Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chicken Kung Pao

This dish can be thrown together quickly...
it reheats rather well..
and it can be adjusted to your liking...
what more do you want?

well, a tasty dish of course, but that is taken care of

You'll need:

- chicken, cubed (300 grams)
- red bell pepper (I used two really small ones)
- red onion (I used two really small ones)
- garlic (1 clove, chopped up)
- dry red peppers (about 5, halved, seeds thrown away)
- szechuan peppercorns, a teaspoon (or oil infused with these peppercorns)
- 3 green onions, sliced into large pieces
- peanuts (unsalted)...as many as you like
- dark soy sauce
- dry sherry
- sesame oil
- corn starch
- brown sugar
and white rice to serve this with!

Let's begin with making the marinade for the chicken and the sauce for the dish:

2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of dry sherry, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and 
2 teaspoons of corn starch.

2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dry sherry and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar


Give them both a stir, then use the marinade for the chicken,
it doesn't need a long time, but try to give it at least 30 minutes to marinade

In the mean time, you can prepare the vegetables:

Next, heat up some oil and bake the chicken until it's nearly done

take the chicken out of the pan, and heat up a new bit of oil in the pan 
(if extra oil is needed),
then fry the dries red peppers and szechuan peppercorns in it.
next time I'm going to use oil infused with the peppercorns, as I do not particularly fancy the strong flavour when the actual peppercorns are in the dish,
it's up to you to decide what you like for yourself

Then, add the onion, bell pepper and garlic, stir it all around on high heat!
When they're to your liking, add the sauce, heat the dish well and keep stirring.

When it's done, add back the chicken and add the green onions and the peanuts:

Give it some more heat and a good stir,
and then it's ready to be plated, in my case with white rice
bon appetite!

Quick Portobello Lunch (or appetizer)

This is an easy and tasty recipe that can serve as 
a lunch or as a (large) appetizer.

per person, you'll need:
- 1 (not too big) portobello
- 1 small/medium red onion
- 0,5 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
- 1 piece of goats cheese (about 18 grams/0.65 ounces)
- 1 square of puff pastry
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- black pepper (to taste)

and 1 egg to make an egg wash for the puff pastry

made some really bad pictures, so you got to trust me that this 
indeed tastes really great ;-)

Anyway, chop up the onion(s) heat up the oil and slowly soften the onion in the oil.
Roast the pine nuts and add them to the onions, then add the sugar and the balsamic vinegar
and stir it all while on medium heat, let the vinegar evaporate (don't worry, it will not end up
as sour as it smells...that's the acid escaping your pan)
When the liquid is syrupy, turn of the heat and add a bit of ground black pepper.

Remove the stalk from the portobello and fill the mushroom with the onion mixture.
Put the goats cheese on top with a little extra ground black pepper, and let it cool down a bit while you defrost the puff pastry.
Also, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

When the puff pastry is defrosted, the oven is heated and the onion mixture is cooled down,
wrap the top of the portobello with the puff pastry and use the egg wash to make sure
it comes out of the oven nice and shiny after 20 minutes:

Hope you'll like it as much as I did! :-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Babi Ketjap

A very quick and simple thing to make is Babi Ketjap. 

This is what you need:

500 grams lean pork meat (I used a fricandeau)
-1 or 2 bell peppers
-2 red onions
-1/2 red chilli pepper
-1 clove of garlic
-5 tablespoons of ketjap manis
-2 tablespoons of (rice)vinegar
-2 tablespoons of oil (and 4 more to bake the meat in)
-1 tablespoon of djahe (ginger-powder)
-1 teaspoon of ketoembar (coriander-powder)
-1 teaspoon of djinten (cumin-powder)
-1 or 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
-2 teaspoons of sambal manis
cornstarch and/or water and/or salt as needed

Dice up the meat and marinade it in the ketjap, vinegar, oil, djahe, ketoembar and djinten.
(Preferably do this in the morning and put it in the fridge...or make it about an hour or (at least) half an hour before you want to eat)

Next, dice the bell pepper(s), onions, red chili pepper and garlic.
Heat oil in a large pan, and bake the meat on high heat (try to add as little liquid from the marinade as possible, but do keep the liquid for later use!)

When the meat is done, stir in the brown sugar, sambal and the vegetables.
Bake for another few minutes, then add the marinade to the pan.
bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for a while (5 - 10 minutes).
(add a bit of extra water if it's too dry...but the marinade should normally be enough)

Give it a taste, 
add salt if needed.
Finally, bind the sauce with some cornstarch,
and serve it with rice (and additional vegetables if you like).

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

First time using Jerusalem artichokes here, so ...
I pretty much threw stuff together and made a nice salad with them!

Peeling them is remarkably easy:

I baked them in the oven, after covering the slices with salt, pepper and oil:
that took 40 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius...next time, I'll bake them in a pan,
as i'm sure they'll turn out even better!

Made a dressing with:
- small diced red onion
-lemon zest
-lemon juice

And dressed a nice salad of escarole endive with that, 
including sliced radishes and baby roma tomatoes

Finished it with toasted walnuts,
the baked jerusalem artichokes,
and some grated pecorino romano!