This well loved restaurant dish has its origins in Chinese cuisine and is now an integral part of our Sino-Mauritian heritage. Chicken chop suey or chop soy is the staple offering on the menu of any plush, 5-star restaurant or as one of the bestselling street food in any local snack where it is served stuffed in warm demi baguettes or as topping over a bowl of boiled noodles or basmati rice. There probably exist as many recipes for chop suey as there are eateries serving it all over Mauritius and then there are carefully guarded family recipes handed over generations but you will be surprised [and probably happy!] to know that you can make this quick dish from no recipe at all. To add to the beauty of it, you can simply throw in any vegetable you have on hand and it will still turn out as awesome burst of colours and flavors, a true feast for your eyes and taste buds.

CHICKEN CHOP SUEY

Ingredients:

100g dehydrated mushrooms

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 small onions, sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

200g chicken breasts, cubed

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

50g canned bamboo shoots

1/4 cup sweet corn kernels

1 small red pepper, diced

1 small yellow pepper, diced

200g pak choy/ brède tom pouce

1 small bunch spring onion

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon corn flour

4 tablespoons cold water

Method:

  • Cut off the stems of the dehydrated mushrooms and soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes.

  • In a large frying pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the onion slices until they are translucent.

  • Add the garlic and chicken pieces and cook for about 10 minutes till chicken is done. Set this aside.

  • Add carrot, corn and bamboo shoots to frying pan along with 1/2 cup water. Cook it for 5 minutes.

  • Add chicken and diced peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring the mixture once or twice.

  • Combine oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and water in a small bowl and dissolve the corn flour into it.

  • Add the pak choy and spring onions to the chicken, cook for one minute until the leaves are wilted.

  • Finally add the sauce preparation and let cook for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thickened.

  • If it is too thick, add some water to reach desired consistency. Serve chop suey warm with baguette.

Chicken Chop Suey

Blueberries are now easy to find in any major grocery store in the fresh fruit section. They typically come in tiny 100-125g punnets ranging anywhere between Rs125 to Rs200, the price tag usually being dependent on its country of origin and freshness level [be careful with the ones on sale and do not feel tempted to compromise quality over quantity] Pick berries that are firm with a uniform indigo colour, the attractive purplish blue hue actually contains several beneficial anthocyanins, colorful pigments that function as function both as antioxidants and as anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. If you are somehow unable to locate fresh blueberries, you may try to use frozen ones though I doubt that it will compare with fresh berries in terms of looks and taste. For my very first time baking with blueberries, I wanted a recipe that would do them justice and my Google hits convinced me to go ahead with the legendary Jordan Marsh’s version which seem to be the ultimate blueberry muffin recipe around. Taken from A Family Feast, these big, fat muffins with their glorious sugary crown definitely make it all the way to my 10 all-time best muffins ever.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter, softened

4 tablespoons shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup white pastry flour

1 cup bread flour

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 oF with rack in the center. Spray the inside of a 12 cup muffin tin with pan spray.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening for one minute with the paddle attachment.

  • Add sugar and beat on medium for about a minute. With machine on medium, add one egg at a time.

  • Blend to mix. Scrape sides then beat on medium for two and a half minutes to whip air into the batter.

  • Add vanilla and beat for a few more seconds to combine. Remove 1/2 cup blueberries to a small bowl.

  • Mash with a fork or potato masher. Set aside. Sprinkle whole blueberries with two tablespoons flour.

  • Mix both flours, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and stir few times to mix the dry ingredients.

  • Start adding the flour mixture and the milk a little at a time with the mixer running. Do not over mix.

  • Remove mixing bowl to a counter and fold in the mashed blueberries, then fold in the whole berries.

  • Using an ice-cream scoop, divide batter mixture between ten cups of the prepared 12-cup muffin tin.

  • The batter will be piled high above the rims. Sprinkle the final granulated sugar over the muffin tops.

  • Immediately place pan in oven and bake for five minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 375 oF.

  • Bake muffins for 20 more minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Remove to a rack to cool.

Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins

For all the little ones out there joining school today, this cute lunchbox cookie, from Claire K Creations, will make you smile as you bite into one and yet reach for another at the same time with your free hand. Perfect for dipping in a glass of cold milk, these Milo cookies will no doubt bring back a generous dose of childhood nostalgia [in my case, involving a big Milo truck dispensing free hot chocolate at school]. To compliment the mild malted chocolate flavour, I added a good measure of semisweet chocolate chips and I do not know anyone at all who’d say no to a home baked cookie that reminds them of their younger, carefree days when they grew up drinking Milo.

MILO COOKIES

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

3/4 cup Milo powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 160C fan-forced. Lightly grease and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and creamy.

  • Scrape the sides then beat in the egg. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and Milo and mix slowly.

  • Combine well until a dough forms. Using a level tablespoon of dough at a time, roll it into balls.

  • Place on trays leaving at least 4cm between each. Flatten the balls slightly; bake for 15 minutes.

  • Leave to rest on the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Did you know that you can drink Milo not only as a hot beverage but also convert your favorite malted drink into a milkshake? Yes, Milo milkshake exists for those days when it is simply too hot to think of hot chocolate and yet you cannot get rid of your craving for something sweet and creamy and easy. If you have ever eaten Milo topped ice cream, you must know what I’m trying to get at. In its original recipe, Nestle calls for chocolate ice cream but I believe you might as well pull it off quite professionally with a combination of chocolate, vanilla and coffee ice creams.

MILO MILKSHAKE

Ingredients:

250 ml low fat milk

2 scoops chocolate ice cream

6 tablespoons Milo powder

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

  • Pour into glasses and decorate with extra Milo powder. Serves 2 persons.

Milo Cookies & Shake

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PrerrnaMirchi
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