Posted in Chicken, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Quick and Easy, Sauces, spicy

Chinese Chicken Curry with noodles (quick and easy)

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Living in Turkey is great because of all the great produce available as well as the abundance of spices in the market. But sometimes we miss our favourites from back home, and one of mine is good old Chinese Takeaway Curry. So here is a quick and easy recipe For Chinese chicken curry with noodles that anyone can follow.

(All ingredients were found here in Turkey.)

You could also serve with fried rice (recipe on this site) instead of the noodles as an alternative. I find this recipe works best with pre-roasted chicken, so perfect for that left over chicken after a Sunday roast.  Also you can just use the curry sauce recipe for dipping your chips in while watching your favourite TV show.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 onions (roughly cut in slices)

1 green pepper (thinly sliced with seeds removed)

1 red pepper (thinly sliced with seeds removed)

A handful of mushrooms (sliced)

Some chopped papaya or pineapple

Cooked chicken pieces from a roasted chicken

Olive Oil (for frying)

Chinese curry sauce (recipe below)

Egg fried noodles (4 squares)

Bean sprouts (optional)

 

Method

 Fry the onions in a little olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons) for a few minutes then add the peppers and mushrooms. Fry for about another 5 minutes or until they start to turn golden, then add the curry sauce (see below for sauce recipe).

Allow to simmer for a few minutes, then add the cooked chicken pieces and papaya (or pineapple). The fruit is optional but adds sweetness. Simmer over a low heat for about another 5 – 10 minutes.

Place the noodles and beansprouts (if using) in some boiling water and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft.

Strain the noodles and lay in the bottom of a bowl.  Spoon the chicken over the top and drizzle with extra sauce.

***For the Chinese Curry Sauce

Ingredients

3 chicken stock cubes

1½ pints boiling water

3 tablespoons cornflour (mixed with sufficient cold water to make a paste)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

½ teaspoon ground ginger (or fresh grated ginger)

¼ teaspoon mild chilli powder (can use hot chilli powder if you prefer a kick)

2 teaspoons mild curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

In a large jug, mix stock cubes with boiling water and stir until they have dissolved. Add cornflour paste and stir until thick.

Stir in the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Add five spice powder, ground ginger, chilli powder and curry powder. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

It is now ready to be used as a base sauce for curry.  Or you can use alone for dipping chips in.

 

 

 

Posted in Chicken, Fish, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Quick and Easy, Rice, spicy

Tina’s Special Fried Rice

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I love cooking fried rice dishes as they are quick and easy and great for using up all those left overs from the previous day, but it can also be cooked fresh on the day.  Cold cooked rice is the best (to avoid it becoming a sticky mess), so you can either use leftover rice that has been kept in the fridge, or cook your rice on the day, earlier than your planned meal (see Early prep stage).

The joy of this recipe is that you can adapt it to your personal preferences very easily by adding or omitting several ingredients as you wish.  For example; you don’t eat meat, don’t add chicken.  You hate mushrooms, add grated carrots instead, or even try beef or lamb instead of chicken.  The possibilities are numerous. Let me know how you get on.

Ingredients

Early Prep stage

1-2 Chicken breasts

1-2 cups of jasmine rice (uncooked measurement)**

½ cup of black rice (uncooked measurement)

Olive oil

Chicken stock cube

a pinch of salt

*Double amount cups of water to jasmine rice used

Remaining ingredients

1-2 tbsps olive oil (or sesame oil if you can find)

1 onion (finely chopped)

2 spring onions (finely chopped)

2-3 red and green peppers (finely chopped)

A handful of mushrooms (finely chopped)

1 clove of garlic (crushed)

A handful of peas (cooked – I used tinned ones)

400g of prawns (make sure completely defrosted if using frozen)

2 eggs (beaten)

1-2 tsps of Chinese Five Spice

1 tbsp oyster sauce

Hot chilli sauce (optional)

Method

Early Prep stage

Cooking white rice

Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan and one chicken stock cube. Heat over a medium heat for 30 seconds before adding the jasmine rice. Stir the rice around in the oil for a couple of minutes, adding a pinch of salt.  Add the required amount of water* and gently stir.  Place the lid on the pan, turn the heat down to the lowest point and allow to cook until all the water has been absorbed or the rice is cooked. (approx 25-30 minutes)

Cooking black rice

Boil approximately a litre of water in the kettle.  Place the black rice in a saucepan, add the water and boil over a low heat until cooked.  **Black rice usually takes a bit longer to cook than white rice.  Strain any excess water and allow to cool.

Cooking the chicken

Place the chicken breast(s) in enough cold water to cover them and cook on the hob over a low heat until cooked through.  Remove from the water, allow to cool then cut into small cubes.

                            ***Keep chicken and rice in the fridge once cooled until needed***

 

Cooking your fried rice dish

You need to put a large, clean bowl next to your cooker.

Place about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a wok over a medium heat. Toss in the onions, spring onions and peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a few minutes more.  Remove from the wok and place in the clean bowl.

Without cleaning the wok, add a little more oil and fry the prawns until cooked. Add the prawns to the bowl along with the onion mixture.

Now once again add a little more oil and fry the egg mixture.  Add to the bowl.

