The Cook Book Challenge week 52 : Outdoors


Week 52 : Outdoors
Recipe :  Adobong Puti (Chicken with vinegar) and Pizza Twists
Cook Book : Kulinarya.  A guide to Philippine Cuisine and Donna Hay.  Modern Classics Book 1

So… It’s the last week of the Cookbook Challenge.  Week 52.  I have to say, that I am disappointed that I was unable to keep up with the challenge.  It was difficult to cook and blog each theme every week.  I made a great effort up to week 20.  You can see the weeks I manage to blog here.  As the weeks went by, more and more bloggers started dropping off but there were great participants that did it all to the end.  Good job to those who made it all the way to the end.

For the last and final week, our host, April from My Food Trail Blog, organised a potluck lunch where we were to bring something related to this week’s theme, Outdoors.

I brought Chicken Adobong Puti (Filipino Chicken in vinegar) and Pizza twists.  
I think the decision to make pizza twists is self explanitory.  It’s portable and easy to eat when outdoors.  It is also easy to make.  Simply take already made puff pastry and brush with a thick layer of pizza base sauce, sprinkle dried oregano and grated cheese all over.  Cut into 2cm wide strips. Place on prepared tray, giving it a couple of twists. Bake in a preheated oven of 200deg for 10minutes.
However, I think my adobo might need explaining as it’s a dish that has gravy/both, best eaten hot and with steamed rice.  It’s not really what normal people may take to a picnic or to a lunch outdoors.
When I was younger and like many recent migrants from The Philippines at the time, picnicking and camping was very popular.  Unlike, the other picnickers at the park, we brought our whole kitchen.  My mum would pack hot, freshly cooked chicken adobo and rice still in our rice cooker.  Forget sandwiches and salads, adobo was the popular choice amongst us Filipinos.
This version was taken from “Kulinarya” Cookbook.  Puti means “white” as this version, only vinegar is used. There are many versions out there.  My mum adds soy sauce to hers and I personally prefer it.  You can get her recipe here.
1 kg chicken pieces ( I used wingettes and drumettes)
6 cloves garlic, grushed
1/2 tbs black peppercorns, cracked
1/2 cup vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tbs cooking oil
2 cups water
splash of fish sauce
1 tbs salt
1.  In a large bowl, combine the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and the vinegar.
2.  Add the chicken pieces.  Let sit in the marinade for at least for 1 hour
3.  In a heated pan, fry the chicken pieces in oil until bowl.  Reserve the marinade
4.  Once the chicken is browned, add the marinade, the water and fish sauce.
5.  Simmer for about 20 minutes until the meat is tender and the liquid has almost evaporated.
6.  Serve with steamed rice.

Other Cookbook challengers that joined the party  and this is what they brought along.

Shellie (Iron Chef Shellie) – Tomato, ham, cheese and chutney wrap

April (My Food Trail) – Sweet potato and blue cheese tart

Agnes (Off the Spork) – Onion Foccacia

Agnes (Off the Spork) – Asparagus and Gruyère tart

Leigh (Chit Chat Chomp) – Chorizo and potato bake

Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) – Beehoon Goreng (Stirfry rice noodles)


Penny (Jeroxie. Addictive & Consuming) – Meatballs and chilli sauce

Shellie (Iron Chef Shellie) – Chocolate cake with blueberries

Leigh (Chit Chat Chomp) – Dark chocolate and orange muffins

April (My Food Trail) – Banana Cake

Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) – Jasmine scented coconut slice

Bring the next challenge on.

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 20 : Tangy

Week 20 : Tangy

Recipe :  Thousand Island Dressing
Cook Book : The Australian Women’s Weekly Cook.
I got this cookbook as a Christmas Present last year from my Mother-in-law.  I  have used a few times already, there are so many simple recipes in here it’s hard not to.

For this week’s theme, I had no idea at first on what to make. Tangy…  I thought about it for about a week and looked through a few of my cookbooks.  Then, I thought about making home-made mayonnaise.  Even better, home-made Thousand Island Dressing.
I’ve seen and read about how easy it is to make mayonnaise, I actually didn’t think that it would that easy.

