Sometimes less really is more. This recipe makes for a super simple, but flavor bursting pick me up. Unfortunately my carrots weren’t thin enough and sank to the bottom.
Category: TASTE & CREATE
This month I was paired with Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I love being paired with someone I’ve never been paired with before I inevitably learn sooooooo much, and find great new recipes. She has a huge diversity in recipes. I finally settled on the Black Pepper Chicken from The Law Student’s Cookbook. I did make a few alterations for us, but none that would drastically affect the flavor.
According to wikipedia, pepper originates in South East Asia and has been used in Indian cooking essentially forever. Peppercorns used to be known as “black-gold” and were used as a form of money. Black pepper is now commonly used in cuisines all around the world.
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
Juice of large lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch fresh ginger root, skinned and minced (I omitted as hubs hates ginger)
1 tablespoon ground black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (omit if grilling)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (also omitted since I have a deathly allergy to mustard)
pinch of red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Marinate the chicken in the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, chili powder, turmeric, chili flakes, corriander, cumin and salt.
- Remove chicken, reserving the marinade.
- Let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. (I let it marinade for several hours.)
In a deep pan heat the vegetable oil, on high. Add the mustard and chili flakes. Fry for 15 seconds. Add the coriander and cumin, and stir for 35 seconds.
- Heat grill to medium high.
- Spray grill with PAM.
- Grill chicken for 5 minutes each side, basting well with marinade after 2-3 minutes.
Add the marinated chicken to the pan, browning the chicken on each side. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
* serves 2
80g dark chocolate, chopped
100g peanut butter
30g icing sugar (adjust according to taste)
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring frequently.
- Whisk together cinnamon and sugar.
- Sprinkle over the pastry and roll up the long side.
- Cut the roll lengthwise into 2 halves.
- Pinch the top together. Twist the 2 halves together, keeping the cut side exposed.
- Pinch the 2 ends together into a circle.
- Brush with egg wash.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on you puff pastry, until golden brown.
PJ’s HAWAIIAN COFFEE
Instant coffee powder – 1 teaspoon dissolved in a little hot water
Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
Sugar to taste
- Take coconut milk in a sauce pan and put in sugar.
- Simmer for a few minutes till it bubbles on the side.Stir a couple of times in between.
- In a serving mug put in the dissolved coffee powder.
- Pour the coconut milk over it. Stir gently [ That way you will have a foamy and bubbly coffee]
- Enjoy your cup of Hawaiian coffee…….
- Instead of instant coffee powder, freshly brewed coffee can also be used
- This coffee can also be served with a garnish of toasted / roasted [grated] coconut.
- Another method of preparing this coffee is to simmer milk with grated coconut for 10-15 minutes. It is filtered into the mug.Add coffee and sugar. Mix and serve.
PJ’S CELERY SOUP
Celery- 5 stalks, chopped
Potato-1, peeled and cubed
Garam masala- 1 teaspoon
Vegetable stock-4 cups
Coriander leaves- 1 tablespoon, chopped
White sesame seeds-1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Black sesame seeds – to garnish
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker and put in onion, white sesame seeds, garam masala and sauté till onion is transparent.
- Put in potato and celery and sauté for a minute. Add stock and pressure cook for 10 minutes.
- Cool and puree.
- Transfer the puree onto a pan and bring to a boil. Adjust consistency by adding more stock / water.
- Put in coriander and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Serve hot garnished with black sesame seeds. I didn’t have any sesame seeds, but did add some ham pieces for my meat loving husband.
My partner this month is Carol from NO REASON NEEDED for our 4th pairing. I spent yet another lazy afternoon perusing her recipes again and was still intrigued by her unusual recipe titles like elephant ear cookies, zippy slow cooker chili, pizza stuffed pretzels and super easy strawberry and lime ice cream but opted for her Chicken Marsellaise. Carol’s recipe is here.
1.5 cups Catalina
2 cans (16 oz.) tomatoes with juice
2 large onions, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth or stock
- Arrange chicken pieces in large skillet.
- Pour 1 cup Catalina dressing over chicken and cook over low heat.
- Turn chicken as needed in order to brown chicken on all sides.
- When chicken is browned, add remaining Catalina along with tomatoes, onion, salt, celery seed and pepper. Cover skillet and cook chicken over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until chicken tests done. When chicken is done, remove from skillet and arrange on serving platter.
- Gradually add flour to chicken broth and stir until dissolved.
- Pour broth into skillet’s hot liquid and stir constantly, increasing the heat to medium-high.
- Cook until mixture forms a thick gravy sauce.
- Pour sauce over chicken and serve.
Carrot-1 small, finely shredded
2 tablespoons White vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Sesame seed
Salt- to taste
- Roast the sesame seed till fragrant and keep aside.
- Put the grated radish, carrot and salt in a bowl and let it sit for1o minutes.
- Squeeze out the water and transfer to another bowl.
- Combine vinegar and sugar in a cup and stir till the sugar dissolves.
- Pour over the radish-carrot mixture and toss well until coated.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve.
- Make a paste with the flour, garlic and lemon juice.
- Coat the chicken with the paste and leave for half an hour.
