Posts tagged ‘chicken’

Wholesome noodles with a whole lot of choices for flavors

Quick MealToddler FoodParty FoodParallel ProcessingLunch Box MealKid FriendlyFamily MealTravel FriendlyNo Cooking

Noodles can be quiet tricky in being a family pleaser as they tend to have a redundant taste over and over again.  Here is a recipe idea with several choices for each layer of flavor and nutrition while making noodles.  This post is published in an attempt to get MTS readers to go on for a long while before you run out choices  for crowd pleasers.  All  permutations and combination mentioned in this post  make for wholesome meals with adequate protein + vegetables + good carbohydrates.

Cold noodles

Cold noodles

Kind of food: Appetizer/ Main course
How long: 20 min
Makes: Serves 4 adults
Pot & Pans: One large pan and wok or two pans

1 Tbsp cooking oil
Choices in noodle – rice sticks, rice noodles, egg noodles, whole wheat spaghetti, angel hair pasta, ramen noodles
Choices in veggie combination
A  total of  2 cups of a combination any of the following vegetables
1/2 cup finely chopped onions (scallions for cold noodles)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers (or other colored peppers)
1/2 cup chopped matchstick carrots (available pre-cut in the produce section)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (green or purple or napa)
1/2 cup thawed green peas/mushrooms/ water chestnuts/babycorn
Choice of protein – 1 /2 lb seafood or chicken (sliced thin) or 1/2 lb tofu or 4 eggs (boiled and cut into wedges or scrambled) or 2 cups bean sprouts
Choice of sauce –
1. Microwave 3 Tbsp peanut butter, 1/4 cup soy sauce , 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or any other vinegar) , 2 tsp chili garlic sauce and 2 tsp brown sugar.  Add stock to get desired consistency.
Or 2. Microwave 3 Tbsp peanut butter, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 2Tbsp soy sauce , 1 tsp chili garlic sauce and 2 tsp brown sugar.  Add stock to get desired consistency.
Or 3. Microwave 3 Tbsp Soy sauce, 2 Tbsp bean paste, 1 tsp fish sauce, 2 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp chili garlic paste. Add stock to get desired consistency.
Or 4.  Microwave 3 Tbsp Tomato ketchup, 1/4 cup soy sauce , 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or any other vinegar) , 2 tsp chili garlic sauce and 2 tsp brown sugar.  Add stock to get desired consistency.
Or 5. Microwave 3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup soy sauce , 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or any other vinegar) , 2 tsp chili garlic sauce and 2 tsp brown sugar.  Add stock to get desired consistency.
Note:  The need to microwave the sauces is to make sure all the ingredients mix thoroughly. So warm up the ingredients for the sauce for a few seconds and do not boil the sauce.

Choice of herbs- 1/4 cup fine chopped cilantro or mint or basil (optional)
Additional flavors –
2 Tbsp  ginger and garlic chopped fine + optional- 1 tsp green chili (Thai or Anaheim) chopped fine

Warm noodles

Warm noodles

How to make:
Prepare the noodles as per package directions and drain completely.  Note: Some noodles like rice sticks just need to be soaked in hot water, so make sure to follow packet directions.
While the noodles are getting done chop and dice vegetables, meat and herbs. If using chicken, tofu or seafood  stir fry these  with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce and chilli garlic sauce until cooked in a hot pan/wok with 1 tsp oil.

For warm noodles: Remove the chicken, tofu or seafood from the pan and add the veggie mixture, ginger, garlic and green chili (if used) and continue to stir fry on high heat for 2- 4 minutes.  Add the sauce of your choice.  Toss in the noodles. Stir fry for a couple more minutes while tossing in the protein choice. Take it off the heat, and mix in the chopped herb (cilantro or mint or basil)

For cold noodles: To the drained noodles add 1 tsp of vegetable oil to prevent it from clumping.  Warm up one tsp of hot oil and cook the ginger, garlic and green chili.  Add this to the sauce of your choice and garnish it with the herb of your choice (cilantro or mint or basil).  Serve the noodle on a platter and spread the veggie mixture and then the cooked protein mixture on top as two layers.  Serve the sauce on the side.

