Poultry, Snack, Western

Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken Mini Pies

I’m a working mom. Yes, I do have a helper but that doesn’t mean the helper does everything so I do my bit too. So often, I find myself in the kitchen trying something new for the family to try.

Growing up, my mother used to make for us chicken pies. From scratch, mind you. She’ll make the pastry herself and the filling and voila! As little kids, all we had to do was pop one in the mouth. Ok, several mouthfuls. They were delicious and something my brother and I always looked forward to.

But, like I said, I’m working a full time job. But I do want to make pies. So I found an easy way and that’s to use ready rolled shortcrust pastries. Just cut them into rounds, place on a muffin tray, add the filling, brush the tops with and egg wash and then done! In the oven they go.

I like this brand because it’s vegan. And the slight
saltiness is perfect!
Spray muffin tray with olive oil spray can, add the pastry, filling and top it with a small disc of the pastry.
My filling is super easy. 500g of chicken breasts, cubed and seasoned with Korean seasoning of salt and pepper (I love to use theirs but regular salt and pepper will do), cubed potatoes and peas. I seasoned the mixture after frying garlic in olive oil and adding the chicken and potatoes with a teaspoon of curry powder and three teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika. Then add the peas and finally 200g of cooking cream. Then because I had a whole bunch of frozen basil, I chopped them up and put inside the mixture. Cook till reduced.
The cooked ready to be filled creamy chicken potato and peas filling.
Prick the tops with a fork and the. Brush with egg wash. Bake in oven at 190 degree Celsius till brown.
Yummy chicken pies!! They’re rustic looking!
Beautiful to look at and delicious eaten hot!

If a busy working mom can do this in less than an hour, so can you! 😆

Meat, Western

Beef Cheeks Burger

My first time ever cooking beef cheeks! I had seen this at the premium butcher and decided to try it. Beef cheeks takes an extremely long time to cook, but when it’s done, it’s so soft and gelatinous. Well, not that gelatinous, but definitely it doesn’t have the firm meaty texture of regular cuts of beef.

I decided to just cook them simply. My supermarket ran out of non-alcoholic red wine so what I did was to first sear the beef cheek, and then in my cast iron enamel pot, simmer it with a whole bottle of passata, chicken stock, lots of rosemary sprigs, garlic, a dash of Maggi seasoning (or Worcestershire sauce), salt. Because this took almost three hours to cook! The resulting sauce was soooooo sweet! But like I swore to my mom who had come to visit that night, I did not add any sugar! The sweetness really came from the hours of simmering, rendering the tomato passata sweet naturally.

The next day, I turned the beef cheeks into a burger. It was the bomb! Soft buttered toasted buns, alfalfa sprouts, baby spinach leaves, beef cheeks and slather some of its sauce over.

I doubt I’ll be making this again not because it’s not delicious, but nobody in the family liked the soft gelatinous texture of beef cheeks. Oh, well. At least I enjoyed my cheeks!

Poultry, Western

French-inspired Roast Chicken

Today’s meal is so simple but soooooo flavourful. Maybe I can call it chicken provencale but I don’t want to offend any food purists out there. But all I know it’s definitely delish! Served with my garlic and rosemary focaccia (well, the Italians had to make a presence here because currently it’s the easiest bread I know how to bake!). The family totally loved this dish!

Coat seasoned chicken pieces (yes, you have to salt the chicken too) in seasoned flour (salt and black pepper), then when one side is browned, turn over, add fresh rosemary, plenty of garlic pieces and a sprinkling of herbs de Provence (I just used the bottled herbs).
Turn over again after the other side is browned and now add two tomatoes, wedged. I added about 1/2 cup of boxed chicken stock and then transferred the entire thing to the oven.
Slightly charred because I used the roasting setting (I have impatient kids forever asking for food!) but the flavour from all this is sublime!
And now I’m worried there isn’t enough chicken! Looks like I will have to cook something else soon for later in the day!
Bread and Batter, Snack, Western

Homemade Pizza: (new technique learned!)

So I learned a new way to cook pizza at home by Dr Leslie Tay, Singapore’s food guru. He is a legit doctor, by the way, but he’s more well known as a foodie with a very popular blogsite.

Anyway, he had a video promoting the Tefal Ingenio pan and it is from here that I learnt his techniques and applied them. However, 1. I did not buy the Tefal pan. I used my go to WMF steel pan, and 2. I did not blowtorch my pizza 😌

Here’s the link to his site and here’s my end product!

I must say, his technique really works so I’ll be making my pizzas like this from now on.
See how crispy and well cooked the bottom is? No more soggy bottoms! 😂
And here’s my video on YouTube. Subscribe to my channel at Shasha Cooks
Cakes and Cookies, Desserts, Western

Victoria Sponge Sandwich

To celebrate the nation’s 55th birthday, I decided to make this red and white cake. It’s meaningful actually. It’s symbolic of the historical ties we had with the UK and it was also the first cake I learnt to bake! I was only a Sec 1 13 year old girl then, and they made us do this for our Home Econs practical test. I still remember this so vividly. I was so scared of the gas oven back then, and made my partner turn it on most times. For the exam, I remember asking my mom for a dollar so I could get a purple orchid to decorate my piece. I put my purple orchid in a small vase on the tray. I never knew how much I got but I will never forget baking this cake for the exam. 😂

And now decades later, I’m baking this again. I don’t have my Sec 1 Home Econs book anymore so I scoured the net and settled on Mary Berry’s recipe. How very British. 😄

However, after this was done, I must say this recipe is really good! The cake was very moist and very soft! I couldn’t bake it as long as suggested because mine was done ten minutes earlier. But the result was perfection! Another trick I got was to buy one of those cake liners with handles! I reckon I’ll be baking now more because of these liners I got from Amazon. They were amazing and come in various sizes. You can get them here: Cake Liners

Look how they fit so perfectly! This is the best thing I ever thought of buying!
The batter is so easy peasy! Just cream butter with sugar and then the eggs and flour. Oh, I did tweak a bit by adding a teaspoon of vanilla. I wonder why vanilla was not in the recipe.
Bake baby bake!
Not bad for a novice baker!
After that, I inverted one cake and placed it on a plate. Then I added whipped cream first then the strawberry jam (because of the national flag). And then put the second cake on and dusted powder sugar all over.
That beautiful plate? I got it from a UK seller on Etsy. So pretty, don’t you think?
Check out that lava filling! Now, one would think I was overzealous and slathered too much. And maybe I did but believe it or not, when we started eating, we wanted more cream and jam! 😂 There’s never a thing as too much.

I really recommend Mary Berry’s Recipe. And to my country, Majulah Singapura! 🇸🇬