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 250ml olive oil
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 60ml tomato sauce
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbl capers, finely chopped
  • 4 tbl red capsicum, finely chopped
  • salt
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and dijon mustard till combined and smooth
  2. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil
  3. Keep whisking till the mixture thickens
  4. Stir in the lemon juice
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir
  6. Serve with seafood or chicken

My thousand Island dressing was perfect with the Australian Salmon my brother @MrEd2U caught while holidaying in Lakes Entrance in Victoria.  I’m such a lucky girl 🙂

Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 19 : Rice

Week 19 : Rice
Recipe :  Kedgeree
Cook Book : Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson

I have quite a few of Nigella’s Cook books and I have to say, I do use quite a bit.  I love her recipes as most are simple and easy to make.

Kedgeree is a rice dish said to have originated from India then brought to England by soldiers that were stationed there and developed a taste for the spices.  It is a breakfast dish and was popular back in the day when there were no refrigeration and leftovers were used.  It is a hearty but light dish to have so it can be easily eaten for dinner as well.  Just like we did.

I have seen this cooked many times on TV and have been wanting to make it.  This week seemed like the perfect opportunity.  I found three different versions in three of my cookbooks.  I opted for Nigella’s version though I did add extra ingredients to it.  It was the easiest and had ingredients that I liked.

  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbl curry powder
  • 225g basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 1 can tuna
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • lemon
  1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add oil to stop it from burning
  2. Soften the onion and add the spices, then keep cooking till the onion is slightly translucent
  3. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon so that it’s all well coated.
  4. Pour in 500ml water. Stir then cover
  5. Cook gently for about 15 minutes until the rice is tender
  6. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, cover the pan with a tea towel and then replace the lid
  7. Add the tuna and gently flake it with a fork.
  8. Add the eggs, sultanas and lemon juice and zest of half of the lemon
  9. Gently mix
  10. To serve, serve on a large plate with wedges of the other half of the lemon.

Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 18 : BBQ

Week 18 : BBQ

Recipe :  Beef Kofte and Bulgogi
Cook Book : Ben’s Barbecue by Ben O’Donoghue
Since we fixed up the back yard, we love hanging out there on balmy evenings.  Even better, we are now able to cook on our barbecue and eat al fresco.
This week’s challenge was BBQ.  I scoured through my cookbooks to find a marinade for some lamb chops and beef mince that I had in the freezer.  I found a couple from Ben’s barbecue cook book.  I got this book for my birthday last year and this was the first time I actually used it.  Thanks Cook book Challenge!
I found two marinades that I wanted to try. 
So, while I say Bulgogi, I mean it in the loosest of terms.  I added a couple more ingredients.  I marinated the lamb chops with this and it was fantastic.  The sweetness of the marinade really stood out.  I left the lamb chops marinading for 8 hours but 2 hours is fine.  
For the Beef kofte, it’s not really a marinade but more of a seasoning.  It’s best to let this mixture sit for about half an hour for the flavours to infuse, then mould them into patties or sausages before barbecuing them.

Bulgogi Style Marinade : (for  lamb chops)

3 tbl palm sugar
125ml light soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml rice wine
50ml hoi sin sauce
50ml oyster sauce
1 tbl sesame oil
Beef Kofte Seasoning: (for 500g lean mince )

2 tbl chopped oregano
4 tbl chopped parsley
4 chopped spring onions
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 17 : Vietnamese

Week 17 : Vietnamese

Recipe :  Xoi Nuoc Dir A (Steamed Sticky Rice in Coconut Cream)
Cook Book : Asia.  The Beautiful Cookbook

