Chicken in American Mustard sauce
Chicken breast can be bought everywhere and this a most
nutritious, and easily prepared dish using ingredients found
in the home kitchen. The yellow American mustard gives the
color and flavor to this dish. The addition of the garlic
just heightens the flavors. If you want to give it an
“Asian” flavor, sprinkle with chopped coriander before
serving. An ideal main dish for a dinner party at home.
In a large skillet or even the wok,
over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil until it begins
to sizzle; add chicken breasts. Cook over medium high heat,
turning once, for about 15 minutes or until chicken is
browned and fork tender.
Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
In the same wok add sour cream, milk, garlic and American
mustard. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sauce
is smooth and heated through. Pour sauce over chicken,
garnish with green onions, sprinkle ground black pepper
liberally over them and add coriander if desired.
Prawns with bean sprouts
This was an original Chinese dish from Peking, so there’s
more than just the duck; however, over the years has been
progressively refined, to make it more of a western item
these days. It is very flavorsome - just don’t overdo the
Wash the bean sprouts under cold water,
then line a colander with paper towel and shake until dried.
Remove head and tail and shell of
prawns, wash, dry on a paper towel and chop roughly into
In the wok heat the oil and add the
crushed garlic and stir-fry until golden brown, then scoop
out the garlic and discard. Add the finely sliced chili,
then the bean sprouts and stir-fry quickly for 30 seconds.
Now add the salt, vinegar, sugar,
tomato ketchup, ginger root, chopped prawn and chicken
stock. Bring quickly to the boil and leave for one minute.
Serve in a warmed dish with steamed
Prawn and Oyster Five Spice
The main ingredients are available very cheaply. At last
count it was less than B. 100 for 100 gm of shelled
oysters. This is also a dish to prepare the prawns in
European fashion, removing the heads, shell and tails.
Devein by slicing down the back and removing the central
vein before cooking too.
Mix the Five Spice and salt in a
saucer. Take the de-shelled prawns and dip into the mixture
of Five Spice and salt, making sure they are covered.
Heat the oil in the wok and stir-fry
the crushed garlic for 30 seconds. Add the prawns and
quickly stir-fry until they are a pink colour, then remove
the prawns with a strainer. Add the chicken stock to the
wok and bring to the boil.
Mix the corn flour with two tablespoons
of cold water and add to the wok. Stir until the sauce
thickens then add the prawns and the oysters and stir well.
Remove and sprinkle coriander leaf as
garnish and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Bacon Prawn Wrap
Wraps are always an interesting way to present food, and
great as a pre-dinner appetizer. This recipe is very similar
to the famous Angels on Horseback or Devils on Horseback.
With the former, you wrap oysters in bacon, and with the
latter it is prunes that are wrapped. With oysters, it needs
a very strongly flavored variety, otherwise the bacon
imparts too much taste, while with prawns, especially tiger
prawns, the flavors are complementary. Prawns also do not
need to be individually held together with toothpicks.
De-vein and then sprinkle the prepared
prawns with garlic powder and a little salt and put aside.
Cut the bacon rashers into thirds and then wrap each prawn
in a piece of bacon. Arrange on the BBQ or under the
griller. Cook the bacon wrapped prawns slowly, turning
occasionally to cook through for around six minutes, until
bacon is crisp and browned. Serve with tooth picks or satay
Orange Teriyaki Chicken
Teriyaki sauce gives its own particular
flavor to any dish, so this recipe is good when using
chicken breast fillets. This dish then depends for the bulk
of its flavor on the marinade. This procedure is best done
in a plastic “zip-lock” bag, into which you place the
chicken and the marinade. Turn it over several times to let
the marinade get on all sides and then place in the
refrigerator for at least one hour, but three or four is
better. It is very simple to cook after the marinade
Combine the marinade
ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag
and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate for at least one
hour in the refrigerator.
Remove from the
marinade and place chicken on heavy duty aluminium foil.
Season with salt and pepper. Arrange onion slices over
chicken. Seal edges of aluminium foil and place on grille at
medium heat. Grill for 20 minutes turning once or twice.
