Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nasi Goreng - Indonesian Fried Rice

Credit goes to my dad, the world traveller, for this one. He first tasted this in Indonesia, came home and experimented in the kitchen until it came out to his satisfaction (and ours!) Great use of leftovers and endless possibilities -- add egg, chopped ham, shrimp, chicken drumstick on the side, cabbage, green beans . . . excellent use of leftovers.


Cook previous day, refrigerate overnight:
2 cups uncooked rice (dry variety like basmati)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 inches ginger, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup frozen peas (or other vegetables, to taste)

2 tablespoons sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons sambal sauce (red chili paste with ginger and garlic-yum)
4 teaspoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan, when hot add the onion, ginger and garlic. Stir fry until onion tender, add carrots, and last, the peas.

Meanwhile, mix the sesame oil, sambal, and fish, sweet soy and soy sauces together. Add the the stirfried vegetables and mix well. To this mixture add the cold rice and stirfry, until mixed thoroughly.


Thus far, the only chapati recipe that turns out for me! Other times the chapati becomes too hard (could use it as a frisbee)!


2 cups chapati flour
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 - 1 cup boiling water


Mix flour and salt together. Add butter, and cut together with flour until mixture is soft and crumbly. Add half water, mix. Add remaining water little at a time until the dough is soft - knead until it becomes a smooth ball, not too dry, just slightly sticky. Then let the dough rest for at least a half hour. Divide the dough evenly, roll until flat. In a flat bottom pan, cook over medium heat until you see small bubbles in the chapati. Turn and cook on the other side.

Note(s): If I don't have chapati flour I mix a little whole wheat flour with all purpose.

Aloo Gobi

This is adapted from Julie Sahni's recipe in "Savoring India". Simple, yummy dish with chapati!


1/2 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Wash and chop cauliflower into small pieces (about 1/2-1 inch).
Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add cumin seeds and let them sputter for about 30 seconds, until they turn a little darker. Add potatoes and stir fry for 7-10 minutes, until they are slightly browned and almost cooked through. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Stir to coat. Add cauliflower and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until cauliflower is soft (another 7-10 minutes). Uncover, and cook a little longer until excess water boils away. Toss in chopped cilantro.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Singapore Noodles

We love Singapore Noodles for its exotic taste, simple method of preparation, and the versatility of the recipe. Whether or not I've made a trip to the grocery store I can inevitably find something in my fridge I can toss in!

Notes. 1) Vegetables: substitue/add mushroom, red pepper, broccoli, cabbage. 2) Meat: substitue/add: pork, beef, shrimp. 3) Can also add scrambled egg at the end.

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 package rice noodles (vermicelli)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno/serrano pepper, sliced in rings
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala


Marinate chicken in soy sauce, black pepper for an hour or two prior to cooking.

Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. Note: Do not overcook as you will also be stirfrying the noodles.

In a small frying pan heat 1 tablespoon oil. Thinly slice chicken and saute until cooked through.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Saute onion for 3-5 minutes before adding garlic, ginger, jalapeno pepper. Saute a couple of minutes. Add green pepper, carrot. Saute. Add cooked chicken. To this add your spices and salt, to taste. Add rice noodles and stir fry until noodles thoroughly coated with spices.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My husband asked me to make these after a visit to P.F. Chang's Chinese Bistro. I won't claim that these are the same lettuce wraps as Chang's, but as long as my husband is happy . . . I'm satisfied!

Notes. 1) Mushrooms. Shiitake are very nice, but as they are more costly there are times when I use plain white button mushrooms. 2) Can substitue orange juice (about a tablespoon) for the orange zest. 3) Can substitue 1 1/2 tablespoons flour for 1 teaspoon cornstarch


2 cups, 4 handfuls, shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 tablespoon chili oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, minced
1/2 orange, zested
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tin water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 green onions, chopped
Romaine lettuce


Heat chili oil and vegetable oil in pan. Add chicken to the pan, stir fry a minute or two. Add mushrooms and cook another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to season, then garlic and ginger. Cook a minute more. Add orange zest, bell pepper bits, chopped water chestnuts and onion. Stir fry about 3 more minutes, remove from heat. Add stir fry sauce (recipe below) and mix. Serve with the sauces. Serve over a leaf of lettuce with some jasmine (or other sticky) rice.

