Japanese-style Chicken Curry

Curry is no stranger to our table, but we usually have the Thai kind, and our usual local variety… but this time I wanted to try Japanese-style – a thick, sweet-ish curry.

I decided to follow the recipe for the curry base here, from scratch with only 5 ingredients!!!

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

First make a roux – melt the butter then add the flour.  Stir and cook over low heat until the roux is browned.  add the other ingredients.  Set aside while the curry dish is cooked.

400 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into serving pieces (cleaned and patted dry)
4 ginger slices
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, sliced
2 potatoes, cubed
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup curry roux
2 tablespoons sweetened applesauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 small red bell pepper, cubed

Saute the ginger, garlic and onions until soft.  Add the chicken and stir fry a couple of minutes.  Add the cubed potatoes. Add about 1 cup of the chicken stock; set the heat on low.

Add about a cup of chicken stock to the curry roux, to loosen it a bit and then put it into the pot. Stir to dissolve and mix everything; add remaining stock and applesauce. Let simmer until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through. Add the cubed bell peppers last (to keep them crunchy) Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot over rice!!!

 

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Filipino-style Cheese Cupcake

Even before knowing about (American/Western) cupcakes, we were happily eating cheese cupcakes (we are the ones with cheese ice cream too!).  When I was a young girl, all the neighborhood bakeries had their own version of cheese cupcakes.  Some were crumbly, extremely cheesy, sweet, heavy… there were all kinds of it.  My personal favorite was the soft kind with a lot of cheese flavor and cheese strips on top.

I tried many recipes for cheese cupcake and got a myriad of results – crumbly, heavy, sweet… none were as cheesy as I would like.  I later discovered, when someone revealed a trade “secret”, that commercial bakeries used cheese flavoring (either a concentrate liquid or powder) to enhance the cheesy flavor.  Well, I don’t know where to get cheese flavoring, then again, I preferred to achieve flavor naturally.  I was able to do by using parmesan… not the “real” stuff but the prepared and already grated ones readily available in the supermarkets.

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter-margarine blend
6 tablespoons sugar
1 cup condensed milk
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup quick-melt cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix the dry ingredients together, then set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together. Add the condensed milk.

Add half the flour mixture and mix. Add the evaporated milk and mix. Add the remaining flour and mix. Fold in the grated Parmesan. Fold in half the quick-melt and cheddar cheeses.

Scoop batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 15 minures. Take the pan out and quickly sprinkle the rest of the cheeses on top of the cupcakes. Return to the oven and bake further, about 10 to 15 minutes. Take care not to over-bake.

Chewy Cheddar Puffs

We recently had a new addition to our family – hubby gave me a new furbaby!  Coincidentally, he shares the same birthday as the kid, although of course, the kid is waaaayyy older…

Nico

Anyway, everyone knows I cook for my family and that includes our furbabies!  We regularly cook their main meals – a low fat, no salt dish made of ground chicken, liver, several kinds of vegetables, oatmeal and usually wheatgerm.  Occasionally I would make bake treats, depending on what the particular flavor the furbabies like at that specific moment.  For this one, I found this treat

As usual I varied the recipe a bit, mainly because (1) our weather is more humid, more so these days, and (2) the furbabies really, really love cheese, the more the happier they are!

And to make things easier for me (as in less stuff to wash), I just used 1/2 cup measure –

1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup water, at a maximum
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese

Mix the flours together, add egg.  Gradually add the water (it is possible that not all will be used, depending on the humidity levels.  Mix in the cheese.  The texture of the batter should be stiff, like cookie dough.

Drop half teaspoonfuls on a greased, lined, re-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375*F, for about 14 to 18 minutes, until done but take care not to burn the treats.  Let cool completely.

I got about 40 pieces of treats.  But guess what?  It didn’t last long!!!

Chicken Chilindron

Aside from cookbooks, I also collect cooking magazines… but real books and magazines are bulky!  So sometime ago, I began subscribing to electronic versions…

It is in one of these electronic subscriptions that I saw this recipe by Jamie Oliver… I largely followed the recipe except for skipping the olives, using chicken drumsticks, substituting a couple of ingredients, as well as halving the recipe –

about 700g chicken drumsticks, cleaned, rinsed, pat dry
sea salt and pepper

2 pieces Italian garlic sausages, sliced

1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
8 medium tomatoes, skins removed, sliced into halves or quarters
1 small can sliced pimientos, drained
splash of rice wine
200 ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
a pinch of saffron, steeped in a little hot water
zest from half a lemon
2 anchovy fillets

Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper and brown in hot oil for a few minutes.  Remove and transfer to a plate.

