Friday, September 28, 2012

Chili Chicken - "Indo-Chinese" Style

Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken
I've been having a craving for Indo-Chinese food for the past few weeks.  It's been month since I've visited my "go-to" restaurant, the Pongal in Billerica for my favorite Indian/Chinese fusion dishes like Gobi Manchurian, Fried Noodles Chili/Garlic style and Chili Chicken.

Since I get out of work early on Fridays, I had extra time to prepare a dish that required a bit more time than the usual staples that I whip up in 30 minutes or less during the weekdays.  On this rainy and gloomy Friday, I thought what better way to kick start our weekend than a spicy aromatic chicken meal, Mami's Chili Chicken.


Chicken Marinade

  • 6 Chicken thighs,boneless and skinless, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of premium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of thick sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic ( I used fried garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • Optional: Pinch of MSG

Chicken Thigh 
Red Chili Peppers
  • 1 Cup of All Purpose flour
  • 1 Large egg
  • Frying oil
Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 small red onion, cut in large pieces
  • 6-10 chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 small green or red bell peppers, cut in large pieces
  • 1/2 cup of Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala Indian spice
  • 2 tablespoons of Sriracha Chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlicgerate
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Optional: Pinch of MSG
  • Optional: Dried Red Pepper Flakes
Note: Since I didn't purchase the skinless and boneless thighs, I had to prep my chicken first. I removed the skin and cut around the single thigh bone. Since I'm used to deboning the chicken, I didn't have any issues.  

If you are a beginner, I would recommend purchasing the thigh meat skinless and boneless to save time, money ad avoid any cuts.  By no means and I discouraging you to try, I just don't want you to be discouraged to cook if it doesn't work out.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the chicken and marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

Remove chicken from refrigerator and add the egg and mix well.  Pour in the flour and make sure each piece of chicken is evenly coated. Try to separate the pieces that gets stuck together.  Your batter for the chicken should not be sticky or "gummy", if this is the case, add more flour.

Heat frying oil in a deep fryer or a wok on the stove at medium to high temperature.  Once the oil gets hot (be sure it doesn't get too hot), add the flour coated chicken a few pieces at a time. Do not crowd the wok.

Use a tong to break apart pieces that get stuck to each other. Fry for 5 minutes and remove from oil and place on a large paper towel to remove excess oil.  Set fried chicken aside.

In a large non stock pan, add the teaspoon of oil and set on medium to high heat and let the pan get hot.  You should see a little bit of smoke rising as the pan gets hot.  Roast the chili peppers, bell peppers and onions in the pan to release aromatic oils.  Once the vegetables are slightly blackened as shown in the picture add the water.  This cools down the pans and buys you sometime to add the other ingredients without burning the pepper.

After all the ingredients for the sweet chili sauce are added to the pan, stir occasional until the sauce thickens and bubbles. Turn off heat and let it cool for 1 minute.

Stir the fried chicken into the sweet chili sauce and gently coat the chicken with the sauce until even.

Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken
Serve with white rice.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Mami's Original Chinese Sausage Corn Muffins

To welcome the Fall season that officially starts in a couple of hours (September 22, 2012), I decided to whip up some hearty comfort food for dinner.  On tonight's menu, I served traditional Franks & Beans with a side of rich Mac & Cheese.

To complete the meal, I improvised and decided to bake Chinese sausage corn bread.  The original intent was to use bacon, but I realized that I didn't have any bacon so I used Chinese sausage in lieu of the bacon.

These non traditional muffins are sweet and savory with a little kick to jazz up any meals.

Corn Bread Muffins
Yields 14 Muffins

  • 2 packages of cornbread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups of whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of canned whole kernel corn salted
  • 1/2 cup of pickled jalapenos (homemade or store bought) diced
  • 3 links of Chinese sausage diced
  • 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Honey Glaze
  • 2 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the corn bread muffin thoroughly.  Texture will lumpy.

Grease the bottom of a muffin pan or place cupcake liners in bakeware.

Spoon mixture and fill  3/4 of the liner of muffin bakeware.

Bake in oven for 16 minutes at 400 degrees

Use a toothpick to check to see if the muffin is cooked all the way, if no residue sticks to the toothpick, remove the muffins from the tin and let it cool.

Combine the ingredients for the honey glaze and place it in the microwave and set on high for 20 seconds

Brush the mixture on the muffins and serve immediately.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Istanbul Cicek Pasaji lunch and wetburger snack

I’m struggling to write my last entry for my European backpacking travels.  It’s our last day here in Istanbul and tomorrow we fly back to JFK where we will endure another long door to door pilgrimage back home.

