Tag Archives: garlic

Indonesian Grilled Chicken

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you are looking for a simple to make and yet an exotic tasting way to prepare chicken, then you are in for a real treat.  Indonesian grilled chicken is also called Ayam panggang or ayam bakar.  There are so many versions of it, ranging from sticky and sweet, to hot and spicy.  My version of Indonesian Grilled Chicken tends to be on the sweet side, for my chicken is marinated in sweet Indonesian soy sauce, ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric and white pepper. It’s similar to my chicken satay recipe but without all the fuss of chopping and threading the meat onto bamboo skewers.  It’s super easy to make and tastes fantastic!  Serve with a scoop or two of steamed white rice, sliced cucumber and for those who love fiery food, add a teaspoon or two of sambal oelek in the marinade or serve it on the side.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/8 cup Kecap Manis (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 tsps. ground turmeric
  • 1 – 2 tsps. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. or one clove minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. water (optional, to thin marinade)
  • 2 tsp. sambal oelek (optional)

Add all of the ingredients to a covered container and refrigerate the chicken mixture at least four hours or overnight.  Toss the chicken on a medium hot barbecue grill and discard the marinade.  Be watchful of the chicken, turning occasionally, being careful not to burn. Cook until the juices run clear or the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Blood Orange Chicken

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrilled Blood Orange Chicken

Grilling chicken has got to be one of my all time favorite ways to prepare dinner for my friends and family.  I generally prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs because they’re moister and more flavorful than a boneless skinless chicken breast.  My Grilled Blood Orange Chicken is easy to make and tastes great sliced on top of a fresh green salad, chopped up in warm soft tortillas garnished with crunchy cabbage, spicy salsa and lime or simply served with a side of rice and steamed vegetables.  Double or triple the recipe for some fantastic chicken leftovers!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 blood oranges, juiced (substitute any variety of orange if desired)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 pkg Sazon Goya Coriander and Annatto mix (found online or at a Latin grocery store)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Toss all ingredients in a covered container and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Toss any remaining marinade.  Place on medium hot barbecue grill or grill pan.  Turn chicken when halfway cooked.  Cook until juices run clear or the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pull from grill, let chicken rest for about 5 minutes covered. Place on serving plate and garnish with sprigs of cilantro. Makes 4 servings..

Angel Hair Pasta With Roasted Indigo Rose Tomatoes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAngel Hair Pasta with Roasted Indigo Rose Tomatoes

Last week I paid close attention to the weather forecast and as a result I went out to my little garden and stripped all my tomato plants of any and all tomatoes that had color.  According to the weatherman on the television, summer was officially over.  After what I witnessed yesterday, I should have known better.  You know what I’m talking about…  For example, the meteorologist tells you in the morning that it is going to bright and sunny and by mid afternoon, you wished you had brought an umbrella.

Well, when it comes to the weather, sometimes I need to remind myself that Mother Nature can be very unpredictable.  After picking all those tomatoes, I ignored my garden thinking that it was over and done for the season.  Nope.  Not even remotely close… When I walked out to the garden yesterday, I was astonished at what I saw.  There were dozens of tomatoes ready to picked once again.  The first thing I thought was, great!, I will have fresh tomatoes for lunch and dinner!  The second thing I thought was oh, shii…take mushrooms, there are so many tomatoes left out on the vines and I have a lot of work to do!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Do you see what I mean?  Most of the tomatoes will be made into a sauce, some will be roasted, and some will be frozen.  Some will be given away, and some will be eaten fresh.  You get the picture.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  I’m happy to have them.  You will however, hear me complain this winter when I don’t have any fresh picked homegrown tomatoes to eat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are Indigo Rose Tomatoes.  They are small in size, red in color and with a splash of dark purple.  These tomatoes are another favorite of mine.  They are great roasted, sliced fresh in salads and can even be stuffed with chicken or tuna for wonderful little bite sized appetizers or a light lunch.  They are also really pretty and different looking than your average red tomato.  A wonderful way to prepare Indigo Rose Tomatoes is to roast them and then toss them with some angel hair pasta, baby spinach, fresh basil, olive oil and fresh grated Romano cheese for light and flavorful dinner.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup roasted tomatoes (see recipe below)
  • 4 ounces dried angel hair pasta
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Romano cheese (more if desired)
  • garnish with fresh basil

Cook angel hair pasta according to manufacturer’s direction, drain and set aside. If needed, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pasta to keep it from sticking.  Heat a saute pan over a medium high flame.  Add roasted tomatoes (with the juice), olive oil, baby spinach, basil, garlic paste, red pepper flakes and cook until the spinach begins to wilt.  Add the angel hair pasta and cook until heated through.  Add additional olive oil if desired.  Add salt and pepper.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Place on serving platter, top with Romano cheese and garnish with fresh basil.   Makes 2 servings.

How to Oven Roast Tomatoes

This is a simple recipe that will yield some flavorful tomatoes for soups, stews and sauces.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half or into large chunks.  Gently squeeze out some of the seeds.  Toss lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper.  I added some sprigs of basil and rosemary for some flavor.  Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet (for easy cleanup).  Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size or variety of tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes start to shrivel and get a bit of color or until your liking.  Remove from oven, let cool, remove basil and rosemary, place in plastic bags and toss in the refrigerator.  Use within a few days.  Can be frozen for later use.  When freezing the tomatoes, measure the roasted tomatoes and juice in one cup portions and place in sandwich bags.  Lay the sandwich bags flat in your freezer in order to maximize your freezer space.

