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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Frittata with Tomato Salsa

This simple frittata is the perfect lunch meal. Recipe uses sweet potato, but I have use pumpkin instead.


A simple tomato salsa is served with the frittata and they are good really together. I have used cherry tomatoes instead of vine-ripened plum tomatoes as stated in the recipe, as I am waiting for my plum tomatoes to ripen on the vines, there are several fruits right now and I can't wait for them to turn all red!


A simple, healthy lunch! Quick and yummy!


Sweet Potato (Pumpkin) Frittata with Tomato Salsa
(adapted from : "Healthy Appetite", Gordon Ramsay)
Serves 2
1 large sweet potato, about 200-250gm  (I use pumpkin)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
4 large eggs
small handful of chives, finely snipped

Tomato Salsa :
250gm vine-ripened plum tomatoes
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
handful of coriander leaves, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil (I omitted this)
dash of tobasco sauce (I omitted this)
pinch of sugar (optional)

To make the salsa :
Halve or quarter the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar if you like. Set aside.

For the frittata :
Heat the grill to its highest setting. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1-cm cubes. Heat a non-stick omelette or frying pan (suitable for use under the grill) and add the olive oil. When hot, toss in the potato and shallot, and season well with salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes until the potatoes are just tender and lightly golden at the edges.

Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add the chives and pour over the sweet potatoes. Shake the pan gently to distribute the ingredients and cook over a low heat, without stirring, for a few minutes until the eggs are beginning to set at the bottom and around the sides.

Place the pan under the hot grill briefly until the top of the frittata has set. Try not to overcook the eggs or they will turn rubbery. Leave to stand for a minute, then run a heatproof plastic spatula around the sides of the pan and invert the frittata onto a large plate. Spoon the tomato salsa into a neat pile on top and serve immediately.


I'm linking this post to :

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Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event : Pumpkin) organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids and Mui Mui of My Little Favourite D.I.Y. and hosted by Eileen of Eileen's Diary.


and 

Cook-Your-Books

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicken Skewers with Lime, Chilli and Mint

"What Came First - The Chicken or the Egg?", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). Interesting, and always has been, Chicken or Eggs? What do you think?  

I was alone during one weekend, with nobody at home, the kids have gone to their cousins for the weekend, and hubby was out of town. I decided to make this chicken dish, as it is really very simple and quick to prepare. With things to do around the house, "spring cleaning", I was pretty occupied most of the day. So advance preparation with the ingredients! Which really is nothing, what I did for the "advance preparation" was to take out the half piece of chicken breast meat and two slices of frozen bread (for the salad) from my freezer, to thaw, that's all. 

When the chicken breast meat has been thawed, I cut it into chunks and marinated it with the marinating ingredients; zest and juice of limes, dried coarse chilli flakes (recipes uses fresh chilli, deseeded and shredded, but I did not have any fresh chillies), soy sauce, fish sauce, crushed garlic, chopped mint and black pepper. I added some sea salt as I've only used a minimum amount of fish sauce. Keep covered in refrigerator for a few hours. Place five wooden skewers in a plate, and pour some hot water to soak the skewers. Then back to my chores!

Note : Instead of chicken thigh meat as mentioned in the recipe, I have used the meat of half a chicken breast, since that was what I had. 
The original recipe is served with an Oriental Salad. I have however made another salad (Ottolenghi's) to go with the Chicken Skewers.


I left the meat marinated for about four hours. And the wooden skewers, I left them to soak for the same amount of time as the chicken meat. At the end of four hours, (I was pretty hungry by then, as I have skipped my lunch) thread the chicken meat on to the wooden skewers, and got exactly 5 skewers. I used a griddle pan, heat up with some oil, brush some oil over the chicken pieces and cook the chicken on both sides, sprinkle with more chilli flakes (I like them spicy!) until cooked through and have a nice good colour. Very quick, and fast! Takes less than 10 minutes of cooking time!


I had the Chicken Skewers with Seriously Zesty Bread Salad, from my previous post. And they are perfect together. This is one delicious meal! The Chicken Skewers is tender, moist and so tasty. All the flavours; chilli, mint and lime, comes together rather deliciously! And so good eaten with the fresh and zesty bread salad. A total winner! I enjoyed my meal so much that I wish my family was around to have it together. So I made this again two weeks later, made the same bread salad, for a weekend night dinner with my family, with another side dish. It was so good! There was no leftovers!


Chicken Skewers with Lime, Chilli and Mint
(adapted from "A Change of Appetite", Diana Henry, or here)
Serves 6
For the chicken :
12 boned and skinned chicken thighs
1-1/2 tbsp groundnut oil
juice of 1 lime

For the marinade :
grated zest of 4 limes
juice of 6 limes
2 red chillies, deseeded and shredded (I use coarse chilli flakes)
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp chopped mint
freshly ground black pepper

Soak six long or 12 short wooden skewers in just-boiled water for 30 minutes. Cube the chicken. Make the marinade by mixing together all the ingredients for it. Put in the chicken, turning it over to make sure it is all coated, cover and refrigerate for one to four hours.

Thread the chicken on to the skewers and shake off any excess marinade. Heat the oil in a large frying-pan (big enough for the chicken to lie flat). Alternatively, heat a dry griddle pan and use the oil to paint the chicken. Cook on all sides until the chicken is cooked through, starting on a high heat to get a good colour all over then turning the heat down. The whole process takes about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and squeeze over some lime juice.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week, "What Came First - The Chicken or the Egg?"

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones

These cheesy bacon scones are so addictive! The first sentence from this recipe in the cookbook is, "I dare you to stop eating these!",  and that is a good reason enough to bake this right away! If you love bacon and cheese, then do yourself a favour, and bake this, on one weekend afternoon, when your family is around to enjoy these scones, fresh and warm, delicious, right after baking. Perfect for an afternoon tea-time treat, of course have a pot of warm tea ready!


