Kitchen Adventure- Crisp, Creamy, Sweet, Spicy

To me, there are few highs that could surpass the joy of visualizing something you want to create and actually being able to pull it off. In my case a week ago, it came in the way of two dishes.

Let me make it clear before proceeding that I'm no cooking expert. Rather, I'm probably more of a persistent eater or a stomach entertainer. I'm just someone who's willing to cook to be able to eat what I want and who likes sharing the fruit of my efforts with others (of course given that my efforts produce satisfactory results).

These cooking projects of mine usually start of with a flash of insight or a vision inspired by food that I read about, see on a cooking website, other blogs or food recalled from a previous meal. This is followed by intense scheming and visualizing of the flavors and ingredients necessary and some research. Now like I said, I'm not one to cook just for myself so before I proceed any further with my inspiration, I ask Liv what she thinks about the dish which I'm thinking of cooking. If she likes it then it's worth the effort. I then go scurrying to the grocery for ingredients.

This project started on a Saturday evening with me thinking of what we'll be having for Sunday's lunch. Drifting into sensations and textures stored inside my memory bank, I started brainstroming till my food library churned out the result in the way of a craving. I got two hits. Crisp and creamy and sweet-spicy. Unfortunately these hints were still quite vague and so I had to visualize these textures and tastes as actual dishes. I mulled over the parameters for a while until a stroke of inpiration and pure guts hit me. For this craving I was to venture into dishes which were quite complicated and ambitious --- for my skills.

Chicken Kiev With Mushroom Sauce

Shrimp and Cheese Stuffed Chili

Thankfully I got Liv to help me out (after a measure of persuasion) to extend her invaluable assistance with the preparation of the shrimps.

Chicken Kiev:

I basically got the main idea and procedure after a little research which led me to the Food Network, and being the adventurous (stubborn) person that I am, I altered it some to add some things and customize it according to my preferences.

Knowing I'd be hard-pressed to finish everything by lunch time on Sunday if I started everything that same day, I decided to prepare the chicken filling the night before:

Kiev Cream Stuffing:

Ingredients: 1 whole butter, 2 healthy stalks of chives, 1 spoon of tarragon, salt and pepper (I would have put parsley but I couldn't find any in the groceries and wet market at that time due to some problem with the Baguio crops I was told.

Procedure: Mix them all together and roll into a tube (like japanese maki) using plastic wrap. I stored it in the chiller overnight to solidify.

The following day, I started by preparing my mushroom sauce. This wasn't in the recipe but I felt that this would be nice to put on the chicken.

Ruy's Makeshift Kiev Sauce

Ingredients: 1 instant mushroom soup, 1 pack all purpose cream, 1/2 cup grated quick melting cheese, 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms, some soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Procedure: cook mushroom soup and dunk everything in. Boil till satisfied with thickness (I know my cooking instructions are a bit on the "go figure side" but that's just what I did myself and failed to time anything! I promise to try next time. I just got so intense cooking that at times, I was working almost purely on instinct).

Finishing the things which needed separate preparation, I then went to work on what to me was the trickiest, most difficult part.
Prepping the chicken: This task was made tougher by the fact that the chicken breasts we had de-boned in the palengke wasn't perfectly done. There were still a few bones lodged inside the flesh which I needed to remove without damaging the chicken and the breast wasn't evenly cut resulting in very oddly shaped chicken pieces to work with. That being said, I had to work with what I had so work I did.
I spread plastic wrap on top of a clean table, put the chicken breast on top and another layer of plastic wrap over the chicken. The plastic needs to be able to slide freely off the chicken so that it deflects some of the force when you start pounding on the chicken. Yup, I pounded (I did it starting from the center working outward) until I thought it was the ideal 1/8 inch thick or when I felt that the chicken flesh was about to break. The goal is to be able to spread it thin and wide to wrap the goodies you'll be putting inside.

Other Stuffing and frying ingredients:
1/4 kg bacon (fried), spinach, flour, some eggs beaten in water, Japanese breading

The bacon.

And some nice leafy spinach (as Liv requested).

Rolling the stuffing in: I spread out my chicken breasts (somehow that didn't sound quite right), put three beautiful spinach leaves side by side (horrizontally) with a little overlapping, 2 Bacons strips (Vertically), then the hardened filling I made the night before sliced into small tubes and a spoon of bread crumbs. Carefully tuck the edges of the chicken in and roll it up. Secure with a toothpick or some string I guess.

Frying: Cover the rolled up chicken in flour, dip in egg beaten in 1 spoon of water, dunk in japanese breading then fry.

