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Hot and Sweet Chicken-breast

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This week has been a bit crazy – in other words, there were never enough hours in the day to do even a fraction of the things either of us wanted or had to do.
Frequent power-cuts (due to the heavy onset of the refreshing monsoon) did not help either – and today, when I am writing this, it is only Thursday – so more to come.

So therefor I will not keep you busy as well by having to look at a long post, instead here is another one of my “speedy-gonzales” recipes (kitchen is not being used that much right now).

It will take you maximum 20 minutes from start to finish.

For 2 people I used:

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2 x Chicken breasts, cut into nice cubes

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A few pieces of fresh pineapple, cut into cubes

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2 x heaped Tbsp of Peanuts, crushed
1 x Tbsp liquid honey
1 ½ Tbsp of mustard (coarse grain)
1 shot of cream (or 2 if you like it creamier)
1 good sprinkling of curry powder
1 x Tbsp of Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

How to do:

Wok on medium heat, add oil and cubed chicken.

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Stir and quickly fry for couple of minutes. Add honey, mustard, curry powder, salt and pepper and whilst stirring keep on cooking the chicken.

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When ready carefully add the cream (don’t let it curdle) and the crushed peanuts. Simmer for a couple more minutes.
That’s it – serve with Rice or as in my pictures, with Penne and maybe some blanched spinach or broccoli.

Tips:
Place unsalted peanuts into your Mixy and ‘blitz’ only for a couple of seconds. Don’t make them smooth, you will want a slight bite.
This sauce is really simple but so nice, maybe you like to make a little bit more!?
If you have no fresh pineapple, then use tinned one.

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Enjoy your meal and have a wonderful safe week-end wherever you are in the world, my friends.

Carina

Caribbean Sweet and Sour Mango Chicken

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As I have mentioned somewhere before, when I lived for 3 years in the Caribbean (in Port-of-Spain/Trinidad), I too, like many of the other ‘diplomatic wives’ on this Island, went for a couple of weeks to a charming old Chinese Lady to learn the basics of ‘Chinese-cooking-with-a-wok’. Her name was Suzie Wong! Yes, film buffs of course will immediately connect this name with the very beautiful young actress Nancy Kwan, starring in her first film “The world of Suzie Wong”.

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Wok cooking is so quick and easy to do – then why did I put this onto my kitchen back shelf for quite some years once we had left Trinidad, I kept asking myself. Maybe because I had nearly worn out my own Wok in those wonderful three years – and of course, living on the Island with its multi-racial population, who did not like Chinese food???

So now that I started writing easy to follow (I hope) recipes for elder daughter, living away from home, and her friends, my Wok has come into his own again – certain weeks with a vengeance!.

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So here now a recipe which includes two of our favourite main ingredients – Chicken and Mango. I found this scribbled down note in my box of loose “Recipes from around the world” and immediately I decided late at night to make this for today’s Lunch.

Caribbean Sweet and Sour Mango Chicken

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I used for 2-3 portions:

3 x Chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 x very large ripe mango peeled and cut free from its large seed and then cut into nice longish strips. Keep aside.
2 Tbsp good sunflower oil
12 x biggish shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1.5 x tsp of fresh ginger, cut into long thin slivers
Some leeks, washed thoroughly and cut into thin rings
3 x garlic cloves, crushed well
1 x cups of green gram beansprouts

To make Sweet and Sour Sauce
2 x Tbsp white wine vinegar
4 x Tbsp of water
2 x Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 x Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 x Tbsp clear honey
2 x Tbsp very good tomato ketchup
1 x tsp cornflour
2 x chicken stock cubes (I used KNORR), crumbled

First start making your sauce.

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Combine all the above mentioned ingredients in a jug incl. the cornflour, which will slightly thicken the sauce. Set aside.

Heat up your Wok (or large frying pan) on medium flame, add oil and after 1 minute also the prepared chicken. Quickly brown the meat for maximum 3 minutes (keep stirring). Transfer with a slotted spoon into a small bowl and keep aside.
Into the same oil add the shallots and the ginger, stir for a couple of minutes only, after which you add your sauce and the mango.
Bring gently to the boil and continue simmering for another 2 minutes.

With this particular dish we like to alternate between long-grain basmati rice and Chinese noodles.

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请享用
Qǐng xiǎngyòng = Enjoy your meal
Carina

Velvety Carrot Soup with an Asian Twist

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I really can’t help it, but nearly every time I eat Carrots in any kind of form, shape and sizes, I hear a tiny little voice of my late Mom “Mutti” …….’do eat your carrots now – they are good for your eyes and will make you see in the dark….”

At that time I was little and like most children I of course believed her. Not that I hated carrots, no not at all, quite liked them actually and now that I am grown up I truly love them. As vegetables, prepared in many many different ways, as soups (after all I was born in Germany and we do love our soups), as salads for when I want to be extra kind to my body and as nibbles.

