Friday, February 20, 2009

V day with a Chinese touch - Sweet Corn Chicken soup, Chicken Chopsuey

This time for Valentine's day I decided to go Chinese. We have this Chinese restaurant called Eonoodles near our place. Both me and V do take-outs or have lunch occasionally and whenever we go there, we love to have the Chicken Chopsuey dish. The way they make it has never failed to amaze me. I always wanted to ask the restaurant owner about the secret recipe, but never did as I was too embarassed to ask. Have you people asked a restaurant chef for your favorite dish he/she makes?

I then started to analyze the ingredients visually and nasally ;). I found in Internet that the word Chopsuey in Chicken Chopsuey meant the veggies added to the dish along with Chicken. I kept up my determination to recreate it in my kitchen. It didn't satisfy my expectations the first time I made.

I realized it was mainly because of the substitute ingredients I used. In addition to Chicken Chopsuey, I decided to make Sweet Corn Chicken Soup for appetizer and Pumpkin Pie for dessert. Being Valentine's day I decided to use the exact ingredients. I made a quick stop at the nearest Stop n Shop and made the necessary purchases. This is how I made it:

For Sweet Corn Chicken Soup:

  • Skinless Boneless Chicken breasts sliced and diced into very small cubes : 1 cup
  • Sweet Corn Cream Style: 1 can
  • Corn: 1/2 cup
  • Chicken Broth: 1 can
  • Whole Mushroom stem and top (I purchased the canned version found in the Asian isle): 1/2 can
  • Minced Ginger and Garlic: 2 teaspoons
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Soy Sauce: 2 tablespoons

  1. In a wide bottom vessel, on medium high heat, add olive oil. When it heats up add the Chicken pieces. Saute it with minced ginger and garlic , 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce , until chicken is cooked evenly.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a separate plate.
  3. Add Sweet Corn Cream Style Corn and Corn to the same vessel in which the Chicken was sauteed. When the contents are cooked, add the chicken-ginger-garlic to the corn mixture and mix well. Add the Chicken Stock and let the soup come to a boil, and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. If the soup is too watery to your taste: Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add to the soup and lower the heat to minimum. Stir until the soup gets the desired thickness.
  5. Add salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot.


For Chicken Chopsuey:

  • Boneless skinless Chicken breasts cut in thin bite size slices: 1 cup
  • Julienne sliced Onion: 1 small
  • Canned/Fresh Water Chestnuts: 1 can
  • Whole Mushroom with stem and top: 1/2 can
  • Bamboo Shoots: 1/2 can
  • Sliced Carrots: 1/4 cup
  • Bean Sprouts: 1/2 cup
  • Sliced Garlic: 1 clove
  • Chicken Broth: 1 can
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Soy Sauce: 3 tablespoons
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons

  1. Follow the steps from 1 and 2 as in Sweet Corn Chicken Soup, excluding the part of adding Ginger.
  2. Add the veggies onto the same vessel in which the chicken was sauteed. Saute them until the veggies are soft and almost cooked on medium fire.
  3. Add the chicken to the veggies, add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Then let it simmer. Thicken the mixture by using cornstarch as I wrote in the Sweet Corn Chicken Soup above.
  4. Add salt and Pepper as desired.
  5. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

For Pumpkin Pie:

I followed the recipe on the back of a Canned Pumpkin puree. I also used a pre-baked Pie crust. The Pie turned out great. Here is Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S 100% pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl.oz) CARNATION Evaporated Milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep dish pie shell
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs

How I made:
  1. Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir evaporated milk.
  2. Pour into pie shell
  3. Bake in preheated 425 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degree F, bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Sandya of has tagged me for "25 random things about you".

The rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to link the person who tagged you.
  1. Favorite movies: "Father of the Bride", "The Odd Couple", "Bend it like Beckham", "Big"
  2. Favorite TV channels: Food network, HGTV, DIYnetwork, LMN,CBS,USA
  3. What I do during my free time: Go window shopping, browse to see interesting projects such as clutter management, storage ideas.
  4. I love spicy hot food, and this has caused me troubles sometimes. I recently swallowed a hot steaming piece of potato while trying to see if its cooked. As a result I have a small lump. I am hoping it would go in another two weeks.
  5. I love gardening, I have just started with container gardening and looking forward to growing a wonderful vegetable garden someday.
  6. I used collect all things that smelled good as a child, such as bathing soap cover, incense stick cover, and store it in a box, so that I could smell them time to time.
  7. Diary writing was an amusing play time for me as I used to quote so many amusing facts and incidents from my personal life. My brother used to have a fun time teasing me when I used to proudly show him my stories. I still write diaries.
  8. I always used to have this thing for collecting names, girl name and boy names. Each year, I updated the list too. I don't know why I did this, but it was fun. Its like a database or something .
  9. Owning an aquarium or a bird as pet is what I am hoping in the future. We both love to have these, hence we always keep visiting Pet stores, just to gaze at the products and accessories available. We will soon own one as we are in the process of a major shifting process.
  10. Favourite kitchen gadgets: Sandwich maker, Mandolin slicer, Preethi Mixie, Microwave,Hand blender, Rose shaped Silicone Baking pan,Salt and Pepper grinder.
  11. My challenge: Control my appetite for unhealthy spicy snacks, Too much worrying
  12. I dream of living in a farm house with a spacious kitchen , with lot of fresh air, and quiet atmosphere, and a market at walking distance.
  13. I would love to travel to Japan, China, and Thailand sometime as I love their cuisines.
  14. I talk loud, especially when I talk on phone or to someone I am close with. I have often found myself getting embarrassed when I talk over the phone in public, its as if I am talking to the entire world, and not just to the person on phone.
  15. Snack I always crave: Vegetable Cutlet
  16. I strongly believe that God does all in his/her power to help us and we should be thankful for even the shortest time of peace, relief , and happiness.
  17. I don't like the smell of butter, ghee, or cheese, yogurt. I eat them when they are not served directly, such as in cakes, or sweets, shakes. I don't like the tangy flavour in food either.
  18. I was born left-handed,its strange that my mother and my late father were not lefties. My dad didn't want me to be different , hence changed me to do some things with right. He did it so well without any scolding that I never remember regretting it or complaining about it. Hence I only write, eat, and, brush my teeth with my right hand. And rest of the things with my left hand. I wonder how my kids would be, but one thing for sure is I would not change them as I realize there are some serious risks involved which my dad didn't know about. And moreover its cool to be a leftie too :)
cant think of anymore...
    Ok, now I would like to tag these people for the "25 random things about you":

    Ranji of Ranji's Kitchen Corner
    Cham of Spice Club
    Sudha of Bombay Bistro
    Teena of
    Varsha of Will-O'- the Wisp
    Seena of Simple and Delicious
    Divya of Easy Cooking

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Eggless Peanut - Coconut cookies

    Since Valentine's Day is nearing, I decided to warm up my oven for making goodies. There are a lot of cookies baking these days in blogging world. I was drooling on all the yummy cookies which participated in JZ's event. I have not been much successful in baking cookies. If you see my past posts, you would realize that I have posted just one cookie recipe which is Nankhatai. When I bake cookies, it always expands/burns/too crispy. However, I did not feel like totally giving up on baking cookies as the pictures in other blogs have always tempted me. I decided to try one of the Eggless cookie from Prav's blog. I did not have Almonds, hence I used Peanuts. The taste and texture came out good. I was glad that I could finally make a proper cookie.

    Source: Pravs's Coconut-Almond Cookie

    • 1 cup Maida/All Purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup Peanuts (I used the roasted unsalted Peanuts)
    • 1/2 cup Butter at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 1/2 cup grated Coconut

    How to make:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F/170 C
    2. Crush Peanuts to a coarse texture. Tip: Put Peanuts in a Zip-lock bag and crush them coarsely by using a rolling pin.
    3. Mix Butter and Sugar until it is well combined
    4. Add Peanuts, grated Coconut, and All Purpose flour to the Butter and Sugar mixture
    5. Chill the dough for 15 minutes or make sure the dough is in a cool place and nowhere near the oven as the butter in the dough would start melting and cause the cookie to spread before you shape them and bake.
    6. Make small balls out of the dough and flatten them a little. Press a half Peanut into each cookie. Again while making the balls, do not keep them between your palms for long time, as cookie dough needs to be cool when they go in the oven.
    7. Arrange these balls with one long finger space between each cookie , on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet/tray
    8. Bake them in the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie becomes light brown.
    9. Transfer the tray to a cool place for the cookies to cool. The cookies would not be done immediately out of the oven. But they harden and become crunchy when cooled.

    Proud to display my cookie jar on my kitchen shelf ;)

    Hope you enjoy these cookies the same way I did :)

    Similar recipes from other blogs:

    Divya's Almond Coconut cookies
    Madhuram's Eggless Butter Pecan Cookies

    Renuka's Eggless chocolate cookies/biscuits

    Friends , my dear friend Varsha Vipin of Will-O'-the-Wisp passed me this lovely Butterfly award :) Thank you so much Varsha !

    I am passing it on to these dear friends in blogging world:

    Cham of Spice Club
    Ranji of Ranji's Kitchen Corner
    Teena of

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