Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cornflake crusted chicken and announcing the World's Biggest Coffee Morning

I have exhausted almost everything from my drafts and this was a recipe I hadn't planned on posting, not because the recipe was a failure, but because I wasn't too happy with the pictures. Since I hadn't fed my blog in a while, I thought, why not, lets get it out there. 

My last set of guests have left and I must say its awfully quiet around here. No rushing between houses, no early morning sightseeing and no travelling in the car (which I dread completely. Hail the London Underground). I haven't cooked in a reaaaallly long time and as always, its a slow start. Even with taking pics and stuff, I haven't really got down to it and I hope it wont be long before I'm up and about with the camera and props.
Anyways, this cornflake crusted chicken was the after effect of a cornflake over dose, more like, I want to finish it off as soon as possible so I have to think of recipes to use them in. So dinner on one night was taken care of with these crispy, crunchy chicken which I served with a healthy salad. I still had some more remaining which I force fed my sister-in-law when she stayed with us for a month :) :)

Its an easy peacy recipe and quite tasty for a picnic and such. It wont go soggy on you if you store it in an air tight container. I even used up the boneless crusted pieces of chicken in a sandwich the next day and it was just as good. So go on, try it and I'm sure you'll thank me later. Don't judge the recipe by the pics, it was waaaay better tasting than it looks :)

Recipe adapted from here
Chicken- 1/2 kg (mix of drumsticks and thighs, cut into large pieces)
Buttermilk- 300ml
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp
Spicy chilly powder- 1 tsp (paprika)
Black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Garlic powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Cornflakes- 3 cups (crushed using a rolling pin. Don't powder it)
Parmesan cheese- 3 tbsp (grated)
Salt and pepper- to season
Whisk together the buttermilk with cumin, chilli powders, pepper, garlic and salt. 
Place the chicken pieces in a non reactive bowl and pour the marinade over. Mix well and keep it covered in a refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, pre heat the oven to 220C.
Place a wire rack over a baking tray and keep aside. You can place a sheet of foil on the baking tray to catch any juices or crumbs falling off the chicken. Less cleaning that way :)
Season the crushed cornflakes with the Parmesan and salt and pepper. Mix well and keep ready in a shallow bowl.
Shake off the excess marinade from the chicken, keeping some on for the cornflakes to stick and then roll the pieces in the crumb mix properly, making sure they are completely coated.
Place on the wire rack and into the oven. 
Bake for about 25 minutes, making sure you check the chicken pieces every 10 minutes and turning them around if required. They should not brown too much.
To check if its done, slice through to the bone and if the juices run clear, and the meat is not pink, you are good to go.
Take out of the oven and serve when still hot.

Notes: You can basically add any spice of choice and then coat the chicken with cornflakes.
To get a much crispier version, place under the broiler towards the end. Again, make sure you don't burn it.
On a different note, I would like to announce that on the 28th of September this year, the World's Biggest Coffee Morning is going to take place. It is a one day fund raising event hosted by Macmillan Cancer Support to raise money for people with lives affected by Cancer. 

Silver Spoon, the homegrown sugar people, are the official sugar sponsor for the event and this year they have decided to launch a fantastic competition as part of their activity. By launching the Silver Spoons Little Local Hero Awards, they are scouring the country for local heroes under the age of 18 who have done something truly special. It could have been from looking after their little sister when they were ill to gone to great strengths to make Mother's Day very special or done something great to raise money for charity. If you know anyone falling into this category, then just follow this link and explain in less that 100 words who you are nominating and what you would bake to say thank you. Master Patissier Eric Lanlard will choose a Silver Spoon national Little Hero and to celebrate he will bake them a special cake of their choice and 10 runners up will also receive a Silver Spoon baking hamper with full of exciting treats.
Also don't forget to register to hold your own coffee morning on the 28th September, and to do so just follow this link and you can help raise money for people with lives affected by cancer.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Summer fruit salad

No time to ramble, been super busy with taking the in-laws around. By the time this post goes up, we'd be in Scotland, taking in the highlands and whiskey and all that's Scottish, well except Haggis maybe.

