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!

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… 😦

Portuguese Curry Devil Recipe!

Hola! and hope you’ve had a good Halloween weekend! Today is the actual day isn’t it? why don’t the offices play dress up too? Anyway, do we know the real meaning behind Halloween? How did it become something of so much fun?

Anyway, on to the real deal.. my Portuguese Curry Devil recipe!!


I made some tweaks to the original I found online from this website and its pretty close to the one that my Aunt/Uncle makes every Christmas/New Year. Its kinda like a festive dish for us as it was a treat from my uncle every festive season and since he passed, my aunty took over that responsibility to bring us this awesome deal. Coming from a Portuguese descent, this was one of his signature dishes that got us clamoring for more! Every year when I get to eat them during Christmas, I’d start having cravings for it month after month and after swearing to learn this recipe before its too late, after 3 years, I finally did. Its not that much hassle afterall and its a really simple yet hearty dish altogether.

Traditionally, Curry Devil is made with leftover meats such as turkey, chicken, roast pork etc (all your festive sin food!) but we’ve got accustomed to simply chicken, hot dogs n luncheon meat yet somehow its still such a yummy dish! The rumpah (traditional chilli & spices paste for most curries) wasn’t as difficult as i envisioned it to be so this is a recipe I would recommend many to try it!
*caution – SPICY SPICY SPICY!!
Serves 4-6, Prep Time: 30 Minutes, Cooking Time: 1Hr 15 Mins
(I will put the original recipe to honour the main contributor and my tweaks will be in brackets)

Ingredients
6-8 tablespoons cooking oil

Spice paste
20 stalks dried chillies, soaked and cut into 3cm lengths (I used pure chilli paste which you can get easily, make sure its not been premixed with curry powder and all. Use 1-2 Tablespoons for mild spicy eaters and 3-4 for the bold! I also added in fresh red chilli and my mum emphasized the need for it to be pointy at the end for it to be spicy!)
15 shallots peeled (I added a lil bit more as it wld really bring out more fragrance, 18-20? depending on the size of the shallots)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 candlenuts
3 stalks lemon grass (slice them up thinly and 2 would suffice)
20g galangal
2cm turmeric, skinned ( I used 1 tablespoon of tumeric powder as these babies just provide colour not taste)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ground coarsely
350g chicken, chopped into bite size (400-450g, seasoned. I prefer to use the chicken thigh, easier to work with and tender!)
350g roast pork, cut into 2cm (replaced with 1 can of luncheon meat, 1 packet of hot dogs, if that is too much meat for you, reduce the amount to comfort and cut into 2-3cm pieces)
500ml water ( 1 Litre, we love the curry to dip bread in it!)
1½ tablespoons vinegar (adjust accoridng to taste preference! I ended up using 4 Tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
Salt to taste ( I added some Light Soy Sauce for that unique taste soy sauce gives)
(I also added 1/3 a cabbage and 2 medium carrots chopped into chunky pieces to meet the daily vegetable requirements!)

Method:
1. GO SHOPPING! 😀
Shopping!

2. Season the chicken thigh and cut out excess fats. Season with a simple mix of salt, light soy sauce and pepper with some corn flour. Poke lots of holes in the chicken using a fork to let the flavour sit. Leave it to marinate.

(Clockwise Left to Right: Chilli Paste, Shallots, Lemon Grass, Galangal, Tumeric Powder, Candlenut, Garlic)
3. Using an electric blender, finely grind spice paste ingredients, leaving out the chilli paste till this is done. Once you have ground everything to a slight wet texture, remove from the blender and mix in the chilli paste well till you get something like this:

4. Fry Chicken and luncheon meat till the outer most layer is crispy, do not worry if the insides are cooked or not. Allow it to cool and the oil to drain before chopping the chicken into 3-5 cm cubes

5. In a wok, sauté spice paste until fragrant, stirring continuously to prevent burning.

6. Add mustard seeds and sauté for another 15 seconds before adding the chicken pieces and luncheon meat cabbage and carrots. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add water and vinegar.

7. Simmer over low to medium heat or until chicken is tender and sauce thickens, add hot dog to cook and adjusting seasonings to taste.

Original Recipe Suggestion: Keep it in the refrigerator and overnight. Reheat before serving. Add a little water if gravy becomes too thick. (We couldnt wait no longer…. but it somehow does taste better overnight!)

My favourite pairing to this awesome dish is a nice bowl of Nonya Meatball and Cabbage soup as it is clear n light but wholesome n quells the heat! Of course, the curry goes best with french bread/baguette but rice is good for a meal too!

This is a good first try, not exactly like my aunt’s recipe but close enough (Something is missing but we cant put a finger to it!!!!) and it was fun and easy to make! I’d cook this anytime, no more waiting for festivities! no milk in it so its relatively healthy, just got to watch the meats I use.

Try it and tell me what you think!! Im drooling again just looking at the pictures!!!