Nutella-Filled Babka

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Ingredients:

For the yeast mixture:

  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the dough:

  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup Nutella (you can add more if you want to)
  • 1-2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions:

  1. In a pitcher or a bowl, combine the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let the mixture dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the yeast mixture into the mixing bowl and beat the mixture at a low speed.
  3. Add the butter into the mixture and continue mixing for 1-2 minutes.
    Slowly add the eggs into the wet mixture and continue mixing until it is all combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture onto a baking mat to shape the dough into a ball.
  5. Transfer the dough into a greased bowl. Cover with cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 hours. (Remember you can prep this a day before and keep it in the fridge overnight.)
  6. Divide the dough into two equal-sized balls.
  7. Coat two 9×4-inch loaf pans with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  8. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into a 16-inch square.
  9. Using a spatula or a knife, spread the Nutella filling in an even layer over the dough square.
  10. Starting at the long edge, tightly roll up each dough square jelly-roll style into a tight log.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half crosswise.
    Set the other halves on top in the opposite direction to form a cross. Twist to form spirals and transfer to the prepared pans.
  12. Cover loaves with a towel and let them stand in a warm place until they double in size (about 2 hours).
  13. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the loaves in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Let them cool slightly.
  14. Brush the warm babka with melted butter and honey, and let them stand until set.
  15. Cut the babka and enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee or tea.
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Malay Chicken Satay

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Ingredients:

Preparation: Paste

  • 3 whole chicken breast (thin sliced)
  • 1 large red onion 
  • 4 shallots 
  • 5 garlic cloves  
  • 2 lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons anise 
  • An inch ginger 

*Blend all together. In a large bowl, soak the chicken, cover the bowl, and put in the fridge 5-6 hours before grilling. 

Preparation: Peanut Sauce

  • Raw peanuts (2 cups)
  • 10 dried chilies 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 4 shallots 
  • 1/2 red large onion
  • An inch ginger
  • A stalk lemongrass (mashed the root) 
  • Half-cup palm sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt 
  • 2 cups water (add more if you want the sauce to loosen a little bit) 
  • 5 tablespoons oil 

The Method:

  1. Over a medium heat pan, roast the peanuts until it brown. Let it cool.
  2. Take the peanuts skin off, and blend it dry. Set aside.
  3. Blend dried chilies, garlic, ginger, shallots, red onion, and water. Make a paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  5. Throw in the paste. Add the lemongrass. Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  6. Add peanuts, sugar, and palm sugar. Stir until peanuts coated with the paste.
  7. Add water as the sauce gets thickened.
  8. Finally, add salt and taste.

Grilling.

After 6 hours the chicken is marinated. Take out from the fridge. Thread marinated chicken onto the skewers one by one. I recommend putting gloves on as the yellow paste will stick to your hands. Brush some oil on the chicken before putting on the grill. Grill 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with warm peanut sauce, nasi impit, sliced onion, and sliced cucumber. 

Note: Make sure to soak the skewers inside water (I did 5 hours) to prevent it from burn later while grilling. 

Simple Pasta Aglio e Olio

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Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound shrimp
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 6-7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-7 cherry tomatoes, cut into half
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Cook the pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to bite, about 11 minutes.
  2. Drain and transfer the pasta to a large bowl. (Remember to save a 1/2 cup of water.)
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and the red pepper flakes until they are slightly golden brown.
  4. Add the shrimp into the pan. Let the shrimp cook thoroughly for about 4 minutes.
  5. Toss the pasta into the pan and try to incorporate the pasta with the mixture.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and reserved pasta water into the pan. Continue stirring for 1 minute.
  7. Throw in the cherry tomatoes. Give a quick stir to combine, then remove the pan from heat.
  8. Place the pasta on a plate. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and grated Parmigiano cheese.
  9. Serve immediately.

Homemade Oatmeal Cookies

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Cook Time

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 to 60 minutes (including the baking time)

Serves: 20 to 25 cookies (depends on the size you make)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup oats (I used 100% whole grains)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease the baking sheet).
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and egg.
  5. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients until they are well combined.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Continue mixing at a lower speed, but do not over-mix.
  7. Add the raisins, oats, and chocolate chips into the mixture. Use a spatula to incorporate the ingredients. Do not use a mixer, as it will break the raisins.
  8. Use an ice-cream scoop or a spoon to drop the cookies onto the pan.
    For crispy cookies, bake for 16-17 minutes.
  9. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.
  10. Enjoy!

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cook Time

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 to 60 minutes (including the baking time)
Serves: 20 to 26 cookies (depends on the size you make)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons dark or light corn syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease a baking sheet).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and salt. Give a quick mix with a whisker. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients until they are well combined.
  5. Add the dark corn syrup and continue mixing for a few seconds.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Continue mixing at a lower speed, but do not over-mix.
  7. Add the chocolate chips into the mixture. Use a spatula to incorporate the ingredients.
  8. Use an ice-cream scoop or a spoon to drop the cookies onto the pan.
  9. For chewy cookies, bake for 14 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack and let them cool completely before

Chicken Tikka Masala

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Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 4 skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tandoori seasonings
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk or 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • Water (optional)

For serving:

  • Steamed basmati rice
  • Naan bread
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the garlic, onions, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, yogurt, tandoori seasonings, curry powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Use your hand to incorporate the spices with the chicken. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let the chicken sit in the fridge 1-2 hours (the longer it marinates, the better it gets). 
  2. Make the sauce: In a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over a moderately high heat. (Note: The oil will help the butter from burning very fast). Sauté the onions and bell pepper. Stir occasionally, until light brown and caramelized about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the whole peeled tomato, tomato paste, and milk. Bring the sauce to boil. Lower the heat and cover with a lid. In the meantime, cook the chicken. 
  3. Heat a pan or skillet over a medium heat. Cook the chicken breast by turning them a few times. Let the chicken cook through and browned on both sides. 
  4. Add the cooked chicken and leftover chicken marinade into the simmering sauce and continue gently simmer it. Stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add some water if you want the sauce to loosen a little bit. 
  5. Remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Serve with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
  8. Enjoy while it’s hot.