Friday, 17 April 2015

Almond Milk Braised Chicken, Corn and Asparagus

I remembered reading this recipe at Zoe's blog sometime ago and was wondering then "braised chicken with almond milk really taste that good?! ... "

While I consume almond milk occasionally and like to mix it with cereals or just boil as hot almond milk tea with mint leaves, I've never tried cooking with almond milk. Well, watching the video and reading this caption twice ... so, what am I waiting for ... go go go cook this for our weeknight dinner !
Feed your family Curtis' almond milk braised chicken with corn and asparagus for dinner tonight.

Recipe adapted from Curtis Stone at coles website.
Below slight changes made as I don't have enough almond milk, and omitted basil leaves.

Almond Milk Braised Chicken, Corn and Asparagus (Curtis Stone)
Ingredients :
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
7 pieces chicken (mixture of drumsticks, breast meat)
1 Onion, thinly sliced
150g frozen Corn Kernels
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped
500g Almond Milk
1 1/2 cups Thai Fragrant White Rice
250g Asparagus, cut into 1cm pieces on an angle
100g Coconut Milk

Some prepared ingredients 
Method :
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Season the chicken with salt on both sides and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and return the pan to medium-high heat. Drain any excess fat from the pan, leaving one tablespoon on oil in the pan.

Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, then add the corn, ginger and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add the almond milk and return the chicken to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then reduce the heat and gently simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (As I used smaller size chicken pieces, I simmer the meat for about 25 minutes)

While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice according to packet instructions and keep warm until serving. (I simply used the rice cooker to cook the rice)

Add the asparagus and basil leaves (omitted) to the chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.

Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve the chicken in bowls with the broth and vegetables, along with the rice.

While the pot simmer with covered lid on stove, my big boy came in and he commented that the strong aroma was very nice. I really don't know how to describe it ... the fragrance of sweet corn, ginger and milky almond.  It was towards the end of the cooking I smell the fragrance of coconut too!

My girl returned from school, she asked 'what's for dinner, mom?'
Mom replied 'a Curtis Stone's recipe', and I saw a big smile on her face. Jamie Oliver and Curtis Stone are her favourite celebrity chefs ^-^!


This big plate of rice is for my boy !

Served hot with rice ... they just 'Mmm ... very nice! ... good!' Okay we were hungry... hee hee! Almond milk braised chicken, corn and asparagus ... delicious & tasty dinner!
Boy: mom, cook this again :D

Happy cooking and have a great weekend!

See ... the meat is so tender soft !

Submitting this post to the event : Little Thumbs Up - April 2015 Theme Chicken organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe 



Also submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone # 8 :
April 2015 Event Theme: Fun with Almonds 【玩转杏仁】 
organized by Fion of XuanHom’s Momand co-hosted by Doreen of My Favourite Little DIY

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Few months ago, I cooked Chicken Parmigiana as my big kids loved cheesy stuff. With some grated parmesan cheese in the fridge, I wanted to whip up this dish again. But I dreaded the long long list of ingredients and find that the cooking steps were quite cumbersome though ... "Cook the chicken for about 2 minutes per side in the frying pan, then transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven ..." 

Oh ! Got 'short-cut' :D Chance upon this recipe which seems simplified and is pretty easy and straight forward to whip up some baked chicken with parmesan cheese for our weeknight dinner ... lesser cooking utensils to wash ... Gosh! Lazy old me ... hee hee!

Recipe adapted from simply recipes baked chicken parmesan, with slight changes made as I've halved the recipe and omitted certain spices/ingredients not available.

Baked Chicken Parmesan 
1 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt and dash of black pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (or deboned thighs)
50g Panko breadcrumbs
90g finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1) Prepare the sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and oil together over medium high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Pour in the tomato sauce, sugar, dried rosemary, a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until sauce about 10 minutes. Taste sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary, cover and keep warm.

2) Preheat oven to 200°C (the oven temperature may vary, do adjust accordingly).
Cut each chicken breast half in half for smaller pieces. With a meat pounder, pound the chicken pieces to flatten them to an even thickness - between 1/4 - 1/2 inch. You might find it easier to put the chicken between layers of plastic wrap before pounding.

3) Whisk together mustard, lime juice, salt and dash of pepper a large bowl, add the chicken pieces, tossing to coat well.

4) In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and dash of pepper. Mix well and add in the melted butter.

Transfer to a shallow plate. Dredge the chicken pieces 1 piece at a time in the crumb mixture, coating completely. Press the crumbs in gently to adhere and transfer to a stick-free baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 - 18 minutes.
Note: At about 7 minutes into baking, I used tongs to turn chicken over and bake until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve with a side of rice or pasta. Ladle sauce over the chicken.

Hee hee .. a nice big 8 !

