Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stuffed Portobello with Melting Mozarella

This week it is Potluck Week with I Heart Cooking Clubs and we are spoilt for choice as we can choose from 14 chefs!! I have been a very safe home cook so I always choose those that I've cooked with :D This time, I'm cooking something different from Yotam Ottolenghi. Each time, I cooked with him, I seem to love his recipes more and more. They look difficult or complex but really their flavours are very bountiful. Try this simple meatless recipe!

This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. See my modifications/comments in blue.


4 large portobellos, stalks removed (If you use small ones, probably 6 would do)
6 tbs olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 small onion, diced (I used 1 big red onion)
1 celery stalk, finely diced (I used 2 stalks)
2 cups finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbs chopped tarragon leaves (you can use dried ones)
4 tbs coarsely shredded basil leaves
3.5 ounces taleggio, sliced (I used mozarella instead)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an oven tray with baking parchment. 
  2. Place the mushrooms on the tray, tops facing down, drizzle with a little oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 10 minutes or so, until the mushrooms begin to soften. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan and add the onion and celery. Cook on low heat for five to 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the vegetables are soft but have not browned. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, cook for a few minutes more, then remove from the heat and leave to cool down.
  4. Once cool, add the parmesan, some of the basil, and the tarragon, to the mixture and season with freshly ground pepper (you can add a little salt, but not much because taleggio is very salty). I omitted salt as the parmesan was salty enough for me. But if you prefer, salt it accordingly.
  5. Pile the filling on the whole mushrooms and top with the slices of taleggio mozarella. Return to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the mushrooms are hot.
  6. Transfer the mushrooms to serving plates and drizzle with some more oil. Garnish with remaining basil and serve straight away, alongside a green salad.

I have to admit these pictures are not so well taken this time. A bit of focus. I blame it on me wanting to eat the mushrooms when they are piping hot. By the way, that filling is a killer!! I can just sit there and eat the filling without anything. Trust me, if you have extra after cooking these portobellos, you wouldn't resist and eat it as it is warm and yummy. Thank you Ottolenghi for this meatless yummy dish!! Mr G says he can eat these anytime too. This is such a big encouragement as he is definitely a meat guy. Anything without meat usually wouldn't get his approval but this one is a SURE GO! Try it.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs - April Potluck.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Baked chicken curry

I like anything that is easy peasy but yet, taste incredibly yummy as well. I guess who wouldn't?

After I saw how easy this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey would be, I decided to try it and also give it an accompaniment which is the usual, turmeric cabbage. Apparently, Mr G loves turmeric cabbage to bits. Beats me why? Hahaha!! I told him this will be my 1st attempt so don't have any expectations about it. He said yeah of course but not without adding, cook the cabbage longer alright? =_="

Anyhow let's get along with the baked chicken curry recipe. See my modifications in blue.


21/2 lb. chicken parts I used 1 kg chicken drumsticks
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger root I used about 1/4 inch
1 large garlic clove, crushed
5 tbsp. whole-milk yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper I used 1 tbsp chilli powder
6 cardamom pods
2 tbsp. finely chopped red onions or shallots I used 1 big red onion
A little oil for basting
  1. Put chicken in a casserole-type dish so it fits easily in a single layer. Add the salt, lots of black pepper and the lemon juice. Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the ginger, garlic, yogurt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne chilli powder and cardamom in a bowl. Mix well. Rub chicken with this mixture, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To be frank, I just added everything together and mixed it with the chicken.
  3. Bring chicken to room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  5. Brush top with oil and scatter onions over top. Place in middle of oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and put back in oven. Cook another 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the juices. Remove cardamom pods. Serve with rice.
We decided to go carb-free yesterday so hence didn't cook any rice. But yes, this baked curry chicken is definitely great with rice, sauce and all. If you are curious about how to cook this simple turmeric cabbage, you can look below for the recipe.
Mr G loved the whole Indian inspired baked curry chicken and turmeric cabbage. To be honest, we finished everything amongst ourselves. It was filling given that we didn't have any rice to go along with. Super easy peasy and I probably spent like only 10 minutes or so in the kitchen preparing the turmeric cabbage. That's about it. Try it if you are short of time but yet want to have a good homecooked meal.

If you are looking for the turmeric cabbage recipe, this is it.
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 lb. green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1/2 head)
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed with the side of a knife
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. When super-hot, add the mustard seeds and cover with a splatter screen or lid to keep the seeds from flying out.
  2. When the seeds stop sputtering, add the turmeric, cabbage, garlic, salt, and cayenne. Toss well. Stir-fry until the cabbage is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  
I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs - Madhur Jaffrey.
I'm also submitting this post to Cooking with Herbs organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.
Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage

Friday, April 8, 2016

Curtis Stone's Chicken Cacciatore

As exams are looming, you would probably noticed my posts reducing in frequency. Rest assured I'm not giving up on blogging and recording down recipes that I've cooked, tested and tried.

I've missed the farewell to Ellie Krieger last week but this week I'm definitely in it for Curtis Stone's arrival!!

It has been sometime since I cooked or baked with Curtis Stone. I must say that I do like his recipes. Nothing too fancy but yet very homely and yummy too. To begin with, I'm cooking Curtis' chicken cacciatore. I realised it was a recipe I bookmarked since 2013! Gosh! What took me so long?? See my modifications in blue.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (6 to 8) Basically, you can use any chicken parts you like
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 ounces sliced pancetta bacon, coarsely chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 small red bell pepper, diced I added 3 bell peppers (haha!! I'm a big fan of them)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large thyme sprigs (I used a few dashes of dried thyme)
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (I added 1 tbsp red pepper flakes. Psst, Mr G likes it spicy)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 pounds fresh very ripe tomatoes (about 5 medium)
3/4 cup chicken broth (to reduce the saltiness as I'm also adding bacon, I used 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup water)
6 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat and add oil to the pan.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  3. Cook chicken until it is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add pancetta bacon to same pan. Sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta bacon to small bowl.
  5. Add mushrooms to pan and sauté until they become tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add bell peppers and onion and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté until garlic softens, about 1 minute.
  8. Add wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, stirring to scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan, about 1 minute.
  9. Add tomatoes and their juices, chicken stock, and olives. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low.
  10. Return chicken and its accumulated juices pan, nestling chicken into sauce. Gently simmer uncovered until tomatoes melt into sauce and sauce thickens slightly, about 40 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and basil.
  11. Spoon the chicken and sauce onto plates. Sprinkle with the reserved sautéed pancetta bacon and parmesan cheese.

I remember the last time I cooked chicken cacciatore, Mr G wasn't too fond of it. I think it was because I added the whole can of tomatoes. As you can tell, Mr G isn't really a big fan of sour food like tomatoes but that is totally opposite from me! :P In any case, I think this method of cooking with fresh tomatoes may be a better idea. 

The moment I passed Mr G his bowl, he started slurping and savouring everything without saying a word. I take that as a stamp of ultimate approval LOL!! After he was done, I asked him if it tasted good and most importantly, would you eat it again? He said why not? It tastes super good. Okie!! Curtis, you won this one :) Best one pot meal I would say. On a side note, I did like mine with some parmesan cheese. For Mr G, without parmesan is already very good for him. Haha enough said! Now go try it.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs - G'day Curtis.

I'm also submitting this to Cooking with Herbs - March - Easter and Spring organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage