Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add your repertoire. Bon appétit!
Esfiha – Brazilian Stuffed Bread
Submitted by Shireen Wee, American.
“This is a great dish, it’s Brazilian with Middle Eastern origins and perfect for the kids’ snack-time. Whenever I bring this to parties or play dates, I’m always asked for the recipe because it goes down so well with kids and adults alike.”
Ingredients (makes 35-40)
- 500g chicken breast, poached and shredded
- 2 ripe tomatoes, seeds removed, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- ½ cup chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil etc.)
- ½ bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 11g dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 egg for egg-wash
#1 Preheat oven to 180°C.
#2 To make the dough, place the yeast in a large bowl and add the warm milk. Let the mixture rest for two minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Then add the sugar, salt and olive oil.
#3 Start adding the flour gradually, mixing until a smooth dough forms. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.
#4 Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour. Divide the dough into small portions (round balls the size of a walnut). Place dough onto a floured baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside.
#5 For the filling, sauté onions and bell pepper till soft, then add garlic, tomatoes, herbs and the cooked shredded chicken, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till the juice of the tomatoes runs dry (5 to 10 minutes).
#6 To assemble, take a portion of dough and press it flat on your palm, making a small round flat dough the size of your palm. Place one tablespoon of the filling in the centre. You can then “package” each esfiha in a variety of ways, from curry-puff style to an open pide or a triangular shape. Remember to pinch the ends or sides together to seal the filling inside.
#7 Place each esfiha an inch apart on a lightly floured baking sheet, and brush with egg-wash.
#8 Bake for about 10 or 15 minutes or till golden brown.
Baked Potato and Cottage Cheese Cutlets
Submitted by Rohini Ramadas, Singaporean.
“These cutlets are packed with protein, calcium and carbs, making them a nutritious and lip-smacking dish that’s a great hit with kids of all ages.”
Ingredients (makes 8 cutlets)
- 4 large potatoes
- 150g cottage cheese
- ½ cup green peas (or spinach)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon ginger, peeled and grated
- ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
#1 Boil the potatoes, then peel and mash them.
#2 Boil the green peas and mash them coarsely. If using spinach, wash well and finely chop the leaves.
#3 Mix the cottage cheese and all other ingredients into the potato mash.
#4 Make 8 to 10 portions of equal size. Using your hands, shape each portion into a ball and then lightly press it into a pattie.
#5 Line a baking tin with baking paper and lightly brush with oil.
#6 Arrange all the cutlets on the sheet and lightly brush them with oil. Bake at 220°C for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden-brown. (Alternatively, shallow-fry the cutlets with a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan until golden-brown on both sides.)
#7 Serve baked potato and cottage cheese cutlets with your child’s choice of sauce, dip or salsa.
Looking for more cooking inspiration? Check out whats new in Hong Kong’s dining scene and find more recipes in our Wine & Dine section.