Chicken Fajitas

We were home during the holidays. Surprise … Surprise … it’s been raining in the evening so we decided to just stay in.

So I googled to try something new to cook. Let’s go Tex-mex 😬. Something simple and fast to whip up.

Sunny dinner in and movie.

Chicken Fajitas

  •     4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  •     2 tablespoons lemon juice
  •     1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  •     1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  •     1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •     1 teaspoon garlic powder
  •     1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  •     1/2 teaspoon paprika
  •     1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  •     1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  •     1/2 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
  •     1/2 medium green pepper, julienned
  •     4 green onions, thinly sliced
  •     1/2 cup chopped onion
  •     6 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  •     Shredded cheddar cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole and sour cream

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and seasonings; add the chicken. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-4 hours. 

2. In a large skillet, saute peppers and onions in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Remove and keep warm. 

3. Discard marinade. In the same skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Return pepper mixture to pan; heat through. 

4. Spoon filling down the center of tortillas; fold in half. Serve with cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Yield: 6 servings.

I decided to repeat the recipe for today’s lunch for the husband and the brother.

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Chicken Asam Pedas

It’s been awhile since I update this blog. I’ve been cooking the same thing again and again.

Today I decided to try a new recipe. Fish Asam Pedas in normal but chicken Asam Pedas you don’t normally find in food courts. And I have never try it before so I decided to try this recipe.

Asam Pedas. Asam means sour and Pedas means spicy. So the gravy is sour and spicy 😜. Sour from the tamarind juice and spicy from the dried chilies and black pepper.

The recipe that I took from the net was quite simple and easy to follow. I did not use the ginger bud cos I can’t get it from the NTUC. It will taste better with it, not to put it in it’s ok too.

Since I do not use a lot of oil of frying, I did not remove the chicken skin from the drumsticks. I put in a few mid-wings and skinless breast meat. And I add in a few tablespoons of black pepper to the gravy not for the faint hearted 😬.

First attempt 👍🏻 not bad. This is my first time cooking Asam Pedas ever. Next I will try the fish. Insya Allah.

Chicken Asam Pedas

  • 1 Whole chicken (cut into 8 or 12 pieces)
  • 1 Bashed lemongrass
  • A handful of laksa leaves
  • 1 ginger bud (cut into 5 vertically – optional)
  • Tamarind juice (50g tamarind + 1 cup  of water)
  • 3 cups of water 
  • Coarse black pepper
  • Salt
  • Oil 

Things to blend

  • Dried chilies (about 35 cut and soak till soft and drain the water)
  • 7 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric 
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Belacan (shrimp paste)
  1. Heat oil. Fry the blended ingredients and lemongrass for about 15-20 mins on medium heat
  2. Add chicken, ginger bud and laksa leave. Cover the pot until the chicken it’s almost cook
  3. Pour in the tamarind juice and mix well. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Stir and mix well.
  4. Add water just enough (not too thick not too watery)
  5. Cover the pot till the chicken is cook and the gravy is slightly thicken. **i cooked longer until the chicken fell of the bone clean. 
  6. Off heat. Serve it with rice or bread on the side

Note

The gravy for chicken Asam Pedas normally is thicker than fish Asam Pedas

Chicken Asam Pedas normally more oily due to the oil from the chicken. ** I personally used lesser oil and constantly stir the gravy so it doesn’t get burnt and for the chicken I used a mix of meat and skin on.

For those who enjoy heat can add more blackpepper to increase the level of spiciness to the gravy.

Arabic Inspired Dishes

Mr E and I decided to stay home today so we can welcome whoever in the north east area. Just call and drop by ok. icook. 

Since yesterday was ibu’s birthday, I decided to cook something special today.

They Eat . They Sleep . They Go Home. Tsk


This bunch 👍🏻. We did not manage to take photo with Dean as he had to rush off. We were busy talking (being a grown up we talked about life, relationships and stuff like that 😜) to Dilz & Ronnie and forget to take photo.

No. We cannot gather half a day as there’s a lot of updates and sharing and I missed them so much!!!!! So Redang? I wanna go Redang they want to go San Fran 😕. 

For the hawaij mix I prepare it way before hand and marinade the chicken on Saturday.  The hawaij mix really smell so good when the ingredients are toasted before blending. It perfumed the whole kitchen.

This is my first attempt to cook these dishes expect the Sabsuka. I’ve prepared Sabsuka a couple of times before. 

Alhamdulillah all the dishes turned out ok.


