Thursday, 27 November 2014

Baked Chicken & Penne with Alfredo Sauce

In order to use up some left-over roast chicken from yesterday, I cooked this easy peasy noodle dish for lunch today.  I prepared a low calorie Alfredo sauce by using the same quantity for both chicken broth and low-fat milk instead of only milk.  Firstly, I sautéed minced garlic before adding the flour, chicken broth and milk followed by shredded chicken (skinless) and canned mushrooms. There are two options in serving this dish.  Serve it immediately once the noodles are mixed with the hot Alfredo sauce. Alternatively, add noodle mixture to a casserole dish and bake in a hot oven for half an hour. Tastes delicious both ways and I think the kids would love it!


Ingredients (serves 4):
250 g Penne noodles
15 g grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients for Alfredo Sauce:
3 pips garlic, to be peeled and minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp flour
250 ml chicken broth or instant stock
250 ml low-fat milk (1.5%)
50 g grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
250 g shredded chicken (cooked)
1 glass (280 g) sliced mushrooms

Method:
Cook noodles according to packet instructions.

In a medium-size pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté minced garlic until fragrant.  Add flour and mix well by using a whisk.  Then, add chicken broth followed by milk and grated parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper before adding the mushrooms and shredded chicken.  Bring to a light simmer, remove from heat and set aside.


Once noodles are done, pass through a colander and return noodles to pot.  Add Alfredo sauce and mix thoroughly.


At this stage, you may serve the noodles immediately.


Alternatively, add half quantity of noodle mixture to a casserole (24 x 19 cm) and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top.  Repeat procedure with the remaining noodle mixture and parmesan cheese.  Bake in a preheated fan oven at a temperature of 180° C for 25 to 30 minutes.



Serve while it is hot!

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

A non-traditional german cookie this time as I would like to bake something different. I added peanut butter and cane sugar in the dough mixture to achieve the peanut taste.  Easy to make and one can bake them a few days before they are decorated.


Ingredients (yields about 90 pcs):
250 g peanut butter
250 g butter (room temperature)
200 g fine sugar
200 g cane sugar
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
600 - 650 g flour

400 g bitter chocolate

Method:
In a mixing bowl, whisk peanut butter, butter, fine sugar and cane sugar until creamy. Add eggs and mix well.  Then, add salt and flour and knead by using the dough hook to a pliable dough.  Wrap dough in a cling wrap and leave in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Roll out dough and cut out circles with a diameter of 6 cm.  Bake in a preheated fan oven at a temperature of 155° C for about 10 minutes or until top is light brown in colour.  Once done, remove from oven and leave to cool down completely.

Melt chocolate in a bain-marie again and dip the cookies halfway.  Decorate with chocolate hearts and leave to dry completely before storing them in an airtight tin.

Happy Baking!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Baiserbusserln

A new german cookie which I am adding to my collection of Christmas cookies. These Busserln are mini in size and do not require much work.  The bases are simple biscuits and topped with meringues. The enjoyable part is to assemble them together with red or blackcurrant jam.


Base Biscuit Ingredients (yields about 100 pieces):
200 g flour
2 egg yolks
150 g butter (room temperature)
30 g fine sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt

Meringue Ingredients:
3 egg whites
240 g fine sugar

100 g red or blackcurrant jam

Method:
In a mixing bowl, knead butter, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar, flour and salt together to a pliable dough.  Wrap dough in a cling wrap and store in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on a well floured worktop to a thickness of 2.5 cm.  Cut out circles with a diameter of 2 cm.  Arrange on a baking tray which is lined with baking paper.


Preheat fan oven to a temperature of 165° C.  In another bowl, whisk egg whites. Gradually, add sugar to form a firm mixture.  By using a piping bag with a 1 cm diameter plain nozzle, pipe a small meringue spot on top of the bases as shown.


Bake in oven on the lowest rack for about 17-20 minutes.  Once done, leave to cool down completely.


In a small saucepan, heat jam over low heat and stir until smooth.  Leave aside to cool down a bit.  To assemble, join two Busserln together by spreading a little jam on the base.  Leave to dry completely before storing them in an airtight tin.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Baeckeoffa

A hearty stew for dinner on a cold Saturday evening.  This dish is very popular in Alsace, France and it is usually cooked with pork meat.  This time, I added goose meat along with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, marjoram, parsley, thyme & bay leaf.  I used a traditional Baeckeoffa casserole which can be served directly on the dining table.   Otherwise, one can use a normal casserole with a lid. Tastes great when eaten with a crusty baguette.


