Slow Cooked Roast Chicken and Kale

Poultry Recipes, Slow Cooking, Vegetable Recipes
Cooked with onions, coconut milk, and spices

Cooked with onions, coconut milk, and spices

Slow Cooked Roast Chicken and Kale Kale in Chicken Broth

When hunger and inspiration come together, delicious dishes appear. That was the case for me today. I had some chicken thighs, kale, and onions in the fridge, along with coconut milk. Added some spices: ginger powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, pepper, and lemongrass, and put them all in a slow cooker.  Left it on high for about four hours and let the magic happened. The sweet smell of coconut milk mixed onions, lemongrass, and kale made the chicken so aromatic. The meat was so tender and melted in the mouth. And the kale tasted so rich for being cooked with all of the spices and juices from the chicken. I separated the chicken and kale at the end. I also wanted to add some golden color on the chicken so I put it in the oven to broil for five minutes (this last part is completely optional).

Recently, a friend had recommended a slow cooker to me. She said that it has freed her from standing for a long time in front of the stove while cooking, which allowed her to tend to other things. Curiosity and the need to tend to other things (while still wanting to cook too), drove me to Target to get a small slow cooker :D. The results have been promising. So I will keep on trying different things in my slow cooker.

Here’s how I did the two dishes:

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 3 small onions (chopped)
  • 1 small cut of lemongrass
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 bunch of kale (only used the leaves, no stem)
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of  turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Method:

  • Placed the chicken in the slow cooker pot
  • Poured the coconut milk
  • Added the onion, lemongrass, and spices
  • Mix them by hands
  • Put kale on the top and covered the pot
  • Set the cooker on high and left it for about four hours (I mixed everything again while it was cooking).
  • Once they were all done cooking, I separated the chicken and kale
  • Placed the chicken on an oven-safe plate and let them broil in the oven for five minutes. I wanted that roasting golden color on the chicken (optional)
  • Placed the kale on a deep dishware so I could serve a little bit of the broth with it
  • I used the remaining broth to cook tofu. Just put the broth in a pot on a stove, medium heat, added firm tofu that I diced, let it simmer for a bit and ta…da…another dish!

Wishing all of you a good week!

Eat well and be well

Tempeh with Garlic, Shallots, and Peppers

Vegetable Recipes

tempeh by tcp

tempeh by TCP

As one of my favorite food, tempeh shows up a lot at the dining table for lunch or dinner. Recently, my mom taught me another way to enjoy it. Tossed with garlic, shallots, and chili peppers, and lightly drizzled with sweet soy sauce, I may have found another version to love.

Here’s how I do it and the list of ingredients:

  • 1 organic soy tempeh (8oz) (cut into small square pieces)
  • 3 garlic (thin sliced)
  • 2 shallots (thin sliced)
  • 2 cayenne peppers (warning: spicy! For milder option, try using bigger peppers such as: jalapeno, poblano, banana, bell or sweet peppers)
  • 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (found it at Asian grocery store)

Steps:

  • Heat up a medium pan, add vegetable oil
  • Lightly brown the sliced garlic, shallots, and peppers
  • Remove from pan and set aside
  • Using the remaining oil to brown the tempeh
  • Return the garlic, shallots, and peppers and mix them up with the tempeh
  • Add the sweet soy sauce, stir, and serve

Roasted Portobello with Breadcrumbs

Appetizer, Vegetable Recipes

Roasted Portobello with breadcrumbs

Simplicity in cooking is key this week. The days between Christmas and New Year can get tricky for me. With the holiday mode running high, I feel like eating out everyday and enjoy the festivities. That may have been due to a family tradition. Growing up, my family used the holidays to break daily routines and go on family trips. Many Indonesians do that. My friend puts it best, “We always thirst for vacations.” That’s why tourist destinations like Bali, Jogjakarta, Bandung, etc. get jam-packed during national holidays.

Jeff and I decided to stay put for the holidays this year. We went out for Christmas eve dinner, for the weekend, and will repeat for tomorrow’s New Year’s eve. Not much cooking this week. But I did make these crispy Portobello and thought I’d share. Wonderful to serve alongside Spaghetti Puttanesca and a bowl of roasted grape tomatoes in balsamic. Simple but delightful.

