Baked Herb & Parmesan Breadcrumbs Chicken

Some days I get inspired by what I watch on TV and I’d always try to re-create my own version with personal favourites or family favourite. What I do is take with me the tips & tricks to apply to what I understand about flavours, scents, and how they marry with my chosen ingredients. This recipe has been something I have been dying to try for the longest time as it is healthy yet fulfilling!

Baked Herb & Parmesan Breadcrumbs Chicken Yes, as a simple disclaimer, I’m not big on fancy plating so don’t mind my pictures!

Serves 4
Ingredients 
4 Pieces of Chicken Breast
300g of Breadcrumbs (Or more if you will eat the crumbs like cereal)
1.5 Knob of butter (or more for a wholesome taste but of course more sinful)
2 Teaspoons of dried rosemary
2 Teaspoons of dried oregano
2 Teaspoons of ground black pepper
2-3 Tablespoons of parmesan
A little salt to taste
Toothpicks

Method 
1. With a meat tenderizer, work through your chicken to 1) flatten it and 2) loosen up the meat. This will prevent the meat from being tough and dry when its being baked and also helps with absorbing the seasoning
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the Breadcrumbs, Butter, Parmesan, Herbs and Pepper. I used my hand to mix it as it helps melt the butter, wear a glove if you worry about the grease. Taste a little to see what is lacking and adjust according to your preference.
3. Lay out your flatten chicken and generously cover the side facing you with the mix. Roll up the chicken and use toothpicks to secure the chicken. How much mix you can stuff into the chicken will determine how moist and tasty the chicken will become. The mix will fall out but don’t worry. You can gather what has fallen out to reuse them. Do the same for the next 3.
4. Place the four rolls of chicken on the baking tray and cover it with the remaining mix and all else that fell out.
5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. During this time, it would be good to shift the chicken that is nearest to the heat to prevent the breadcrumbs from getting burnt especially with the butter – I just keep rotating the tray

And tada! You should get a golden brown shade from the crumbs while your chicken is cooked through – and because smell is so important to me, that combination of butter, parmesan and herbs cooking will start to fill the kitchen and get your tummy working. Hope you have fun too!

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Hello 105 calories per bite, my favorite Mooncakes…

I think as Singaporeans, while we accept so many cultures and are encouraged/accustomed to celebrate together to bond, those without dietary restrictions has obesity lurking right around the corner..
(Jan) New Year
(Feb) Chinese New Year – 1 x Pineapple tart 80cals, 1 x Bak kwa slice 370cals, not to mention the countless reunion dinners & lo hei
(May) Mother’s Day
(Jun) Father’s Day
(Jun – Jul) Great Singapore Sale – Well, when you shop you get hungry don’t you?
(Jun) Rice Dumpling Festival – Each Pork & Mushroom BaZhang is about, 270cals?
(Aug) Hari Raya – Curries avg 350cals depending on the coconut milk & meat, and sweet snacks just like CNY
(Sept) Mooncake Festival – 1 double yolk in lotus paste mooncake – approx 800-900cals
(Nov) Deepavali – More Curries! But more importantly, the sweets which averages abt 250cals PER slice/ball
(Dec) Christmas – I did a count of Turkey, mash, lasagne, cheesecake, you could easily rake in 1,500cals all in one night

How do we not become chubby!!

BUT, while we are on the topic of these awesome food festivals, mooncake festival is less than a week away. Gone are the days of walking in the park with lanterns and burning it as I am into my 10th step, you know – candles. So I guess it’s all about food – and the people who know that fact best are probably earning the most this year! I cannot stress enough how much effort has gone into a lot of the babies not only to make the best traditional mooncake, but also the most creative in terms of flavor matches and packaging..

I think one of the companies who hit the nail right has got to be TWG.

A beautiful box with a hint of traditional SIngapore while it brings out an air of class with its gold hints. Not to mention the flavours! For one, they stuck to being what they are best at – tea. But what they did better was to marry the traditional flavours with their trademark tea so creatively which hit all the right spots. My personal favorite was the Brothers Club Tea infused Dragon Mooncake – it has that smooth peanut paste that just reminds me of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But! you’ll fall in love visually with their Scarlett red Mooncake and Gold Leaf for she’s a real standout.

TWG’s traditional baked mooncakes

TWG’s Snowskin mooncakes

Another looker this year from Hong Kong who just washed up our shores and its eccentric taste in traditions and art has definitely taken Singapore by storm – G.O.D. (Goods of Desire). And what better way to show Singaporeans what they are made of than to say “Hi, we’re G.O.D and have some Butt Mooncakes on us!”

godmoon

While my streamlines threaten to burst, I am still determined to try to make some space for Grand Hyatt’s Lychee Martini Truffle Mooncakes as I’ve heard so much about them! My knees go weak when I see Lychee Martini on any menu in any form.. Feed me already!