I made this salad on a day I felt too lazy to fix up something for lunch and since my fruit basket was crying out to me I thought I'd whip up something fruity. I thought it wouldn't fill me, but strangely it did and I think I should make it a practise. There is no recipe as such, just throw in a bunch of fruits you like, do a simple dressing and if you like, add a chilli or so for some spice. Here is another fruit salad I made a while back

Use fruits that are in season and if they are fresh, then nothing like it. But mine was about 2 to 3 days old and was almost at the wilting stage when I decided to rescue them. It tasted great nonetheless. I love fruits but I'm kinda lazy to eat fruit, especially when it involved peeling and slicing and stuff. If someone has it ready for me, then I'm more than happy to eat away :)
Mango- 1 cup, peeled and diced
Watermelon- 1 cup, deseeded and diced
Orange- 1 half, peeled and cut into rounds
Apple- 1 half, cut into rounds
Grapes- 1/4 cup (I prefer seedless)
Kiwi fruit- 1, diced
Ginger- 1 tsp, julienned (optional)
Green chilli- 1 small, roughly chopped
Caster sugar- to sprinkle (optional)
Lemon juice- 1 to 2 tsp
Coriander leaves/ mint- to garnish (optional)
Mix together the ginger, chilli, sugar and lemon juice. Gently squash the mix with your hands, enough to get the chilli and ginger flavours infused. Add a bit of salt if required.
Arrange the fruits in a platter (or in a bowl) and pour over the dressing.
Garnish with some mint or coriander leaves.
Gently mix before serving.

Notes: I also tried adding some pomegranate seeds once and it was great.
If the fruits are too ripe and sweet, avoid the sugar altogether.

On another note, my Grilled chicken wings- the Indian way got published in the Huffington Post Kitchen Daily. I'm pretty thrilled about this :). Check out the link

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Baker Days (review)

Recently an aunt of Ro's based in India, asked if we could get a birthday cake delivered to a cousin here and we went on a frantic search online for bakeries that did home delivery. Either they wouldn't deliver outside London or the rates for delivery was almost as that of the cake which made us wonder if it was ever possible to deliver a cake to someone special if required.

While highly leaning towards the 'not possible' mark, I received a mail asking if I could do a review for Baker Days, who sends personalised cakes for any occasion, anywhere in UK. I decided to give it a go and so went about checking out their website. With waaaay too many options to choose from., I was quite confused- Birthdays, Engagements, New Baby, Bon Voyage, and heck there is one for even passing your driving test. If that's not good enough then you can design your own cake by uploading a picture you like and getting than imprinted on the cake. 
So without wasting much time I went about ordering my cake. The website is pretty easy to navigate around and its as straight forward as it can get. You can select either the Letterbox size which would easily serve 2 to 3 people or the Medium party cake which should get you around 8 to 16 portions. Since it was just Ro and me, I opted for the Letterbox version, and also because I sooo badly wanted to see what they meant by this. You then go about selecting the flavour- plain, carrot, lemon or fruit and if you are gluten intolerant, there is an option for that as well. 

The husband being a chocolate addict, I had to order the double chocolate chip cake and since I didn't have a personalised message to put in, I left that, but it was really sweet of them to include those wordings on the cake :)

You then check out, pay for it and wait till it arrives. And when it did arrive, it was perhaps the cutest lil cake I'd ever seen. It comes neatly wrapped and snugly fit in a tin, so no cracks and such possible. Along with it in the box were balloons, candles, a party horn and a card. I thought that was indeed a great addition and quite considerate.
Taste wise, the cake was excellent, I mean super duper moist and chocolatey with those nuts in between, and both of us managed to finish the cake in no time. I seriously wonder how they manage to make them so moist in spite of it being packaged and sent. If there was one fault, well not fault really, but something my taste buds didn't quite enjoy was the icing which came across as a tad too sweet. But on my really good days, I'm sure even that sugar high wouldn't bug me. Also a couple more flavours like red velvet and caramel and fudge would have been a great addition.

Cake cost starts at GBP 14.99 and depending on the flavour and preference, rates increase marginally, but not exorbitantly high. There is also no delivery charge, unless of course you need speedy delivery or something to that extent.

I was thoroughly impressed with Baker Days and am pretty sure I'd be a regular. So next time you want to order a cake online and get it delivered to anyone, anywhere in UK, you know where to go right? Well, all my UK friends watch out, you may be the lucky one to taste one of these awesome cakes :)

With thanks to Baker Days for sending me a cake to review