pizza

Everyone loves pizza , right ? In our household , we usually make home made pizza once a month , it’s always fun making your own pizza . And they’re not that hard anyway . We usually make our own pizza crust and pizza sauce , if you are short on time , i cheat with the sauce , and used a canned sauce , but i have to adjust the taste , either add more garlic powder , onion powder , italian seasonings , pinch of sugar etc .. Tonight we made pizza , this time i made some individual pizza , everyone can choose and build their own pizza . I usually cook the veggies , because since it’s individual it will not be cooked too long in the oven , and i want my veggies a cooked just a little bit . So .. the recipe is about the same with pizza margherita recipe .. the sauce too .. just choose your own topping .. whether it’s red pepper , green pepper , red onion , sweet onion , mushrooms , bacon , sausage , pepperoni . Make sure you cook the bacon and sausage before adding them on the pizza . You can put pineapple , anchovy , olives .. whatever you want .. then top it with any cheese of your choice .. mozzarella usually the cheese for pizza , but who said you can’t go with cheddar or colby jack ? any cheese will work !!

So , check out these pictures of the pizza we built tonight and if you want to try it , use this recipe .

Andouille Sausage with Chicken Gumbo

Tonight i made meat gumbo for my family , we had gumbo before , but it was seafood , it was good too . This was a little different , although they both have great taste . I like gumbo , and we serve it with rice . Used chicken , and andouille sausage , and the holy trinity , which is onion , celery and green pepper . I guess those three is a must in gumbo making !!

You need :

1 lb of andouille sausage, sliced about 1/2 inch thick

4-5 boneless chicken thighs

1 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 cups of onion

1 cup of celery

1 cup of green bell pepper

3 bay leaves

1-2 tsp. of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. of salt

8 cups of chicken broth

1 tbsp. of file powder

1/2 cup of green onion

3 tbsp. of fresh chopped parsley

In a large dutch oven , add vegetable oil , then brown the sausage , about 10 minutes . Then remove with slotted spoon , set aside . Sprinkle your chicken thighs with essence of emeril generously . Then brown for 8 minutes total , and set aside . In the same pot , add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil , then add 1 cup of all purpose flour . And cook , stirring constantly , make dark brown roux , color of chocolate , for about 10-15 minutes, with medium heat . This burn easily , so make sure you keep stirring . If you’ve reach the brown roux before 15 minutes then moving on to the next step , if you haven’t reached it yet , then keep cooking it until it changes color to brown roux .

Then add the vegetables , onion , celery and green bell pepper , and mix well , cook about 4 minutes , then add cayenne , bay leaves and salt , along with the cooked sausage for a minute . Then add chicken broth , stirring while adding . And bring to boil , then return the chicken in the pot , and simmer for an hour .

Once it’s done , add the parsley and green onion , reserve some for garnish , add the file powder , and serve with rice .