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

Tip,tricks and alternatives
Children love the idea of noodles, so varying the flavor and texture of noodles (and the choice of the noodle itself) will help win many a meal time battles :).  Also, cold noodles are perfect for road trips and for picnics.


April 12, 2009 at 8:37 pm 1 comment

MTS pointers for cooking Indo- Chinese recipes

1.  *Using vegetables sliced very thin is the key to a good stir fry. Use thinly sliced vegetables and meat while attempting to cook them with a crunch.
2.  Do not crowd a wok with a lot of ingredients.  This will result in causing the vegetables to get steamed as opposed to stir frying them.
3.  Stir-frying vegetables involves stirring them on a wok or a similar pan on high heat.The key is to stir frequently to avoid the vegetable to get  over cooked or burnt.
4.  If you have a food processor, now is the time to claim it out of hibernation to make the slicing easier on you :).
5. Frozen veggies (except peas) do not work well for Indo-Chinese. Use fresh veggies instead.
6.  Ajinomoto is MSG and there is speculation that it may produce adverse in some people. So you could avoid it while while cooking and still not lose flavor if  other flavor producing ingredients are added in right quantities.

April 6, 2009 at 8:28 am 1 comment

From the chef’s pantry – Episode 1 (Chettinad Cuisine)`

MTS was very fortunate to experience the culinary delights whipped up by Sue chef Kumar and assistant chef Senthil at the Temple bay beach resort in Chennai, India. An interesting interview with these chefs provided for various tips, recipes and tricks of the trade secrets to whip up efficient North Indian, South Indian, Chettinnad and Indo-Chinese  recipes. This four week series is sure to be a delight for MTS readers.

(L-R) Sue Chef Mr. Kumar and Chef Mr. Senthil

(L-R) Sue Chef Mr. Kumar and Chef Mr. Senthil

From the chef’s pantry – Episode 1

Chettinad cuisine – from the heart of Karaikudi (Tamilnadu) to readers across the world
The ever glamorous, aromatic spicy food from the south parts of Tamilnadu, India is an element of mystery to many home cooks. MTS aims to bring out the secrets involved in creating wonderful Chettinad curries through this post. Both Sue chef Kumar and chef Senthil at Temple Bay resorts, acknowledged that the secret to a good Chettinad curry lies in the making of the Chettinad masala. The mercantile contacts  with Burma (and the far east) combined with the natural availability of spices in this otherwise dry region of India probably gave birth to this flavorful cuisine. Chef Kumar insisted that this masala be cooked in the lowest heat setting possible which would allow the spices to roast adequately without getting burnt.  Well, the  science behind this art is simple. Most aromatic spices (such as the ones used in this recipe) have fat soluble essential oils that can be extracted in high heat.  So when these spices are roasted slowly with coconut oil (which has high boiling point  and density (heavy)) the aromatic oils from the spices ooze out and dissolve in the coconut oil due to their solubility in fat.  The coconut oil is now flavored with the aroma of a mixture of various spices.  This aroma is imparted to all the veggies and/or meat cooked in it.   The patience required for this recipe sure fetches great results. Once the masala is done it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. MTS has provided its readers tips on bulk preparation of this classical Chettinad masala. After all, mealtime success is all about efficiency.

Chettinadu masala:
List of ingredients and procedure credits: Chefs at Temple bay
Proportions by MTS
1 tsp coconut oil*
1/3 cup grated coconut*
2 Nos red chili peppers*
1 Tbsp coriander seeds*
½” piece ginger (crushed to pieces using mortar or blender)
2  pods garlic (crushed to pieces using mortar or blender)
1” piece cinnamon*
1 green cardamom*
12 nos. cloves*
1″ kalpasi* (also known as Black Stone Flower or Dagad Phool)
½ of star anise *
1 Tbsp fennel seeds*
2 Tbsp black pepper corns
1 bay leaf*
1/2 nutmeg*(also called as mace or javithri)
1 marathi moggu*
1 Tbsp cumin seeds *
1 sprig curry leaves*
* Spices are available in Indian grocery stores

How to make: Roast all the above mentioned ingredients in extreme low heat with coconut oil for 15 minutes and grind to a fine paste with just enough water.

MTS tip to make a big batch of Chettinad masala:
Avoid the coconut, ginger and garlic and roast just the spices and grind it to a fine powder. This powder can be stored airtight in the freezer. At the time of usage saute coconut,  ginger and garlic in 1/2 tsp of coconut oil, grind and add it to the ground  chettinad masala powder.  Use the same ratios  mentioned above for bulk preparation.

MTS recipe for chicken chettinad (chettinad fish curry/ vegeterian chettinad potato masala):
2 Tbsp gingelly oil (seasame oil)
2 cups finely chopped scallions or red onions
2 green chillies slit in the center but not cut into halves
1.5 cups freshly ground tomatoes
2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 sprig curry leaves (leaves removed)
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chilly powder
3 tsp corriander powder
1 Lb chicken or fish or potato
1 cup water

Chettinad fish curry

How to make:
Warm up the gingelly oil in medium low heat. Once the oil is warm add onions and a pinch of salt (to fasten the cooking process). Once the onions are translucent add garlic, curry leaves and green chillies. Cook this for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is cooked. Then add the tomatoes, chilly powder, salt, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Cook this mixture until the tomatoes are cooked and oil begins to ooze from the sides. Now add the chicken or fish or potatoes. When the chicken or fish or potatoes are half cooked add the ground Chettinad masala. Check and adjust for salt. Add 1 cup of water to get a gravy and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken or fish or potatoes are cooked.

Note: Add the Chettinad masala little by little and check for spice.  Remember you can always add more, removing spice would be impossible.

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

March 16, 2009 at 2:00 am 4 comments

Not just another Chicken dish (with vegeterain option)

Quick MealLunch Box MealKid FriendlyFamily Meal

The recipe says a lot in its title. Adding a simple twist to the conventional grilled chicken makes for a very interesting idea provided in this recipe.

Grilled chicken

Kind of food: Main course
How long: 20 min
Pots & Pans: Bowl and Pan

4 boneless chicken breast halves
6 red chili peppers (add more or less based on your preference for heat)
1/4 cup white vinegar
8 pods peeled garlic
1″ piece of ginger
Substitute: 2 Tbsp paste of ginger and garlic (available in Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian  grocery stores)
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp cooking oil

Marinated chicken

How to make
Soak the red chili peppers in vinegar for about 10 min. This helps the peppers to lose its heat while retaining flavor and color. Discard the vinegar and blend the peppers with garlic, ginger and salt into a paste – the marinade. Marinate the chicken breast in the chili marinade and let it sit for about 10-15 min. You can prepare larger quantities of the marinade ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freeze them. You could marinate this for up to an hour.   Grill or broil the chicken for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of the chicken breast.

peppers with ginger garlic marinade

Serving ideas
Serve with any of your favorite side dish.  MTS recommends serving this chicken dish with roasted potatoes and vegetables to make for a wholesome meal.  Your could also serve this as an appetizer with a yogurt based dip.

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

Tips, tricks and alternatives
This chicken dish makes for a great quick meal idea. Make the marinade ahead of time and freeze it in ice cube trays until it freezes and then move the cubes to a freezable Ziploc bag.  The frozen cubes will help as a huge time saver to get this meal prepared in under 10 minutes.  The cubes could be thawed by leaving them at room temperature or using a microwave or by blending  them (literally will grate the frozen  cube to shaved icy marinade).
New to cooking chicken –
Chicken is done when juices run clear when pricked with a fork.
This marinade also works great with vegetables and tofu.
Try this marinade on portabello mushrooms and make a sandwich with a zing.

February 19, 2009 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

Superbowl party in an hour

Quick MealParty FoodParallel ProcessingKid FriendlyFamily Meal

This post is a guide to show how to throw in under one hour a super bowl party or a game party or  a guy’s poker night.  All these recipes are ideal for both the novice and the veterans in kitchen.  So take a break, open up a beer, tune on the pre-game show and set your timer to an hour.

super bowl

The key to a party is a well prepared host before the cooking and a well relaxed host after the cooking.  We have provided the shopping list to ensure a well prepared host.  The party menu is designed for a small party of about 7 -1o guests. You can scale to this to fit your party size.

Beverage: Beer, Coyote Gold Margarita, soda and/or juices ( choose what works best for your audience)
Appetizer: Buffalo chicken dip and Healthy parmesan fries
Main course: Southwestern Chili with the works
Desert: Ice cream buffet

IMPORTANT NOTE: This party post is a guideline on how to gear up with several recipes in a short amount of time. The time  indicated will not be accurate for all users. Each of us work on a different pace.  Please consider this as guideline on how multiple recipes can be prepared at the same time to save time and energy. Also take note of the serving sizes of each individual recipe and scale it according to your party size.  You could always divide this menu among friends and family and host your MTS inspired event.  Please send us feedback on such MTS inspired events.

Phase 1 (20 -25 minutes)
Put the Beer and/or Coyote Gold Margarita, soda and/or juices in the fridge. This would be a good time to give micro brews like Coyote gold a shot.  Remove the frozen fries from the oven and cut open the bag.   Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the red beans for the chili. In a pot a combine all the ingredients for the chili with the exception of the cilantro, cheese , sour cream and chips.  Close and bring the contents of the pot to boiling on medium heat. While the ingredients for the chili are simmering, shred the chicken for the buffalo chicken dip using a blender.  Soften the cream cheese by microwaving  it for 10 – 20 seconds.  Combine the chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch and 1/2 of the shredded cheese in a greased oven proof tray.  Sprinkle the rest of  the cheese on top of the chicken mixture. Cover the dip with aluminum foil and set it aside.  While still holding on the foil line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease it  with oil or oil spray.  Arrange the fries in a single layer.

Phase 2 (20 -25 minutes)
Arrange the toppings for the chill in individual bowls.  Arrange the toppings where you would leave them for serving.  Arrange the toppings for Ice cream bar. Keep this away until serving time.   The chili should be done by this time.  Leave it in a crock pot or leave the stove on the lowest heat setting.  Place the frozen fries in the oven for 5 minutes.  In the mean time mix garlic powder, chili flakes, dried oregano and garlic powder to make the spice mixture for the fries. Remove the fries from the oven, drizzle the oil and sprinkle the spice mixture. Toss the fries gently and place it back in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until desired crispiness in achieved.  While placing the fries in the oven put the buffalo chicken dip also in the oven. When the fries cook in the oven chop cilantro for the chili. For added color place the fries and the dip under broil for 30 secs to 1 minute. Watch carefully!    Turn the oven to 200°F to keep the food warm. Until serving time keep the dip covered in the oven and the fries partially covered.

Phase 3 (10 minutes before the party)
Set a timer to remind you to transfer the ice-cream from the freezer to fridge 10 minutes before serving time.  Arrange, plates, cups, cutlery, ice and napkins.  Most importantly, put on your game face.  Leave the stress to the teams and enjoy the evening! Remove the fries, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Note: At dessert time lay out the ice cream/s and the toppings for the ice cream buffet

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

If you have a larger group and would like more items, replace/add any of our numerous other  recipes. Try two flavors of fries.  Check the tips section of the post on oven fries.  Add a store bought salsa for an additional dip.  Some quick store bought items can be added to the menu like – cookies, veggie trays and use one our easy dipping sauces, fruit trays etc.
Fresh bread from a local bakery can be served with chili to make this a very filling meal.

