Sunday, 22 August 2010

Rice, Green beans and Chicken breast

Today I wasn't really in the mood for cooking, but we have to eat so I had to quickly think of something I could throw together. So I decided to make my mum's rice, the green beans in a tomato based sauce and fried chicken breast. They taste nice together and they are filling. 

Vermicelli And Rice


Serves 4 people

1 1/4 cup Arborio risotto rice, rinsed
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 cup vermicelli, broken into small pieces about 1 inch
1 full tbsp Ghee (if you haven't got ghee, you can use butter, but I recommend ghee, better flavour)
1/2 salt
1/2 chicken stock cube
2tbsp olive oil

Fry onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft and set aside. Fry vermicelli in 1tbsp olive oil until golden brown, don't worry, it will not burn or taste bad later on in the rice. Add onions and ghee. Fry for about 30 seconds and add rice. Fry all of this for about a minute and put it in your rice cooker with the salt and stock cube. Add 2 1/2 to 3 cups boiling water. Let the rice cooker do it's magic and you have a very tasty rice. 

To go along with the rice, I made a simple green beans in tomato sauce. 

Green Beans in Tomato Sauce


200g green beans (washed and cut into a little longer than 1/2 inch pieces)
2 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 - 3 tbsp oil
1 beef stock cube (normally you make this with lamb, you boil 500g lamb until tender, and then follow this recipe)
3 cups boiling water

Fry the onions in the oil until slightly soft and add the green beans. Fry for a further 2 minutes. Add water, tomato purée, salt, stock cube and let it simmer with lid on until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes or so, and until the green beans are tender. 

Serve with rice and enjoy!

Fried Chicken Breast


3 chicken breast, cut into medium sized strips
Marinade in any marinade you like while you get all the above ready. I used 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp all seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 2tbsp oil. 

Heat up a pan with 3tbsp olive oil, fry chicken pieces until cooked, press against the meat with a spoon, if it feels firm, it's done. Don't over cook chicken or you will dry it out. As long as it's not pink in the middle, you're good to go. 

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Chocolate cake, quick and easy dessert.

I wanted an easy and tasty dessert this evening, so I thought I have a cake mix in the cupboard, so why not turn that into a chocolate cake. This cake mix is by far the best cake mix I have ever tried. The cake comes out extremely soft, and spongy, it's mouthwatering. You can either have it plain as it is, or you can turn it into a chocolate cake like I did, or even add frosting. It's good no matter what you do to it.

The box is called Rich'N moist White Cake, it is by J. F. Mills. I found mine in Asda where the Asian food section was. Click here to see the packaging.

Just follow the instructions on the back, but make sure if it says mix on whatever speed for what ever time, you do the exact thing. Otherwise you will either mix it for too long or too short and it will not achieve that consistency it needs for the cake to turn out as soft as it should.

I added 3 full tbsp of cocoa powder, and two extra tbsp of water. But only because I was craving for a chocolate cake, otherwise, leave it as it is. Its a perfect cake to make a birthday cake out or even cupcakes. I tried it once, and it was really good, but it will be very obvious in the texture and flavour that it was not home-made and that it came from a box.

I used a 9'' round cake tin, which I greased with butter and dusted with flour. Put it in the oven for 40min on 180 degrees. Some oven's cooking times vary, so always do the clean knife test. Stick a knife in the centre, if it comes out clean, it is ready, if not, add an extra 7min or less and check again. Do not over cook it, as soon as the knife is clean, it is done. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have this evening.

Pasta Bake, Quick Easy Meal For A Lazy Day!

As it's Ramadan, I thought why not try something quick for dinner tonight because I was quite hungry and tired today. So I remembered something I had at my friend's house. I had made this before, but it had been such a long time ago. It's quick and easy, hardly takes any time, and it's filling. 

Pasta Bake

Serves 6 (medium portions)

250g Turkey mince
200g Pasta, uncooked
1 full cup frozen vegetable, the smaller the better, boiled 10min and drained
3/4 tsp curry powder
1tbsp all purpose seasoning
1/4 chicken stock cube
1tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 parmesan cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese for sprinkling
2tbps Olive Oil

Turn the oven on to 200 degrees (centigrade).

Fry the turkey mince in the olive oil until nearly cooked, add curry powder, all purpose seasoning and stock cube. Cook until turkey mince is cooked through. Put aside.

In an oven proof dish, add pasta (dry, uncooked), turkey mince, cooked frozen vegetables, basil and parmesan cheese. Pour the Homepride Pasta Bake sauce over. Take the empty jar and fill up to the top of the label with cold water, close lid and shake well, pour over the pasta. Mix it all together. It is all written on the instructions on the jar, apart from the extras that I have added. On the jar it tells you how much pasta and maybe some meat to add, and to add water like I have described. 

Once all mixed, put in the oven for roughly 15 min, take it out, give it a good mix so all the pasta soaks up the juices and goes soft. Put back in the oven for 10min. Take it out and check if the pasta is soft, if not and it looks a bit dry, add 1/4 cup water, mix and set back in the oven for another 10min. Once the pasta is cooked, or al dente, add the mozzarella cheese on top, put back in the oven until golden. 

You can serves this with a nice salad, or garlic bread, or even both. Hope you enjoy :-)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Giada's Ricotta and Chocolate chip homemade ice cream

This is a recipe from my all time favourite chef Giada De Laurentiis. I tried this for a few months ago with my friends, and they liked it too, although the chocolate chips were a bit much. I think the ice cream was so silky it just melted as soon as it hit your mouth, and the chocolate chips where too big. Next time I make this, I will add grated chocolate instead, so it all melts right away. Either way, here's the recipe. I hope you all try it, do not be scared of using cheese in an ice cream. It sounds strange, but trust me, Giada knows what she is talking about. This recipes is really good.

Ricotta and Chocolate Chip Home-made Ice Cream


425g whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup whole milk
1 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup water, 1 cup sugar, mix together in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, allow to cool)
1/2tsp vanila extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (1/2cup grated chocolate)

(Ice cream maker)

In a medium bowl whisk the ricotta and milk until smooth. Then add the simple syrup (it has to be cooled down first). Add vanilla extract and mix well. Pour your mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions. (remember for most ice cream makers, the bowl has to be put in the freezer for 24 hours prior to making the ice cream)

Add the chocolate chips 10 minutes before you stop the ice cream maker, this is because if you add it earlier, it will sink to the bottom and you won't have it mixed properly and evenly. Anything that is left over, can be stored in the freezer. Enjoy! I know I did.

Mama's Chicken and Rice

I haven't posted anything over the weekend mainly because I was busy with the family and I had a dinner get together with friends for Iftar. It was a lovely evening, with good food and laughter. I hope to be doing it again soon. Here is the recipe for the chicken I made. I hope you guys like it. It is my mum's recipe (hence the name), whenever I go visit my family, she makes me this chicken.


1 whole chicken
1 large onion
1 large potato, or 2 medium potatoes
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
3 full tbsp pomegranate molasses 

Wash and cut the chicken into portions. Put in an ovenproof dish. Add diced potatoes and onions. 
Mix all the herbs and seasoning in a small bowl and rub into chicken pieces well. Put chicken pieces skin down. Cook in oven on 200 degrees (centigrade). After one hour, turn chicken skin up and leave for roughly 20-25 min until the chicken is cooked and skin is crispy. The juices that the chicken gives off are really good with rice. You can serve this with plain rice or the rice I have pictured it with. (recipe below) 

Mama's rice (similar to a biryani)


1 medium onion diced
1 medium to largish potato, diced small
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cumin
4 cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 chicken stock cube
Handful of frozen peas

Fry onions till soft, put aside, fry potatoes till golden brown, add onions and peas, fry a minute or so, add all the spices apart from the stock cube. Fry for 30 sec, take off the heat. I use rice cooker, therefore I used the little cup provided with the rice cooker to measure my rice. I washed 4 cups (the little cup that comes with rice cooker) added it to the rice cooker, added 5 1/2 cups water (same little cup). Added the onion, potato and spice mixture. Then turned it on. As soon as the water got hot I crumbled in the stock cube, mixed well and let the rice cooker do all the work. (1 rice cooker cup is 3/4 of a normal cup measurement). 

Friday, 13 August 2010

Lemon and limeade

This drink is so good with a nice BBQ or even when you have a cold, its packed with vitamin C.



1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 sugar
4 cups water
lime and lemon slice to decorate

Mix all the above ingredients together in jug, add the lemon and lime slices and serve. I decorated the rim of my cup with sugar, because I thought it looked pretty. I know it's not a usual thing to do for lemonade, but it looks nice. Enjoy!

2nd day of Ramadan

As promised I am back with more recipes. Last night I made a dish inspired by my mother in-law, and I say inspired because I do not have the recipe she uses, so I made it up and some of it I found online.

So here it is, the pictures do not do it justice, the dish is so good I could have it everyday.


Serves 5


500g minced turkey or minced chicken
4 medium sized aubergines / eggplants
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
2tbsp light soya sauce
1tsp monosodium glutamate (msg) optional, but it adds a great flavour
oil for frying

2 cups water
1tbsp dark soya sauce
2tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2tbsp water mixed with 1tsbp corn starch (this is for right at the end before you serve)

In a bowl, add turkey or chicken mince, spring onions, light soya sauce, msg and mix well. Put aside. Cut the aubergines /eggplants on a slight angle, about 1 1/2 inches thick, keep going until you have cut up all four aubergines/eggplants. Take one of the pieces and cut in half, BUT do not cut all the way down. You are only make a slit almost, because in that goes the meat. you are creating almost a sandwich like result. 

 As you can see from the picture above. Continue stuffing the aubergines/eggplants. You might have some meat leftover, but not too much. Make sure the aubergines/eggplants have a good amount of meat. 

Once all done, fry the aubergines until slightly browned. They will require a bit of oil, aubergines/eggplants tend to suck up all the oil, but believe me it will not be oily once cooked. You need to fry them because you need it to go soft during the cooking process later. If you don't fry it and just cook it in the sauce, it will not go soft and it will not have that special flavour you get from fried aubergines. 

In a wok, add the water, soya sauce, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, add your aubergines, making sure majority of it are covered with liquid. Especially the larger sizes. Leave to cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, then turn some over and the ones not covered with liquid should be swapped around with ones that have been covered in the sauce the previous 15 minutes.  Cook for another 15 minutes or until all the aubergines/eggplants are soft and tender. Remove from the heat. Take the aubergines/eggplants out very gently and place in a bowl. Add the starch mixture to the left over sauce in the wok and put it back on the heat just until the sauce has thickened whilst stirring so nothing sticks to the bottom. Pour the sauce over the aubergines/eggplants. Serve with white rice, not basmati, maybe a Thai rice and enjoy!