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Friday, August 1, 2008

Tom Yam Chicken Puff

This is my first attempt of using puff pastry, storebought of course. I remembered my sis, S, attempted making puff pastries. or did she? Must be getting old, can't remember. These days my memory is failing me. I got myself a small note book to jot down thoughts, notes and events. The thing is that; I am not very disciplined in this area either. I would forget to to write it down or I would forget to look it up in my note book. Worse, at times, I don't even remember where the book was! Back to puff pastry. I always have this conception that puff pastry requires skilled hands to make and pastry magarine is needed.

While participating this challenge, I did a reseach on puff pastry on stumbled upon this site. The method seems easy. For the challenge, we are supposed to incorporate puff pastry, meat and canned fruits into the main dish or using them together in a main and a side. To be honest, my mind went blank. Whatever creative juice I had or rather, if I had any, were dried up. I procrastinated till it passed its deadline. No one seemed to remember. Photobucket .... Then they decided to extend the deadline.... Photobucket .... Looks like there is no escape. Still, I waited till last Sunday and came up with this Tom Yam Chicken Puff. It's like a no brainer to me and I am rather embarassed about it. Of course, due to last minute, I had 'no time' to make the puff pastry from scratch so I got myself a pack of frozen pastry from the 'Shop N Save' nearby. They have this intersting French Apple Pie recipe printed on the package. I was really tempted to make that instead.

I did not make the Tom Yam paste either. I got it from Gina and the recipe can be found here. I am rather pleased with the paste. Since it is homemade, it is free of preservatives, colourings and what-have-yous. It has this bright orange hue unlike those I have bought in the past, a darker mass. I used it on poultry, seafood and even fried rice! This is how I put the puffs together.

Tom Yam Chicken Puff
1/4 Onion, chopped
1 Chicken Breast (300g), skinned and de-boned, cubed
60g Tom Yam Paste (I have them portion and pre-packed)
4 Tbsp Canned Pineapple Syrup
150g Canned Pineapples, drained and cubed
1 - 2 Stalks Scallions, chopped
3 - 4 Stalks Cilantro, chopped

1 Block Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed

2 Tsp Mushroom Sauce (Vegetarian)
1 Tbsp Corn Starch
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Some Olive Oil for frying

1 egg, lightly beaten

1) Marinate chicken with mushroom sauce, salt, pepper and cornstarch for 1/2 to 1 hour.

2) In a frying pan, heat oil and fry onions till fragrant. Add in chicken and fry till meat changes colour. Add tom yam paste, syrup and pineapples. Turn on high heat and fry till ingredients are dry. Turn off heat and stir in scallions and cilantro. Leave aside to cool.

3) Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. I rolled it to about 2 mm thick. Cut it into desired shapes and sizes (I cut it into rectangles by estimation). Scoop the cooled ingredients onto the pastry,, fold and seal the sides tightly.

4) Preheat the oven to 210 deg.C (for fan oven). Apply egg wash on the pastry and bake for 15 to 20 mins, or till nicely puffed up and golden brown.

*Note : I can take spiciness relatively well and it also depends on the spiciness of the tom yam paste you have. You might want to go with caution for the amount of tom yam paste used.

It's a change from the usual curry puffs. They are sweet and spicy at the same time. The robust flavours just burst in your mouth. I think I can use this combination for fried rice next.


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