Teriyaki Chicken puff pastry pizza

As much as I love pizza, tell me any pizza recipe that requires a rolling pin and I’ll probably respond with an eye roll. Tell me I have to let the dough rise for an hour after a long day of work and I’ll probably say, “Nope, not happening.” The truth is… an amateur chef with a full-time job can’t afford spending two hours on making her dinner!

Are you looking for yummy and instant pizza recipes just like me? If yes, you have come to the right place. This recipe needs no kneading or rising time. You can make this pizza in less than the amount of time it would take for pizza delivery. Voilà, dinner is ready!


Ingredients:

1 sheet store-bought puff pastry, thawed

1 cup chicken (diced and seasoned with salt and pepper)

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon finely chopped spring onions

Teriyaki sauce

1 Tablespoon sake

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius. Place defrosted sheet of puff pastry onto the parchment.
  2. Sauté chicken slightly, for 2min, under medium heat.
  3. Combine Teriyaki sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add the teriyaki sauce to the chicken, cook until the sauce is thickened and glossy, stirring occasionally, for around another 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the sauce.
  5. Spread the teriyaki sauce onto the puff pastry, leaving a ½ ” border around the edges.
  6. Distribute chicken evenly over teriyaki sauce then top with shredded mozzarella.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and just beginning to brown and the pastry crust is golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before sprinkling with chopped spring onions.

 

Baked Oysters with Miso-Mayonnaise

I am a real party animal, house parties, to be exact. Nothing beats sharing hearty laughs and intimate conversation with your closest friends in a cozy environment. The truth is, I approach house parties with the same mix of excitement and apprehension you might feel before a first date—what if my home looks messy? What if I get an elaborate menu planned, and then they cancel at the last minute? And obviously you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard… To ease off the pressure of hosting a house party, every hostess should have a few quick, easy recipes up her sleeve for any event on the calendar.

Made this very simple dish with the leftover miso from last week, this serves as a great snack or party appetizer, taking next to no time or effort to do. Add this dish to your arsenal and you won’t regret it, I promise!

dsc_0551


Ingredients:

½ Dozen oysters

¼ Onion (minced)

1 cup Japanese mayonnaise

1 tablespoon miso

1 teaspoon butter

Paprika (for garnishing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the miso and mayonnaise into a smooth paste; set aside.
  3. Heat up butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, sauté the minced onion until they turn transparent.
  4. Divide the onion evenly into shells and top off thickly with the miso-mayonnaise mixture, make sure to completely cover everything in the shell with the mixture.
  5. Place oysters in the oven on the top rack and bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be a nice dark brown when done.
  6. Remove oysters from the oven, garnish with paprika and serve!

 

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

The dish sounds like something you can find in the menu of some fancy restaurants. By deglazing the pan with a combination of chicken stock, cream and a little bit of whisky… everyone can turn those pan drippings into a fantastic sauce, no culinary school degree required!

DSC_0429DSC_0434


Ingredients
2 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4 inches thick)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 apples and onions, cut into wedges
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whisky
8 small fresh thyme sprigs

Methods:
1. Preheat oven to 240°C. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
2. Add apples and onion to skillet; cook until browned. Remove from skillet
3. Add broth to skillet, stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Whisk together cream and mustard; add to skillet, cook and stir constantly, cook for 2 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in bourbon. Add pork, turning to coat, and top with apples, onions, and thyme.
6. Bake at 240°C for 15 minutes or until liquid is just beginning to bubble. Let stand in skillet 5 minutes before serving.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

Happy Easter everyone! To me, Easter means more than just chocolate eggs, it also signifies the start of spring. While I am busy updating my wardrobe with all the pastel-color items. My slumbering taste buds also tingle in anticipation of the fresh new flavors of the approaching season. Lighter dishes for brighter days- it’s time to bid farewell to all the hearty soup and stew!

Chicken cordon bleu is possibly the most famous “French” chicken recipe in the world when, in fact, it is not historically connected to France. Chicken cordon bleu was an American creation in the mid-20th century. Only its name, which means “blue ribbon” in French, can be traced to France. In a typical chicken cordon bleu recipe, ham and cheese are rolled up inside a chicken breast and fried until crispy. For this lighter version, the whole thing is baked until the outside is crispy and the cheese inside becomes oozy. The chicken remains très délicieux despite a modest amount of oil used, and it pairs well with a tangy salad!

DSC_0155.jpg


Ingredients (2 serving):
2 chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
2 thin slices prosciutto
2 slices of Emmental cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions”
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Lay the chicken thigh between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
3) Remove the top sheet of plastic, lay 1 slice of prosciutto over the top of the chicken then add a slice of cheese over.
4) Tuck in the sides of the chicken and roll it up tightly inside the plastic wrap. Seal and twist both ends tightly to form a log. Repeat with remaining chicken. Put in refrigerator to set for 30min.
5) Season the flour with salt and pepper.
6) Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs.
7) In a small skillet, brown chicken in oil on all sides.
8) Carefully transfer the chicken to a baking dish. Add the melted butter on top of the chicken as it will help the crust brown.
9) Bake for 35 minutes until browned and cooked through.

