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.

 

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared Cookies

If there is one candy that I cannot resist, it is Snickers Peanut Butter Squared.  It is not all that common locally so when I find them, I hoard!  My problem now is that we have too much and I can’t finish them all!!!  (and Hubby is not a fan of peanut butter…) so… I decided to convert them into… cookies!!!

The original recipe estimated a yield of 4 dozen.  Frankly, I don’t know how all of that would be consumed (even assuming that I was giving half away!!!) so I used only half the recipe (using all butter also instead of a butter-shortening mix) and added a little less than 2 cups of chopped up Peanut Butter Snickers!

1/2 cup butter
3/8 cup each brown and granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/8 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups chopped Snickers Peanut Butter Squared candies

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in flour and baking soda.  Fold in chopped candies.  Drop by round tablespoons (a 1-oz scoop is very convenient) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 8 to 11 minutes.


They are so yummmmyyyy! And the smell that wafted through the house as the cookies were baking – so heavenly!

I was done in less than an hour and the cookies were soft and chewy! The peanuts in the candy provided the crunch while the caramel and nougat in the candy bits provided just enough sweetness! I got about 30 cookies from half the recipe. I’m definitely making these cookies again!  Maybe I will try adding different kinds of chopped candy…

The original recipe is from this book:

The recipe can be found here, with a couple of its variants.

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!

Upside Down Apple Cake

The usual upside down cake is pineapple, and that’s the kind I made when I was younger but my favorite these days is apple!

My first attempt at it (it was not pretty at all!) –

A look at a slice –

And I really love this cake!

I followed the recipe for the pineapple upside down apple cake in this book (image courtesy of google images) –

The recipe is also online here

Basically I followed the recipe, except…

1. I used 2 smaller pans instead of 1 big pan
2. I used all the schmear in the 2 smaller pans (it’s really delicious, but I might have over done it, seriously…).
3. I sprinkled apple pie spice over the “schmear” before putting in apple slices.

By the way, I used Fuji apples… and they were still crunchy even after baking!

The recipe (and hence, the cake) was absolutely spectacular! A tad bit sweet for me but otherwise, super yummy!!! So from now on, this is my go-to upside down cake recipe!

 

 

Inihaw na Piña!

I’ve often felt that barbecuing over charcoal took a long time and was so tedious that it was better and faster to buy barbecue, or anything inihaw (grilled) and just eat it at home.  But that is not to say that I would not have a barbecue night, because I wanted to try having a whole dinner that’s barbecued!

Our menu –

Inihaw na Liempo (Grilled Pork Belly)

Inihaw na Puting Mais (Grilled Native Corn)

Inihaw na Pinya (Grilled Pineapples)

The best of the lot were the grilled pineapples! We bought a fresh pineapple from the wet market and skewered the slices. The skewered pineapples were basted with a glaze then grilled.

I found a recipe for the glaze in this book… on the very last page!

A similar recipe is here.

But, as always I made a couple of changes, here and there… basically I skipped the honey and used coconut sugar instead. I also used my homemade apple pie spice instead of cinnamon…

For my glaze, I melted 1/4 cup butter then added 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, juice from 1 small lemon, 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice and a pinch of nutmeg. When the coconut sugar was almost melted, I took the pan off the stove and added 1 tablespoon of gold rum and 1/2 teaspoon of my homemade vanilla-rum extract.

The pineapples were absolutely delicious!

 

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!

Sweet Milk Bread

Nope, I haven’t forgotten about making bread… it’s just that therehave been too many things going on… but here is one – a variation of the same theme (no knead) but using milk and a bit of condensed milk.

I can confidently say that this experiment is a success!

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

The little girl had a friend over for playtime one afternoon.  Mid-afternoon, she runs to the kitchen and whispers to me –

“Mommy! You forgot to make us a snack!”

I didn’t forget.  I had planned to serve some store-bought cookies and juice.

The kid objected.  Vehemently.

She wanted a snack that I made… cooked… or baked…

Sigh.

Ok.

I thought… pancakes… those are fast…

But in the midst of preparing the pancakes, I saw a couple of bananas on the counter that looked like it was going bad… so I peeled them, mashed them then dumped them into the mix.

And as they were cooking on the stove, I saw the remains of some chocolate chips left over from long ago.  I started sprinkling the chips on the pancakes.

Lo and behold.  The pancakes were such a big hit, the little girl asked for the same thing for breakfast the next day!  I had to rush out to buy more bananas!

(Smile)

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (I used just 2 tablespoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 pieces over-ripe bananas, mashed
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
chocolate chips, as desired

Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet ingredients together. Mix together dry and wet ingredients just until mixed. Add the mashed bananas. Do not overmix.

Cook on a griddle as you would regular pancakes. Sprinkle on some chocolate chips while you’re at it!

Then enjoy!