Note: if you don’t like the skins on the tomatoes, just pull the skins off after cooking.  They pop off pretty easily.

Sunflower Seed Basil Pesto

Sunflower Seed Basil Pesto

Every year I plant several basil plants in my little garden.  I just love basil…  It’s fragrant, versatile and tastes so amazingly fresh.  I’m really happy because this has been a surprisingly good year for my basil.  The bugs have left most of the plants alone and the weather has been just perfect for the rest of the plants in the garden.   When I walked outside this morning, I noticed immediately that it was time to harvest some of those gorgeous green leaves.

Basil ready to be picked.  I don’t know what I like better…  The beautiful bright green leaves or the fresh herbaceous aroma.

Thyme.  One of my favorite herbs…  The tiny delicate leaves are packed with flavor.

Mammoth Dill.  This is the first time I have tried growing dill in my garden.  I just love the delicate little yellow flowers!

Basil blossoms.  I pinch the blossoms off to encourage additional growth on my basil plants.

The main ingredients for my Sunflower Seed Basil Pesto.

My Sunflower Seed Basil Pesto is easy to make, nut free and delightfully vegan.  I like to use my pesto on pasta, pizza and especially on a warm crusty baguette with fresh mozzarella and sliced heirloom tomatoes.  Makes about 1 cup.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves lightly packed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (roasted and shelled)
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp lemon juice or to taste (to prevent browning of the pesto)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or more if necessary

Add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor.  Pulse food processor while adding a steady stream of olive oil.  Scrap sides and pulse until well blended.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Use immediately or store (covered) in refrigerator up to 24 hours.  Makes about 1 cup.

Green Chili Sambal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister called me the other day and said that she was stopping by for she had picked some goodies out of her garden for me.  Every year, she grows the most gorgeous tomatoes that I have ever seen, so naturally that is what I expected to get.  Well, she surprised me instead with a bag of mixed green chili peppers.  In the bag there were jalapeños, a couple small anaheims and a bunch little serrano peppers that were wickedly hot.  Fortunately, she also brought me a couple of big fat juicy tomatoes.  Within minutes, I knew what I was going to make with those peppers…  Sambal!

One of my most favorite condiments in the world is sambal oelek.  It’s a red chili pepper paste that sets my mouth on fire.  My grandmother used to make her own sambal oelek from scratch by using a mortar called a cobek and an unusually shaped pestle called an ulek-ulek.  Sometimes she would add some dried shrimp paste (trassi) or garlic to the mixture for extra flavor.  Ask any member of my family and they would tell you that my grandmother’s culinary skills were legendary.  I could only hope to be a cook half as good as she was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandmother’s cobek and ulek-ulek.  Without a doubt one of my most treasured possessions.

My green chili sambal is prepared similarly to the traditional sambal oelek.  It just tastes milder than the usual red sambal oelek that you would find in a grocery store.  So what are we waiting for?  Let’s make some green chili sambal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green chilies (stemmed and seeded)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbls. white vinegar

Let’s begin by stemming and seeding your chilies.  While you are working with the chilies it is a really good idea to not touch your face or wipe your eyes.  Let me tell you from experience…  You will cry.  And when you are done prepping the chilies, wash your hands well with soap and water.  Place the chilies in a food processor (you can use the cobek and ulek-ulek if you want to but I find the food processor is so much faster).  Process until chopped and be careful not to over chop or puree your mixture.

Place the chili mixture in a saucepan and add all the ingredients except the vinegar.  Cook over medium heat until reduced and until the chilies are softened.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.  Let cool.  Place in a clean jar with a lid.  Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 weeks.  Makes two cups.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Note:  To make a traditional sambal oelek, just use red chilies instead of the green.  In this version, I simply used the chilies that I had on hand.

Kip Smoor

The past couple of weeks at my work has been crazy busy.  I manage a small finance department and we have been working feverishly on our year end financial statements.  To top it off,  we are also preparing for a group of auditors who will be visiting us in just a few sort weeks.  And, I am sorry to report that we are still not ready.  As a result, I am a bit frazzled.  No wait… I am really frazzled.  I look at it this way, stressful situations require some serious comfort food.  In my opinion, my family’s recipe for Kip Smoor is the perfect dish for such occasions.  Some people prefer chocolate, some  people prefer macaroni and cheese.  I prefer Kip Smoor.  Then, of course,  chocolate…

This Kip Smoor recipe has been a much loved family recipe for well over 50 years.  My Oma would make this for my sister and I when we were just little girls.  Kip Smoor is a simple braised chicken that is slow cooked with white onion, garlic, fresh grated nutmeg, cloves, Indonesian soy sauce and fresh tomatoes.  We like to serve it ladled over a scoop of fluffy white jasmine rice and with cool crisp cucumber slices on the side.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds or about 10 pieces chicken (preferably thighs)
  • 2 Tbls. butter
  • 2 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (quartered)
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 Tbls. Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • chicken broth (about 3 cups or enough to cover the chicken
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

Melt butter in a large pot and add the chicken.  Cook chicken until a light golden color or about 10 minutes.  Drain the oil out of the pot.  Add the onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low (uncovered) until tender and the liquid is considerably reduced.  Note:  I like to cook the chicken for well over an hour until it is ready to fall off the bone.  Serve with white rice and sliced cucumbers.

If by a remote chance that you have leftovers, be sure to pack some for your lunch tomorrow or if you want, remove the chicken from the bones and make some Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice).