South American Spiced Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

Before going away to Perth, I lost sleep over this recipe. It appeared in my mind on the night before we were due to fly off. Mr told me to quickly write down the details. I was very eager to trial it right there but had to wait until when I got back from my two interstates trips. Funny how creativity comes at random times.

The idea is to merge two recipes. One, I have cooked before which was the buttermilk roasted chicken. I really liked the buttermilk roasted chicken but I knew it could be lifted with more flavours. Another was a whole chicken roasted with a South-American twist from Delicious magazine. I had this on the list to cook a while ago but haven’t got around to trying it. The latter was a bit of work due to the whole chicken. I worked on the recipe and refined it until I was quite happy with it :). You know me, I like to test a recipe at least twice before putting the I Dream In Chocolate stamp of approval ;).

The recipe is quite simple, all you have to do is marinate the chicken overnight. The next day, just pop the chicken in the oven and soon enough dinner is ready! I also tried coasting the buttermilk chicken with breadcrumbs. You don’t have to do this but I do recommend it. The breadcrumb part does makes the chicken taste better. There are quite a number of ingredients in the recipe but most of these stuff should already be in your pantry, hopefully! This is probably the next best thing to fried chicken. There is never a replacement for fried chicken but who says you can’t cheat a little with more health benefits?

Whisk buttermilk with everything except the chicken and breadcrumbs in a measuring jug

Place the chicken pieces with buttermilk in a zip lock bag

After 24 hours, place chicken on a roasting rack. The top two rows are without breadcrumbs, and bottom row with.

Final result :). I served the chicken with the Mexican corn recipe I used from Iron Chef Shellie

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen/Nigella Lawson and Delicious Magazine

Serves 3-4 people with sides

1 1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
2 tablepoons of any white drinking wine
2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of extra virgin oil
1 tablespoon of cumin
1/2 tsp of oregano
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 tablespoon of seat salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of black pepper
750 – 850 grams of chicken. In this recipe I used 6 chicken thighs about 780 grams in weight*
1 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

*I would normally use chicken thighs for this recipe but it would work great with drumsticks, marylands, chicken wings or drumlets. Avoid using chicken breast as it gets too dry. Just adjusted the timing of the cooking if you use different cuts of chicken.

1. Whisk all the ingredients except for the chicken and breadcrumbs in a measuring jar.
2. Pour marinate into a large zip lock bag.
3. Add the chicken pieces and close the zip lock bag. Gently move the chicken around until it’s well coated.
4. Placed chicken into the fridge for a minimum for 24 hours and 48 hours at maximum.
5. After 24 hours preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Oven temperature varies, so please adjust temperature accordingly.
6. While the oven is warming up, remove chicken from the zip lock bag and discard buttermilk. If adding breadcrumbs, place breadcrumbs on a plate and coat both sides of the chicken well.
7. Place chicken on a roasting rack and add a tinge of paprika, salt and pepper on top. You don’t need a roasting rack but if you usually just use a tray, make sure you flip the other side of the chicken about 15 minutes midway through cooking.
8. Roast chicken for about 30 minutes or until cooked thorough

Braised beef with Potatoes & carrots

It’s another day where I called home and asked my dad advice to cook this delicious comfort dish. I wouldn’t normally missed it when I was back with the folks but I find myself craving it more then ever! After some bits of guidance from dad – I decided to wing it and see what I came out with. Dad’s original recipe does not use beef stock but I added some to bring out more flavour and normally he does it with a slow cooker. Sadly I don’t have a slow cooker so on the stove it goes.

If you do attempt this yourself find a good braising beef cut with lots of sinew so it becomes super tender at the end of the cooking process. I had a lot of problems with the scum on top and not entirely sure how to combat this. I think I could pre-boil the beef but then I wouldn’t be able to do the cornflour coating beforehand :(!

Moving along our kitchen is now pretty much set. We bought a kitchen bench from Ikea which doubles as a dining table. It can sort of fit 6 people. I am so happy because now our 1 line kitchen consist has extra bench space for me to work on and more storage space. We picked a Varde base cabinet with an extra worktop.

the beef boiling away – look at all that oil eek!

Carrots and potatos added to the stock – not very pretty. Make sure to get rid of that scum!

the end result super tender beef!


700 grams of braising beef such as chuck.
1 teaspoon of table salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
3 tablespoons of cornflour
2 tablespoons of a neutral oil such as vegetable
5 cm ginger of piece grated
2 garlics crushed
500 mls of beef stock
750mls of water
3 star anise
1/4 cup of soy sauce
dash of white pepper
2 large potatos
3 carrots

1. Cut beef into cubes about 2cms in size. Mix salt, pepper and cornflour with the beef. Set aside.
2. Heat Oil in a dutch oven/pot about 4L in size on medium heat. Add garlic and ginger.
3. After a minute, add the beef and fry until beef is browned.
4. Add the water and stock and increase heat to high. Once boiled reduce the heat to low.
5. Add the soy sauce, white pepper and star anise and cover with a lid.
6. Check the beef often and spoon out the scum if there is any.
7. After 4 hours on the stove, chopped the carrots and potatoes about 3cms in size. Added to the beef.
8. Cook for another hour and serve with rice

Serves four as a side dish with rice

Ferrero Rocher Semifreddo

Ferrero Rocher’s is one my guilty pleasures in life. Stick a whole box of it in front of me and before you know it, it’s gone! Now this does not happen with sweets in general I have a very small sweet tooth. Sadly with the delicious mouthfuls of the chocolate comes at a steep price but I’m still guilty of purchasing them over and over again. It has been on my mind for a while to do something with a dessert replicating the taste of Ferrero Rocher. I had a few ideas to my head but since I never really tried a semifreddo before why not do it this time?

