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Kay's House of Treats: August 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lemon Garlic Chicken

There are some recipes that you just want to make at once. They make you forget about the list of chores that need to be completed, the tv shows that you could be watching, and instead you are standing in the kitchen with ingredients laid out on the counter.

This lemon garlic chicken was one such recipe for me. Instead of the Chinese styled lemon chicken, this is more of an Italian version where the chicken is first browned, then cooked with loads of garlic & spices to make this thick gravy that is just delicious served with spaghetti. Ideally you could serve rice with it, but I prefered the noodles. 
Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon Garlic Chicken
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs recipe.

  • 500 grams boneless chicken, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic (about 1 heads) garlic, peeled and smashed (I peel the garlic, put it in a clean plastic bag then use a meat mallet to smash it)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 3 to 4 peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock (1 chicken cube dissolved in 1 1/4 cup of water)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3-4 green chillies, whole 
  • 450 grams egg noodles or spaghetti 
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Spring Onions or Cilantro/Dhania - for garnish

  1. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle the chicken with the flour and mix it together. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep aside.
  3. Keeping the heat on medium-high, add chopped onions to the pan and cook till light brown. Add the smashed up garlic, red chilli flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, peppercorns and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock and browned chicken back to the pan. Bring the mixture to boil, then turn heat to simmer. Cover pan with lid, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid, and cook for about 5 minutes till the gravy is to the consistency you prefer. If you want thick gravy, then add cornflour dissolved in water to thicken it. 
  4. Deep fry garlic cloves in a small frying pan or tempering pan (baghar pan) till light golden & crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cut the top of the green chili's, take out the seeds from the top, and then shallow fry green onions till blistered. Drain on paper towels again. 
  5. Cook the noodles till al dente (timing specified on packet). Drain well, and toss in a large bowl with the butter & parsley. Sprinkle some of the parsley on top for garnish. Keep the water to boil for the noodles when starting to brown the chicken. The noodles should be added when the chicken is on simmer so both chicken & noodles are ready at the same time for the optimal temperature. 
  6. Top chicken with fried garlic & chili's. Another option for garnish is to use sliced spring onions or dhaniya/cilantro. 
  7. Serve lemon garlic chicken with noodles on the side. 
Lemon Garlic Chicken with Egg Noodles

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe

Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe - The ambiance & decor
Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe: Visited this quaint little eatery a few weeks ago. Even from outside, Vintage makes quite an impact with the beautiful yellow door, and once you enter, the decor takes you right to the Victorian era.

For more details about the place, and the menu on offer, please check out my review published at Dawn.com

Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe - A classic cafe with a modern twist 
Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe - The food & desserts on offer
Contact Details:

Vintage - Facebook Page

25C, Khayaban-e-Seher, Off Saba Avenue, Phase 6, DHA, Karachi, Pakistan

021-35341722 - 03218957066

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Salted Caramel Custard & a Belated Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak - Family togetherness with delicious food
Belated Eid Mubarak everyone! Whether you celebrated it simply or in a much more festive manner, I hope it was spent in the midst of family & friends. That is what Eid is all about - family & togetherness. 

I remember as a child, Eid was about new clothes, the delicious food, and of course the Eidi. Getting all dressed up with matching shoes & churiyaan (bangles); going from one house to another to meet relatives & discussing where we would get the yummiest treats; collecting Eidi in little purses, counting it up and then comparing who had gotten the most. 

As an adult, things remain the same but my perception has changed. I still get new clothes, but I try to make sure the less fortunate around me have Eid clothes too; I don't throw a fuss if there's a tailor mishap or if I don't have matching shoes. It's still about the food, but its about appreciating the love & care that someone went through to make a favourite dish for their nieces/nephews. It's about trying new things & complimenting each other instead of being a critic. Lastly, the Eidi. It's not about the monetary amount anymore, but a token which reminds me that while I might be an adult, I am still a little girl in front of the my family who loves me.

There is nothing traditional about the dessert that I am sharing today but its a new Eid trend that I started a few years back. My mom is a brilliant cook in the family (MashAllah) and I hope to someday be as good as her (InshAllah). But ever since I discovered this food passion of mine, I have taken over making desserts for family parties. The response has been brilliant (Alhamdullillah) with the family looking forward to my desserts so much so that every year, I try to outdo myself. So multiple desserts & over the top desserts & staying up half the night is another new habit. But it's all worth it when I start taking away the dessert dishes, and I realize there's nothing left :) 

Salted Caramel Custard

Salted Caramel Custard

Adapted from Bon Appetit 

Assembly: Can be assembled in a large glass bowl or in small glasses/round bowls for individual servings. Assembly should be done before serving or at 1-2 hours before serving so that the biscuit crust doesn't get soggy.
Make-ahead: Salted Caramel can be made ahead by least a week and refrigerated, the custard can be made a day earlier.  


Cookie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup finely ground/crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (Used Oreo's - about 2 rolls)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Caramel Custard
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (or 2 teaspoon vanilla essence)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Whipped Cream
  • about 1/2 cup cold fresh dairy cream (tetra-pak can be substituted but it will not whip up properly)
  • 2 teaspoons fine granulated sugar
Salted Caramel Custard - The different layers

Cookie Crust:
  1. Mix cookie crumbs, salt, and butter in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of the cookie mixture for garnish. 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornflour until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 3 cups of milk until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a steel bowl whisk egg yolks on medium speed using a hand mixer for about 3 minutes. 
  4. To make the caramel, stir the brown sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat, and cook without stirring until a thermometer reads 210 – 220 degrees F (100 degrees C) . The mixture will reduce a bit, and it will become a thick syrup similar to normal caramel. Remove from heat.
  5. With mixer on low speed, gradually whisk in the hot milk, then the cornflour mixture into the eggs. Don't mix it altogether because otherwise the eggs will cook & curdle. Slowly whisk in the caramel. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat, until the mixture thickens (coats back of a spoon) and a thermometer registers 175 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in the butter, vanilla essence, and salt. Pour through a sieve/muslin cloth to make it more smooth & silky.
  6. Cover and chill custard for 4 to 5 hours. 

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Place cream in a small bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Set aside.
  2. Stir sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until deep amber color forms, 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Gradually add vanilla cream (mixture will bubble vigorously so be careful). Whisk over medium heat until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and salt. 
  5. If any crystals/hard sugar has formed, stir the caramel over very low heat until the hardened pieces melt and the sauce becomes smooth. 
  6. Strain into a heatproof bowl. Let cool slightly.
Whipped Cream

  1. In a bowl whisk cream and sugar with a hand mixer on high until soft peaks form.
  1. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of a large glass bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Spoon 1/2 of the salted caramel sauce over caramel custard/pudding and top with lightly whipped cream. 
  3. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs & drizzle of salted caramel (about 2 tablespoon). Make sure it is chilled before serving. 
  4. The salted caramel custard can be made in a big glass bowl or individual glasses/bowls as well. 

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