Adam Liaw’s Lemon Chicken!!

IMG_1633

Yay! finally have the computer back!

When I was little and we went out for a special dinner it was always Chinese food. Especially if I went out with my Grandparents. As I got older we started to expand our taste in Asian foods (probably as more became available) to Thai, Japanese, Malaysian Korean etc.

When I say Chinese, I mean Westernized Cantonese food which is prolific in Australia, in every shopping center food court and local take away shop. Things like lemon and honey chicken, special  fried rice, fried dim sims and sweet and sour pork.

We now have really high quality Cantonese and other regional Chinese food available, but sometimes, I still crave my lemon chicken and special fried rice. I got some the other day from the local take away. It was a DISAPPOINTMENT! The chicken was dry and the sauce tasted like lemon cordial. Yuk. I wasted so many calories!

Then I was flicking through the July issue of the Australian Women Weekly and it featured a lemon chicken recipe by Adam Liaw (winner of the of second series of Australian Master Chef). So I had a go at making my own. It was YUMMY. I was a scared of frying at home, I usually avoid it, but the chicken was tender and crisp! The sauce was beautifully lemony and balanced! Give it a go…

Ingredients:

400g Chicken breast

2 egg whites

oil of choice, to shallow fry

1/2 cup of corn flour ( he recommends water-chestnut flour if you can get it)

white rice to serve

Marinade

1 tbs of light soy sauce

1/4 tsp of sesame oil

1/4 tsp of sea salt flakes

1 tbs of Shaoxiang wine (Chinese cooking wine, it you can’t find this use dry sherry)

Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup of caster sugar

1/4 cup of white vinegar

zest and juice of one lemon

1/2 cup of chicken stock

2 tsp of cornflour or arrowroot

1 small julienned carrot

3 green onions, julienned

Steps.

1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish.

2. Between two sheets of plastic wrap, beat chicken softly to a uniform thickness of 1.5 to 2 cm. Place in dish with marinade, coat well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

IMG_1622

3. Heat 2 cm of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Beat the egg whites until fluid and frothy. Dip chicken in egg white, then into flour. Fry for 3 -4 minutes or until golden. Turn and fry for a further 3 minutes or until brown and cooked through. Drain chicken on paper towel. Repeat with remaining chicken, be careful not to over crowd the pan, as this will drop the temperature and result in soggy oily chicken.

IMG_1621IMG_1623

Sauce

Combine sugar, vinegar, zest, juice and stock in a pot over  medium heat. Bring to a simmer stirring, to dissolve sugar. Mix the arrowroot or corn flour with a little cold water and stir into the sauce. Cook stirring for about one minute, or until clear and glossy. Add the carrot and onion, cook to 30 secs to soften.

IMG_1618IMG_1620

To Serve

Slice chicken into 2.5 cm strips. Arrange on plate, scatter with some chopped green onion, serve with rice and sauce.

IMG_1625

Txx

McDougall Winery – Mildura

I had the pleasure of spending a Sunday afternoon here!

On a Sunday afternoon the winery offers live music (on the afternoon it was blues artist Rusty Bonnit, lol), and a lovely setting to enjoy some drinks and simple food.

Having lived in Mildura, I felt like you are having a drink at the back of someones fruit block, it is homely, kitsch, and quirky.

Tables are outside, and a mix and match of old dinning tables. They are all under vines, which would be beautiful in summer. There are a few pot belly stoves around to keep everyone warm.

IMG_1756IMG_1755IMG_1760IMG_1757

It’s also a great place to take kids, there is an old yellow school bus to play on, a few bits of junior place equipment and a friendly dog named Sally wandering around.

IMG_1780IMG_1778IMG_1774IMG_1768

There also other old things lying around to have a look at, including cars, old farm machinery and even an old piano.

IMG_1770IMG_1765IMG_1767

Wines are offered by the glass or bottle, and you can get beer, spirits, soft drink as well.

IMG_1762IMG_1761

There is a small menu of shared platters and simple traditional pizzas.

The platters were generous, and the breads that can with,  were yummy!

IMG_1764IMG_1763

Pizzas were also good, with some interesting toppings such as beetroot and beef, and also the classics like Margarita and Hawaiian for the kids.

IMG_1782IMG_1781

Keep in mind this is not a restaurant, its fairly relaxed, and you go and order and pay at the bar as you go, go when you have a few hours to spend with friends.

Here is a link to there facebook page https://www.facebook.com/McDougallWines

McDougall Wines on Urbanspoon

Sunraysia Farmer’s Market

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while. I have had laptop and back problems!

I’m currently away in Mildura, and this is a short post about the farmers market that is ran here.

