Gallery

Sunday dinner – Sesame chicken with miso soup udon

I’ve made this miso soup udon before, and my husband also loves it. He is not a big fan of noodle in soup, but he loves udon, as he likes big noodle. For example, he prefers fettuccine than spaghetti, flat rice noodle 河粉 than thin rice noodle 米粉. So, that’s the reason why he loves udon, because it’s big! But I’m surprise that he doesn’t mind to have that in soup, because usually he just prefers fried noodle. 

Anyway, I was thinking to cook the udon in soup again on Sunday night. What should I do to go with it? How about sesame chicken cubes? Sounds yummy and matching!

It’s easy to do the sesame chicken. First of all, cut the chicken breast in cubes, then place them into a batter with whisked egg, corn starch powder, add a little bit of water it it’s too thick, and a touch of salt and white pepper. Let them sit there for 10 minutes. Heat up the pan with oil, then fry the chicken until they turn brown. Get the sauce ready with soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, and a lot of sesame seeds! Add the sauce into the pan and make sure all chicken are coated with the sauce, stir in some water with corn starch powder if you feel it’s too watery. Watch out the fire and make sure you don’t burn the chicken. 

Serve the sesame chicken with rice or noodle, or you can do the same like i do with the miso udon.

Gallery

It’s French tonight – Coq Au Vin

I am thinking to cook something French tonight, it’s because I am going to have this dinner party / house warming for our new home soon. These friends would like to have something Western, French or Italian. As I haven’t done many dishes that are really French, let’s search and give it a try. Talking about French cuisine, of course everyone would think of Julia Child, the American woman living in France. I found this dish Coq Au Vin, and there are lots of recipes inspired by Julia Child that you can find food blogger  and home cooks have been trying to make this dish and learned from Julia. It sounds delicious to me, why not give a try.

Coq Au Vin is about cooking chicken in red wine, I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. Really? Chicken with red wine? not white? Red wine for me is more for red meat, like beef. After cooking, the chicken will turned into dark colour, to me is not looking that good, but I guess as long as it tastes good should be fine. According to the recipe, Julia Child also cooked the pearl onion and mushroom as side dishes, and people said the pearl onions are really really good, so I am going to follow the side dishes, plus making some potatoes on top as well.

The key is the chicken, so you can use the whole chicken and chop it into pieces, or you can buy chicken pieces so you don’t need to worry on the chopping part and you can choose the part of chicken you like. I bought a whole chicken and chopped into 6 pieces, 2 chicken breast, 2 chicken thighs, and 2 chicken wings. I decided to get rid of the chicken skin, so the dish is less fat. First of all, cut the bacon into pieces and boil them into hot water to wash down the taste a bit. Or, you can just skip this step and jump right into the next step. Use a Dutch oven or skillet, and heat it up with some butter and olive oil. Place the bacon in and let them fry until they started to turn brown, remove them and let them set aside. Now, use the same oil to fry the chicken, season them with salt and black pepper, brown every single piece and make sure they are brown on both side. Then, add back the bacon, and cover it with lid and cook them for 10 minutes under low heat, turn the chicken once in-between. After 10 minutes, add a bit of cognac and light the dish with fire, let the flavour cook. Then, put the red wine and chicken broth in, make sure it covers the chicken. Now, you can add some minced garlic, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Bring it to boil, then cover the lid and let it simmer for around 30 minutes under low heat. Or, you can put it in the oven under low heat for the same time.

When the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the potatoes, onion and the mushroom.

For the potatoes, I cut them in big pieces. Heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, then add in the potatoes, season them with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano when they started to turn soft. Pour in some chicken stock and let it simmer with the lid on, they should be done after 20 minutes until all the chicken stock dry out. You can cook this even in advance and re-heat it when you serve it.