Mandhi

  • Chicken, either 1 whole or split into halves is best
  • 1 tsp. hawaij spice mix
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter for the chicken marinade
  • a pinch of saffron threads soaked in 1-2 tbsp. water
  • 4 cups of rice (I like a lot of rice, but you can half it to 2 cups if you like)
  • water for rice (approx. 5-7 cups, I used 6) you need less water than usual
  • salt to taste ( i used 3 tsp. in the rice)
  • 2-5 green chilis (to taste)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • cardamom pods
  • whole cloves
  • whole peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. oil for the rice
  • cinnamon stick
  • food coloring (optional)
  • a piece of natural coal
  • bay leaves

1. The night before (or several hours) place the saffron threads in a couple tablespoon or so of warm water. Let this sit until the water turns deep orange.

2. Mix together the hawaij spice mix, turmeric and melted butter. Spread this generously over the chicken, cover and marinate for a couple of hours.

3. In a large pot, sautee the onions in oil over medium heat until soft. Turn off the heat and add the rice, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, chilis, salt, and water.

4. Place a wire rack over the pot of rice and then place the chicken on top of the wire rack, making sure that the pot is larger in diameter than the chicken. Place both in the oven at 425 F. 218C for 15mins

5. Start off cooking the chicken/rice for 15-20 minutes so that the outside of the chicken starts the browning process. Then lower heat to 325f (165C) 45mins to cook it through nice and slowly which will give the chicken a nice texture and fall off the bone. Cook it until the juices run clear or internal chicken temp is 165 F. I recommend using a thermometer especially if this is your first time cooking a chicken. Mine whole chicken took about 1 hr. 45 min.

6. Remove the rice and chicken and let sit for a few minutes before cutting the chicken. Fluff the rice. Now is also the time to add the saffron and/or food coloring to the rice.

7. Cut the chicken and place it in the rice pot. Place a small ramekin in the middle with vegetable oil inside. Then add the red hot coal inside the oil and cover the pot with a lid. It should smoke, giving the rice a smoky flavor.


Arabic Salad

  • 4 small English seedless cucumbers
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1⁄2cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 small finely diced onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 medium lemon, juice of
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  1. Dice cucumber and tomatoes.
  2. Place in bowl.
  3. Add parsley and onion.
  4. Just before serving, add the salt, lemon and olive oil and combine all ingredients.
  5. Serve in small bowls to accompany rice dishes.

Hummus

  • 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid and a few chickpeas for decoration)
  • 4 tsp tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed sea salt
  • 6 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 3½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Coriander or parsley leaves (optional)
  1. Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs.
  2. When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, tip it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for colour.

Sabsuka

  • 1/2 kg minced beef/minced mutton
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 diced onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 bowl blended chili
  • 2 tbsp fennel seed powder
  • 1/2 bowl tomato sauce
  • 1 bowl tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce 
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Blackpepper
  • Chopped corriander leaves and fried shallots
  1. Mix minced meet with ginger, garlic and blackpepper and put aside.
  2. Fry the blended chili for 10-15mins then add in cinnamon stick and the minced meat earlier. Until the meat is cooked.
  3. Add in diced onion, tomato puree, tomato sauce, chili sauce, fennel seed powder and water.
  4. Once it cooks through and dried up a little, add in the ghee. Lastly sprinkle some fried shallots and chopped corriander leaves.
  5. Serve it with sunny side up and a few pieces of bread.

Soto Ayam | Soto Chicken

Things I do for the husband. He wants Soto … Soto it shall be. Lucky for him we have guest today. So I cooked portion for 5. 

Mr E invited some of his skate buddies for dinner today. A couple with 2 kids, a newly wed and 2 single bachelors Ehem. 

We enjoyed everyone company very much as we did not get to meet often. Little one was abit cranky as it’s passed his bed time. This boy doesn’t like chocolate!!!!!!! 😱

Here are the condiments that compliment my Soto. How you assemble the dish:

Step 1: Use a pwetty bowl.

Step 2: Put in pieces of lontong (take only the amount you can it cos it can be very filling). Pour the broth over.

Step 3: Put a spoonful of shredded chicken, a bit of bean sprouts, sprinkle some chopped spring onions and parsleys, generous amount of fried shallots (cos I just love it) and boiled egg and a spoonful of Sambal kicap.

Step 4: Breathe in the aroma and enjoy the flavors.