And it's good to eat.

This is what the inside looked like. I was really happy that I was able to keep the filling neatly in place in the middle and I was able to stuff it pretty well that the taste and texture of the middle came out.

Shrimp Stuffed Pepper

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Dip Ingredients:
I can sweetened pineapple juice (singles)
1 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic. Minced.
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 spoons ketchup
1 spoon veg oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix flour, sugar, pineapple juice, soy sauce until free of lumps
Fry garlic for 5 mins in oil. Put in Ketchup and fry 2 more minutes
Pour in mixture and stir until thickened. Boil a few more minutes then season with salt and pepper.

Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:
Beautiful green peppers
Quickmelting cheese
Lumpia Wrapper

Slit peppers vertically in the middle
Remove seeds taking care not to tear the pepper open
Grate quickmelting cheese
Stuff generously inside pepper leaving a little space to squeeze in shrimps.

Roll inside lumpia wrapper
Roll in flour and fry.

And there you have it. =)

It was really good. This recipe was inspired by the Food delivery guy at Liv's office who'd sell peppers stuffed with meat filling.

If there's one tip I could give amateurs like myself from this cooking experience, it's that if you have a hard time thinning the chicken breasts (or if you ruin it like I did some of mine), place the breast on top of a lumpia wrapper and stuff as you would a perfectly flattened chicken breast, then roll up tightly like sushi with the lumpia wrapper. It works!

Just main courses for now as I'm not yet skilled enough to whip up appetizers and desserts.

I know my instructions can be a bit vague as I usually get so immersed in my cooking that I forget to take note of certain details (like measurements!) and end up cooking by instinct. I'm trying to fix that as I'm going for consistency from now on.=)

I love excitement when I eat and I'm willing to take the extra time to look for and prepare things to enhance my eating experience like side veggies of kamatis and bagoong or just sawsawan with finely chopped chili. Cooking is just taking it a little further and I love it when I end up achieving things I never thought I could do and cook food I always thought I had to go to restaurants for to eat.

Of course it inspires me most to have people to share them with.=)


Nuni and Nunu said...


Em Dy said...

Kakainggit. I love chicken kiev, chicken cordon blue and chicken crepe. Nakakamiss. A canteen I used to frequent served that. I wonder if they still do. The commercial chicken cordon blue ready to cook are not as good.

Ruy said...

Nuni and Nunu: Hi! Thanks for stopping by.=)
em dy: Hmmm, the one in Chocolate Kiss is good.=)

Gita Asuncion said...

wow! everything looks good! the shrimp stuffed peppers are very interesting.... i think my hubby will like this... ;-)

Ruy said...

Gita: They're very simple to make too.=)I hope hubby enjoys them.

oggi said...

Wow, I love Chicken Kiev and yours looks delicious! I will make the equally yummy shrimp stuffed siling haba soon, thanks for sharing the recipe.:)

Cynthia said...

Ruy, both dishes look excellent. I particularly like the stuffed pepper with prawns!

Ruy said...

oggi: Siling haba! Yeah! My lola calls it that. You're so pinoy.=) Thank you so much for dropping by. You're one amazing cook and I love your site.

Ruy said...

cynthia: I really do hope you guys enjoy the shrimp chili. Oh wow, another great cook came to visit. Thank you so much!=)

Jen Tan said...

WOW!!!!! Looks sooo god ruy!!! I bet it tasts great as well =)Pahingi!!!!! ;P

Ruy said...

Jen T: Thanks! The people who ate it liked it naman kahit pano. =) Naubos na sayang.;p

abby said...

wow, the stuffed peppers look really good! it didn't come out too spicy naman?

carlotta said...

astig nung stuffed peppers! =)

Jen said...

OMG. This is amazing.

Be born already, House of Ru-ru!


Ruy said...

Jen: What the? Haha!

joey said...

Those shrimp-stuffed peppers look and sound awesome! This is definitely getting bookmarked! :)

So you use siling mahaba for this? Is it super maanghang?

Ruy said...

Joey: Hi! Yup I used the kind of sili we use for sinigang. I heard it's called "mahaba" nga.
I wouldnt say it's super maanghang but it does bite. The sweet and sour sauce helps douse the anghang and maybe a spoonful of rice.

Thanks for dropping by!=)

g_mirage said...

Stuffing stuff! Great recipes...I prefer the japanese breading photos are not as tasty-looking as yours! Thanks for sharing these!

Ruy said...

g_mirage: Yours look professionally done!
Thanks for visiting!



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