I was very happy with the layers desserts was announced for the sweet adventures blog hop, it’s my favourite style of desserts having layers. This dessert consists mostly of the hazelnut part with a thin layer of wafer. Sadly the taste does not translate well into pictures, I can’t seem to get it to look presentable such a shame. The semifreddo does remind you of a Ferrero Rocher but not quite there 100%. Either way I am quite happy with the taste of it and I will definitely make it again.

Crushed the wafers for the first layer

Hazelnut goes on top

Sadly the end result, not so pretty.

Recipe adapted from good food channel

15 vanilla wafers
1 cup of double cream
2 eggs with yolks and whites separated
½ cup of caster sugar
50grams cooking milk chocolate
50 grams of hazelnuts – crushed
½ teaspoon vanilla paste

1. Line your container with glad wrap.
2. Crushed the vanilla wafers until about 1-2cm in size (you can do this with a spoon). Place at the bottom of the container
3. Melt chocolate in microwave. For about 1 minute or until melted. Leave aside
4. Have 3 mixing bowls ready. 1 bowl with eggs yolks and sugar, 1 bowl with eggs whites and the last with double cream.
5. Beat the eggs whites until sniff peaks are formed. Beat the eggs yolks and sugar until pale and thicken. Lastly beat the double cream until it’s whipped.
6. Slowly fold the egg whites into the egg yolks. Once all mixed fold the double cream, hazelnuts, vanilla paste and chocolate. Make sure mixture is well combined.
7. Pour mixture into container. Place in the fridge overnight or until set.

Thanks to The Capers of the kitchen Crusafers for hosting the Layers dessert blog hop. I can’t add the linkytool thingy due to free wordpress javascript limitations =(

Swedish meatballs (Kottbullar)

Put your hands up if you like Ikea meatballs!

*Raises hands*. I love Swedish meatballs also know as Kottbullar, every time I leave Ikea I would buy a bag of frozen meatballs and a packet of sauce. I also do a quick pit stop at the cafe and have the meatballs as well. Did you know it’s quite easy to make them at home? It tastes even better then the ones from ikea.. Once you made these fresh you won’t go back. These Kottbullars are also freezer friendly, I recommend doubling the recipe and freezing some for a quick meal. This recipe is easy however it does take so time to do. You can make the meatballs the night before (up to step 3) and for the next day after work you can take them out of the fridge and cook them (step 4).

Mixing up the meat mixture

Shaping up the meatballs

End result 🙂

Recipe from Good taste Magazine and I have adjusted it a little

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
500g beef mince
1 potato, peeled, chopped, boiled, mashed
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tbs chopped dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
20g butter
1 tbs olive oil, extra
2 tbs cornflour
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup cream
Mashed potato, extra, to serve (about 4 potatoes)

1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
2. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the mince, potato, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Use your hands and mix well till it is combined
3. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place on the lined tray. Cover. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
4. Heat butter and extra oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add half the meatballs. Cook, turning, for 6-8 minutes or until cooked. Transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
5. To make the sauce, add the cornflour to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in the stock. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sauce boils and thickens. Add the cream. Cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If you find your sauce a bit lumpy run it through a sieve before you add the cream
6. Divide mash and meatballs among serving plates. Drizzle over the sauce.

Quick food blog #1

Oh opps I didn’t mean to disappear so randomly again. I need to pick up some slack and blog. I decided I will introduce this idea of “quick food blog”, consisting of random meals here and with a quick overview, covering either cooking or eating out. This will happy once in a while since I am very poor with words, I was not born a writer for sure. See how this concept works :).

4a cinema alley
I managed to make a booking for 4a’s Cinema alley, which is a free event showcasting indie asian movie animators/film makers in Parker Street, Chinatown

The cocktail I had on the night which grasshopper bar provided. Pandan, coconut juice, rum and mint $11. Bit strange for my tastes.

Waiting for the movies to start 🙂

Nick’s Bar and grill
Buffet dinner at Nick’s bar and grill for Mr S’s birthday. Good value for money $25.50 and food is decent. Dessert I believed is an extra $9 on top. I am sort of convinced the seafood might be frozen (that is just my theory! I could be very wrong..) The ribs were a little hit and miss. Some batchs were decent, some not. There was two types of mussels that were on offer a cream based and a tomato chilli base. The tomato chilli base was much preferred by most. Buffet only occurs on sunday and monday nights from 6pm.




Adriano Zumbo

Quick pitstop at Zumbo’s lab. There was only about 8 seats so had to squeeze in! I hear there might be upstairs seating soon?
That green macaron is foul.. the rest is yummo (all other 7 flavours… which escaped my mind) :p. Ps the quiche chorizo + potatoe = delish and red curry pie = win! There was also heart shaped macarons for valentines day

homecooked meal..
and who needs overpriced restaurants menus when Mr Himself can cook valentines noms WooHOO. Marinated chicken with salad 🙂