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Thai Chicken Burgers

Thai Chicken Burgers

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This is a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe I have adapted to make it a little more healthy and to finish it off. These hamburgers are authentic Thai flavoured and really are delicious. Try them with some caramelised onions while you have the grill going. You can make these little babies in bulk too just freeze and you have a ready to go meal in minutes. If you are looking for something more exotic for your next BBQ rather than the usual sausages and steaks then try these Thai chicken burgers.

Ingredients

  • 1 1b. ground chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, very finely minced
  • 1 tsp. very finely minced red chili
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola, grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 cucumber finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 6 wholegrain hamburger buns

Directions

  1. Thoroughly mix the chicken with the garlic, cilantro, shallots, red chili, fish sauce, salt, and pepper.
  2. Form the mixture into 4 burgers, each about 3/4 inch thick.
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.
  4. Rub each burger on both sides with a bit of oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.
  5. Garnish your burgers with the sliced carrot, cucumber and coriander and serve on lightly toasted buns with a side of sweet chili sauce.

Grandma’s Apple Pie

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grandmas apple pie 2

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste.
  3. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  5. Place the bottom crust in your pan.
  6. Fill with cut up apples, mounded slightly.
  7. Cover with a lattice work crust.
  8. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust.
  9. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  10. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  12. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

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There’s a reason why I like the French style of cooking. Aside from the butter, of course, they name their dishes in the most fancy of fashions which is what I adore most. If they’re hard to pronounce, then they must taste just as interesting. And this dish doesn’t disappoint in the taste department.

It’s the cream, I say. The creams and sauces in French cuisine are the best. Couple that with toppings of cheeses, seasoned breadcrumbs and then baked to perfection and it becomes pure heaven. I have always loved any dish with a thick sauce on it, especially when the sauces are white and oozing with cheese.

Now if you’re very fond of the classic mashed potatoes, then this one will surely give your taste buds a good trip. Trust me, you’ll think of the French countryside when you take your first bite on this. You see, potatoes are great by itself. You can add them to any baked meats and it’ll still rock your taste buds. But when you pair it with a creamy cheese sauce, it’s a whole new level of culinary heaven.

Cooking in au gratin style is the best way to prepare your potatoes. If that doesn’t persuade you then you are not the foodie I expect you to be.

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Description

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F or about 200°C. Grease a 1-quart casserole dish with butter generously.
  2. Arrange half of the potatoes at the bottom of the dish by layering them in one by one. Top with the onion slices and then add the remaining potatoes. Make sure to season this with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Use medium heat on this one so you won’t burn the butter. Next, mix in the flour and salt and stir constantly with a whisk for a minute. Then stir in the milk. Cook this until the mixture has thickened a bit. Lastly, add the cheese over the potatoes and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for an hour and a half. By the then, the potatoes will have been tender and cheeses are melted. Best served hot.

Chocolate Roll Cake

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Chocolate Roll Cake 2

I don’t know about you but whenever I bring home cake I always get excited. But then again, I’m always in a good mood when desserts are on the table. I am never in a bad mood when making them or when buying from the cake shop. What’s not to like about cakes, right?

They come in all shapes and sizes. They’re both colorful and delicious; it’s what makes significant moments like birthdays and weddings more special. I can’t imagine ever celebrating anything without a cake present. It’s absurd to me.

At home I always celebrate small milestones especially when my kids make them. And every time we celebrate that, I always have this cake prepared for them. It’s the no non-sense cake. It’s made out of chocolate and comes in a roll. My entire family adores chocolates and cakes; so this is just the perfect recipe that gives us the best of both worlds. It’s a bit tricky to make but all worth it in the end. I know you might have other chocolate roll cakes in your life, but you haven’t had one like this.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Description

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 325°F. Next, take a parchment paper and place it on a 15 and a half by 10 and a half inches jelly roll pan. Grease and flour slightly.
  2. Next, separate the eggs. Then beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they stiffen. Gradually add in ½ cup of sugar.
  3. Then, sift the remaining sugar, cocoa and flour together in a large bowl. Beat the egg yolks and fold it into the dry (flour) mixture.
  4. Next, add the vanilla. Knowing that the egg yolk mixture would be stiff, carefully fold it into the beaten egg whites.
  5. Pour this batter into the jelly roll pan and spread evenly.
  6. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and turn over into a paper towel sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Then peel off the parchment paper and roll the cake up with the towel.
  8. Allow the cake to cool off completely. Unroll the cake and then spread the whipped cream. Then, roll it again back into shape.
  9. You have two sauce choices to serve the cake with; Foamy Butter Sauce or Fudge Sauce.
  10. For variation, you can add 2 tablespoons of rum or your favorite liqueur to the whipped cream. This serves 8.