Both my big kids loved it very much. Enjoyed our dinner with tender juicy baked chicken parmesan ... yummy!

Happy baking & cooking. .. have a great week ahead ^-^!

Submitting this post to the event : Little Thumbs Up - April 2015 Theme Chicken organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe 


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Chocolate and Almond Sticks

Using ready frozen puff pastry saves time .... Popped it in the oven, freshly baked ! Give a couple of minutes to cool and enjoy these crispy flaky sweet sticks in less than 20 minutes of preparation and baking time.

Recipe adapted from : Cookpad

Chocolate and Almond Sticks
2 sheets Puff pastry
20 grams Chocolate chips
20 grams Flaked almonds
1/2 Egg yolk (for egg wash)
10 grams Granulated sugar

1) Lightly toast flaked almonds in a pan or in an oven. Thaw the frozen puff pastry sheets for about 2 minutes.

2) Spread the chocolate chips  and toasted flaked almonds on the puff pastry.

3) Sandwich with the other sheet of puff pastry, brush egg wash on the pastry and sprinkle sugar on top.

4) Slice into 1.5cm to 2cm sticks. Place them on the lightly greased baking sheet.

5) Preheat the oven at 200ºC and bake for 13 to 15 minutes.
(*You may have to adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.)

Hee .. hee .. spending another lazy Sunday afternoon with some Chocolate and Almond Sticks ^-^!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Eve's Pudding

Have you ever baked Eve's Pudding?

My knowledge about pudding in general ....
  • A soft, thickened sweet dessert, typically made with milk, sugar, flour, and flavoring.
  • The 4 major ways of making pudding - baked or boiled or steamed and chilled in the refrigerator.
So far I've made these boiled and chilled type of soft or mousse like pudding :
chestnut pudding with agar agar
chocolate mint pudding
fluffy rose black tea mousse

Have I ever baked or tasted Eve's Pudding ? Nope !
According to info: "Eve's pudding is a type of traditional British pudding now made from apples and Victoria sponge cake mixture. The apples are allowed to stew at the bottom of the baking dish while the cake mixture cooks on top."

Interesting ... a juicy fruity base with top sponge cake kinda pudding. Well ... I can't imagine how's the texture is like and so I've decided to bake this for our dessert.

Soft baked apples infused with tangy lemon juice!
Recipe adapted from the cookbook "Desserts All Around The Year" by Martha Day, my slight modification in blue.

Eve's Pudding 
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients :
657g cooking apples - Peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
115g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar (reduced to 70g)
115g soft brown sugar (I used 70g demerara sugar)
2 large eggs, beaten
90g self raising flour
40g ground almonds
25g flaked almonds (I used 25g silvered almond)

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter a 1.5 litre baking dish. Set aside.

2) With an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is very light and fluffy.

3) Gradually beat the eggs into the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Then fold in the lemon zest, flour and ground almonds.

4) Mix the demerara sugar, apples and lemon juice in a bowl. Pour into the baking dish, spread evenly. Add the batter mixture over top of the apples in the baking dish. Spread evenly and sprinkle the silvered almonds.

5) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the apples are soft and the sponge is firm and a nice golden brown.

My Note:
Cover the top of the baking dish with loose baking paper or aluminium foil in the last 10 minutes into baking to prevent the cake top from over browning.

As I removed the dish from the oven, I could see the bubbling boiling of the fruity base .... I can't wait any longer ... Scooped and served  immediately !

My first bite ... the bursting flavour of citrus tangy lemon!
The fragrant buttery almond cake and crunchy almond bits is the perfect complement to the sweet softened apples infused with tangy lemon juice .... tasted so deliciously good! I'm so enjoying this Eve's Pudding ! Yum!

Happy baking! Have a tangy sweet fruity weekend ^-^!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Stir-fry Chicken with Almonds and Broccoli

This is a common stir-fry dish I often cook with variations using cashew nuts, almonds or peanuts.

So here's for our weeknight dinner ... Stir-fry Chicken with Almonds and Broccoli. Done in less than 15 mins of cooking time.

Stir-fry Chicken with Almonds and Broccoli
Ingredients :
Seasoning the meat :
300g chicken breast fillet - diced bite-sized
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
Pinch of salt to taste
Marinate about 30 minutes (or overnight in fridge)

80g blanched almonds - lightly toast in preheated oven at 170°C for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

About 100g Broccoli florets

2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 small crushed finely chopped garlic

For sauce - mix well and set aside :
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 - 5 tablespoons water (do adjust accordingly if you prefer for more or less gravy)

Method :
1) Cut the fillet into bite-sized and marinate with seasoning for about 30 minutes.

2) In a wok or frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil with medium flame. Lightly brown the ginger and garlic for a few seconds till fragrant.

