Foodiva's Kitchen: 5-Star Makeover: Teriyaki Chicken with Dragonfruit Ravioli and Apple-Plum Chutney, and a Charitable Cause

Thursday, September 29, 2011

5-Star Makeover: Teriyaki Chicken with Dragonfruit Ravioli and Apple-Plum Chutney, and a Charitable Cause


Today marks my first participation in the 5-Star Makeover challenge hosted by Natasha of 5 Star Foodie and Laz of Lazaro Cooks! So honored to be cooking amongst these very creative lot. I've left it till the very last minute because the theme this month stumped me a little...it's 'Cooking with Wine'. 


If you're a regular here, you'll know that I've never featured wine on this blog for the simple reason that we do not drink or cook with it. But hey, rather than back out, I thought this will be a great opportunity to be creative and look for alternatives that could possibly fit the challenge. And in my manic thinking (for that is the state I normally get into during a creative process), this is what I came up with. It's Teriyaki Chicken with Dragonfruit Ravioli and Apple-Plum Chutney, which I can confidently declare is not a dish I grew up eating! These are simply memorable fragments of the food I loved to eat whilst travelling or living abroad. Hah...at least that's my story (in case mom asks), and I'm sticking to it! :-). 



So where does the wine bit come into all this? Well, for the most part, I used mirin, a sweet cooking wine commonly used in Japanese cooking, especially in nimono dishes (braised or stewed vegetables and meats), soups and sauces. Mirin is pale golden in color, lighter than white wine. It's found in almost every Japanese kitchen and is essential for Japanese cooking. This teriyaki chicken, for example, was marinated in a sweet mirin marinate and the marinade was later transformed into the sauce that coated the chicken.


The use of mirin in food has several plus points - it adds luster to ingredients when they are cooked together and also gives the dish a rather nice aroma; it's effective in masking the gamey smell of meat and fish but the most important reason of all, at least for me, is that mirin tends to draw out the umami in food. Food somehow tastes softer and elegant with mirin, precisely what I was aiming for here.

Instead of serving the dish over rice or noodles as per the norm, I decided to make a 'fruity' ravioli using dragonfruit which is now in season and abundant in Brunei. The dragonfruit was simply seasoned with spring onions picked fresh from my garden, so while it was refreshing, there's a touch of savory-ness to the ravioli as well. Perfect with the umami flavor of the chicken. 

You can just do a simple ravioli pasta, but here I'll show you how I did mine :-)
(The pink pasta strips were naturally colored with dragonfruit juice, by the way)

But wait... I'm a tropical girl, and I felt there needed to be some heat involved somewhere in the dish as well, and that's how the apple-plum chutney (also cooked with mirin) came into being. Apples and plums are so fall, aren't they? Although we don't have four seasons where I live now, it was just nice to reminisce about the cooler weather from my previous abodes. I was also thinking that half of the world who are experiencing fall right now can actually make this chutney as a kind of consolation in case dragonfruit is not accessible to them. You see, I think of everything when I cook! LOL.


I don't know why, but I felt like this dish was my 'rights of passage' offering to the 5-Star Makeover group whose participants have such impeccable knowledge and innovation with the food they create. I just hope this meets their expectations!


Onto  the charitable part of the post, I'd like to give a shout-out for my friend Gerry of Foodness Gracious, who is holding a charity Online Bake Sale from October 6 to 10, 2011. His lovely 6-year old daughter, Miranda, has Type 1 diabetes and every year on November 6, his family and friends take part in a fundraising walk for The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In lieu of donations this year, Gerry wanted to raise funds by organizing a food-related event and as a show of support, I will be donating a funky baking accessories package to be won by the highest bidder. (I would've loved to bake something, but I fear that it will be reduced to crumbs by the time it reaches its destination should the winner live overseas from me!)

Miranda and Gerry

Teriyaki Chicken with Dragonfruit Ravioli and Apple-Plum Chutney
Serves: 2-3

Apple-plum chutney
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2.5 cm ginger, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 apple, cored, peeled and sliced
1 plum, pitted and sliced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Mirin
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. First, make the chutney. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add in the mustard seeds, ginger and cayenne and fry 1-2 minutes, stirring now and then.
2. Add the apple and plum slices, cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the lemon zest and juice, Mirin and brown sugar. Bring mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until 'jammy', stirring often. (note: the plum slices will disintegrate faster, so if you want more intact slices, add the plum halfway through cooking).
4. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Teriyaki Chicken
Mirin Marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup Mirin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat on stove until the brown sugar is dissolved, then leave to cool completely before using to marinate the chicken.

Teriyaki Chicken:
450g (1 lb) boneless chicken breasts
Mirin marinade (above)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1. Poke the chicken breasts all over with a toothpick and immerse in the marinade, cover and leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Proceed to cook the chicken (below) but set the marinade aside, do not discard.
2. Heat oil in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat and cook chicken until moderately brown, about 10 minutes. If too browned, reduce heat; if pale, increase heat. Turn chicken over, reduce heat to medium, and cook until second side is brown and meat is thoroughly cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining mirin marinade until smooth.
4. Transfer chicken to a plate and pour off fat in pan. Add mirin mixture to pan and return to medium heat. Return chicken to skillet, turn to coat with sauce and let it simmer until sauce is thick and glossy, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Dragonfruit Ravioli
Pasta Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
extra flour, to adjust dough consistency
1 egg

Filling:
1/2 medium dragonfruit, diced
2 stalks spring onions, chopped

1. Place the flour in a food processor. Add egg and process for 10 seconds until the flour is moist and crumbly. Adjust by adding some more flour to the dough if it is extra sticky and process further. Each time you stop the machine, pinch the dough between your fingers, it should feel firmer each time. After about 30 seconds of processing, the dough should come together and form a loose ball on top of the blade, and feel moist but not sticky when pinched.
2. Take the dough out, sprinkle some flour on a hard surface and start to knead the dough. With the heel of one hand, push the ball of dough away from you. Fold it back toward you and rotate the dough a quarter turn. Repeat this process until the dough feels damp without being sticky, then stop kneading (about 1-2 minutes). Shape dough into a ball and cover with a large overturned bowl, let it rest for 30 minutes.
3. Divide dough equally into 2, run each through pasta machine according to the instructions, until it is thin enough for your ravioli sheet.
4. Mix together the filling ingredients in a bowl. Place a scant tablespoon of filling (for each ravioli) along one side of the ravioli sheet and fold the other side of the ravioli sheet over the filling to cover it. Pat down around the fillings to seal dough, then cut into shapes with a ravioli cutter. Gently pinch edges of ravioli to seal it further.
5. Boil water with some olive oil and cook the ravioli for about 5 minutes until the edges are soft but still chewy. Serve immediately with chopped garlic sauteed in browned butter sauce.

Assembly:
1. Place the cooked ravioli on the plate, drizzle with browned butter and garlic sauce.
2. Place teriyaki chicken on top of ravioli. Spoon a portion of cooled chutney at the side and serve immediately.

(Note: The mirin sold in Brunei is branded 'halal' so it has no actual alcohol content but mimics the flavor-inhancing properties of alcoholic mirin. Just in case mom asks about this too!)

69 comments:

Dzoli said...

I was looking with open mouth at your pics.Througjly beautful looking can only start to imagine how it tastes:)
What a noble cause ...always hard when kids are involved.A bit too far away tot take part,I think,but wish all teh success of teh world:)

Foodiva said...

Thanks for coming by, Dzoli. The chicken teriyaki dish and its accompaniments taste amazing, btw! I know your charitable cause with kids in Serbia too, and I wish I could help somehow.

Tina said...

You did a wonderful job on this meal! The presentation is awesome and the use of flavors is so creative. I surely would have loved to taste this. Also this is a worthy cause, my doctor said that diabetes diagnosis has skyrocketed in the last few years.

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Tina! I wasn't quite sure about this dish and its combination of flavors at first, but they ended up complementing each other very well. Phew...

Yes, diabetes is very high in Brunei too, in fact it's the second biggest killer after heart disease here. No wonder, with all the sugary and processed items on offer everywhere now! I'm trying to cut down a little on the sugary posts now, I must find healthier alternatives to feed my baking addiction!

Ashley@Bakerbynature said...

Wow. Everything looks delicious; sometimes a challenge brings out the best in us. So beautiful and creative - go you!

Johanna GGG said...

That ravioli looks stunning - I thought it must be bought and then saw how you did it - I confess I have a pasta machine I have never used - a few months old and now I want stripy ravioli - Amazing

Vicki Bensinger said...

WOW!!! What a stunning dish. No wonder they elected to have you be a part of this. This is beyond incredibly amazing and I can even taste how delicious it is just by looking at it.

Now can you please share with me how you created the striped dough? I want to make that as well. I've never had dragonfruit but I'm going to do a search to see if it's around here.

Plus your chicken dish sounds so simple, I might just make that this evening. I was trying to come up with something different and this might just be it.

Beautiful job! You're the winner in my book!

Gina said...

That is a good idea to offer something non-baked for the bake sale. I wanted to but, knew I wouldn't be able to bake at the moment, I'll see what I can do for them. My brother and sister are diabetics and they walk every year.

One to those amazing raviolis, so do you think the dragonfruits would hold up during shipping? I want them so stinking bad, lol.

Foodiva said...

Ashley, I think my mind works best when I'm pushed into a tight corner...LOL! Luckily, this worked out okay. Many thanks!

Foodiva said...

Johanna, my pasta machine is almost as old as me and I'm still cranking it. I think it's about time you break in that pasta machine of yours! You'll create amazing things with it, and once you start, you won't be able to stop ;-).

Foodiva said...

Hiya Vicki, thank you for your most generous words. I just hope I won't get kicked out of the group for being too audacious! Haha...

As for the striped dough, sure I'll do another post with a pictorial on how to make it soon. It's so simple really!

Vicki Bensinger said...

Great, I will look forward to it.

S.V. said...

The dish and photos look fantastic. What a wonderful cause your supporting.

Foodiva said...

Queen Gina, you know how the cause is closer to our hearts when the people we love have diabetes. If you can help in any way you can, that'll be just great (after all the genes are in us too, who knows one day we might just be walking for ourselves!).

As for those dragonfruits, I wish I can ship a crate over to SF. Hope you don't mind dragonfruit juice because that's probably how they'll arrive..LOL. Have you tried to look in the Asian markets in your Chinatown? They're only in season for a short while, so the best time to look is around now.

Foodiva said...

Thanks S.V., for dropping by and letting me know you were here!

Trix said...

Welcome Maya!!!!! I am so glad you are in this group. I wondered what you would do given that it's a wine challenge, but I knew you would do something innovative and super cool - and so you did. That ravioli reminds me of when you did the mother-in-law's tongue pasta (Is that what is was called??) SO pretty. Look at you - you are becoming a regular savory queen over here!! I think I need to challenge myself to bake some sweets, lol.

Faith said...

Wow, your ravioli is so impressive! The pink dragonfruit stripes really add so much visually. The flavors all sound fantastic too -- love the use of mirin here! What a great contribution to the round-up!

Foodiva said...

Ms Tasty Trix, does that mean I passed the initiation? :-). OMG, don't remind me of that dastard MIL's tongue pasta...this striped ravioli is miles easier to make!

There must be something funny in the air that I'm going all savory-gaga on myself (and by proxy, everyone who reads this blog). But hey, if I can stray over to your side, surely I can welcome you to my Sweet Zone someday! I'm pretty sure you'll bake the best desserts and shock the sugar crystals out of me...

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Faith. I was just playing around with the stripes using some leftover dragonfruit slices, and had NO idea that they'll make such a hefty visual impact!

