Monday, February 28, 2011

Baked Portuguese Chicken and Rice (Part 2)

We have some left-over rice and potato from the Portuguese chicken.  So I have made another version of the dish which is similar to the Hong Kong's fast food eatery.  First I pan-fried the rice with some vegetable and egg.  Then I lightly cook some chicken pieces to place on top of the rice.  I prepare a new lot of sauce and pour it over the chicken, potato and rice; cover the pan with foil and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.  The rice fully absorb the favour of the sauce and it tastes delicious.  I can enjoy the Portuguese chicken one more time and it tastes even better.

Baked Portuguese Chicken and Rice

2 cups left-over rice
1 cup left-over potato
1/2 cup chicken pieces, boneless
1/3 cup onion, cut into chuck pieces
some cut up carrot and asparagus
salt and pepper

please refer to Baked Portuguese Chicken and Rice (Part 1), omit the step frying the chicken with coated flour.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baked Portuguese Chicken and Rice (Part 1)

There are two thoughts when I think of Portuguese Chicken.  One reminds me of my uncle as Portuguese Chicken is his speciality whenever there is a party.  The other reminds me of our family trip to Macau when I was little.  Portuguese chicken is a famous dish there, nearly everybody have tried it when visiting Macau.  My uncle's Portuguese chicken is Hong Kong style which is creamier and the Macau's is more spicy but not too hot.  I like both of them as I like anything to do with chicken.  Few years ago, I went to Macau with my family again and the taste of Portuguese Chicken is different to my childhood memory.  Don't know why the food from childhood memory always taste better.  There are so many versions of Portuguese chicken and mine is similar to the Hong Kong style.

Baked Portuguese Chicken and Rice

4 chicken thigh cutlets with bone
1 onion, cut into chuck pieces
1 teaspoon garlic
3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plain flour
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper for marinate
1 1/2 tablespoon cornflour and 1 1/2 tablespoon of water for thickening


  1. Marinate the chicken with salt and pepper, leave for 1/2 hour. 
  2. Arrange sliced potato at the bottom of the casserole. Cover the chicken with egg, then coat it with flour.  
  3. Pour 1/2 cup oil in pan, shallow fry the chicken until it is lightly brown.  Lay the chicken onto the potato.
  4. Saute onion with 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan, stir in garlic until the onion is becoming soft.  Add in turmeric, paprika, stir for a minute, then add in coconut milk, evaporated milk and water.  Leave it at medium heat for a few minutes for the favour to develop.  Add in sugar and salt and thicken the sauce with the cornflour mix.
  5. Pour the creamy sauce over the chicken and baked with the lid on in a pre-heated 200c oven for 45 minutes.  Serve with steamed rice and vegetable.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rainbow Choc Chip Cookies

It is always a headache to decide what to pack for the kids to school.  You never want them to bring back any untouched food as it will always go to the bin if it is spoiled.  It's such a waste of food and time to try to prepare something wholesome for them if it gets throw away.  Being a mother, you worry if your kids is eating well to have energy to last for the day.  It is important to feed them food that they will eat and have good nutrition for growth.  I would not like my kids throw their sandwiches to the bin and ask for takeaway food after school.  Their lunch boxes always have something in carbohydrate such as sandwiches, fresh fruit then there will be something as a treat such as nuts, crackers or cookies and they also have filtered water.  I try not to overpack for them so they can finish their lunch and go for a play.  I always have to pack a few extra of this choc chips cookies for them to share with their friends as everyone just loves it.  This recipe is not suitable for people with nuts allergy as it contains peanut butter.

Rainbow Choc Chips Cookies

125g butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dark cooking chocolate
rainbow choc chips


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c. 
  2. Cream together butter, vanilla, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sifted flour and dark chocolate chucks to the ingredients to form a firm dough.  Roll a teaspoonful of dough into ball and place onto the grease lined baking tray.  Slightly press down the ball with the prongs of the fork and sprinkle some rainbow choc chip on top.  Leave a 2 cm gap in between each cookies.  
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes in the oven and allow to cool on tray few minutes before removing to the wire rack.  Store in an air tight container when it is completely cool.
Note:  You can replace the self-raising flour with plain flour by adding 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Curry Veggie Rolls

I have got a bit addicted in making vegetarian meal as I believe it is a more healthy choice and I enjoy searching for different cooking methods to make a good combination of the ingredients.  I also like the mixed colour and the natural taste of vegetables.  My children are fooled by me as I stuffed in vegetables that are normally rejected by them in this veggie rolls.  I always encourage them to eat a little bit of the vegetable they don't like and gradually they will accept the taste and love the vegetable.  Due to the recent flood and cyclone we have in Australia,  the price for fruit and veggie has gone high.  This has made me more appreciate having fresh fruit and vegetable.  I have started a little veggie patch in my garden, hopefully I will get a good harvest soon.