You can be a Cordon Bleu chef with a chicken
Chicken “Cordon Bleu” is a satisfying
dish for both the cook and the diners, though the chicken
might have other ideas. “Cordon bleu” comes from L’Ordre
des Chevaliers du Saint Esprit, a 1578 AD elite group of
French knights. The group became known for their
extravagant and luxurious banquets, known as “cordon bleu”
Flatten chicken breasts with the heel
of your hand. Wrap a slice of ham around a piece of cheese
about 5 cm long and 0.5 cm wide and then wrap the chicken
breast around the ham and cheese.
Dip the breasts in flour, then in the
egg wash (a beaten egg in 100 ml milk) and then in finely
crushed bread crumbs. Brown in hot oil about 4 minutes a
Finish the chicken cordon bleu in the
microwave on medium for around one minute to ensure the
cheese has melted.
Elephant and onion Stew
This recipe is one I bring out every couple
of years or so, and it still makes me smile. It was given
to me by David Levine, a chef who had been in Thailand for
some time, so was au fait with the ingredients. The
principal constituent is freely available in Thailand, and
in fact, you would probably be in line for a City
Administration grant if you took a couple from the streets
any night. The rabbits are harder to find, but I believe
you can get them on special order at supermarkets. It is
not a quick stir-fry in the wok on the street behind the
kitchen, but apparently is worth the effort.
Cut elephant into bite
sized pieces – preferably put aside around four months for
this part. Cook over a kerosene fire for three months, or
until tender. Now add onions, salt, pepper and flour and
cook until done, generally around two days. If more people
arrive than expected then add the rabbits at this final
stage (do this only if necessary, as most people don’t like
hares in their soup).
Asian BBQ Prawns
Throw another prawn on the Barbie, as the
Aussies would say. Prawns are a favored item for BBQ’s and
this is a quick and easy recipe to produce some lip-smacking
BBQ prawns. The important factor is the preparation of the
prawns. Though thawed prawns can be used, it is better to
use fresh ones. Get good medium to large sized ones and
remove the heads, tails and shell. Gently cut the prawn
down the back and remove the vein.
You can substitute
chilli paste for the cayenne pepper, but make sure you
dissolve it thoroughly in the oil.
In a bowl, add the
salt, turmeric, Five Spice and cayenne pepper to the oil.
Stir until the salt dissolves. Drop the prawns into the oil
and leave for one minute. Remove and thread the prawns on
wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. Place prawn
skewers on the BBQ plate and cook for 3-4 minutes, brushing
with oil if necessary. Serve hot.
You can make an
interesting dipping sauce made from Thai Chicken dipping
sauce, rice wine or sherry and ginger syrup in equal
Avocados are currently in the shops, and
while they are great sliced with lemon juice drizzled over
them and some ground black pepper, there are other ways of
using the avocado. This recipe is simple and all you will
need is a blender. Quantities are not so important, so just
use what you have got.
Put your pasta on to
cook in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Scoop out the
flesh of your avocados, discarding the skins and pips. Pop
it into a blender with your lemon juice, garlic, olive oil,
salt and basil. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Taste at this stage and
add more salt/pepper if needed. When satisfied with the
taste, set it aside until your pasta is ready and drained.
Toss together in a large bowl and sprinkle with freshly
grated parmesan (better than the dried grated cheese you buy
in a shaker).
If you have a couple
left over basil leaves, pop them on top. Serve family style
at the table.
Sweet Vietnamese Pork
Another SE Asian dish, this is very similar
to some local Thai recipes, though there are some essential
differences. Vietnamese fish sauce tends to be more
pungent, so I believe it is more pleasant using Thai fish
sauce, and I prefer the Tiparos brand. It is also a very
quick dish to prepare and make.
Cut the pork into 2 cm
cubes and add to a pre-heated wok with the oil just short of
smoking. Quickly stir-fry the pork until brown on all
sides. Now add the spring onions, salt and pepper and the
sugar, continuing to stir.
After one minute add
boiling water, with just enough to cover the pork cubes.
Stir in the fish sauce and bring to the boil and then simmer
until the liquid thickens. Now add the bean sprouts,
tossing quickly, place in serving dish and sprinkle with the
coriander garnish and serve with steamed rice.