Ingredients (serves 4):
2 goose legs (about 950 g)
40 g ghee or Butterschmalz
650 g potatoes, to be peeled and soaked in cold water
a bunch of flat parsley, to be washed, dried & plucked
a bunch of marjoram, to be washed, dried & plucked
200 ml chicken or poultry fond
300 ml Alsatian Silvaner or any non-alcoholic cooking white wine
300 g big onions, to be peeled & cut into wedges
500 g big carrots, to be peeled, halved & cut into 5 cm pieces
800 g cabbage, to be cut into strips (trunk removed), washed & drip dry
1/2 bunch of thyme, to be washed & dried
1 tiny bay leaf

250 g plain flour
2 tbsp cooking oil
125 ml water

Method:
Wash and dry goose legs.  Remove fat and skin - these are to be cooked in a saucepan over medium heat in order to extract the goose fat.  Remove meat from bones and cut into about 5 cm cubes. Leave aside.

Prepare onions, carrots and cabbage as shown.


Grease the base of casserole with 10 g ghee.  Thinly slice potatoes and arrange on the base of casserole in two layers:  sprinkle salt, pepper, parsley and marjoram on each layer.  Then, add poultry fond.


Heat 2 tbsp of goose fat in a big pan over medium heat and add goose meat.  Brown on all sides and season with salt & pepper, followed by 100 ml Silvaner.  Let it simmer lightly before adding to the casserole.


Wipe pan clean with kitchen paper.  Heat 10 g ghee over medium heat and add onion wedges. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.  Then, season with salt and a good pinch of sugar, followed with 50 ml of Silvaner.  Let it simmer lightly before adding to the casserole.


Wipe pan clean with kitchen paper.  Heat 10 g ghee over medium heat and add carrots.  Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.  Then, season with salt and a good pinch of sugar, followed with 150 ml of Silvaner. Let it simmer lightly before adding to the casserole.


Wipe pan clean with kitchen paper.  Heat 10 g ghee over medium heat and add cabbage.  Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.  Then, season with salt and a pinch of sugar. Then, add to casserole and place the bunch of thyme with the bay leaf attached.


In a mixing bowl, knead flour, cooking oil and water together to form a pliable dough. Roll dough into a long roll, enough to line the lid of the casserole.  Position dough between the casserole and its lid as shown.  Press dough lightly.


Bake in a preheated slow fan oven at a temperature of 140° C for about two and three quarter hours.



Remove thyme and bay leaf before serving it hot with a crusty baguette.


Bon Appetit!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Linzer Cookies

Another new german cookie to add to my collection of Christmas cookies.  I added three spices i.e. cinnamon, cardamon and cloves in the dough.  Apart from the spices, I also added ground almonds. One may add clear cherry liquor for the extra taste.  The top biscuits with hearts are sprinkled with icing sugar and assembled together to their bases with red or blackcurrant jam.


Ingredients (yields about 100 pieces):
450 g cold butter
220 g icing sugar
60 g vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt
3 eggs
1/4 tsp cardamon powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cloves powder
450 g flour type 550 or plain flour
450 g ground almond
3 tsp clear cherry liquor/Kirschwasser (optional)

extra icing sugar for topping
400 g red or blackcurrant jam

Method:
In a mixing bowl, knead butter, icing sugar and vanilla sugar together.  Then, add egg, salt, spices and cherry liquor (optional).  Gradually add flour and ground almond. Knead mixture to a pliable dough.  Wrap dough in a cling wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

Roll out dough on a well floured worktop.  Cut out your desired shape and arrange on a baking tray which is lined with baking paper.  Ensure that the bases and tops with an opening are cut out as shown.


Bake in a preheated fan oven at a temperature of 150° C for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool down completely.


In a saucepan, heat jam over low heat and stir until smooth.  Leave aside to cool down a bit.  Arrange the tops on a baking tray and sprinkle with icing sugar.


To assemble, spread a little jam on the bases and carefully place the tops over it.  Leave to dry before storing in an airtight tin.


Happy Baking!