- Put a little olive oil in a sauce pan.
- Scrape the paste off the chicken and keep for the next step. I forgot to scrape off the paste, but it worked well as a coating and hubby enjoyed it so I guess you could do it either way. Fortunately my pan wasn’t too hot that it burned and all worked out well.
- Add the chicken and the fennel seeds to the pan and fry the chicken on each side. I also omitted the fennel seeds – thought I had some, but didn’t after all.
- If the paste is quite thick, thin it with a little water or stock then add it to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon. Since I messed up above, I did add a little stock (thought about using wine, but didn’t want to mess with her recipe since it smelled perfect).
- Then add the rest of the stock, sage, salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil then lower to a very gentle simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Mix the egg yolk with a little lemon juice.
- Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Stir in the lemon juice. Keep stirring as it thickens, but don’t let it boil.
- Serve the sauce over the chicken with rice or potatoes and vegetables.
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water
- Mix all the dry ingredients together and use with your taco meat.
- Pour the water in the pan and cook just like you would for tacos.
- The amount above is the same amount that is in one packet of taco seasoning mix at the store.
Button mushrooms – 200grams , washed , pat dried and quatered
Onion- 1, chopped
Tomato – 1, chopped
Curry leaves- a few
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder -1 teaspoon
Oil- 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Saute with a little oil and grind to a smooth paste with a little water
Pearl onions- 5 numbers
Green chilli – 1
Aniseed- 1/2 teaspoon
Poppy seeds- 1 teaspoons
Cashewnuts- 5 numbers
Ginger- 1″ piece
Garlic- 2 cloves
- In a pressure cooker, heat oil and saute onion till translucent
- Put in tomato and cook till soft.
- Add the curry leaves, ground paste, coriander powder, chili powder, salt and mix well.
- Cook for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle a little water if the mixture is very dry.
- Put in the mushrooms and add 1/2 cup of water. Take care in this stage as water oozes out of mushrooms while cooking so adding too much water will make the gravy very watery.
- Pressure cook this for 1 whistle or 8- 10 minutes.
Once the pressure releases,transfer into a serving dish and serve garnished with coriander leaves.
- If the gravy becomes watery, cook uncovered for some time till the gravy reaches the desired consistency.
- Instead of cashew/ poppy seeds, grated coconut can be used.
- For a different flavor, garam masala/ sambar powder can be added in step 3
If using not Bolar Beef: Before browning the meat I like to rub a little more olive oil, salt and pepper into each side – just to add flavour. Brown the meat on all sides over LOW heat. You are only browning the beef NOT cooking it – so don’t leave it on the heat for too long! Once all sides of the steak are browned wrap it in foil and leave it to cool before shrouding in pate, mushrooms and pastry…
The purpose of browning the meat first is not only to add flavour but also to prevent it from leaking onto the pastry later.
Duxelles: hubs won’t eat mushrooms so I had to get creative here. I had some left over roasted carrots and some sauteed brussels sprouts. I was making dinner for 3 so opted to make each one a different flavor, but boy did I mess up the kitchen!!
10 grams butter
1 teaspoons oil
1/2 a tiny onion (or shallot, I guess…) diced as fine as you can
3 cloves garlic, minced or very finely diced
80 grams mushrooms – chopped into the finest dice you can manage
1 teaspoons dried, mixed herbs
2 tablespoons milk
- Melt the butter in a frying pan with the teaspoon of oil over LOW heat…
- Briefly fry the onion and garlic until fragrant before adding the finely chopped ‘shrooms. When cooking the mushrooms you may notice that they soak up all the butter pretty quickly – keep stirin’ ’em over low until they release the butter again and begin to brown. At this point add the dried herbs.
- Continue to fry the mushrooms/onions etc until the pan starts to dry out a little – now pour in the two tablespoons of milk. Cook until as much of the milk has evapourated as you think will happen and the mixture is a dry-ish paste.
- I tip mine out of the frying pan and into a sieve over a bowl – just in case there’s anymore liquid to drip off…
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon oil
- Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and allow to sit for and hour or so. The mix will be fairly liquid – but it will thicken over time.
- Once rested, fry 1/2 of the mix at a time in a non-stick frying pan until cooked through on both sides. Set aside to cool.
Kat borrowed some homemade pate from a flatmate – she loosely followed this recipe for Chicken Liver Pate from this month’s Foodtown Magazine.
Kat used shop bought pastry – because that’s what she had! And so did I!
- Cut cooked steak into two. I cut them before cooking.
- Cut pre-rolled pastry square into two.
- Butter, egg or water the edges of your pastry with whatever you have handy… I used egg
- Lay your pancakes on each of the pastry pieces and cut to fit. I omitted.
- Spread half of the pate (I omitted) and half of the duxelles over each of the pastry/pancake halves.
- Plonk steak pieces in the middle and wrap pastry over it sealing all edges/gaps…
- Place on a cookie rack on a baking tray – seam side down.
- Make slits half-way through the pastry (purely aesthetical) and brush with egg or butter or milk… I used a butter egg mixture
- Bake @ 220 for 20-30 minutes, until pastry is golden and crispy. I used 400 F.