Creamy Chicken and Egg Pie

I realised, it was 10 years ago since I made this pie. I can still remember, hubby and I were housemates then. We weren’t even dating. There were a few of us in this big shared house and we took turns to cook.

Yes, we survived. From chicken wing dings (some frozen chicken crumbed chicken wings), massive amounts of instant noodles, odd concoctions of soups and stir fries, oven baked fish and chips.. yes..those were the days.

Did I mentioned that it was in that kitchen that I produced my rock hard rock cakes.

It was also around that period of time, that I made this pie. I recall that hubby’s (who wasn’t even my boyfriend then!) brother came over to visit. I thought that a pie could be just something different and a nice change for all. Maybe I was trying to impress them subconsciously. But it was better than all the odd concoctions and pre packaged stir fry sauces. It turned out ok and it was all gone.

I thought I would shelve that recipe…..

and there it was, 10 years later All shelved up. but just as good. The surprise is when you cut the pie and take a bite of the creamy chicken and that egg. It hits you.

Creamy Chicken and Egg Pie
1 shortcrust pastry
1 puff pastry

500 grams of chicken thighs, trimmed and diced
1 capsicum diced
1 onion diced
1 tablespoon of garlic
200 grams of lean bacon diced
2 eggs hard boiled and quartered
1 cup of soy milk/milk
2 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
1 tablespoon of djon mustard
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of sherry

Blind Baked shortcuts pastry in 180 C oven for 20 minutes. If you can, line a piece of baking paper and put some rice/dried beans on it when blind baking.

Mean while, brown chicken. Once done, set aside. Heat butter and melt. Whisk in flour till it is slightly golden. Then pour in milk, whisking it till it becomes thick. Add in mustard and cheese. Simmer for 5 minutes, adding some water if needed to water it down. Then toss in all veges and finally chicken.

Spoon mixture to short crust pastry (removing the baking paper and beans).Scatter egg randomly on pie. Top with puff pastry, poking a few holes at the top. Brush with egg. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with side salad

Photobucket

Bubur Pulut Hitam (Black Sticky Rice Dessert)

Black food is good food. Growing up in humid Singapore, I was a tad confused on why people like having warm and hot desserts on a hot day? Well, it’s abit like having ice-cream on a cold and raining day isn’t it? They just seem to complement each other.

Bubur Pulut Hitam is a favourite dessert for many- including my hubby. It’s really like a black rice pudding. Thick and creamy with a dash of coconut cream. What not to love? I am a fan of the texture of it once it is slow cooked for many hours. Part of the Nonya Cuisine, it seems to always warm our hearts and soul when I have this bowl of sweet dessert.

I found out that it is rich in fibre- hence the reason why it takes so long to be broken down and cooked. More reason for me to have it, even though it is probably very high in carbs. I can argue, however, that it does not consist of that much sugar or other nasty stuff like butter.

And so the little argument in my head continues…

Bubur Pulut Hitam (Black Sticky Rice Dessert)
3 cups of black glutinous rice
10 cups of water
2-3 stalks of pandan leaves if you have it. Tied in a bunch
10 grams of dried logans washed
around 50-100grams of rock sugar

wash and soak rice overnight or 3-4 hours. Then bring it to boil with the quantity of water and panda leaves. After around 10-15 mins, bring it to a simmer and add the logans. Add sugar after another 15 minutes. If you have a thermal pot, use it at this point and cook it for another 4-5 hours if you can. If you are using the stove top, remember to give it a good stir once every 15 minutes. Simmer it using low fire/heat. Taste and adjust accordingly. Some people have cooked it in 2-3 hours but I never found mine creamy enough with that amount of time. in fact, if I used my thermal cooker to leave it overnight, or slow cooker, that tends to work even better.

Serve with a dash of coconut cream.

Photobucket

Malay Style Curry Chicken

Many years ago, someone asked if I knew how to make curry chicken from scratch. She meant blending spices together to create our own pastes rather than relying on store bought ones. My short answer then was no. I even thought, who would want to make their own pastes these days given there are so many good store bought ones?

