A southern meal

Recently I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier and exercise more after realising the flab around my waist was getting flabbier. Unfortunately, I have never been one to watch what I eat or go to the gym. In fact, a long time ago I had a cramp whilst sitting watching TV… and since I didn’t exercise and didn’t really know what a cramp was, I thought some artery had burst in my leg….lol

However, I think what’s even harder than trying to exercise regularly is having to eat healthy. That is a real challenge and one which I have already given up. Seriously, who can resist all the deliciousness out there. Just recently I’ve seen a couple of posts from some of my favourite food bloggers on fried chicken and all sorts of yummy southern style dishes. I couldn’t resist but try making some at home.

Since I have never really attempted southern style cuisine before I stuck to some of the basics. Fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits mmmm.

Fried chicken

I don’t really have a recipe or know any secrets to making crunchy shattering batter so for my chicken I just marinated it in buttermilk, dipped it in an egg wash and coated it with seasoned flour. With around 500 grams of chicken I used around 1 cup of plain flour, 0.5 tbsp paprika, 0.5 tbsp garlic powder, dried oregano, ground pepper, salt and a dash of chilli powder. Next time I think I’ll get chicken pieces with the skin on  and might use a wet batter as I found mine lacked crunchiness.

Buttermilk biscuits

Whilst I at least know what fried chicken should taste like, I’ve never even tried buttermilk biscuits before. Recipes online called for plain flour but since I ran out.. self raising had to do. With a food processor it was a cinch to make. I just pulsed 1 cup of flour with 3 tbsp of butter than pulsed through half a cup of buttermilk. The batter is supposed to be extremely wet which makes handling a bit annoying but after folding it a couple of times on a well floured bench I was able to cut out around 6 biscuits. The good thing about these biscuits are they cook quick so after 12 min in 200 degrees oven they were ready. Tasting it, I think they most resemble a scone but also have a texture like shortbread. Together with some milk gravy and coleslaw this made for an unhealthily awesome meal. Just look at all that brown..you know it’s good

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Shallot pancake

I haven’t really been home for dinner recently, let alone cook it, so this post is a quickie. Its a great afternoon snack to make on the weekend and only consists of flour, water, shallots (or spring onions), oil and salt. Literally.

Usually you can get these frozen at most Asian grocers but as usual they are a bit stingy on shallots and only offer incy wincy slivers of it. I remember making this a couple of years back but forgot how. After doing some google searches, I found two variations. One with more water and another with less.

Unfortunately, going with the one with more water was a mistake as it ended up being quite difficult to roll without getting very very frustrated with its general stickiness to anything. So for the recipe use only 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water instead of 1 like me.

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Recipe

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of warm water
  • Half a cup of shallots chopped somewhat finely but not overly so
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying pancake
  1. Mix flour with warm water and slowly bring together in bowl before kneading into uniform ball on bench top. Rest for at least 30 min in fridge
  2. Dividing the dough into around 4 chunks, take the first one and roll out thinly on floured bench top, around 2 mm in thickness. It should be roughly circle shaped.
  3. Rub sesame oil all over the flattened surface and scatter on the shallots evenly but sparsely. Season with a bit of salt. The key is not to over do the shallots. Only scatter just enough or else they’ll burst out when you roll out the pancake.
  4. Start rolling up the dough like a swiss roll, rolling up the shallots as you go along. You should be left with a long 4-5cm wide sausage. The tighter you roll up, the more layers you are going to get when you fry it.
  5. Twist up the sausage into a spiral so it looks like a snails shell.
  6. Flatten the spiral with a rolling pin until around 0.5-1cm thick. That’s one pancake done, now repeat for the other pieces of dough.
  7. Heat generous oil in pan on medium heat and place in pancake when pan is hot.
  8. Brown one side and then flip and brown the other side.
  9. Drain on some paper towel and serve with your own choice of dipping sauce. I went with a concoction of black vinegar with water, sugar and soy.