Gg’s Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas do take quite some effort and time but they are well worth it. I’ve made a simple and non-traditional version here but it is very good nonetheless. If you cannot be bothered making your own guacamole or salsa, use store-bought versions. I highly recommend El Paso. Substitute chicken for beef or even prawns. If you do use prawns, do not cook them all the way through first, make sure the enchilada sauce is hot when you spoon over the tortillas and crank the heat of your oven to the highest temperature to melt the cheese faster. You do not want to overcook the prawns.

I found what I now deem as the best cheese for making Mexican food (funny it’s made by a Danish company). Arla Finello® Tex Mex cheese is cheesy. gooey, spicy awesomeness! There are bits of chilli flakes and other spices mixed into the cheese which added a real kick to my Enchiladas!

Make these as spicy or mild as you like and eat them with excessive amounts of guacamole and sour cream. It’s not diet food by the way 😉

Gg’s Chicken Enchilada Chicken Filling Recipe:
(serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients

  • 3 sides of big chicken breasts (cut into 1.5cm slices)
  • 2 large white/ purple onions (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (reserved for frying)

Chicken seasoning –

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon dried chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Combine chicken breasts, onions and seasoning; mix well to coat.
  2. Marinate for a minimum of an hour up or overnight.
  3. Heat pan with reserved oil, add a little more if you prefer.
  4. Add chicken and onions.
  5. Toss well and cook through.
  6. Leave to cool to warm.

Gg’s Chunky Salsa Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 regular can diced tomatoes
  • 2 big green chillies (roasted – prick chillies randomly with tip of a small knife, brush chillies with a little vegetable oil, roast in a pre-heated oven (200 degree Celsius) until the skin of the chillies turns black, pop chillies in a zip lock bag to steam for 5 minutes, remove skin, de-seed and roughly chop)
  • 1 white onion (roughly chopped)
  • handful fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Drain tomatoes and combine with remaining ingredients.
  2. Allow flavours to meld in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  3. Allow flavours to meld for at least 20 minutes at room temperature if cooking with it.

Gg’s Simple Chunky Guacamole Recipe:
(serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados (cubed – halve avocado, remove stone, use knife to slice avocado flesh vertically and horizontally; use a teaspoon to scoop flesh out)
  • zest of 1 big lime
  • juice of 1 big lime
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients; mix well to coat.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Gg’s Chicken Enchilada Recipe:
(serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 regular can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • Gg’s Chunky Salsa

Tortillas –

  • Gg’s Chicken Enchilada Chicken Filling
  • cheddar cheese (as much as you like)
  • 6 regular corn tortillas
  • Arla Finello® Tex Mex cheese (or any cheese of your choice)

Directions:

Enchilada Sauce –

  1. Combine canned tomatoes and Gg’s Chunky Salsa in a saucepan and cook over a low flame for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.

Enchiladas –

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix Gg’s Chicken Enchilada Chicken Filling with as much cheddar cheese as you like.
  3. Spread a thin layer of Enchilada sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Place one to three tablespoonfuls of the chicken mixture in a straight line in the centre of a tortilla and roll it up.
  5. Place in baking dish and repeat until all six tortillas are done.
  6. Cover the tortilla rolls well with the remaining sauce.
  7. Sprinkle with Arla Finello® Tex Mex cheese
  8. Place in the oven and cook for 15 to twenty  minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and a little golden.
  9. Serve with Gg’s Simple Chunky Guacamole and sour cream.

Top with sauce and cheese, bake and Si Señor!

Gg’s Japanese Sesame Dressing

This is the best salad dressing ever! It goes with everything and is also a great replacement for Goma dip (Shabu Shabu). I love it so much that after I make it, I throw vegetables into the food processor so the residual trickles clinging to the sides don’t go to waste. If I do get too lazy to make my own, the store-bought version suffices but is a tad too sweet for my liking. I fix that with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of sesame oil. Make this a little thicker to dunk vegetable sticks in.

Slather & dunk away!

Gg’s Japanese Sesame Dressing Recipe:
(yields about 100ml)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (reduce the amount if you prefer less sour)
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon mirin
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Roast sesame seeds gently over a low flame in a pan until just slightly brown. A few of them may start popping.
  2. Remove from heat immediately.
  3. Combine all ingredients and sesame seeds in a food processor and blitz to desired consistency.
  4. Chill in fridge until ready to use.

Gg’s Blackened Garoupa with Crunchy Passion Salad

Fast to cook, good to eat. And good for you too! Spicy Grilled Blackened Garoupa is served with a lime yogurt sauce and a sweet and sour salad. Who says eating healthy has to be boring? My DCM also commented this was the best fish I’ve made so far.