Stir Fry Sauce
¼ c water
1 t cornstarch
1/3 c soy sauce
¼ c sugar
¼ c vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1 t sesame seeds
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t chili oil
½ t minced ginger

Mix water and cornstarch until dissolved then heat, whisking over medium heat with all ingredients. When boiling reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

Sesame Ginger Sauce
¼ c water
¾ t cornstarch
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c vinegar
¼ c soy sauce
1 t minced ginger
1 t oil (sesame)
1 t sesame seeds
¼ t minced garlic
Dash red pepper flakes
Dash parsley

Mix water and cornstarch until dissolved then heat, whisking over medium heat with all ingredients. When boiling reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

Peanut Sauce
½ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup water
2 T vinegar
½ t minced ginger
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup sugar
¼ t minced garlic
1 t chili oil
1 T brown sugar

Mix water and cornstarch until dissolved then heat, whisking over medium heat with all ingredients. When boiling reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

Southwestern Eggrolls


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup corn (canned or frozen)
1 cup cooked black beans
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt, to taste
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 diced jalapeno pepper
1/4 c fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar
Flour tortillas – taco size


Put 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a frying pan. Fry chicken breast about 5 minutes, turn and cook another 3-5 minutes, approximately.

Mash beans with a fork until smooth, add salt and garlic powder.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan, add onion, jalapeno and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.

Dice chicken and add to onion mixture. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Microwave tortillas on high approximately 1 minute.

Spoon mixture into tortilla. Fold up, burrito like – either bake in 375 oven until outside browns or you can “fry” in a a couple tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Chicken Parmesan

One of the few pasta dishes my husband will eat . . .

Notes. 1) We sometimes marinate the chicken for 6 hours (or overnight), just using a simple italian dressing marinade. 2) The sauce may have a little more 'tick' to it than your used to. Cut back on pepper accordingly.


1 can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste
sugar, to taste (depending on acid level of tomatoes)
~ ~ ~
2 slices of bread, slightly stale
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, whisked
olive oil
3 chicken breasts


To prepare the sauce, first saute onion in olive oil until tender, add garlic. Meanwhile, puree tomatoes in a blender. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to the onion. Add all remaining ingredients, simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

To prepare the coating. Pulse the slices of bread in a blender until finely crumbled. Mix in a bowl with the parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. To prepare the chicken, layer a chicken breast between sheets of wax paper and use a rolling pin to flatten to about 1/3-1/2 inch thickness. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts. Dip in egg, shaking extra egg off before dipping in bread crumb coating. Again, shake excess crumbs off. Repeat with remaining chicken breast. Mean while, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, place chicken in the pan. After 3 minutes, check. If golden brown turn to the other side. Watch carefully, it will cook faster on this side. When golden brown, remove from pan, place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Last 5 minutes, can put a slice of mozzarella on top of each chicken breast. Serve over your favorite pasta with the tomato sauce.

White Chicken Chili

If classic chili is not up your alley or if you want something a little different, you may like this soup. A few notes on this recipe. 1) Beans. I like to use the great northerns because they are very soft and make the soup have a thicker consistency. To contrast this I like the cannelini beans because they maintain their form very well even when simmered over a longer period of time. 2) We like this spicy so feel free to cut back on the jalapeno and cayenne. 3) This is a great crock-pot dish! 4) To serve, our suggestions are: squeeze of fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips and pepper jack cheese.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 - 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 small can green chile peppers
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 c great northen beans (cooked)
1 1/2 c cannellini (white kidney) beans (cooked)


Cook chicken: can use skillet method or bring it to a boil.

In a pot, saute onion for 2-3 minutes in olive oil. Add garlic and jalapeno and continue to cook until onion translucent. Add canned green chiles. Add cumin, oregano, cayenne and black pepper.

Add chicken broth, beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until it reaches desired consistency. Add salt, to taste.