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One-pot Meals

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Shrimp and Turkey Ham Jambalaya

Wanted to do another round of clearing up the freezer and larder. I found my stash of turkey ham and happily about half a liter of homemade shrimp stock in the freezer, and there was a can of whole peeled tomatoes in the larder. Dug through my fridge and found all the necessary ingredients for this jambalaya recipe by Emeril Lagasse, so this was what we had for lunch today.

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Molo (Filipino Dumpling) Soup

I generally cannot refuse dumplings of any variety, be it steamed, fried, boiled, served as dim sum or in soup, just name it. Dumplings are simply the best comfort food for me, especially served in steaming bowls of hot soup on cold rainy days.

Found out about molo, a Filipino dumpling soup dish, from a colleague. Coincidentally Kak’mbang also stumbled upon the recipe for it on YouTube, specifically the one by LittleChef Asia.

My version of the recipe of course uses chicken instead of pork, and I’ve also written it to include making the chicken stock/broth from scratch.

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Ramadan Cooking: Nasi Daging

It’s Ramadan, and the Movement Control Order (MCO) is in effect resulting in the surge of home cooks, so there are tons of yummy looking recipes flying around on the Internet.

The Bestie shared this Nasi Daging (beef rice) recipe from daridapur.com, and it looked simply amazing. I’ve had nasi daging several times in the past, but there was always something missing. The rice was not flavorful enough, or the beef was too tough… basically I was never blown away by what I sampled, no matter how yummy nasi daging sounded conceptually as a dish.

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Wonton Noodle Soup

I love dumplings, and I love noodles in soup. To me at least, they are the ultimate comfort food. Now when both are combined into a single, yummy dish, that just takes it to the next level. Imagine a gloomy, rainy night, tucking in a large steaming bowl of soupy noodles topped with wontons bursting with flavor. Absolutely perfect.

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Smoked Chicken and Cheese Chowder

It’s strangely hard for me to find turkey ham of late. Chicken toast is everywhere, but turkey… not so much. I went to the usual places like B.I.G. and Cold Storage near my house and they are always out of stock. So I reached out to Merv, whom I can always count on for bulk supplies of stuff. Merv definitely delivered; a 3-kg loaf of smoked turkey roll. Now I have enough to add to easily 10 different recipes, and then some. Haha!

I also had a block of Velveeta cheese waiting to be used. I originally intended to make enchiladas with it, but that just didn’t happen so here we are. In the end I used the turkey ham and Velveeta for this interesting looking chowder recipe I found on Taste of Home.

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Weekend Cooking: Sausage Meatballs with Gravy

This was a recipe I made a long, long time ago for Hari Raya celebrations, and at the point of time I haven’t started blogging my culinary exploits just yet. The recipe is from Emeril’s Potluck, and as you probably can imagine, this makes a potluck-sized batch.

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Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Made a few more soups for Mummy to try.  A few ingredients I recently tried were tomato, which was yummy but too light, and corn which was too heavy.  Since Mummy liked the lentil soup I made I figured other types of beans would also make decent soups with the right amount of heartiness, and since I had canned chickpeas in the larder this became my next ingredient of choice.

This Moroccan Chickpea Soup turned out nicely.  I loved the spices which gave it a more ‘exotic’ Mediterranean flavor; cinnamon, cumin and paprika.  There’s also something about tender beans in rich tomato based broth which feels so comforting.  Mummy loved it, so this recipe is now in our soup rotation.

Based on the recipe by Dave Lieberman, with my own modifications.

Next experiment: minestrone, perhaps?

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Ramadan Cooking: Eman’s Chicken Mandy

It’s the last weekend of Ramadan. Gosh, time really flies.  I wanted to make Chef Wan’s briyani gam with chicken kuzi, but I was missing a few ingredients and I’ll only be going to the market tomorrow.  Since I’ll also be eating out tomorrow, if I wanted to make something, tonight was my only window of opportunity to do so.  I decided on Eman’s chicken mandy, which I’ve been meaning to try for quite some time now.

I fell behind schedule and ended up rushing to have it ready for buka puasa, so this time I skipped the smoking process and completely forgot the fried onion and cilantro garnish.  Flavour-wise I think this was great, and the rice to water ratio was pretty spot on.  The original recipe called for saffron coloring which was supposed to give the chicken a nice reddish tone, but since I don’t have any on hand and have no idea where to get it, I’m thinking of using smoked paprika next time.

Will definitely make this again.

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Ramadan Cooking: Karnataka-style Chicken Briyani

Last Ramadan I was binging on Middle Eastern recipes, but this year I stumbled upon this YouTube channel called Get Curried and was intrigued by their selection of Indian recipes.  At first I wanted to try their butter chicken, but it’s the weekend and I should do something fancier and Mom also suggested I try making briyani.

This isn’t like the briyani I’m used to here in Malaysia.  The video says this is a style specific to the Karnataka state of India, and even then looking at the comments there are a bunch of Karnatakans claiming that theirs is more authentic than the rest, so I can’t comment on that.  Nonetheless the mixture of flavors from the yoghurt, cilantro and mint, and the heat from the cili padi was really interesting and yummy, and I loved how the rice turned out nicely moist without being mushy.

I found the planning stage most exciting when making this.  I started off by mixing the saffron milk, then prepped the ingredients for the green paste.  After marinating the chicken I set a small pot of water on the stove, and prepped the rest of the ingredients while the potatoes were boiling.  I soaked the rice, then put the pot of water for the rice on the stove, and started on the gravy while waiting for the water come to a boil, which would take about as much time as required for soaking the rice.  By the time it was time to add the chicken to the pot, the chicken has been marinating for an hour as planned.  So all the tasks were timed quite nicely and the dish was ready 10 minutes before it was time to break fast.  It was a lot of fun for me.

Do try this out, whenever you’re feeling like a different style of briyani.

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Weekend Cooking: Paella

Tesco had some good shrimp and mussels in stock, and I really wanted to take my lovely Le Creuset casserole (thanks Tiff!) for a spin, so I decided to try making and perfecting a paella recipe.

I’ve made this twice now, but am still not fully satisfied with the results.  The first time I felt that the meats were not adequately seasoned and there was just way too much rice.  The second time, I used a bit too much liquid so the rice turned out a bit mushy.  Flavor-wise I think the rice was nice, but I really need to get the rice to liquid ratio right.

The following recipe has been tweaked with my notes on what I’d do differently next time.  From the base recipe I added a few more herbs to the stock mixture, and salt the chicken and shrimp a little for a bit more flavor.  I found using beef bacon resulted in a less salty dish and additional salt might be required, so I tried smoked chicken breast and it gave a nice smoky taste to the dish.  I also chopped my onions and bell peppers using a food processor, for a finer cut as well as to save me a lot of time. I’d use a spicier sausage next time, though, for a bit more kick.  Italian just tastes too herby and mild for me.

Try it out!

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