Blue and Yellow Kitchen

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Lemon Chicken


Got this recipe from Dorothy Ferreria's cookbook, volume 2. I saw a new cookbook in National Bookstore, by Dorothy Ferreria, but was disappointed that it's just a new release of her old cookbook recipes. I love the recipes from her cookbooks. I feel that they're well suited to the Pinoy tastebuds. I have tried many of her recipes, and not once have I encountered a palpak one.

I love lemon chicken. It's almost always the first dish I look for in Chinese restaurants, next to prawn salads. :0 For me, a lemon chicken dish is similar to a sweet and sour pork dish, although less common. Both have that sweet and sour taste that I like so much, and both go so well with Yang Chow fried rice. Mmmm... yum.

This lemon chicken recipe is not the typical lemon chicken dish you would expect to find in Chinese restaurants, where the sauces are bright yellow. Maybe the addition of soy sauce gave this dish's sauce a slightly dark yellow color. I prefer my sauce to be a bit on the sour side, so I added more pineapple juice until I was satisfied with it.

Ingredients:

1 kilo chicken breasts or thighs, skinned, deboned and cut into chunks.
1/2 c rock salt
oil for frying

Batter
1/2 c cornstarch
2 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 whole egg
2 cups water

Sauce
1/3 c granulated white sugar
1 1/2 t fine salt
1/4 c unsweetened pineapple uuice
2 T cornstarch
1 c water
1 t soy sauce
1 American lemon, washed and sliced thinly into rounds

Procedure:
1. Rub the chicken with salt, rinse and pat dry. Set aside. Heat about a cup of oil in a large frying pan. While waiting for the oil to heat up, prepare the batter.

2. To prepare the batter, combine the cornstarch, the flour, the egg and the water in a bowl. Mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Dip the chicken in the batter and fry over medium heat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels to blot out excess oil. Arrange the chicken pieces in a serving platter. Set aside.

3. For the sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until slightly thick. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the lemon slices.

Dorothy suggests serving the sauce separately to preserve the crispiness of the chicken. But I poured the sauce on top of the chicken immediately before serving.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Green Tea Cheesecake

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Liza has turned me into a green tea fanatic.

I have been obsessed with this flavor ever since. When we went to China, I would "oooh" and "aaaaah" over the green tea pastries and drinks they had. In fact, I bought green tea milk tea, green tea walnut biscuits, green tea mini snacks (like buchi but different texture). And if Starbucks' green tea frapuccino wasn't so darn expensive, not to mention fattening, I would probably be drinking it everyday.

So I was so happy to find this recipe in Food Magazine's April 2005 issue. It's by Dorothy Ferreria, one of my favorite chefs. It's a no-bake cheesecake, so it's an easy recipe. My comments are in red. :)
Ingredients:

For the crust:
6 T butter
3/4 C crushed chocolate-flavored graham biscuits

For the cheesecake:
1 1/2 t green tea powder
3/4 c water, divided
2 T unflavored gelatin
1 225 gram cream cheese
3 c all purpose cream
1/2 c white sugar
green food color (optional)

For the topping:
1/2 c all purpose cream, well chilled
2 T powdered sugar
bittersweet chocolate curls or shavings

Make the crust: Line the bottom of eight 3-inch stainless /PVC rings with foil. Line the sides with acetate film. Arrange prepared molders in a tray. Set aside.
I used only five 3-inch removable bottom pans. And with the crust recipe, I felt that the crust was too "wet." So I added around 4 tablespoons more. You can add in more (or less) if you want. Just make sure that the crust is still wet enough to hold together.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add crushed biscuits and blend well. Divide the mixture equally among the prepared molders. With back of a teaspoon, press the crust against the foil lining to form a solid crust for the bottom. Set aside.

Make the cheesecake: In a small saucepan, disperse green tea powder in water. Mix well and place over low heat until the powder blends with the water. Measure 1/2 c of the mixture and transfer to another saucepan. Stir in gelatin and allow granules to swell.
I couldn't taste the green tea flavor for the first batch I made, so I added more until I completely ruined the cheesecake mixture. For my 2nd batch, I used 1 1/2 tablespoons green tea powder and even steeped some green tea leaves in the green tea powder-water mixture. Still, the green tea taste wouldn't come out. I'm not sure if it was because the powder I used was a green tea powder with sugar type. I would suggest you use something stronger when you're making this.

