Saturday, 26 July 2014

#23 - Claypot Chicken Rice (Rice Cooker)


When you are sick and tired of packing food from food courts or even kopitiams for dinner, you will seriously be craving for something that is warm & comforting, something simple like a home cooked meal, something just like this.

If you know me, you will know that I'm pretty much a fuss-free person. Though I adore cooking and baking, I have never really get myself done to experimenting with complicated recipes, let alone cooking meals involving 101 ingredients. I am more of a less-is-more kind of person! I love following and trying out simple yet yummy recipes and when I'm in the right mood, I give it my own twist!

This Claypot Chicken Rice is simple enough and if you have a pan and a rice-cooker, you can make this.



For the cooking of the main ingredients, original recipe actually call for the raw ingredients to be added to the rice when the rice is half-cooked. However, since hubby and I prefer the rice to be slightly dryer, I did it slightly different. I allowed the rice to be fully-cooked while I stir fry all the ingredients (chicken, mushrooms, sausages) with some garlic in a separate pan until the chicken is semi-cooked. When rice was cooked, I poured all the ingredients onto the rice in the rice cooker and cook the rice again. It turned out that the rice was nice and dry and the it tasted really yummy!

So, give it a try and enjoy some warm and nice comfort food from home :)


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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
4 persons

Ingredients
3 cups Rice (to be cooked with 3 cups Water)
2 Chinese Sausages
50 - 60 grams Dried Chinese Mushrooms
100 grams Button Mushrooms
2 Deboned Chicken Thigh Meat (diced)

Seasonings
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 tbsp Light Soya Sauce
1 tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
5 tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine (花雕酒)
2 tsp Sugar
White Pepper

Directions
1. Rinse and drain the uncooked rice. Cook the rice in rice cooker using 3 cups of water. 


2. Soak the chinese sausages and dried chinese mushrooms in hot water for 2-3 mins. 

3. Remove the casing of the sausages and sliced it. Once the chinese mushrooms are soft, removed the centre stalk before slicing it. 


4. In a large bowl, marinate all the ingredients (chicken, both types of mushrooms, sausages) with oyster sauce, light soya sauce sauce, dark soya sauce, chinese cooking wine, sugar and white pepper. 


5. In a saucepan (with some garlic), stir fry the marinated ingredients over medium heat until the chicken is semi-cooked. Do not over cook the chicken. 




6.  When the rice is cooked, transfer the semi-cooked ingredient to the top of the rice and let the rice cook for a second time. 



7. Before serving, stir and mix the rice and ingredient together. Make sure that the contents are well-stirred. You may add some additional dark soya sauce upon stirring to achieve your desired colour preference. 







Wednesday, 7 May 2014

#22 - Bak Kwa (Barbecued Pork Jerky) Sandwich


I know that I ought to be kicked for totally neglecting this site of mine. To be totally honest, I have not been doing much baking / cooking for the past 4 months at all. Yes, I am aware of that. As much as I would like to, I just can't seem to find the right time / mood recently (excuses!). I guess I am displaying my talent for procrastination to my best ability, once again. This is really a bad habit that I must kick (soon).

Anyway, I met up with Mum last week for a short lunch and as usual, she came with loads of goodies for her am-very-fat-daughter, Your Truly. Out of the many goodies, this has got to my hubby's favourite - Bak Kwa! I am not such a great fan for Bak Kwa since it is more like a CNY treat for my family. But rather than having Mr. Lim munching on the Bak Kwa plainly (not to mention, after dinner!), I decided to save them for making some breakfast sandwich for the man instead.

These are the two versions which I am sharing today. One slightly more elaborated than the other, but both as tasty!

This is what Mrs. Lim (That's me!) had for breakfast this morning! Healthy and Yummy! 

And this is what Mr. Lim brought to work as his breakfast! 
Extra Bak Kwa at the side for his to munch on! 


I just could not resist and had to take two (not one)  HUGE bites!


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Servings
3 Sandwiches

Ingredients
6 slices of Wholemeal White Bread 
2 eggs 
Butterhead Lettuce
2 slices of Cheddar Cheese
Japanese Mayonnaise 

Directions
1. Using a saucepan over medium heat, fry the eggs (sunny side up or over-easy, according to your desired preference). 


2. When the egg is almost done, place the slices of lightly-buttered bread on the hot saucepan. Toast it for 2-3 minutes and you will get a lightly brown crisp bread. 




3. Wash and pat dry the Butterhead Lettuce. Place the lettuce on one slice of bread before adding a slice of Bak Kwa on top of the lettuce. If you would like to, you may heat up the Bak Kwa slightly before assembling the sandwich.


4. Add the fry egg and a slice of cheddar cheese on top. The heat from the egg will ensure the cheese melts a little before serving. 



