Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Vegan Cornbread

Posted by Kim Fong On 9:32 pm

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Here is the dairy and egg free version of cornbread. Not as rich as the non-vegan one – understandably. And it's a little crumblier. Would probably use margarine instead of oil next time.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cup fine polenta
2 tspns baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
3/4 to 1 cup rice milk (or soy milk, but I prefer rice milk in this instance as it goes well with the corn flavour)
1/4 cup oil - vegetable or olive (or melted dairy free margarine)
1 tblspn corn starch with 1 tblspn water
1/2 can corn kernels

Optional Extras
1/2 cup green onions or shallots – chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes – finely diced
1/2 capsicum – finely diced

Method
1. Fry the optional extras in a pan and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 200 to 210C. Grease and line loaf pan.

3. Mix flour, polenta, baking powder, salt in a bowl. Stir in milk, oil, corn starch and water mixture. Stir in enough milk until the dry ingredients are moistened.

4. Add fried optional extras to mixture and mix in well.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light brown and a toothpick/skewer inserted comes out clean.

6. Sit in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack. Slice and serve.

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Cornbread

Posted by Kim Fong On 9:28 pm

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I made this with my yummo gumbo last week. However, I just realised I forgot to blog it. I made two different types of cornbread as my nephews have their egg and dairy allergies. Below is the egg and dairy filled version. Here is a link to the vegan friendly. Cornbread is great with anything sloppy – so gumbo is a fantastic accompaniment. Yum! Yum! I've listed some optional extras in the recipe and approximate amounts. Obviously its up to you how much you want. You can either stir these extras in or just put them on top after you've poured the mixture in the pan.

Ingredients
2 cups fine polenta
3/4 cup (110g) self raising flour
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
2 tspns caster sugar
1 tspn salt
150g butter – melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk - at room temperature or warm

Optional extras
4 rashers of bacon – finely diced
1/2 can corn kernels
3 heads of shallots or green onions – chopped
1/2 capsicum – finally diced

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes - finely diced

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep loaf pan with baking paper.

2. Fry in some light oil the optional extras and set aside.

3. Place polenta, flour, cheese, sugar, salt in a large bowl. Stir until combined.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cooled melted butter and warm milk. If the milk is cold it will start solidifying the butter. If the butter is too hot it will solidify the eggs.

5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until well combine.

6. If you want the extras in the cornbread, mix them in now.

7. Pour mixture into prepared pan. If you just want the mixture on top then place them on top now. Smooth the surface. 

8. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked and the top is golden brown. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Slide and serve.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Fongo's Yummo Gumbo

Posted by Kim Fong On 7:32 pm


After the successful introduction of quinoa to my family last week, the expectation has been set pretty high with everyone saying “so what are you cooking for us next week?!”. This week I bring gumbo. “Gum… what?” They said. Gumbo, a Southern American favourite – is a stew is so full flavour. It took me a few hours to make and on the day before as it gets better with time. But its well worth the effort. I even had requests for leftovers to take to lunch the next day.

You’ll find all different sorts of gumbo recipes on the web and it's up to you what goes into it, however there are a few key ingredients that makes gumbo unique. These include capsicum, celery and onion (what is known as Cajun the holy trinity), okra and the mixture of herbs listed in the recipe below. As far as the method goes, the steps, though lengthy are basic. Brown off meat > make roux (this determines the colour of the gumbo at the end) > add the greens, herbs, meat and stock > simmer> add okra > simmer more > serve.