Put the oyster sauce and the Chinese five spice in the wok along with the jasmine rice.  Stir continuously over a medium/high heat.

Add the black rice, cooked chicken and peas. Now add all the other ingredients from the bowl and mix well for a few minutes more.

You can add hot chilli sauce, salt and pepper as you prefer.

Serve immediately in large bowls.

Additional information

*1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water

**Alternatively use left over cooked rice from the day before

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Cheese, Italian Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, spicy, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Pizza

pizza

My favourite cuisine is definitely Italian and No 1 is Pizza… Here is a recipe to make the pizza dough, which should be enough for 4 small or 2 medium sized pizzas if  you like thin and crispy bases as we do.

Ingredients for the pizza dough

1 pkt dried yeast

1 1/4 cups of warm water

4 cups of flour

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp of sugar or honey

1/4 cup of milk

pinch of salt

Method for the pizza dough

Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the dried yeast in it, stir and wait for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, put the flour in large bowl, make a well in the centre, and add the olive oil, sugar or honey, milk and salt.

Add the yeast mixture to the bowl of flour and gently mix with a fork then form into a ball with your hands.

Flour a clean surface and place the ball of dough on top.

 **The dough will be very sticky, this is normal as more flour will be added during the kneading process.

Sprinkle more flour over the dough and start kneading, using your knuckles to push out as much air as possible.  I generally knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour to the surface/dough as needed to stop it from sticking.

Form dough into a ball shape and place in a large glass bowl.  It needs to be large as the dough will rise while it is proofing. Brush some olive oil over the top, this stops it from drying out and cracking. Cover the bowl with cling film (stretch film) and leave for at least an hour to proof.

Remove from bowl onto a floured surface and knead for another minute.  Break into 2 or 4 even balls (depending on size of pizzas you are making. and using a rolling pin roll them out to desired thickness.

Place on grease-proof paper on a baking tray. Fold around the edges to form a rim. If desired you can egg-wash the rim and sprinkle sesame seeds around the edges.

Ingredients for the pizza sauce

2 or 3 heaped tbsps tomato pureé

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp olive oil

A little water

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Method for the pizza sauce

Mix the tomato pureé, basil and olive oil in a small bowl.  Slowly add water until you have a smooth sauce, not too thin and runny.  There is nothing I hate more than tomato puree just being slapped straight on pizza dough.

Spread the sauce using the back of a spoon over the dough.

Decorate

Cover your pizza with grated cheese then decorate with desired toppings. Here are a few suggestions;

red and green peppers,

pepperoni,

tuna and sweetcorn,

ham and pineapple,

chicken…

…there are many more, it’s up to you.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 200 °c for 12 – 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and topping is golden.  You can switch to grill for last couple of minutes but be careful as the pizza can burn very quickly, and nobody likes burnt pizza!!

Suggestions

You can also make garlic bread, and a variety of dips too…

 

Posted in Fish, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, spicy, Uncategorized

Hamsi Chilli Ramen – a Turkish twist to an Eastern Asian dish…

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We like anchovies, fried in the traditional Turkish way, and you generally buy them by the kilo meaning you end up eating them for days when there are only 2 of you.  So I came up with an alternative by using another favourite dish of ours, Chicken Ramen, an Eastern Asian dish, and substituted the chicken with the left over fried anchovies.  Then I changed the recipe a tiny bit more and this is what I created…

Ingredients

Fried Anchovies (amount depends on number of people)

1 boiled egg (per person)

1 square of dried Chinese egg noodles (per person)

Boiling water (for noodles)

1 tbsp Olive oil

100 g sliced mushrooms

1 litre fish stock (or chicken if you can’t find fish) (you may need extra  if more people)

4 tsps Thai red curry paste (2 for stock and 2 for sauce)

2 tsps hot chilli sauce

1 tsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 green and 1 red pepper (deseeded and chopped)

1 spring onion (sliced)

A bunch of fresh coriander

1 carrot (grated)

1 slice red onion (per person)

1 wedge of lemon (per person)

Fiery hot pepper (optional)

Preparation

Place noodles in a saucepan and cover with just enough boiling water to cover them.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes or until soft.  Set aside.

Fry the mushrooms in the olive oil for approximately 5 minutes or until cooked.

In a saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer the chicken stock and 2 tsps of the Thai red curry paste.

Now for the Ramen chilli sauce, mix the remaining 2 tsps of Thai red curry paste, the oyster sauce, chilli sauce and the sugar.

To serve

In a deep bowl put a spoon of Ramen chilli sauce in the bottom of the bowl. Spoon some noodles on top of the sauce then spoon in the broth.  Lay the spring onions, chopped peppers, grated carrot, fried mushrooms and the slice of red onion on top of the noodles.  Slice the boiled egg in half and lay this along with the fish, lemon, coriander and chilli pepper by the side of the other vegetables.  Salt and pepper as preferred.

It may sound complicated, but most of the effort is spent in arranging the food in the bowl.

Notes

If you are a lover of spicy food, feel free to add more Thai red curry paste and hot chilli sauce.

As I said, I used leftover fried anchovies.  If making from scratch then, anchovies were cleaned, sliced in half, placed belly to belly then coated in flour and fried on either side until golden.