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Kay's House of Treats: May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Chicken Paprika Stroganoff

This is another recipe discovered quite by chance when I was looking for something to make for dinner - had  come across a recipe for chicken stroganoff which I was thinking of making and adapting to make it a little more flavorful - and then I came across this recipe which was basically exactly what I needed. It's spicy & flavorful, has a delicious sauce which is just brilliant with noodles, and the beautiful color from the paprika makes it stunning to look at. I always thought paprika to be a less spicy version of chilli powder only used for color, and I was so wrong - its got this subtle smoky spicy taste which just transformed this chicken to the next level. I even loved the chicken just on its own, so I am going to experiment with grilling it in the future to add in sandwiches, or to stirfry with noodles. 

Chicken Paprika Stroganoff (Serves 4-5 people)

Recipe: Adapted from Mel's Kitchen

  • 1/2 kg boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon paprika (to marinate) + 1 teaspoon (in sauce)
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli pepper (can be removed to reduce spice level) - 1 tsp to marinate chicken & 1 tsp in the sauce
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli flakes (can be reduced as per taste)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1 can white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth (1 Knorr chicken cube dissolved in 2 cups hot water)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cream + more to garnish 
  • Boiled spaghetti or egg noodles, for serving - 450 grams
  • Chopped Parsley, for garnish (substituted for dried)
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the vinegar, 2 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp red chilli powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top of the chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat until and hot. Make sure the pan is large enough since the sauce will also be cooked in the pan - alternatively, I cooked the chicken in a skillet and then made the sauce in a wok. The reason the skillet is better than a wok is because it has more surface area, and the chicken needs to be cooked in one layer so its properly browned which is why a skillet is better.
  3. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on each side. Cook the chicken in two batches if required, and add a little more oil when cooking the second batch. The chicken only needs to be browned at this stage - it will cook for more time in the sauce so it does not need to be completely cooked through. Once the chicken is browned, take it in a place and set aside.
  4. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, and add the chopped garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes till the garlic is lightly browned and then add the onions. Cook the onions for 1 minute, and then add mushrooms. Saute the mixture, and keep stirring occasionally till the onions are translucent and mushrooms are browned - its about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits from the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste, whisking to combine. Add the rest of the chicken broth and keep stirring.
  6. Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer the mixture over medium-low to medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5-6 minutes. The sauce will thicken due to the flour coating on the chicken. Add 1 tsp red chilli pepper, 1 tsp of paprika and 2 tsp of red chilli flakes (optional) and stir.
  7. Stir in the cream and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasonings if required (salt & spices). If the sauce is thin, then thicken using a cornflour + water mixture (1 tbsp cornflour with 2-3 tbsp of cold). Add the cornflour mixture into the simmering chicken & sauce and whisk to combine. Keep stirring till the sauce is thickened. 
  8. Garnish with cream and parsley.
  9.  Serve with noodles. Noodles and chicken can be served separately, or the chicken be served in a platter over noodles. 
  10. Comments: The chicken can also be served with rice, which is what I had the leftovers with the next day, however, noodles are better. Alternatively, it could also be served with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables.  

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Asian Themed Chicken Burger with Grilled Potatoes

This recipe came about after someone requested for a burger recipe - coincidently I was thawing chicken and deciding what to make for dinner and burgers seemed a great idea. I have never made burgers before so first I looked up a number of recipes online to understand the components, identified the flavors I wanted (something different from our typical kebab's and with a good spicy kick to it) and then combined it together. I am so glad my first attempt at making burgers was successful and the recipe turned out really delicious though of course, I will do some tweaking for next time :).

The filling/condiments of the burgers are just as important as the patty so I decided to do a make your own burger kind of setup - made some garlic mushrooms, cut up tomatoes & cucumbers and put all the condiments on the table. For condiments & even to add flavor to the patty, I have to recommend Chatkhaar sauces - its a gourmet line of sauces introduced by Naurus. Have tried the Piri Piri sauce & the Honey Mustard sauce and they are absolutely delicious - a complete different flavor from the usual sauces available in the market.

