Often, when I have an idea for a meal, I would purchase a new sauce. As time goes on, more new sauces appear in my fridge. To save costs, and also to not waste the half open bottles of sauces, I would play with marinating or cooking different cuts of meats with them.
I bought this teriyaki sauce to make stir frys generally but then decided then I could marinate chicken drumsticks with some of the sauce, chili flakes and honey. The roasted version resulted in a sticky and spicy chicken- both which I quite enjoy.
You may choose to omit the honey although I think it adds a nice carmeralised flavour to it.
Spicy Honey Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks
6 chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
2 tsp of chili flakes
1 tsp of honey
Marinate chicken with sauces and chili overnight. Bake in preheated oven 200 C for around 30 minutes. Serve with rice and veges.
I have never been a fan of dessicated coconut. It’s more like the texture that I dislike. Till I met and marry AR…whom you guessed it..love love love anything coconut. I have not met someone who like coconut the way AR does!
Being invited to this gorgeous gorgeous home for a pot luck gathering, I decided to bring a slice that I have been “procrastinating” to make. Given my “keenness” for coconut, you can imagine why I wasn’t 100% on board with this bake. But I know AR and some of the guests will prob like this, so I thought it is time to try something new.
This jam slice won my heart. I bite into it and realised that my thoughts of “surely I wouldnt like this” was wrong. Coconut isn’t that bad afterall, and the texture is actually quite nice. Top with the correct ingredients of course.
It pays to try something new always. You might never know what you will discover. And what you may not like in the past, may be transformed.
Coconut Jam Slice (Taken from my first baking cook book “The Essentials of Baking”)
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of self raising flour
150 grams of butter
1/2 cup of icing sugar (I used 1/4)
1 egg yolk
1/2cup of strawberry jam (I used 1 cup!!!)
3 cups of desiccated coconut
1) Preheat oven to 180C. Line square tin with paper.
2) Process flours, butter and icing sugar till it becomes fine and crumbly. Add egg yolk and process till it comes together. Press dough in tin and refrigerate for 10 mins.
3) Bake dough for 15 mins till golden brown. Allow to cool and then spread jam evenly over pastry.
4) Beat caster sugar and eggs together till creamy. Add coconut. Spread mixture onto slice. Gently pressing down with back of spoon. Bake for another 25 mins till it becomes slightly golden. Leave to cool and the lift the slice out. Slice into pieces.
Having discover this cute little riced shaped pasta, I couldn’t resist to make a salad out of it. I heard it is good in soups too- so might experiment with it later since the weather is getting colder.
A jar of chargrilled capsicum (I love those stuff), some lemon juice, peans and corn.. a simple salad is made. Pork mince was marinated with honey, 5spice, breadcrumbs, chili flakes, an egg, seasoning and pan fried.
Come to think of it, this meal could probably be easily done on the bbq too! Ah..things we discover afterwards!
Risoni Salad with Honey Pork Patties (Serve 2-3 with plenty of leftovers!)
1 cup of risoni cooked in boiling water as per instructions
1/2 cup of frozen corn and peas
120 gram of chargrilled capsicum
squeeze of lemon juice
200 grams of pork mince
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tsp of 5 spiced powder
1/2 cup of dried breadcrumbs
2 tsp of chili flakes
1/4 cup of corn flour
pepper and salt
Marinate pork mince. Shape into patties and pan fried it.
Meanwhile, toss salad ingredients together. Serve warm.
Sharing something different with friends from Presto Pasta, founded by Ruth. This week, it is hosted by Rachel the Crispy Cook.
I have raved about this blog before and still continue to draw ideas from this brilliant home cook. When I saw Little Corner’s lazy version of this very popular hawker dish, I decided to give it a go. Can you believe that I have not touched this dish for years! (Approx 8 years probably). One reason is because of the oil that goes with this dish. In hawker centre, I can taste the oil sipping through and being very weight conscious, I couldnt bear to take this dish when I can have other options to try (like my favourite Yong Tou Fu!).
Thankfully, home made version means I can adjust oil and seasoning accordingly. It was super easy and while I was in the zone plating this up, I messed up my Kueh Salat (previous post). Oh well, one win and the other one… to try again!