Soto Ayam

  • 1 (1.75kg) chicken
  • 6 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • Lontong *
  • 300g bean sprouts, tails removed

Grind into a fine paste:

  • 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, sliced
  • 1 thick slice galangal
  • 4 candlenuts (I don’t have this)
  • 8-10 shallots
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns

For garnishing:

  • 10 shallots, cut into fine slices and fry till golden brown
  • spring onions and celery, finely chopped
  • potato cutlets, fried
  • shredded chicken

SambAl Kicap (Hot Chili Soya Sauce)

5 red chilis, a handful of chili padi, 5 cloves of garlic, sweet soya sauce, 5 lime juice.  Blend everything and taste =)

Method:

  1. Put whole chicken, ground paste, water and salt in a large pot. Bring to the boil. When boiling, remove chicken and keep stock aside to use as soup for the Mee Soto.
  2. Put the chicken on a tray and roast for about 20-30 minutes at 190°C (375°F) until light brown. Shred chicken when cool.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. When water is actively boiling, put in noodles and bring back to the boil. Continue boiling till noodles are cooked, then remove noodles.
  4. In the same water, scald the bean sprouts.
  5. To serve: Put the lontong in a bowl, sprinkle bean sprouts and shredded chicken over it then add soup and garnishing. Serve with Sambal kicap


Begedil

  • 2 medium-sized russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup cooked minced beef (seasoned with a little cumin or just salt and pepper)
  • ¼ cup crispy fried shallots
  • ¼ cup spring onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • oil for frying
  1. Peel and boil the potatoes. Mash the potato and add the beef, shallots and spring onion. Season with the salt and pepper. Mix well and shape into balls about 2 inches wide. Roll the balls well between your palms to ensure that the patties are compact and will remain intact when frying. Press the balls so they flatten a little on two sides. At this stage, you can freeze them. Do not defrost when you are ready to eat them – fry direct from the freezer.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Heat oil to medium heat. Dip each patty in egg before frying them. After about 3-4 minutes, turn them over and fry until golden brown.

Makes 18-20. 

* wiki: Lontong is a dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf, commonly found in Indonesia; also in Malaysia and Singapore. The rice rolled inside banana leaf and boiled, then cut into small cakes as staple food replacement of steamed rice. The texture is similar to those of ketupat, with the difference that ketupat container was made from weaved janur (young coconut leaf) fronds, while lontong uses banana leaf instead.

My version of One Pot Pasta

I had an amazing Thursday. Went agency visit to SG Enable. It got me thinking people with disabilities are more conscientious, they take their jobs more seriously than abled people.

With technologies and dedicated coaches these people are able to get a job and support themselves. I am so amazed and so proud of them. I thought that they constantly need help and supervision but depending on their disability some of them can do quite well on their own. I hope more company will hire these people. We all need a mind-set change. There are success stories them being placed in hotels, banks and crafty shops. 

After all the walking from 1 building to another Mr E said “lets cook dinner. I choose the ingredients, you cook. Ala-ala ‘CHOPPED’ ” I just find him irritating. So no recipes just with the ingredients he bought I cooked.

… and so it became a one pot pasta… Good, easy and fast method to plonk everything in and let it cook while you do other things.

He bought:

  • A pack of tubular spaghetti
  • A pack of bobo cheesy sausage
  • A pack of minced meat
  • A bottle of leggo’s Napoletana sauce 

On top of what he bought, I add some of the ingredients we have at home like:

  • 2 onions (diced/sliced)
  • A thumb of ginger (minced)
  • A few cloves of garlic (minced)
  • Herbs (I have oregano, thyme & basil)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper

I put everything in pot and pour a cup of water. Cover with the lid and let it cook slowly.

While waiting for that to cook, I did the garlic bread. We had some left over French loaf and We bought a garlic butter spread from NTUC.

Spread it and pan-fry for a couple of minute till it’s nice and toasted.

Dinner was ready by 7pm. This one pot thingy is hassle free. What awesome about it is that you can put anything and everything inside. If you still need recipes, just google it.

Eat with your Family every Friday

Brother A requested Chicken Chop for breaking fast on Friday. Your wish is my command. I’ve been feeling like a genie lately. Granting people wishes.

In a Hadeeth (narration) on the authority of Zayd ibn Khaalid Al-Juhani, may Allah be pleased with him, he said that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast will have a reward like his without decreasing his reward in the slightest way.” [At-Tirmithi: Hasan Saheeh]

I am more than happy to cook for my family, especially my family. Alhamdulillah.

I cooked at ibu’s place. He requested for brown gravy and I had to google it. As for the chicken like the previous recipe, I used Cajun spices to marinate. Note: Do not use frozen corn for corn with mustard seeds. It does not taste as nice as the one I did before.


Basic Brown Gravy (Recipe taken from wikihow)

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Melt the butter on medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once it is completely liquefied, move on.

You’ll be mixing flour into the butter and you do not want any chunks, as this will lead to a lumpy gravy. Whisking flour and hot butter together is the basis of a “roux.”

  • Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of white flour, whisking constantly. Stir continuously until the mixture becomes smooth. It is often easiest to add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time, using your whisk to quickly break up chunks and smooth out the sauce. You should notice it thickening.