­

Chicken and Creamy Dijon Linguine

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini.

Very few women I know today lead simple lives. Most of us are juggling multiple roles with work, family and friends, let alone all the work-out regimes and beauty routines. Whenever I catch up with my girlfriends and ask how they’re doing, the most common response is not “Fine, thanks!” but “Busy, really busy.”

Life gets busy, but that doesn’t mean we need to compromise the taste of our meal as a result! This rich and decadent Dijon cream sauce is very easy to make and it pairs well with chicken, pork and even fish and can be used to create many other great dishes. Exactly what we need for a busy mid-week dinner!

Chicken and Cream Dijon pasta


 

Ingredients:
200 gram linguine, cooked
2 boneless chicken cutlets (sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion (sliced)
1/2 cup of white wine
1 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp of chicken broth

­
Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat.
2. Add chicken and garlic; fry the chicken until completely cooked.
3. Remove chicken from pan.
4. Add onion to pan, salute until they turn transparent.
5. Add the white wine to the pan.
6. Simmer until the volume is reduced by half, then add the whipping cream, mustard and chicken broth.
7. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon.
8. Return Chicken to the sauce, and simmer for an additional 1 minutes.
9. Serve over cooked linguine.

­


 

 

Pan-seared Foie Gras with Fig and Balsamic Reduction

The rich flavor and the smooth creamy texture of the fat liver is just so delicate and heavenly that I find it very difficult to describe. To enhance the already excellent delicacy, I like to add some sweet, plump figs as the accompaniments, and balances its richness with the acidity of the balsamic reduction.

DSC_0032.jpg


Ingredients:
2 thick slabs of foie gras
5 figs, split into quarters (reserve one for plating)
1⁄4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:
For the fig and balsamic reduction
1) Combine all ingredients with 1/2 cup water in a saucepan.
2) Cover; bring to boil over high heat.
3) Reduce to a simmer, cook for 10 minutes or until fruit has broken down.

For the Foie Gras:
1) Season foie gras liberally on all sides with salt and pepper.
2) Heat a small skillet over high heat for at least 3 minutes.
3) Place foie gras in skillet, cook, swirling pan gently from time to time, until golden brown and crisp on first side, about 30 seconds.
4) Flip foie gras onto second side and cook for 30 second longer.
5) Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and let rest for 1 minute.

Salt Baked Chicken Wings with Rosemary

Salt baked chicken is one of the most classic dishes in the Hakka repertoire. The dish is both clever and flavorful. Traditionally it is made by sealing the chicken with a tight cocoon of lotus leaf or parchment paper, which is then baked in scorching coarse salt. Despite the fact that the bird is packed solidly in a thick layer of coarse salt as it cooks, it doesn’t get unbearably salty because the salt doesn’t penetrate the wrapping. The salt coat mainly serves to retain heat and cook the bird evenly.

This week I tried to remake the dish by giving it a western twist – the chicken wings were marinated with cayenne, garlic and lemon zest, before it was baked in my reliable Staub cocotte. The unique cooking method locks in all the flavors and bastes the bird in its very own essence, the chicken turned out juicy and succulent. And once the ceremonious unveiling began, herb-scented steam curled out of the parcel of goodness, filling the room with gratifying aromas. =)

­


Ingredients (serves 2):

8 chicken wings (mid-joint)

2 egg whites

500g rock salt

Marinade

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp cayenne powder

1 tbsp crushed black pepper

Zest from 2 lemons

2 sprigs rosemary (chopped)

­

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 250 deg C.

2) Wash chicken wings, pat dry. Mix with marinade.

3) Wrap the chicken wings with tin foil.

4) Whisk the egg whites until foams form. Add salt and mix well.

5) Line a French oven with tin foil. Spread a layer of salt mixture. Put in the chicken wing wrap and cover it with the remaining salt mixture.

6) Bake the whole French oven for 30mins. Do not cover up the French oven while baking, otherwise the salt mixture cannot be dried, making the chicken very salty.

7) Smash to remove the salt on the surface. Take out the chicken wings and serve!

8) Soak the French oven with hot water until the salt melt before washing.

­

Baked Camembert with Rosemary & Truffle oil

Trust me when I say, there is nothing more decadent than this rich, fragrant, creamy wooden box of gooey goodness. In this recipe, my favorite cheese is baked to a pouring consistency and is then served with crusty bread. It is the perfect way to end a long day at work or brace yourself for an afternoon of shopping in the cold. If…that is, it ever gets cold in Hong Kong!

baked camembert


Ingredients:
Camembert, in a box
1/2 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Few rosemary sprigs
2 tsp white wine
1 tsp honey
Drizzle of truffle oil
Pinch of freshly grind black pepper

Directions:
1) Remove the cheese from the fridge 1 hour before cooking, so that it can come to room temperature.
(otherwise it will take forever to cook)
2) Preheat the oven to 200C.
3) Remove any plastic packaging from the cheese and place back in its box, leaving the lid off.
4) Poke the garlic and rosemary into the holes, pour over the wine and honey, then grind over some black pepper.
5) Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the centre of the cheese is melted.
6) Remove from the oven and leave the Camembert to cool a little before drizzling with the truffle oil.
7) Serve the bread with the warm cheese for dipping.