Loh Mai Kai (Glutinous Soya Pork Rice) -Chicken should be used! But I had pork so I used that instead..
1 cup of Glutinous Rice (i did soak it for a few hours) wash, water level as normal and cook in rice cooker
200 grams of pork sliced marinated in
2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of soya
1 tablespoon of dark (I might reduce this next time)
heaps of pepper
1 chinese cured sausage (Lup cheong) sliced
Marinate Pork. While rice is cooking, saute garlic and add lup cheong. When it sizzles, add pork and sauces. Add around 1/4 water if too dry. Taste for seasoning. Add chinese mushrooms. Set mixture aside when cooked.
When rice is nearly done, add in the same portion of seasoning as you would for the pork. Stir well.
Spoon cooked rice into a small bowl. Compact it. Place pork or chicken slices, mushrooms and lup cheong on top. Press to compact. Place a plate on top of the bowl, turn it over, give it a light tap and remove bowl. Tadah… Loh Mai Kai!
So for a few days, I whispered to myself daily….”In order to appreciate positives, we have to embrace the negatives. When there is failure, then we appreciate success.”
As part of making Kueh Salat, not only do we need to steam the glutinous rice, the custard topping needs to be stirred constantly till it becomes like a creamy looking thick custard. Pour it into the glass pyrex pan, steam it and da-duh, beautiful looking kueh.
Of course, I was distracted (haha, sorry was going through abit of a stress week that particular week!),as I was also making”Lo Mai Kai” (Steam Glutinous Rice with Soya Pork and Mushrooms) at around the same time frame. I was trying to make use of my packet of glutinous rice as much as possible. Not that we are going to finish everything but just to share it with family and friends.
So the custard became lumpy and overcooked just as I glance over to check. It’s too late though. Can’t be salvaged.. and the lumpy custard was poured into the tray… steamed.. My heart goes out to the custard! Poor custard, it wasn’t meant to be!
back to the drawing board with this one….
AR often comment that I seem to be everywhere at once when I am cooking. One minute I am chopping, the other minute I am stirring the pot and when he turned around and I am at the fridge keeping something or getting an ingredient out.
Sometimes, he catches me on the computer reading blogs, putting comments or just replying emails! (oops)
There are times when I concentrate and get into the zone of cooking. When nothing else exists but just you and the kitchen stove? Not on this day while I was doing a stir fry. I was obviously distracted because I overcooked it!!!
You can just imagine AR shaking his head….
Ginger Pork Stir Fry
300 grams of lean pork meat sliced
1 tsp of corn flour
1 bunch of spring onion sliced
1 knob of ginger sliced thinly
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
2-3 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of soya sauce
1/4 cup of chinese wine (or ginger wine)
dash of white pepper
maybe 1/4 cup of water
Heat pan up. Lightly coat pork with corn flour. Meanwhile sizzle ginger and garlic. Cook pork through adding seasoning and water if needed. Simmer for 5 minutes (NOT 10!) and quickly toss through spring onions. Serve hot with rice and veges.
Sometimes, just in a very odd day… I do not feel like cooking.
Ever have one those days?
You know, those days when it is probably towards the end (or start) of the week.. when it has been a long long week, where everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. And when you snap at loved one around you who asked you to to count your blessings ( you know it wasn’t that bad afterall). When the last thing you want to do is to face the kitchen and think about what you and your family would like to eat.
I experienced one of those days recently.
The thing is, on those days, action counts. And once I am in there, knowing that I am making something simple and comforting seems to relieve the “pain” for just that 15 mins that I am in the kitchen. When chopping veges actually cleared your head. And slipping hot spicy soup brings warmth to your heart.
What will we do without soup?
Spicy Bacon and Bean Soup (Serves 4-5)
Beef stock (1 ltr)
1 can of mixed beans
1 packet of lean bacon (I used weight watchers) chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tsp of chili powder
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 red capsicum chopped
1 cup of mushrooms chopped
4-5 stalks of celery chopped
1 cup of frozen corn (make that 2 please!)
