Saturday, 27 December 2014

Cooking with Chef Zam and Philips

It indeed was a wonderful morning, spending my time with other food enthusiasts and learning (hands-on) from a Chef. Not only does he cook for a living but he also has his own culinary school to share his knowledge with other hopeful and budding chefs in the making. I am glad I agreed to attend this course because it truly was a cook off with a twist.
We made four delectable dishes, Ayam Percik (Asian sweet coconut sauce chicken), chicken risotto, Cretan Kalitsounia (a Greek dessert) and Banana Nutella Spring Rolls. If you are interested to learn how to make a healthier version of these dishes, head over to my Recipes Page.

Chicken Risotto

Ingredients you'll need to make this creamy risotto:
2 cups arborio rice or any short grain rice
2 chicken thigh pieces (sliced)
1.1 litre vegetable stock/chicken stock/water
2 tbsp olive oil
80g unsalted butter
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Basil leaves (for garnishing)
2 cloves garlic (finely crushed)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
700g Swiss brown mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ tbsp cumin powder

Salt to taste
You may make this is on stove top but for this particular cook-off we had to make it in Philips pressure cooker. The benefit, there was no need to keep stirring the risotto as you slowly add ladles of water, when made the traditional way.
Pictorial Instruction: 
Browning of garlic, onion and cumin 
The Chef used a vegetable stock cube but it is encouraged to use fresh stock to get a creamier taste 
 In goes the rice (washed and drained)
 Water ratio is 1:2 (rice:water)
 The rice is not grainy and soft to touch
 The risotto is almost done, once the vegetable is wilted and the cheese has melted.

You start by heating up the pressure cooker. Then add the oil and butter, followed by the chopped garlic, onions and cumin powder. Cover and cook it for a couple of minutes or till you get the fragrant.
Add and brown the chicken, add mushrooms, then the rice and stir well.

the vegetable stock, salt to taste and bring to boil. Cover the pressure cooker and select Beans/Tendons (30 minutes) and let it cook for about 23 minutes.

Since the risotto was safely cooking on its own without any supervision from us for the next 23 minutes, we decided to work on the final dishes, the scrumptious and delicious;

Cretan Kalitsounia & Banana Nutella Spring Rolls
Once the 23 minutes were up, switch off and release the pressure from the pressure cooker. Once the pressure knob is down, open the lid and add baby spinach, basil leaves and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. Cover and let it cook for another 7 minutes. Creamy Risotto is ready to serve! 
For more recipes head over to my Recipes Page
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