Sometimes you don’t realize how little you can live with and be happy with till you lose everything. I’ve come to that realization now. Sure, we all have things that we want, desire and lust over. But are those really the things that we need all the time? Happiness seems temporarily at hand for all of us with the achievement of little to big things. But to create happiness for our own self is quiet the challenge. I am struggling to fulfil that part of my life and YES I do accept the challenge. 😀 I always wanted to bake chicken and here I am creating my happiness for today by giving it a go. It is as simple as it can get. I substituted the sherry with normal red wine and a little bit of brown sugar. I used coriander leaves instead of parsley and omitted olives since I did not have any at the time.
- Chicken breast fillets, trimmed – 4
- Plain flour – 1/3 cup
- Butter chopped – 50 grams
- Medium brown onion, finely chopped – 1
- Dry sherry – ½ cup
- Canned diced tomatoes – 400 grams
- Kalamata Olives – ¼ cup
- Chopped fresh flat – leaf parsley leaves – 2 tbs
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Place flour in a snap-lock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts, 2 at a time, shaking to coat. Shake off excess. Place on a plate.
- Melt butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to a 5cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) baking dish.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to medium-high. Add sherry. Bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes or until boiling. Spoon tomato mixture over chicken. Cover.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, adding olives for the last 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with potatoes and broccolini.
Fried indulgence is what I would like to call them. For anyone who never liked eggplants before…this dish can surely change your mind. I had this dish for the first time ever a couple of months back in an authentic Chinese restaurant. Eggplants never tasted so good to me before, this dish totally changed my outlook towards them. I came home and scurried through the net to find the recipe. And after three relentless days of narrowing down my search. I ended up with this recipe and gave it a go.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Hot (Chinese) chili powder – ½ or 1 tsp
- Hot paprika – ½ or 1 tsp
- About 6 (1 1/2 pounds total) Chinese (long) eggplants, trimmed, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2- or 3-inch-long, thick “steak” fries (about 8 fries from each eggplant)
- Cornstarch – ½ cup
- Leaves and tender stems from 4 to 6 stems cilantro, coarsely chopped
- Heat at least 4 inches of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees.
- Place a wire rack over several layers of paper towels.
- Combine the chili powder and paprika (to taste) in a small bowl.
- Meanwhile, wet the eggplant fries with a little water. Spread the cornstarch on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Working in batches, lightly and evenly coat the eggplant fries with the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Discard any remaining cornstarch.
- Carefully add about 8 fries at a time to the hot oil; fry for 2 minutes, or until just browned, crisped and tender. Use a Chinese skimmer or slotted spatula to transfer to the rack to drain. Repeat to fry all the eggplant.
- Transfer the still-warm, crisped eggplant fries to a serving bowl; season with the chili powder-paprika mixture to taste; this dish is supposed to be spicy, and, if you can stand it, you should use enough of the mixture to color the eggplant fries a reddish-orange. Toss quickly with the cilantro; serve right away.
So here we are back to making desserts again .. its always so comforting to make something sweet. I feel that it somehow sweetens my soul as I make it. I made “kaalo jaam” after such a long time. My inspiration for making this dessert is the sweetest person in the world – Kakon api. I first had this at her house.. and she was nice enough to send me the recipe as well. It also reminds me of the time when I went to Nipa apus house and made these on a whim. We had a real girls day in. All very good memories attached to this dessert. I miss you all and this is to reminisce our time together.
- Milk Powder – 4 cups
- Self Raising Flour – 1 cup
- Quart of whipping cream ( Thickened cream)
- Oil for deep frying
INGREDIENTS FOR SUGAR SYRUP:
- Sugar – 4 cups
- Water – 5.5 cups
- In a mixing bowl combine milk powder and flour .. make a well in the middle and add the thickened cream slowly while mixing everything together .. forming a dough.
- Shape the dough in to round balls first and then roll it sideways in your hands to form an oval sphere.
- To get your sugar syrup ready .. use a Rondeau pan. The more bigger the pan the better so that when you soak the fried dough in it .. there will be plenty of space for them to increase in size. Combine the water and the sugar and boil it till the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Fry the dough on a medium flame. Take your time to do this step as you want the dough to cook thoroughly.
- Once all of it is fried, lay all the fried dough in to the sugar syrup and boil for 5-10 minutes with the lid covered. Turnoff the stove and let it soak in to the sugar syrup until you are ready to serve it in to your serving dish.
Life is going thru a lot of change lately, change of pace, mind, taste, locations, perceptions and decisions. So finally for a change I decided to steer away from making another dessert. You can think of this as a warm chickpea salad or a curry. It is a very easy dish to make and you can substitute any of these ingredients to your liking except for chickpeas.
- Onions -1
- Tomatoes – 2
- Eggplant – 1
- Cilantro – 2 tbs
- Canned chickpeas
- Yoghurt – 3 tbs
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Scallions – 2 tbs
- Green chillies – 1 tbs
- Crushed dried chillies – 2 tbs
- Juice of half a lemon
- Sauté the eggplant and the tomatoes till it softens.
- Add the chickpeas and cumin, let it simmer for 5 minutes keeping it covered.
- Add the rest of the ingredients , stir and cover the lid for approximately 10 minutes and let it sit on a medium flame.