2 fresh tomato chopped
some Parmesan cheese and toasted bread to serve
Heat soup pot. Cook bacon till it is slightly brown. Add onion and cook till translucent. Toss veges and beans through add stock. Simmer for15-20 minutes. Taste and season. Serve with cheese, cracked pepper and bread.
So we have been in a seafood mood lately. One has to venture away from mince sometimes! I remembered learning how to score squid when I was about 17 years old. An aunt of a housemate invited us over for dinner (She is such a brilliant cook!). As you do, I offered to help and standing in the kitchen, she gave me tips on choosing calamari, cleaning them and of course cutting them into good sized pieces.
I love seeing squid sizzle and curl into a nice shape. I kept this really simple. Marinating the squid with some lemon juice, salt and pepper.I grilled it quickly and then toss the the squid + veges with pasta. Dash of olive oil and sprinkle of pine nuts, dinner was served.
Chili Garlic Squid Fettuccine with Pinenuts
250 grams of fresh fettuccine (Cooked to packet directions, keep warm in a bowl)
4 squid tubes cleaned and score diamond crosses
1 tsp of chopped garlic
tsp of chopped chili
1/2 lemon juice
pepper and salt
1 bowl of chopped mushroms
1 zucchini grated/shredded and water squeezed out from it.
1/4 cup of pine nuts toasted
Parmesan cheese to serve if you like it
Heat grill pan to very hot. Quickly toss squid through till cooked. In the same pan, add the veges for 30 seconds. Pour veges and squid into bowl of noodles. Tossing it through with some extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle pinenuts and cheese to serve.
Dishing pasta love to friends at Presto Pasta founded by Ruth. This week, it is hosted by Susan from the Well Seasoned Cook! I am so getting into the stringly ball game!
Passing by a famous chicken chain shop one day, I noticed that they have quite a few new products this year. I took a closer look and they were featuring chicken pinwheels- Puff pastry wrapped with chicken mince in various flavours. I knew exactly at that moment that it would be something I like to re-create at home.
So armed with some mince (Notice we have been eating and experimenting with more mince recently? Just my bid to reduce grocery costs- the price rises are getting exorbitant now!) and puff pastry.. I started rolling.
This one has chargrilled capsium with fresh tomatoes and cheese. I love they way they turned out.
Any other suggestions for pinwheels? =)
Lamb and Grilled Capsicum Pinwheels
200 grams of lamb mince
1-2 tablespoon of bbq sauce
1/2 red onion chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon of corn flour
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 jar of chargrilled capsicum strips
1 tomato chopped
3 pieces of puff pastry cut into halves.
Marinate lamb mince. Place defrosted puff pastry on bench, and spoon lamb mixture on it..flatten it. Add capsium strips and tomato. Sprinkle cheese. Roll it tight. Cut into portions and place on lined tray. Bake in 200C oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve with side salad.
There are times when I pick up a magazine and no recipes appeal to me. The last issue of Donna Hay (Feb/March 2010) has quite a few that inspired me. Looking at the gorgeous mouth watering photo of Caramelised Banana and Coconut Cake, I couldn’t resist but to bake it for morning tea for work one day.
As I was looking at the ingredients, the thought of “less is more” this is certainly “more and more” came to my mind. We are talking about caramel, banana, coconut and even passionfruit in one cake! It all came together in the end though and I was greeted by happy smiles in the office as they bite into this luscious cake. All worth it.
Caramelised Banana and Coconut Cake
20 grams butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
8 bananas halved
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150 grams butter melted (Extra)
1 cup desiccated coconut
passion fruit syrup
4 passionfruit, pulp removed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon caster sugar
To make syrup, place pulp, water and sugar in small sauce plan. Stir till sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, cook for 2-3 mins till it thickens. Set aside
PLace butter, sugar and water in small sauce plan over low heat and stir till sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour into base of lightly greated and lined 22 cm square tin. Arrange the banana, but side down on top of caramel.
Preheat oven 160C. Place sugar, eggs and vanilla in electric mixer and beat for 8-10 mins till pale and fluffy. Sift flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold through. Add the extra butter and coconut and fold through. Pour mixture over banana and bake for 45-50 mins till cooked through when tested with skewer. Allow to cool slightly. Turn cake out onto a platter and spoon over the passion fruit syrup to serve.