Ingredients
> Meat
1kg chicken thigh fillets - cubed
1/4 cup cajun spices (refer to my BBQ Cajun Chicken post for more detail)
500g chorizo sausages – sliced (can also use any other smoked, cured sausage)
250g bacon - roughly chopped
1 to 3 tablespoons oil

> Roux
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup oil, margarine, butter, lard (some sort of fat – depending on your dietary requirements)

>Veges
1 large capsicum – diced
3 sticks celery – diced
1 large onion – diced
2 to 3 green onions, scallions, shallots – diced (whatever you have available)
1/2 cup okra - chopped (usually find them frozen)

> Herbs & Spices
6 to 8 cloves garlic – minced
3 dried bay leaves
generous serves (about 1 to 3 tablespoons) of dried herbs (oregano, thyme, parsley, basil)
cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper – to taste

> 4 cups of chicken stock

Method
1. Brown the meat – in a large, heavy base pot, heat oil and fry sausages, set aside. To same pot fry bacon lightly, set aside with sausages. To same pot add chicken (you may need to do it in batches to not crowd the pan). Add oil if necessary. Set chicken aside. The base may catch from all this fry. That’s fine, it will lift soon enough.

2. Make roux – Under medium to low heat, heat fat to a runny, almost bubby consistency. Add flour and stir with whisk constantly, until roux becomes smooth, silky and a deep chocolate brown. (approximately 20 to 30 minutes  -longer if your heat is lower). Be sure not to burn your roux. If you smell the flour burning, lower the heat. If you start seeing black specks, you’ve burnt it, throw it out and start again.  Here is a good example of making a dark roux. The darkness of your roux will determine the darkness of the gumbo. When the roux reaches the right colour, add the onions, capsicum and celery to the roux, turn off the heat, and keep stirring until the roux cools down to stop it from cooking/browning further.

3. Combine and simmer – Once the roux is cooled slightly, return the pot to a medium heat and added stock, meats, herbs and spices (including garlic and cayenne pepper). Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in okra and simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning – add salt if necessary. At this point, if you want to add seafood, you add it now and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until seafood is cooked. You can also add gumbo filĂ©.

4. Serve – Serve over hot rice (or corn bread) with fresh parsley.


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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Chicken & Mushroom Angel-hair Pasta

Posted by Kim Fong On 1:44 pm



This pasta dish is a Fongolicious original. Decided to “wing it”, be a bit creative with what I have to work with and it turned out really well. Tasty, not heavy and going back for seconds! Definitely will go in the regular rotation. This recipe will serve probably 2 to 3 people. The tip on this one is slow and steady makes it really tasty!

Apologies for the dodgy photography job. My camera is on loan at the moment, so I had to make do with the phone camera. I tried to add some special effects - unsuccessfully, but trust me – it tastes good. Hopefully I’ll refresh the picture soon. Meanwhile you can enjoy the chinatown food court style pictures.

Ingredients
300g angel-hair pasta
2 chicken thigh fillets - stripped
1-2 clove garlic – minced
1/2 medium onion – chopping roughly
250g mushrooms - thickly sliced
1/2 cup semi dried tomatoes - sliced
Dried herbs including: basil, oregano, parsley, chives, tarragon, dill (all in varying volumes. The first 3 mentioned are a must.)
3 Tbspn butter
3 Tbspn olive oil
cayenne pepper - to taste
salt and pepper - to taste
1 cup fresh baby spinach
Chilli flakes – optional
freshly grated parmesan cheese - to serve

Method
1. Marinate chicken with minced garlic, herbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper. Mix to coat chicken and set aside.

2. Start boiling salted water for pasta, but don’t put the pasta in yet.

3. In a fry pan on medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter as the pan heats, then add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add half of the chopped onion until translucent then add mushrooms. Allow to cook slowly on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Once cooked, set aside.

4. In the same fry pan heat semi dried tomatoes. You can add some oil from the jar of tomatoes for some flavour. Should take about 2 minutes. Set tomatoes aside with mushrooms, leaving any residual oil.

5. To the same pan on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter to pan, if necessary – add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add remaining onions until translucent then add chicken. Slowly cook the chicken. Cover and stir occasionally. It will start sweating. That’s good. It will form your gravy. At this stage the flavour from the residual mushroom and tomato oil, the butter and the herbs will start to meld.

6. As the chicken will take a while to cook, cook the angel-hair pasta as per instructions. Should take around 3 to 5 minutes.

