Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate Chicken Stew)

I love Persian food, and Fesenjan is one of my favorite dishes. It’s chicken cooked in a walnut pomegranate sauce. It’s tangy and rich, the perfect accompaniment to rice!

I used Durra’s pomegranate molasses which to me is pretty sour. So I added sugar to mitigate the sourness.

I got my Fesenjan recipe from persianmama. There are many other great Persian recipes on the website so check it out.

Jamie Oliver’s deep pan pizza

I have followed Jamie Oliver for years! I love his casual, easy-going cooking style. It’s never complicated with Jamie.

I came across an easy and quick pizza recipe on his new TV show – Keep Cooking & Carry On. It is now one of my favorite pizzas. You get the taste of the herbs, it’s savory with a bit of heat and tang.

The written recipe for this pizza can be found at Jamie Oliver’s website – https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/cheat-s-deep-pan-pizza/

You just need a few ingredients for the toppings and the pizza dough is made from self-rising flour so there is no need for proofing the dough. The first time I made this was in a cast iron pan. This time I wanted a thinner crust so I baked the pizza on a preheated inverted baking pan. Comparing both, I feel this topping goes better on a thicker crust.

Since fresh sausages were not readily available for me, I decided to make my own with minced pork. I marinated the pork with cumin, cornstarch, smoked paprika, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

 

 

Peanut turnover pancake (Apam Balik)

Apam Balik is a popular Malaysian street food dessert that is a sweet folded pancake filled with sugar, peanuts, and creamy sweet corn. I grew up eating this pancake, as a child, I will always get my mother to buy me some when she takes me to the market.

The traditional filling consists of peanuts, sugar, and cream of corn. Just like pancakes, you can add any fillings you like – fruits, chocolate, jam, honey ..etc. There is a thin and thicker version. I prefer mine thicker, I like the chewier soft mouthfeel.

I got the recipe for this turnover pancake from elmundoeats. (https://www.elmundoeats.com/asian-peanut-pancake-turnover-apam-balik/)

 

Dalgona coffee

 

This whipped coffee has taken social media by storm. It’s velvety, creamy, and luxurious. There’s something about this coffee that makes me feel classy when I have it. It is effortless to make with just 4 ingredients.

I usually have my Dalgona coffee in a rocks glass. I fill two-thirds of the glass with cold milk and 4 ice cubes, then dollop two tablespoons of the whipped coffee topped with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

The amount of whipped coffee can vary depending on how strong you want your drink to be. If you prefer your drink hot, you can use warm milk.

 

Dalgona coffee

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 1 Cup milk cold/hot

Instructions

  • Add instant coffee powder, sugar, and hot water into a bowl.
  • Whisk it using an electric mixer continuously until creamy, smooth, and light. You can whisk by hand, but it will take longer.
  • Add cold milk with a few ice cubes or hot milk to a glass.
  • Add two tablespoons of whipped coffee or more if you like it creamier.
  • Dust the top with either cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg powder.
  • Enjoy your Dalgona coffee!

Rustic white bread

I started making bread about 2 months ago. This is the first white rustic bread I have successfully made in a dutch oven, I was overjoyed. The aroma is amazing, and the bread is soft on the inside with a lovely thin crust. The mouthfeel is similar to a baguette.

The dough is quite wet and sticky. To work the dough, I used a plastic dough scraper to pull at one end and fold it over the top to the other side of the dough, rotating the bowl after each fold. I did this for about 2 minutes.

I followed Bruno Albouze’s (a French chef) method of proofing, which is letting the dough rest for 4 hours, deflating every hour, and shaping the dough to proof in a banneton basket. You can view his method in the video below.

 

Because the proofed dough was still very sticky and soft, I placed a parchment paper over the basket, then put a plate on top and flipped the basket over. I then transferred the parchment paper with the dough into a preheated dutch oven. In my tabletop electric oven, it took 50 minutes to bake the bread – 30 minutes with the lid on and 20 minutes with the lid off.

 

The finished product – a beautiful rustic bread with natural splits. Nothing beats a freshly baked bread.

Although wet dough/high hydration dough can be hard to work with, it produces bread with a lovely thin crust that is soft inside.

Original bread recipe from valentinascorner 

Rustic White Bread

  • Servings: yields 1 loaf
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup water, warm ( 33 – 40° C / 91 – 104° F)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, warm
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp oil (Canola or Olive oil)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast/instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven and dutch oven (with the lid on) at 230° C/ 446° F for 30 minutes.
  2. Add yeast and sugar in the warm water, stir to mix and cover with a towel for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  3. Sift flour in a large bowl, add in salt, sugar, oil, and warm milk, stir to combine.
  4. Add the water with yeast in the flour mixture and mix with hand until you get a wet sticky dough.
  5. Use either a dough scraper or wet hands, pull one end and fold it over the top to the other side of the dough. Continue this for 2 minutes. Dip mixing hands in water to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. You can rewet your hands a few times during this process. Do not add flour.
  6. Cover with a tea cloth and let it rest 4 hours, deflating the dough every one hour.
  7. After letting the dough rest for 4 hours, gently tip the topside of the dough on a floured surface.
  8. Draw up the edges to the center to create a disc shape and transfer to a well-floured banneton basket to proof for another hour.
  9. Place a parchment paper over the basket, then put a plate on top and flipped the basket over. Carefully transfer parchment paper with the dough into a preheated dutch oven.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or until the loaf is medium brown all around.
  11. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let it cool down to room temperature before cutting.