January 26, 2009 at 1:39 am Leave a comment

Healthier and tastier than wings

This is a version of the buffalo chicken dip that eliminates the fat calories form the wings, but it tastes so good that when accompanied by celery and sticks seconds it can be perfectly guilt free.

buffalo chicken dip

Kind of food: Appetizer/ side
Makes: 2 quarts
How long: 20 min
Pots & pans: Oven proof pan, aluminum foil

2  cups of cooked chicken (either home made poached chicken or left over grilled chicken or store bought rotisserie chicken or frozen chicken fajita)
1/3 cup of hot sauce (buffalo sauce available in the condiment aisle near ketchup)
1 cup light ranch dressing
2  – 8 Oz packs of fat free cream cheese softened
1.5 cups of shredded low fat cheddar cheese or other low fat cheese

buffalo chicken dip

How to make
Preheat the oven to 325 F. In the mean time shred the chicken using a blender.  Soften the cream cheese by microwaving  it for 10 – 20 seconds.  Combine the chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch and 1/2 of the shredded cheese in a greased oven proof tray.  Sprinkle the rest of  the cheese on top of the chicken mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and place it in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.  For added color place it under the broiler for 10 – 20 seconds until brown specs appear.

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

Serving Ideas: Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks or crackers.

Tip, tricks & alternatives:
To avoid double dipping or to provide your guests with their individual dips try baking this dip in small oven proof cup or oven proof ramekins as shown in the picture.
Use barbecue sauce instead of hot sauce or a combination of the two for a different flavor.  You could microwave this mixture too or use a slow cooker to warm up the chicken and cheese mixture.  This dip is best served warm so warm it in a microwave at intervals for 30 seconds if serving at a party.

January 11, 2009 at 2:05 am 1 comment

Chilli Chicken with out deep frying (with vegeterian option)

Quick MealParty FoodLunch Box MealKid FriendlyFamily Meal

There are a few versions of this classic Indian dish.  Adhering to the theme of this website, here is a simple way to make the classic south Indian style chili chicken with not much effort.  Also, this method does not involve deep frying (calories form fat) to cheer up those of us who watch what we eat.


4 Tbsp of store bought chilli chicken masala  powder* (add more if you want it spicy)
3 Tbsp of yogurt
1 Lb of  Chicken pieces (variety of thigh, breast meat, legs and wings)
1 Lb of potato or paneer or tofu (cut in big chunks)
1 green chili slit in the center without cutting it into two halves
2 Tbsp olive oil
*If you do not have access to store bought chilli chicken masala powder, then here is the recipe for chili chicken masala
1 Tbsp of coriander powder
1 Tbsp of Madras curry powder
1 tsp of chili powder
1 Tbsp of ginger garlic paste
1 Tbsp of vinegar
1 Tbsp of corn flour
Salt as per taste
Note:  Salt is added in most store bought chili chicken masala powder.

Pots and Pans:Non stick pan

How to make
Make a paste of yogurt and chili chicken masala to prepare the marinade. Marinate the chicken (or potatoes/paneer) in marinade. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour or until cooking time in the refrigerator. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a non stick pan on medium heat. Add the green chili. Now add the chicken pieces and DO NOT move them.  After 5 minutes turn the chicken and cook on the other side until cooked thoroughly. You could close and cook the chicken too.

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

Tips, tricks and alternatives
You could use soy chunks (dry ones) soaked in warm water for 10 minutes instead of chicken.
Paneer and tofu will cook faster than chicken or potato. So watch carefully to prevent it from burning.
Left over chili chicken (or chili potato) can be used to make chicken salad when shredded and mixed mayo, chopped apples, celery, and raisins. Use this mixture in between lettuce in sandwiches or wrap for lunch.

Serving ideas
Garnish with thinly sliced onion and lemon wedges.
For younger children, the inner pieces of the cooked chicken can be give to avoid the spice.

December 23, 2008 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

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