Food experienced by a girl who loves chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, cups of tea and all things carbs.

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Thursday, 29 September 2011

My Peanut Chilli Chicken

So this recipe is also one of my own . It was inspired after I went to a friend's house for dinner (thanks Emily) many years ago. I thought, cooking with peanut butter... seems so obvious that I would have done that before since I love it so much, but I don't think I had. Then came my peanut chilli chicken. I has actually become one of my favourite dishes. It really is yummy.

I have been asked for the recipe by a few people now, but have never gotten around to writing it down (I am horrible at guessing quantities, as I do everything by taste). Anyway, here it is(This is big enough for about 2 people I would say).

Ingredients:
a little olive oil
1/2 red onion chopped
1 chicken breast fillet (or the equivalent in chicken thighs - which turn out nicer but have more fat) chopped into small chunks
1/2-1 red capsicum chopped into sqaure chunks
6 button mushrooms
1 tomato chopped
handful of washed baby spinach
2 teaspoons of masterfoods portugese seasoning
about 500 ml of light milk
3 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce (I use homebrand)
3 very generous tablespoons of lite crunchy peanut butter (I use the woolworths select brand, not too oily and lots of nuts)
Freshly cracked black pepper
Rice to serve

Method:

Start by putting a large pan on high. Put a little olive oil in the pan and add the onions, then once these have started frying add the chicken breast. Lightly sear them then add the peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce, portugese seasoning and about 100mls of milk. Stir until it is all mixed into a thick sauce and as it cooks keep adding milk so it doesn't get too thick and burn.



Once it is a nice consistency add in the capsicum, tomato and mushrooms and stir in. Keep adding more milk as you go. I estimate you will use about 500ml of milk in total.



Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked and the sauce is a nice texture add in the baby spinach leaves and mix through. Season with cracked pepper to taste.



Serve with steamed rice and that's it!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Spanish Night = Paella and Sangria! Yay! I mean - Ole!

So, because I love Spanish food so much and back home in the country when I go to see my family there are no Spanish restaurants, one day I decided I would just make the food/drinks myself. I'm not going to kid myself in thinking I am some Spanish masterchef, but I had a go and figured it out, and well it turned out quite well.

I bought a very big paella dish, got out my mum's portable gas burner (we don't have a large enough stove, or a gas one for that matter)and searched around the internet for some instructions on how to make Paella and after a few times practicing, adding my own ingredients etc., I have come up with a recipe that I love (and my family do to!). So every few months we have Spanish Night. Paella, Sangria and us all sitting around as a family feasting on food!

So I tried to write down the recipe as I made it, and sorry it may not have perfect quantities (as I mentioned in an earlier post, our family aren't really the measuring type!) but this is basically it:

Meat Paella:

Ingredients:
2L chicken stock liquid
1 Tablespoon saffron threads
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1kg chicken thighs, skinned and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 chorizo sausages, cut into pieces.
1kg boneless lamb (I use forquarters and just debone it and take off the big bits of fat, cut into medium sized chunks)
2 onions, diced
1 red capsicum and 1/2 yellow (just for color), seeded and cut into small squares
6 Tomatoes cut into smallish pieces
About 6-10 button Mushrooms cut into chunky pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups short-grained rice (I used aborio, but you can buy the proper stuff in Johnston st in Fitzroy, or at wheel and barrow)
1 cup peas
4 lemons
Parsley, Rosemary, Pepper, Paprika to taste
2 Roasted Red Capsicums and the other half of the yellow (roast your own by brushing the capsicum with olive oil and roasting on a baking sheet in a preheated 350° oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until the skin blisters and turns black). peel off skin and Slice into thin strips for decoration. (Like a dumbass I always slice it up first, then it takes me forever to peel them - and the end result is usually some burnt fingers!)

Directions:
Heat the chicken stock, saffron and salt (to taste), over medium heat in a separate container (I use the microwave in large bowls or jugs).

In a large skillet (or a paella pan as I use) over medium high heat, heat the oil and sauté the chicken, chorizo, and lamb, about 5 minutes or until well browned.



Add the onions, diced capsicum, tomatoes and the garlic. Sauté about another 2 minutes.

 
Add the rice and stir to coat it slightly with the rest of the ingredients. Add some of the stock mixture and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add spice to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15-20 minutes (or until looking like it will be done in a few minutes!)





Add the peas. Add more hot stock if it has been absorbed. Continue cooking at a simmer about 5-10 minutes more.



Remove from the heat, and squeeze 2 of the lemons over the top. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Garnish with the roasted peppers and the remaining two lemons, cut into wedges.





As I don’t have a large gas stove, I use a portable gas burner (the Paella dish I have is very large) so I tend to have to stir my paella to make sure it cooks throughout. Also,the bottom of the middle section tends to burn due to the spot the flame hits so I try not to pick any of the burnt base up as I stir. Traditionally paella just sits there to form a crust on the base, it doesn’t get stirred. Because of the issues I have, the amount of liquid used is variable (sometimes more, sometimes less) but you will know when it is ready as all the rice should be cooked. Enjoy!

SANGRIA!!!

So as I find it hard to find good sangria I decided to learn how to make my own, and as it turns out, I think I have perfected it! I like my sangria rather strong, but damn it tastes good!


Sangria
Ingredients (mixed all together in a jug, refigerate and add some ice if you like to serve)

1.5 bottles shiraz ( I use wolf blass red label - I think!)
1 cup contrieau
2 cups of lemonade
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 apple cut into pieces
1/2 orange cut into pieces

I tend to do a taste test before refrigerating, and add more of whatever I feel it needs more of for taste (love orange? add more contrieu. If you like more wine add some, more fruit why the hell not?!)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Another Icecream post

So following on from Lunch on Lygon st, we took a leisurely stroll towards the city for a little retail therapy and decided to stop for coffee/tea on the way to wash down our lunch. I however, decided why not stop for some Ice cream at one of Lygon's celebrated ice creameries. It's up the random end of lygon towards the city, where it is more asian/indian than italian, but this place is worth the visit. I used to go here during summer when I studied at Melbourne Uni around the corner. I do believe I even spoke about my love of ice cream from here in spanish during one of my oral spanish exams (back when I could actually half speak it). Anyway, getting sidetracked.

Il Dolce Freddo (or Freddo's as I like to call it) is a well known Icecreamery with some bloody great icecream/gelato. It was hard for me to choose, so I ended up with a two-scoop cone (naughty me) that was one scoop of Cookie flavour and the other of Snickers flavour. nom nom nom..

Go here in summer (if you don't mind waiting in line out the door).


Il Dolce Freddo on Urbanspoon

Ciders

So new obsession is Ciders. I don't know why I have been so slow to jump on the band wagon, I guess it's because I don't really drink that much lately. Anyway, I discovered Rebello's range of ciders made locally on the Mornington Peninsula. I just tried the apple and strawberry one. So delicious! I can see myself easily and unintentionally getting myself drunk off this stuff it tastes that good.

Check them out: http://rebellowines.com.au/

You can go to their cellar door at the Sunny Ridge strawberry farm if you are really keen. I might see you there one weekend! I will definately be checking it out!

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Best Cookies and Cream Icecream in THE WORLD... well according to me

If you love cookies and cream, I have found the best version of it ever! I have travelled the world, eaten what people label as the best, and no, no it's not the best.. The winner by my standards is a creamy number with the right cookie to ice cream ratio, with super yummy chocolate cookie chunks smooshed throughout it. This delight is made by New Zealand Natural. If you like cookies and cream you have to try it. Just one scoop in a waffle cone and my insides are happy.

Move over Haagen-Daaz, out of the way Ben and Jerry's. You all suck in comparison.

Nippy's

Has anyone ever tried this? It's a cold honeycomb flavoured milk drink made by Nippy's. I discovered it a few years back and find it so yummy! I sometimes find myself pulling into the petrol station when I don't really need fuel just to get me one of these babies. They are quite sweet, but they do the honeycomb flavour justice. Try one. You won't ever go back to chocolate milk again!

Red Snakes

Have you ever bought a packet of snake lollies and meticulously picked through the bag to only get the red ones because let's face it they are the best flavour? Well finally someone has caught onto the fact that they should be sold separately. Finally!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Tomato Rice

So my mum is Persian, and she is possibly also the best cook in the whole world (I'm sure we all say that about our mothers). One of my favourite persian dishes is Tomato Rice or Estamboli Polow as it's known is Farsi. It's really easy and tasty.


Although my mother doesn't measure out ingredients (nor do I) this is roughly how to make it:


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons tumeric
2 teaspoons paprika (not the hot stuff)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons of beefstock powder
1 Brown onion
Olive Oil
About 500g Mince beef (use the heart smart or premium ones, with less fat so it's not oily)
Basmati Rice
Egg
Natural (greek style) yogurt

Basically dice the onion, fry with a small amount of olive oil in a pan. Add the mince meat, break it up with a wooden spoon while frying in the pan, add the first 5 ingredients and then add more salt/beef stock powder to taste. I find adding a small amount of boiled water helps if it is too thick, but you don't want it watery.

Cook 3-4 cups of basmati rice and once the rice is cooked (but not over cooked, as this will make it mushy otherwise) drain it and  add the mixture. I often only make 2 cups of rice and freeze the left over mixture for another day. Serve with a fried egg on top and natural yogurt (I like greek style). Season with salt and pepper. Delicious!




Friday, 16 September 2011

First Post!! Tonight's Dinner.

Ok so I am trying to eat healthy which didn't go so well today, so for dinner I thought high protein low carb and well I'm still human so let's add tasty to that list. I decided on this recipe which I stumbled across on the new woolworths app (yes I use it...and love it! I'm such a whore for these novelty apps).  Back to the story. So I decided on Ginger Soy grilled Salmon with steamed greens. Boy was it yummy! You can find the recipe here

Would love feedback if you try it out!