Thai Barbeque Chicken

25 February 2009 4 comments

Thai Barbeque Chicken


This is a recipe from a book Keo's Thai Cuisine by Keo Sananikone. He owns the Mekong and Temples of Thai Cuisine restaurants in Hawaii. This barbequed chicken is very good, you can detect a hint of coconut milk, lemon grass and ginger so it is important to marinate the chicken for more than an hour. To achieve crispy skin, I increased the temperature to 500 degF at the last 15 minutes of baking.

1 whole chicken
2 stalks fresh lemon grass
1/2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh ginger
3 large garlic cloves
2 shallots
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil

Rinse chickens and pat dry. Split chicken down the breast but do not cut all the way throug; press open. Place chicken in a large bowl. In a food processor or blender combine the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour this sauce over the chicken and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350degF. Place chicken on a rack with the split side down. Bake for about 1 hour, depending on the thickness of the chicken, or until the juices run clea when the thigh is pierced with a sharp knife. I use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of the thighs.


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Light Yet Delicious Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

20 February 2009 10 comments


Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes. It somehow lessens the guilt of eating cakes when you know that it has a vegetable in one of the ingredients. Even though this type of cake is good, it still packs a large amount of calories. A typical carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (3 oz slice) contains 425 calories. Yikes! This recipe from Cooking Light magazine is 100 calories less than the regular recipe. It also has coconut flakes, crushed pineapple and pecans (which I omitted since I don't like any kind of nuts in my desserts). Since I didn't have crushed pineapple, I used apple sauce (1 cup). Even with the substitutions, the resulting cake still was delicious. Dh loved it and commented that it is so light and moist. I only used half the amount of confectioner's sugar in the frosting and it was still too sweet for my taste. So next time I make the frosting, I will only use 1 cup confectioner's sugar and omit the butter entirely. I'm sharing the original recipe so you can tweak it to suit your taste.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple, drained
Cooking spray

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Additional grated carrot (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, coconut, pecans, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Combine oil and eggs; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated carrot, and pineapple into flour mixture. Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cake. Garnish each serving with grated carrot, if desired.

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Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

14 February 2009 4 comments


The original recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu takes a lot of work. It takes a while to prepare it. It entails pounding the chicken breast, dipping it in flour, egg and bread crumbs, then you put it in the fridge to have everything set. This recipe is from Kraft Food and Family. It is very easy to make and prep time is less than 15 minutes (for me). Of course, nothing beats the original recipe but if you don't want to toil in the kitchen and still get the same taste (almost) then you should try this. It has become my family's favorite. If you're not a fan of mustard, you can omit this ingredient or use just a teaspoon like I did. This recipe used a lot of Kraft products (of course) but you can use whatever brand is available. You can also omit using stuffing mix, it doesn't make much difference. In the photo below, the serving on the left side is for my son who doesn't care for stuffing.

1 pkg (6 oz) stuffing mix
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 slices ham
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
6 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package. Set aside.
Place chicken in 13x9- inch baking dish; cover with ham. Mix condensed cream of chicken soup and mustard; spoon over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing.
Bake for 25 min. or until chicken is cooked through (the internal temperature should be at least 165 deg F). Top with cheese slices and bake an additional 5 min. or until cheese is melted.
Makes 6 servings.


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Sauteed Scallops with Corn Salsa

10 February 2009 4 comments

Sauteed Scallops with Corn Salsa SAUTEED SCALLOPS WITH CORN SALSA

Usually, when I cook scallops, I just roll it in bread crumbs, fry it and serve it with lemon wedges and sometimes cocktail sauce. I decided to try something new and found a recipe by Gordon Ramsay. This one is from his book Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food. We liked the hint of curry, it doesn't overpower the scallops. This is pretty easy and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. For this recipe, it is ideal to use Sea scallops, these are the big ones. The original recipe calls for 3 tbsp. of Sesame oil, I only used 1 tbsp. I didn't have Arugula so I used Spinach. Here's the recipe:

Sea scallops, cleaned
1/2 tsp medium curry powder
2 tbsp olive oil
arugula leaves

Corn Salsa:
14 oz can corn, drained
cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onions, minced
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 scallions, sliced finely
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
dash of light soy sauce
salt and ground black pepper

For the salsa:
Mix all the ingredients and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Set aside.

If the scallops are thick, slice it horizontally into two disks. Mix the curry powder with 1 tsp. salt and sprinkile over the scallops. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the oil. Cook the scallops for 1 minute each side until golden brown at the edges. Don't overcook.
Spoon the salsa onto the plate and arrange the scallops on top. Serve immediately.


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Pineapple Sweet and Sour Meatballs

03 February 2009 6 comments

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
This is one of those fast meals that I whip up when I don't have much time to spend in the kitchen. What's nice about this recipe is you can skip making the meatballs from scratch and use the frozen Italian or Swedish meatballs in the freezer. Of course, if you're feeling like Martha Stewart, then by all means, go ahead and make it from scratch. :o) I found the original recipe online but tweaked it to suit my taste. I added catsup (the sauce needed more color), lessened the brown sugar (too sweet) and vinegar (too sour), etc. That's what's good about cooking, you can change a recipe according to your taste. Here's my final (for now) recipe:

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Meatballs


1 lb ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Lightly oil a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Mix the ingredients for the meatballs. Shape into small balls and bake for 30 mins or until fully cooked.

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 med carrot, sliced thin (so it will cook quickly)
1 red bell pepper, cut into squares
1 small onion, quartered
3/4 cup pineapple juice (you can use the juice from the pineapple chunks)
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup catsup
3 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water
salt if needed

While the meatballs are in the oven, prepare this sauce. In a medium sauce pan, mix pineapple juice, water and soy sauce. Bring to boil. Add the vinegar but do not mix. Bring it up to boil then mix. Add brown sugar and catsup and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Throw in the carrots, onions, pineapple and red bell pepper.
Add the cornstarch/water mixture a little at a time thoroughly mixing after each addition. Stop adding the mixture when it's at the consistency you prefer. Try the sauce and add salt to suit your taste.

You can serve the meatballs mixed in with the sauce or serve the sauce on the side. You can pair this with steamed rice or cooked pasta.


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