Such beautiful colours!

Such beautiful colours!

And while it’s an excuse to indulge, don’t forget this is just one more excuse and opportunity for Durian Mooncakes! Goodwood park, fours seasons – you name it I’m eating it. A tad expensive but what the hell! In fact, Goodwood’s Durian Mooncake has improved from last year so why not!

Goodwood Park’s Durian Mooncake

Till we see more awesome designs during Christmas, here’s my favourite Mooncake box of the year….! It’s so functional!

20130910-221731.jpg

Friday Laughs – Inventing new dishes

For laughs this week, a common old problem that happens a lot, mistakes in menus making everything so funny.

just yesterday, I visited the newly opened Country Mana in Suntec City (okay, maybe not that new for those of you who remember the first restaurant who did puff pastry soups which were wildly popular in the early 2000s, a case of A&W’s comeback in SG perhaps?) And just when image is important to start off with the right foot, they went on to launch a set menu and unfortunately, not a closely vetted one.. Look out for the Thursday Special!

Baked Garlic Chicken Tigh?

Baked Garlic Chicken Tigh?

Which reminds me of a few more over the years while I was in Perth visiting an old friend. brings back good memories. and while i leave you with what i hope would be some laughs, here’s to a good weekend 🙂

chieken?

chieken?

mmm yum yum chrispy

mmm yum yum chrispy

20 minutes Muffin

I spent my Saturday absolute satisfied by cooking a good dinnner based on inspirations over the week and I also decided to bake. I had no idea what I wanted to bake, and I wasnt keen on my same old cookies or pre-mix boxes. Thus, I explored the recipes of Nigella Lawson as everyone knows, the desserts she brings to the table is absolutely to die for. I wasn’t prepared to travel far just to get ingredients like cream cheese or shortening etc, so I had to keep to a simple recipe yet some how still delicious and comforting. I decided to go with her Banana Butterscotch Muffins and tweaked a little bit here and there to suit our taste buds at home.

AND… TADA!

Banana Choco Chunks & Earl Grey Muffin

Banana Choco Chunks & Earl Grey Muffin

I went with a nice mix of Banana, Milk Chocolate Chunks and Earl Grey Mix, I wasn’t all too sure about the earl grey but… IT WORKED!

So here’s sharing the recipe! Again, credits to Nigella (original recipe) whilst I made some minor adjustments.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g flour
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g Milk Chocolate Morsels
  • 3 Bags of Earl Grey Tea (Must be a good brand with a strong and distinct frangance)

METHOD

Serves: Makes 12

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with muffin papers.
  2. Mash the bananas and set aside for a moment.
  3. Pour the oil into a jug and beat in the eggs.
  4. Open the teabags and pour the tea leaves into a small bowl, pour approximately 10-20ml of hot water onto the tea leaves.
  5. Put the flour, sugar, wet tea leaves, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in the beaten-egg-and-oil mixture, followed by the mashed bananas.
  6. Fold in the chocolate morsels, then place equal quantities in the prepared muffin tin – I use an ice cream scoop and a spatula – and bake in the oven for 18 minutes.

It doesn’t look like what Nigella did but hell I’m no professional baker right! What matters was how the banana and chocolate marries perfectly. How the earl grey made the muffin so much more fragrant. How when its warm, the chocolate just oozes and the brown sugar made the muffins moist and slightly caramelized. and guess what! i only took 20 minutes to mash, chop and stir in all the ingredients. the baking takes long but in that 18 minutes it is baking I’m enjoying myself else where. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS RECIPE! I’m already thinking of other moist alternatives that would work!!

Such a happy Saturday…

Let me know if you have ideas and if you also tried it!

Crab fest @ Jumbo

Last Saturday, the BF and myself we just planning to have dinner with the family but some how, some sudden urge to splurge and give ourselves a good meal, mama treated us to crabs at our favourite place since young, Jumbo @ UDMC!

What started out as choosing 1 style to have the crabs but because of our indecisiveness and multiple cravings, we ended up having 3 crabs made in 3 styles. Our usual combination of Chilli Crab with Man Tou, Black Pepper Crab and for the first time at Jumbo, Salted Egg Crab. We added a carbo stable for the brother and boyf – Mee Goreng Malaysia style. AHHHHH im in heaven. As usual, the chilli crab never fails, the pepper crab just leaves you craving for more, these two dishes needs no introduction.. But guess what, the salted egg crab was surprising and delicious!! I was expecting those dry fry salted egg, something like your cereal prawns but I wasn’t even close! What we got instead was a thick creamy and rich salted egg sauce that is generously drizzled all over the crab, it envelopes the meat and makes biting into the body flesh OH SO YUMMY, first time I’m going for the body instead of pincers!!! okay, we all got too excited and no one remembered to take pictures! 😦 Don’t worry, I’m surely going back there again and this time I’ll remember! but till then, you have to try it the next time you get a good crab craving!!!