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Welcome to the 5 Star group, Maya! You not only passed the initiation - you surpassed it :) Your pink dragon fruit striped ravioli is stunning! Great description of mirin and how it brings out the umami in Asian-inspired dishes.

Lizzy said...

Of course, you rocked this challenge!! The striped ravioli is fabulous as are all your components of this fabulous meal. Brava, my friend!!!

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

Way to go on your challenge! That dragonfruit ravioli is beautiful and sounds amazing.

The Baking Gypsy said...

GORGEOUS post!!! All those beautiful colors and flavors...simply stunning!
Amazing job...I agree with Lizzy you definitely rocked this!

xoxo,
Tammy

Foodiva said...

Priscilla, I really appreciate your very warm welcome to 5-Star. Well, I thought since I'm amongst very creative culinary stars anyway, I might as well make my dish colorful and tasty at the same time!

Foodiva said...

Lizzy, thanks. I just hope I'm not setting myself up for failure for future challenges...LOL!

Foodiva said...

Jen, since so many people have commented on the ravioli more than the Mirin-ized portions of the dish, I'll do a separate post on the technique for making the stripes. Stay tuned ;-). Oh, and many thanks!

Foodiva said...

Tammy@The Baking Gypsy, thanks for checking this post out. The colors and various flavors are a bit crazy, and I wasn't sure if I could pull this whole thing off. In the end, it tasted great and I could take a deep breath again ;-).

yummychunklet said...

This entire dish is simply amazing. Great job!

Magic of Spice said...

I so knew there would be a bit of sassy heat here somewhere ;) Absolutely amazing from start to finish Maya! So excited to have you in the group and I know everything you contribute will be delightful :)
And I agree such a great cause and although I am not much for baking I will look into seeing if I can help...P.S. we need to get you on FB!
Stop arguing...;)

Linda Harding said...

Inspiring! From start to finish, that dish is a work of art - congratulations on an amazing first entry, and so glad to be in the group with you! I agree with Alisha... you need to get on Facebook!

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

Holy schmoly.. that dragonfruit ravioli is incredible!! Very well done :) And that's a great cause too, Gerry from Foodness Gracious deserves as much support as possible! :)

lostpastremembered said...

This is so embarrassing, I have never eaten dragon fruit. I used it once for a centerpiece for a job but never tasted it (after 12 hours under hot lights, who would want to?). It is otherworldly, isn't it? I just love the way it looks and must try it one of these days.... your recipe inspires me to do it. I love the striped ravioli... must taste like a million bucks too. Glad to have you aboard... wonderful dish!!!

Muffin Tin said...

These photos have energy and exuberance. I like your blog!
-Lisa

Foodiva said...

Alisha and Linda, your contributions are both pretty awesome too, and I'm so glad to be amongst good company! As for getting on Facebook again (I gave it up once), I'll give it a real good think ;-).

Foodiva said...

Xinmei, I've really missed you! Really happy you came by, and hope you can bake something splendid for Gerry's Online Bake Sale! How about some burger cookies? LOL.

Foodiva said...

Deana@lostpastremembered, dragonfruit is one of those fruits that looks so unusual and fierce but in actual fact, its flavor is very mild, almost bland. I hope you won't be disappointed when you finally try it! Thanks so much for your warm welcome :-).

Foodiva said...

Lisa, 'exuberant' and 'energetic' must be my most favorite descriptions for stuff on this blog to date. Thank you so much for dropping by and saying Hi!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Lovely ravioli dish. Fantastic use of the wine. Glad you joined our group. Hope you enjoyed participating.

Bravo!

Foodiva said...

Hi Laz, the pleasure is entirely mine! Thank you once again for the invitation :-).

Spicie Foodie said...

Maya this is such a great and creative entry. I love how you thought of us who wouldn't have accesses to fresh Dragronfruit:) I need to make your Teriyaki Chicken, it was always one of my favorite dishes.
Thanks for sharing the bake sale, I will stop by.

Shu Han said...

wow the dish sounds something off a posh heston-style menu! looks good!