For the onion, it said the best is to get the pearl onions. I could only managed to find the small ones, but not exactly the pearl onions, it’s still fine. Heat up the pan with butter and a touch of olive oil, add the onions, and fry them around 10 minutes. Remember to roll them around, so you would not burn them. Lower the heat, then add red wine and some chicken stock, as well as some herbs, thyme, bay leaves and parsley. Cover the lid and let them simmer under low heat for 30 minutes, season them with salt and pepper to taste.

For the mushroom, you can cut into half or serve them in a whole. Heat up the pan with butter and a touch of olive oil, add the minced shallots and then brown the mushroom and let them cook for around 5 minutes or until they are done. Season them with salt and pepper to taste.

Now we can go back to the chicken, remove all chicken from the Dutch oven, raise the heat and then let the liquid boil until it goes down to around half of the original, should be around 2 cups. Now you can taste it and make some adjustment of the taste. Remove the liquid to another bowl, then heat up the Dutch oven again with some butter and some white plain flour, blend them and whip them with the wire whip, then add back the liquid in but use the sift to get the smooth liquid out of it. Let it cook and keep stirring until the sauce is thicken.

Serve the chicken with potatoes, mushroom and onions with sauce on top, garnish it with some chopped parsley. The onions taste really good, and the chicken of course so yummy~~~

Gallery

Sunday dinner – lemon & honey chicken drum sticks with greens 

It’s been three weeks that I haven’t had time to write my blog, was so busy with moving home. It’s never been easy with moving, packing, unpacking and we even have something that we need to build. We’ve moved to this new place for two weeks already, but there are still a lot of building work waiting for us to finish. One major part is my husband’s home studio, we just got some material ordered and hopefully to get that done soon. The other part is my private kitchen, basically is done but I just have to set it up nicely. Hopefully with that, it will be so much more easier for my food blog and for anything that I am going to cook, plus having guests to dine here. Can’t wait for getting everything done!

In order to make my Sunday a bit more easier, cooking something simple will be my target! Tonight, I am cooking this lemon and honey glazed chicken drum sticks, and served that with greens. It is a great dish to serve with rice or potatoes, you can have either one as your option, but I do prefer to have more greens.

The major ingredients of this dish is chicken drum sticks, you can also use the same cooking method for other part of the chicken. Besides that, we also need lemon, honey, garlic, ginger, rosemary, parsley, dark and light soy sauce. For the greens, I used three kinds of green, asparagus, green beans and zucchini. First of all, season the chicken drum sticks with some salt and pepper, and then get a pan ready and heat up with a touch of butter with some olive oil. Add in sliced garlic and sliced ginger when the pan is hot, then add all the chicken drum sticks in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add some dark and light soy sauce, some rosemary, slices of lemon and also squeeze some lemon juice in, cover the lid and let them cook for around 10 to 15 minutes. You can add some water if you feel the sauce is turning too dry, but try not to make it too watery. Add the honey few minutes before you think the drum sticks will be done, do not add the honey too early, otherwise the entire pan will become too sticky too early. When the chicken is done, add chopped parsley and mix them well, save a bit of parsley for the finish garnishing.

On the other hand, we need to get the greens ready, the best way is to start cooking the greens 5 minutes before you finish with the chicken. Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, then add in sliced garlic. Stir fry the green beans to start with, then add in asparagus and the chopped zucchini at last. Stir fry all greens until they are fully cooked and season them with some salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken drum sticks with some greens and garnish them with some chopped parsley.

Gallery

Sunday dinner – chicken and avocado wrap


Tonight’s dinner definitely would love to stick with the theme of healthy, but would like to add meat into it. My husband was doing a lot of juicing and cut down the amount of meat by eating almost only plant based raw food. Tonight maybe good to go with chicken, but not beef, as we would really like to minimise having beef in our diet.

So I decided to cook something with chicken and avocado, they are a good mix in terms of pairing. Just thinking what should I make with the two, and I decided to make burittos with them. Instead of tortilla, I got this healthy oat wraps at the supermarket and they are super light which should be a better choice than tortilla.

To heat up the pan with a bit of olive oil, add minced garlic and diced onion into the pan, then add diced chicken into the pan when the onion started to turn brown. Stir fry everything until the chicken is done, set them aside and let them cool down a bit. Get the rest of the ingredients ready, halved the avocado, remove the stone and cut them in dices. I just found out the other day that you can keep the avocado with the seed in order to avoid it turning black. That’s a really good trick, instead of putting lemon juice in it, just simply let the seed stay with the avocado. 

Now, get the oat wraps out, you can use tortilla if you prefer to keep it original. Lay the chicken, diced avocado, diced mozzarella, a bit of sour cream and some chopped coriander carefully on the wrap. Then wrap it and roll it nicely, and place it on the grill pan to pan fry until it turned crispy. 

You can serve it just like that or with some salad, freshy and healthy!

Gallery

The first dinner for the year of the rooster, let’s go for chicken! 

Happy Year of the Rooster!!!! It’s the first day of the lunar new year, let’s have some chicken for our first dinner.

I start it off with making us cocktail. Yes! Again related to cock, just to fit into the theme. I’ve made the Old Fashion, nice to start to night with a cocktail. Place 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into the glass, then add few dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of water, then crash the sugar with a wooden muddler. I like to add a touch of orange juice, and a slice of orange peel and orange. Then add around 2 oz of whiskey, place one big ice cube in the glass then fill up the rest of the glass with water. 

I actually didn’t plan to cook any appetiser, but the portion of the chicken cordon bleu turned out to be smaller than I expected. Moreover, I screwed up with one piece of the chicken, that’s why I have some chicken leftover, so why not have a bruschetta with some chicken and eggs? which fit perfectly to the theme! So, put butter on the slices of the baguette, then place them on the grill pan, put them aside when they are done on both side. Heat up the pan with butter, then fry the minced chicken, season it with some salt and pepper. Add one egg into the pan when the chicken is done, break up the egg and stir fry it when it’s done. Place the chicken and egg on top of the slices of baguette. Add some cheese on top and garnish it with a bit of spring onion or parley.

For the Chicken Cordon Bleu, get two big piece of chicken breast and slice them into two thin pieces. Add a touch of olive on the entire surface of the chicken breast, then place one piece in-between two pieces of cling film, use a meat mallet to bite the chicken breast until it becomes really thin and even, remember to use the flat side. Brush the chicken breast with dijon mustard, then lay a piece of sweet ham and a piece of Swiss cheese on top. Roll up the chicken breast and tighten it up with the cling wrap, place them in the fridge and let them sit there for 30 minutes. When they are ready, cover the chicken roll with plain flour, then soak it with egg wash and then finish it with breadcrumbs, breadcrumbs should be seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat up the pan with butter and some olive oil, fry all side of the chicken roll, and don’t forget the two ends. Sealed all side, and then place them in the oven and bake them under 180C for 20 minutes.

Let’s prepare the creamy sauce, heat up the pan with olive oil, add minced shaollot and garlic, fry them for 2 minutes, and then add a touch of flour. Add chicken stock, and a touch of white wine, let it simmer. Add cooking cream, bring it to boil, then let it simmer until it turns thicker. Season it with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley in the end. 

I’ve also prepared the potatoes and zucchini as side dishes. Steam the potatoes for 20 minutes, let them cool down. Heat up the pan with olive oil and butter, fry the potatoes and then add the zucchini. Season them with salt and pepper when they are done and garnish with some parsley.

Cut the chicken cordon bleu in half and serve them with the creamy sauc, with the vegetable on the side. 

Gallery

It was a tough week – cooking something light for Sunday dinner

The second Sunday night cooking after we came back from 2 weeks holiday in Germany. That week was so tough, as I was going through the laid off issue at work, too crazy and tired to deal with. Finally weekend, and I did feel a lot better! Craving for Japanese, and I wanted to cook this miso black cod for quite some time, why not doing it then?!

I was thinking to make the vegetable udon which is light and my husband loves it! So, miso black cod and vegetable udon for sure! Let’s see what else should I cook? The first place I go check out was that store right next door, selling Japanese imported food. I found what I needed for udon and black cod, I also found some Japanese green pepper which is hard to find in those regular super market. On top of that, I bought this chicken sausage  with chicken bone on it. Nice touch, but let’s see how does it taste.

First of all, we need to marinate the black cod. I was trying to follow the recipe of Nobu, but then I realised that I should marinate the black cod 3 days in advance!!! Errrrrr……… forget it! I am going to marinate that for 2 to 3 hours only, that’s the best I can do now, and see how that going to taste. I might try to make it 3 days in advance next time. I do not have mirin with me, so I just heat up some sake, let it burn and then add white miso paste and sugar. Cool down the mix when everything is fully dissolved, and put the black cod in the sauce and let it marinate for few hours in the fridge, of course the best would be 2 to 3 days. I am going to cook the fish with the sous vide, so place it in the vacuum bag and bathe in 50C hot water for 18 minutes. Then fry it with butter in a hot pan until both side turn brown, and I have to say it is really tasty!!! Next time I will try to marinate them for 2 to 3 days and see what is the difference.

Before eating the black cod with vegetable udon as main course, I cooked the Japanese mini green pepper and chicken sausages as our starter. I am not going to write about the udon, as I had this in one of my blog already. For the green peppers, it’s easy, instead of grill them, I fry them with hot pan, and simply season them with salt, pepper and some paprika. They are just so delicious, and we can just keep eating them if we have more! The chicken sausages are also quite tasty, I should come up with my own one next time. Keeping the bone and use the chicken meat to make my own sausage!

Go with cold sake, and what a nice Japanese dinner!!!

 

Gallery

Cooking with healthy Quinoa – roasted with broccoli and chicken

I always try to eat healthy and explore something new. I’ve never cook quinoa, but I’ve heard a lot of good thing about it.  It is very nutritious, good for blood sugar control, gluten free, very high in fiber, protein, important mineral and antioxidants. It sounds like all you can get!!! Why not trying it out?

Find out what is good about quinoa

I grew up with rice and noodle, quinoa is definitely something new to me. I know there is a trend in the Western world to cook with quinoa, but I have no idea how should I cook them. Therefore, I have to look into some recipes, to get the idea and some inspiration. I found this recipe to roast it with broccoli and chicken, looking quite delicious. So, I am going to try my first quinoa dish with this.

Roasted broccoli chicken and cheddar quinoa bake

Of course, I always improvise the recipe a bit, to make it my own style. To add something on top, or to change the ingredients that I don’t like. But I like almost everything of this recipe, the only thing I feel missing is a bit of garlic, and to mix with some parmesan cheese, instead of having only cheddar cheese.

First of all, I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. So, I’ve spent one hour to  cook the chicken breast with 60C in the hot bath, get them out and let them cool down. To cook the quinoa, more or less like cooking the rice or risotto. I am following this recipe to use 1 3/4 cup of chicken stock to cook 1 cup of quinoa. But I guess you can also cook with regular water, and I might try to cook them in the rice cooker next time and see if that works. When the quinoa absorb all the stock, switch off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I am getting the vegetable ready, I prefer to fry them with a pan instead of grilling them in the oven. Hit the pan and drizzle with some olive oil, put some minced garlic, and then put the chopped red onion and broccoli. Fry them with medium heat until they are half way cooked, do not oven cook them as they will still be cooked in the oven for another 25 minutes later on. Season them with some salt and red chilli flakes.

Now, let’s work on the quinoa. Mix the chopped tomato and shredded chicken in, and then add the cheddar cheese mix with parmesan cheese. Mix them well, and then also adding the broccoli mix, mix everything together in a large pan and season it with a bit of salt and pepper. Finish it by adding more cheese as a top layer, and some breadcrumbs to make it more crunchy. Roast it in the oven for 20-25 minutes under 200C.

I feel very satisfied with my first quinoa cooking and I like the texture of it, for sure will try out new dishes with it in the future.