5. Top with more lettuce, Japanese Mayonnaise and lastly, a slice of bread. 



And then, you have it! A perfectly simply and yummy sandwich to be packed for breakfast or even a on-the-go lunch! Add in some fruits and MORE Bak Kwa and you have it!



#P/S: For the simplified version, simply omit the use of egg and cheese in Step 4 and you have it! Equally tasty! 







Wednesday, 1 January 2014

#21 - Salted Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips





Happy New Year to one and all!! It is the start of a brand new year for all of us and I'm pretty sure it is going to be a splendid year ahead. Other than growing a year older, I am pretty excited to get the year started! 

Personally, 2013 has been a really great year for me. I finally took a step towards my own vision of how I wanted my life to be like (personal as well as work wise) and with the support of my love ones, everything has turned out just right! 2013 has also allowed me to spend more time with my family and friends. This is so important to me now, especially when my brother is out of the country. In terms of work, I have found the stability I needed and I am loving every minute of my teaching time now. The past year has also allowed me to bond with these new students of mine on a different level and I'm so proud to say that I have done my very best to coach each and everyone of them at their differing learning levels and to add on to my pride, all my students did well for their examinations. Kudos to them for their hard work and perseverance. They have proven to me that I have made the right choice and it is all worth it. 

Carrying forward the positive energy from 2013, I hope 2014 is going to be filled with good health, sweet happiness and so much love from your love ones! Let us all count our blessings from 2013 and welcome the joy that 2014 will be bringing us. 



At Mrs Minty Cream, what better way is there than to start off our 2014 with a lovely post on my latest baked goodies, Salted Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips. For those of you who are familiar with oatmeal cookies, you will know that many of the recipes involved the addition of raisins. While I agree that the texture of the oatmeal and raisins do complement each other very well, I did not want to do that as both my hubby and myself aren't great fans of raisins. Furthermore, since I have some butterscotch morsels left over from making my Butterscotch Molten Lava Cake with Chantilly Cream last week, I decided to make these Oatmeal Scotchies. I have also added in some chocolate chips to make the cookies more flavourful and at the same time, I added a touch of sea salt to the cookies which in my opinion, was the icing on the cake! The contracting flavour in the salt and the sweetness from the morsels/chips was a great combination. Hubby and I love these cookies so much! Trust me, you will have to make these to share with your family to show them some love today. You just have to do it! 









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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
Make approximately 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 and 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Cinnamon
198g Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Fine Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Oats
1 Cup Butterscotch morsels
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 190C.

2. Prepare 2 large baking trays and line them with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Combined the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Sift this flour mixture and set it aside. 

4. In a bowl, cream together butter with both sugar until light and fluffy. Do this for at least 2 to 3 minutes to ensure a good mix.

5. Add egg and vanilla extract into the mixture and beat until smooth. 

6. Add in the flour mixture (in Step 3) 1/3 portion at a time and mix well to combine.

7. Add the oats, butterscotch morsels and chocolate chips to the batter and use a spatula to mix well. Ensure that all the ingredients are well-incorporated.

8. Use a small ice-cream scoop to divide the dough into small portions (ball-shaped) and place them on the baking trays. Ensure that they are at least 3 cm apart from one another. Flatten the top of each small cookie dough with the back of a teaspoon lightly. 

9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies start to turn light golden brown. Allows the cookies to cool on the baking trays for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Before serving, sprinkle the top of each cookie with a few flakes of salt. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

#20 - Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken


When we first moved into our own house, I always thought that the first recipe I was going to try out in the kitchen is going to be a perfectly oven-roasted chicken. Somehow, it seemed to me that it is only right (and simple enough) that a oven-roasted chicken is to be the first dish coming out of the newly bought oven and right onto the dinner table for our first Christmas dinner in our own home. Pity, this did not happen in our case. 

2 years had passed and it finally stuck me the other day that I have not tried roasting any poultry using the oven yet! How can I let that be the case? Finally, a couple of Sundays ago, I decided to give the 'Roast Chicken with Lemon & Herbs' recipe a try. As usual, I made some small changes to the original recipe and the chicken turned out really well! 

Personally, I feel that this dish is great for beginner cooks like myself, with minimal ingredients and attention required. This time round, I even tried to cook the roasted potatoes together with the chicken (and some bacon as well) but it turned out that the potatoes were kind of overly done. Though the potatoes tasted great but I wouldn't advise anyone eating too much of them due to the burned skin. Not that good for health, you see? In fact, the next time I try this recipe, I would probably cook the roasted potatoes and vegetables separately as there will be plenty of time to do so while waiting for the chicken to cook in the oven. Most importantly, add plenty of lemon, garlic and rosemary! They impart a light and soft scent to the meat. They are such an excellent combination! 