Gg’s Blackening Rub Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions

  1. In a small jar with a lid, combine all ingredients. Seal securely and shake vigorously. Use immediately or store in a cool dry place. Shake jar before each use.

Gg’s Blackened Garoupa Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 thick Garoupa fillets
  • Gg’s blackening rub (enough to coat seabass)
  • drizzle of olive/ vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven on the conventional cooking setting () at 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Lay a piece of baking paper on a metal rack placed on a baking tray.
  3. Coat flesh of Garoupa with as much or as little blackening rub as you like and pat down gently.
  4. Arrange Garoupa on baking paper, drizzle lightly with oil and place in the oven on the second rack from the top. Switch the oven to the fan assisted grilling setting ().
  5. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the Garoupa and how well done you like it.

 

Gg’s Lime Yogurt Sauce/Dip Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons natural or Greek yogurt
  • zest of half a big lime
  • juice of half a big lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

 

Gg’s Crunchy Passion Salad Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 big broccoli (divided into bite-sized florets, quickly blanched in boiling water and refreshed)
  • ½ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small Japanese cucumber (sliced ½ cm thick)
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 8 quail eggs (hard-boiled and peeled)

   Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons passion fruit vinaigrette (store-bought and can be substituted with 2 fresh passion fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of half a big lime
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add vegetables and quail eggs to dressing. Toss well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Gg’s Cucumber, Mint & Yogurt Sauce/Dip

A healthy sauce/dip which complements Gg’s Turkish Roasted Chook and spicy foods. Helps with cooling down the heat for those who aren’t good with spicy food.

Cucumber, Mint & Yogurt Sauce/Dip Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Japanese cucumber (peeled and grated)
  • few sprigs of mint (chopped)
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup of natural or Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Turkish Delights For Deepavali

I love marinating meats, especially chicken (chook). Marinades turn a normal piece of meat into something spectacular! If you just throw a chook into the oven with a little salt and pepper, olive oil; you get dinner. Put together a marinade of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, splash of white wine, trickle of honey, bit of melted butter and of course good ole S&P (salt and pepper), let a whole chook or your favourite chicken parts marinate in the marinade overnight to a week before you chuck it into the oven and you get dinner that makes you go “OMG… Mmmm…”. 

Yes it is more effort. But really, only slightly more. And the rewards are well worth it. I like putting together the marinade first so I may taste and tweak if necessary. Once done, that’s all the extra effort done. 

Since the apartment comes with a mediocre, tiny fridge (provided by the landlord), I am not able to store many things as the freezer portion is so limited. The solution is marinating. Marinades keep meats ‘fresh’ for longer in the chiller section through preservatives like salt, spices and oil.  

So, it was Deepavali and we were staying in. I wanted to make an indulgent yet healthy meal for my DCM. The Parentals recently went to Turkey on holiday and came back with Turkish goodies like apple tea, cheese, cold cuts, figs, honey comb, macadamia nuts, marinated green olives, olive oil infused with black pepper, pistachios, saffron and Turkish chicken spice rub. I’d marinated 3/4 of a fat chook in the Turkish spice rub and a few other ingredients, had organic baby carrots in the fridge and there were those green olives. A trip to Cold Storage (CS) at Great World City (GWC) provided me with all the other ingredients needed to whip up a Turkish-inspired meal. 

A week of marinating allowed the earthy, auburn spice mix to properly permeate the flesh while the lemon’s acidity acted as a tenderiser. I have a technique of oven roasting that always produces perfectly cooked chook (see recipe and cooking method here). The skin, always the most flavourful part, was crispy. The meat was so succulent that there was a pool of chicken juices at the bottom of the plate when we finished the meal. Yes, even the breast meat was juicy.

Gg's Roasted Turkish Chook with Carrot & Cranberry Salad, Cucumber, Mint & Yogurt Sauce/Dip, Turkish Green Olives and Turkish Bread

The salad was fresh, crisp and sweet (see recipe here) while the yogurt sauce/dip was cool, refreshing and zingy (see recipe here). The yogurt sauce/dip cooled the spicy heat of the chicken and the sweetness of the salad balanced the sour tones present in the chicken and the sauce/dip. The Turkish bread I found at GWC’s CS was chewy, slightly dense and great as a vessel for the chook, salad and yogurt sauce’s trip to our mouths.

It was delicious, messy and so satisfying. My DCM and I did not stop eating until everything on the tray disappeared.