Cook gelatin-green tea mixture over low heat until the gelatin dissolves completely, taking care that the mixture does not boil. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Pour in all-purpose cream and the sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour in the gelatin solution and continue to beat until blended. Enhance with green food color if desired.

Divide the mixture equally among the prepared molders. Freeze or chill until firm. When ready to serve, unmold the cheesecakes to a platter and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Make the topping: Beat all purpose cream and sugar until it somewhat doubles in volume. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip. Use to pipe topping on the cheesecake.

This is a good basic cheesecake recipe, and it's very simple to make. If you really want the green tea flavor to come out, use a stronger green tea.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Peaches and Cream Torte



This is a recipe I got from Dorothy Ferreria's first cookbook. It is the cake I make when I'm craving for something light, fruity and refreshing. The house is filled with the scent or fresh oranges after I take the cake out of the oven. I only wish I had doubled the recipe for the frosting, since I wanted more fillings between the cake layers. The cream cheese in the frosting adds zing to the cake. The slightly salty but creamy flavor of the cream cheese goes so well with the orange cake layers. I think you can also substitute mangoes for the peaches. I haven't tried it yet, but will post it when I do.

Ingredients:

Orange chiffon cake:

1 cup plus 2 T sifted cake flour
1/2 c granulated white sugar for egg yolks
1 1/2 t sifted baking powder
1/4 c corn oil
3 egg yolks
1/2 t pure orange extract
1/3 c water
1/2 t fine salt
1/2 c egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/4 c granulated white sugar for egg whites

Frosting:
1/2 of a 225 gram bar cream cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 c sifted powdered sugar
1/2 of an 822 gram-can sliced peaches in heavy syrup

Garnishing:
finely chopped walnuts
white chocolate leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of an 8 inch round cake pan, 3 inches high, with wax paper. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, corn oil, egg yolks, flavoring, water and salt. Beat with a wire whisk until smooth.

3. In another mixing bowl, pour in the egg whites and the cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to beat at medium speed. After adding all of the sugar, increase the speed of the mixer to the highest speed and continue to beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry.

4. Carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking pan and bake for at least 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in a wire rack in an upside down position. Unmold the cake from the pan and position it right side up n a cooling rack to cool completely.

6. To prepare the frosting, in a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. So as not to overwork you mixer, make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature before beating. Add the cream and the sugar and increase the speed of the mixer. Beat until it thickens and doubles in volume. (I learned from school that paddles are used for beating cream cheese and butter, while whisks are for eggs and cream. In this case, I switched from paddle to whisk before whipping the cream.)

7. Divide the cake horizontally into 3 or 4 equal layers, depending on how skilled you are with a finely serrated cake knife. Slice the peaches as thinly as possible. Spread some prepared frosting over the first layer of the cake. Top with sliced peaches. Place the second layer of cake over the first layer and again spread some prepared frosting and top with peaches. Continue in the same manner until all cake layers have been utilized.

8. Completely cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish the top surface of the cake with more peaches. Garnish the sides with finely chopped walnuts and white choclate leaves. Pipe out some frosting in the lower edge of the iced cake, if desired, for a dressed up look.

9. To prepare the white chocolate leaves, melt about 100 grams of white chocolate over low heat in a thick saucepan. Using a butter knife or metal spatula, spread some melted chocolate in the underside of washed and dried leaves such as rose, alugbati and dayap. Arrange the leaves in a plate and freeze briefly to set. Apply another coat of melted chocolate and freeze until the chocolates lose their sheen. Carefully peel off the real leaf from the chocolate leaf and use immediately for garnishing.

**SM's home department sells this gadget which helps me divide my cakes into horizontal layers beautifully. They come cheap (at less than P300 I think.

Happy eating!!