The longer you cook the flour, the darker and richer it will get. For a light gravy, move on as it turns tan. For a rich brown gravy, keep stirring and cook for an extra 3-5 minutes.
Butter and flour give the gravy its thick, rich base. You can add more of both for a richer, thicker gravy, keeping the 2 cups of liquid the same, but keep the ratio of flour and butter equal.[1]

  • Add your 2 cups of warmed liquid slowly and bring to a boil. Warm the liquid up in a separate pot or in the microwave before adding it. Only pour it in 1/4 cup at a time, whisking it in well before adding the next bit. You don’t want to cause any rapid temperature changes in your gravy.There are a lot of options for liquids here, and it all depends on the meal you are serving. Traditionally, brown gravy has a beef base (which gives it its color), made with either beef bouillon and water or beef broth. Some other options include:

2 cups beef stock.
1 can condensed beef broth.
You can also mix in some milk or water for a lighter gravy, but keep the ratios (2 cups total) the same.

  • Lower the heat after boiling and let simmer until your desired thickness. As soon as the gravy starts to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer until it is as thick as you want it.

The gravy will also thicken a bit as it cools, so take it off the stove 1-2 minutes before your desired consistency.

  • Season the gravy to taste. Add a pinch of salt and pepper as it simmers, as well as any other flavorings your desire. 


Corn with Mustard Seeds

  • 1 can of kernel corn (I used frozen corns)
  • vegetable oil for frying 
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds 
  • 1 or 2 chili padi (chopped/sliced)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp minced coriander leaves
  1. Heat oil and thrown in the mustard seeds ( I don’t mean literally cos it will splatter)
  2. Add in chili padi, fry for a while and add in turmeric powder. 
  3. Work fast as the turmeric powder burn easily. Add in the corn. Stir occasionally. Season with salt. Sprinkle the minced coriander leave. Still well and of the heat.
  4. Put the corn aside and we can start of with the chicken. I’m grilling the chicken first cos I wanted the excess fluid from the chicken to make my mushroom sauce.


Grilled Cajun Chicken

  • Olive oil
  • Oregano 
  • Thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked or regular paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken breast
  1. Marinate overnight
  2. Overbake it

ps: I baked it cos the stoves are occupied. The chicken were abit dry cos we left in the oven after it was cooked. I did not take it out straight away.


… and everyone is yummy with fries.

    Spoon the sauce over the Grilled Cajun Chicken breasts and serve with Corn with Mustard Seeds and Fries

    Chicken Chop ala Kak Long

    Mr E had requested western for break fast today.  Your wish is my command. 

    We went Giant after work. Bought ingredients we need to cook his chicken chop and off back home. I had 1 hour to prepare the dish before Adhan.

    I marinated the chicken and put it in the fridge and start with the rest of my dishes.  Corn with Mustard Seeds | Grilled Cajun Chicken | Mushroom Sauce | Fries


    Corn with Mustard Seeds

    • 1 can of kernel corn
    • vegetable oil for frying 
    • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds 
    • 1 or 2 chili padi (chopped/sliced)
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    • Salt
    • 1 tbsp minced coriander leaves
    1. Heat oil and thrown in the mustard seeds ( I don’t mean literally cos it will splatter)
    2. Add in chili padi, fry for a while and add in turmeric powder. 
    3. Work fast as the turmeric powder burn easily.  Add in the corn. Stir occasionally. Season with salt. Sprinkle the minced coriander leave. Still well and of the heat.

    Put the corn aside and we can start of with the chicken. I’m grilling the chicken first cos I wanted the excess fluid from the chicken to make my mushroom sauce.

    Grilled Cajun Chicken

    • Olive oil
    • Oregano 
    • Thyme
    • 1 tsp smoked or regular paprika
    • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 2 chicken breast

    Mushroom Sauce

    • Butter
    • Mushroom
    • 2tbsp Flour
    • Chicken stock
    • Parsley 
    • Salt and pepper
    1. If you pan-seared the breasts the cooking time will be reduced to 10 to 20 minutes.
    2. In a large pot, melt the ¼ cup butter.
    3. Add the sliced mushrooms. 
    4. Sauté until the mushrooms are brown and have exuded their juices, about 6 minutes. 
    5. Sprinkle with the flour and blend. 
    6. Add the chicken broth, stirring to make a medium thick sauce.
    7. Allow to reduce, adjusting with a little more broth to make a creamy sauce. 
    8. Add fresh parsley at the last minute. 
    9. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
    10. Spoon the sauce over the Grilled Cajun Chicken breasts and serve with Corn with Mustard Seeds and Fries

    I finished just in time to break fast. I don’t normally rush my cooking unless the last minute request. Lately it happen quite often. Tsk. 

    Note

    Things I would do differently the next time:

    1. Chicken to marinade overnight
    2. To use different type of mushrooms and avoid can ones
    3. To cook more portion of the corn. It’s actually quite tasty