Roasted Portobello with breadcrumbs

Spaghetti ala Puttanesca

Roasted grape tomatoes

We will need:

  • 10 slices of large Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix egg with a little bit of salt and pepper, beat
  • Dip each slice of Portobello into the egg mixture
  • Coat each mushroom with breadcrumbs
  • Brush a baking sheet with olive oil, place the mushrooms on it, and roast for 8–10 minutes

Thank you for reading. Have a happy and healthy 2014!

Sauteed Napa Cabbage

Vegetable Recipes

Sauteed Napa Cabbage

Looking for an easy way to cook vegetables and make them more flavorful? Sauteing is my answer. My mom does it a lot with a variety of veggies like bean sprouts, bitter melon, Napa cabbage, etc. She taught me to cook them with garlic, chili peppers, salt, and a little bit of water. Quick, easy, and tasty.

sliced Napa cabbage

Napa cabbage has been one of my faves to saute. This crunchy and mild cabbage absorbs flavors nicely. It makes a wonderful side to beef, chicken, or fish dishes. (Optional: we could also make the dish more colorful by adding red bell peppers and/or mushrooms.)

Sauteed Napa cabbage with mushrooms

Here’s my recipe to serve two:

  • 1 Napa cabbage, cleaned and sliced (I usually pick a small one, just enough for two)
  • 4 garlic, chopped
  • 4 Thai peppers, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 bell pepper, cored and chopped (optional)
  • 1–2 cups of Shiitake mushroom, stemmed and chopped (optional)

Steps:

  • Heat up a medium pan, add oil (over medium heat)
  • Cook garlic and peppers for two minutes
  • Add slices of Napa cabbage and mix with the garlic and chili peppers (add bell peppers and mushroom here too, if using)
  • Add salt, mix. Then add water and cover the pan with a lid.
  • Let it cook for five minutes until the it simmers. (The cabbage will release its moisture and wilt. But, it will still be a bit crunchy even after cooking.) Taste and add salt if necessary.
  • Serve while it’s still hot

Thanks for reading!

Stuffing Bell Peppers with Leftover Chicken Cutlets and Stir-Fry Tofu and Vegetables

Baking, Poultry Recipes, Vegetable Recipes

I wonder if more people cook at home these days. With a plethora of cooking blogs, books, and TV channel and programs that we have, do you think they attract more people to cooking? Convert cooking non-believers into aficionados? Raise an interest in trying different recipes, maybe?

Chicken, Tofu, Vegetable Stuffed Bell Peppers by Tiny Chili Pepper

I won’t lie, cooking takes a lot of time and energy. We all know that it starts WAY before the actual cooking itself, right? Planning a meal, coming up with an idea for a menu, (in my case, it just means asking myself, “What should I cook tonight?”) is the hard part for me. Once I figure it out though, things just seem to happen— almost like moving on an automated-pilot mode. So in my situation, inspiration matters. Hence the collection of cook books, the email subscription to cooking blogs, the food talks with friends and family, and the occasional tune in to cooking programs on TV. I am thankful for the existence of this recipe universe that I have.

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Chicken, Tofu, Vegetables, Breadcrumbs by TCP

Speaking of recipe idea, I came across a good one the other day: Stuffed Bell Pepper by Giada De Laurentiis. In this recipe, she stuffed the peppers with eggplants, olives, capers, and tofu. Tofu! Ha! An idea appeared. I happened to have made stir-fry tofu with broccoli and green peas the previous day. Got some baked chicken cutlets too. (At this point, the tofu and vegetables have absorbed all of the flavors: garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil). So I decided to combine the two leftovers, pulse slightly in a food processor, add a little bit of a good salsa sauce, stuff it into roasted bell peppers, and add some breadcrumbs on top. Yum! Such a nice way to use up all of my leftovers.

Here’s how I did my Chicken, Tofu, and Vegetables Stuffed Bell Pepper:

For the Stir-Fry Tofu and Vegetables:

  • 1 extra firm tofu (pressed to drain and then cut into squares with ½ inch thickness). I found out later that the tofu bound the stuffing together nicely. It’s pretty great!
  • 2 cups of broccoli (cut into bite size)
  • 1 cup of green peas
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (optional)
  • 4 garlic (chopped)
  • 4 Thai peppers (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I cooked the garlic and peppers in sesame oil for two minutes. Then I added soy sauce, fish sauce, peas, broccoli, water, salt, and pepper. Covered the pan with a lid for three to five minutes. Once the sauce started to simmer, I arranged my tofu slices in the pan to make sure that they could absorb the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Covered the pan again and let it cook for another five minutes.

