Monthly Archives: February 2012

Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets

This past year I have really been looking at the food I buy and what I feed my family, especially my son. It seems that every product in the store these days is filled with preservatives and unhealthy ingredients. It’s pretty ironic how we fill our bodies with the most unnatural processed things when God has blessed us with so many healthy choices. I will be posting healthy kid recipes here at Ya Salam Cooking from now on and I hope they benefit you as much as they have been me. 

When it comes to a lot of foods I do opt for making them myself over the pre-made stuff. I never buy canned foods and I try to always eat fresh or frozen. I think those are some really important things we should all do. Recently I have really put my foot down when it comes to what I feed my son. I have been making all his food as healthy as I can and in batches so that I can freeze then use as needed. Any mother knows that it’s exhausting trying to get a four old to eat especially the right choices. But in the end you will feel a lot better knowing your little ones are eating meals that are actually good for them then giving in to all that pre-made frozen junk and fast food. 
To freeze I cut squares out of aluminum foil then place 4-5 nuggets into each one and wrap. I do this until all the nuggets are finished and I place into zip-lock freezer bags making sure that most of the air is out the bag. When re-heating you simply place the foil back in the oven and bake until warm. 
2 cups crushed cornflakes 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
4 tablespoons chopped parsley 
1 cup buttermilk 
4-5 chicken breast, skinless and boneless 
1. Add buttermilk into one bowl, sit aside. In a another bowl add cornflakes, salt and parsley, mix and sit aside. 
2. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Lay a non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet, brush lightly with olive oil. 
3. Cut chicken into small pieces. Coat in buttermilk then roll in cornflake mixture. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and flip chicken and then bake for a remaining 10 minutes.
Yields: 25-30 nuggets

Shrimp Biryani

One of my blog readers wrote in and
requested shrimp biryani and ironically I already had shrimp laid out to cook.
It’s been awhile since I have made Indian food so it actually sounded really
good. When cooking shrimp you have to be really careful not to overcook or else
you get a tough plastic like texture. As soon as the shrimp turns pink it
should be removed from the stove. In the oven the shrimp will be layered with
rice and covered with foil for protection. This is actually a really easy meal
and it will be even easier if you have leftover rice to use. Living in Riyadh
you always seem to have bags of rice in the fridge since every restaurant you
ever go to gives you large bags for takeout. A perfect companion for this dish
is a tomato and onion chutney or my personal favorite plain yogurt.

1-1/2 cups basmati rice, cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 green chili
1 (1inch) piece ginger
600 grams shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
3 tomatoes cut into thin wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 bay leaves
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1. In a small food processor add onion,
garlic, chili and ginger. Pulse until chopped. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan
on medium heat add oil. Add onion mixture and cook until tender, about 5
2. Add the shrimp
and fry for about 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Add the curry paste, salt
and garam masala to the shrimp mixture. Carefully add tomato wedges and
continue cooking for another few minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
3. Pre-heat the oven
to 375F. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the rice and turmeric.
Cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is almost tender. Drain the rice and toss
together with the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and saffron.
4. Layer the rice
and shrimp in a shallow, ovenproof dish until all the mixture has been used,
finishing off with a layer of rice. Cover and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Yields: 4

Pa Amb Tomaquet

Pa Amb Tomaquet is the Catalonian’s version of fast food and something that you find everyone eating throughout the day. You could also call this a Catalan version of pizza. The basic version and my favorite is just fresh tomato and a good olive oil spritzed on. However you can
Add whatever toppings you may like upon yours such as cheese, pepperoni or anchovies.

4 slices crusty Italian bread
1 tomato, halved
Olive oil
2 tablespoons shredded cheese

1. Grill bread slices. Take tomato half and rub up and down as your grating onto bread. Drizzle with olive oil, cheese or any other toppings you may like.

Yields: 2 servings

Crusty Italian Bread

When it comes to bread my favorite is
always the simple and crusty Italian white bread. Not only is it easy to make
but it has to be one of the best breads that I have had. You can do so many things
with nice crusty bread. Tomorrow I will show you a simple recipe for one of
those things. But today break some bread and dip it into a nice olive oil for
the perfect snack.

2-1/2 teaspoons yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg yolk

1. In a small bowl add yeast, 2 tablespoons of the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Sit aside and allow to sit for 5 minutes. 

2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, remaining sugar, salt, yeast mixture and a little water at a time until a dough consistency has formed. Knead for 5 minutes. In a plastic bowl add olive oil. Add dough, covering with the oil into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 1-1/2 – 2 hours.

3. Punch dough down and lay into a working surface (non-stick baking mat), shape into a 12×4 inch loaf, do not make thin. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 40 more minutes.

4. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a small bowl add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water, mix well. With a pastry brush coat the entire bread with mixture. With a knife carefully cut slits across the top of dough. place bread on a non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet. Place a bowl of water in a heat proof dish and sit on bottom rack.

5. Cook for 30-40 minutes until golden and the bread sounds hollow when knocked on.

Yields: 1 loaf