Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder

Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder

Hello Everyone! I’ll keep tonight’s introduction short as I haven’t got much to say really. This Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder is the perfect comfort food for the wintry days, or even just those cold, rainy nights. It’s easy, hearty, spicy, sweet, slightly creamy, incredibly smoky, and packed with tons of flavour!

Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder

Shrimp is a popular choice for any meal of the day. Be sure and get the right sized shrimp for your recipe Medium-size shrimp are best for soups, for example, because they are easier to eat with a spoon. The best part of this dish though is that you can control the heat levels by adding more or less cayenne and/or paprika, to taste. If you ask me though, I’d say the more the better because that smokiness is the true star in this chowder!

As I was cooking, I realised that the dish was turning out to be more on the orange side rather than yellow. Oops! Nevertheless, before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on Gimmie Some Oven by Ali.

Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 25 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g shrimp, heads removed, peeled, and deveined

For the prawn head soup base

  • Shrimp heads and peels
  • 1.5L water
  • 5 garlic cloves, whole
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 small red onion, quartered
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns

For the chowder

  • Shrimp meat
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 bag (200g) frozen corn*, thawed
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-sized cubes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped spring onions, to garnish

* Alternatively, you can also use fresh corn or canned corn for this recipe; whichever is readily available for you.

METHOD

  1. Prawn Head Soup Base: Add all the ingredients to a large heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Make sure to press down on the heads and peels as it simmers away to extract as much flavour as you can. Leave it to simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Once done, strain the soup base into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Chowder: In the same heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add the minced garlic and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful to not burn the garlic. Then add in the diced onions, cooking until they soften, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced celery and potatoes to the pot, together with the spices, herbs and season with ground black pepper. Stir and cook for about a minute before adding in the prawn head soup base to the mixture. Bring to a rapid boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low so that the soup reduces to a slow simmer. Simmer away for 10 to 15 minutes, covered. Slowly add in half of the coconut milk and bring back to a slow simmer. Check and stir occasionally to avoid curdles from forming, cooking for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Taste to check if the chowder needs more seasoning or not.
  6. Add in the prawns and thawed sweet corn. If you’re using fresh corn, add them a little earlier to ensure that they are cooked all the way through. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add in the remaining coconut milk. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the chowder up to a rapid boil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Turn the heat off and equally divide the chowder into individual serving bowls. Top with some freshly chopped green onions and serve immediately while hot. Best with a crusty baguette on the side. Enjoy!

Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder

Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken)

Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken)

Hello Everyone! If you’re looking for a fast and easy dinner meal that will have you out of the kitchen in no time, then I have some great news for you!

Tonight’s recipe is one very close to my heart. Besides the famous Chicken Adobo and Sinigang for days, Pininyahang Manok, or in English, Pineapple Chicken is one of those Filipino dishes that radiates the true meaning of Filipino comfort food. It is delicately flavoured with milk or cream, and pineapples, pulled together with simple pantry staples, finishing in less than 30 minutes cook time. Pair it with steamed rice and you have a chicken dish that the whole family is sure to love.

Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken)

There are different variations on how the dish is prepared by individuals, mainly in using either fresh or canned pineapples. I like to use fresh pineapples for not only does it add a balanced flavour profile of sweetness and tartness, it also does not have that lasang lata* taste to the dish. Another variation would be the choice of milk used – fresh, evaporated, or coconut milk. Those who prefer a creamier texture use whipping or all-purpose cream. All produce the same results tweaked to their liking, so there is no right or wrong way in choosing your ingredient variations.

*For my non-Filipino followers, lasang lata means “canned” flavour. Some canned products for me have this weird taste that I can’t shake off, that it tastes like the can in which it was preserved.

Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pcs chicken whole legs, cut into 3
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli (optional)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small red onion, halved then sliced
  • 2 cups fresh (or canned) pineapple, cut into chunks**
  • 1 cup fresh (or evaporated) milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Handful of chopped spring onions
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

**If using canned pineapples, drain and discard the syrup if you don’t want your dish to be on the sweeter side. The fresh pineapples that I used for this recipe were a bit tart which I personally loved.