Tanantha said...

Hi Maya, this is awesome. Just awesome! I love anything Asian! Chicken teriyaki is my fav and wow at dragon fruit ravioli. My goodness, I'm in love with this. What a creative idea. You sure meet the expectation!

Foodiva said...

Nancy, no excuses for not making that apple-plum chutney now! LOL. Thanks and hope you can support Gerry's bake sale in any way you can, even just spreading the word about it. Hugs, girl!

Foodiva said...

Shu Han, your comment made me smile. Not sure if Heston Blumenthal wants his enormous talent to be compared with a novice cook like me, but it's really nice that you thought my dish was that good!

Foodiva said...

Tanantha, your warm comments mean a lot to me, especially since I so admire YOUR creativity!

Marisa said...

Welcome to the cooking group. I am IN LOVE with your raviolis. They are beautiful! Actually, every part of this dish is fanstastic. Great post!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Another great idea! I love the stripey ravioli.

Beth Michelle said...

I dont even know what to say! This is beautiful. Those raviolis are incredible. I love dragon fruit and I never imagined using it as a pasta filling. Brilliant.

Foodiva said...

Hi Marisa, and I love the ingenuity of your dish too! Thanks for the warm welcome ;-).

Foodiva said...

Penny, I need to do polka dot ravioli next! Yes, that's what I'll do ;-).

Foodiva said...

Beth Michelle, aha...someone who DOES have access to pink fleshed dragonfruit! I know you're as enchanted as I am by their striking appearance, and the fruit is refreshing when used as a filling too.

Carolyn said...

Look at your lovely striped ravioli! Gorgeous. And I love Gerry's blog, I will have to check out the bakesale.

Foodiva said...

Carolyn, thanks so much for your comment and for getting on board Gerry's Bakesale! Really appreciate it ;-).

createwithmom said...

flavourful colourful ravioli the combination looks wonderful

Foodiva said...

Hi Akheela, the ravioli tasted good! Thanks for stopping by ;-).

Yasmeen said...

What a lovely way to make ravioli! I've learned something new, not to mention the use of dragonfruit as a pasta filler. Just lovely.

Ali said...

Wow looks so delicious, got me craving for some teriyaki chicken :) love the presentation, nice blog

Daily Spud said...

Such a beautiful plate of food. I just can't take my eyes away from the ravioli - absolutely gorgeous and 5 star all the way.

Foodiva said...

Yasmeen, I see you've just gotten that lovely gift of a pasta machine, so I'll be expecting wondrous posts on pasta like ravioli on your blog soon!

Foodiva said...

Ali thank you, I think your Fudo blog is superb too! That teriyaki chicken recipe's the simplest thing to do :-).

Foodiva said...

Aoife@Daily Spud, with the amount of attention that that ravioli is getting, one can be forgiven for thinking this is a makeover with a pasta theme, not wine! LOL.

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ said...

a great cause to bring awareness to. my grandmother has diabetes and always has to be very careful with her diet, especially at her tender age of 86....

beautiful dish! loving the round up this month!

Ducky said...

Wow, this looks amazing!!!!!

Foodiva said...

Hiya Bren! Good of you to check out the round-up by Laz. Hope you can also upport the cause ;-).

Foodiva said...

Ducky, thanks for dropping by and saying hi :-).

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Ha ha ha, Maya, mirin sauce? So clever girl. It all looks stunning, especially the Dragonfruit Ravioli. Good luck with the bake sale for Diabeties

Foodiva said...

Evelyne, mirin is cooking 'wine', okay! Well, in my case the wine part is just a technicality ;-).

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Maya - welcome to the cooking group! Great contribution. So colorful, and mighty flavorful too I bet!
Neat to see how you make the ravioli stripes...
LL

Foodiva said...

Hi Lori Lynn, it's been great fun and everyone's been so supportive in the group. I'm meant to do a tutorial on that dragonfruit ravioli but with so much going on, I guess I'll have to do it sometime next week!

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