 

Garlic butter herb wreath bread

This savory bread is light, soft, buttery, and smells amazing!

I found a savory pesto wreath bread recipe at domesticgothess.  I used her dough recipe and followed the baking instructions. Instead of using a Pesto filling, I went with what I had available – butter, garlic, Italian herbs, fresh rosemary, and Parmigiano cheese.

This is her recipe:

  • 400g (3 + 1/3 cups) strong white bread flour
  • 7g (2tsp) fast-action yeast
  • 8g (1tsp) salt
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 275ml (1 + 1/8 cups) lukewarm water

The instructions are here

This is the filling I used:

  • A handful of fresh Rosemary
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 50g of unsalted butter

Mix the garlic into the butter, spread evenly on rolled out dough. Then scatter the grated Parmigiano and rosemary.

I made a mistake with the ends, I did not tuck them under so it’s not a perfect wreath shape. Other than that, it’s super delicious!

 

 

 

 

Baked Japanese beef curry rice with cheese

I was reminiscing about this amazing baked Japanese curry rice I had in Hakone, Japan last winter. So I thought I would take a stab at making a baked Japanese curry rice.

This is my first attempt at making Japanese curry cheese baked rice. It is an easy no-fuss dish!

Below are the ingredients and steps I took for this dish. Feel free to add or replace the ingredients based on your liking.  One mistake I made was I used too much rice, so I altered the amount of rice in the recipe below which would be more suitable for 3 people.

Ingredients

7 tbsp of curry powder

1  1/2 cup minced beef

Half an onion, cut into quarters

7 fresh baby carrots (cut into quarters)

10 – 15 sweet peas

2 medium potatoes (cut into chunks)

A handful of broccoli florets

2 cups of water

2 cups of grated cheddar cheese (mozzarella cheese is another good option)

1  1/2 cup of cooked rice

 

 

 

 

This is the curry powder I used, you can use any Japanese curry powder or cubes that you like.

 

 

 

 

Sauté the onions and carrots over medium heat for approximately 5 – 8 minutes. I prefer my carrots soft so I cooked them a little longer.

Add the potatoes and sauté until the potatoes are almost cooked or until you can easily poke through the potato with a fork.

Add in minced beef and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli and sweet peas and cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour the water in and bring to boil.  Reduce to medium heat and add the curry powder.

Stir until well combined and the gravy thickens.

Preheat the oven to 218 °C or 425°F. Spread the rice evenly in a baking dish. Pour the curry sauce on top of the rice. Then sprinkle the grated cheese. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

Voila! A cheesy, creamy, savory curry rice dish.

 

Baked Japanese curry rice

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

7 tbsp of curry powder

1 1/2 cup minced beef

7 fresh baby carrots (cut into quarters)

Half an onion, cut into quarters

10 – 15 sweet peas

2 medium potatoes (cut into chunks)

A handful of broccoli florets

2 cups of water

2 cups of grated cheddar cheese (mozzarella cheese is another good option)

1 1/2 cup of cooked rice

Directions

  1. Sauté the onions and carrots over medium heat for approximately 5 – 8 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and sauté until the potatoes are almost cooked or until you can easily poke through the potato with a fork.
  3. Add in minced beef and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli and sweet peas and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the water in and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and add the curry powder.
  6. Stir until well combined and the gravy thickens.
  7. Preheat the oven to 218 °C or 425°F. Spread the rice evenly in a baking dish. Pour the curry sauce on top of the rice. Then sprinkle the grated cheese. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.
  8. Serve immediately!

Each curry powder or cube is different. The curry powder I used had enough flavoring in it that it didn’t require me to add salt. If you are not sure about yours, taste the curry before you add it to your rice and season accordingly.

Crispy Chicken with Roasted Carrots and Couscous


 

This dish is simple and delicious! A great dinner dish for those who want something a little less heavy. The subtle flavors of each ingredient when eaten together gives this amazing aromatic and savory flavor.

I found this recipe on the Country Living website. You can get the recipe here.

I was lacking a few ingredients such as the salted pepitas and the box of olive oil and herb couscous, so I had to make them from scratch. I used a garlic couscous recipe instead of a herb one. I find that the garlic gives it a richer and stronger flavor.

Below are the recipes I used for those ingredients.

Salted pepitas 

https://www.rachelcooks.com/2011/10/12/pumpkin-seeds-pepitas-eight-ways/

I used the traditional recipe. The recipe asked for 2 cups, but I just made 1 cup and used half of all the ingredients required.

Roasted garlic and olive oil couscous

http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/roasted-garlic-and-olive-oil-couscous-48100

 

Camembert with grapes and saltine crackers

I used to have a strong distaste to the thought of pairing cheeses or dry-cured ham with fruits such as Camembert and grapes, Parma ham and cantaloupe. I could not imagine how those flavors together would taste good until I had my first taste of Camembert paired with grapes and saltine crackers. I was blown away at how amazing it tasted. There could not be a more perfect matrimony of flavors! The contrast of the sweetness of the grapes along with the buttery saltiness flavor of the crackers and the slight milky, creamy flavor of the cheese makes this pairing memorable.

Camembert is a soft, earthy, creamy cow’s milk cheese, with a hint of sweetness originating from France, more specifically Camembert in northern France. I personally like to have Camembert with crunchy red grapes such as the red globe or seedless flame because of its high level of sweetness and saltine crackers. Water crackers are also good.

Camembert with grapes and saltine crackers can be served as part of breakfast or as a snack.

These are my favorite saltine crackers