Tag Archives: dinner

Baked chicken breast with aglio olio

6 Sep

I took two days off this week because it is the September holidays for our schools here so S and I can spend some time together doing things that we rarely have the chance to on weekday afternoons. He still had a bit of work to finish up though so we came back early *grumble grumble* and I decided to utilise the time I had to whip something up in the kitchen for dinner! I guess it was a good thing we left early because I was going on what you might call a shopping spree, oohing and ahhing at everything in H&M. I walked away with a couple of items and am very happy that they cost less than $18 each! 😀

Okay I’m sidetracking.

I remembered I still had some chicken breast in the freezer compartment waiting to be used, and some lemon + thyme so I did a quick search on foodgawker for chicken breast recipes and I found this! I really should get down to taking photographs with the dslr I have but I am just so lazy and my iPhone is usually within reach already anyway 😛 What do you think? Are the instagram photos I have been using good enough?

I was very tempted to just throw in some baked asparagus with cheese but I knew it wouldn’t be enough for S’ hearty appetite, and also the asparagus I had smelled a little funny … so I had to throw it out. The next best thing was pasta so I threw together a simple aglio olio, using noobcook’s trusty recipe here. I didn’t have fresh parsley or chili flakes at hand so I just stuck to lots of garlic and a little butter cube – which was surprisingly tasty enough – though S felt that it needed a little kick (read: chili).

So that meant that I needed a lot of garlic – a total of 13 cloves! And being the noob I am in the kitchen, I took about 15-20 minutes struggling to slice/chop them … I know. I really need more practice!

I realise that meat is actually really easy to cook. All you have to do is make sure you have a good marinate and time! I threw this marinate together and S actually said that it made the chicken really tasty! (:

After marinating, I left it aside for about 25 minutes and started to boil the water to cook the pasta.

I allowed the spaghetti to boil for about 10 minutes before taking it out and throwing it into the beautiful Happycall wok that my friends D&LJ bought for me with garlic, pasta water, and a cube of butter.

S rated this entire dinner at 70% and he finished it all up so quickly; I was only halfway through my (smaller) portion! Now maybe if I had some dried chili flakes …

Serves two
It took me about an hour to prepare everything :/ if you are very comfortable in the kitchen I suppose it will be faster for you for sure!

Equipment you need
Heavy-bottomed saucepan
Wok / Frying pan
Roasting grill tray
Chopping board
Knife

Chicken breast

Ingredients you need
3 garlic cloves, chopped
half a lemon juice
fresh thyme leaves (dried is also fine)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps olive oil

Steps
1 Ensure that the chicken breasts are fully thawed and washed.
2 Preheat the oven to 190 degree celsius.
3 Mix the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, thyme leaves and other herbs you have that you want to throw in. (I used lemon pepper, garlic herb and italian herb powder as well)
4 Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
5 Lay the chicken on the roasting grill tray and put in the oven to bake for about another 30 minutes.

Aglio olio pasta

Ingredients you need
10 garlic cloves, sliced
150g of spaghetti (or any kind of pasta of your choice)
a cube of butter
1.5 tbsp olive oil
(optional) dried chili flakes + fresh parsley

Steps
1 Cook pasta according to package instructions. The package I used told me to boil it for about 13 minutes but I only did 11 because I was still going to fry it later and I didn’t want the pasta to be overcooked. Additionally, I added about 1.5 tbsps of sea salt to the water as I needed the pasta to be really tasty since I didn’t have chili/parsley at hand. Do not use oil – it will prevent the pasta from absorbing the salt.
2 Drain and set the pasta aside. Reserve a cup of the pasta water.
3 Heat olive oil in the wok/frying pan. Make sure that the oil is hot enough that the garlic slices will sizzle gently in the pan. You can also throw in the chili flakes at this point.
4 Once the garlic slices turn a nice light golden brown, turn the fire down immediately. Let the garlic slices continue to cook in the hot oil until it turns a beautiful golden brown.
5 Add cooked pasta, 2 to 3 tbsps of the reserved pasta water, chopped parsley and butter to the garlic and oil mixture. Stir and ensure all ingredients are evenly mixed.
6 Serve with baked chicken and season with black pepper, to taste. Enjoy! (((:

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Lamb chop dinner

20 Aug

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of lamb. My mum absolutely cannot take the smell so I grew up without eating lamb much. However, I have to admit that if done well, it can be very delicious. It helps that S loves lamb and mutton so that encourages me to introduce it to my palette. It still isn’t a meat I will have often though; I very much prefer beef (:

The last post I talked about how I marinated the lamb on Thursday in preparation for Friday’s dinner. When I reached home after work on Friday, I took the lamb out of the fridge and started to bustle about in the kitchen while S sat down in anticipation of his lamb meal, haha!

For a more balanced diet, I whipped up a dish of asparagus with bacon, cheese and lots of black pepper. It was a satisfying crunchy complementary side dish to the juicy meat. I overcooked the lamb a little because it looked red still on the outside and S is a little paranoid about eating raw meat but don’t worry, I will take that in account in the recipe and give you a shorter time so your lamb won’t be overcooked! (: I personally prefer my meat a little rare too!

S was so happy as he tucked in and I was pleased when he gave me 80% for the entire dinner! (: it is, after all, my first attempt at lamb!

Serves two

Equipment you need
Heavy-bottomed frying pan / Happycall
Medium and large baking trays
Baking sheet

Lamb

Steps
1 Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius. Prepare the large baking tray and line it with a baking sheet.
2 In a heavy-bottomed frying pan (I used my Happycall which was a gift from my MIL), heat up two tbsps of olive oil over medium to high heat.
3 Once the oil starts to bubble, add the lamb chop pieces and brown it – frying it for about 3 minutes on each side. It was here when I really appreciate the Happycall pan because all I had to do was to close the lid, flip it on the other side and let it fry too instead of flipping piece by piece.
4 Transfer the lamb to the large baking tray and let it cook for 20 minutes. I did so for about 25 minutes, which is good for people like S who prefer their meat well done.
5 When it is done, take the meat from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
6 Serve with a sauce of your choice!

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients you need
12 to 15 pieces of asparagus
2 tbsps olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps
1 Set oven to 190 degree Celsius.
2 Cut off the ends of the bottom of the asparagus and discard.
3 Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet.
4 Drizzle olive oil all over the asparagus.
5 Generously sprinkle sea salt, black pepper and the parmesan cheese over the asparagus as well.
6 Roast in oven for about 6 – 8 minutes, until the asparagus just beings to soften and the cheese has melted and started to turn golden brown.
7 Serve hot with lamb!

Lamb recipe adapted from http://www.jocooks.com/main-courses/rosemary-lamb-chops-with-garlic-mint-sauce/
Roasted asparagus recipe adapted from http://www.sprinkledwithflour.com/2012/03/roasted-parmesan-asparagus.html

Jessica Sinclair

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