It’s been too long I did not cook something new and worthy to put in my blog. Finally, today I have a few hours free and I am back in the kitchen with a new recipe 🙂

The weather has certainly become colder and colder these past few weeks as we are now truly in winter. I got the 51st issue of Donna Hay magazine that showcases 25 fast soups for winter. I love having a hot soup for dinner during winter and there are a few recipes in the magazine that I would like to try. This is one of them 😛

This chicken and corn soup has simple ingredients and is very easy to make. It has Asian influence and in the original recipe, Donna also uses grated fresh ginger, which will give the soup the extra warmness. I did not use the ginger because I did not have it in my pantry. *Sigh* 😦

The soup still turns out really yummy and is perfect to accompany the freezing night. It’s chunky and fulfilling; the creamed corn makes the soup a little thick and the corn kernels are sweet. I serve it with some steamed broccoli (extra veggie boost :)); some toasted bread would be nice too!

Chicken and corn soup

(adapted from the recipe in Donna Hay magazine, Jun/Jul 2010 issue 51)

(serves 4 – 6)


  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lt chicken stock. I used 2 chicken stock cubes in 1 litre of water.
  • 1 can (410 gr) creamed corn
  • 200 gr frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • steamed broccoli florets or other greens such as spring onion and coriander to serve.

Step 1. Steam the chicken breast for 10 minutes until cooked. Allow to cool down, then shred the meat.

Step 2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and cook for 4 – 5 minutes or until browned. Add in the shredded chicken meat and stir until well combined.

Step 3. Add the stock, creamed corn and corn kernels and cook for 15 minutes. Add the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4. Serve hot in soup bowls and garnish with some greens.

xxx,
Inge

Chicken satay is one of the many favourite dishes from Indonesia. There are many varieties of chicken satay dishes; one in particular I love is chicken satay with peanut sauce. The chicken meat is cut into small cube pieces, then skewered into bamboo sticks, then the skewers are grilled over the hot charcoal. The chicken satay is served with peanut sauce and rice or with ‘lontong’, which is rice cooked in banana leaf.

I found this recipe from TasteSpotting website. The recipe uses many spices to marinate the chicken pieces. The peanut sauce is optional here as the chicken satay are already flavoursome. The peanut sauce is very easy to make as it uses store-bought peanut butter :). I reduced the amount of vinegar used in the sauce and I also ended up heating up the sauce in a saucepan to cook the raw garlic and ginger (I am not too fond of raw garlic taste).

I used skinless chicken breast fillet and cut them into 2cm x 3cm cubes. The size is entirely up to you; I didn’t cut them too small so it wouldn’t take too long to prepare the skewers and to cook them. I used a grillpan to grill the satay.

Chicken satay with peanut sauce

(adapted from the recipe by Kate, the Parsley Thief)

(makes 15 satay)

  • 750 gr boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Step 1. Cut the chicken breasts into 2cm x 3cm cubes and put them in a container, or resealable bag.

Step 2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender & puree until smooth. Thin with a bit of water, if necessary. Pour the marinade over the chicken & chill for at least one hour, or overnight.

Marinate the chicken overnight

Step 3. Heat a grillpan over medium fire. Thread the chicken onto skewers. If using bamboo skewers, soak them ahead of time in water, to prevent burning. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side. Serve the satay with steamed rice and peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce
(makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • water to thin

Step 1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water as necessary to thin to desired consistency.

Step 2. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and heat over low fire until the sauce is about to boil. Stir regularly.

Peanut sauce

Chicken satay with peanut sauce

xxx,
Inge

I think I got a few recipes for caesar salad in the cookbooks I have. I like this particular one that I found in the Epicure tabloid from The Age newspaper. The dressing is a lighter and healthier version than the classic caesar dressing, as it is made from yoghurt rather than mayonnaise. The anchovy fillets give a hint of saltiness, you will hardly notice it is from anchovy. I suggest not to use more than 1 garlic clove (and not too big one either), as the garlic is really strong and hot. Also, do make sure you crush the garlic well. I used mortar and pestle to crush the garlic, and also the anchovy so it is easier to combine the ingredients to  make the dressing.

This salad makes a complete meal with the roast chicken, croutons, eggs, bacon and crisp cos lettuce leaves. I used chicken maryland fillets; do trim the fillets and remove the fat.