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Even now, typing this page, I have a small plate of freshly cut carrot sticks next to me and keep munching on those, like a little Rabbit – maybe Grandpa knew in his wisdom why he nicknamed me “Kaninchen” (little Rabbit) all those decades ago. (But mind you, in this tremendous heat we are having here right now I really would love an ice-cream or even two, but……).

Today we all surely know that Carrots are one of the healthiest foods around containing over 100 % of Vitamin A; so we should make food like carrot part of our everyday diet.

Velvety Carrot Soup with an Asian Twist

= this should not take you more than maximum 30 minutes =

I was greedy and used up all the carrots which needed to leave my vegetable compartment. I did not weigh, so just do what I did, and go by your eyes, appetite and what’s in your own fridge. The measurements given therefore are for those 2 large bowls of soup I made for my husband Jo’s and my Lunch with a little bit left in the pot.

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Ingredients

2 x medium sized onions, cubed
4-5 x large carrots, peeled and chopped
5-6 x cloves of garlic, crushed (our garlic is really small)
Salt, black pepper to your own taste
2 x Tbsp of Peanut butter Sauce
1-2 x Tbsp Lingham’s Hot Chilli Sauce
¼ – ½ x cup of Coconut milk (optional – or use some milk)
3 x cups of earlier prepared Vegetable Stock (I used KNORR cubes)
Tiny bit of oil for sweating the onions

Method

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Heat oil on medium heat, add onion and garlic, stir and after maybe 5 minutes add the carrots.

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Season, stir and add the vegetable stock, stir again and cover pot.
Now reduce heat to simmer and cook until vegetables are nice and tender. It only took me 15 minutes since I cut everything fairly small and also I wanted to retain a certain “crunch”.

I do not have an immersion blender – yet! – and therefor ‘blitzed’ the soup in stages in my Mixy with the PB Sauce and the Lingham’s. (You can also add a few more peanuts in for good measure, if you like).

That’s it really. Pour into soup cups; sprinkle some coriander, tiny carrot slivers and a couple of drops of thick coconut cream on top and serve.
This goes very well with just slices of brown-bread toast or Arabic bread, slightly warmed.

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So my friends, enjoy this little soup and you never know, maybe you too will be able “…..to see in the dark…”.

Guten Appetit – enjoy your meal – znegosmac – buon appetito – bon appétit – ทานให้อร่อยนะ –

Carina

Thai Chicken with Aubergine

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As some of my loyal readers know by now, my husband JS and I have a very special connection with Thailand, Bangkok in particular, which started way back in 2002.

We used to fly over nearly every year a couple of times spending each time up to a whole month just relaxing, seeing friends etc. and enjoying their food and culture.

Over the years we have visited many restaurants in this vibrant city and yes, we too have at least a couple which are our absolute favourites, one of which is the famous “BLUE ELEPHANT RESTAURANT” at 233 South Sathorn Road, Kwaeng Yannawa, Khet Sathorn, Bangkok. 10120.

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On our last visit to Bangkok I was all scheduled to attend some Thai Cooking Classes at their equally famous and renowned School but unfortunately a health issue with me which kept cropping up forced us to fly home a bit earlier than planned and therefore I never managed to attend my classes, to which I was looking forward to so very much.

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But, be rest assured, as soon as I can fly again, we will be off once again to Bangkok and I will make sure I can attend classes under the incredible tutelage of Master Chef Nooror and her team.

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I wanted to clear out my fridge a little and when I saw chicken breast and Eggplant (Aubergine) I thought I treat myself, and hopefully you, too, to my own version of Thai

“Chicken with Aubergine”.

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1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 whole aubergine, just washed and “topped & tailed”, into small cubes
80 g (approximately) of Green Curry Paste
150 ml Coconut cream
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
½ Tbsp sugar
2 large Chilli
Some fresh Basil
Oil – just a minimum

Method

Heat up Wok on medium heat with a little splash of Oil – add green curry paste.
Stir and when that lovely smell enters your nostrils, turn down heat to minimum.

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Now add coconut cream.

Bring carefully to a boil and immediately add prepared chicken pieces, eggplant and the kaffir lime leaves. Also add fish sauce and a bit of sugar.
Stir gently and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Garnish with chilli and fresh basil.
Ideally serve with Thai rice.

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ทานให้อร่อย (Enjoy your meal!)
Carina

NOTES: I was lucky that I still had some of my BLUE ELEPHANT ingredients which I purchased on our previous visit to Bangkok.

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I was not able to find any Thai rice here at the moment (out of stock).

PS: All three pictures, except those credited to Carina Sebastine are courtesy of blueelephantcookingschool.com