METHOD

  1. Add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a medium-sized pan and heat over medium-high. Sauté the minced garlic until golden brown in colour and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add in the onions, cooking until soft, about a further minute.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir occasionally and cook until the chicken pieces are lightly browned.
  3. Lower down the heat and add the pineapple chunks and bird’s eye chilli for an extra kick of heat to the dish (optional). Stir then cover until the chicken is tender and has released its own juices, about 10 minutes. Add about half a cup of water if it gets too dry.
  4. Add the sliced carrots and bell pepper strips. Taste and adjust the flavour to your liking. If it is too sweet, add a bit more water or balance it by adding a bit of fish sauce (if it isn’t already too salty for your taste buds). Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Make sure that you turn the heat down as low as you can so that your pineapple chicken is down to a very slow simmer before you add the milk in. Adding the milk when it is rapidly boiling will heat the milk too quickly and cause it to curdle and we don’t want that to happen!
  6. Leave to simmer slowly, but not bring to a boil, for a further 5 minutes before taking it off the heat. Sprinkle with spring onions and serve immediately with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

Hello Everyone! We’ve made it halfway through Winter Warmer Month and today I’ve got something for spicy and seafood lovers out there. Well, I mean maybe not all seafood lovers will fancy this just because I know some people who do love seafood, but can’t do crabs because of its taste/texture, or even prawns because of the way it looks. Anyway, if you like spicy, crab, and sweet corn in a nice creamy soup, then this recipe is for you!

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque Ingredients

A bisque is basically a soup of French origin from a crustacean-based broth (either from lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish) that is smooth, creamy, and highly seasoned. Traditionally, you would extract the flavour from imperfect crustaceans that are not good enough to sell at markets. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Seafood bisques are traditionally served in a low two-handled cup on a saucer or in a mug. However, not all bisques contain seafood. Bisque is also sometimes used to refer to cream-based soups in which pre-cooked ingredients such as squash, tomato, mushroom, and red pepper are puréed or processed in a food processor.

Anyway, two days ago I went to the Sydney Fish Markets with my roommate Marissa (from Maiyummy) and her friend Rachel to indulge in delectable seafood plates from the barbecue and grill place, as well as purchasing some fresh seafood for our own cooking. I bought some live flame clams and blue swimmer crabs for this particular recipe. Actually, I hadn’t planned on making a seafood bisque for Winter Warmer Month, but as soon as I knew that I was going to make a trip to the fish market, I had to do a seafood soup of some sort! Anyway, enough talk and let get to the menu shall we? You can find the original recipe over on All Recipes; I changed the order of the method and the seasonings but it still worked out fine.

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g fresh crabmeat (I got mine from blue swimmer crabs)
  • 2 ears of corn, cut from the cob
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 small-sized onion, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth*
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

*I made my own by combining chicken carcasses, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and a bit of ginger in a pot of water and boiled it for about 45 minutes to an hour, otherwise store bought broth, or a chicken cube/powder with water will do the trick as well.

METHOD

  1. Wash and clean the crabs thoroughly and place in a steamer and steam for about 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the steamer and set aside to cool. If you’ve purchased crab flesh in a jar, then you can skip this step altogether.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, be careful as to not brown/burn the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute or two before adding the the onions and cooking them until soft.
  3. Add in the corn kernels followed by the bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix around and cook for about a minute or two before adding the chicken broth in with the mixture.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the soup and set aside.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in the thickened cream. Using a stick blender, blend the corn together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium-high once again and return the unblended soup to the cooking pot and mix well.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and milk. Slowly and constantly stir the mixture into the simmering soup. Stir in crabmeat (leaving a few pieces behind to decorate with) and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  7. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (4 large bowls, or 6 small bowls) and top with some crabmeat, corn, cayenne pepper, and fresh afro parsley.

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

Hello Everyone! I know, this recipe may not be as exciting as the three Winter Warmer soup recipes that have gone up on the blog for this month, but everybody loves an easy creamy mushroom soup. Well, at least I know without a doubt that I love me a nice bowl of mushroom soup. Even at buffets that I have been to, I always dive into a nice bowl of mushroom soup over whatever was the other choice of soup.

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

Anyway, I’ve made this recipe a couple of times before and I remember the last time I made this soup was last year during my meat free week which was the week before Easter Sunday. That whole week was difficult indeed because I would always be so hungry after 2 hours of having my meal which then made me sad and upset. What did I learn from this experience? I can’t live without meat in my diet, and therefore I will never be able to convert to a vegetarian. I can have a no meat day, but a week let alone forever? Nope!

You may notice that there are some ingredients missing in the picture from the list, and that’s only because I remembered when everything was chopped up already that I was missing the butter and flour. The dash of worcestershire sauce was actually unplanned, I just came across the sauce in the pantry as I was searching for the pepper mill.

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pcs portobello mushrooms, cut into small chunks
  • 2 cups pork stock*, or vegetable stock
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 brown onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • Dash of worcestershire sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • Thickened cream

*I had about 2 cups of rich pork broth that I didn’t want to throw away from tenderising a piece of pork shoulder to teach my friend how to make roast pork cracking, so I reserved it and decided to use it for this recipe. Otherwise, plain vegetable stock is fine for a vegetarian option.

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, be careful as to not brown/burn the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute or two before adding the the onions and cooking them until soft. Then add in the mushrooms, seasoning with a bit of black pepper, salt, and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are tender.
  2. Add the pork stock in and a dash of worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, let it cook for a further 10 minutes. Scoop out about a tablespoon of the stock and place into a small bowl together with the flour. Mix until there are no more lumps and the mixture becomes a thick paste. Return to the pot and incorporate well into the soup. Continue cooking the soup until it starts to thicken, about a further 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off, and scoop out about a heaped ladle of the soup and mushrooms. Set aside.
  4. Then, using a stick blender, blend the mushrooms together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Return the unblended soup to he cooking pot and mix well.
  5. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (2 large bowls, or 3 small bowls) and top with a dollop of thickened cream and fresh afro parsley. Serve immediately with some toasted bread.

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Hello Everyone! Oh what a hectic recipe this has been. First of all, it wasn’t supposed to be Moroccan-flavoured pumpkin soup; I wanted to do a spicy chipotle pumpkin soup. I looked everywhere I could for chipotle peppers, but could only find chipotle salsa in the grocery stores that contained like 5% chipotle and 95% others. There were two other stores that sold chipotle peppers, but one I had to order online (with a minimum price of $20.00 to be able to ship), and the other I had to wait up to 10 days. So I scratched the chipotle and decided to use fresh jalapeño peppers along with Mexican chilli powder.Those flavours didn’t even shine through because of the very flavourful Moroccan soup base that I used for the soup. I was going to make my own vegetable stock for this dish, until I saw this base in store. I’ve never seen them before (well duh it says ‘new’) and I wanted to give it a try – thus Moroccan Pumpkin Soup on the menu tonight. Even though I didn’t achieve what I wanted to in the first place, the soup was delicious, especially with the crispy chorizo bits on top!

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Peeling pumpkin can be quite difficult, I guess, well not for me. I only said that because I remembered my former housemate Lydia struggling to peel pumpkin; it would take her close to an hour to peel and cut them into chunks. I also remembered how she would place them in the pot and cook them as she went to save time, and but of course the first batch of pumpkin would already be tender. I jokingly said to her, “did you have pumpkin mash for dinner?” Ah bless her; Lydia if you’re reading this, please comment below (also you Vidhya because I know you are reading this and remembering this too :P).

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 3-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 chorizo, sliced and then cut into small chunks
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 2 cups Campbell’s Moroccan soup base
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Mexican chilli powder
  • Afro parsley
  • Feta cheese
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin chunks and jalapeño peppers with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss around until well coated with the oil and seasoning. Line a baking tray with foil and place the pumpkin chunks and jalapeño peppers on it. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Heat a large pot with a bit of olive oil over medium-high. Add the chorizo chunks in and fry until crispy. Set aside, leaving behind the oil in the pot.
  3. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add the onions and continue cooking until soft.
  4. Add the pumpkin and jalapeño peppers to the pot and mash the pumpkin, mixing it together with the sautéed garlic and onions. Season with a bit more salt, pepper, and Mexican chilli powder, then add in the Moroccan soup base. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, continue cooking for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and let it sit too cool down slightly for about 10 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend the vegetables together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Add in the cream and give it a good mix.
  6. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (3 large bowls, or 4-5 small bowls), and top each with a bit of crispy chorizo and feta cheese. Garnish with afro parsley leaves and serve immediately with some toasted bread.

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Honestly, why buy canned soup when you can easily make your own! Much more healthy in a sense that there are far way less preservatives in your soup and you can go nuts with the flavours that you fancy!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Hello Everyone! Another simple recipe for you that has already probably come up in a few recipes as an accompaniment to a main dish, but I thought that I’d separate the recipe from a post I did two days ago. I love mashed potatoes. I still even remember the time I “made” them – a cringe-worthy experience I must say! I was THAT inexperienced that I “made” mashed potatoes by simply buying those pre-packed ones where you would just add water and violà! Can’t believe I did that for a year.

And you may think that mashed potatoes are simple and easy to make? Well somehow I still managed to stuff them up one time – it had a glue-like texture to it… It was just awful in texture but at least the taste was somewhat still there. I seriously had NO idea how that happened until I came across a Masterchef Australia’s Masterclass on TV where Gary showed how to make the perfect mashed potatoes. I then understood where my mistakes were and they were mainly to do with temperatures and process of mashing (I used to use a potato masher, but for a smoother consistency…you’ll find out below). Nonetheless, I can say that I’m pretty much there with my mashed potatoes – some days more creamy and some days more fluffy because I pretty much just eyeball the amount of milk and butter. Also always inconsistent with the number of potatoes that I use. So for this recipe, just adjust the amount of milk and butter to your liking.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium-sized white potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed but not boiling
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Steam the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until tender (check by piercing a fork into the chunks of potatoes). Drain and pass the potatoes through a sieve back into the pot with the heat turned off. Work in batches if needed.
  2. Add the warmed milk, potatoes and ground salt and pepper, and mix until a smooth and creamy texture. Serve as an accompaniment to a main dish.

Mashed Potatoes

Also note the waterlily bowl that I used to hold my mashed potatoes in! If you’re a new follower or have not seen my blog before, head on to a post I did a while back on my Lovelily Tableware Collection where I hand-built plates and bowls for my introduction to ceramics course as part of my degree elective.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Fried Chicken with Salted Duck Egg Sauce

Fried Chicken with Salted Duck Egg Sauce

Hello Everyone! Today for lunch I decided to pull out an old recipe that I have been making for a while now. I first came across a similar dish back in 2009/2010 maybe, at a restaurant back home, Mangrove Paradise Restaurant, where one of the waiters recommended the stir fried prawns with salted egg sauce. I am so glad that they made that recommendation because the dish was simply divine! I never tried to recreate this dish at home because, if you read my story on My Kitchen Journey, I was never really into cooking until 2 years ago really.

I was looking up recipes online one day figuring out what to make, and then I remembered this dish. I searched and searched online but could not find the one that I specifically had. I came across variations of the dish, but it wasn’t what I wanted to make. I then came across this recipe from yummylittlecooks which was close enough. I tweaked the recipe and method a bit, but I actually haven’t tested this recipe out with prawns, which I should definitely do next time, with some fresh curry leaves (I couldn’t find any this week so I resulted to used dried ones). They go so well with fried chicken though!

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup canola oil for shallow frying

For the marinade

  • 15 pcs chicken mid-wings, washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Dash of ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 3 salted duck egg yolks, steamed and smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves (dried leaves can be used as well if not available)
  • 3-4 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  • 1 can (350ml) evaporated milk

METHOD

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix the chicken around until well coated. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave to marinade for 1 hour. Do not refrigerate it to bring the meat down to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat up oil in a large frying pan an working in batches, shallow dry the chicken until skin is crispy and golden (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove from the heat and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
  3. Place the wings in the oven for a further 8-10 minutes to finish off in the oven. *In the past I have found that my wings were still a bit raw on the inside after frying, and frying them longer in the pan would either burn my wings or make it go dry, which is why I added this step in to finish cooking the wings without burning, and the wings remained crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside
  4. Meanwhile, drain some on the oil from the pan and sauté the egg yolks, curry leaves and half of bird’s eye chillies until fragrant. Add the evaporated milk and bring to a boil until the sauce has slightly thickened. *This recipe calls for 350ml of evaporated milk, if you want a drier dish, then use less milk
  5. Place the chicken wings on a shallow serving bowl and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with the remaining chillies and curry leaves. Serve with steamed rice.

Fried Chicken with Salted Duck Egg Sauce

BON APPÉTIT

-Ally xx

myTaste.com