But anyway, as a person who loves cooking, i have to share this great discovery! Jumbo actually shares their  secret recipe to award-winning crabs! they were playing non-stop reruns of the instructional video in the restaurant which I had to watch while waiting for the food to arrive. Something like a sickness i have of not being able to do nothing hehe 😛 . They say we can impress our guests like chefs, such a cute tagline. Of course, I think its only possible IF you buy their spice pouch and all but i getting it right the first time is a great motivation to spur you on and keep cooking and who knows you might figure out the recipe in the spice pouch and seriously re-create your own winners! So here you go, Jumbo Kitchen@Home.

Ahh it’s wednesday and life is getting better. All the madness might just end soon and new challenges await. 🙂 so exciting. But in the meantime, its back to my diet and moving this lazy ass to go run and prepare for the upcoming Shape Run. Just what did i get myself into… 😦

Hanoi, Halong Bay (Vietnam!!)

there are a few kinds of travel i absolutely love- beach vacations, movie worthy cities and rustic cities filled with history, That’s why the BF and myself decided on visiting Vietnam for our mid-year cheap and quick getaway! To add to the hassle-free traveling, we decided to go with a tour this time round and after a few checks around, we decided to go with Euro-Asia Holidays for their 5D4N sort of half-board package to reduce the amount of research needed to be done and just enjoy! Boy am I glad we made that decision! It forced us to learn so much more of Vietnam in a good way and help us with that fact that Hanoi isn’t filled with many English speaking locals nor properly erected road signs! More on that later..

I’M SO GLAD WE WENT TO VIETNAM! Hanoi was historically precious and Halong Bay was like a picturesque world on its own. I really de-stressed while in Halong Bay and i thoroughly enjoyed the food and sights in Hanoi. Vietnamese food in Singapore is never going to be the same again – ARGH! The one thing I could do without in Vietnam was traffic and noise pollution. Motor Vehicle horns are not used the same way as it is in Singapore. It is perpetually honking like ‘JUST SO YOU KNOW IM HERE’ and while crossing the road, well, I’m supposed to feel like king but hell no it takes so much guts! Just remember, never stop walking abruptly.

Going to Halong Bay was another experience on its own. A three hour -i could kill someone soon -seriously bumpy mini bus ride and watching how a 2 lane road become 4 lanes could seriously give you a heart attack. it is best to just sleep the journey! Its like enduring a long drive up to Genting or Melecca just with less peace and you love these places so much but you just hate the traveling to get there! Staying overnight on a junk added to the whole rustic experience. No WIFI, no Cable, fishing at night (and noob like me actually caught a sotong!), wind in your hair, hard bed and time that seem to stand still. Quality time together and quiet times. Lucky we had the iPad for some How I Met Your Mother at night though =P. We visited a limestone cave and it’s cooler than the sea breeze outside, wonders of nature! which brings me to a Did You Know Fact – Halong Bay is on the UNESCO list of Heritage Centres for culture! Read more about it here! We kayaked along the lake and into the undercutting of some limestone caves which was sometimes creepy but at the same time interesting – seeing swallows fly in and out of these caves makes me wonder if i can find bird’s nest *teehee*

Hanoi was like any city town in SEA, crowded and bustling with road-side food stalls and shopping, the deeper you go, the less touristy priced they are. The closer the food stalls are to the roads and the shorter the chairs, the better tasting and authentic is it – BUT that’s just my weird analogy. We were also able to find really pretty souvenirs for just S$1 each! However, don’t count on fashion there as it still seems one step backwards from the mainstream. I was really glad we had a good tour guide who spoke very good english and could give very good food suggestions! We found a local’s favourite place for Pho Bo (pronounced as fer/fur boar – Beef Viet Soup Noodles)  which was tucked away in a quiet street far from the main district but lucky for us, it was near our hotel! 2 huge servings of Pho accompanied with mini You Tiaos all for less than S$6! Oh have i mentioned where I was staying? Prestige hotel in Hanoi, absolutely LOVED how its tucked away on a quiet street far far away from all hustle and bustle. on top of that, very modern furnishing, comfortable rooms, nice service and accidental FREE UPGRADE ON OUR LAST DAY! 😀 a little mix up with the room and no similar room available bumped us up into a Suite! Too much space but it always feels good to get a free upgrade right!
Part of every tour, I think its a ritual to go to a certain location and not enjoy. For me, it was definitely visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.  No mausoleums anymore for me be it how famous the once alive is. The thought of the REAL body embalmed and still lying there seriously freaks me out – no disrespect! I mean, let the dead rest right! Do you know besides Ho Chi Minh, Lenin’s body is STILL EMBALMED IN RUSSIA. Lenin passed away 88 years ago, how freaky is that! news has it that they might be burying him soon but how am I supposed to be excitedly flocking to a place like this! Among those two is Mao Ze Dong and soon to be embalmed Kim Jong-il. Something in common huh. It seems the Russians are the experts with having fly them into the local countries to embalm these bodies yearly. *shudders*

