Marjoram Citrus Roasted Chicken Thighs

One my most favorite chicken dishes! The best part is it is soooooo easy to make. Here is the recipe:

5-8 pieces chicken thighs, with bone
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rock salt, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced thinly
1 lime, sliced thinly
1/2 an orange, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram

Rinse the chicken pieces clean and pat dry.
(note re the chicken, if using large pieces 5 will do, for smaller pieces, use 8.)

Mix together the oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Arrange the chicken in a 9-inch pie plate (I used a glass baking dish), skin side up. Pour the olive oil mixture over the chicken pieces and make sure that they are well coated. Arrange the slices of lemon, lime and orange all around and even under the chicken. Sprinkle the fresh marjoram all over.

Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 45 to 60 minutes.

 

Adobo, My Way

For Independence Day, this dish is perfect.  After all, it is national dish of the Philippines (well, not officially…). Seriously, I don’t know anyone who does not like it, even if everyone has varying preferences – salty, tangy, oily, saucy, mixed, double cooked… as it is claimed, indeed, that there are a million and one ways to cook it.

But the adobo that I like and cook at home these days is one where a bit of my ancestry shows through – with banana blossoms (which some say are really lily buds but that’s another story…)

I also like my adobo with bay leaves and boiled eggs… in addition to being all pork, specifically belly part (although on occasion I also use kasim or pork shoulder), where I try to find ones that have very little pork fat (otherwise we trim off as much as we can). And as much as I like pork adobo, I’m really not a fan of the chicken variant, don’t know why.

Anyway, here is my recipe.  It is pretty standard, although I use my magic cooker –

5 to 6 strips of pork liempo (about 750 to 1000 grams), cut into cubes (we trim a lot of fat off…)
1 whole bulb garlic, cloves smashed
2 to 3 large pieces bay leaves, crumbled
1 cup soy sauce (I use light soy sauce)
1/2 cup native vinegar
a handful whole black peppercorns, lightly smashed
1 cup water
a handful of banana blossoms, rehydrated, tough ends cut off
hard boiled eggs (optional)

Clean the pork and place into the inner pot of the magic cooker. Add garlic, bay, soy sauce and vinegar. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Place the pot on the stove, add water and cook (simmer) over low-medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir only after the mixture has bubbled (initial boil). Place the inner pot in the magic cooker and let it sit for at least 30 to 40 minutes.

Return the inner pot to the stove. Add the banana blossoms and boiled eggs. Lightly stir the mixture. Let simmer about 10 minutes. Return to the magic cooker and let sit until meat is tender – another 30 minutes or so.

Adjust the seasonings. I know some people like a really salty, or a salty-sweet adobo, but personally I like mine adobo tangy and only a bit salty so I’ve been known to add a little more vinegar (the banana blossoms add to the tanginess, too).

Yummmmyyy!!! And perfect with ice cold coke (diet or zero). Where’s the rice????

Tomiyao with Garlic

My first taste of this vegetable was in a famous (local) Chinese restaurant. I found it really tasty – they tasted a bit like bean sprouts but more delicious (my opinion!). I asked the waiter what kind of vegetable it was. He said it was a different kind of bean sprouts. Hmmm…. (felt skeptical and unbelieving since bean sprouts are bean sprouts… might be more logical if they were some kind of sprouts…)

Anyway, I tried to find some at various markets but there was none to be found… until recently! I found several packs in the supermarket nearby! And I asked the “promodiser” what they were. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were actually pea sprouts (or pea shoots) because I do not like peas at all.

They’re easy to cook too!

200 grams of tomiyao, rinsed and dried
8 to 10 cloves of garlic, smashed
salt, to taste

Saute the garlic in some oil, taking care not to burn the garlic. Throw in the tomiyao and some salt (season to taste). Stir fry until just done, to keep the crunch of the shoots. Serve immediately.

That’s it!!!

 

“Benedict Muffinbatch”

Reposting a favorite…

Friend T has christened this recipe – Benedict Muffinbatch.

I suppose the inspiration came from it being similar to Eggs Benedict, but that it is radically not… combined with a wonderful play on the name of a favorite British actor playing the character of Sherlock Holmes.

But, yes, it is a variation on the same theme… something on top of an English muffin!

This time, I got inspiration from one of the breakfast items of my favorite coffee and tea cafe… Salmon Scramble… although their version is on a rosemary focaccia.

Toast an English muffin and spread lots of cream cheese over the top. Layer on 2 to 3 pieces of smoked salmon (or as many as you like!) then top with scrambled eggs. Drizzle dill sauce over and sprinkle cayenne pepper on top.

Enjoy! Hubby sure did!

Chicken Gyros

The “boys” haven’t been around for a while, but tonight they’re here!  So they are having something that hubby really likes!

Chicken Gyros with Tatziki, My Way…

Chicken:
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1 large lemon
6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt

750 grams boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Add the chicken and mix until the chicken is well coated with the marinade. Set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours. When it’s time to cook, heat a skillet until very hot and cook the chicken until done (do not over-cook!)

Tatziki:
1 large cucumber, grated, water squeezed out
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
juice from half a lemon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as desired
fresh ground black pepper
splash of olive oil

Mix all ingredients and store in the fridge until ready to serve/eat.

tomatoes, sliced thinly
onions, sliced thinly
iceberg lettuce, sliced thinly

pita bread or soft tortillas

To serve, warm the pita bread and/or tortillas. Add shredded lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Top with chicken and tatziki. Fold the tortilla and enjoy!