Mildura is a region in Victoria that has traditionally been associated with citrus, dried fruit and  wine production, which has grown extensively in the last 20 years or so. More recently it has become a gourmets paradise with fine restaurants, olive oil production, Murray river pink salt and beautiful boutique fruits and vegetables becoming available.

Monthly, a Farmers market is ran on the lawns opposite the river. Volunteers also put on a great breakfast full of local seasonal produce. We got the big breakfast for $12, which consisted of a poached egg, bacon, sausage, toast, orange and read roasted beetroot, greens in a bechamel sauce, fritatta and mushrooms.

IMG_1720IMG_1717IMG_1715

Also  on offer beautiful Robinvale estate olive oil and vinegar to add to you breakfast for free, and a selection of pink Murray river salt and homemade preserves  made by stall holders to add to you breakfast. this is a great opportunity to try some of the products available at the market.

IMG_1719IMG_1716

Also available is freshly squeezed orange juice and good coffee from the Grinders van.

IMG_1726IMG_1718

Unfortunately, it was FREEEZING when we went down ,so I didn’t get many photos of the stalls as we left after a quick lap of the market of get out of the cold. They has many stalls selling oils, preserves, baked goods, local meat and many other products.

IMG_1727IMG_1725IMG_1724

It’s also in a beautiful setting.

IMG_1722

Lily demonstrating how cold it was!

IMG_1728IMG_1721

If you find yourself in Mildura and the market is on, it’s really worth going down for a delicious breakfast and  to sample what is available locally.

Tx

Bacon and Egg Filo Pie – with Onion Jam

IMG_1579

I was really craving bacon and egg pie. Although, filo is lighter than other pastries this is NOT a lighter recipe.

It does contain lots of yummy things though, eggs, bacon, cheese and onion!

The filo and use of a loaf pan makes for easy assembly of the pie.

It can be served hot or cold, and can make a good breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner dish.

I found this recipe on the website of the TV show everyday gourmet http://www.everydaygourmet.tv/recipes/352.

In this version, I added the onion jam I posted previously https://teagzteagz.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img_1542.jpg , and used some mayonnaise in place of the sour cream, as I forgot to buy it. I would recommend using the sour cream, the mayonnaise made it a little to rich. I also didn’t use any fresh  herbs, but the chives used in the original recipes or parsley would be lovely.

To make this healthier, use less and leaner bacon, or ham, or replace bacon with some spinach or tomato. You could also use low fat cheese and reduce the amount.

IMG_1493

Ingredients:

50g butter, melted
7 sheets of thick filo pastry
9 pieces of thin streaky bacon
10 eggs
Salt and pepper
200g cheddar, grated
50g mayonnaise

1 portion of onion jam
Juice and zest of ½ lemon

Steps.

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C. Grease the bottom of a loaf tin and line with one sheet of filo pastry, allowing excess pastry to runoff the edges. Repeat 5 times, lightly brushing each time with the melted butter.

2.Fry the bacon until golden brown, drain.

IMG_1497

3. Place three pieces of the bacon in the filo lined tin. Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with salt pepper. Whisk, just to break up the egg yolks. Pour half of this mixture into tin, followed by another three pieces of bacon.

IMG_1506

IMG_1509

 

4. In another bowl combine  cheddar, mayonnaise and lemon. Place on top of bacon, top with the onion jam and then add the remaining egg mixture. Finish with the last three pieces of bacon. Cover with the remaining buttered filo pastry and seal by crimping the edges to form a pie. Brush with a little butter.

IMG_1511

 

5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.

IMG_1512

 

IMG_1516

Healthyish Carrot Cake Muffins!

IMG_1577

After seeing a flour free version of Carrot Cake in the winter Donna Hay Magazine, I’ve been dreaming about carrot cakes with creamy, fluffy, sweet cream cheese icing.

But as I’m trying to eat well, I had to find a healthier version, and potion controlled!

I found this  un -iced version by Generation Y foodie, http://www.generationyfoodie.com/2013/03/skinny-carrot-cake-muffins.html. 

I made some changes as follows:

  • Replaced some of the wholemeal flour with almond meal, which is what really attached me to the Donna Hay version.
  • Reduced the flour a little
  • Increased the rising agents
  • Added more spice (I love spices in cakes, it makes it seem sweeter) but add to your taste.
  • Used 1/2 a cup of dark brown sugar
  • Used Greek yogurt instead of Apple sauce
  • Used 1/2 cup of rice bran oil
  • Left out the other nuts
  • Made an icing

I really liked the muffins. Like Y generations, these Muffins are not overly sweet, if you prefer things sweet I would recommend adding more sugar to the mix and icing!