Beef stir-fry

 Posted by Hello


I was in the mood to cook last Sunday. I had grand thoughts of preparing a caldereta dish, the recipe of which I got from one magazine. Or tinolang manok. Or giniling with tofu. But I checked our freezer and we had no chicken or beef (for caldereta) left. We had a lot of sukiyaki cut beef though -- around 4 trays of them. Since I just wanted to cook that day, I just used whatever ingredients were available already. Plus, I needed to cook it quickly, since it was already quarter to 12pm by then. I originally wanted to use oyster sauce, but I felt that using char siu sauce would give the dish a different taste. Char siu sauce is the sauce used for the asado in Chinese restaurants. It's sweet and salty at the same time. I wanted to add in honey to the dish, but we didn't have any in our cupboard. You can add honey to this dish, which I think would go well with the char siu sauce.

This is a very easy to cook recipe, which needs minimum preparations. It can be topped on rice for dinner, or sandwiched between two wholewheat bread for lunch baon.

Ingredients:

1/2 onion, sliced into rings
1/4 kilo beef, sukiyaki cut
3-4 T Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce (adjust depending on your taste)
dash of chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil and saute onions until onions are translucent.

2. Add in beef and stir fry only until beef changes color.

3. Add in char siu sauce, chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

See, it's that easy. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Chicken and Sausage Stir-Fry


This is just one of the lutong-bahay recipes I'll be practicing from now on. I bought the ingredients for this dish two months ago, and it wasn't until last Friday that I was able to make it for dinner (:sheepish grin:). If you love Chinese sausages, then you'll love this dish.

My brother, who loves anything salty, thought the dish was too bland for his taste. He suggested frying the sausages first, before adding it in, to make the dish more flavorful.

Ingredients:
8 pieces chicken thighs (you can use whole chicken cut into serving parts)
1/4 cup rock salt
1/4 cup corn oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 to 2 T oyster sauce
1 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tsp pepper mill grind black pepper
1 cup water
2 to 3 pieces Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
3/4 cup sliced canned button mushrooms
3 cups bok choy (pechay Tagalog or Taiwan pechay), cut into 2-inch lengths
2 T cornstarch dispersed in 1/4 cup water

Procedure:
1. Rub the chicken with salt. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and the onions and saute until onions are transparent. Add chicken pieces and continue to cook until chicken changes color. Add oyster sauce, five-spice powder and black pepper. Pour in the water and the sliced sausages and let boil. Simmer until chicken is done. Add the mushrooms and the pechay Tagalog and continue to cook until the vegetables are done. Disperse cornstarch in water and add to the pan. Continue to cook just until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

It's been so long since I last posted something. I wasn't able to take good pictures of some of the viands I cooked, so I didn't bother posting them. I have been baking a lot of cookies though, for the cookie business that a friend and I are starting. It has been exhausting, working the whole day, then baking at night. But nothing beats the rush I get after the cookies are done. Especially when they come out moist and flavorful. :)

I have been so busy with work these last two weeks that I have hardly had time to bake anything. I just got home from a China trip, and I promised myself that I would bake two batches of cookies in order to meet the deadline I set with my partner. Well, half the week is almost over now, and I'm stuck here at home, down with fever and flu. I did consider baking even with my sick conditions, but decided against it, as I didn't want to spread the virus to our beloved taste testers!

Aside from that, Mike and I are tying the knot next year, as I posted in my other blog . Yay! So aside from the wedding preparations, I need to brush up on my culinary skills as well. I can't be baking cakes and pies for dinner every night. Hehe. I have to admit that I have never tried my hand at cooking Filipino dishes. Oh wait, I did try to make adobo during our stay in Canada. I didn't have a recipe for it, so I ended up with a different recipe instead, which I call Chicken with Caramelized Onions. I honestly did not know that making adobo does not require onions. The chicken dish tasted nothing like adobo, but it tasted good na din! A cross between chicken terriyaki and bistek Tagalog.

I need to do so many things. Develop cookie recipes. Practice more cooking and less baking. But I can't start because I'm sick! I'm taking erythromycin, and Mike said that one of the side effect of the drug is that you're hungry all the time. Now, I don't know if this is how other parents treat their sick children, but here in our household, when we are sick, we can't eat anything with oil in it. (Does this hold true for other parents as well? Enlighten me, please.) So, I am stuck eating oil-less foods like bread with pork floss, fruits, etc. Which is hard, since I'm craving for oily pizza, oily adobo, oily pasta all the time. :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Spaghetti ala Carbonara



Anything with cream in it, I like.

I just feel that everything tastes better with cream. Creamy soup, creamy pasta sauces, whipped cream in my frapuccino, cream frosting....YUM!