In every country I go, I find a local dish that no restaurant in Singapore no matter how authentic can replicate! Bali was something as simple as their penggang corn, Thailand was a simple tom yum noodle soup, in Europe its their Pomme Frites, in San Francisco was their crabs, New York was their Burgers. In Vietnam, I found love in Bun Cha! Grilled Meat on Vermicelli noodles drenched in a special sauce, not forgetting a generous helping of raw garlic and chilli padi. HEAVEN!! I’m salivating as I am typing this to you. I’ve tried this in Singapore thus leading me to ask the guide where I can find a good one in Hanoi and guess what, it changed my taste buds forever! I didnt know till i was researching for this post that the stall i went to was so famous they even have a website. But unless you understand Vietnamese, the website might not be of much help save for the address – A MUST TRY! The serving for 1 was so huge (it comes with deep fried viet rice rolls) and it only set us back S$7. the BF and myself shared 1 serving and was still stuffed and so happy! I regretted the fact that i only found it on the last night or I would have returned there night after night. I’m having so much withdrawal symptoms that i found the recipe. Im going to try it and if i succeed, share it I will.

I flew home very happy with the trip and missing the calm waters and bun-cha. and of cos having a lot of quiet time. ahhh the wonders of traveling. Its no wonder i agree with every article that preaches to the youth to travel, its game changing!

7017 flavours for you?

a short hiatus that brought about a new addiction caused my one week lull. many apologies but not regretted due to the new discovery in an exciting sport which I promise to update in one of my following posts..

on to what I have been meaning to update following a full flavoured Thai food hunt is another full-flavoured cuisine – Filipino food! 7107 flavours is an outlet boasting authentic Filipino food choices, atmosphere and staff outfit. Leaning towards slightly pricey, the haunt is visited mostly by foreigners which also means less crowd but still recommended by my Filipino friends in Singapore, a good sign I reckon!

7107 Flavours has a good menu with a wide variety of local specialties although the ingredients were tweaked a slight bit to suit a more foreigner friendly palette.
A small group of 4 of us means we couldnt order too much as Filipino food is meat laden n heavy so these are some personal favourites of my Filipino mate and it did win us over to want more!

Sisig - Crispy Minced Pork

Sisig - Crispy Minced Pork


Sisig has become my personal favourite due to its simple flavours, slight spice and so easy to eat! Apparently, it is a great companion to beer and in Filipines, it is cooked with parts of the pig’s face such as the ears and fatty parts. Rumour has it, that sometimes they do add in the brains.. Shudders! I wonder how adventurous I could get with food… Thankfully, in Singapore, its just minced pork (i hope!).

Chicken Adobo - A National Dish

Chicken Adobo - A National Dish


Chicken Adobo is a popular dish in Philippines. A simple yet hearty stew set in flavours such as garlic, vinegar and soya sauce reminds me much of Chinese cuisine! The wonders of immigration that influenced cooking.. goes great with their garlic rice for a complete meal!

Lastly, always looking for a healthy meal.. vegetables upon their recommendation..

Pinakbet - Traditional mixed vegetables in shrimp paste

Pinakbet - Traditional mixed vegetables in shrimp paste


what I really enjoyed about this dish besides the selection of vegetables is what else went into the shrimp paste sauce… Corned Beef! Seldom have i seen corned beef be used in sauces to thicken and taste it.. Love it!

Filipino food is really a world filled with flavours albeit to the heavy side of everything. So long as you pair it with rice (which is something they swear by), the food comes out just right. Don’t forget to end off with a dessert but be prepared for a sweet treat, much like Thai food; rich in flavours. They say 7101 represents the number of islands Philippines have in total, I say it also tells you what to expect from their food! Bursting in flavour!

Apparently there is another really good outlet located in Tanjong Pagar/Tiong Bahru.. Anyone heard of it?
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7107 Flavours is located at:
6 Raffles Blvd
#02-02 Marina Square
Singapore 039594
http://www.7101flavours.com.sg