Tags: Chicken Breasts, Chicken Fingers, Chile Garlic Sauce, Cilantro, coconut, cooking, Dessicated Coconut, garlic, Ginger, Greek Yogurt, Lime, Panko, Soy Sauce
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Edesia’s Notebook (love the name) authored and photographed by Lesa. For the first time since I joined, I didn’t have the urge to grab some gorgeous dessert, which Lesa has plenty of, and play with it. Instead, the same thought kept going through my head.
You don’t often see posts where I just make dinner, nothing fancy, nothing outrageous, nothing you would only make for a special occasion. It’s not that I don’t have a decent amount of simple recipes, but I just felt the need to cook dinner and blog it. I chose her Crunchy Lemon Chicken.
Of course, I ended up futzing with it, because I truly believe it’s nearly impossible for me not to futz with recipes. I cut each breast into strips, used limes instead of lemons, and added soy sauce and garlic to the marinade. I also added dessicated coconut to the panko bread crumbs and beat the eggs with coconut water for the breading station. Add to that a few other minor alterations, like the baking time and temperature, and there you have it.
Otherwise, it’s just dinner, and it was delicious. I think these are the crunchiest, most delicious baked chicken fingers I’ve ever had, and kids would go absolutely berserk over these. Just my completely unbiased opinion..I swear.
Even though they were flavorful enough as is, I decided to made a dip to go with them – what I call a garbage dip, where you rummage through your fridge and cabinets and just throw something together. It was interesting and tasty, (it looks kind of gross in the photos..like Thousand Island dressing that sat out too long, doesn’t it?), but, again, the chicken fingers had so much flavor, it really wasn’t needed.
That said, I hope you try these little delights of crunchy chicken, and I hope you enjoy them!
Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips or Bites
Adapted from and Inspired by Lesa from Edesia’s Notebook
Yields about 4 servings
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 chicken breasts (About 1 lb) cut into 1-inch wide strips. Cut each strip in half to make ‘nuggets’.
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2/3 cup dessicated coconut shreds
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to season flour
2 eggs, beaten with 4 tablespoons of coconut water (you can use coconut milk if you can’t find coconut water)
Oil spray, doesn’t matter what kind
1. In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, light olive oil, ginger, light soy sauce, garlic and salt. Add the chicken strips and stir until they’re completely coated with the marinade. You can also pour the marinade with the chicken strips, into a ziplock bag, which is what I did. Marinate for 4 to 5 hours at the most..stirring the strips in the bowl of marinade or squeezing around the bag every hour to an hour and a half to insure even marinating.
2. Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in one bowl, the beaten eggs and coconut water in a second bowl, and the panko and dessicated coconut in a third bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
3. Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn’t overly-saturated (I just ran two impeccably clean fingers down each strip, sliding off the extra marinade). Coat each chicken strip in flour, knocking off the excess, then dip and coat well in the egg mixture and then dredge it in the panko - dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet and continue until all chicken has been coated.
4. Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. IMPORTANT – Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven. Transfer them to a rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.
Spicy Yogurt Dip
1 cup greek yogurt
2 to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients together, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend.
If you get a chance, please click on the blue frog below to see all the amazing dishes recreated by Group A of The Secret Recipe Club. Also, click on over to Edesia’s Notebook for some fantastic sweet and savory recipes!
Tags: baking, Bananas, Cake, Candied Ginger, Carrot Cake, Carrots, coconut, Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Giveaway, Macadamia Marzipan, macadamia nuts, Marzipan Carrots, Tropical Carrot Cake
I preface a lot of my blog entries, don’t I? Well, here’s another one before I get to this post. I couldn’t take part in this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge because of time constraints due to another obligation – a sort of last-minute obligation, but a good one, which you will all see soon.
However, I’m kind of bummed because the challenge was the classic french cake ‘Fraisier’, hosted by Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes, and I was reeeeaaaally looking forward to making it. I will make one and post it eventually, but until then, please take a few moments to check out the beautiful Fraisier’s created by all the talented Daring Bakers, via clicking on the links to their blogs, HERE.
Since I don’t have a Fraisier to show off *sniff*, I present to you a carrot cake I made a few weeks ago – after I preface once again…
It’s funny how the weirdest things from early childhood stick to your brain eternally. I can still remember the lyrics to every chorus class song between the ages of 8 and 13 yrs old. When I try to impress people by reciting all 50 states in alphabetical order, super fast, it’s because ‘Fifty, Nifty United States’ permeated my fresh, young brain, permanently, not because I was born with this amazing ability to recite the states in alphabetical order on a whim.
These are not real carrots, they are macadamia marzipan carrots and yes, I made them. The carrot fronds are real. I did not make those, just an unfortunate, inedible decoration decision that didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.
When I was maybe 4 or 5, there was a TV interview with Shaun Cassidy (I think it was Shaun Cassidy (???). Apparently it was his birthday, and the host asked what his favorite cake was. He said carrot cake. Ewwww..a cake with carrots in it?? Yuck! I couldn’t believe anyone would eat a cake with vegetables in it!
Several years later, I tasted some for the first time. Oh my Gahh, moist, spicy, sweet, delicious..and the cream cheese frosting..I was in love. I spit bullets when I order a slice of carrot cake and the frosting is buttercream or anything other than cream cheese frosting. I feel the same about red velvet cake, but I’ll get to that another time. My point is, I still think of that interview every time I bite into a slice of carrot cake. No idea what to make of it – especially since I was never a Shaun Cassidy fan.
SO, I had an urge to make carrot cake a few weeks ago. and not just any carrot cake – a carrot cake I’ve been coveting for some time at Epicurious.com (I shall covet thy carrot cake!). I think it’s been in my saved recipe box for at least 5 years. It’s a tropical carrot cake and it contains macadamia nuts instead of the usual walnuts or pecans, and pineapple and coconut. Normally, I don’t flip over cooked pineapple unless it’s doused with sugar and grilled. I have similar feelings about strawberries, but again, I’ll get to that another time.
As always, I digress – this was supposed to be a tropical carrot cake, but the only two things, outside of your basic carrot cake that made it tropical, were, the macadamia nuts, and this luscious sounding coconut – cream cheese frosting, containing cream of coconut. Cream of coconut, not to be confused with coconut cream, is this amazing, thick, glossy sweetened, condensed milk like can of coconut something or other concoction. I really don’t know exactly how it’s made, but I do know I’ve actually eaten it with a spoon right out of the can. It’s sosososo bleepin’ good.
That said, I didn’t want pineapple in this cake and wasn’t feeling most other tropical fruits like mango or papaya. I had an urge for banana, and three, ripe mashed bananas did the trick. I’ve always liked (yes, liked, kind of have to be in the mood for it. so that does not qualify as ‘loved’ to me) banana bread and banana cake, and I was in the mood for it.
The cake and frosting turned out terrific..the cake is superdupercalifragilistic moist with a hint of warm, gingery heat surprising you with each bite, and the frosting, PHENOMENAL, although the heat wave wouldn’t let me get decorative with it (my rosettes keeled – then morphed into lumps). It was hard not to ditch the layer cake deal and tear off hunks of cake to dip in the frosting, but somehow, I managed. However, I broke one of my cardinal rules when it came to decorating it.
I don’t believe in ever putting inedible* things on anything edible, whether it be a plate of food, sweet or savory, a cake..whatever. Not only did I do it, but I OVERDID it.
Carrot fronds jammed into homemade macadamia marzipan (omit coffee) carrots. I got the frond idea from Martha Stewart (I only used orange gel paste). Martha Stewart only puts one small frond in each carrot. I thought a bunch would look cool, especially hanging over the sides of the cake. Once I looked at the photos, after it had already been cut into and attacked with savage, voracious ferocity, I hated it.
Regardless, I wasn’t going to make another one any time soon – we had our fill, so here it is in all it’s greenery glory and 70′s psychedelic orange background. Ignore that and make this cake. It’s worth it.
* Carrot fronds are not inedible, but they don’t taste good (unless they’re from baby carrots), especially with cake.
Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Epicurious.com, with my revisions
2 1/3 cups sifted all purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts, toasted
3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger*
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon fresh, grated or ground nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup melted Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil, or vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
3 very ripe bananas, mashed, with some chunks remaining
* For a less spicy cake, reduce crystallized ginger to 1/2 cup or just add 1 tablespoon fresh, grated ginger, and reduce cinnamon to 2 teaspoons.
Coconut Cream – Cream Cheese Frosting*
4 1/2 8-ounce packages (36 ounce total) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks), plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López or Goya)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon (scant) pure coconut extract
*This recipe makes a lot of frosting. I originally developed it to do a basket weave piping around the cake, but changed my mind because I was tired, so I was left with a lot of frosting, which I used for cupcakes the next day. You can cut the recipe in half and still get a decent amount to fill and frost the cake.
14 whole dry-roasted macadamia nuts, candied
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger ,cut into strips
Toasted coconut shreds of flakes
Marzipan or Frosting piped carrots
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Combine 1/3 cup flour and next 3 ingredients in processor. Process until nuts are finely chopped. Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend.
2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour-spice mixture. Stir in coconut-macadamia mixture, then carrots and mashed bananas.
3. Divide batter among pans ( I weighed out close to even layers..about 1 lb 6 oz batter per pan). Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 1 hour. Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.
1. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, then cream of coconut and both extracts. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
2. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread heaping cup frosting over top of cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side up. Spread another heaping cup frosting over the top. Top with third cake layer, pressing slightly to adhere. Spread thin layer of frosting on top and sides of cake. Chill cake and remaining frosting 30 minutes. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange whole nuts and ginger (or whatever decor you decide on) around top edge of cake. Chill 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)
Finally, the winner of the hunka hunk of Grana Padano Riserva cheese, and $40.00 worth of custom goodies from buildasign.com (I thought today was the 27th! So sorry for being a day late! LOL)….
#93 is Barbara of Barbara Bakes, one of my favorite blogs! Congrats, Barbara! Sending you an email to get your info so the cheese can be mailed out asap, and will send your email to buildasign.com so they can send you your coupon code for $40.00 worth of custom goodies!
I Found My Thrill……With Coconut and Lime Plus the Winner of the Custom T-shirt Giveaway and another Giveaway! GIVEAWAY CLOSEDJuly 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Cakes, Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, Puddings | 151 Comments
Tags: baking, blueberries, Blueberry Pudding Cake, Cake, coconut, Coconut Milk, Cookbook, custard, Giveaway, How to Cook Everything, Kelapo Coconut Oil, Lime, Mark Bittman, Pudding, recipes
First off..Happy 4th of July to all in the USA, and Happy July 4th to everyone outside the USA! I’ve got the blue and the white (well..yellowish) but not the red. No matter, this dessert is pretty awesome, red, white and blue. or not.
So what do you do when you ask someone to pick you up blackberries, and instead they bring you blueberries? Nothing, because summer berries are so interchangeable..and all will taste great in whatever recipe that called for one berry in particular. Just my luck, about 5 minutes after receiving these blueberries, a tweet from Mark Bittman scrolled past. Blueberry Pudding Cake. I clicked on the link, then ditched my plan for a coconut blueberry custard pie. I could essentially have all the components of my pie in this easy, quick, one batter cake.
I’ve made plenty of chocolate pudding, aka hot fudge, cakes in my day, and who hasn’t? It’s one of the simplest cakes you could make..one quick batter in a square pan, pour boiling water on top, and voilà, chocolate cake with a fudgy pudding/custard saucy deal underneath. When rushed for a dessert, or a sudden bout of PMS chocolate craving, it was always a win-win situation, and it only took about 30 minutes from mixing bowl to table. Before anyone/I could say ‘cake’ they/I – were/was eating big scoops of cakey, chocolatey goo with vanilla ice cream.
This pudding cake is simple, but it involves eggs and the separating of eggs. I don’t know why, but when I see a recipe that involves separating eggs and beating the whites, which are then folded in, I cringe a little. It’s not that it’s difficult, but when I’m in a ‘simple recipe’ mindset, it’s kind of like someone telling me the elevator is out-of-order and I need to take the stairs…the number of flights depending on the number of eggs.
Sometimes I’m a rebel, and just crack the amount of whole eggs in as is.
Sometimes the issue is forced when there’s a lopsided amount of yolks to whites. Great..now I’m going to have leftover yolks or whites. I’ll have to scour the net to find something to do with them outside of meringues, macarons and crème brûlée. I’m not an egg white omelet person. I like my omelets yellow.
In any event, I obeyed the recipe, and the results were worth it. Of course, I made a few revisions to said recipe. As my usual mantra goes, I can’t leave most recipes alone..I always feel some could be better, or more to my liking. I’m a futzer, a fiddler (a joker, a smoker and a midnight toker..sorry, had to) and I just can’t stop. It’s a common thing in cooking, but baking not as much because baking is a SCIENCE and any little sway from the formula can completely change or destroy it.
My changes didn’t destroy it. All I did was add some extra flavor, coconut and lime. Kelapo Coconut sent me a sample of their coconut oil, so I used that instead of the melted butter, and I used lime zest in lieu of the lemon zest listed in the recipe. Small changes, no big whoop, right? Well..I felt it needed more coconut flavor, so I toasted some coconut and ground it with the sugar in the recipe. Then, instead of plain buttermilk, I made coconut buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of lime juice to the coconut milk. The end result was perfect – plump, juicy blueberries floating in a sea of custard with a light, fluffy, slightly crisp, cake topping..a subtle background of coconut and the perfect hint of lime to cut the richness.