Asian Themed Chicken Burger
Side: Grilled Potatoes (Recipe given below) or Baked Potatoes 

Ingredients for Burger Patty 
  • 1/2 kg chicken mince (or 1/2 kg boneless chicken which can be put in a food processer to make mincemeat)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely sliced and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, very finely minced (or can be chopped up in a food processer)
  • Lemon Juice - about 2 tbsp (juice from one big lemon or 2 small lemons)
  • 1 green chilli - finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp Chatkhaar Portuguese Piri Piri Sauce (other similar chilli sauce can be used)
  • 1 tbsp Nando's Wild Herb Sauce 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic Mushrooms
    Chicken Burger Patties 

Ingredients (Others - Condiments & Filling) 
Note: This is as per personal preference along with what is available in the pantry
  • Lettuce 
  • 2 Tomatoes - sliced thinly
  • 1 Cucumber - sliced thinly
  • Garlic Mushrooms - Heat 1 tablespoon - add 1 tsp of garlic cloves or garlic paste. Add 1 can of  mushrooms (sliced thinly) along with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of red chilli flakes - saute for a few minutes till they are cooked (needs to be slightly brown on both sides)
  • Cheese Slices
  • Mayo/Chilli Sauce/Ketchup/Mustard/Butter to spread on the bun - as per your preference 
  • Toasted Burger Buns (my personal preference is to toast them in a skillet rather than a toaster)
  1. In a medium bowl, gently combine (with a fork, spatula or gently with your hands) the minced chicken along with the other ingredients for the burger patty. Make sure that you mix it properly so that everything is combined properly. Once the mixture is formed, I like to keep it in the fridge for about 30 minutes so that it becomes easier to handle. 
  2. Form the mixture into about 4-5 big patties or 8-9 small patties. As you can see from the pictures, I made about 8-9, the reason being that I had Dawn burger buns which hold well with big patties so it was better to make smaller patties. But obviously, it depends on personal preference. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub just a little bit of oil on both sides of the burger patty, and then cook them on the grill pan. Grill the burgers for about 3 minutes (smaller patties will take around 3 minutes but bigger patties will take about 5-6 minutes) on each side, making sure that they are nicely marked from the grill and firm to the touch.    
  3. Once the patties are cooked, you can start assembling the burgers. The best method of doing that is to put all the fillings and the condiments on a table along with the patties and the burger buns. That way, it becomes a 'make your own burger' style meal where everyone can just add condiments and fillings as per their specification. 
  4. On the sides with the burger, I had served grilled potatoes with salt & chilli flakes.
Note: You could also make the patties in a normal skillet, however, a grill pan is better.
Tip: Don’t press down on the patties or you will squeeze out and loose the flavorful juices. 

Recipe for Grilled Potatoes
1 kg potatoes (preferably small ones) - skins removed; cut in half 
Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a grill pan (medium-high heat) - add about half the potatoes cut side down and then add salt, black pepper and red chilli flakes (as per personal preference). Be careful as the heat will make the spices irritate your eyes. Let the potatoes cook for a few minutes cut side down till they become crisp and then turn them for a few minutes on each side till they become crisp. Once the first batch is done, then fry the second batch. Serve hot.
These potatoes can also be made in a skillet or baked in a oven, but just make sure they are cooked on each side properly so that they become crisp.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fudge Brownies - Guest Post

Hello everyone!

So for those who have been following my Facebook updates, they would know that today I am doing a guest post over at Mama, Baby & Diapers - a hilarious blog on the rantings of a MamaBaby aka AmmaJee, who is a self-proclaimed-super-mama-in-progress.

What I will be featuring is my favourite brownies recipe - the brownies are fudgey combined with just the right amount of chocolate flavor and they are ultra-moist. Best part – there is no chopping or melting of chocolate required which makes them so easy to make.

Please go to Mama, Baby & Diapers for the recipe.  

Also, these days, a lot of readers are not getting notifications and were asking me why I hadn't posted - I think it could probably be due to Facebook settings, so please like my page, and add me to your interest lists so that you get notifications.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

New York Pizza

The opening of 14th Street was the advent of the New York style Pizza in Karachi - basically pizza that is large, wide, thin, and foldable with a crispy base. Not that Pizza Hut or Domino's didn't offer thin crust pizza but it just didn't become as popular as when it was started by 14th street. Obviously, once the concept become popular, lots of other Pizza places started opening with some hits & misses. So far, the biggest hit in the concept (at least for me)is well, New York Pizza (quite aptly titled). I have to credit the discovery to my cousin since she was the one who made me order and I am so glad I did. The Pizza was huge (it's 21 inches so the biggest in Karachi) & delivered , piled high with delicious toppings (as you can notice) and it was delivered very hot right on time.

Going into detail - first of all, their service was really great - the order taker helped me out in explaining the menu properly & he didn't get irritated when I made him hold for a minute just to confirm the order with the rest of the family.