Thai Red Curry with Duck and Lychees

You know you are a foodie when…
You try to hit every restaurant when it opens, and you have an opinion about all of them. You spend the lion’s share of your hard-earned salary dining out, drinking wine, and shopping at City super. You look up for good restaurants on the fork/ urbanspoon /opentable and mark your mealtime on the itinerary before you travel to a new city. You know what’s important in life, and it is all about saving your food quota for excellent things…

I guess foodie genes run in the family, I was born in a family that appreciates, or, more precisely- celebrates good food. Despite everyone’s busy schedule, we try hard to gather round dinner table to share a meal (and complain about work) at least every week. I have always believed in the power of food to magically create intimacy, conviviality and community. Weekly dinner with my parents is still a ritual that I hold dear and near to my heart after I got married and moved out. Returning home for familiar dishes that I enjoyed as a kid makes me feel connected to the family. Just like any master home cook, my mother rarely uses recipe. Very different from my obsessive, strictly regimented method of cooking, she cooks everything from memory. In my mother’s kitchen, there are no scales, no measurements, yet no mistakes.

She’s never really taught me how to make her signature curry, but here’s my version.

curry duck 1 curry duck 2


Ingredients:
2 duck legs
2 tbsp light brown sugar
6 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1/2 can coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce
50ml of water + 100ml of chicken stock
4 lime leaves
6 cherry tomatoes halved
half can of lychees

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Pierce the duck’s skin all over with a toothpick. (This step allows a well-crisped skin!)
3. Pan-fry the duck legs in an ovenproof pan on low heat for 10-15 mins, turning once, until coloured all over.
4. Remove duck leg from the pan. Add the sugar to the duck fat in the pan and cook until caramelised, then add the curry paste and cook for few mins until fragrant.
5. Stir in the coconut milk, chicken stock and water. Simmer until everything is combined
6. Add the fish sauce, tomatoes and lime leaves.
7. Slip in the duck legs, cover the pan and cook in the oven for 1½ hrs until the duck is tender.
8. Cooked uncovered in the oven for an extra 30mins.
9. Place the pan back on the heat, add the lychee and simmer for 2 mins.

Crème brûlée au foie gras

Amélie Poulain cultive un goût particulier pour les tous petits plaisirs. Elle aime plonger sa main au plus profond d’un sac de grain… briser la croûte des crèmes brûlées avec la pointe de la petite cuillère… et faire des ricochets sur le Canal Saint-Martin…

Translate as: Amélie is simple; she has devoted herself to simple pleasures, such as cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon, going for walks in the Paris sunshine, skipping stones across St. Martin’s Canal…

cremebrulee

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain happens to be my favorite movie. It is a film so original, so funny, and so warm that it made my heart smile. It is heart-warming, not in the phony Hollywood movie sense; but in the sense of how good you feel when laughing with a dear, dear friend.

You may wonder what my favorite movie has to do with a cooking blog… Well, a memorable thing about Amélie is that she likes cracking the caramelized sugar crust on the top of crème brûlée with the back of a tiny spoon. Breaking into the top of crème brûlée truly is wonderful, from the sound of the cracking to the textural contrast between the thick, crusty sugar shell and the delicate, smooth custard underneath.

While I adore the classic crème brûlée, I’ve decided to be adventurous and create a savory version this time, as an homage to the lovely, curious lead character. The luscious foie gras complements the silky custard, with the sugar coat together they create a sublime contrast: each bite, crunchy and smooth, toasty and lush, is a revelation.

foie gras creme brulee

foie gras creme brulee too

Crème brûlée is an awesome canvas to let your imagination run wild. I have seen interesting variations made with coffee, lavender, ginger, parmesan cheese… Hope you all have fun with your food experiments! And by all means don’t be afraid of trying something new!

Ingredients

  • 150g duck foie gras (I use Rougie bloc de foie gras)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 15ml milk
  • 150g whipping cream
  • Half cup of white sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Direction

  1. Preheat the oven to 100 deg C.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cut the foie gras into pieces. Add the whipping cream.
  3. Add in milk and egg yolks.
  4. Season with salt, pepper.
  5. Combine with a hand mixer until the mixture is homogenous.
  6. Place the ramekins into a roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (this water bath with prevent cracks in the custard)
  7. Bake at 100°C for 40-45 minutes, until the mixture is softly set.

(Gently sway the ramekins and if the crème brûlées are ready, they will wobble a bit like a jelly in the middle. Don’t let them get too firm.)

  1. Lift the ramekins out of the roasting pan with oven gloves and allow them to cool at room temperature for 30min.
  2. Put in the fridge to cool completely, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Sift a generous amount of sugar evenly over custard. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.
  4. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.