We woke up and finally tried a Turkish simit, which is a circular bread similar to the American sesame bagel.  The Mo and I opted for one with less sesame seeds.  We continued to venture out in search of a restaurant that Anthony Burdoine visited in Istanbul and recommended them for breakfast.  Upon arrival, we were not impressed.Upon arrival, we were not impressed so we picked up pastries at a local patisserie.

the Mo eating a simit in Istanbul

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Istanbul Istiklal Ave street foods and eats

We woke up at 4:45AM and it was still dark out, the rooster hadn't even crowed yet and we had already packed the shuttle with our belongings and hit the road by 5:30AM.

I was a hot mess as I still had the same dress I wore last night with residual makeup still on my face.  Thank god for oversize sunglasses.

The drive to Antalya airport was a mixture of scenic coasts and small cities so the drive didn't seem as long as expected.  I couldn't sleep in the ride so I got a chance to see the sun come up along the beautiful coast.

Treehouse Update: Olympos, Turkey

I just realized that I "drunk" posted for the first time! I never finished yesterday's entry but posted it anyways.  The 3 bottles of wine that I consumed (shared of course) may have contributed to the early posting.

I vaguely remember dinner being great and everyone raving about the chicken and finishing another bottle of wine. I'm so glad we had the dorm room to ourselves because I usually have a heavy "drunk snore" when I am wasted.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bayrams Treehouse Bungalows and Chimera Flames in Olympos

 It was a sad day to disembark our Blue Cruise that we called home for the past four days.  We said our goodbyes to our new friends and exchanged our contact information.  We loaded our things into a shuttle bus where we made a pit stop in Demre Turkey before continuing our trip to Olympos.  

Olympos, Turkey is a well known village that caters to young travelers from all over the world who are usually ending or beginning their Blue Cruise.  

We opted for a well known “treehouse” style lodging, Bayrams.  The accommodations itself isn’t the traditional treehouse that comes to mind but small first and second story dwellings made with tree scraps.  The Mo and I shared an AC dorm with 4 other travelers from the UK and the room itself was on the smaller size with just enough space to serve its purpose.

Sin & Mo doing the Macarena like it's 1995 on Alaturka's Blue Cruise in Fethiye

Smuggler's Inn - somewhere offshore in Turkey
Smuggler's Inn gets its own post since we had so much fun and I have so many pics!

We were the first to arrive there so it was still quiet and the DJ had chillax music on.  Our group requested top 40's and dance music and a few minutes later another group of people arrived and got the party started on the dance floor.  Our group soon joined in and was having a blast! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 8, 9 & 10 on the Gulet Cruise- Fethiye to Olympos

This is a 4 day summary in one post since I didn't have WIFI in the middle of the ocean, I have way too many photos to upload so come back for more pics since I am still running on dial up! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Old Town Rhodos and Booty Beer Mugs

After some compromise, we allowed the boys got to sleep in this morning until 11:00 AM.  We cooked all the leftover groceries for a large brunch since it would be our last full day at the apartment and didn't want anything to go to waste.  I tried to make fried rice but it was lacking soy sauce.  It was pretty much chicken flavored rice pilaf with vegetables and smoked sausages, still tasty but not my usually Cambodian fried rice.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 5- Exploring the Island of Rodos

This will be a half ass post.  I am exhausted from an 8 hour journey tour of the island (and I wasn't even driving!!) Syn drove the whole time, kudos to him, it was like the Kangamangus HW, but 10 times worst!

Here are the highlights of today:
  1. Visited Lindos
    • Took a Donkey ride up to the Acropolis ruins
    • Viewed the picturesque St. Paul's Bay
  2. Sunbathed and swam at Prassonissi Beach, a peninsula beach consisting of two islands that are only joined together in certain months of the year based on the water levels.  One side of the beach is wavy and the other side is calm.
  3. Lunch at Cristina's seaside restaurant - I wasn't impressed with my meal (my least favorite) but I'm glad Helen and Syn enjoyed their fish meal.
  4. Visited Kritinia Medieval castle 
  5. Visited Kamiros Archaeological site which was an ancient city that was destroyed in 226 BC by an earthquake
  6. Poolside at the apartment
  7. Dinner at Manolis Taverna - Faliraki
  8. In search of coffee and dessert on bar and disco street but found strip clubs instead
Pictures below.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 5 - Old town & Faliraki Rhodes Greece

I dragged myself out of bed at 7:30 AM still desiring a few extra hours of sleep since we passed out at 2:00 AM the night before.  I cooked the group a Turkish omelette (even though we are in Greece) with the groceries we picked up last night.  We kept seeing them at restaurants and the airports and wanted to try it out. It seemed pretty basic, a few sunny side up eggs topped with cheese and smoked sausages.

Anthony Quinn Bay and Bar Street in Rhodos Greece

After a short 1.5 hr ferry ride on the Flying Poseidon, we were finally in Greece!  We were herded through like sheep waiting to get through the immigration.  We negotiated cab fare to our apartment and the cab guy actually dropped us off at the wrong place which was by the beach, another 15 minutes walk with all our luggage in the hot blazing sun.  It was definitely not a great experience, I was certain I was going to give up backpacking.