Saturday 25 April 2015

Fish Bang Chick

Boy : Mom, you are turning the meat upside down, inside-out, left to right .... what are you searching ?
Mom : I'm trying to find the piece of cheese that "giap" sandwich in between the chicken and fish !
Girl : Ha ha ! Fishy Chicky Bang Bang !

Manhattan Fish Market is one of my big kids' favourite dining places as they love the deep fried seafood + french fries. Sometimes, their promotion menu is also quite value for $$$ too that it won't burn a 'big hole' in mom's purse. I'm not a fish lover but occasionally I don't mind having a plate of Fish & Chips with loaded chilli sauce (instead of tartar sauce ... lol).  Some weeks ago, we dined at the restaurant and a menu called Fishy Chicky Bang Bang that caught my attention ... with intro :
It's a match made in cheddar cheese heaven with dory fillet on one side and chicken fillet on the other. 

With that bang bang thing in my mind, I try to replicate something similar for our dinner.  Yea, I've not been making deep-fried stuff lately, so it's about time lol ... (gosh! I dislike the cleaning up in the kitchen though).  I don't have the recipe but roughly make the batter and come up with this ....

As I don’t wish to infringe any copy right, shall call this ....
Fish Bang Chick
Note : I cut the cheddar cheese half, cut the chicken and fish into almost the same squarish sizes and able to cover the cheese when sandwiched together.

Ingredients :
2 skinless chicken breast, butterfly slice halves and cut into 4 pieces for each breast meat. Total 8 pieces.
Season the chicken with some salt and pepper for at least 30 minutes.

300 - 400g Dory fillet cut into 8 squarish size
Season the fish with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

4 slices Cheddar cheese (halves each slice to make 8 pieces)

1 - 2 tablespoon cornflour

Cooking oil - enough to cover the meat for deep frying in pan.

Ingredients for batter :
100g plain flour
20g cornflour
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
100ml - 150ml *water

Method :
In a clean dry bowl, mix flour, baking powder, egg, salt & pepper together.

Whisk in *water gradually until the consistency is smooth but thick and will coat the back of a spoon.
*do adjust the texture with more or less water.

To sandwich the chicken & fish :
Lightly coat one side of the chicken with cornflour. Then place a slice of cheese on the meat coated with cornflour. Top the cheese with fish fillet.

Heat the cooking oil in frying pan on medium-high flame.

Dip the 'sandwiched' meat into the batter, coat well and slowly drop it into the hot oil. Lower the flame to medium to prevent batter being burnt too quickly.

Deep fry about 6 - 8 minutes or until golden. Over turn the meat 2 - 3 times in between the frying process.

Oh ! where's the cheese ? Melted inside ...

Boy : Nice, can taste the cheese.  Should put 2 big thick slices of cheddar cheese next time ! Good.

Well, that's our 'giap' & bang  Fish Bang Chick! ha.. ha..  Although we really enjoyed the crispy deep-fried entrée and my big kids said that the taste is quite close ... somehow I think I should try with beer batter (heard of it) ... Ha.. ha ... Meantime, taking a "short break" from oily homemade fried food now. 

Happy cooking  ^-^! Have a great weekend !

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 


Thursday 23 April 2015

Almond Crescent Cookies

I still have a pack of unopened blanched almond powder which I've bought extra for making Almond Cookies  during CNY 2015.

Rather indecisive if I should bake an almond cake or the almond crescent cookies which I've bookmarked last year. Finally ... decided to bake some crumbly almond crescent cookies.

Recipe adapted from : Simply Recipes
with my notes my blue below.
Almond Crescent Cookies
Ingredients :
232g butter, room temperature
130g caster sugar (I used 80g)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
200g of all-purpose flour
90g almond flour (can substitute ground almonds*)
30g powdered sugar (or snow powder) for dusting/sprinkling

*You can use slivered, blanched almonds and grind them up, but you will have a very crumbly, hard to work with dough. It’ll still taste good though.

1) Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and mix.

2) Add the flour and almond flour. Mix thoroughly.

3) Take generous tablespoons of the dough (it will be slightly crumbly) and roll it into a small ball, about an inch in diameter, and then shape into a crescent shape. Place onto parchment paper and bake at 350°F (190°C) for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown.
Note: I let them cool about 3 minutes in baking sheet before transferring them on to cooling rack to cool.

The cookie dough is very soft and slightly sticky, rather difficult to handle and shaping them ....  So I scooped more than a big heap of tablespoon full to roll it into 'small' ball.

Freshly baked. ... out from the oven. ... wah ha ha !! Gosh ! Like my waistline "expanded beyond control" ! See ! They "kissed" each other and got no room for expansion :(

4) Dust with powdered sugar.

For added decadence let the cookies cool and dip one end of them into some melted chocolate, then let the chocolate harden.

I've got 29 pcs.

Ha ha ...instead of pretty moon crescent ... I've made a batch of fatty kidney beans lookalike almond cookies!

Fatty shaped crescent

Boy  : Haiz ! The crumbs dropped all over on my shirt !
Mom: You must be gentle when picking/holding the cookie with your fingers .... don't "squash" or add pressure to it.
Boy: Let me use a spoon ! hmm ... nice, not bad ...
Mom: Ha..  ha ... first time I see you scoop up cookie with a spoon ... ha ha !

But still, I like these crumbly sandy almond cookies :D
Two pieces with a cup of cold soya milk drink for my afternoon snack ... so satisfying ^-^!

Store the cookies in airtight container and it still taste good the next day.

See ... I hold it gently !