I have been wanting to try this recipe for the last few weeks. But laziness got the better of me so I postponed and delayed and postponed some more until one Sunday afternoon, I just couldn't stop craving for carbonara. Coincidentally, our maid prepared spaghetti noodles for that day. Yay! At least there are noodles ready.

This recipe is from Chef Gene's pasta class. I have to admit though, that this is one of the best carbonara recipes I have tried. And I have tried a lot!

Ingredients:

1 box (225 grams) spaghettie, cooked al dente
150 gm. pancetta, sliced (*use bacon if pancetta not available)
3 pcs. garlic, minced
2 cups heavy cream
3 pcs. eggs
3 pcs. eggyolks
1 c Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
salt
pinch nutmeg

Procedure:

1. Pan fry pancetta. Remove fried bits. In pancetta oil, brown minced garlic.

2. Add cream. Allow to boil then lower heat. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and eggyolks. Pour a little hot cream into egg mixture, and whisk back into pan. Mix for at least 30 seconds.

3. Remove from heat and add the cheese. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Toss into hot pasta. Serve at once.

Hope you like this as much as I did!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Caramel Mocha Cake

I have been craving for mocha cake for several days now. Was going through my cookbooks when I saw this recipe from Aurelia Yap's cookbook -- Caramel Mocha Cake. Mmmmm... sounds yummy. One problem though: c-a-r-a-m-e-l. There are two things I try to avoid when it comes to baking. One is sugar cooking. The other one is making puff pastry. But my cravings took over, and so I went ahead and baked the cake.

Cuisson de sucre -- one of the topics in school that I had never really paid attention to. When I try to make syrup though, there are two things I always keep in mind. First, never agitate the sugar. Second, always have a pastry brush ready, to brush around the sides of the saucepan while the sugar is boiling.

For some reason though, my sugar ended up looking like this:



The picture above was taken 30 minutes after I had been cooking my sugar. My sugar should have turned amber by then. For some reason though, the sugar crystallized. Still don't know why it did, as I had been very careful about it. After concluding that the sugar was ruined, I asked our maid to wash the saucepan. But she needed to reheat the pan because the sugar was already rock hard by then. After a few minutes, she came back and showed me the saucepan with syrupy amber sugar! Apparently, all it needed was a few more minutes of heating.

Here is the recipe for the caramel mocha cake:

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c cake flour
3 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3/4 c caster sugar
1/2 c cooking oil
7 egg yolks
1 T instant coffee
1/2 c hot water
2 T evaporated milk
2 T creme de cacao (I used Bailey's)
1 t vanilla
7 egg whites
1 t cream of tartar
3/4 c caster sugar

1. Into a bowl, combine and sift once the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

2. Make a well in the center, add cooking oil and egg yolks and coffee dissolved in the hot water.

3. Add evaporated milk, creme de cacao, vanilla. Blend well.

4. Beat egg whites together with cream of tartar, till light and fluffy then add remaining 3/4 c sugar.

5. Fold egg whites to the coffee batter mixture. Pour into a 9" x 13" x 2" pan.

6. Bake at 325 F for 50 minutes.

7. Invert. Let cool.

Caramel Icing

1/2 c caster sugar
1/4 c water
3/4 c caster sugar
6 T flour
1 can evaporated milk (use the big can)
2 yolks
1 t vanilla
1/4 c butter

1. Let boil the sugar and water until amber.

2. Combine the remaining 3/4 c of sugar with flour and add into the syrup.

3. Stir and add remaining milk.

4. Continue stirring until thick.

5. Add yolks.

**Turn off stove before adding vanilla and butter into the caramel frosting.

6. Continue stirring till well blended.

7. Frost cake immediately.

Some notes:
1. You can substitute regular sugar for caster sugar.
2. For the caramel icing, adding in the flour-sugar mixture to the amber resulted in some big time lumps! Suggestion -- add in the evaporated milk first before adding in the flour-sugar mixture for easier handling.
3. Add in evaporated milk slowly. The original recipe did not specify what size can of evaporated milk to use. So I did it by tancha. :)
4. Caramel frosting will be very sticky once cooled. So make sure to spread the frosting while it is still hot.

**Pictures to follow once I've resized them. :)