The carrots and almond made the texture lovely, soft and moist and they kept well in the fridge for 4 days!

IMG_1576

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cups of wholemeal  flour
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp of ginger
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1/4 cup skim milk approx.
  • 2 cup shredded carrots (approx 4-5 carrots, peeled and shredded)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened raisins

Icing

1 tub of extra light spreadable Philadelphia cream cheese

1 tbs of lemon jucie

Sweetener of your choice to taste (icing sugar results in the best texture, I used granulated stevia to cut back on the sugar).

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

2. Sift flours, meal, spices, salt, baking powder and soda (add any meal left from the wholemeal flour), into a bowl. Add raisins to the dry ingredients.

IMG_1524IMG_1525

3. In another bowl mix eggs, milk, oil,  vanilla and yogurt.

4. Add the wet ingredients to dry, mix. Add the carrots and mix well. Add milk until you reach the right consistency.

IMG_1527IMG_1530

5. Fill muffin cases 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 -25 minutes.

IMG_1533IMG_1537

6. Cool completely.

7. Mix icing ingredients in a bowl. Spread in muffins using a butter knife.

IMG_1545

If you choose not to ice the cakes they will keep in an airtight container, however refrigerate if iced.

IMG_1548

Delicious, not totally healthy but not that bad for you either!

Maggie Beers Roast Pork Loin and Apple Sauce and Roast Potatos

IMG_1543

I really like watching Maggie Beer cook, however, I rarely make any of her recipes. I think because they often involve verjuice or some ‘other harder than usual to find ingredient’, that I would have to make a special trip to purchase.

I love that she showcases local and seasonal produce.

IMG_1465IMG_1467

But when I saw this one on the latest season of Masterchef, I had to give it a go. It was a real ‘Sunday lunch’ or special ‘Family dinner’ recipe.

I didn’t have verjuice, so I used apple cider vinegar in the apple sauce and left it out pouring it over the pork. I also didn’t make the cavolo nero, but served it with some steamed zucchini

I won’t re-write the recipe here, here is the link to the Masterchef recipe. http://www.masterchef.com.au/recipes/berkshire-pork-loin-with-cavolo-nero-and-apple-sauce.htm

This was not a complete success, as I didn’t have time to let the pork ‘dry’ overnight, I left it for about five hours, and the pork was already scored, but not at the 1cm intervals suggested. So, only part of my pork skin turned into beautiful crackling :(.

IMG_1473IMG_1474

The use of apples and grapes was wonderful with the pork, and as always with Maggie’s recipes, it really uses the best of season produce. This is a good apple sauce recipe, using a beurre noisette really deepens the flavors.

IMG_1475IMG_1472IMG_1466

I will include my recipe for crispy roast potatoes here.

IMG_1477

Serves 4.

6 medium Kestrel Potatoes (or any good roasting potatoes)

IMG_1457

salt and pepper

I clove of garlic minced

1 tbs of melted butter

1 tbs of olive oil.

1.  Preheat oven to 180c. Halve the potatoes. Add the potatoes to cold salted water in a large saucepan. Heat on high, bring to the boil and boil for about 10 minutes. You  want the potatoes to be partially cooked, but not falling apart. Drain and allow to steam dry in a colander.

2. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in bowl.

3. When cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut diagonal lines in the top of the potatoes, repeat in the opposite direction to create a cross hatch pattern. Do not cut all the way through.

IMG_1462

4. Place potatoes, on a lines baking tray. Using a basting brush, paint the potatoes with the butter mixture.

IMG_1463

5. Cook in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Give her method of getting the perfect crackling a go,  and let me know how it turns out.

IMG_1478

Caramelised onion jam

IMG_1542

This is a very versatile condiment. I made here to add to a bacon and egg pie that I will post in a few days, but it will make any burger, steak, tart, hot dog, sandwich or meaty dish extra special.

Cool it, and mix through some sour cream or cream cheese for a homemade french onion dip.

This is not a a true jam, so it does not have a long self life. If you put it in a airtight container it should last up to 5 days in the fridge.

I have used and halved the is recipe from taste.com http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/25885/caramelised+onion+jam, but halved the recipe,

Ingredients:

half a tbs of good olive oil

300gs of brown onions

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tbs of dark brown sugar

1 tbs of balsamic vinegar

1. Heat oil in a small saucepan, on low heat.

2. Add the onions and thyme, cook stirring, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.

IMG_1494IMG_1498

3. Add  the sugar. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add  the vinegar and 1/2 cup cold water.

4. Increase heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thick.

Yum!