Oyster Five Spice
This is a real local
market dish, with the main ingredients available very
cheaply. At last count it was B. 50 for 100 gm of shelled
oysters. This is also a dish to prepare in European
fashion, removing the heads, tails and shells of the
prawns. Devein by slicing down the back and removing the
central vein before cooking too.
Mix the Five Spice and
salt in a saucer. Take the de-shelled prawns and dip into
the mixture of Five Spice and salt, making sure they are
Heat the oil in the wok
and stir-fry the crushed garlic for 30 seconds. Add the
prawns and quickly stir-fry until they are a pink color,
then remove the prawns with a strainer. Add the chicken
stock to the wok and bring to the boil.
Mix the corn flour with
two tablespoons of cold water and add to the wok. Stir
until the sauce thickens then add the prawns and the oysters
and stir well.
Remove and sprinkle
coriander leaf as garnish on steamed rice and serve with
Pork with Herb
This recipe I have
snipped from a South American chef I met. I have simplified
the vegetable cooking, reducing it to a simple sauté in the
herb mixture (forgive me, Arturo!).
In a small bowl combine
garlic, vinegar, basil, mint, 2 tspns oil, sugar and the
cayenne pepper. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
Heat a dry cast iron
skillet (frying pan) over medium-high heat until very hot.
Rub the pork on both sides with the remaining olive oil and
season with salt and pepper. Now grill the pork on both
sides (about two minutes per side for medium rare, three
minutes per side to cook through).
Remove the pork and add
the vegetables and the combined herbs and sauté quickly in
the herb oil.
Place the pork on
plates, add the vegetables and pour the last of the herb
grill oil over the top.
Everyone loves a BBQ, and satays make an
ideal BBQ food. Speared on a stick or skewer, you can eat
single-handed while holding a drink in the other! To make
these pork satays memorable, marinate the meat in a Ziploc
bag in the fridge overnight and prepare the skewers the next
day. It is messier, but the result is better. By the way,
use the commercially available peanut sauce you can get in
the local supermarkets.
the pork into flat, bite sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the garlic,
onion, coriander, brown sugar, lime
juice, fish sauce and vegetable oil.
Now place the pork meat into the bowl
and thoroughly mix each piece in the
marinade. Pour the meat and marinade
into the bag and leave in the
Before cooking, thread the meat on to
skewers that have been soaked in water
for 30 minutes and cook over a hot BBQ
or on the griller. Do not overcook the
pork. Serve the satays with the
commercially available peanut sauce.
Spicy Tuna Salad (Inuit style)
You do not need to be
close to the North Pole to enjoy this salad. This is one
recipe that not only provides your family with a nourishing
salad, but can help with future health. Tuna fish has the
essential Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart. After
all, 5,000 years of Eskimo cuisine can’t be wrong! Remember
that the degree of spiciness can be altered by using less
Quickly cook the tuna
meat in the wok, or use tinned tuna after draining for a
while. Mix sugar, lime juice, chili powder and fish sauce.
Then add ground rice, fresh shallots, tuna meat and mix
well. Add coriander, roasted garlic, kaffir lime leaf, and
mix and toss gently. Top the salad with fried lemon grass.
Serve with fresh lettuce leaves and other seasonal
vegetables such as string bean, cucumber and basil leaf.
Creamy Prawn Pasta
Pasta is always a good
dish to prepare when entertaining. A
central large bowl with the special
pasta spoon (you do have one?) can be
used as a main course, or as an entree.
You can substitute the prawns with crab
or even a white meat fish. Do not
overcook the prawns as it makes them
Wash pasta, drain and then cook to al
dente. Drain again, rinse in hot water
and keep warm. Melt butter in large
skillet over medium heat, add onion and
garlic; cook until tender. Add flour,
salt and pepper; cook and stir until
smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk
and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until
mixture boils and thickens, stirring
constantly. Add parsley, Swiss cheese
and mushrooms; cook and stir until
cheese melts. Stir in prawns; cook
until thoroughly heated. Spoon over
cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan