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Pork chops with apples and black grapes

26 Nov

When placing pork chops in a pan, I often put them in on their edge, holding the chops upright with my kitchen tongs, to get a good golden colour and a little blistered crispness to the rim of fat. I then lay the chops down flat to lightly brown them.


olive oil 2 tbsp
butter 20g
pork chops 2 (250g each)
small apples 2
apple juice unfiltered 250g
sage leaves 4
black grapes 100g

Pour the oil into a shallow pan set over a moderate heat. Add the butter, then the pork chops, seasoned with salt and black pepper, and the whole apples (halving the fruits if necessary.) Leave the chops to colour lightly on the underside, then turn them over and brown the other side.

Pour in the apple juice, add the sage leaves and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chops are cooked through.

Halve and seed the grapes, then add them to the pan. Remove the chops to a warm plate and cover with foil, to allow them to rest. Turn up the heat to let the apple juice and pork juices reduce to about half their volume. As it reduces, the liquid will become shiny. Serve the chops and apples, spooning the pan juices and grapes over the top.

The Classic Chicken Rice Is A Tradition In Many Families

22 May

Chicken RiceThis classic one-pot dish is a tradition in many families. Everyone’s got a different recipe, but this method should get you started. The recipe, which uses a whole chicken, feeds about six.

Learn how to make the Chicken Rice on your own here.The best Malaysian recipes and you might be surprised to learn how much Malaysian techniques and tastes are part-and-parcel o your larder eating out experience.


1 chicken

2 tsp sesame oil

1 cube chicken stock

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp thin soya sauce

450g uncooked rice, washed

2 tsp oil

2 tsp salt


Cut the chicken into two drumsticks, two thighs and two breasts. Cut the breasts in two pieces and save the backbone and wings for stock.

Rinse the pieces and pat them completely dry. The skin can be discarded, if desired.

Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. A 12-inch tall-sided skillet is best, but you can also use two smaller skillets.

Add vegetable oil to coat the skillet to a depth of about 1/16 inch.

Add the chicken pieces (use metal tongs) when the oil is hot, and brown them on all sides. Don’t let them get too dark, however. A light golden color is best.

As they brown, remove them and let them drain on paper towels.

Cover, turn the heat to low and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll need to check the pan from time to time to test the rice and to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Add hot water in 1/2 c. increments if the rice dries out before it’s finished cooking.

When the rice is done, remove the chicken with tongs or a slotted spoon. Be careful – it will be very loose and tender.

Remove the thyme and bay leaf, place the rice on a serving platter and top with the chicken pieces.


To prepare the chicken, pour enough water in a pan to cover chicken and bring to a boil. Add chicken, lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the chicken in the water for 40 minutes before removing to boiled cold water for 15 minutes. Hang chicken to air. Mix 1 tsp sesame oil with 1 tsp soya sauce and brush chicken with mixture. Remove legs, wing tips and neck from chicken and place back in the boiled water. Add chicken cube and boil. Reserve the chicken stock for cooking the rice and making the broth.

To make the rice and chicken broth, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry garlic until fragrant. Add the uncooked rice, stir-fry for one minute and add sufficient chicken stock to cook the rice. Add 1 tsp sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until water is absorbed. To the remaining stock, add ginger, salt and pepper to make the chicken broth.

Sweet Whoopie Pies

13 Mar

The whoopie pies were perfect to represent the black-and-white theme of The Artist. Luckily, my second try was a big, fat (literally) success. And, as it turns out, I picked a great dessert for the night.Whoopie piesIt all starts with a cake mix which is always a fabulous way to begin in my book.  The filling is make with butter, cream cheese, and marshmallow fluff – a deadly but delicious triple combination.  Not only is the filling orange in color, but it also has a light orange flavor thanks to a little orange extract.  If you don’t have the orange extract, just use some vanilla extract in it’s place.  Then you create a simple spider web with a powder sugar glaze.  I also purchased spider rings to add to the whoopie pies.  I just cut off the ring part and set them on top of the cookie.

The other day I overheard a woman talking to her husband about how excited she was that whoopie pies have become popular recently because she loves them. It made me realize it had been too long since I last made a batch of whoopie pies. Usually I don’t like things that have a more cakey texture. I prefer my cookies to be chewy and my brownies to be fudgey. However, for some reason the texture of a whoopie pie just makes me smile and I actually find myself craving it. It’s slightly chewy around the edges but soft and cakey throughout. Not to mention it’s filled high with luscious frosting. Spiderweb-Whoopie-PiesRecently the whoopie pie has become gentrified with the cake rounds being made in pumpkin, ginger, blueberry, chocolate chip, and other flavors and the fillings similarly varied and refined. A short while ago the New York Times featured an article on tony whoopie pies claiming that they were the new cupcake (cup cakes, for your information, having been very trendy for the last two years or so.)

Orcutt cited other state desserts: Massachusetts, for example, has claimed Boston Crème Pie and the chocolate chip cookie both. He gave credit to Ashland High School Youth in Government who practiced legislative skills by writing a bill proposing whoopie pies as the state dessert.

Orcutt encouraged Baldacci to pass the legislation in time to announce it on June 26 which is Whoopie Pie Day in Dover-Foxcroft. Orcutt told the Governor that Maine ought to be known for other food than lobsters.

Whoopie pies are traditionally two rounds of chocolate sponge cake with a vanilla filling made either of sweetened vegetable shortening (that is, Crisco) or a marshmallow based concoction. Their point of origin is in dispute, with Pennsylvania a strong contender but they were adopted in Maine early in the 20th century for no apparent reason and consequently many nostalgic vacationers have fond memories of whoopie pie filled summers in Maine.

How To Make Mango Avocado Arugula Salad

20 Dec

mango-avocado-arugula-saladI love the colors in this salad; the mix of arugula, mango, avocado, red onions, cilantro, and red chili peppers make it look fun. I’ve always enjoyed salads and am fortunate that my kids also love salads, especially the younger one, on those days that he decides to be a picky eater he will still eat his salad and ask for more, for some odd reason he really likes the onions and can’t get enough of them, then he goes for the avocado, next the mango and finally the arugula. I used a red chili pepper for this salad to give it spice and color, but you can also use a milder pepper if you find chili peppers too hot, though once you remove the seeds and membranes they lose a lot of the heat, I debated using some crushed garlic instead, but I feel like I’ve been adding garlic to everything (seriously sometimes I feel like I can’t cook unless I use garlic, cumin or cilantro) so I’m taking a garlic break just for this salad. I like to use a little bit of creativity to keep salads interesting, a salad should be more than just a bowl of greens, I mean greens are good, but there are so many other additional ingredients and flavors that can be added to really make a salad stand out and have its own character.


6 cups arugula leaves

1 mango, peeled and cut into long slices

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

½ red onion, sliced

1 tbs lime juice

Spicy orange vinaigrette

1 tbs champagne vinegar

4 tbs orange juice, about ½ orange

2 tbs lime juice, about ½ lime

4 tbs olive oil

½ tsp cumin

2 tbs finely chopped cilantro

1 red chili or hot pepper, sliced

Salt and pepper


Combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a jar, close it tight and shake until the ingredients are well mixed.

Soak the onion slices in warm water with a dash of salt and 1 tbs lime juice for about 10 minutes.

Rinse and drain the onions slices.

Toss the arugula leaves with half of the vinaigrette.

Add the avocado slices, mango slices and onion slices to the arugula mix, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top.

Serve immediately.