Curry Veggie Rolls
make 12 rolls

3 sheets of puff pastry
1 cup potato, cut into 1 cm cube
1 cup sweet potato, cut into 1 cm cube
1/2 cup carrot, cut into 1 cm cube
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup capsicum, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seed
3 tablespoon corn flour
1 egg, beaten for brushing

  1. Preheat oven to 220c.
  2. Cook potato, sweet potato and carrot in a saucepan with hot water until they are cooked.  Mesh coarsely and set aside in a mixing bowl.
  3. Put the rest of the vegetable into the mixing bowl, then add in the seasoning and corn flour until they are well combined.
  4. Place a sheet of pastry onto the chopping board.  Do not peel away the plastic lining of the pastry as it will stick to the chopping board.  Cut the pastry into half horizontally and brush the top edge with some egg wash.
  5. Spoon some of the vegetable mixture along the bottom edge of the pastry.  Then roll it upward into a roll.  Use a knife to cut the long roll into 3 portions.  Score vertically 3-4 time lightly along each portion.  Discard the plastic lining.  Repeat this process to the other half of the pastry and the second sheet of pastry.
  6. Lay the rolls onto the baking tray with a line of baking paper.  Brush the rolls with egg wash and bake in a hot oven until they all puff up and golden brown.  Turn down the oven to 180c for another 5 minutes before taking them out.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken Ciabatta

It is getting common to find asian flavour in western meal creating the fusion style of cuisine.  By using exotic ingredients, we can explore different flavours that can compliment each other to create delicious meal.  Allowing our taste buds to try and experience new taste is one of the main reason for us to love food and keep cooking more.  This teriyaki chicken ciabatta does not need too much dressing to add favour to the meal as the chicken already absorb the full favour from the marinate.  The clean and crispy salad balances the sweet soy favour which is a good combination of the east and the west.     

Teriyaki Chicken Ciabatta
Serve 4

4 ciabatta rolls
2 pieces of chicken thigh fillets
1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
low-fat mayonnaise 
mixed green salad (baby spinach, purple coral lettuce, red onion and capsicum) 

  1. Slice the chicken fillets thinly into big thin pieces so that it will not take long to cook through in the pan.
  2. Marinate the chicken with soy sauce, mirin and sugar for at least 2 hours.
  3. Pre-heat the grill to high setting.  Slice the ciabatta rolls in half horizontally and spread both sides with butter.  Toast the cut sides until slightly crisp.  Remove from the grill immediately.
  4. Heat oil in a hot pan.  Place chicken pieces into the pan and turn the heat to slow.  Turn over the chicken a few time to get an even cook of both sides.  Pour the rest of the marinate juice onto the chicken until it glazes over the chicken.
  5. Arrange the green salad onto the bottom of the rolls, place chicken over the salad and drizzle with mayonnaise. Finish up with the top buns. Oashi!   

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sesame Balls (笑口棗)

One of my childhood memory of Chinese New Year was that my sisters and I would gather at the table making fried dumping (油角) with my Grandmother.  We rolled the pastry into round shape and stuffed it with coconut and peanut filling.  We made trays and trays of them then Grandmother would fried them and stored them into big tins to serve our guests for the new year.  We had a big family so many uncles and aunties would come to visit us and bought us lots of new year's gifts including fresh fruit basket, cookies, chocolate and even live chicken.  I always look forward for getting new clothes and new shoes to wear, eating lots of lollies and receiving red pockets money from the elders.  Mother always remind me to keep smiling and say nice greetings to everyone.  Father would be busy at buying fresh flowers to decorate the house.  That was a very sweet memory.

Sesame ball is one of my favourite new years' treat.  I like its Chinese name translated as smiley ball as it crack opened in the middle.  Chinese New Year is a special festival to celebrate with everyone cheering for a better year.   

Sesame Balls

1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 1/2 cup corn flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoon oil
5 1/2 tablespoons water
sesame seeds 

  1. Combine self-raising flour, corn flour and sugar in a bowl. 
  2. Beat the egg in another bowl and add in the oil and the water, stir till well combined.
  3. Draw a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients to form a dough.  Cover with a towel and rest the dough for 30 minutes. 
  4. Heat enough oil in a deep fryer.  Turn it down to low heat.  Roll 2 cm small balls from the dough and cover them with sesame seeds.  Place them into the deep fryer until they are crack opened and golden brown.  Drain the excess oil and store them in an air-tight container when cooled.
Note:  If you dip the balls into water then roll it with sesame seeds will help the seeds to stick to the dough.