• Oct
  • 18
  • 2011

spring spaghetti with basil, chilli & garlic

I love this weather. Currently sitting at 24.3 degrees, I couldn’t ask for a better start to a perfect week ahead, inshallah. Inspired by my fresh garden (thanks to hubby!) and the wonderful sunshine we’ve been getting lately, I whipped up this quick meal in no more than 15 minutes. Can I tell you about the flavours? Well they just bursts in your mouth: left, right and centre! Thanks to a few powerful ingredients; garlic, chilli and basil…with a dash of extra virgin olive oil is all you need to turn it into an absolute flavoursome meal. Trust me, its really that good.

organic cooking oil

Ok, lets be honest. I need to give credit to where it all originated from. Secret Recipe. That’s where I first had it (i’ll post a review of this place soon). But for $16.90 a plate, ouch! I seriously felt guilty. Not to my palate but to my husbands pocket. So I decided to try and replicate this and oh la la, what a dish we have here for just under $5 per person. You can substitute prawns with chicken for an even cheaper meal. Hmm, now I really do sound cheap don’t I? yikes!

Slice the vegetables. Slice the garlic. Don’t chop them finely. You want to be able to taste the garlicky flavour.

Sautee the marinated prawns in olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper and chilli flakes.

And you have yourself a winning dish. Say hello to Spring!


RECIPE FOR SPRING SPAGHETTI
Inspired by Secret Recipe’s Thai spaghetti

Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients

2 cups cooked spaghetti
10 prawns (marinate with salt & pepper for an hour)
1 bulb garlic, sliced
1 green capsicum, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
10 mushrooms, sliced (I didnt have any but if you do,add them)
1 red chilli, cut
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
Handful of basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp basil infused olive oil
1 tsp chilli oil, for dressing (optional)
100g feta cheese, for dressing (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. In a saucepan, sautee the marinated prawns in olive oil for 2 minutes.

2. Add garlic and stir until prawns are evenly cooked. This should take another 2 minutes.

3. Add all the vegetables and chilli flakes. Season well with salt and pepper.

4. Add pasta to the sauce mixture and pour over with basil infused olive oil. Toss to combine.

5. Finally, topped with some feta cheese and drizzle with some chilli oil.

Click ‘read more’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




  • Oct
  • 02
  • 2011

thai pineapple fried rice

On special occasions, my family and I would dine at Sawasdee (I’ll post my reviews of the restaurant soon).  Whenever we’re there, we’d never fail to order their pineapple fried rice, so much so, that I keep telling myself I’d try and replicate this dish (they used to serve it in a pineapple boat, like above, but now they just dish it in a large bowl).  So anyway, as I was doing my groceries at the local market, I spotted pineapples. Cheap, whole, fresh pineapples. Yum. I grabbed one. I should’ve grabbed two *sigh*.


Here is my attempt at making a pineapple boat. If you need to know how to take the flesh out, just youtube it. That’s what I did.  Try it out and let me know!

And don’t forget to serve it to your husband like this, in bed! This makes an impressive brunch on a Sunday morning noon. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.


THAI PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE RECIPE
Inspired by Sawasdee

Serves: 3
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

1 small pineapple, carve flesh out into small cubes
2 cups leftover rice, medium grain
6 cloves garlic, sliced finely
1 chicken thigh fillet, remove fat and cut into small cubes
100g shelled prawns
1 carrot, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
3 tbsp pineapple juice, reserved from the fresh pineapple
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp shrimp paste
A few coriander leaves, for garnishing
A handful of spring onions, cut thinly for garnishing
A handful of cashew nuts, for garnishing
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Put your wok on a high heat and add the oil, garlic, shrimp paste, chicken and prawns. Then add the pineapple juice.

2. Put the rice and vegetables in. Stir fry for a bit more then add dark soy sauce, fish sauce and stir until the rice is evenly coated.

3. Finally, add the pineapple pieces, cashew nuts and season well with salt and pepper. Give it one last stir before garnishing it with spring onions and coriander leaves.

4. Serve in a pineapple boat* that you have carved out earlier to impress your guest!

*1 Half carved pineapple boat only serves 1.



Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.





  • Sep
  • 17
  • 2011

chicken and veg salsa dip

As part of my healthy and balanced diet, I bought some plain rice crackers. I have been munching on them with some sliced cheese and tuna or cream cheese and cucumbers. A few weeks later, I was getting a bit bored with that combination and wanted something a little sexy and spicy. As I was making the Mexican Inspired Rice, I got the idea of a homemade  salsa dip. That would be a perfect combination for a healthy lunch snack, with proteins too. Yum.



RECIPE FOR CHICKEN & VEG SALSA DIP
Inspired by this post

Makes: 1 medium sized serving bowl
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

1 small ripe tomato, diced
1 small green capsicum, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp corn (or a handful)
1 chicken thigh fillet, fat and skin removed then cut into small cubes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 small onion, diced finely
1 tbsp corriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
0.5 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Saute onions, garlic and chicken in some oil. Stir until chicken is just cooked.

2. Then add spices and stir until aromatic. Add in the tomato paste, vegetables and water.

3.Put on a low heat and cook until softened and gravy has thickened a bit.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print this post and leave a comment.




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Category: Chicken, entree, in my kitchen
  • Sep
  • 15
  • 2011

chicken curry laksa

I love noodles. I could eat them everyday. Stir fried or soup based noodles. Both are Yum! Curry laksa is one of my all time favourite meal. Whenever I dine out in a Malaysian restaurant, this is what I’d order. There were times where I have been so dissapointed and times where I’d go back again just to eat laksa. My family knows I’m a crazy laksa girl. Sometimes they would stop me from ordering it and tell me to try something else. I should write a post about these laksa joints, where to get yummy laksa and where not to order not-so-yummy laksa.

In Malaysia, there are so many kinds of laksa. Curry laksa (uses curry powder), Asam Laksa (uses fish), Johor Laksa (uses fish too but very dense and has coconut milk) and so on. Just do a google search and you’ll find heaps of variants. My sister made laksa using this recipe and I loved it. So I tried it at home for some lovely guests we had coming from Sydney and they loved it too. Once you try this recipe (from scratch) you’ll never want to buy the laksa paste at the supermarket again. This tastes no where near that bottled stuff.


RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY LAKSA
Adapted from Almost Bourdain, with slight modifications

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
20 Asian shallots
10 cloves garlic
10 dried chillies, soaked in warm water for 30mins
3 tsp toasted belacan
3 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 5 mins
6 candlenuts (buah keras)

Other ingredients:
2-3 tbsp curry powder (I used Baba’s Meat)
1 kg egg noodles (hokkien noodles), blanched
24 shelled prawns, deveined
2 chicken thigh fillet, cooked and sliced
2 big bunch of choy sum, cut
3 stalks lemon grass, bruised
1 sprig curry leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut cream (use coconut milk for a lighter version)
200 g tofu puffs, halved
300 g bean sprouts, blanched and tail removed
3 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 packet fried fish cakes, sliced thinly
5 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Fried shallots, for garnishing
Spring onions, for garnishing

Method

1. To make the paste: Mix all ingredients and pound into a paste using a blender.

2. Heat up oil in a medium sized pot, and stir the prawns for 5 mins until cooked evenly. Remove prawns and set aside.

3. Saute the blended paste, lemon grass and curry leaves until the oil separates and is fragrant. This should take about 7 – 10 mins.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. Add the coconut cream/milk and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.

6. Turn of the stove and add tofu puffs, fish cake, choy sum and some salt to taste then give it a final stir to coat all the ingredients.

To serve:  Divide noodles into individual bowls. Pour the hot curry laksa evenly ontop of the noodles into each bowl and then spread the prawns, chicken, eggs and the garnishes. Serve immediately.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1-2 hours

  • Sep
  • 13
  • 2011

mexican inspired rice

I’m always here when I need a quick and healthy meal.  This blogs owner is a friend of mine. She does healthy stuff, which I like. And easy too, double like. I saw this recipe and instantly fell in love. I have never tried Mexican apart from Doritos and Buritos, so I wanted to give it a go. I had all the ingredients too which made it even better. So do check out her blog for amazing recipes.



MEXICAN INSPIRED RICE
Adapted from My Recipe Stash with slight modifications

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 cups rice (I used medium grain)
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 small green capsicum, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 chicken thigh fillets, fat and skin removed then cut into small cubes
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 large onion, diced finely
1.5 tbsp corriander powder
0.5 tbsp cumin powder
3 tsp sweet paprika
1 chilli (or 0.5tsp chilli powder – both optional)
1/4 cup long beans,cut into 2cm long
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup corn
3 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Saute onions, capsicums, garlic and chicken in some oil until fragrant.

2. Then add spices and stir again until fragrant.

3. Add tomatoes and cook until softened. Then add rice, water and all the vegetables. Cook for 30 minutes until the rice is done.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




Tip: You can add more tomatoes or tomato paste for a more intense colour and flavour.
Click ‘read more’ below to print out this recipe and leave a comment.




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Category: in my kitchen, Rice
  • Aug
  • 30
  • 2011

raya madness // malaysian chicken curry rendang

‘Rendang?, Errr..’ That’s what I would say a couple of years back had you told me to make it. It never crossed my mind to even have a go at making rendang. Then one day, after picking my sister up at the airport (her trip back from Malaysia), she casually mentioned that she had written down a rendang recipe from our cousin’s grandma, Tok Ye, whilst she was staying with them. My reaction; “what? where? pleaseee give it to me!”. We all know she’s a good excellent cook. I tried it straight away. Kinda failed the first time. Tried again. Getting better. Third time, ‘wow nice’, forth attempt, ‘I have mastered this dish’ *insert proud face*. You’re probably wondering why it took me a few go’s before perfecting it? It aint easy! No two rendangs taste the same. Once you make this, you’ll never want to eat from a packet again. An original, from scratch, this rendang is truly authentic. And please don’t take any shortcuts or leave out any ingredient. Rendang is a sensitive dish. Have I scared you off?

This aromatic-absolutely-delicious-mouth-watering-jam-packed-full-of-flavour dish originated from Malaysia/ Indonesia. The usual rendang is made with tender juicy beef, but since I was cooking for mum and she doesn’t like beef,  I made it with chicken instead. It taste just as good if you’re into chicken. Who isn’t :p



CHICKEN RENDANG
Adapted from Tok Ye, with slight modifications

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1-2 hours

Ingredients

Part A (Blend till it forms a fine paste)
12 small shallots
7 cloves garlic
1 knob ginger, 4 cm
1 knob galangal, 4cm
3 lemongrass, end part only and sliced thinly

Part B (Dry fry the first 3 ingredients untill fragrant, and then blend all together)
2 tbsp ketumber (coriander seeds)
1 tsp jintan manis (cummin seeds)
1 tsp jintan putih (fennel seeds)
15 dried chilli, soaked in hot water for 30 mins

The rest of the ingredients are:
1 kilo chicken curry pieces, with bones
2 tsp ginger paste (to marinate the chicken)
2 tsp garlic paste (to marinate the chicken)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp black pepper
1.5 tbsp curry powder (brand:baba’s meat curry powder)
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
100g kerisik (dry fry shredded coconut untill golden brown)
1 can coconut cream
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water

Method


1. Marinate chicken with a bit of salt and the ginger & garlic paste. Stand for an hour.


2. Put oil and add the ingredients from Part B, fry until fragrant and you see the oil separates. Should take about 7-10 mins.


3. Add part A, turmeric, tamarind and curry powder then fry again until oil separates. Another 7 mins.


4. Put the chicken and water in then cook covered for an hour on low heat. Stir regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn.


5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut cream, kerisik (shredded coconut) and season generously with salt, pepper and sugar.


6. Cook for another half hour or so until it dries out and the colour has darkened.


7. Serve with warm steam rice.


Click ‘Read More’ below to view my tips on how to concoct a wonderful pot of rendang.


  • Aug
  • 20
  • 2011

leftover chicken turned sandwich

Roast chicken is what they call ‘a meal for today and tomorrow’. That is why I love making it. You can make so many things with leftover roast chicken. The easiest is a sandwich since you’d probably have all the ingredients sitting in your fridge to whip up this very quick and healthy lunch. This makes one tasty sandwich because the flavours from the chicken were just popping in my mouth with every bite I took. Not to mention, the sauces just oozes with yumminess. I think without the them, it would be a little dry. Drizzle with a bit of mayo, or thousand island or sweet chili, or anything else…oohh yummo! Other meal ideas using leftover roast would be, chicken pies, chicken salad, chicken couscous, bbq chicken pizza, chicken fried rice, chicken baked pasta, chicken wraps, chicken soup, chicken nachos, chicken fritters, chicken and vegetable lasagne…hmmm the ideas just keep on rolling.

LEFTOVER ROAST CHICKEN TURNED SANDWICH
Roast chicken from this recipe

Makes: 1 sandwich
Prep time: 5mins
Cook time: none!

Ingredients

Handful of shredded chicken (leftover roast chicken)
Handful of shredded carrots
2 slices bread (I used soft Rye bread)
2 slices cut tomatoes
1 slice cheese
1 large lettuce leaf, cut
pinch of salt and pepper
drizzle with any sauce you like (I used mayo and sweet chilli)

*There’s no particular way of assembling a sandwich. Just do it the way you like it. And then put it in the grill/sandwich maker.






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Category: bread, Chicken, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 15
  • 2011

roast chicken with garlic, thyme and lemon


A good’ol roast chicken is a family favourite in our home. So easy and yummy. Literally all you have to do is just clean and season it, then chuck it in the oven. Its so simple that I make this once a week. My husband is a big fan. I serve it with some gravy and sometimes add stuffing depending on my mood.

The secret for creating fresh recipes is using fresh ingredients. Thyme from our garden. I just leave them like that.


With chicken stuffing, you can be a little adventurous. There is the traditional breadcrumbs + herb, or the asian ‘rice’ stuffing, or simply let your imagination go wild and stuff with whatever takes your fancy; fruit? nuts? couscous? cheese? Why not! The best part about roast chicken is, when you have leftovers, you can make a chicken salad sandwich for your lunch the next day! I will blog about this sandwich in my next entry, so stay tune. Here it is. For now, this is the recipe. Nothing fancy, just really simple. But yummy of course.

P/s: I couldn’t take a picture of the whole chicken because as I was getting my camera ready, it was already being dissected! I told you its a family favourite. No time wasters!


RECIPE FOR ROAST WHOLE CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, THYME AND LEMON

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 kg (small-medium) sized chicken
10 cloves garlic (for paste), pound in mortar and pestle
6 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled
3 medium potatoes, quartered
3 carrots, halved longways
1/4 cup olive oil
6 sprigs of thyme (or 3 tsp dried thyme)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp salt
10cm long cotton twine string (to tie the legs)

Method

1. Clean and rinse the chicken inside out and pat dry. Do not remove the chicken skin.

2. Marinate the whole chicken with garlic paste, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub it thoroughly and put the stuffing in the cavity. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil then tie the legs together with a cotton twine string. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

3. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease a roasting pan, place a roasting rack and put the chicken on top.

4. Bake for 30minutes then swap the chicken the opposite way. Add in the cut vegetables and unpeeled garlic underneath the chicken rack. Bake for another 30minutes until golden brown (you can see the crunchy skin).

5. Stand chicken for 5 minutes before serving and don’t forget to remove the string.


Ingredients for gravy

2 tbsp gravy (I used store bought powder gravy ‘Greens’)
4 tbsp chicken juice (get it from the roast chicken)
5 tbsp water

Method

Heat up the chicken juice and water in a small gravy pan and then gradually add the gravy powder, whilst whisking continuously to avoid any lumps.


Ingredients for stuffing

1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 small sized onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
50g butter
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Method

Place all the ingredients in a small-medium sized bowl and gently combine with a wooden ladle. Then add into the cavity of the chicken.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




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Category: Chicken, in my kitchen
  • Mar
  • 17
  • 2011

Super moist chocolate cake

Super moist chocolate cake

super moist chocolate cake
This is a killer chocolate cake. Its super moist, super chocolatey, super soft and super duper easy! You can even make the cake without the frosting and its still so goood on its own.

Recipe for Super Moist Chocolate Cake (from my dearest Aunt Nola)

Ingredients

2 cups Plain Flour

2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

3/4 cup Cocoa Powder

2 cups Caster Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Milk

1 cup Vegetable Oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup Hot Coffee (made from 1 tsp coffee)


Method

1. Preheat oven to 170°c.

2. Line the base and sides of a 22cm diameter springfoam tin with baking paper.

3. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

4. Pour all the wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined.

5. Then gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.

6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Note: Cake must be completely cooked before serving. Best eaten after a couple of hours.


Recipe for Chocolate, Orange and Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

110g Cream Cheese, at room temperature

60g Butter, at room temperature

22g Cocoa Powder, sifted

1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence

125g Icing Sugar, sifted

1 tbsp Orange zest

Juice of half Orange

Method

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.

2. Gradually add the cocoa powder, vanilla and icing sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes.

3. Then add the zest and juice.

4. Spread ontop of the cooled cake.

1 tsp Salt

  • Feb
  • 03
  • 2011

creamy chicken pasta

I’ve only started to like creamy dishes. Can’t believe I never used to like cream, even in desserts! One night, I was invited over to a friends place for dinner, was the day I turned creamy. Then again, I didn’t used to like a lot of things until much recent, some of which are prawns and sushi but have now fallen in love with, thanks to my husband.

So now, whenever I’m in a hurry or running out of ideas of what to cook or just a little bit lazy…this is what I come up with. Simple, yummy, creamy goodness. If I have leftover sauce, I’ll grill some chicken breast and pour the sauce over for my dinner the next night. My husband loves the taste of the sauce so much he says, “I can drink it all up”.


RECIPE FOR EASY CREAMY CHICKEN MUSHROOM PASTA
Adapted from this recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 pieces chicken breast, cut into long thin strips
600ml thickened cream
2 cups mushroom, sliced
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chicken stock cube (or 1/4 cup chicken stock)
400g spaghetti
2 tbsp butter (for a healthier version, substitute with olive oil)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (for garnishing)
parsley, chopped (for garnishing)
1/2 lemon (optional)

Method

1. To boil the pasta, fill a pot with water and some salt, bring it to a boil. Then add the pasta.

2. Whilst pasta is cooking,in a medium sauce pan, saute onions and garlic. Do not burn.

3. Add the chicken and stock and stir until just cooked. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add thickened cream and bring to a boil.

5. Lower heat and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens.

6. Drain cooked pasta and serve in individual plates. Pour creamy mushroom sauce on top and  garnish with some parmesan and chopped parsley. For some extra zing, squeeze a little lemon.



Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




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Category: Chicken, in my kitchen, Pasta

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