In the same, stir fry the sausage slices until cooked.  Remove and transfer to the same plate as the chicken.

In the same pan, on low-medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic, until fragrant and soft, taking care not to let them get burned.  Splash the pan with a bit of rice wine to deglaze then add the tomatoes and squish them (!), as well as the sliced pimientos (left them whole largely since they were not big pieces anyway).  Add the chicken stock and rosemary.

When the pan starts simmering/boiling, put back the chicken and sausages.  Cook on low-medium, uncovered, for about an hour, or until sauce is thickened.

After 30 to 40 minutes, add saffron and steeping liquid. Add the lemon zest and anchovies. Season with salt, if necessary (I added a large pinch of sea salt).

Serve hot, with rice!!!!

This stew is so delicious!  According to Jamie Oliver, this stew comes from Aragon in northeastern Spain, and it works with lamb, too.  But lamb is uncommon where I’m from but I think I will try it with pork!!!

Reduced Sugar Oatmeal Chippers

It is no secret that my favorite cookies are Peanut Butter Cookies.  What is not so widely known is my next favorite – nope, still not Chocolate Chip Cookies – it’s oatmeal!  But not with raisins, or chocolate chips… I like my oatmeal cookies with dates!

But… for this baking project, I gave in to a (supposedly) win-win-win situation – win 1 for me – oatmeal, win 2 for the kid – chocolate chips, and win 3 for hubby – calorie reduced… so I went to my cookbook library and pulled out an old favorite cookbook –

bhg_cookie book

(seriously, I have a collection of BHG cookbooks!  I have at least 4 for cookies alone!)

and decided to use the recipe for Oatmeal Chippers…

oatmeal chippers recipe

with (as usual) some modifications.

To be honest, hubby and the kid were not impressed by the cookies.  They said that the cookies were bland, with a particular texture that they did NOT find appealing.

I shared some with BFF, who shared some with her officemates, and according to them, they were delicious!

So I choose to believe BFF!  hahahaha!

For the recipe –

I used a sugar-stevia baking mix (I found in the baking store), in place of the sugar.  Actually, the instructions on the packet directed using only half of the baking mix in place of the whole sugar amount.  I omitted the nuts (the kid and hubby prefer a no-nut cookie).  I also halved the recipe!

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter compound
6 tablespoons sugar-stevia (sugar substitute mix)
(original is 3/4 cup brown and white sugar mix)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour and baking soda.   Beat butter compound and sugar substitute together; add egg and vanilla.  Beat well.  Stir in flour, in 2 additions.  Fold in oats, then chocolate chips.

Using a 1-oz cookie scoop, drop cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in a preheated 375*F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or so, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

The half recipe made around 30 cookies.

Next time I am going to try the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chip Cookies by Martha Stewart!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes is the one by Nestle.  It is a classic after all and it is said that it is the original chocolate chip cookie.

We shouldn’t mess with something that has proven, right?  But I have read online that browning butter in recipes make the end product even better.  So I decided to brown the butter.  The results were fantastic!!!

(Note –  I halved the recipe because 4 to 5 dozen cookies are too much for us)

1/2 cup browned, melted butter, cooled
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/8 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

(To get 1/2 cup browned butter, start with 3/4 cup butter.  Melt until it is browned.  Pour into a glass liquid measuring cup with the lovely browned bits up to the 1/2 level.  There may be some melted butter left depending on the butter used.  Leave to cool before using.)

Beat the browned butter and sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add the combined dry ingredients in 3 additions.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop or scoop onto paper-lined cookie sheets.  Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.

yum yum yum!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Maple-Oat Bread, No Knead

I am always interested in no knead bread, so when I saw the e-book “Bread Toast Crumbs” by Alexandra Stafford, and read all the good reviews, I did not hesitate to buy it.  I was excited to try the recipes!

The first recipe I chose is this –

I felt it was perfect, since my mother had just given me a bottle of maple syrup, a souvenir from her recent trip to Canada.

I baked mine in loaf pans.  And, I can attest that this is a super easy bread to make, delicious to boot!!!

