Thursday, April 24, 2008

Braised Orange Chicken

Braised Orange Chicken

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 chicken legs chopped into 4 pieces or 8 chicken thighs (it’s better with bone in)

4 large garlic cloves, smashed

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, smashed

1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

Grated zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon chilli paste with soy bean (I used Sambal Olek)

Braising Liquid

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

¼ cup chicken stock (I used the juice from the orange)


2 teaspoons corn or potato starch

2 teaspoons water

Fresh coriander to garnish.

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add chicken; cook until golden brown on all sides. Add garlic, ginger, onion, orange zest and chilli paste. Cook another 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken and seasonings to heavy medium saucepan.
  3. Pour braising liquid over chicken. Bring to a boil on high heat, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for 1 hour, lifting lid occasionally to stir, until chicken is very tender.
  4. Restir thickener, pour into saucepan; stir until thickened.
  5. Garnish with coriander.
This recipe is from A Taste of Chinatown by Joie Warner, published in 1989. Another thrift shop bargain!

Monday, February 4, 2008


I was given this fantastic book called Hungry Planet for Christmas by my
sons, True and RĂªve. It was all about different families from around the
world and the food they ate for a week. Each section included a family
recipe. The one that caught our eye was from India and used an ingredient
called Poha.
Poha is pounded rice flakes. Luckily, the near by town of Woolgoolga is 50
percent Sikh so basically all Indian ingredients are readily available.
So we bought some Poha and made this recipe, experimenting with a handful
that we found on the net as well as the one in our book. We did this because
on the day we decided to make it, we realized we were short a few
ingredients so we just followed our taste buds and here is what we came up

2 cups poha

2 finely chopped medium potatoes
1 finely chopped medium onion
lemon juice
biriyani seasoning (substitute for mustard seed)

1 to 2 cups peas, corn and chopped red capsicum(pepper)
a bit of deseeded red chili to taste

nuts (we used cashews, but peanuts would do)

crunchy noodles (to replace Indian noodles found in bhuja mix)

We rinsed and soaked the rice flakes for about five minutes, until the water
ran clear and then let them drain in a colander. We fluffed them every five
minutes or so to make sure they didn't clump.

In a wok we heated some oil and added the potatoes, onion, sugar, lemon
juice, tumeric, ginger, cumin, biriyani seasoning and salt. We basically
added a hearty shake of each spice, as well as a generous squeeze of lemon
juice and about a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger. I think you could also
add things like kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves or other Indian spices,
depending on what you like. It seemed a bit slow to soften to we also added
a splash of water to speed it all up - we were hungry!

Then we mixed in the vegetables, coconut and chili and added the poha which
was quite soft. We stirred it all around to heat it up, mix things up evenly
and get everything coated with the yummy spices. It smelled great. A taste
test had us add a bit more salt, but we were pretty pleased with the

Spoon out on plates and top with coriander and fresh cashews or peanuts. We
cooked ours in at the beginning but I think they would be nicer crunchier.

To serve we garnished with fresh banana slices, mango, crunchy noodles (I
think Indian crunchy noodles would have been better as they are a bit
spicier.) and served it with sweet chili sauce and srichiri hot sauce (like
an asian version of Tabasco or something like that.). The fresh fruit was
great because the poha has a drier taste and the fruit added a really nice
moistness - I mixed mine right in!

Anyway, we all really liked it. It was easy to make and also a very cheap
recipe as there was no meat. If you can get poha, I suggest trying it.
Experiment a bit because it's really fun and seems like a very versatile
staple. It's also quick to cook if you are in a rush.

I think that it makes a good main meal, but could also be a side to fish or
chicken or meat. It would also make a nice room temperature salad or lunch
box idea.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

True's Brie, Basil and Mushroom Omlette

2 eggs per omlette
2 - 3 mushrooms per omlette
2 - 3 basil leaves
2-3 slices of brie
Salt and pepper to taste

Take two free range eggs and whisk together in a bowl.

Lightly fry a few sliced mushrooms in a generous amount of butter.

Cut four or five slices of good brie. Coarsely chop a few basil leaves.

Heat a small buttered non stick fry pan to about 7 or medium high heat.
Pour the egg mixture into heated pan. Let cook until bottom has thickened.

Lay cheese, mushrooms and shredded basil neatly on one half. Let cook,
possibly with lid on until sides of omlette have firmed up.

Gently fold the half of egg mixture with no filling to cover the side with
the mushrooms, brie and basil, so the omlette looks like a half moon.

Let cook to seal, gently turning over if necessary.

Serve on plate garnished with extra mushrooms and basil leaf. Salt and
pepper to taste.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Spaghetti With Clam Sauce

¼ cup butter

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

¼ cup flour

2 cups milk

Salt, pepper

½ cup cheese

1 can baby clams, drained (use fresh if you are lucky enough to be able to get them)


Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook the onions until soft, and add garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until it is blended with the butter. Add milk and cook over low heat, stirring often, until thick and bubbly. Add cheese and stir in until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add clams and stir.

Meanwhile, boil spaghetti until soft.

Place the spaghetti in a bowl and add sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

If You want to make it lighter, use low fat condensed milk. At the other end of the scale, you can use cream or half cream and half milk. You can use any kind of cheese you like. I used half cheddar and half mozzarella this time, but Swiss and/or Gouda are also excellent.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Buttermilk Pie

1/4 Cup Flour
1 3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
3 Eggs (beaten)
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Melt butter, add sugar, buttermilk and flour, mix.
Stir in beaten eggs and vanilla. Combine well

Pour into unbaked pie shell
Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until firm

- brenda

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup white flour, sifted

1/3 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups milk

¼ cup butter, melted

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil muffin tins.

Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl and make a well in the center. Mix together the egg, milk and butter and pour into the well. Using a whisk, combine swiftly with a few strokes. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve warm.

These are excellent with chilli. I made mine in a pan with a prong in the center, hence the hole in the middle. Any muffin pan works well.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles


* 2 egg yolks

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1 cup buttermilk

* 1/4 cup butter, melted

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/2 tablespoon white sugar

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 2 egg whites

* 1 pinch ground cinnamon


1. Preheat your waffle iron.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and butter until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon; stir into the buttermilk mixture. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Fold into the batter.

3. Spoon batter onto the hot waffle iron, close, and cook until golden brown. Waffles are usually done when the steam subsides.

Butterscotch Custard Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk, divided
1 2/3 cup 2% milk

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 drop almond extract or 1 tablespoon amaretto

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sbrow sugar, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in ¼ cup evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

2. heat 2% milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. (180 degrees)

3. Combine white sugar cornstarch, salt and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in hot 2% milk and ¾ cup evaporated milk. Add milk mixture to brow sugar mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook for 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Stir in amaretto. Pour the sauce into bowl, cove and chill.

From The Best of Cooking Light 2

Top with fruit. I used frozen strawberries thawed, heated and thickened with a bit of corn starch.

Sorry about the dirty plate in the picture. I didn't think of taking a picture until we were almost done eating.