Taste of Home: Chicken Cordon Bleu

The name Chicken Cordon Bleu, sounds so complicated and difficult but it is a simple dish and easy to make. It is a dish composed of chicken breasts, ham and cheese, where the ham and cheese are stacked on top of the chicken breast and rolled together then dredged in bread crumbs. It can either be fried or baked; personally, I prefer it baked.

My family and I love this dish so much – so traditional and so delicious that my boys just wolf it down.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

In this recipe, I prefer to use Emmental cheese for my cordon bleu because it does not taste too strong. I have also tried with special bacon (not fat) instead of ham, and seems like my family prefer a cordon bleu with bacon because it is tastier than with ham. Overall, the chicken is tender and juicy, and the bacon and Emmental are just epically cordon bleu.

For those who would like to try making cordon bleu, here’s my recipe. Please let me know what you think of it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pieces of boneless chicken breast.
  • 6 slices of pepper ham or 3 strips of bacon (not fat), slightly cooked and halves
  • 3 slices of Emmental cheese
  • 1 raw egg
  • 4 spoonful of melted salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • mustard
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • about ¼ teaspoon salt

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Methods:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius

Step 2: Prepare the butter-salt mixture.

  • Melt the butter. Once it is melted put it in a small bowl. Then add a pinch of salt, according to your taste. Mix it well.

Step 3: Prepare the egg mixture.

  • Crack and beat the egg in another pie plate. Add some mustard and a wee bit of salt according to your desired taste. Then set aside.

Step 4: Prepare the bread crumbs.

  • In a separate shallow dish, place the bread crumbs. Add a wee bit of salt. Mix thoroughly.

Step 5: Prepare the chicken.

  • Remove the tendon or tendon line and fat.
  • From the thick part of the chicken breast, cut it along the length.
  • Make sure the chicken is flat and the thickness is even so that it is easy to roll.

Step 6: Putting together

  • Brush the top with butter–salt mixture.
  • Sprinkle some ground black pepper.
  • Top the chicken breast with ham slices.
  • Put a slice of Emmental cheese on top of the ham.
  • Tightly roll the chicken breast from one end to the other end. Close the end of the chicken breast with a toothpick so that it will not roll back.
  • If there is still some butter-salt mixture left, combine it with the egg-butter-salt mixture. Whisk thoroughly.
  • Dip the chicken breasts in the egg-butter-salt mixture.
  • Coat with bread crumbs.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish.
  • Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.

Step 7: Slice, serve, share and enjoy!

Taste of Home: Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is a rich dish that you can prepare for yourself, your family and friends for lunch or dinner. It’s a simple recipe that takes about 30 minutes to prepare. In fact, this dish is good for people who do not have that much time to spend on cooking.

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

In this recipe, the chicken is creamy, tender and juicy as the chicken breast is drenched in the most luscious, creamy, and hearty mushroom sauce, easily made from a few simple ingredients. You will need boneless chicken breast, fresh white button mushroom, fresh cream and cheddar cheese.

If I can’t find fresh white button mushroom in the supermarket, I replaced it with Bonduelle, it’s a good French tin mushroom. Before cooking, my family and I opted to sautéed the mushroom (fresh or tin) first without any oil or butter, slowly and over a gentle fire so that the water from it will seep out and it will just simmer in their liquid. As a result, it would taste good and not spongy and squishy.

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Another thing I like about this recipe is that it’s great served up over pasta, steamed rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, sautéed vegetables of your choice, toast, or whatever you like. And, to me, this creamy mushroom sauce is one of the easiest sauce I’ve had ever make.

For those who are craving for something creamy but easy-to-make dish – chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is just perfect for you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pieces boneless chicken breast
  • 1 pack of white button mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 6 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 cL cooking fresh cream
  • 2 spoonful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon of melted salted butter
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • chicken powder
  • 2tablespoon of olive oil

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Method:

Step 1: Prepare the chicken

  • Season boneless chicken breast with chicken powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add chicken breast until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Step 2: Prepare the mushroom

  • In a pan, sauté the mushrooms slowly without any oil and butter above a gentle fire to evaporate the liquid from it so that it won’t taste too squishy.

