Thursday, February 27, 2014

flourless double chocolate peanut butter cookies

Since the new year started, I have been extra busy because I have started teaching regularly again. I hadn't realised it, but it has been a while since I baked anything else other than cakes!

So today, I am sharing a recipe for a super duper easy peasy cookie. You don't even need a mixer to make these.

I have been making these cookies for like, forever.

Funny thing is, I had not thought about blogging about this until today, especially since this is so easy to put together.

Plus, it is gluten-free.

The best part is though, is that it tastes great - super chocolaty and crunchy with lots of peanuts!

To make this cookie, all you need to do is to add sugar, peanut butter, cocoa powder and egg into a bowl.

Then simply mix until everything was combined. I started off using a balloon whisk but the bits kept getting stuck in my whisk. It drove me crazy. Then I remembered I had a Danish dough whisk. Brilliant!!!! No more stuck bits!

I added the chocolate chips and mixed.

Using an ice cream scoop, I dished out balls of dough. If you do not have an ice cream scoop, use your hands and roll the dough into balls (roughly the size of a golf ball). These were placed on baking paper or Silpat baking mats.

Then using a fork, I pressed down gently on the dough, and repeat from the opposite direction.

The cookies were baked, then allowed to cool on the trays for 1-2 minutes before I transferred them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Bring out the milk.

And you may want to bake more of these cookies. They disappear really quickly!

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Makes 18-20)
Adapted from barefeetinthekitchen

1 cup extra chunky peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Stir together the peanut butter, sugar, cocoa powder and egg.
3. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
4. Scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. (Roll into 1" balls with your hands, if you do not have a scoop.)
5. Press down with the back of a fork and then press again from the opposite direction, to form the crisscross pattern on top.
6. Bake for 12 minutes and then let cool on the tray for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
7. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

sticky chicken drumlets with lemon and honey

These days I rarely get the chance to watch much TV. When I do get a chance, I would always tune in to whatever cooking programmes I could find. (Surprise! Surprise!)

The other night, because Aden fell asleep early, I caught an episode of Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers.

And he made this sticky chicken with lemon and honey that really made me salivate.

So today, I thought I would try making this dish.

When I looked in my pantry, I realised I didn't have many of the ingredients, so I substituted loads of stuff, but the end results were still super yummy!

To start, I used a fork to pierce the skin and flesh of the chicken. This allows the marinate to seep into the chicken, making it more tasty. Don't be squeamish - just pierce and poke with the fork!

I placed the zest of a lemon in a bowl and added minced garlic.

The juice of the lemon was also extracted and added to the bowl.

The next ingredient I added was Djion mustard.

Since I had run out of black peppercorns, I ground some mixed peppercorns and added them to the marinade.

Finally, I added honey and salt.

I whisked everything to combine.

I added the drumlets, mixed everything together and covered the bowl with cling film. The chicken was left to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

While the oven was being pre-heated, I lined a casserole dish with aluminium foil and sprayed with olive oil, The chicken drumlets were placed on the foil, and the lemon and honey mixture poured over the chicken.

The drumlets were roasted for 45-50 minutes. I turned the chicken once half way through the cooking process.

Once the chicken drumlets were brown and cooked through, I sprinkled some chopped coriander and served them hot.

Sticky, sweet and sour.

This was beyond good!!

Sticky Chicken Drumlets with Lemon and Honey (Serves 2-4)
Loosely adapted from Simple Suppers by Nigel Slater

10 chicken drumlets (or mid-joints, or 4 chicken thighs)
1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Djion mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 bunch coriander, chopped

1. Use a fork to pierce chicken skin and flesh.
2. Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken.
3. Stir to mix. Cover bowl with cling film and marinate chicken in fridge for minimum 2 hours.
4. Line roasting tray with aluminium foil. Lightly grease.
5. Place chicken on foil. Pour all the lemon and honey mixture over the chicken.
6. Roast at 200C for 45-50 minutes, turning the chicken once half way.
7. Sprinkle chopped coriander over chicken.
8. Serve hot or cold

Monday, February 24, 2014

sundubu jjigae - korean hot and spicy toufu stew

It has been a while since I made a Korean stew.

I love Korean food, but because the LAM is not too keen on it, we rarely go to Korean restaurants. Since I like quite a few Korean dishes, I knew I had to figure out how to cook them for myself.

Today, I made Sundubu Jjigae. This is a hot and spicy stew made with tofu, meat and/or seafood and vegetables.


Before I made the stew, I first made the stock by boiling together seaweed and dried anchovies for 20 minutes and then straining the mixture and reserving the stock.

To make the stew, I first prepared the ingredients I was going to use: sliced pork - not pictured (or beef or chicken), shitake mushroom, zucchini, onions, clams and spring onion.

In a saucepan, I heated some olive oil. Into this, I added the pork and stir-fried the pork until it had mostly turned white. If I were to cook a single portion, I would make use of  my earthenware pot but since I was cooking enough for 4 to 6 people, I used a saucepan instead.

Into this, I added the mushrooms and continued stirring.

Once the mushrooms had wilted a little, I added onions.

Then in went the hot pepper flakes. Here, I added 3 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes. If you are prefer the stew to be less spicy, add less pepper flakes.

I really love the vibrant red of the pepper flakes. :)

Everything was stirred to combine before I added the stock. There will be quite a bit of hissing and bubbling. Just be careful and don't get scalded!

You would want to just cover the ingredients in the saucepan.