Healthy Baked Meatballs!

With all the things going on all at the same time lately, I haven’t had the time to indulge in my favorite hobby – cooking!

And I must say, it FEEEEELS SOOOOO GOOOOOOD to get cooking and fire the little oven once again!

These meatballs are healthy in the sense that they are not fried… I used lean meat… and yogurt! And it is an easy recipe to put together, too.

500 grams lean ground pork (maximum of 10% fat)

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

125 grams Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix the yogurt and bread crumbs together.  It will be clumpy.  Set aside.

Beat the egg with the salt and pepper.  Meanwhile start pre-heating the oven to 400*F.

Mix the ground pork, onion, garlic, egg mixture, and bread crumb mixture together.  Don’t overwork the meat or it could get tough when cooked.

Form the  meat mixture into balls.  I got about 30 balls.  Arrange on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes or less.  The leaner the meat, the tougher it can get if it is over-done, so be careful.

 

 

Soy Sauce Fried Eggs

Anyone for a fancy breakfast?

Hubby was.

His favorite breakfast item?  Eggs.

So that’s what he had… fancy eggs…

2 fresh eggs
1 piece century egg, cut up
1 tablespoon good quality light soya sauce
1 tablespoon water (or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Fry the fresh eggs, sunny-side up.  Transfer to a serving dish (not a flat one!).  Top with the chopped century egg.

Add the soy sauce and water to the pan.  Heat until just boiling.  Add sesame oil.  Pour over the eggs.  Serve hot!  Fantastic with rice!

 

 

Breakfast Frittata

I grew up on eggs for breakfast.  All throughout my childhood, I remember the breakfast staple – 1/2 cup of Sanka coffee, 1 soft boiled egg, pandesal or sinangag (garlic fried rice), and sometimes, sausages or hotdogs.  To this day, it is extremely rare that my breakfast (or that of hubby’s) skips the egg.  For my sweetie, however, I make an extra effort to gussy up the eggs.

The fastest and easiest way to make eggs fancy is to make a frittata.  If we happen to have leftovers, I simply use them as the filling.  Otherwise, the combination of onions, potatoes, peppers, and of course, cheese (!) do quite well!

2 xl eggs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium potato, cubed
1 green bell pepper, julienned
120 grams cubed cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

As always, start by sautéing the onion and peppers in a 6-1/2-inch cast iron pan.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir fry a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until thoroughly combined.  Pour into sautéed vegetables.  Stir lightly.  When the sides are set, scatter the cubed cheese on top then transfer the skillet to a preheated 350*F oven.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the center is cooked through.

Enjoy!

Baked Chicken and Potatoes

When I was young ( a long time ago! ), the turbo broiler was a popular kitchen appliance.  We often had turbo roasted chicken.  The seasoning/s we used were rather simple – rock salt, pepper, garlic and calamansi.  The problem I usually had with the turbo broiled chicken was that it was almost always a dry bird!

But, to be honest, I didn’t know if the dryness was because of the turbo broiler or human error.  In any case, the turbo broiler was never a priority in my kitchen because it seemed to me to be a heavy, bulky appliance that was only good for one thing…  And since I have my little electric oven that was a rotisserie as well, I did not really need a turbo broiler!

What I wanted was a taste of my childhood chicken sans the dryness!

Unfortunately the market was out of whole birds, so I had to settle for the drumsticks.  But I forged ahead…

There wasn’t a “real” recipe for the chicken of my childhood…. it was more of a just do this and that and pop it in the broiler thing – basically juice from several calamansi would be rubbed all over the chicken.  Then a mixture of rock salt, coarsely ground black peppercorns and minced garlic would be rubbed on the chicken and under the skin ( if there were gaps ).  The chicken would then be placed in a cellophane bag and left in the fridge for at least an overnight.

In the present case, I thought since I veered away and used chicken drumsticks, I might as well make another change, which was to put thinly sliced potatoes under the chicken… the drippings from the chicken would surely make the potatoes really tasty!!!

And it did!  The chicken was even better than I remembered as a child and the potatoes? well, let’s just say the hubby is a happy hubby!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abalone and Scallop Nest

For special occasions, I break out the special stuff.

The occasion I’m talking about this time was hubby’s birthday… not a special numbered birthday, but for me any birthday of his a special day!

For this dish, because the ingredients are stars by themselves, no special recipe is required.  What is crucial, however, is a good (and I do mean a REALLY GOOD) can of abalone!  Of course, fresh scallops and properly prepared bamboo shoots are important too, but these 2 ingredients can be substituted with any other seafood and vegetable.  The abalone (and its sauce) is the true star of the dish.

Drain and reserve the sauce from the canned abalone.  Sauté the bamboo shoots (cleaned, sliced, boiled and drained).  Pour in a little of the abalone sauce.  Stir-fry until the shoots and coated.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bamboo shoots to a serving dish.

In the same pan, sauté the scallops with a little more of the abalone sauce until the scallops are almost done.  Again with a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to the serving dish, mounding the scallops in the middle of the dish.

In the same pan, pour in all of the abalone sauce and heat until it boils gently.  Add the abalone and heat through (do not over-do it or the scallops will become tough).  Using a pair of tongs, transfer the abalone to the serving plate, arranging them decoratively in a circle.

Pour the heated abalone sauce all over the dish and splash with a few drops of black sesame oil.

Enjoy while it is hot!