But I learned.

I learned that making our own pastes means more control in understanding what goes into our food. It forces me to find out what is a candlenut. It made me more savvy in tasting-it’s a continuous process of blending and tasting till the right balance occurs.

Even reading recipe books can be tricky. Again, one cannot forget to keep tasting to make sure it is right.

I wish I could tell the person that she is right. Making curry is a test of skill and patience. It’s one that an asian cook should at least trip to attempt it. It’s a classic. Just like my delay in making roast chicken, this is n o difference. It pushes me out of my comfort zone.

But that’s what personal kitchen skills’ growth is about isn’t it. The quest to learn and extend ourselves.

I took this recipe from “A taste of Malaysia” written by Patsie Chong. Adapted a few things and yum! Malay Style Curry Chicken.

Malay Style Curry Chicken
600 grams chicken thigh with bones in pieces
4 potatoes chopped
200 grams coconut cream

To be blended
8-10 shallots
1 head of garlic
2 candle nuts

Seasoning
5 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp sambal balacan paste (or you can use chill paste)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp coriander powder
3 stalks of lemonongrass
6 stalks of curry leaves
1/2 cup of water
salt if needed

Saute blended ingredients and seasoning in a deep pot. If you like, you could use some oil to sauté it. I didn’t. Add in chicken and potatoes. Coat the paste on chicken well. Pour water. You may need a little more if it seems dry. Boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes till chicken is well cooked. Stir in coconut cream. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with rice.

Photobucket

Banana Waffles with Sesame Honey Walnuts

The little luxuries in life. More recently, we added bananas to the list. With bananas dropping in price to around $6/kg, it is slightly more affordable.

I mashed one banana into the waffle batter. To be honest, I wished I could have mashed two! But alas, we are still rationing the use of bananas (does that sound ridiculous?!?!). Maybe when the weather gets warmer and supply is more plentiful, I can be more generous.

What I love, however, was roasting some walnuts with a drizzle of honey and sesame seeds. Crisp walnuts with a light sweetness and fragrance from the sesame. We shared 4 waffles between us and skipped lunch that day. Totally worth it.

Banana Waffles with Sesame Honey Walnuts (4 Waffles)
1eggs
1 cups of soy milk
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup of instant oats
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of cranberries
1 tablespoon of honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
3 tablespoon of oil
1 mashed banana

1 cup of walnuts
2 tablespoon of honey
1 tsp sesame

Whisk eggs,banana, oil, honey and milk together. In a dry bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, cranberries, chocolate and sugar. Fold wet into dry. Preheat waffle iron. Spoon and cook! Meanwhile, hit pan and toast walnuts. Drizzle honey and sesame. Once it becomes slight brown. remove pan from heat. EAT waffles with walnuts!

Photobucket

Stir Fry Garlic Sprouts with Tofu

There was a time where cooking chinese vegetables as a side dish consist of oyster sauce bak choy, or kai lan. Then I ventured out and started frying broccoli. Then cabbage, then asparagus, mushrooms..so forth.

Thank goodness my eyes started to see other vegetables available in our farmers market. I have grown to experiment and use other kind of vegetables in Chinese cooking. If not, our side dishes were getting a tad too boring. Further, I need to tell you and prove to my parents and grandparents that we are indeed eating our vegetables….. even though we have left home years ago.

One of my favourite is garlic sprouts. It stays fresher in the fridge for a longer period of time and has a nice crunch to it. Recently, I paired it with some tofu and realised how nice both texture goes together. Firm and soft tofu together with garlic sprouts. Quick fry of everything in 10 minutes and side dish done.

Or it could be a main dish itself.