I have plenty of Asian cookbooks simply because I love Asian cuisine.  For this week’s theme, I was going to use Luke Ngyuen’s Song of Sapa.  However, I knew nearly everyone has a copy of that book.
I found this recipe in a cookbook that I bought my mum years ago.  It even has made it’s way to and from the Philippines a couple of times, but for now, I’ve got it on permanent “loan”.
I was keen to try this recipe for a couple of reasons. I love rice and I love coconut cream.  I love the texture and the flavour of this dish, however I wasn’t in love with the way it was chilled.  I think I would’ve preferred this dish warm.  If I attempt this dish again, I will make it a warm dish, like an Asian rice pudding.
  • 315g short grain glutinous rice
  • 1 tbl salt
  • 875ml thin coconut milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • young banana leaves
  • oil
  • Sauce Recipe
  • 125g palm sugar
  • 180ml water
  • 375 thick coconut milk
  1. Rinse the rice in cold water twice
  2. Place in a saucepan with the salt and thin coconut milk
  3. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down. Simmer till the rice turns into a thick paste
  4. Cool to lukewarm, then quickly stir in the beaten eggs
  5. Place a banana leaf at the bottom of 4 one cup capacity ramekin dishes and brush with the oil
  6. Spread the rice over the leaf, then cover with another piece of oiled leaf. Oiled side down
  7. Place the dish on a rack in a steamer and steam till firm
  8. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  9. Combine the palm sugar and water in a small saucepan and gently simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool
  10. To serve, turn out of the dish into the serving plate. Add a little palm sugar syrup and coconut cream.

Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 16 : Noodles

Week 16 : Noodles
Recipe :  Noodle salad with crispy tofu
Cook Book : Off the shelf – cooking from the pantry by Donna Hay
I have collected a few Donna Hay books along the way.  She has quick easy recipe ideas that you can make during the week or a busy weekend.
I have quite a few cook books that have noodle recipes.  Probably because I have a lot of Asian cook books.  I decided on this noodle salad with crispy tofu because of a number of reasons.  Firstly, It was a weekday and I just finished a busy shift at the shop so I needed something quick and easy, as well as tasty.  Secondly, I was looking for a vegetarian dish.  We have been having lots of meat and needed change it up a little and finally, I had most ingredients in my pantry and fridge.
I changed the recipe a bit (as I usually do).  With salads, it’s easy to change to suit your taste.  Instead of going for plain tofu, I opted for satay marinated ones. I thought it would go perfectly as there were peanuts in the salad.  Speaking of peanuts, I found some nice hot chilli roasted peanuts, which went perfectly.  The dressing was changed too.  I found that the amount of sesame oil in the recipe was too much.  The smell and taste was too strong and that was all I could taste, so I added more lemon juice and soy sauce.  I’ve adjusted the recipe below.
Hubby and I enjoyed this salad.  It was perfect for a warm day.  It was fresh and had layers of different colours and textures.
  • 400g egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 375g firm tofu, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise
  • dressing –
  • 1/2 tbl sesame oil
  • 3 tbl soy sauce
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish
  1. Follow instructions on how to cook the noodles on the packet
  2. Heat frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and fry the tofu until crisp (about 5 minutes). Drain.
  3. Make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients.
  4. To serve, toss the noodles with the tofu, carrots, peanuts and dressing. Place the cucumber on serving plates and top the the salad.
  5. Garnish with the coriander and more peanuts.

Bon Appetite,

The Cook Book Challenge – Week 15 : Muffins

Week 15 : Muffin
Recipe :  English Muffin
Cook Book : The big book of Bread by Anne Sheasby

So, this week’s theme is muffins.  I looked through all my cook books and there were some amazing flavour combinations both sweet and savoury.  It was hard to decided.  I wanted to make something that challenged me and something I haven’t tried before.  Then I saw a recipe for English Muffins.  I love baking bread and take on any opportunity to practise.
This recipe seems like most bread recipes.  However when it came to actually baking the bread, the instruction was not to bake but to cook on top of the stove on a griddle.  I was a bit a apprehensive about that method.  I didn’t want to get to this point of my muffins and then totally ruin it.  I, therefore, decided to just place in hot oven and it totally worked. Maybe one day, Ill make this again and try cooking it in a griddle pan.

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 easy blend dried yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 55g melted butter
  • 150ml warm milk
  • about 150ml warm water
  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  1. Generously flour a large baking sheet and set aside. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre, then add the melted butter, milk and enough water, mixing to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic. About 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. It could take about 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Knock back the air in the dough then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a circle, and roll it to about 1-2cm thick. Place on baking sheet, cover and leave to rise again for 30-40 minutes or until springy to the touch.
  4. Preheat oven to 230c.
  5. Bake towards top of the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn over and bake further 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. To serve, when fresh, spread with butter and your favourite topping. When cold, slice in half and then toast both sides and then spread with topping.

Bon Appetite,