Baked Chicken and Tomatoes Casserole

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I got into a mini debate with a friend today about calling tomato a fruit or a vegetable. I insisted on calling it a vegetable. To my knowledge, people classified them as such, right? I was schooled today. She googled it and won the argument. I was on my way to get the chicken recipe I wanted to show her until I was inspired by earlier events.

I planned on making tomatoes the star of my dinner. This recipe is just the perfect complement to the day filled with food debates and internet surfing for answers. I ended up inviting her over for dinner so she could see the humor in what I was about to do.

Baking tomatoes from scratch is good. Simply drizzle olive oil on it and salt and you’re good to go. They give off a special aroma which not all vegetables/fruits have when baked. And they’re pretty nutritious too. Having the chicken to bake along with the tomatoes is a lovely combination, in my opinion.

This recipe also kept my kids craving for tomatoes more. They used to hate eating them because they tasted bland and had no special flavor. I can’t blame them for thinking this way. But this dish will change all that. Trust me, your kids will love tomatoes after having this.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves

Description

  1. Begin with the dry ingredients: Mix in flour, salt and pepper. Next, drench each chicken piece with this mixture. Rub it all over until every part is coated.
  2. Over medium-high heat, warm up a skillet and then add in butter to allow it to melt and follow it up with oil so it doesn’t burn right away. Then slowly add in the chicken and cook until golden brown.
  3. Take the cooked chicken out from the oil and place it into a baking dish. In the same skillet, sauté the mushrooms and onions. Next, add the remaining drenching flour mixture to make rue. Then throw in the tomatoes and bay leaves and give it a light stir.
  4. Cook this for about 4 minutes or until rue is done and pour this over the chicken pieces. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake at 350°F until chicken is tender or wait about 40 minutes. Remove from oven to cool down a bit before serving. Best served warm. Serves 6.

Authentic Teriyaki Chicken

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Ingredients

  • 500g chicken breast or thighs
  • Grated ginger, to garnish (optional)
  • Marinade
  • 2 tbsp sake (rice wine)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp mirin (rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp sugar

 

Directions

  1. Poke chicken using a fork.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Marinate the chicken in the mixture for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan.
  5. First, fry the skin side of the chicken on medium heat until the skin is browned. Turn the chicken over to fry the other side on low heat.
  6. Pour the sauce used to marinate chicken in the pan.
  7. Cover the pan and steam cook the chicken on low heat until done.
  8. Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce becomes thick. Remove from heat.
  9. Slice the chicken and place on a serving plate.
  10. Pour thickened sauce over the teriyaki chicken. Garnish with grated ginger, if you would like.
  11. Serve with vegetables on a bed of rice.

Chocolate Donuts & Crushed Pistachios

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Chocolate Donuts & Crushed Pistachios 2
Making your own donuts is such a delight. I never knew it would taste so much better this way. I used to love donuts from a box because they’re effective pick-me-uppers on days when you just have low energy. Having those days are like an excuse to have two or three donuts without judgment. Cheat days is what I call it. Ever since I learned how to make my own donuts, I’ve been spreading my “cheat days” all around friends and family.

It’s a little tough to make at first but when you see the green of the pistachios and the melted chocolate, you’ll be glad you did it. Trust me on presentation alone, you’ll get instant points. I honestly thought I couldn’t pull this one off having made none in the past. What got me through it is the desire to keep the donut covered in the brown goodness and then have to taste it afterwards.

You can tell I am crazy for desserts. And I am hoping that you would be the same; starting with this wonderful chocolate and pistachios combo. There’s nothing to dislike in this one.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, crushed
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp soy or almond milk
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup soy milk or creamer
  • 4 ounces vegan chocolate chips

Description

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Prepare your donut pan and spray it with oil. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa and baking powder, baking soda and salt. These are the dry ingredients to mix well. In a separate bowl, combine apple sauce, soymilk, vanilla and oil. Whisk these wet ingredients together.
  3. Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir well until you get a good batter.
  4. Then spoon the batter into the donut pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. You can tell that the donuts are ready if they spring back when pressed a little. Remove from oven and let it cool down. You may transfer it on a cooling rack if you have it.
  5. Next, it’s time to make the chocolate ganache. Start by placing the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Then heat up your soymilk until it’s ready to boil (there will be a thin layer of skin forming on top when ready). Pour over the chocolate chips and cover for 5 minutes. Stir together just as the chocolate is melting. Make sure there are no lumps of chocolate on this mixture.
  6. Dip each donut into the ganache. You can choose to dip the entire donut or just the top. Let the ganache set completely before sprinkling on the crushed pistachios. Best served as soon as chocolate has set.

Cherry Cheesecake

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I am a big cheesecake fan and quite possibly still a fan of all desserts that don’t require a lot of baking. Just place them in the ice box for an hour and take out whenever the cravings and hunger pangs take over. What’s absolutely fun about these kinds of cakes and pastries is the fact that you can eat them off the bat. Perhaps, that’s just the sweet tooth in me talking but really when I see ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare desserts, my world stops.

