Thursday, February 23, 2017

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

These Parmesan Chicken Nuggets are a much healthier version, since they are baked and not fried. Super easy to make, and delicious to eat. A green salad on the side, with your favourite dipping sauce for the nuggets, would make a wonderful after school meal or to enjoy with the family during the weekends. 

Chicken breast fillet, cubed and dipped into beaten egg, then rolled in the mixture of breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, salt and pepper.  Tip : I pan-fried one coated piece to check on the seasoning, adjust the seasoning if necessary. Arrange on well-oiled baking tray, (I have omitted the use of foil), and bake, turning halfway through, until cooked, about 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, the nuggets are cooked but still pale, so I have turn on the broiler to brown the crumbs for a couple of minutes on both sides. 

For the dipping sauce, I have used mayonnaise, mixed with some sriracha sauce, stir to combine.

These chicken nuggets are moist and very tasty. Delicious with the dipping sauce. We had this with some green salad on the side. 

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
(Williams-Sonoma : Chicken Nights by Kate McMillan)
1-1/2 cups (6oz/185gm) panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup (1 oz/30gm) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano (I use 1 heaped tablespoon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, about 2 lb (1kg) total, cut into 1-1/2-inch (4-cm) chunks

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, line with aluminium foil, and coat again.
On a large plate, whisk together the panko, Parmesan, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Beat the eggs in a large, shallow bowl.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Dip each chicken piece in the eggs, then dredge in the seasoned bread crumbs. Place the nuggets on the prepared pan as you work. Bake the nuggets, turning once about halfway through, until the coating is nicely browned and the chicken is opaque throughout, 15-20 minutes.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #14 hosted by 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Victoria Sponge

This month, at The Cake Slice Bakers, the four recipes selected from the book World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey, which we are currently baking from are ;

Victoria Sponge
Red Velvet Cake
Almond Tart with Honey
Chocolate Cheesecake

Members can choose any of those cakes to bake, and my choice is Victoria Sponge Cake. A very easy and simple cake to make, baked in two pans, then sandwiched together with jam and cream. I've made half a recipe and used two 5" round cake pans to bake the cakes. Batter is easy and quick to prepare, uses self-raising flour and baking powder. I have reduced the sugar slightly to scant 1/3 cup for half a recipe, and the sweetness works out great. For the jam, I've used my own homemade strawberry jam.

The Creme Chantilly is made by whipping heavy cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract. To make the Creme Chantilly, I've used about half a cup of heavy cream with one tablespoon confectioners' sugar with a small amount of vanilla extract. And I've used only half of  the Creme Chantilly to assemble the cake.

Assemble the cake by using one of the two cakes as the base (trim off the top of the cake to level it), spread some strawberry jam and then the Creme Chantilly. Top with the remaining cake and dust generously with confectioners' sugar. 

Cake is deliciously soft, buttery and spongy. I'm glad I've reduced the sugar slightly. The cake is not too sweet, with my not-too-sweet homemade strawberry jam, and the Creme Chantilly, this makes a lovely dessert.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Baked Eggs

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), it is about Food We Love. We are to select a recipe from Heidi Swanson to showcase our favourite ingredients. I've chosen to make Baked Eggs, which has all of our favourite ingredients ; eggs, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices. 

Heidi's recipe uses pita bread which is cut into quarters and use to line muffin cups. I have some leftover tortilla wrap so that was what I've used instead. For the filling, Heidi has used spring onions, but she has given the option of using regular onions, so I've used red onions. To cook the filling, heat a little oil, saute chopped onions, chopped garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, and season with some salt. Go easy with the salt, I used one pinch of salt and it was enough (Heidi says to use two big pinches, and I've noticed that Heidi uses a lot of salt in most of her dishes). I cooked the onions about 4 to 5 minutes, and add the cherry tomatoes. Cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes until the tomatoes have softened. 

The tomato filling is delicious. I like the blend of the spices. It would be lovely made into mini tarts, topped with some cheese before baking. For meat lovers, some bacon or ham mixed into the filling would be delicious! This would be great on some toasted baguettes too! 

To make the Baked Eggs, line the muffin pan with torn pita bread, or with tortilla wrap, which I have used, then fill with some of the tomato filling. Crack an egg in the centre. You may find some of the whites could not fit into the cup if the egg used is large. I find it easier to crack an egg in a small bowl, scoop out the yolk with a spoon and place on the filling, then pour the egg whites over until it comes to the level of the muffin cup. The eggs I've used are large, so there are some egg whites leftover. Bake until the whites are set, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately while still hot, sprinkled with some chopped coriander and more chili flakes if desired. 

Baked Eggs
(adapted from : 101cookbooks, Heidi Swanson)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 big pinches ground cumin
2 big pinches chili flakes
2 big pinches smoked paprika
2 big pinches fine sea salt
1 cup spring (or regular) onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 pieces of pita breads, cut into quarters (I use wholemeal tortilla wrap)
6 large organic eggs
Garnish : finely chopped tomatoes, chili flakes, cilantro (optional)
Special equipment : standard 12 muffin tin

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the cumin, chili flakes, paprika, salt, onion and garlic. Cook until onions soften, just a minute or two. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften up a bit, another two to three minutes. Set aside.

Take six pieces (quarters) of the pita bread, gently open each of them and tuck them into the muffin tin - every other slot. If the the pita splits, no worries, just criss-cross the bread into a nest or tart shell of sorts so there is coverage across the bottom so the egg and filling won't run out.

Spoon a bit of the tomato filling into each pita cup, dividing it amongst the six cups. Now crack a single egg into each pita cup. You don't want the cups to overflow, hold back a bit of the egg white if you need to. Also, you don't want the egg yolk to jet up toward the sky, try to ensure it is level with the whites or the yolks can dry out while baking.

Carefully place in the oven (racks in the centre) and bake for another 15 minutes, until the whiles have set and become opaque. Serve hot garnished with a sprinkling of chopped tomatoes, chili flakes and/or a bit cilantro.

Makes six egg cups.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Food We Love


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