Step 3: Prepare the mushroom sauce

  • In a separate pan, melt the butter.
  • Add onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until tender and browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Gradually, pour in the chicken broth. Stir.
  • Add the fresh cream. Stir. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cheese. Stir constantly.
  • Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook. Stir constantly until slightly thickened about 4 minutes.

Step 4: Putting together

  • Put-in the chicken into the mushroom sauce. In between, spoon some sauce over the top of the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes.
  • Garnish the chicken with creamy sauce with parsley
  • Serve it immediately with sautéed baby carrots and beans (or any vegetables of your choice) in butter, steam rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, toast or whatever you like.
  • Share and enjoy your delicious meal with your loved ones.

Taste of Home: Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is a rich Italian food that has captivated the hearts and taste buds of everyone in the world. It is made with alternate layers of pasta, garniture, Béchamel / White sauce, and cheese.

Beef Lasagna

In fact, Lasagna is one of the family’s favorite food, and everyone loves it!

It has everything – pasta, cheese, meat, veges. It is frickin’ awesome. It is divine. It looks good, tastes good, and can be made in so many different ways. It is also filling and smells like heaven when it is being cooked. It’s delicious and nutritious, and even better on the second day.

I tried to learn how to make lasagna from making pasta to putting all the ingredients together from Alan. At first, I thought it was so complicated, but when I tried it, I realized that it’s just easy although it takes a little practice and be familiar with the ingredients. I was very pleased and proud that I successfully make lasagna for myself and for my family as well.

Beef Lasagna

In this recipe, my family and I opted to use all fresh ingredients – from tomato sauce to pasta. It’s tastier and healthier! We also prefer to use good cheese, Emmental cheese being our favorite cheese for lasagna as it is not a strong-tasting cheese. For the sauce, my family and I find béchamel too strong and white sauce too tasteless, so we make our own version of sauce.

For those who would like to try to make it, here’s our version of Beef Lasagna recipe. Please let us know what you think about it.

Beef Lasagna fresh from the oven!

Ingredients for 12 servings:

  • 1.2 kg of minced beef
  • 4 kg of tomatoes
  • 500 g shallots
  • 200 g of butter
  • 200 g of Emmental cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • milk
  • flour
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • ground black pepper

Method:

The pasta
– Put some flour (about 200 grams) in a mixing bowl.
– Crack 2 eggs. Stir until they have mixed together.
– Add a bit of salt and about 10cL of water. Mix it again. Add flour bit by bit until you   obtain a mixture that is soft and non-sticky. Let it rest for about 1 hour.
– Roll it flat. Press your oven dish at the top of the flat pasta so that you can cut it to fit the oven dish.
– Let the pasta rest for about 12hrs in a clean dry place.

Rolling the pasta

Drying the pasta

The garniture
– Cut the tomatoes and shallots into thin slices.
– Put a few centiliters of water in a saucepan so that nothing gets burned.
– Mix the onions and tomatoes together in the same saucepan and cook the mixture for about one hour and a half over a medium fire. Stir often. Add a sprinkle of salt and soy sauce halfway through.
– Cook the minced beef in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with soy sauce and add a bit of black pepper. When it’s ready, mix it together with the tomatoes/onions.

Béchamel / White sauce
Personally, I find béchamel too strong and white sauce too tasteless, so this is what I do for lasagna:
– In a saucepan, melt about 200g of butter. Add about 100cL of water and 100cL of milk. Let it cook gently for a few minutes.
– Mix 5 table spoons of flour with water in a big glass or a tiny jar. Stir until the mixture is homogeneous.
– Put the water/flour mix into the pan and let it cook gently until it thickens. Stir continuously.

Beef Lasagna

Putting it together:
– Put half of garniture at the bottom of an oven dish. Put a layer of pasta on top. Put a layer of white sauce / béchamel on top. Put another layer of garniture on top. Another layer of pasta on top. One final layer of white sauce / béchamel on top.
– Put it into an oven pre-heated at 250 degree Celsius for about one hour. Then grate the cheese and sprinkle it on top. – Put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Et voilà! Serve, share and enjoy your luscious Beef Lasagna!

