Philly Cheese Steak Jaffle

Who’s a Masterchef fan here? In last week’s Tuesday episode (Season 7, Episode 8), the top three contestants (Reynold, Ashleigh and Jessica) had to make jaffles (which is a fancier word for cheese toasties, in my opinion) to win the immunity pin. Are you wondering what was the winning jaffle like? The jaffle that won all three judges heart was named Jaffa Jaffle by Asheligh. The jaffle was filled with ricotta, dark chocolate, pistachio and cardamom. Find her recipe here.

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So as always, with my brain running 100 miles per hour like the contestants as well, I tweeted this on Twitter.

Surprisingly, Masterchefau’s Twitter responded: “Mmm sounds like a winning filling!”. I was so excited with that comment, I even shared it on my Instagram and Facebook page straight away! HAHA!

But on the serious note, I actually DID make it. For people who never heard of Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, it is a classic and iconic sandwich that represents Philadelphia town in America.

Toasted Sandwich

So, I started doing research on how to re-create it as authentic as possible. The type of cheese they use in Philadelphia for the cheese steak is either Cheese Wiz or Provolone- which I did not have in hand. However, I still made a cheese sauce using the only cheese I have in the fridge- Perfect Italiano’s 4 Cheese Melt (romano cheese, cheddar cheese, traditional mozzarella cheese and easy melt mozzarella cheese). This cheese sauce is optional, you can add the shredded or pieces of cheese in between the onions, mushrooms and the steak before you put it in the jaffle maker.

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I also froze the piece of steak for 20 minutes so it hardens up a little bit which makes it easier to thinly slice it against the grain (not parallel to the muscle fiber), creating a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ texture.
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HERE IT GOES!


Philly Cheese Steak Jaffle

Cost: Around $5-7 Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 rib eye steak (freeze 20 minutes before slicing)
1 medium size onion
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
1 cup of mushroom (optional)
Cheese of your choice
(preferably a mix of cheddar and old english)
4 pieces of bread
Oil
Salt & Pepper
Spreadable butter for the bread

Cheese sauce (optional):
3-4 tablespoons (50g) of melted butter
2 teaspoon of plain flour
1/2 cup of full cream milk
1/2 cup of cheese

Method:

Caramelized Onion:
1. Slice or chop onion (depends how you like the texture)
2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry onions until slightly brown.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, stir.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
5. Cook until translucent and set aside.

Caramelized Onion

Sautéed Mushroom:
1. 
Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Fry the mushrooms until soft.
2. 
Add salt and pepper. Taste. Set aside.

Sauteed Mushroom

Cheese Sauce (optional):
1. Melt butter in a pan.
2. Add 2 teaspoon of flour (as a thickening agent) and stir until no lumps.
3. Gradually add 1/2 cup of milk while stirring the mixture.
4. Once it begins to thicken up, add 1/2 cup of cheese (or more).
5. Taste. Add salt if needed.
6. Take off the heat once everything is well combined.

Cheese Sauce

Seared steak:
1. Freeze steak for 20-25 minutes.
2. After 20 minutes, slice the steak as thinly as you can.
3. Add salt and heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil.
4. Lightly sear the steak in a pan.
*DO NOT OVERCOOK*
4. The steak should still be rare because it will continue
to cook in the jaffle maker.

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To assemble:
1. Spread butter on a piece of bread.
2. Place bread with butter side down in the jaffle maker.
3. Pile onion and mushroom on top. Don’t be stingy!
4. Pour cheese sauce on top or place your pieces/shredded cheese on top.
5. Pile steak on top of the cheese.
6. Spread butter on another piece of bread to close the sandwich.
7. Close the jaffle maker and wait patiently for 5 minutes or more.
8. Open and check if the bread is toasted enough.
Serve with a side salad!

Philly Cheese Steak Jaffle
 This was one hell of a good sandwich.

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All images reserved: Eyes of Ed

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You should have these in your pantry!

It is always a good idea to expand your pantry, especially with dry herbs and spices that can make cooking a lot easier. The reason is that when you find a recipe online and scan through the required ingredients, you can most likely tick off half of the list instead of “AHHHH, I have to buy too much (skip)”. Most of the basic pantry items are not expensive, such as dry herbs, seasonings and spices usually cost around AUS $1 – 3 at Woolworths or Coles. Non-perishable canned foods such as canned tuna and beans are a must in my cupboard!

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The most common seasonings and spices I come across in most recipes are:

  • Cumin
  • Nutmeg
  • Garam Masala
  • Tumeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves, and
  • Paprika

For herbs, if you don’t want to purchase fresh herbs every time (even though it is recommended to use fresh products), dry herbs are also a great way for substitution:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary, and
  • Thyme are the most basic ones that you will see in recipes around.

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Here is a very useful list for you: “Quick Guide to Every Herb and Spice in the cupboard” from a popular food blog The Kitchn!

Other goods that are sitting in my pantry just ready whenever I am are:

  • White flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Yeast, and
  • Breadcrumbs

In my opinion, if you have these stocked up in your pantry, then you can whip up a dish anytime just at your fingertip! OR at least you don’t have to spend a large sum of money at supermarkets just for one/two dishes in one go!

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This recipe is a very quick, easy and healthy one perfect for lunch. If you have the below seasonings, spices and beans in your pantry already; all you need to get is just a few fresh ingredients such as kale, cherry tomatoes and any protein you choose to have!