Stir Fry Garlic Sprouts with Tofu
1 bunch of garlic sprouts, washed and chopped in desired length
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 5 spice tofu sliced
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 tablespoon of hua tiao jiu

Saute garlic. Add garlic sprouts. You may need 1/4 cup of water then to prevent veges from drying out. Simmer and add tofu and other sauces. Toss around for 5 minutes. Serve with hot rice.

Photobucket

Two Way Pizzas- Spicy Chorizo and Cherry Tomatoes + Smoked Trout with Horseradish and Avocado

 It has been ages since we made some pizzas at home. Pizzas are not as unhealthy as what people usually think of- unless of course, it is filled with heaps of cheese and not enough protein or vegetables. I’m a big fan of making them at home as I can control how much per ingredient I am using. It’s also a great back up recipe to use when travelling with mates. I recall how much fun we had making mini pizzas together with a few friends.

Hubby suggested using chorizo- now, that isn’t exactly the healthiest. But one can control the amount of fat but cooking it in a pan till all the fat render out. Then use it as a topping. This version uses mango chutney as a base sauce and feta cheese.

The other one was slightly more my kind of pizza. Pieces of smoked trout with avocado, rocket and feta. Yum!

Spicy Chorizo and Cherry Tomatoes Pizza
1 pizza base- home made or store bought
1 chorizo sliced
1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes chopped half
2 tablespoon of spicy mango chutney
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
few cubes of feta cheese

Pre heat oven at 200C. Spread chutney on pizza base and add some cheddar cheese. Place cooked and rendered fat chorizo on it. Sprinkle cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Smoked Trout with Horseradish, Rocket and Avocado Pizza
50 grams of smoked trout
1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce
1/2 avocado
few cubes of feta
1/4 cup of cheddar
rocket leaves
pizza base

Spread horseradish on pizza base. Sprinkle smoked trout, cheddar and feta on it. Bake for 20 mins. Once done, place avocado and rocket leaves on top. Serve.

Photobucket

Mini Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

As I move around different work locations, I’m back with the team that does the most awesome morning teas. It’s a once a week event, organised to help the hunger pangs from hitting us when we have a few meetings scheduled back to back.

This time round, I looked through my bookmarked recipes and found the perfect one. Perfect? I define it as easy, quick and looks delish.

It has no butter, but remained moist. I reduced the amount of oil in this and had around 185 grams of dark chocolates melted. Well, I rather calories come from good dark chocolate than butter! It yielded around 12 mini cakes. Don’t be fooled by the word yogurt, I think it is quite a rich cake. Zap it in the microwave for a few seconds for the gooey moist insides.

Thanks guys for being great bloggers i.e. Piggy’s Cooking Journal and for sharing the love.

Mini Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes (12 mini cakes)
185 grams of dark chocolate. I used Lindt
less than 1/2 cup of oil. I used olive
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup of flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1/2 cup of dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 180 C. Lined muffin tray with papers or like me, just place pretty cups on a cookie tray.

Simmer water in a saucepan. Place a glass bowl on top of the simmering saucepan and place chopped up chocolate there. Met with 1/4 cup of oil. Remove from heat when melted

In a large jug, whisk remaining oil, yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Bowl- whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle, pour wet into dry. Fold. Add almonds and cranberries. Fold. Spoon into muffin papers.

Bake for 20-25 minutes till set in the middle. Cool and eat.

Sending my love to Aspiring Bakes #13 Cupcakes hosted by Min’s Blog this month.
Photobucket

Easy Beef and Brocollini Soba Noodle Salad

I know it will come a time, where I have to graduate from making soups to salads. After all, the weather is warming up lovely and salads are such a nice fresh way to enjoy summer no?

I spotted this recipe from Taste. Looking at it for inspiration, I made our own noodle dressing- with sesame seed dressing + sweet chill + sesame seeds. It provided a nutty sweetness to the beef salad. This is also my first time using Brocollini. A thin long version of broccoli. It’s almost like a cross between broccoli and kai lan!

so i’m slowly getting into groove into creating more salads. Summer here we come!