Taste of Home: Chicken Afritada

Last Tuesday, we fancied a Filipino style meal. So, I decided to cook a Filipino stew called Chicken Afritada, which is highly influenced by Spanish stew.

Chicken Afritada without green peas

I learned how to cook this dish from my mom when I was in Grade 6. We love Chicken Afritada and here are the reasons why it certainly captured our attention:

  • The recipe is simple – it is easy as pie.
  • It is cooked in tomato sauce.
  • It is colorful and visually appealing.
  • It can be served either lunch or dinner.

Chicken Afritada with green peas

This is my mom’s version of Chicken Afritada. While the original recipe use tomato sauce, my family and I opted for fresh tomatoes – you’ll get a healthier and tastier flavor than when just simply using canned tomato sauce. I still use 2 spoonful of tomato paste, though just to balance the flavor. Also, I cook it slowly to obtain a thick and rich sauce. I think that’s the secret to get a terrifically amazing Chicken Afritada.

To me, recipes from the family are truly the sweetest. And, if you love stew, tomatoes and chicken – this recipe is perfect for you.

Chicken Afritada

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of chicken thighs or boneless chicken breast
  • 2 medium size carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium size potatoes, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crunched and minced
  • 1 small size red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small size green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small can of green peas
  • 2 spoonful tomato paste
  • 1 Knorr chicken cube
  • 2 pieces dried bay leaves
  • ground Kampot black pepper, to taste
  • 750 mL water
  • olive oil

Method:

  1. Put olive oil in a cooking pot and heat it up.
  2. Put in garlic and onion and sauté.
  3. When onion gets soft (white color), put-in the chicken. Stir. Cook until lightly brown.
  4. Pour in the water. Cover. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add bay leaves, tomato paste and Knorr chicken cube.  Stir. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, green peas and potatoes. Stir. Cover. Then it let cook for 30 minutes in a medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure no scorched crust forms at the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add Kampot black pepper. Stir. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Put it in a serving dish.
  9. Serve, share and savor this delicious Filipino chicken stew – Afritada with hot steamed rice!

Taste of Home: Bulalo

Bulalo is one of the most popular Filipino beef soup. It is made out of beef leg bones with marrow. This dish originated in Taal, Tagaytay where they have a cooler temperature when compared to other parts of the Philippines.

Bulalo

I learned how to cook this dish from my dad. I like dad’s Bulalo’s recipe because it is simple yet it makes a delectable dish. One of the secrets to make a good Bulalo is to boil the meat for a long period of time so that the meat releases all of its flavors and becomes tender.

My family and I love to eat Bulalo because it’s tasty and nutritious. Another thing I enjoy about Bulalo is the bone marrow. I take out the marrow from the bone then I dip it in a sauce (soysauce with lime and chili) and eat it with plain rice. It is so delicious!

Have you tried Bulalo? What do you like about the dish? For those who would like to try Bulalo, here’s a simple recipe for you.

Bulalo

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of beef shank
  • 1 pc small cabbage, whole leaf individually detached
  • 1 small bundle pak choy
  • 3 pcs corn, each corn cut into 4 parts
  • 2 pcs large carrot, roughly cut (optional)
  • 2 tbsp whole pepper corn
  • 1 pc onion, roughly cut
  • 3 liters of water
  • 2 pcs beef broth

Method:

  1. Pour in water in a big cooking pot. Add the beef broth and bring it to a boil.
  2. Put-in the beef shank. Add whole pepper corn and onion. Boil for 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  3. Add corn. Let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
  4. Add cabbage and pak choy. Let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, share and enjoy!

 

Taste of Home: Coq au Vin

Two months ago, I finally got another authentic French taste when hubby cooked this classic and hearty dish – Coq Au Vin (which means in English Rooster in Wine). It is unbelievably balanced, rich and very delicious.

Love this classic Coq Au Vin

Since then I had wanted to know how to make it. So one weekend I gave it a try myself, of course under hubby’s supervision.  As it turns out, this classic Coq Au Vin is actually surprisingly easy to make!