The clams (or your choice of seafood), zucchini (or your choice of vegetables) and minced garlic were added.

I also added the toufu - I simply squeezed the toufu into the stew and used my spoon to break it up into smaller pieces.

Finally, I added fish sauce, spring onions, eggs and sesame oil, gave everything a good stir, and served the dish immediately, with some rice.

This is pretty authentic Korean cooking, and as you can see, it really is not very difficult at all!!

This tastes as good as any of the sundubu jjigae you taste in restaurants but cost a fraction of the price.

All is good, I'd say!

Sundubu Jjigae - Korean Hot and Spicy Toufu Stew (Serves 4-6)
Adapted from Maangchi

For the stock:
15 anchovies, heads and guts removed
1 small handful of seaweed

1.5 litre of water (more if necessary)

For the stew:
100g pork (or beef or chicken), sliced
6-8 shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1/2 zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5-6 stalks spring onion, trimmed and cut
1 cup clams, cleaned
2 tubes toufu - I used egg toufu
1 to 5 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 eggs

For the stock:
1. Boil anchovies and seaweed for 20 minutes.
2. Retain stock and discard anchovies and seaweed.

For the stew:
2. Heat olive oil in saucepan. Add pork and cook until most of the pork has turned white. Add mushroom.
3. Once mushroom has wilted a little, add onions. Stir to combine.
4. Add hot pepper flakes. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add enough stock to just cover. (Be careful not to get scalded.)
5. Once stock starts to boil, add clams, zucchini and minced garlic. Stir.
6. Add toufu, and use spoon to cut toufu into smaller pieces.
7. Add fish sauce, spring onion and sesame oil.
8. Serve immediately, with rice.

If you like this, you will definitely like this recipe for beef doenjang jjigae (된장 찌개) - korean soy bean paste stew!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ham, red pepper and mushroom mini-pies - an impossibly easy mini-pie recipe

Apart from the fact that these pies are really easy to make, they are also great for using up left-overs.

Being a prudent home cook, I really detest any wastage. There are always days in each week when I would flip through what I have in the fridge or freezer or pantry to see what needs to be used up pretty soon. And I would plan my menus around that.

One can easily eat two of these mini-pies for breakfast or as a snack, so even though I make 12 at one go, they don't hang around for very long.

Today I made these ham, red pepper and mushroom pies because I really wanted to finish the ham and mushroom in the fridge. You can use any type of ham or mushroom for this recipe, but I happened to have some picnic ham and shitake mushrooms, which I diced into small pieces.

In addition, I also diced half an onion and a red pepper. I was playing on the idea of a hand-held pizza pie combination.

The onions were sauteed in a hot skillet in some extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent, then the minced garlic was added and cooked for a further 30 seconds. I then added the red peppers.

The peppers were cooked for about 1-2 minutes - I only wanted to take away the raw taste. Then the mushrooms were added and cooked until they, too, had softened.

I added the ham, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Since the ham was already cooked, I gave everything a quick stir to mix, and transferred this into a bowl to cool.

While the filling cooled, I made the batter.

The Bisquick mix, milk and eggs were added into a bowl and mixed with a whisk.

If you do not have Bisquick mix, I have also included a homemade Bisquick recipe at the end of this post. In fact, I am pretty sure that once I have finished using my supply of Bisquick mix, I would be making it from scratch as it is so easy to do so!! (And probably much cheaper too!)

I placed a scant tablespoonful of the batter in each hold of a 12-hole muffin pan which had been sprayed with vegetable oil.

Then in went about two tablespoons of filling.

Onto this, I added about 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar. (Be quite generous with the cheese.)

Finally I topped each hole with another tablespoonful of batter, and sprinkled some pepper and dried parsley.

These were baked for 30 minutes. Let the pies cool completely in the muffin pans before transferring onto a cooling rack, or into an air-tight container. The pies can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.

Make these and breakfasts will never be boring again!

Ham, Red Pepper and Mushroom Mini-Pies - An Impossibly Easy Mini-Pies Recipe (Makes 12)

For the Filling:
8 slices ham, cubed - I used picnic ham
1 large red pepper, diced
1 packet shitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup shredded Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried parsley to sprinkle

1. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes in extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic and cook a further 30 seconds.
2. Add red pepper, cook 1-2 minutes to take away the rawness. Add mushroom, and cook until mushrooms have softened.
3. Add ham, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Transfer into a bowl to cool.
4. Spray a 12-hole muffin pan with vegetable oil. Add a scant tablespoonful of batter, followed by 2 tablespoons of filling and 1-2 tablespoons of Cheddar. Top with another tablespoon of batter.
5. Sprinkle with black pepper and dried parsley.
6. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes, or until the tops of the pies have turned golden brown.
7. Cool completely before removing from muffin pan and storing in fridge (2-3 days) or freezer (up to 3 months).
Note: Thaw in fridge over-night if storing in freezer before re-heating,

For the Batter using Ready-Made Bisquick Mix:
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk - this can be whole milk or low-fat milk
2 eggs

Whisk Bisquick mix, milk and eggs in a bowl until combined.

For the Homemade Bisquick Mix:
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 tablespoons baking powder, sifted
56.7g cold butter or shortening

Place flour, baking powder and butter in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter (or food processor) to cut in the cold butter until evenly incorporated. Keep in refrigerator for up to 4 months.

This is part of my collection of Impossibly Easy Mini-Pie recipes. These are the other recipes that I have posted. Do check them out! :)