3) Pour in the seasoned chicken stir-fry about 3 minutes. Toss in the broccoli and continue stir-fry for another 4 - 5 minutes. Add the sauce. Stirring until the liquid thicken and bring to a boil. Lastly add the almonds, giving a few quick stirring, off the flame and transfer to a serving plate. Served immediately with steamed rice.

Enjoy !

>>>>>♡<<<<>  ♡ <>>>>♡<<<<<


Submitting this post to the event : Little Thumbs Up - April 2015 Theme Chicken organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe 


Friday, 3 April 2015

Chewy Almond Squares

Oh no! I've been infested with 'lazy bugs' lately.  Whenever I chance upon easy to bake recipes, it's like 'hitting the jackpot' ...

"Almond blondies! Chewy almond squares, easy to make, no need for a mixer."

"No need for a mixer for this recipe, all you need is a whisk and a strong spoon."

Woah ha ha ! see what I mean ....

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes
Below my slightly modified version as I had reduced the quantity of brown sugar and omitted whole almond for decoration.

Chewy Almond Squares
Yield: Makes 9 squares
112g unsalted butter, melted plus butter for greasing the pan
85g light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon of almond extract
128g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
50g toasted, blanched almonds, chopped

One 8x8-inch baking pan

1) Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with butter. Toast blanched almonds if you have not already done so, and when cool, roughly chop them.

Some prepared ingredients 
2) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until there are no more lumps of brown sugar. Whisk in the beaten egg and almond extract.

Toast almond at 170°C for about 5 - 8 minutes and roughly chopped 

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until smooth. Stir in the chopped almonds.

4) Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface.

5) Bake at 180ºC for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Quick & easy .... freshly baked. Well, here's our afternoon tea break with some freshly baked nutty chewy almond squares! 

Happy baking! Enjoy your weekend ^-^!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Pandan Chicken

There were two kinds of "wrapped chicken" recipes I learned in my secondary school Home Economics Club (weekend CCA) .... paper wrapped chicken and pandan chicken.

The paper wrapped chicken ... I remembered those were not paper ! The material looked clear glossy plastic ... cellophane paper. The first thought I had then was "meat fried with plastic bag can be eaten ? Cool!". Ha haa! I remembered too it was one of the dim sum served in some restaurants many many years ago.  Ha.. ha ... not sure if I still could find cellophane paper now.

As for the pandan wrap chicken ... it was obviously using pandan leaves. The whole leaf is used to wrap the chicken before they are grilled, baked or deep fried.

Anyway, I have not made these pandan wrapped chicken for ages. Glad that I could still roughly figure out how to wrap the meat with pandan leaves ^-^!

Pandan Chicken
210g Boneless chicken breast (or chicken thigh fillet if you prefer)
For seasoning :
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon clear honey (you may substitude with white sugar)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Dash of ground pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

Pandan (screwpine) leaves - wash clean and wipe dry.

1) Wash clean the chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Season the chicken with seasoning and marinate for as least 1 hour. (or leave the marinated meat overnight in the frigde)

2) Wash pandan leaves, leave them to dry or wipe dry with clean cloth.

3) Once remove the marinated chicken from the fridge, leave them in room temperature for about 5 - 10 mins.

4) Wrap the chicken with the whole pandan leaf individually.

5) Pre-heat oven at 180ºC.

Trim off the excess leaves
6) Arrange them in baking tray. Drizzle a little vegetable cooking oil (about 1 tablespoon) to reduce the brittleness.
Bake the pandan chicken for about 25 mins or until the leaves turned slightly golden brown.

Freshly baked !
If you do not wish to bake them, deep fry the pandan wrapped chicken. Drain the oil, put it on the kitchen towel to absorb the oil before serving.

Here's sharing some pictorials on how to wrap the meat with pandan leaves. It's not too difficult if you have ever tried wrapping dumplings (粽子) with bamboo leaves.

1) Make a V shape and overlap with the tip (pointed end) of the leaf longer than the 'stalk'. Then flip the tip over down to the bottom and insert up through.

2) Adjust a little to shape like "pocket" by pulling the tip and holding the stalk. 

3) Place/insert the meat into the pocket.

4) Front view. Flip down the tip of the leaf to the back.

5) Back view. Slip through from the bottom and pull upwards. Hold and pull to adjust to shape.

6) Front view. The meat should be wrapped and secured in the pandan leaf.

Ta-da ! These moist savoury bite-sized chicken are infused with the nice aroma of pandan ^-^! Serve them as appetizer or a main dish with a bowl of steamed fragrant rice. Enjoy !

Here's wishing everyone a happy Good Friday holiday ! Enjoy your long weekends !

Submitting this post to the event : Little Thumbs Up - April 2015 Theme Chicken organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe