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Kay's House of Treats: December 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

My favorite thing to eat at restaurants here is usually what is termed as "chicken steak" with some sort of cream sauce termed as originating from a foreign country ranging from Morocco, Egypt, Spain or even Sicily. Real food connoisseurs find this a bit scandalizing because well steak is steak and there's no such thing as a 'chicken' steak; what is termed as chicken steak is actually a grilled breast fillet. However, please note there is a cut of beef which is known as chicken steak; its taken from the top of the shoulder of the animal and is considered the second most tender cut of meat.Who knew? Food terminology is just confusing at times.

Ignoring how the dish is named, restaurants in Pakistan have been pretty innovative in serving up fusion food with a combination of Western style of cooking combined with Eastern spices so that the food is not too bland.  Of course, some places do a really great and are pretty popular, and then there are ideas like the Chapli Kebab Pizza and the Masala Pizza which are pretty much a miss.

So this time, I wanted to try something like that at home, grilled chicken with some sort of sauce, and then served with 2-3 sides; went through a lot of recipes and finally decided on a major adaption of grilled chicken with mustard cream sauce from the Pioneer Woman. Best thing about this recipe, other than the fabulous taste was that since the fillets were added back into the sauce in the end, they remained warm for serving. Otherwise I never like grilling chicken, since I have to stand by the stove doing the grilling so that it gets to the table hot.

4 whole boneless chicken breasts
For marinade: Salt & Pepper & Minced Garlic 
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 cup chicken stock
1.5 tbsp Horseradish Mustard (Dijon mustard should work as well, but I didn't have it at home)
1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 cup cream
1/8 - 1/4 cup milk (Or chicken stock)
Red Chili Flakes - 1/2 tsp 
Salt & Pepper, to taste (1/2 tsp of each)

Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that you have eight smaller and thinner chicken cutlets. Rub a bit of garlic, salt & pepper both sides and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook cutlets on both sides until nice and golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and keep on a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic to the pan and saute it for a minute, stirring to make sure it won't burn. Next pour in the chicken stock and let it cook for a few minutes till it starts bubbling.Add the two types of mustards and stir to make sure its combined properly then pour in the cream. 

Stir in 2-3 tbsp of milk (or chicken stock), adding more if the sauce seems too thick. Add salt, pepper and red chili flakes. Taste sauce and adjust spices if required. Add chicken breasts (along with the leftover juice) back to the pan, coating them with the sauce. Allow sauce to cook for another few minutes, shaking the pan if needed to move things around.

Make sure the chicken breasts are warmed through, then take them out and serve pouring the sauce over them. 
Serve them with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or oven baked wedges (recipe coming soon)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baked Potato

So this isn't really the most appealing photo, but taste-wise the potatoes were scrumptious. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and topped with a quick dip of garlic mayo and chili paste, they were the perfect side to the main dish of grilled chicken steak that I made (recipe coming soon). 

Along with mashed potatoes, these have now become my favorite way of cooking potatoes as a side. 

Large Potatoes - 2
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Topping - Chili Paste + Garlic Mayo Sauce
Topping Variations:
Butter & Salt & Pepper
Sour Cream with Herbs
Cheddar Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Wash and scrub the potatoes and then rub with olive oil. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each potato in aluminium foil and place on the oven grill directly (middle shelf). Bake for 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the potatoes meets no resistance. Slice the potato down the center and fluff the insides of each potato with a fork. Top with garlic mayo mixed with chili sauce.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

New York Cheese Cake

And I am back .... I was busy travelling due to office work for about a week, first to Lahore and then to Singapore; was initially really excited about the travel because I was like great, once I get done with the official work, I will be able to do some sightseeing and probably try out new cuisines and get ingredients in the meanwhile. But what wishful thinking that turned out to be; thanks to the weird temperature change in Karachi, I fell sick which basically majorly ruined the domestic travel, and ensured that I was so tired and sleepy for the Singapore travel that it was all I could do to maintain my energy level for the training that I was attending. Once I was back in the city, all my friends are like so how was the trip? It must have been so much fun, but honestly, while the trip wasn't boring or anything, but with office work from 9:00 - 6:00 pm combined with after work socialization from 6:30 - 10:30 is definitely not a relaxing trip. I am really glad I have this weekend to recuperate and also get back to my blogging and cooking/baking schedule.

To start off, one of my favorite recipes - Baked New York Cheesecake. I love baking desserts, and I have experimented a lot and keep trying out new things, but I have never tried cheesecake because cream cheese is usually so expensive that I was always worried about something going wrong and all that cheese going to waste. Finally managed to get some cream cheese on sale and made this a few weeks ago and it was just one of the best desserts ever. So easy to make, and the taste was just so much better than what you get at a store. All that you need is some sauce to drizzle over the cheesecake to make it even more delicious.

New York Cheese Cake
Ingredients for Crust:
15 graham crackers, crushed (Substitute McVites Digestive biscuits in Pakistan)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Ingredients for Filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (It has to be softened, so before adding the sugar, mash it up with a fork; it becomes softer and creamier and its easier to add the sugar and beat both ingredients together) - the best brand is Philadelphia cream cheese, but Kiri can be substituted though the flavor will be slightly different 
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream (substitute 1 cup greek yoghurt or strain yoghurt in a muslin cloth till water is drained and yogurt is thick) 
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Note: The above quantity makes a lot of cheesecake filling, and it can easily be halved to make two separate cheesecakes, or one medium sized cheesecake. 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Put two layers of aluminium foil around the bottom spring foam pan in order to ensure there is no leakage.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of spring form pan. These can be pre-baked for 5-10 minutes for a crisper crust.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Don't over-beat otherwise it might crack.
4. Pour water in a roasting pan and make sure it is big enough to put the springfoam pan inside. Put the cheesecake batter in the water bath and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 1 to 2 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours until serving.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicken Chili Dry

Even though I am a big fan of Chinese food, I rarely make it since it just requires too much of effort; from the variety of dishes needed, to the vegetable cutting to the actual frying. It's just much more simpler to order from outside especially with the rise in affordable delivery places in Karachi which offer both Desi & Authentic Chinese based on the craving at the moment. This is the first time I made Chicken Chili Dry, basically because I had about 200 grams of chicken left over that I needed to finish and this was the recommendation I got. Since it was only 3 people at home that day, I thought it would be like a nice side-dish. 
Simple & easy to make, probably will add a few chili seeds next time, since it wasn't so spicy; more vegetables could be added but the beauty of the dish is keeping it simple with just 1-2 veggies in small quantities to give it some crunch and yet retain the authentic Chili Chicken flavor. 

Chicken Chili Dry
(Enough for 2 people)

Chicken boneless sliced - 200 grams
For Marination

Salt - 1/2 tsp
Soya Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Corn Flour - 1 tbsp
Beaten Egg - 1/3rd 
Vinegar - 1/4 tsp
Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
For Stir-Fry
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce - 2 tbsp

Sugar -1 tsp
Vinegar - 1/2 tsp

Onion 2 cut in big square cubes
Chopped garlic 1 tbsp
Chopped ginger 1 tbsp

Green chilies 6 to 8 sliced diagonally
Baby Corn - 5 to 6 (One baby corn cut in 2-3 pieces) - This is optional but any other vegetable can easily be replaced depending on availability at home

Oil 2 tbsp

Marinate boneless chicken with all ingredients mentioned in marination for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken for 5 minutes and remove. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Add chopped ginger and garlic; saute it for a few minutes till slightly brown. Add fried chicken with onion, green chilies, salt, sugar, soya sauce & baby corn. Cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Make sure you mix everything properly. Serve with hot rice.