Firstly, fry the bacon till crisp, chop to small pieces, keep aside while you prepare the dough.
The dough is mixed in the food processor, which takes about only a minute. Dump the dough on a lightly floured work surface, knead in the bacon pieces and bring the dough into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/2" thick, use a 1-1/2" cookie cutter, cut out as many scones as you can. Gather the scraps, and repeat.


The scones may be left as it is (on the left), or add a pinch of grated cheese over each one before baking (on the right). Of course, I topped all of the scones with grated cheese.


Bake in a preheated oven at 400F (200C), for about 12 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.



Freshly baked and could not wait to eat it! Smells so cheesy nice!


Just like the author says, "I dare you to stop eating these!".  How true! I could not stop at just two or three, same goes with the family! Before we know it, most of the scones are gone! They are so good! Eating them while still warm, minutes after baking is the best! These scones are buttery, tender, tastes just amazing with the bacon and cheese. Do not skip the cheese topping, it really does "take the scones over the top", as in the author's own words. We had these with some warm tea, and it was raining heavily outside while we were enjoying these scones. Such perfect tea-time treat! 


Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones
(adapted from "Willams-Sonoma : Home Baked Comfort", Kim Laidlaw)
makes about 4 dozen mini scones
3 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon (use streaky bacon)
2 cups (10oz/315g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (4oz/125g) grated Asiago or Gruyere cheese (I use Cheddar)
pinch of kosher salt (omit salt, as but butter is salted)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (use 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup (4oz/125g) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks (use salted butter)
1 large egg
3/4 cup (6fl oz/180ml) heavy cream or whole milk (I use slightly less)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400F (200C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a frying pan, fry the bacon over medium-low heat until lightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop the bacon.
In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, cheese, salt, and pepper and pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream until blended. Pour the egg mixture into the processor and pulse just until the dough comes together.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead in the bogacon and then bring the dough together into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch (12mm) thick. Using a 1-1/2-inch (4cm) biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can. Gather the scrape of dough, roll out, and cut out more scones.
Space the scones evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.


I'm linking this post with :
Cook-Your-Books





Wednesday, October 22, 2014

THB : Blueberry-Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake

Bake #42 at The Home Bakers (THB), Wild Huckleberry-Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake, is selected by Jessie of The Dinner Pages, from the book where we are currently baking from, "Coffee Cakes' by Lou Seibert Pappas.

I have replaced the wild huckleberry with frozen blueberries. Have not seen huckleberry being sold over here before. 


I made half a recipe, and use a 7" round cake pan, baked for 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F. Originally, the cake is baked in a 9" pie pan for a full recipe. The recipes uses chopped pecans or walnuts for the streusel, which I have sub with chocolate chips, as someone in my house do not like nuts. I actually took by mistake the coffee choc chips instead of the regular choc chips, and it was really nice. 


The cake is really nice, soft, light and bursting with blueberries. The coffee chocolate chips is really fragrant with the aroma of coffee. Overall, this is one lovely cake.


For the full recipe and instructions, please visit the host of this bake, Jessie of The Dinner PagesTo view other members' bake, please visit The Home Bakers (THB).


Welcome to The Home Bakers


We are a group of home bakers who are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas. This is our bake no. 42 and we have 18 recipes more to go.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Seriously Zesty Bread Salad

"October Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). For this week, I've made a salad recipe of Yotam Ottolenghi (YO), which I have been wanting to make ever since our time with Ottolenghi more than a year ago!


YO has indicated in the recipe to use either sourdough or ciabatta bread, which is toasted with some olive oil and salt, until crispy and brown. I have however used my leftover homemade bread which I stored in the freezer and really needed to clear.

The veggies ; It was noted in the recipe that this salad is only worth making when tomatoes are in season and full of flavour. I have used cherry tomatoes instead, as cherry tomatoes are sweet and I love them in salads. Other veggies; cucumber and coriander from my garden, red onion, red pepper, crushed garlic. Toss the veggies with red wine vinegar, olive oil, grated zest and juice of half a lemon, with some salt and black pepper to taste. Just before serving, mix in the toasted bread, mix gently with a spoon, though I do not understand why YO advised using your hands for this step! Using a spoon works rather well, and hygienic too! 


Sprinkle with some sumac and dig in! Ooh, this is so good! The toasted bread is so crunchy and delicious. I cannot remember the name of the bread that I've made, but it has a light sweetness to it, and extremely delicious when used in this salad! All the veggies and the red onion are wonderfully crisp. This salad is zesty and tangy alright, from the lemon zest and juice, and with the red wine vinegar. And the sumac, I would not skip it! Simply wonderful with the sprinkling of sumac. I can see how this salad is great alongside a piece of slightly charred meat from the barbecue as mentioned by Ottolenghi. I had this with some chicken dish. I will definitely make this salad again.


Seriously Zesty Bread Salad
(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi)
150gm rustic bread (stale or fresh) - sourdough or ciabatta, for example
salt and pepper
2 small cucumbers (15cm long), cut into 2cm pieces
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, cored and cut into large pieces
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
2 tsp sumac (optional)
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1-1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil

This salad is only worth making when tomatoes are in season and full of flavour. It should be acidic and tangy, and will taste amazing alongside a piece of slightly charred meat from the barbecue. Serves four.

Method :
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Spread out the bread on a roasting tray, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with some flaky salt. Bake for 20 minutes until crispy and golden, then leave to cool. Mix all the other salad ingredients and adjust the seasoning to taste. Just before serving, mix in the toasted bread, using your hands.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), for this week's theme, "October Potluck".

Pot Luck Badge


and "Souper Sundays" @ Kahakai Kitchen"


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