Thankfully, I share this enthusiasm with my family. They do have their mini cravings once in a while and I pretend to love those pastries that came from a box. All I really want to do is take out all the contents of the cupboards and think of what to whip up. I don’t run a restaurant kitchen at home so I don’t have baking ingredients on stock most of the time. But by chance I discovered this recipe and have never let it go since.

This cheesecake recipe is the chicken noodle soup of the dessert category. It makes me feel good making it for the family and it gives me comfort knowing that there’s always a slice waiting for me.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 (12.5 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Description

  1. Take your graham cracker crumbs (crush them up because that’s more fun), sugar and margarine. Then mix them together in a bowl. Make sure all ingredients are incorporated well.
  2. On a pie plate, place the crumbs and press until you make a decent pie crust out of it.
  3. Take another bowl where you can add in the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat these ingredients together until you get a smooth and spreadable mixture.
  4. Next, pour this entire mixture over the pie crust you prepared. Smooth it over with the help of a spatula. Refrigerate this until the pie sets in about 2 -3 hours.
  5. Spread the cherry pie filling over the top and refrigerate just minutes before you serve. Best served chilled.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

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Soups are fantastic in cold weather. There’s no better feeling than to warm your hands on the bowl of chicken noodle soup with the broth steaming out of it. And then you dip your head a little to smell that goodness. It simply takes you back when Mom used to make them for you when you got sick.

As far as comfort food goes, this recipe will not fail you because a little of everything you want your soup to have, it’s got. It’s a bit to the Asian side so adding on the mirin, chinese cabbage, sesame oil and Vietnamese chili paste is an homage to the good soups I’ve tasted once before in restaurants.

There’s just something about chicken and soups that’s comforting. In my opinion, the real reason why chicken noodles always lift us up is the freshness of the ingredients you choose to add. You can see the difference when you buy a canned soup instead of making it yourself.  Canned soups tend to taste a little too salty or too plain. To me, when you labor to make this recipe, the whole thing would just taste better especially when you serve it hot off the oven. And because it’s made from the heart, the entire family will appreciate the sentiment.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese chile paste
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 4 cups chopped Chinese vegetables or Napa cabbage
  • 1 (5-ounce) package rice noodles, prepared according to packing directions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 red pepper, thinly sliced

Description

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, mirin, garlic, a teaspoon of the sesame oil, ginger, chili paste, sugar and vinegar. Mix it well.
  2. Take a medium saucepan and heat the broth for a few minutes. Slowly add in the chicken pieces, the soy sauce mixture and all the vegetables. Bring this to a boil.
  3. Let simmer for two minutes to let the chicken cook through. Then add what’s left of the sesame oil (about a teaspoon). This time give it a little taste to adjust the seasonings.
  4. On a serving bowl, prepare the cooked noodles, ladle in the soup and chicken and garnish with cilantro, bell pepper and scallions. Serve hot.

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

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If you can’t tell by now, I go crazy over nuts. In fact, I would like to declare the nuts are absolutely wonderful. I buy those trail mixes sometimes and use it to snack on while I read or watch a movie. They’re pretty healthy compared to popcorn with melted butter. They’re also pretty good substitutes for junk food too.

But what really gets me going is when I find fresh nuts on the store. I buy them by the kilograms rather than by the bag. And I don’t want them roasted too. I buy the fresh ones – the kind that would make a very good trail mix if I wanted to make one myself. Basically, my favorites are pecan, hazelnuts, macadamia, almonds and walnuts. As I’m sure you know, when they’re roasting in the oven, they give off such a nutty aroma.

This time, I bought home too many hazelnuts by choice. I was going to experiment on making muffins with this as the main recipe. I’ve decided to make it a chocolate one. I do know that chocolates and nuts work well together on any baked goods. You know me, I usually hold off on the baked desserts until there are special occasions. I am making this recipe my exemption to the rule. That’s because they’re made of nuts! I made the rules so I could bend them once in a while in the name of good food.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread, extra

Description

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400°F. Take your 12-cup muffin pan and line them with paper cup cases. Set aside for now.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, ground hazelnuts, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Combine well.
  3. Next, whisk together wet ingredients like buttermilk, oil, egg whites and chocolate spread together until the mixture turns smooth.
  4. Then, pour this over the dry ingredients and carefully mix them together. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine wet to dry ingredients.
  5. The mixture can be a little lumpy. It doesn’t have to be evenly mixed together.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the base of the paper case. Next, top each one with half a teaspoon of extra chocolate spread.
  7. Distribute what’s left of the mixture into the paper cases. Always finish with chocolate topping at the top.
  8. Take this into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. You can insert a toothpick in the middle of each muffin to see if it runs through clean.
  9. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Best served warm and with milk.

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin 2

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