Of course I sent one over to my mom, after all, she gave me the maple syrup!!!

The recipe can be found online here.

 

 

THE Best Waffles, Ever!

The little girl woke me up. I was rather surprised to discover that I had, in fact, overslept.

Anyway, the little girl had not eaten breakfast yet and was (apparently) hungry (which is why, presumably, she woke me up); moreover, she had something in mind…

Nope, not her (usual) favorite pancakes. Instead, she wanted waffles.

She was under the impression that pancakes and waffles were the same, except in form. I explained that they were somewhat similar but really quite different.

The recipe I used is a good one, producing waffles which were crunchy on the outside but fluffy in the middle. But it is unlikely that I will make waffles again.

Why? you may ask.

Well because it took me 2 hours to make 10 waffles! And seriously! I don’t recall waffles taking THAT much time before. Maybe it has something to do with the waffle iron? I used to have a waffle iron that was a large round (which I was told was Belgian-style, but I don’t really know). That one (a wedding gift) drowned in the big flood almost a decade ago and I was not inclined to buy another one (a single use appliance that uses a lot of space…). But I recently received a 3-in-1 waffle-sandwich-mini donut maker so when the young one asked for waffles I said why not (it was another recipe to try using buttermilk…)

Could it be that the round waffler cooked faster than the squarish one (which I was told was American style?)

Anyway, here is the recipe I used –

1 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, separated

Begin by preheating the waffle iron.

Place all ingredients except egg whites in a bowl and stir using a wooden spoon or spatula. Mix until just combined. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold the batter into the egg whites.

Pour about 1/3 cup of batter in each waffle square and close the cover.  Wait until the steam is gone before opening the cover again.  (I like to brush butter on the iron.)

Keep the cooked waffles warm in an oven while you finish the rest.

Enjoy with butter and syrup!  And coffee!

Nancy Drew Blondies

While I love (real) cookbooks, there is something to be said about hundreds (or even thousands) of (e)cookbooks in a handy-dandy Kindle!  Which is where I have my copy of Hand Made Baking…

Considering I have loads of cookbooks, it is not surprising that I have not baked from each and every one of them.  (It would be surprising if I had…) But once in a while, I come across something I find interesting… very interesting…

i just have to make it… so…

Even if my age will show, I will admit that as a child, I went through the whole series of Nancy Drew (they were in that famous yellow-colored hard-bound books) and the blondies ARE pretty popular!

As usual, I made some minor adjustments – like I reduced the sugar ever so slightly, then I used 2 kinds of chocolate chips but skipped the white chips, using instead butterscotch chips. And since walnuts are way too expensive here, I used the local cashews… and for this batch, doubled the recipe.

170 grams butter
350 grams muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large cold eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup each bittersweet and dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup broken-up cashews

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line an 10×12-in baking pan with greaseproof paper, leave an overhang on all sides.

Melt the butter over low heat; remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla and salt.  Mix until smooth.  Beat in the eggs.  Add the flour, chips and nuts all at once.  Stir until just combined.  Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.  Bake about 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool completely in the pan before cutting into serving pieces.

Orange Loaf

We had a couple of oranges just sitting fridge. The little girl did not want juice and no one else wanted to eat them. I was getting worried that it would spoil… sooner or later…

So as usual, I looked for something to bake that would use the orange! Obvious solution, orange cake! Of course I did not ordinary orange cake, I wanted ooommmph… which meant some form of alcohol content!

I found a solution in the book “Booze Cakes”… the recipe that was entitled “Screwdriver Cupcakes”.  The original recipe used orange vodka, but i used triple sec (I did not have orange vodka on hand!)  The recipe also specified coconut but I skipped that as well.

The idea of a frosting, while tempting, was also dismissed.  I was thinking of sharing the cake with my mother and she does not appreciate frostings!  So I baked the recipe in 2 loaf pans and when they finished baking I just brushed a mix of marmalade and orange juice on top to make a sticky orange loaf!  As extra, I placed some candied orange (diced) on top of one of the loaves (this loaf went to my mom).

Hubby and the little girl loved it!  The little girl!  who often disliked any flavor other than chocolate!  The little girl asked for seconds and thirds!!!

My mom (and younger brother) loved it too!

Wow!

Also, a tip that I learned – takes more work, I know, but believe me, IT IS WORTH IT!!!!

Rub the orange zest in the sugar!!!!!!