For the chicken cutlet: see Mark Bittman’s recipe here. (I used chicken breast, olive oil, a little bit of dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, and baked for 15 minutes.)

Stuffing the Bell Peppers:

  • 3 red bell peppers (halved and cored)
  • Drizzled with olive oil
  • Roasted for 30 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combined chicken cutlets and tofu with vegetables, pulsed very slightly in a food processor, added a good salsa sauce (optional, I wanted to add a little bit of spicy tomato and pepper taste in the stuffing), scooped into the bell peppers, sprinkled breadcrumbs, and broil for 2 minutes. (Might want to move the oven rack down, further from the broiler before starting. My topping was a bit burnt there, oops…Still very good though!).

Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

Sauteed Cabbage and Carrots

Vegetable Recipes

I like cooking vegetables. Their wide variety gives out many different taste and menu possibilities. That, and most of the time I find a lot of the veggie recipes to be easy to make. Here’s one to prove my point: sautéed cabbage and carrots, another childhood dish I grew up with in Indonesia. Originally called, orak-arik, this recipe has to be one of the easiest things to make. With shredded cabbage, carrots, a little bit of vegetable oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic, I get a delicious plate in no time. Do you notice how sweet carrots become after being sautéed? That sweetness goes real nice with the black pepper and crunchy cabbage. In its traditional form, the recipe includes scrambled eggs in the mix. But I am making that optional here.

Sauteed Cabbage and Carrots by Tiny Chili Pepper

Cooking the cabbage and carrots

Sauteed Cabbage and Carrots by Tiny Chili Pepper

Things that we’ll need:

(Serve 2)

  • 1 small (or half of a large) cabbage head (cut into thin shreds)
  • 3–4 carrots (cleaned and chopped in a food processor)
  • 3 garlic (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Steps:

  • Heat up a medium size pan (over medium heat)
  • Add oil and then garlic. Let it sizzle for two minutes
  • Add carrots, cabbage, salt, and black pepper. Stir to mix everything together (I use two cooking spoons to mix them up).
  • Cover the pan and let the veggies cook for five minutes or until everything wilts
  • Move it away from the heat

Ideal to serve as a side to a beef or chicken dish. Don’t forget the rice :D.

Hope you like it and happy cooking!

Orak arik by Tiny Chili Pepper

Braised Collard Greens

Vegetable Recipes

One recipe for two dishes is possible here.  This collard greens dish uses the same ingredients as my Smoked Salmon in Spicy Coconut Milk Sauce. Serve both over hot jasmine rice, with a cup of hot tea. Let’s nourish ourselves and be content. 

Braised Collard Greens by Tiny Chili Pepper

Serve 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of collard greens (Discard the stems and center ribs. Cut the leaves into thin strips)
  • 3 garlic
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 Thai peppers (or other type of chili peppers that you prefer)
  • Salt
  • 7 fl oz of light coconut milk (1/2 can of the regular 14 fl oz—Use the rest of the milk for Smoked Salmon in Spicy Coconut Sauce, see previous blog post)
  • 1 inch cut of galangal root, smashed (No galangal root? Substitute with zest from one lemon or lime)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil

Steps:

  • Chop garlic, shallots, and Thai peppers in a food processor
  • Heat up a medium size pan over medium heat and add oil
  • Sweat garlic, shallots, and peppers for about one to two minutes
  • Add coconut milk, salt, and galangal root to the pan. Stir until it starts to bubble.
  • Add collard greens into the sauce, mix, and cover the pan for five minutes or until the greens wilt. Move it away from the heat and let it sit for a while to absorb the sauce. 
  • Discard galangal root
  • Serve with hot jasmine rice 

Hope you like it and thank you for stopping by!

Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Horseradish

Salad, Vegetable Recipes

Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Green Onions and Horseradish by Tiny Chili Pepper

Got a chance to catch up with an old roommate a couple of weekends ago. Jeff and I joined her and her family at a lake house that we rented. We got lucky. October was being kind, sunny, and warm that week. Fall painted earthy colors all around us. We spent most of the time talking, eating, and running around outside.

Dining al fresco

We covered a wide range of topics that weekend. Food was one of them. In addition to exchanging cooking ideas, we also made a few dishes. Eating well was one of the activities we planned to do at this lake house reunion. My friend made red cabbage coleslaw one night to accompany her grilled lamb chops. I’ve always loved crunchy and tangy slaw but had never made it before. When I saw hers, I made notes in my mind: make coleslaw, use red cabbage and green onions, make it colorful! It was delicious. Thanks, Lal.

Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Horseradish ala Tiny Chili Pepper

Feeling inspired and intrigued, I slightly adapted the recipe the other day. Here’s my version with horseradish punch:

(Serves two)

  • 1/2 of small red cabbage head (sliced into very thin shreds)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

I mixed and whisked the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, horseradish, black pepper, and salt in a big bowl. Tasted and adjusted the flavors. Then I added the cabbage and green onions, tasted and adjusted again. Mixed them up, covered, and refrigerated it for an hour/overnight before serving. Let the vegetables absorb the flavors. Great to serve alongside steak or lamb chops.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Peace

A glorious day in October

Leelanau Lake, MI

Baked Tempeh

Vegetable Recipes

tempeh TCP

Baked Tempeh. My parents would probably chuckle when they read this post’s title. You see, tempeh is one of Indonesia’s staple food and a favorite of mine. Typically, we’d just sprinkle salt on it and brown it in a pan with a little bit of oil. It is delicious, simple, and humble. Now, as much as I love having tempeh, I loathe getting oil splatter all over my stove, kitchen, skin, and clothes. So, my solution to avoid such a mess: bake them in the oven. Why not, right?

Tempeh absorbs seasonings and marinades quite well. So, we could just salt it OR add more flavors to it. I like to do a dry rub with a few spices for mine. Here’s how I prepare the baked tempeh:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • I slice tempeh into thin rectangular cuts
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on the tempeh cuts and brush to coat evenly
  • Sprinkle a little bit of salt, cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder
  • Mix these spices with the tempeh cuts and make sure each is well coated
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown

They are still that delicious, simple, and humble tempeh that I like so much, even with the added ingredients and steps.

Great to serve alongside a vegetable dish and rice

Hope you like it.

Peace!

Sauteed Green Beans with Peppers and Anchovies

Vegetable Recipes

I must love green beans a whole lot that they keep showing up on my blog. Here they are again—this time sautéed with peppers and anchovies. Yes, anchovies! I am one of those people who enjoy them. A lot of Indonesians use the fish in different dishes as flavor booster. These little babies make my sautéed vegetable dishes salty, savory, and smelling fantastic. And a little goes a long way, really. No need to go crazy.

Sauteed Green Beans with Anchovies and Pepper by TCP

Here’s what we’ll need to make this dish:

  • Two handful of green beans
  • 3 yellow sweet peppers
  • 5 cayenne or Thai or finger hot peppers (I like these skinny spicy peppers)
  • 3 shallots (chopped)
  • 4 garlic (chopped)
  • 6 anchovies (In a can with olive oil—I rinsed mine before cooking to lessen the salt and oil content)
  • Black pepper
  • Ginger powder

ingredients TCP

saute everything together TCP

Steps:

  • Fill up medium pot with water, bring to boil
  • Add string beans and let them cook for a while until the water bubble for the second time
  • Remove them from the hot boiling water and place under cold running water (or a bowl of ice cold water) to stop the cooking process (I am learning from various cooking sources that this process is also called blanching)
  • Heat up a tablespoon of canola oil in a large pan (medium heat)
  • Saute anchovies, garlic, shallots, and peppers for about two to three minutes (until the anchovies melt)
  • Add green beans, a dash of black pepper, and a pinch of ginger powder
  • Mix them really well, reduce the heat, and cover the pan for a minute or two
  • Serve with baked tempeh and rice
Another favorite: Tempeh

Another favorite: Tempeh

My favorite simple peasant plate

My simple peasant plate

Thanks for reading. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.

Peace