 

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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
Serve 2 to 4 persons

Ingredients
1 whole Chicken
2 tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped
3tbsp Butter, room temperature
2 cloves Garlic, grated
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
Salt
Pepper
1 whole head Garlic, halved 
1 Lemon, halved

Roasted Potatoes
4 large Potatoes
10 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
2 tbsp Rosemary
4 slices of Bacon, fried and chopped
Salt
Pepper
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 200C and drizzle roasting dish with some olive oil. Set the roasting dish aside for later use.

2. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry it with kitchen towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (including the cavity) and set aside on a large plate for later use. 

3. Wash, dried and cut the potatoes into large chunks, depending on size of potatoes (about 8 to 12 pieces per potatoes) and place them in the roasting dish together with the garlic cloves and pieces of bacon. You may also add in sliced onions or vegetables if you prefer. 

4. Add the chopped rosemary to the roasting dish as well and season them with salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss everything together in the roasting dish to ensure the seasoning is well spread out.

5. In a small bowl, add the finely chopped rosemary to the soft butter. 

6. Using a grater, grate 2 cloves of garlic and add the grated garlic to the butter mixture in Step (5). Also add in the zest of 1 lemon. Season this mixture with salt and pepper. Using a spoon, make sure that this mixture is well mixed together. 

7. Rub 3/4 of the butter mixture under the skin of the chicken, between the breast and the skin of the chicken. Massage well to ensure that the butter mixture is evenly spread out. Rub the remaining 1/4 of the butter mixture all over the chicken. Drizzle the lemon juice of 1 lemon over the chicken. 

8. Cut the remaining lemon and garlic into half and stuff them inside the cavity of the chicken. Also add in some rosemary inside the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs together either using kitchen string or aluminium foil. 

9. Place the chicken in the roasting dish, making sure that the chicken wings are tucked under the chicken itself. Sprinkle some salt and pepper evenly over the top of the chicken. 

10. Bake for 45 minutes, baste and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the juice of the chicken comes out clear after cutting a slit at the chicken thigh. 

11. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover it with aluminium foil for 15 minutes before carving. 

Take note 
(1) Take chicken out of fridge at least 1 hour before roasting it. 
(2) Use fresh chicken instead of frozen chicken. 
(3) If roasting potatoes together with the chicken, check on the potatoes after 30 to 45 minutes. Once the potatoes are done (dark-coloured), remove them from the roasting dish before continuing to roast the chicken. This is to ensure that the potatoes will not be burnt. Alternatively, cook roasted potatoes / vegetables separately. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

#19 - Lemon Mint Granita


I saw this recipe at the back of a magazine which I read every month. Lemon & Basil Granita! Basically granita is a Italian frozen dessert which is related to Italian ice and sorbet. It is not as compact as the sorbet but still provides that cooling kick you need on a hot afternoon.

The recipe I chanced upon looked simple enough for me to give it a try and so, it was bookmarked. But then again, me being me, I just couldn't be contented with following the recipe alone and I had to give it a little spin of my own. Decided to replace basil with mint (and you wonder why this site is named as mrsMINTYcream?) and since I have these gorgeous mangoes sitting in my pantry, I decided to add them to my Lemon-Mint Granita. I don't believe there's anyone out there who doesn't like some sweet and gorgeous fruits to go with some good old citrus like lemon and lime. 

The end product was somewhat like a combination of ice-jelly cocktail and ice-kachang (minus the sugary syrup). Go make some granita and keep it in the freezer just because it is so versatile and can simply goes well with just about anything! 

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Ingredients
Handful of fresh Mint Leaves (about 50 leaves)
4cups of Water
3 tbsp Fine Sugar
4 Lemons, juiced 
1 Lime, juiced and zested

Mixed Fruits
1 Mango
30g Blueberries
1 Yellow Kiwi
1 Green Kiwi
1 Peach


Directions
1. Wash and dry fresh mint leaves. Using a food processor or a blender, pulse the mint leaves until they are mostly pureed. Set aside for later use.

2. Boil the water and sugar to make a syrup. Stir well to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Combined and lemon juice with the lime juice. Stir in the zest of one lime into the mixture.

4. Add the mint leaves puree to the lemon-lime juice mixture and stir. Once combined, also add in the sugar syrup and taste. Adjust the mixture to the level of sweetness you desired by adding in more sugar if needed. 

5. Pour the mixture into a freezable container and freeze for at least 4-5 hours. After every 1-2 hours, remove from freezer and flake it using a fork.

6. While waiting for the granita to freeze, prepare the fruits. Wash and diced all the fruits. If you do not have fresh fruits, you may also use canned fruits (without the canned syrup). 

7. Place the fruits at the bottom of a serving cup/mug/bowl. Top with the lemon-mint granita and mint leaves, then serve.