Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai

Once again it seems like forever since I have blogged.  Firstly with recent Victorian school holidays (the first 2 weeks of July) we had Mam down to help with the children and she was responsible for some evening meals.  Looking back I didn't cook a great deal during the school holidays.  Mam took the kids away for the weekend to visit my uncle and aunt so Noel and I took advantage of the freedom relaxing on the Friday with a pizza and then going out for dinner on the Saturday evening.

Then last week I travelled with work so needless to say no cooking there either.

So with things getting back to normal at home and me back from my travels it's good to get back into the kitchen.  Tonight we had Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai - a favourite of mine but I have never cooked it at home.  I adapted a simple yet tasty Weight Watchers recipe and it was exotic. 

All loved the flavours of the lime and spice while enjoying the textures of the soft noodles and crisply cooked vegetables.

Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Australia)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 11
250 grams dry rice noodles
500 grams lean chicken breast, cut into 2 cm cubes
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 bunch broccolini, cut into 3cms pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon peanut oil
250 grams raw king prawns, peeled and tails intact
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cups roasted unsalted peanuts, choppped roughly
1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons crushed chilli flakes (optional)

Soak noodles in cold water for 1 hour.

Place chicken in a small bowl and cover with 1 tbsp of fish sauce. Set aside.

Steam broccolini and carrot for approximately 5 minutes, or until tender crisp. Immediately immerse in cold water. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine remaining 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 3 tablespoons lime juice, water, sugar and ginger. Mix well to combine then set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok over high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from wok and set aside. To the same pan quickly cook prawns until pink and remove from heat.

Drain noodles thoroughly.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in wok over high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add noodles and fish sauce. Cook stirring for 3 minutes, or until sauce is mostly absorbed. Stir in chicken and half the peanuts and remove from heat. Add remaining lime juice, bean sprouts and half of the coriander and the mint. Toss through broccoli and carrot just before serving.

Place on serving platter and sprinkle with remaining coriander, mint, peanuts and crushed chilled flakes if desired.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Spicy Prawns and Vegetables

I wasn't sure what to cook but knew it had to be spicy and yummy definitely using prawns as the main ingredient.  My mam also loves prawns - I would put money on saying that her favourite dish is garlic prawns.

Another favourite family dish is Nice Chicken and having not cooked this either in a while I decided it would be great to have a little play around recreating a prawn dish based on the same flavourings.

This dish has a delightful spicy yet sweet sauce - spicy from the cayenne pepper, salty from the soy and sweetness from the hoisin sauce.  A beautiful combination with the tender prawns.

Spicy Prawns with Vegetables

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 11

1 egg
30 grams cornflour
500 grams peeled and deveined large raw prawns, rinsed
1/4 cup oil for deepfrying
200 grams mushrooms, sliced
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
1 x 225 gram can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
1 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

In a bowl mix egg and cornflour together into a smoot batter. Add prawn to the bowl and mix to combine.

Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan. Cook prawns in batches until almost golden but not fully cooked. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Discard oil

Spray wok or frying pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and capsicum to the wok and stirfry for 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts and spring onions, stir fry for another 1 - 2 minutes. Return prawns to pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and cayenne pepper. Add combined sauce to wok and toss for another 2 minutes or until chicken is well coated with sauce.

Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Smoked Paprika Chicken

A bit of a spice theme happening here lately.. maybe it's what my tastebuds are fancying or maybe it's just by chance.. whichever I know that we are all enjoying the meals.

The house smells good that's for sure.  The aroma of a smokey tomato broth with the obvious hints of fresh garlic were delish.

One of the ingredients is saffron threads. I am very lucky as I was recently given a small plastic container of saffron threads from my in laws who recently travelled overseas.  To me it was a present worth millions I am sure others wouldn't agree.  But to know that I was thought of in a special way while they were overseas in the Spice Market makes me feel very treasured.

This dish was very easy to prepare and bring it all together in the one casserole dish.  The original recipe called for shop brought chargrilled capsicum (not in oil) but I grilled my own.

Smoked Paprika Chicken
(recipe adapted from WW Food You'll Love Cookbook)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 8

2 teaspoons olive oil
6 chicken chops, skin removed, fat trimmed
6 drum sticks, skin removed, fat trimmed
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons hot water
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup dry sherry
400 gram can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
100 grams green Sicilian olives
2 red capsicums
cooking spray
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Heat half the oil in a large non stick frying pan over high heat.  Cook chicken, in batches, turning for 5 minutes or until browned.  Transfer chicken to a large ovenproof casserole dish.

Place saffron in a small bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons hot water and set aside to soak for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile heat remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for a further 1 minute.  Add saffron liquid and sherry and cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes, stock and olives and bring to the boil.

Pour onion mixture over chicken in the casserole dish,  Bake, covered, in the oven for 1 hour.

Meanwhile cut capsicum into thick strips and place on a foil lined oven tray.  Spray with cooking spray and place under a high grill for 5 minutes until black and blistered.  Remove and place into a sealable plastic bag to sweat for 10 minutes.  Remove outer layer of skin and slice into 2 cm strips.

Blend cornflour with water in a small bowl.  Stir cornflour mixture into casserole with the honey.  Add the capsicum strips.  Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir sauce around chicken.  Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)