While ordering you first need to decide on the type of Pizza (New York Style or traditional) Size (for New York Style its a slice, half a pizza or full 21 inch pizza), then the topping (ordered the full pizza so had the option of choosing two flavors - choose New York Special & Chicken Fajita), then the sauce (its either Mild, Hot & Extra Hot - but its the same sauce for the entire pizza) then the vegetables (you have an option of choosing whichever vegetables you want with your preferred flavor) and then sidelines. I had gone for Combo 4 which was 21 inch Pizza and 1.5 litre drink for Rs. 1749 and it was more than enough for 4-5 people (5 girls with 1.5 slices each). 

Moving on to the Pizza itself - it came before the stipulated time - their delivery service is quite good because it has so far been delivered either on time or before. It was delivered quite hot and we just started eating the moment it came. Everyone loved the pizza especially the generous amounts of topping. The crust was thin & crisp and yet soft otherwise it feels like you are eating hard bread. What I found really delicious was that they stuff this white sauce or maybe cheese sauce in the edge of the crust. I don't particularly enjoy the edge of the pizza because it just tastes of bread and but this stuffed sauce made the end part really flavorsome. The entire family found the New York Special better than the Chicken Fajita - had more flavor and different kinds of smoked meat. Additionally they serve it with garlic butter and red chilli flakes.

All in all, a good experience leading New York Pizza to be so far, my preferred delivery place for Pizza.

Contact Details: 
Contact: 021-35350404, 0213-35350606, 021-35342868; 03325350606
Home delivery in DHA-Clifton (Karachi) only
New York Pizza - Facebook Page
Website: www.nyp.com.pk


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Chinese Food is one of my favourite cuisines - I love the different mix of flavors - sweet & sour & spicy, its light and yet filling, and best of all its so easy & simple to eat - the chicken is boneless, the vegetables are all chopped up and well, you usually eat it with a fork and a spoon since its either rice or noodles so no mess. But making it at home is well a completely different story - I rarely make it at home because well, there's just too much chopping required and one dish is rarely enough so making the rice then noodles then gravy is not so simple. I have pretty much switched to ordering from outside (review of some of my favourite Chinese outlets coming up soon) but there are some dishes that I love making at home. My quick Hot Garlic Fried Rice is well, the best way to use up leftover rice, and Chicken Chilli Dry & Chicken Chowmein

But other than these, another thing that I have to make at home is Sweet & Sour Chicken. I had never had Sweet & Sour Chicken till my cousins introduced it to me - it was one of their favourites and they would always order it at any new chinese restaurant that they tried. Not only did they love having it outside, but my Momani used to make a really really amazing version at home - and the reason that it stood out was that she used pineapple chunks and pineapple juice in the gravy. Most restaurants use sugar for the sweet part and vinegar for the sour part and well, that's not real sweet & sour chicken. You need to have the pineapple in the gravy to give it that tangy flavor - a little bit sour & a little bit sweet making it all taste absolutely delicious. 

Sweet & Sour Chicken
Recipe Credit - My Aunt 
1/2 kg Boneless Chicken - Cubed
Ginger Paste - 1/2 tbsp
Garlic Paste - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Egg - 1 
Soya Sauce - 1 tbsp
Vinegar - 1/2 tbsp
Corn Flour - 2 tbsp 
Flour - 2 tbsp 
Oil - as required
Sliced Ginger - 1 tsp
Garlic (chopped finely) - 1 tsp
Chopped Vegetables - 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 capsicum & 1/4 cup cabbage - you can also add baby corn or tomatoes as per your preference
Pineapple chunks - 1/2 tin (slice the chunks if they are too big)
Salt - 1.5 tsp 
Cornflour - 2 tbsp mixed with water
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Chilli Flakes - 1 tsp (optional) 
Sauce - Ingredients
Soya Sauce - 1/4 cup
Vinegar - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 5-6 tbsp
Ketchup - 1/4 cup
Pineapple Juice - juice remaining from tin (start by adding half a tin then adjust for taste)

Marinate with ginger-garlic paste, salt, soya sauce, vinegar & one egg. Leave for 30 minutes, then add cornflour and flour and mix well. Deep fry chicken pieces in oil and keep aside on a paper towel. 
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a deep wok. Add sliced ginger and garlic and saute till it turns light brown. Add chopped vegetables - start with adding onions and saute for 1-2 minutes, then add carrots and saute for a minute then capsicum and then cabbage in the end. After adding the vegetables, add pineapple chunks. Add chicken and mix together than add salt followed by the sauce. Add chilli powder or chilli flakes if you like spicy food. Cook for 2-3 minutes and taste the sauce and adjust seasonings if required. Add cornflour mixed with water to thicken sauce. 
Note: The picture shows the sauce to be a bit thin, but it should be a bit more thick - I realized later when I had taken it out of the pan otherwise 

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