7. To the fry pan with chicken, add the cooked mushroom and tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring heat back up to heat returned ingredients. Turn the stove back down to low and stir through baby spinach to get it wilted.

8. At this stage the pasta should be cooked. Add cooked pasta to fry pan and stir through.

9. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese with chilli flakes.




Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Crispy Panko Chicken

Posted by Kim Fong On 7:15 pm

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This weekend was family dinner at Mum & Dad’s and I was designated head chef. So what to cook to cater for: two fussy princesses under 6 years old; two nephews highly allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts; a father and sister who have a not-so-adventurous palate and; the rest of the family who think they belong on the panel of Iron Chef? I decided to introduce quinoa to the folks. So I used my Quinoa with Chickpeas, Spinach and Haloumi recipe (minus the haloumi) and served with this – Panko Chicken.

This recipe comes from my cousin in Vancouver Canada. Introduced to me during my visit there in October 2010. It comes from the BC Liquor Taste Magazine (pg 141). I’ve stuck pretty close to the recipe – just didn’t add sherry or butter (for the kiddies).

Ingredients
2 Tbspn ginger - minced
2 large cloves of garlic – minced
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper (can also use chilli flakes)
3 Tbspn light soy sauce
2 tspn sesame oil
2 Tbpsn sesame seeds - optional
1.5 kg chicken pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 Tbpsn olive oil (can also use melted butter)
oil for greasing tray
~ These are approximate amounts of flavouring. I’m sure I can leave it to you to figure out what flavours you like more/less of.

Method
1. Mix together ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes (if using), soy sauce, sesame oil.

2. Add chicken and mix well to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight (or as long as you can afford).

3. Preheat oven to 230C (220C fan forced oven). Prepare baking tray – grease and line with baking paper. Grease baking paper too. (Hint: Don’t use foil – the chicken tends to stick.)

4. Mix panko bread crumbs, sesame seeds, salt and pepper.

5. Dredge marinated chicken through melted butter (or olive oil) and then through panko mixture. Place on prepared baking tray.

6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until well browned. (Turn over after 20 minutes). Let stand out of oven for 10 minutes to crisp, then serve.
Note: You can reheat in a 180C oven for about 10 minutes or until hot through out.

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This one has a bit of moodlighting


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Salmon and Tomato Pasta

Posted by Kim Fong On 2:20 pm

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My two not so favourite ingredients (Salmon and Tomato). So this quick meal comes to you from OG. This recipe, serves two and will leave you satisfied yet fresh and not greasy and heavy.

Ingredients
250g Pasta
200g fresh Salmon fillet (skin off) cut into about 1.5 inches squared
1 large tomato (diced) (For more intense flavour best to use cherry tomatoes)
1 clove garlic (roughly chopped)
1/3 medium onion
1 tblspn butter
1 tblspn olive oil
roughly chopped fresh herbs includes: parsley, basil, chives, lemon thyme, dill (can also use dried herbs if fresh isn’t available)
Fresh baby spinach (washed) – optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Chilli flakes - optional

Method
1. Boil pasta (as per packet instructions). Set aside.

2. Roughly cover salmon pieces with chopped garlic.

3. In pan, melt butter and heat olive oil on medium to high heat. Add onions (and dried herbs if using dried) and cook until translucent/starting to brown. [Tips on cooking onions check out learnalicious.]

4. Add garlic coated salmon pieces to pan. Allow to sear on one side before turning over. Turn salmon pieces and stir onions in pot to ensure they don’t burn. Salmon cooks very quickly. Time depends on thickness of your fillet. Can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

5. Add in tomatoes, cooked pasta, salt and half the fresh herbs. Stir gently to ensure the salmon doesn’t break up. If you notice the bottom of the pan is starting to stick, add a dash of water to lift this flavour with your spoon. If it appears a bit dry, add a splash more of olive oil.

6. Add spinach and remaining herbs and serve with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.


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