This is all great and good, but for the most part, you can’t tell that there’s coconut and lime in this cake pudding via the photos because I only had one lime and a bit of shredded coconut for the recipe. When it came time for photos, I had nothing to top it with that said..’There is lime and coconut in this pudding cake!’.
Another reason I’m a bad food blogger.
I don’t think of these things until the last-minute, when it’s already too late. As far as all of you can see, it’s just a blueberry pudding cake. I suppose I could type ..’with coconut and lime’ under every photo, but I’m not that obsessive a person..I think…I hope.
Now, the GIVEAWAY. Part one is a yummy one. Jen from Kelapo Coconut contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I would like a sample jar of their virgin coconut oil to try. Of course it was an affirmative, I love trying new things. However, I thought it would be cool if she could also provide an extra jar to give away to my readers. Affirmative again. SO, when the winner is announced, Jen will personally ship a 15 oz jar of Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil to that winner.
I admit, at first I was iffy on coconut oil..I heard a buzz here and there that it was bad for us. Apparently, new studies have reversed that charge and now they say it’s good for us. UPDATE : a commenter named jean said that only the virgin and unrefined coconut oils are good for you, so Kelapo organic VIRGIN coconut oil, IS good for you! Refined coconut oil is NOT good for you. Good to know, because coconut oil is also a flavorful replacement for butter, which is a plus for those who are allergic to dairy or just dairy-free in general. It’s great for vegan cooking and baking too, not to mention a good substitute for neutral oils in most recipes. Personally, I love the stuff because it tastes and smells amazing, and I wanna saute something savory in it soon. Coconut seared chicken something or other keeps sprinting through my brain. Also, my friend, Suzanne just let me know that a health food store she shops at pops their popcorn in coconut oil. Is that not a fantastic idea? I’m definitely trying that! The second part of this giveaway is the cookbook How to Cook Everything (10th anniversary Edition), by Mark Bittman. I always wanted this cookbook, so I bought one for myself, and one for one of you! It’s become sort of a habit now when I buy things. One for me and one to give away here.
To enter this giveaway for both the coconut oil and the cookbook, leave a comment. For extra entries, you can leave separate comments for all or any of the below; 1. Follow @parsleynsage on Twitter 2. Follow @kelapo_coconut on Twitter 3. Like Kelapo Coconut on Facebook 4. Tweet the following: A Kelapo Coconut Oil & Mark Bittman cookbook GIVEAWAY @parsleynsage http://t.co/NnhVqCG #giveaway I’ll be choosing the winner 10 days from today using random integer.
Speaking of winners..the winner of the $50.00 worth of custom designed t-shirts from ooshirts.com is…
Number 19 is Carolyn of Cookin’ for my Captain! Congratulations, Carolyn. I will pass your email to Colleen at ooshirts.com so she can email you the code for your $50.00 worth of custom printed shirts! I’m sure you’ll have fun making them!
Magic Blueberry Coconut Lime Pudding (Custard) Cake
adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, with my revisions – For the original recipe minus coconut and lime – click HERE.
About 6 servings, but I say more like 4 big ones
Time: About 1 1/4 hours, plus time to cool
4 tablespoons Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil, melted, plus more for greasing dish
1 cup coconut milk minus 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice or cider vinegar)
3 /4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (sweetened or unsweetened, entirely up to you)
3 eggs, separated, plus one extra white (extra white not necessary, but I like adding it for more fluff)
1 /3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1. Combine the coconut milk with the cider vinegar or lime juice..let it curdle. Grind 1/2 cup of the sugar and toasted coconut together in a food processor or blender. Set both aside. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8- inch square ceramic or glass baking dish or a deep dish pie plate with Kelapo coconut oil.
2. Put the coconut oil, coconut buttermilk, the 1/2 cup of coconut sugar, the egg yolks, flour, and salt in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Pour the batter into a bowl. Stir in the blueberries and lime zest and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until they hold soft peaks, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar while beating until the whites hold stiff peaks; fold them into the batter gently but thoroughly.
4. Turn the batter into the prepared dish and put the dish in a baking pan large enough to hold it comfortably. Add enough warm water to the baking pan to come to within an inch or so of the top of the dish. Transfer carefully to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the center is just set but slightly jiggly, about 50 minutes.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and cool the dish completely on a rack, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours, before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.