Sharing 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 Mom and co-hosted by Doreen of My Favourite Little DIY

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I was introduced to this dish when my family was relocated to Shanghai about 12 years ago. I was not used to the local Shanghainese food back then. So I cooked simple & easy meals daily with some 'elaborated' cooking on some weekends. Groceries shopping at supermarket gourmet section saw those ready breaded chicken meat wrapped with ham & cheese. All I need was to pan or deep fried, served with soups & salads and it became my kids' favourite dish.

According to info:
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a French-inspired poultry dish. A delicious French classic, Chicken Cordon Bleu is made by rolling with ham & cheese, then breaded and pan fried, deep fried or baked. 
Cordon Bleu' is a French term, literally translated as 'blue ribbon', that originally referred to an award for culinary excellence given to women cooks! The term can now apply to any superior cook (yes, men too), and also to this dish.

When we returned home after 3 years of short stay in Shanghai, I tried to find the ready breaded Chicken Cordon Bleu in the local supermarkets but don't seen available. So I Google for the recipe and I've made quite a few times, with variations of serving different side dishes, with creamy sauce to the entrée.

Here's sharing this baked version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, recipe adapted from skinnytaste with slight modifications made in blue below.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Servings: 3
Makes 12

cooking spray (I used olive oil)
12 thin sliced (36 oz total) skinless boneless chicken breasts, 3 oz each
salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp water
60g seasoned breadcrumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs)
45g grated parmesan cheese
5 oz (6 slices) thinly sliced lean deli ham, sliced in half
6 slices (4.4 oz) Sargento reduced fat Swiss cheese, cut in half

Preheat oven to 230°C. Spray a large non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
(I set my oven temperature to 180°C, lightly greased the baking sheet with olive oil)

Wash and dry the chicken cutlets; lightly pound the chicken to make thinner and lightly season with salt and black pepper.

Lay the chicken on a working surface and place a slice of ham on top of the chicken, then the cheese and roll, setting them aside seam side down.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites along with water to make an egg wash.

In another medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

Dip the chicken into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs.

Place chicken onto the baking sheet seem side down. Spray the top of the chicken with more cooking spray (omitted) and bake about 25 minutes, or until until cooked.

Dinner is ready !

Enjoy !

Happy baking & cooking  ^-^! Have a great day!

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 


Monday 20 April 2015

Chicken Floss Buns

I received a big pack of chicken floss during CNY 2015 gifts exchange with my relative. Opened the pack about a week ago.  Other than to sprinkle some floss on cold or steamed dofu, spread on white bread, I can't think of other ways to enjoy them. Ha ha ... CNY is over so I don't wish to bake anymore Chicken or Pork Floss Cookies now (pork floss cookies).

I like to buy those chicken or pork floss buns from bakeries for our brekkie occasionally.  So, I decided to make some ... bought a pack of bread flour to bake chicken floss buns. Hee ... hee... I don't keep stock for bread flour as I don’t always bake bread although I've attempted a few last year : Japanese condensed milk breadHoney BreadChristmas star-shaped breads etc.

I have to thank Diana for sharing this recipe here.  Glad that everything went smoothly... from kneading of the dough to proofing to baking them in oven. Just when I took the bottle of mayonnaise out from the fridge ... oppsie ! it has EXPIRED one month ago !! So ... got to use butter instead.

Recipe adapted from : Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
With my notes in blue.

Chicken Floss Buns
270g bread flour
30g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 egg
30g caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
150ml milk
30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pork (or chicken) floss
Egg Wash (1 egg, beaten)

In a big bowl, add the flours, yeast, egg, sugar, salt and 120ml of the milk.

Mix, and add the rest of the milk gradually while mixing.
Once the ingredients have come together, add the butter and knead to incorporate.

Keep kneading the dough until the dough is elastic (it will get less sticky as you knead) and has reached the windowpane stage.
(I spent about 20 mins in kneading the dough)
Shape into a ball and place the dough in a bowl.

Spray with a little water (I skipped this as don't have a sprayer) and cover with a piece of damp cloth.

Place the bowl in a *warm place to allow the dough to rise for about 1-1.5 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
*As shared on proofing dough : turn on the oven to the lowest temperature (35°C) for 1 minute, turn it off and place the dough in the oven to rise.

Punch the dough to allow the air to escape.

Divide the dough into 8 portions, about 70g each. Shape each portion into a ball.
(I yielded 7 portions, about 72g each)
Cover with a piece of damp cloth and rest for 15 minutes.

Roll each ball into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough and pinch the edges to seal.
Place the dough on two baking trays. Place the trays in the oven to proof for 50 minutes.

Remove the trays from the oven and preheat the oven to 170°C.

Brush egg wash on the bread dough. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the bread has turned golden brown.
(I used the lowest rack to bake)

Haa ha ! Kissing each other !

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Using a spatula, spread mayonnaise (I used butter) on the top half of the bun. 
Press the bun gently onto the chicken or pork floss to coat. You may need to press gently on the bun to help the floss adhere to the buns.

Ta da ! Well ... finally our homebaked chicken floss buns for brekkie!

See the generous amount of chicken floss! 

Before I could say something, my boy was surprised to see I've made these buns.
Boy : oh you can make pork floss buns !
Mom : it's chicken floss buns :D
Boy : can try now ?! Supper time ....
Mom : baked for tomorrow's breakfast (actually ...  I can't wait to try the bun too). Ok let's cut half to try  ....
Boy : oh nice! Mmm ... good!

Well, sure to make another round of chicken floss buns. Enjoy !

Happy baking and 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 


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