Kung Fu Café
Since 2011

Chicken Parmigiana With Penne Pasta


Here is yet another recipe post for something quick and simple, but tasty and filling! The chicken once baked in the oven tasted even better than KFC (and much healthier, too!). :-)


Chicken Parmigiana With Penne Pasta
Adapted from: Sea Salt with Food
Serves 6

Ingredients
• 600-700g diced chicken
• 1 x egg
• ¼ cup/45g flour
• 1 x slice of bread
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 500g penne pasta
• 1 x 400g jar of tomato based sauce
• dried thyme
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 250g mozzarella
• 100g parmesan

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 205◦C.

Beat the egg in a large bowl, and put the flour and breadcrumbs in a separate large bowl. Pop the chicken into the egg, and then straight into the breadcrumb and flour mixture. Use your hands to press the mixture onto the chicken to ensure cohesion.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and add spread the chicken across. Drizzle with a little more oil. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the chicken over, and bake for another 10 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling hot water (according to the instructions on the packed). Drain the pasta, and mix in the thyme, pasta sauce, salt and black pepper.

Mix in the chicken pieces with the pasta, and put it all into a large baking dish. Top it off with slices of mozzarella, parmesan cheese and dried thyme. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so until everything is heated through and the top has browned.

Buon appetito!

Baked 02.06.2011

Homemade Meatballs


I made these meatballs to help give my mum a break from cooking, especially as Friday is the day when all the sheets from the beds are changed. It was such a hot day, dad was mowing the lawn, and so my input was to cook the dinner! I also made a lovely cherry clafoutis to go with it. We all enjoyed the evening sun down at Buckfast Abbey. I do like that place. It was really interesting to look around the plant gardens, where they have quite a lot of lavender and other herbs. They even had some Monkshood, which is a poisonous plant! And I didn’t realise there were so many varieties of mint! Unfortunately, a few of the other signs were turned at awkward angles and so we couldn’t tell which plant was which. I should have taken some pictures, though, but I didn’t have my camera. :-(


Homemade Meatballs
Adapted from: BBC Good Food
Yielded 26 large-ish meatballs.
Spaghetti serves 4.

Ingredients
For the meatballs:
• 600-700g minced beef
• 1 x onion, grated
• 3 tbsp dried parsley
• 40g parmesan, grated
• 3 x slices of bread, whizzed in a food processor (or 132g breadcrumbs)
• 1 x egg, beaten
• 4 tbsp olive oil

For the spaghetti:
• ~400g spaghetti
• 1 x 350-400g jar of tomato based sauce

Preparation
Wash the meat, and place it in a large bowl with the egg, onion, breadcrumbs parmesan and parsley. Now here’s where you stick your hands in and homogenise it. Then, form balls of the mixture, ensuring that they’re compact and firm. Put them aside.

Boil the pasta in salted water. While that’s boiling, heat 2-4 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add the meatballs (being sure not to overcrowd the pan; this may have to be done in batches) and brown them on all sides. Then, add all of the meatballs back in, along with the tomato sauce. Half fill the jar in came in with water, and add that to the pan, too. Boil the sauce, and then reduce to a simmer and cover for half an hour.

Drain and pasta when it’s ready, and then incorporate into the meatball and sauce mixture. Serve piping hot with salad and grated parmesan.

Buon appetito!

Baked 03.06.2011

Fresh Gnocchi in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce | Mini Mother’s Day Meal

I always try to cook different things, which really helps to improve my culinary skill. I am definitely starting to get the hang of improvising, and being able to substitute ingredients and adapt a recipe to suit our own tastes. Not only that, but it also helps to make oneself more open to food when visiting other countries, and cultures. It goes beyond just being open to their food, but also being open to more things in life, too.

When I was younger, I remember a few teachers being really impressed with the number of different types of fruits and vegetables that I knew the names of, and had tried. Once a friend came round to my house for dinner and she asked what the “yellow stuff” was on our plates. My parents were shocked that she’d never even come across sweetcorn before. Back then I had already tried things like pomegranates, Sharon fruits (persimmons), star fruits, passion fruits, and lots of other things like that.

But I feel as though it extents to more than just knowing your food; by knowing and being aware of food makes you naturally inquisitive about other things (i.e. it’s a lifestyle thing). I remember also being in secondary school (high school) and some teachers were really shocked when one pupil pointed Canada out as Australia on a map….and so was I! I went back to my parents and exclaimed to them how one couldn’t know that! And to be honest, my geography is rubbish…but surely everyone knows where Australia is, right?


Anyway, I made this meal for my mum as a mini Mother’s Day gift (even though it’s not until tomorrow). We’ll all celebrate Mother’s Day properly next weekend, because dad will be back from work in London by then, and also we can celebrate with both of our grandmothers, too. But to be fair, I don’t really think that we’ll even be celebrating that, because next week, is mum’s graduation ceremony!

Mum said that she wasn’t looking forward to this meal, as she tried gnocchi years ago (before my brother and I were born) and didn’t like it at all. Admittedly it was from a packet, but I managed to convert her by rustling up this delicious dish of fresh gnocchi! You should try it, too!

I would love to make this again, but for those who like their meat, chicken would go great with this dish! I suppose you could pan fry it before adding the mushrooms. Simple. :-)

Fresh Gnocchi with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Source: The Culinary Chronicles
Serves: 4 generous platefuls

Ingredients
For the gnocchi:
• 750g potatoes
• 220g (~2 cups) flour
• 1 x egg
• 1 tsp salt

For the mushroom sauce:
• 2 x tbsp butter
• 500g button mushrooms
• 2 x cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp dried chives
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• 500ml vegetable stock (36kcal)
• 60ml (¼ cup) double cream (150kcal)
• 30g (¼ cup) cheese, grated (I used cheddar)
• salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

To prepare the gnocchi:
Peel the potatoes and cut them into sizes roughly the same size. Boil them in slightly salted water until they’re incredibly soft – about ½ an hour.

Drain the potatoes, reserving the water in the large pot (keep a lid on it to keep the water as hot as possible). Mash the potatoes in a large bowl, and add the flour, little by little, mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep on adding flour and mixing until the dough comes together, so that it’s easy to handle without being particularly sticky.

Separate the dough into balls, and roll each ball out into a long thin sausage-shape about ½ – ¼ “ thick. Then, use a pastry cutter to cut little balls of pillows about 1” long.

Boil the salted potato-y water (reserved from earlier), and pop the gnocchi in. Prepare a large bowl half filled with cold water. Cook some of the gnocchi (this will need to be done in batches) for a couple of minutes until they float to the surface. Remove them with a slotted spoon into the cold water.

When all of the gnocchi are cooked, drain them in a colander and set aside for later.

To prepare the sauce:
Wash and slice the mushrooms. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large pot; add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic and chives. Sauté the mushrooms until reduced and golden brown. Then add the stock, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cream, and simmer for a few more minutes, before adding the gnocchi. Let the gnocchi heat all the way through, add the cheese, stir well (being very careful not to break and mash the gnocchi), and leave to boil. Reduce to a simmer for approx. 5 minutes.

Serve piping hot with salad, or anything else of your choice.

Buon appetito!