Easy Beef and Brocollini Soba Noodle Salad
250 packet of soba noodles
1 bunch of brocollini trimmed
100 grams of baby spinach leaves
1 carrot shredded
1 cup of cashew nuts toasted
300 grams of beef sizzled

Dressing
3 tablespoon of roasted sesame dressing (can be found at local oriental stores)
2 tablespoon of sweet chill
3 tablespoons of mirin
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

Cook noodles till nearly done and throw in brocollini. Cook for 3 mins. Drain and rinse with cold water. Mean while sizzle steak and cut in small pieces. Toss noodles, all salad veges and beef in a big bowl.

Whisk dressing together. Pour dressing over it and mix it up. Crunch it up with cashews. Serve

Photobucket

Galette De Trois

We are very blessed with friends from everywhere. More so, when a special couple was introduced to us when they first shifted from New Zealand to Perth without knowing anybody. This couple is French and are one of the most funny and gorgeous people I know. So we met up, and we all clicked and a friendship was established.

It was her who cooked us a wonderful french dinner one evening, complete with entrees and dessert. Nothing but good hospitality from this couple. We learned so much about their culture, how proud they are of their heritage but so accepting of differences. Then the night turned and she presented us with this lovely ending of a dessert- Galette De Trois.

He told us a folklore story from French. A coin or trinket is usually hidden in it, and the person who found it is the “king” he/she gets to wear a crown through the night. Oh, and he even taught us how to pronounced it right. ;P

It was light and crispy with a delicious creamy filling in the middle. It’s very very addictive.

They have since moved to Adel. But we are still in contact! And so I attempted to make this at home. To thank them for teaching us and being our friends!!

ps-sorry for my little attempt to draw a flower on the pastry! obviously i need more practise!!

Galette De Trois

2 puff pastry
1/2 cup of almond meal
113 grams of butter
1/3 cup of castor sugar
1 vanilla bean split and scrapped
2 eggs

1 egg

Pre heat oven at 180C. Beat butter and sugar till creamy. Add eggs, and beat well. Fold in vanilla and almond meal.

Using a 9 inch pan as a stencil, cut a round from both puff pastries. Spoon almond and butter paste into the middle of the pastry. Even it out as much as you can. Brush sides with the extra egg. Put the pastry onto of it and press to seal. Brush with egg and poke a few holes at the side- or like me, trying to draw a flower with a knife! Bake for 25 minutes till golden brown.

Photobucket

Creamy Coconut Almond Sweet Potato Soup

It’s amazing how a few new ingredients can make a boring old soup more interesting. Adding peanut butter to soup was Joanne’s Eat Well with Other’s great idea. I took that, and used almond paste + almonds instead to jazz up the soup.

I came across almond paste after a stint of trying to be healthy and avoiding peanut butter-mainly for nutritious reasons. I mean, every calorie count so why swallow something when it isn’t good for my body? I will never be anti peanut butter though, I like those stuff too much to dislike it. However, if I have a choice, I would choose almond paste over peanut butter. Almond paste has a fresh nutty aroma that I enjoy with crackers/toast/salads and now…soup!

I have always though that sweet potatoes goes very well with coconut milk. It reminds me a lot of thai cooking I think. Somehow, the combination makes a very creamy and heart warming soup. Perfect for those who wants something warm for winter, and for our sometimes chilling nights in spring.



Creamy Coconut Almond Sweet Potato Soup (serves 6-8)
1 kg of sweet potato peeled and chopped
125 ml of coconut milk
2 tablespoon of almond paste
2 red chilis chopped
1 ltre chicken stock
250 ml of water
handful of almonds
1 tablespoon of garlic

Saute garlic and sweet potato in deep pot. Add in almond paste and almonds. Add a little water if too dry. Then, add chill. Toss everything for 5 mins before adding stock and water. Pour and simmer for 20 mins. Blitz it through. Pour back into pot. Season and add coconut milk. Serve with cracked pepper.

Photobucket