Chorizo, Chickpea and Kale stir fry

Serve: 1

Ingredients:
4 – 5 stalks of Kale (roughly chopped)
5 – 6 Cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)
1/2 cup of Chickpeas
1/2 of a Chorizo (cut into slices)
1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric
1 teaspoon of garlic
1/4 cup of water
S&P
Olive Oil

Direction:

1. Add oil and fry the chorizo until slightly browned.
2. Add garlic, chickpeas, garam masala, turmeric and water until all chickpeas are coated with spices.
3. Add kale and cherry tomatoes until kale are wilted.

Note: You can also switch it up by adding 1-2 teaspoon of Greek yoghurt in the end,
or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Cream can also be an option to replace water for a smoother taste.

And there you have your bowl of goodyness.
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That wasn’t so hard, was it?

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Roast Chicken with bacon, apple, sage, onion

One of the many things I love cooking about is sharing the food. I love watching and knowing that people enjoys my food. I love the criticisms, because that’s how I can grow and improve with my cooking. Every time I prepare a dish for my food blog, all my housemates tend to help out as well. From stirring ingredients to crushing breadcrumbs with a rolling pin (because our food processor broke, haha) to just watching me cook!

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I used to be a person that doesn’t like asking for help as well because I’d like to know that “I can do it”. However, I’ve learnt over time that IT IS OK to ask for help when you really need it! I’ve also learnt that people like to feel that they are useful. I’m just feeling so much gratitude for all the things that I have right now! I’m taking everything as a lesson to build a better me in the future. I hope you all are as well. xx

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The original recipe for this roast chicken is from the monthly Coles food magazine (available online for those tech savvy people). I’m a big fan of these free but packed with amazing recipes food magazines! I have ones from 2012 to 2014 just sitting on my kitchen bench. They can be pretty handy when you run out of breakfast/lunch/dinner ideas.


 

Roast chicken with apple, bacon, sage, onion stuffing

Estimated cost: $15        Serves: 4     Cooking Time: 2 hours

Get yourself some…

1 large chicken (Around 2 kg)
3 rashers of bacon (chopped)
1 medium size Granny Smith green apple (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 celery stick (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
3 eggs
1 French Stick (cut into cubes)
80g of butter
1 tbsp of sage
1 3/4 cups of chicken stock
sweet potato fries to serve

NEXT…

1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C, fan forced.
2. Fry bacon over medium high heat until it becomes crispy.
Add butter (leaving some for the chicken), apple, onion, celery, garlic and sage.
Cook until the vegetables are soft. Let it sit aside and cool.

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3. Toast bread cubes in the oven until slightly turns golden (around 5 mins).
4. Process the bread into a food processor for fine breadcrumbs.

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 5. Transfer the bacon & vegetables into the breadcrumbs and mix til combined.

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6. Whisk chicken stock and eggs in a seperate bowl and fold into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

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7. Wash chicken under tap water and towel dry.
8. Fill the main cavity of the chicken with stuffing but not too packed.
9. Carefully open up the skin with your fingers and loosen up the skin so you can stuff butter underneath.
10. Season the bird with some extra butter on top with salt and pepper.

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11. Tie the legs together with a kitchen string and in the oven it goes!
12. For the remaining stuffing, put it in a sepearte baking dish (I used a muffin tin) and wrap it with foil.
13. After the chicken has been in the oven for 20 mins, place the stuffing dish in the oven as well.

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14. Roast the chicken and stuffing for another 50 mins or until the thickest part of the chicken thigh reach up to 75°C.
15. Remove the chicken and let it rest for another 10 mins.
16. Meanwhile, check the stuffing dish, unwrap the foil and let it bake til it is crispy on top.

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 17. Carve the chicken alongside with some stuffing.

Enjoy and serve with some roast vegetables!

Photo credits: Eyes of Ed

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Shashuka for dinner

Howdy ho! Shashuka or Shashouka…do I need to explain myself more? This delicious and rich tomato baked eggs dish is a very popular and traditional Isareal breakfast for the champions. The first time I had my shashuka was at Moose and Gibson located at Woolloongabba. Oh man, I would highly recommend you to try them out if you live in Brisbane. Since then, I fell IN-LOVE with this beauty but I never ever thought that I have the ability to cook them, because…they turned out to be so much easier than I thought?

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Before I get into the recipe, I want to let you guys know that I cooked mine with chicken mince, but feel free to substitute with chorizo or any types of sausages for your own best interest. Let me know what you guys think. Chow~


 

Shashuka with Chicken Mince

Serves 3 -4 ppl

Get yourself some…

Chicken mince/pork mince/beef mince
1 red capsicum (chopped)
1 brown onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
5 eggs
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1/2 tbsp of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of sugar
salt & pepper to taste
parsley to garnish

Here it goes!

1. Dice onion and red capsicum. Finely chop the garlic.

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2. You can homemade chicken mince by slicing the piece of chicken into strips then vigorously chop into fine mince.

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3. In a large pan, heat olive oil, add garlic and fry chicken mince til half cooked. Set aside.

4. In the same pan, add olive oil and saute onion and capsicum over medium-high heat until translucent.

5. Add chicken mince back in the pan and add tomato paste. Stir to coat onion, capsicum and chicken.

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6. Add canned tomatoes and seasonings (paprika, cumin, salt, sugar and pepper). Taste and adjust if needed

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7. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10 – 15 mins until it reduces. This will allow the flavour to develop more.
(If it’s too dry, add a little bit of water)

8. Uncover and make wells in the sauce so the eggs can sit nicely in between.

9. Crack your eggs in. (Be mindful to leave some space between each egg)

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 10. Cover with a lid and let the eggs cook. You should aim for cooked egg whites but runny egg yolk.

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11. Take off the heat and garnish with parsley.

BEST SERVED WITH SOURDOUGH BREAD/CIABETTA with garlic butter!

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  ENJOY!

All photo credits: Eyes of Ed

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