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I wanted a fairly healthy and light dinner but still tasty of cause! So I thought I will wrap it up!

  • Chicken, sliced
  • Red capsicum, sliced
  • Green capsicum, sliced
  • Onion, sliced

(Marinate chicken with)

  • 1 teaspoon of chill flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of mince garlicJuice of half a lime
  • Salt

Method

  1. Mix chicken with marinate for at least an hour
  2. Add oil to a heated frying pan, fry the onions and capsicums for 5 minutes until soften, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add more oil, allow the pan to heat up once more and fry the chicken for 5 minutes or until almost cooked.
  4. Return the vegetables to the pan and fry for a couple more minutes to heat them through and finish off the chicken.

NOTES:

  1. I served the chicken with tortilla wraps, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, cheese and salsa first night and with the leftovers chicken, i actually had it with some steamed rice the next day and I must say I like this combo better than the wraps!
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A very healthy and tasty meal for lunch or dinner! And its soooooo easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Soup Pack (carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, parsnips, turnips – cut into cubes)
  • 400g of diced tomato
  • 1.5L -2 L Vegetable or Chicken Stock (salt-reduced)
  • Black pepper to season

Methods:

  1. Cook diced onions in a heavy saucepan with some olive oil for 3-4 mins or until soften.
  2. Add the rest of the veggies in and cook for further 10 min, until veggies begin to soften.
  3. Add diced tomato and stock to saucepan. Bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, simmer, partially cover, for 20-30mins, until veggies are tender, stir occasionally.
  5. Add ground black pepper to season. DONE! ( I had mine with toasted dark rye bread)

I havent made risotto for ages, thought i would make it with some delicious roasted sweet potatos!

Chicken, Sweet Potato & Peas Risotto (Serve 4-6, adapted from recipe book  In the Kitchen)

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut in cubes
  • olive oil
  • 350g chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 500g (2 ½ Cup) Arborio rice
  • 250ml (1 cup) white wine
  • 1-1½ Litres hot chicken stock (salt reduced)
  • 150g peas
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper
  • 90g butter, diced

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Toss the sweet potato with oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 25-30mins or until sweet potato is tender and golden. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add oil and chicken to cook for 5-6 minute, until chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add oil, onion and garlic to cook for 3-4min, until fragrant and soft. Add rice and stir to coat with oil and then cook briefly. Add wine and stir until it is absorbed.
  4. begin adding the hot stock – just enough to cover the rice at first, then a ladleful at a time as the stock is absorbed. Stir well with each addition of stock. Continue cooking for 15-20 mins, until the rice is just done but each grain is still slightly firm in the center. Add chicken, sweet potato and peas for the last 5 mins of cooking.
  5. Remove from heat. Add in parmesan and butter and stir until the risotto is creamy and cheese has melted. Check seasoning and serve!

NOTES:

  1. Original recipe uses pancetta instead of chicken. You can also substitute with becon or prosciutto!

When I first discovered this impressive looking cake on AZ Cookbook, I was so amazed and thought it must takes years of practise to perfect such good looking cake! But after reading the recipe, it is actually a very very easy cake to make! And I think this cake is a sure win to impress others!

ZEBRA CAKE (recipe from AZ Cookbook)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola is fine)
  • 2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wire whisk beat until the mixture is creamy and light in colour.

2. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.

3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.  (DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.)

The consistency of the batter should either be too thick not too loose. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more flour.

4. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

6. Lightly grease the pan with oil. If you don’t have non-stick baking pan, grease whatever pan you have then line it with baking paper.

7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter. IMPORTANT! Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads – KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them. The pictures below will guide you through.


8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready.

9. Remove from the oven. Immediately run a small thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the cake onto a cooking rack. Turn the cake back over and let cool.

NOTES:

  • In the original, it says “if baking powder not available, substitute with 1 teaspoon baking soda”. I didn’t have any baking powder so I used baking soda instead, unfortunately the cake didn’t turn out as fluffy and light as it should be. So make sure you use baking powder and DON’T substitute it with baking soda!
  • I am having a hard time finding dark cocoa powder here in Australia. I used normal cocoa powder to make the cocoa batter, but the batter looks fairly light and I don’t think it will have a great zebra contrast, so to darken the cocoa batter, I grated some dark chocolate into the mixture! 🙂

Found this recipe on Rock Recipes, after reading this pasta is his favourite dish at a downtown restaurant and he got the recipe from them, I must try it! This is a quick, tasty and bold pasta dish. It gives creamy pasta a twist with some wholegrain mustard!

Ingredients (adapted from Rock Recipes): Serve 4

  • 400 gram fettuccine, cooked
  • 250g skinless chicken breasts, cut into stripes
  • 1 cup button up mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to season

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat. Add chicken and garlic to fry until chicken is completely cooked.
Remove chicken from pan and hold in a warm oven.

Add to the pan:

  • 120ml white wine

Simmer until volume is reduced by half. Then add:

  • 2 cups thicken cream
  • 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and pepper to season

Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a metal spoon. Add in mushrooms and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Return Chicken to the sauce, Serve over cooked pasta.

NOTES:

  1. In the original recipe, 1/2 cup of toasted slivered almonds is used to garnish the dish. I was making a quick lunch and I didn’t have almonds on hand, that’s why I didn’t put any on~

Polenta polenta polenta…..I have only made polenta once before and it was a disaster! It turned out sooo grainy and tasted like glue!! Ekkk….. but after seeing a picture of polenta with mushrooms from Leslie Sarna Blog, I really want to give polenta another crack!

And this time, Polenta was delicious!

The Best Soft Polenta (recipe from the book ‘In the Kitchen’ )

  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 200ml (2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 180g (1 cup) Polenta
  • a handful of parmesan or tasty cheese
  • salt to taste

Method

  1. Bring water and stock to boil in a saucepan. Sprinkle in polenta, whisking well to precent any lumps forming.
  2. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 25-30mins, stirring continuously until mixture thickens.
    1. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Season to taste. Serve straight away.

Mushrooms

(adapted from Leslie Sarna’s recipe)

  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • nob of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

Method:

Add butter to frying pan on medium heat , sauté mushrooms and onions until soften. Add chilli flakes and balsamic vinegar to mushrooms for further 1-2 minutes.

To Serve:

Scoop out polenta onto a plate and top with mushrooms and onions!

NOTES (When cooking polenta):

  1. Polenta can splutter and burn, use a long handled spoon is ideal
  2. Using half water and half stock adds richness to the finished polenta. If you don’t have stock available, its fine to just use water