Chicken caesar salad

(recipe by Jill Dupleix, published in Epicure The Age, Tuesday 26 Jan 2010)

(serves 4)

  • 4 x chicken maryland fillet, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 thick slices bread. I used 1 burger bun.
  • 6 slices lean bacon
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quatered
  • 2 x baby cos lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Baby cos lettuce

Caesar dressing

  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1. To make the dressing, whisk the yoghurt with the crushed garlic, anchovy fillets, mustard, honey, lemon juice, parmesan, salt and pepper until smooth. While whisking, gradually add the olive oil until runny. Lighten with water if required.

Step 2. Heat oven to 180ºC. Drizzle the chicken fillets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice, season well and bake for 25 minutes until cooked. And then set the oven to grill and grill the chicken for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Place the chicken to a plate to rest.

Step 3. Cut bread into big bite-sized croutons and toss in the remaining oil. Grill the croutons and the bacon for 5 minutes or until crisp, tossing once or twice. I used the same baking tray I used for the chicken. Chop the bacon into small pieces.

Croutons

Step 4. Cut the lettuce into big bite-sized pieces. Gently toss with the croutons and half the dressing and arrange on the serving bowls. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and scatter on top. Add the quartered eggs and bacon pieces, drizzle with the remaining dressing and scatter the grated parmesan.

Chicken caesar salad

xxx,
Inge

After browsing through the whole Masterchef Australia Cookbook, I decided to cook Poh’s chicken rendang with coconut lace pancake as the next dish to try out. It is not only a quite interesting dish, but also one of the easiest dishes to make from the book.

Poh’s chicken rendang is different from most curries or rendangs as it is dry and crispy.

Chicken rendang with coconut lace pancakes

(from Masterchef Australia the Cookbook volume one 2009, recipe by Poh)

(serves 4)

  • 500 gr skinless chicken breast fillets
  • ¾ cup (70 gr) desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 eschalots or 1 large red onion, roughtly chopped. I used red onion.
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cm piece ginger, finely sliced
  • 2 cm piece galangal, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. I used olive oil.
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar

Ingredients for chicken rendang

Coconut lace pancakes

  • ¾ cup (105 gr) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) coconut milk
  • oil, to grease the pan

Ingredients for coconut lace pancakes

Step 1. Steam or poach the chicken breast (I steamed them for about 15 minutes). Cool and then shred finely.

Shredded chicken

Step 2. Dry fry coconut in a frying pan or wok until golden. Set aside. Dry fry spices until toasted and fragrant. Set aside.

Step 3. Place eschalots/red onions, garlic, ginger, galangal and lemongrass in a blender and process to form a fine paste. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook paste over medium heat until fragrant and caramelised.

Step 4. Add chicken, dry spice mixture, coconut milk and sugar to onion mixture. Cook until the sauce has reduced slightly. Add toasted coconut. This will absorb most of the sauce. Keep cooking until mixture is quite dry and forms a golden crust on the underside, and keep tossing until all the chicken has a crispy, golden appearance.

Step 5. To make the pancake, whisk flour, salt and eggs in a large jug or mixing bowl until completely smooth. Add coconut milk to make the batter the consistency of pouring cream. Pass mixture through a sieve to give a very smooth texture.

Step 6. Heat a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Make sure the pan is sufficiently hot before attempting a pancake. Using a jug or an empty milk carton, pour a thin stream of the batter in a zigzag motion. Repeat the action to form a crosshatch pattern. To complete the pancake, circle around the outer edge of the crosshatch pattern.

Step 7. Using a wooden spatula, flick up an edge and gently pick the pancake up with your fingers. Flip onto the other side and cook for 2 seconds. Place the pancake on a plate. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.

Step 8. Serve the pancakes hot or at room temperature with the chicken rendang.

Poh's chicken rendang with coconut lace pancakes

The pancake is a bit tricky to make 😛 as you need to make sure you only pour a thin stream from the jug and at the same time you have to form a pattern. It took me about 3 pancakes to finally make an okay one :D. Using an empty milk carton is probably easier (as suggested by Poh), but I didn’t have one.

I am very happy with the dry chicken rendang; it’s tasty (I would add more chilli powder next time :P) and crispy. I still have some leftovers which I keep in the fridge and I would have it with steamed rice for tomorrow’s lunch 🙂

Thanks Poh for an interesting dish 🙂

xxx,
Inge