Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chicken Satay Skewers and Peanut Sauce

Serves 4

800g chicken thigh fillets or tenderloins, cut
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 stalk lemongrass
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red chillies, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
1 tbs soy sauce (I used ketcup manis for a sweeter flavour)
¼ cup oil
1 tbsp soft brown sugar

For the satay sauce 

½ cup crunchy peanut butter
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Process the onion, lemongrass, garlic, chillies, coriander, turmeric, salt and soy sauce in a food processor, in short bursts, until smooth, adding a little oil to assist the processing. Place marinade mixture and chicken pieces into a snaplock bag, mix together well till chicken is thoroughly coated with the marinade and leave overnight in the fridge - make sure all the air is pushed out of the bag. 
  2. If using wooden skewers, soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes prior to cooking.
  3. Meanwhile to make the satay sauce: stir all the ingredients in a heavy based pan over low heat, until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken on standing.
  4. Heat a char-grill or barbecue flat plate until very hot and brush with some oil. Skewer the chicken taking care not to overload the skewers by bunching up the meat. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side, sprinkling with a little oil and brown sugar (this will help produce a lovely flavour and colour). Serve topped with satay sauce and rice.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Chinese Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

    This Chinese dessert soup is homely comfort food. When I was little, I always looked forward to when my mum would make this soup for me. It's so simple to make and so delicious to eat! I very much enjoy drinking the sweet soup and eating the sweet potato with the warming properties of ginger. It always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside after I drink this soup :) This dessert soup can be eaten hot or cold but I prefer to eat it hot.


    2 large sweet potatoes
    2 inches fresh ginger, skinned and sliced
    3 ½ cups water
    60g rock sugar

    1. Peel, wash and chop sweet potatoes into chunks (size is dependent on personal preference, I like mine chunky).
    2. Bring water in a pot to a boil; then add ginger slices, sweet potatoes and rock sugar. Bring to a boil again then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes with lid on.
    3. Serve hot or cold.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Balsamic Strawberries


    ¼ cup caster sugar 
    ¼ cup water
    2 tsp balsamic vinegar 
    1 tsp arrowroot or cornflour
    250g strawberries, halved

    1. Place the caster sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
    2. Combine the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth, then add to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is syrupy. Remove from heat and toss in the strawberries.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Vietnamese Chicken Curry

    I've always wanted to try and make Vietnamese Chicken Curry at home. So when a Vietnamese friend of mine offered her mum's recipe for me to try out, I was very excited and couldn't wait to start cooking. Unfortunately with many Asian mum recipes, quantities of ingredients and timing can vary since a lot of them don't use measuring cups or spoons and don't follow a step by step recipe when they cook. Instead they often adjust taste as necessary or prefer to look at the consistency of the dish as they are cooking. So when I got my friend's mum's recipe, there were a few steps I wasn't too clear about, nor could I locate all the ingredients written in the recipe. So instead I have modified her recipe and incorporated principles from other Vietnamese curry recipes to make the following recipe below:


    1kg chicken thigh fillets, trimmed, cut into small cubes

    1 tbsp mild curry powder
    2 tbsp Vietnamese curry granules added to 100ml hot water
    1 tbsp salt
    1 tbsp sugar
    4 birds eye chillies, chopped
    6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
    4 curry leaves
    1 brown onion, chopped
    ½ tbsp instant coffee granules added to ¼ cup hot water

    1 large potato, peeled and cubed
    1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
    400ml  Yeo's Singapore hot curry sauce
    1 x 375ml can coconut juice
    1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and lower two-thirds of the stalks (the whitish bits) cut into roughly 2 inch pieces and bruised with the back of a knife
    Vegetable oil


    Add all the marinade ingredients together with the chicken into a mixing bowl. Mix well then place into a large ziplock bag. Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

    Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large heavy based fry pan and shallow fry the potatoes over high heat until brown (it is not necessary to completely cook the potatoes at this point, only to brown them). When well browned, remove from the pan and set aside until ready to cook the curry. This helps to keep their shape when added to the curry.

    Add some more of the vegetable oil (approx 2 tbsp) and fry the marinated chicken until it is golden brown on all sides. (You may want to do this in several batches to avoid steaming the chicken). Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.

    Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over low heat, add the can of Singapore hot curry sauce and coconut juice. Transfer the chicken and lemongrass stalks into the curry sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Add the root vegetables to the curry. Replace the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes.

    Serve with rice

    Notes & Tips

    Whilst it may seem odd that instant coffee is added to curry, it's not that uncommon in Asian curries, since it adds a more robust flavour to the dish.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Portuguese Style Chicken

    This chicken recipe is great to cook over a BBQ. But if you don't have a BBQ you can place the chicken on a rack over a baking tray/dish and grill them- which was what I did today.

    And watch out as this recipe is very hot and spicy! If you prefer your chicken to be less spicy, I would suggest to add fewer chillies or you might be grabbing that glass of water to cool your palate when eating!


    1kg chicken thigh fillets
    Lemon wedges and hot potato chips, to serve

    Chilli Sauce

    5-7 small fresh red birdseye chillies, roughly chopped
    2 long red chillies, roughly chopped
    3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    ¼ cup olive oil
    2bs fresh lemon juice
    1 tbs sea salt


    1. To make chilli sauce, place the chillies and garlic in the bowl of a small food processor and process, scraping down the side occasionally, until chillies are finely chopped. Add oil, lemon juice and salt and process until just combined. Transfer to a screw-top jar or plastic container. 
    2. Trim away any excess fat from chicken. Prick the flesh of the chicken all over with a fork to allow the marinade to penetrate. Rub mixture into chicken, cover and refrigerate. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight for a better result.
    3. Preheat barbecue grill to medium high heat. Place the chicken, skin-side up, on the preheated barbecue grill. Cook for 10 minutes, brushing occasionally with a little of the chilli sauce. Brush the top of the chicken with the remaining chilli sauce and then turn over. Cook for a further 8 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a skewer.
    4. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside for 5 minutes to rest and serve immediately with lemon wedges and chips.
    Notes & Tips

    You can make the chilli sauce up to 2 weeks ahead. Store in the fridge. The longer it stands, the more the flavours develop.

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Chocolate & Custard Torte

    This cake's base is made with hot cross buns and then it's chilled in the fridge, so you won't have to use the oven. I made this cake during Easter last year and it was a huge hit!

    Serves 8


    ⅓ cup caster sugar
    1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
    500-600ml thickened cream
    4 egg yolks
    200g good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
    100ml thin cream
    4 bought hot cross buns, thinly sliced vertically
    2 tbs warm water
    2 ½ tsp gelatine powder
    1 tbs good quality cocoa powder


    1. Place the sugar, vanilla bean and half the thickened cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a gentle boil. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium heatproof jug. Discard the vanilla bean.
    2. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture. Return to the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
    3. Meanwhile, combine the chocolate and thin cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
    4. Line the base of a round 24cm (base measurement) springform pan with non stick baking paper. Arrange half the hot cross bun slices, in a single layer, over the base of the pan. Spread half the chocolate mixture evenly over the base to cover completely. Repeat with the remaining hot cross bun and chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.
    5. Whisk the remaining thickened cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to gently fold the cream into the custard mixture.
    6. Place the warm water in a small heatproof jug. Sprinkle with gelatine and whisk with a fork until the gelatine dissolves. Gently fold the gelatine mixture into the custard mixture. Pour over the chocolate base. Cover and place in fridge for 3 hours or overnight to set. Dust with the cocoa powder to serve.

      Blog Widget by LinkWithin