While cooking, I have learned the following:

  1. One of the important ingredients in this recipe is the red wine. Traditionally, Burgundy wine is used, but you can use any red wine that you like.
  2. The longer you cook (make sure the content in the pot remain moist), the richer the flavor, the softer the meat and the tastier it becomes.
  3. It is okay to chop or prepare the other ingredients while cooking. If you do not have enough time to get everything ready beforehand, it is not a problem.
  4. I think the only difficult part of the recipe is finding time to make it, as it took us nearly 2 ½ hours from start to finish.

Love this classic Coq Au Vin

If you find a weekend evening where you have a little extra time, turn on some music, and give it a try.  Personally, I had a great time cooking this most amazing slow-simmered chicken in red wine sauce. And – voila! – this classic dish will be yours to enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg of chicken breast, chopped
  • 8 stripes of bacon, sliced
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 pack of white button mushroom, chopped
  • 2 kg of baby potatoes, whole
  • 4 whole leaves of Bay Leaf
  • 2 kg of tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 balls of garlic, chopped
  • 4 carrots, roughly sliced
  • 1  kg of shallots, halves
  • 200 grams of Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Thyme
  • 4 cubes of chicken broth
  • Black pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil

Love this chicken stew – Coq Au Vin

Method:

  1. Prepare Bouquet Garni: put bay leaves, thyme and parsley in a bowl. Mix.
  2. Put 1 liter of water in the pot. Add chicken broth and Bouquet Garni. Let it boil.
  3. While the water is boiling, put some olive oil in the pan. Add black pepper and soy sauce to the chicken. Stir and let it cook until the chicken turns reddish brown.
  4. Put in the meat into the boiling water. Put in shallots, carrots, baby potatoes (whole), and garlic. Stir.
  5. Put in the red wine. Stir.
  6. Put the bacon in a separate frying pan. Let it cook until it becomes light brown. When the bacon is cooked put it in the cooking pot where the rest of the ingredients are cooking.
  7. Put the mushroom in another pan. Cook the mushroom for about 10 minutes or until the water in the mushroom has evaporated. Once cooked, put it in in the cooking pot.
  8. Keep adding water if need be until the desired consistency is reached.
  9. The total cooking time is about 2 hours above medium fire.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste of Home: Oven roasted chicken

Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the Philippines, so when I arrived in Cambodia it was all new to me.  Ever since I celebrated my first Thanksgiving in Phnom Penh in 2009, I have grown to love and appreciate this special holiday, especially since there is no gift buying, wrapping and decorating. It’s just all about family and friends coming together and enjoying each other’s company while sharing a magnificent meal with a grateful heart.

oven roasted chicken 🙂

This year’s Thanksgiving was quite special for my family as this was our first Thanksgiving celebrated as a family (with our son) and at home, since for the past Thanksgiving we usually dined out in the restaurant.

To celebrate this amazing holiday, since I love cooking – and what better occasion is there to flex those culinary muscles – I decided to make oven roasted chicken. At first, I was considering making roasted turkey, but thought that it might be too big for 3.

roasted chicken fresh from the oven

It was my first time to make an oven roasted chicken, nevertheless, I was very happy that my boys enjoyed it. Next time I’m going to make it, I think it would be a good idea to add a good dousing of wine to add moisture to the whole deal.

To all of you, wish your heart and home was filled with joy on Thanksgiving Day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon of sage
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 6 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • Chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

everything’s ready for oven roasting

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Prepare the chicken. Remove the chicken neck and giblets, rinse the chicken, and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. While the chicken is drying, prepare the buttery mixture. Put the butter on the bowl. Put in sage, thyme, salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Rub the skin and the body cavity with the buttery mixture. Stuff the body cavity with celery, carrots and onion. Then tie the legs to make sure that it is evenly cooked.
  5. Place the celery, carrots, and onion in the roasting pan. Then put the chicken, breast side up, and pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the roasting pan.
  6. Place chicken in the oven. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices from the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them. Roast the chicken for about two and a half hours.
  7. Put the chicken in a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 minutes before serving.