Sunday, 28 November 2010


A lot of countries have their rice-and-something recipes. Of course, everyone knows the Spanish paella which is rice, a variety of seafood, and mixed meats. The Jamaicans have their simple rice and peas (which is actually beans) and we Filipinos have the Filipinized version of the Arroz Valenciana and the bringhe, both of which have chicken among other things. It usually has a long list of ingredients and is reserved for special occasions. 

This dish has the key components that most people like: chicken and rice. Better yet, it is a one dish meal and it is quick and easy to cook. Sounds perfect right? But it gets better. There are only a few ingredients which includes chorizo and olives. I used ordinary Milagrosa rice but you can also use whatever rice you normally use, such as Thai jasmine or long grain. The rice absorbs all the flavours of the ingredients resulting in the best shortcut meal ever. 


6-8 chicken thighs
2 1/2 tsps. salt
6 pieces of small or 3 medium chorizo (about 100gms.), sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, sliced (I used the ones in oil; dried ones may be used)
12 pimiento stuffed olives
2 c. uncooked rice (I used Thai Jasmine rice)
2 1/2 c. chicken stock or water
1/4 c. dry sherry
1 tbsp. paprika
2 tsps. sugar
ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsps. olive oil


Pre-heat the oven to 300° F/150° C. 

Season the chicken thighs with the salt. 

Heat up a paella pan or ordinary frying pan and drizzle the 2 tbsps. of olive oil. Fry the chicken thighs on medium high heat until browned. 

Add the chorizo slices and stir fry until the oil turns red. Add the garlic, onions and sun dried tomatoes and fry until the onions are translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the browned chicken), stir very well and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes. Check the seasonings. 

The dish can continue to cook in the paella pan or if a frying pan was used, may be transferred to an oven proof dish. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice, scraping off the grains of rice from the surface of the chicken and cover with foil. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring the rice after at half time (move the chicken aside before stirring, and arrange them on top of the rice again) and re-cover with foil. When its done, take out of the oven, keeping the foil lid on, and let rest for 10 minutes. It is then ready to enjoy

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You might also like

Catalan Fideua
Steamed Prawns on Egg Fried Rice
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Saturday, 27 November 2010


Wontons remind me of visits to my husband's hometown in Malaysia. We go to the coffee shop to eat it for breakfast every morning. It is not unusual for people to eat out for breakfast and with the variety of food available each morning, why not. Despite the wide choice, I still go for a steaming bowl of wonton soup each time. 

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Fried pastry dipped in hot chocolate will be a very sinful indulgence, no matter which way you put it, no matter what the excuse. Indeed, it is something to be partaken with caution and in very miniscule amounts if it can be helped. 

This churros recipe is sweet enough and just right when dipped in the hot chocolate but of course can still be dusted with sugar or cinnamon if so inclined. The chocolate is actually hot cocoa, not the usual thick dark goo that is more of a dipping sauce. This is how hot cocoa is usually served in my family: with a dash of peanut butter. The taste is not obvious but it gives the drink a sense of richness. All in all, a must have when feeling low and wanting some comfort in edible form. This recipe makes four restrained servings.

Churros ingredients:

1 c. water
2 tbsps. oil
1 c. flour
2 tbsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Cooking oil for frying


Mix all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the oil and take off the heat. 

Pour all of the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended. It is ready when a medium stiff dough is formed and separates from the sides of the pan. 

Prepare a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle. 

Heat up some oil in a frying pan or wok. The oil should be deep enough for the churros to float in. 

Cool the dough for a few minutes, then spoon into the piping bag. Pipe about 4" lengths of dough into the oil. Use a pair of scissors to cut the pieces of pastry off the piping nozzle. Fry on medium heat until golden. 

Drain on paper towels. You may sprinkle sugar (confectioner's or caster) while warm. You can also add cinnamon to the sugar.

Ingredients for the hot chocolate:

1/4 c. good quality cocoa
2 tbsps. smooth peanut butter
4 c. boiling water
3/4 c. condensed milk
1 tbsp. brown sugar

In a big saucepan, measure the peanut butter and the cocoa. Add boiling water a few drops at a time while whisking until you achieve a smooth paste. Add the rest of the ingredients. Put the pan on low heat until nearly boiling. Do not let it boil over. It is then ready to serve with the churros.

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Sweet Potato Dumplings
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 Thanks for dropping by. Please let me know what you think of this post.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Black beans are one of the unique flavours of Chinese cuisine that gives it its exotic taste that can't be compared to anything else. Black beans are not originally black and is not like ordinary black beans. They are soy beans that have been fermented until they attain that strange but delicious colour and flavour. It is very salty and strong tasting so a little goes along way. It is usually mixed with other strong flavoured ingredients such as garlic and chillies.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Asado is a very popular Filipino pork stew that is almost the same as adobo. Adding bay leaf to adobo would, in my town, change the dish to asado

This recipe is a variant of the Tagalog asado. Although the word is of Spanish origin and literally means grilled or roasted, it is a stew in Philippine cuisine. 

I used balsamic vinegar instead of the usual white vinegar. This resulted in a very mellow tang rather than acidity. I also used cola, which helped tenderize the meat as well as added a different kind of sweetness and flavour. It is served on a bed of fried potatoes and topped with onion rings. 


1 kg. of skinless pork shoulder meat, trim off fat and cut into 2"x2" cubes
1 can of cola
1 clove of garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. sherry
1/4 c. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. water
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into thick rounds
1 onion, sliced into thick rings


Put all the ingredients, except for the water, potatoes and onion rings, in a heavy pan or pot with lid. Mix well and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer on low heat for an hour or until the meat is fork tender. 

When this happens, turn the heat up and let the sauce evaporate while stirring constantly, until nearly dry. This step is to caramelize both the pork and the sauce. Pour  the 1/2 c of water around the pork (not on top) and shake the pan to deglaze. This will again form a sauce. It is ready when the sauce boils.

Fry the potatoes until cooked and golden. Fry the onions just until it starts to soften. It should still retain its shape. 

To serve, lay the potatoes on a serving dish and spoon the asado over it. Top with the onion rings.

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You might also like

Tangerine and Szechuan Peppercorn Pork Stew
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Saturday, 20 November 2010


Although desserts are a vital part of celebrations, it is not easy to make a selection without over exhausting oneself. I always keep tabs on easy dessert recipes such as this because it leaves me time to do other things.

This dessert is just the perfect ender to that special meal. The luscious, juicy pears surrounded by soft sponge cake is topped by something naughty: bubbly  toffee crust. Anything with toffee is bound to be popular. It is enough to satisfy that end of the meal yearning for a sweet fix yet not too rich to leave you with a guilty conscience. Although the fruit is in a dessert, it still has a refreshing taste. Have it on its own or better yet top with vanilla ice cream. 


4 ripe pears
1 1/4 c. plain flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. condensed milk
flaked almonds for garnish (optional)
extra butter for greasing the dish


Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C. 

Butter an oven proof dish generously. Peel, core and cut the pears into 8 sections lengthwise and arrange on the dish.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. 

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and whisk to combine. Combine the milk and vanilla and add alternately with the sifted dry ingredients, blending well after each addition. Pour the mixture on top of the pears. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes (or until cake tester comes out clean).

Make the toffee topping by combining the brown sugar, condensed milk and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the butter and sugar melts. 

Pour over the pudding at the end of the baking time. Spread evenly and sprinkle with the flaked almonds (if using). Return to the oven for a further 8 minutes. It is ready when the sauce forms bubbles on the surface of the pudding. 

Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving with cream or ice cream.

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Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding
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Thursday, 18 November 2010


I like Thai food a lot. The combination of flavours are very well balanced even in simple dishes such as fish cakes. These fish cakes has all the essential flavours of Thai food: sweet, salty, sour, hot. 

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


... pastry! A pack of puff pastry is a very handy ingredient to have in the freezer. It doesn't take long to transform in into a quick dessert or snack. Besides using it as pie crust, it can also be made into crisp flaky treats in no time.


Slice the unrolled pastry into strips (along the layers, so it shows the cross section of the layers). With a rolling pin, roll the strips thinly. Cut each piece into two. Brush with water and dip in cinnamon sugar (Mix 4tsps. cinnamon powder mixed with 2/3 c of castor sugar on a plate). Hold both ends of the pastry and twist in opposite directions. Arrange in a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and crisp. Let rest for two minutes in the pan so that the sugar will crisp and easily come off the pan. Transfer into a cooling rack . Store in an airtight container.


This time, roll the puff pastry very thinly, without cutting, to flatten the layers. Cut into 3" x 2"rectangles. Brush with water flavoured with almond essence (1/4 c.water plus 2 tsps. almond extract).Dip in castor sugar. Arrange onto a lined baking sheet and decorate with pine nuts. Bake at 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until crisp. As with the cinnamon twists, let rest before transferring onto a cooling rack.

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Saturday, 13 November 2010


Bang-in-the oven cookery is one of my favourite styles of cooking. It gains me some me time while it the food tends to itself as it cooks. Roast chicken is my instant answer when I can't think of anything else to prepare. It is always delicious but can still use some perking up every now and again.

Pot roast is just a slight variation of good old roast chicken but has infinite potential to becoming something very different and much, much more delicious.  It is what you add to the meat after searing, usually including a liquid, that would define the taste of your dish.

This dish is roast chicken with all the works. Although no less than a dish for special occasions, this dish shouldn't be reserved for an occasional treat. The ingredients are pretty ordinary and the process is simply easy yet the taste is undeniably delicious.


1 medium sized whole chicken
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsps. salt
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tbsps. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 onions, halved then each half divided into quarters
4 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks

3 whole corn on the cobs, pre-cook by boiling for 3 minutes, reserving the     cooking liquid
1 can (400 gms.) of cooked chick peas

1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 c. white wine
1 c. of the reserved corn cooking liquid
1 chicken stock cube 
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. hot chilli sauce (such as Tabasco) or to taste


Preheat the oven to 400° F/ 200° C. 

Mix the paprika, garlic powder, salt, sugar and black pepper in a baking pan (non-stick or lined it for ease of cleaning). Put the chicken in and rub all over with the mixture, including the cavity. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. 

Roast for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, saute the garlic in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until golden brown. 

Add the onions and carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. 

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Leave on the simmer until it's time to add it into the chicken at the end of the 20 minutes roasting time. 

At the end of 20 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350° F/ 180° C. Pour the sautéed ingredients around the chicken and continue roasting for a further 1 hour and 20 minutes, turning the chicken over after forty minutes. 

Taste the sauce and correct the seasonings if needed. The dish is then ready to serve.

All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011. 

Please support Adora's Box by making your and (use the code STMMMS55174) purchases from this site. Click on their respective banners to proceed to their websites. It will not cost you a single cent more but will help sustain this blog. Thank you.

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Chicken Diablo

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Friday, 12 November 2010


If you like pancakes, you'll definitely love this dish. It is not the usual sweet fluffy pancake,far from it. 

These are Vietnamese style pancakes (banh xeo) are made with eggs, coconut milk and rice flour. The pancake is crisp on the outside and gets its unusual taste from the coconut milk. The filling I used here is prawns with mixed vegetables. 

I think the way it is eaten is very interesting and exciting. A portion is wrapped in lettuce leaf and then dipped in a sweet and hot garlic chilli dip. It is a simple dish but the combination of all the ingredients and textures makes it so delicious. 

This is ideal as an appetizer but may also be served as a side dish. I could happily eat this all on its own.


1/2 c. rice flour
1/4 c. corn flour
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 sauce
1 c. coconut milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200 gms. peeled medium prawns
1 medium carrot, shredded finely
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100 gms. button mushrooms, halved then sliced
1/2 cup beansprouts, trimmed
1/4 c. coriander leaves
2 spring onions, cut into rounds
1 tsp. light soy sauce
cooking oil
lettuce leaves


First saute the shredded carrots in 2 tbsps. of oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic and light soy sauce. Stir fry for a minute before adding the prawns and spring onions. When the prawns turn pink, add the beansprouts and coriander leaves and transfer to a dish. Divide the filling into four portions. 

Prepare the pancakes.   For the pancakes, combine the rice and corn flour, turmeric and sugar. Combine eggs, coconut milk and fish sauce then gradually stir into the flour mixture to make a smooth batter. 

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil, and pour in 1/2 cup of the batter (this recipe makes 4 pancakes). Cook on medium heat. When the pancake is nearly done (the underside should be crisp and the top should be nearly set all over), spread one portion of the filling onto the pancake. Cook for one minute, covered. 

Fold the pancake in half and transfer to a serving dish. Repeat with the rest of the pancakes. 

Serve with lettuce leaves and garlic chilli dip.

Ingredients for the garlic chilli dip:

1 tbsp. cider or white wine vinegar
1/4 c. lime or lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsps. fish sauce
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1 red finger chilli, chopped

Mix all of the ingredients together until the sugar melts. Serve as a dip for the pancake and lettuce wraps.

All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011

You might also like
Chicken and Lettuce Boats (San Choy Bao)
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Thanks for dropping by. Please let me know what you think of this post.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


A very classic Chinese style of stewing meat is braising in a sauce flavoured with aromatics such as star anise, garlic and ginger. Soy sauce and wine is added to the liquid, which makes the cooked meat reddish in colour. Some restaurants have their prized "vintage" sauce in which they braise their meats over and over again, making the sauce rich and concentrated in flavour. The same braising method can also be used for lamb, pork or duck. Red braised beef may be eaten with rice, or noodles in soup. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


 Chicken wings is the ultimate finger food. I don't mind getting messed up to eat it. Its finger licking goodness is due to the fact that it has more skin than any of the other chicken parts. Any sweet sauce added to it turns into a sticky glaze. 

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Roast meats hanging at Chinese restaurant windows are always such head turners. These glistening cuts of meat, duck and chicken are cooked according to age old recipes in a special oven which gives them that special crisp skin and juicy, tender meat.