Stir fried sweet chilli chicken

Hello, hello, hello.

Geez, you wouldn’t know that this is a food blog, would you?  I have really lost my cooking mojo of late.  Essentially, we have primarily been focusing on tried and true recipes that have already featured on this blog.  We have tried a few new recipes and I have even snapped photos of them but, to be honest, they weren’t stand outs so I didn’t bother preparing a post.

It is Spring here but you wouldn’t know it.  The weather has been very weird.  It has been bitterly cold and drizzling most days but, alas, there has been no really substantial rain.  It is just wet enough to be annoying.  The weather is really frustrating as there are many jobs that need doing.  We have, at least, pruned, weeded and fertilised the roses and fertilised the citrus and the avocados but we still need to spray the roses and the grape vines.  We also need to collect all the fallen wood and burn off before the end of the fire season.  Every cloud has a silver lining – it is perfect soap-making weather.  I will update you on my soap-making escapades in another post but let me just say for now, I have been challenging myself (and Maus).

The citrus trees are laden with mandarins, lemons, limes and oranges.  They all need to be picked.  And, the vegetable garden is all about avocados and asparagus.  We have been having a lot of salsas featuring avocados and pretty soon it will be soft centred eggs, asparagus and grana padano for dinner.

We still have bags and bags of frozen beans, corn kernels and passionfruit pulp in the freezer and a couple of bottles of pickled snow peas in the pantry from last season.  What to do?  What to do?

This year, I am not sure what to do about the vegie patch.  We have half decided to go to England and Wales early next year and we don’t want a vegie patch in full production when we leave.  Of course, we do have our annual garlic crop.  I might put in a couple of cucumber plants, ONE tomato bush and some quick growing vegetables like rocket, beetroot, radishes and coriander but I think that will be about it.  There will not be kilos and kilos of tomatoes to puree and bottle.

Now to today’s recipe.  In accordance with my lack of cooking mojo, I offered Maus the option of a stir fry or something from the freezer for dinner.  She opted for a stir fry.  I went to Eat Your Books and limited my search to stir fries.  I then typed in chicken and bean sprouts.  Nothing appealed.  I then changed the search to chicken and noodles and this recipe popped up.  When choosing a stir fry recipe, I like it to have plenty of vegies so I don’t have to bother with a side dish.  This one fitted the bill.  It was quick, included vegies and was very tasty so if you have lost your cooking mojo, here is a recipe for you.

This recipe is by Louise Pickford.  It is from Delicious Magazine April 2009.

Serves 4 (yippee, no cooking tomorrow night 🙂 ).

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbs* sugar
  • 2 tbs* rice vinegar
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 450g packet hokkien noodles (or whatever noodles you can get)
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 bunches broccolini, cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced

*These are 20 mil tablespoons.

Method:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, chilli sauce, sugar and vinegar in a large bowl. Add the sliced chicken, stir well, then marinate for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your noodles according to the packet instructions then set aside.
  3. Drain the marinated chicken and reserve the marinade.
  4. Heat some oil in a wok over high heat.  When hot, add half of the chicken, stir-fry until cooked (3-4 minutes).  Remove from wok and set aside.  Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Add reserved marinade to wok and bring to the boil over high heat.  Allow to boil for 1 minute then set aside.
  6. Heat some more oil in your wok.  Stir-fry the garlic, ginger, broccolini, onion and capsicum for one minute.  Add noodles and return chicken and marinade to the wok.  Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through.
  7. Serve immediately.

Lamb meatballs with warm yoghurt and swiss chard and solutions to some recent software problems

Hello, everyone!

This is a post which has been sitting in Drafts for ages.  I just hope I can remember how we made the dish.

I am sorry it has been so long since I have written a post.  One reason has been lethargy and the other is that I have had computer problems or, more to the point, software problems.  I will tell you about them in case you have the same, or similar, issues.  It will save you hours in forums. Continue reading

Freekeh salad with marinated chicken & pomegranate dressing

Here is another recipe from my current favourite book, Palestine on a Plate, by Joudie Kalla.  I noticed the recipe a while ago and parked it.  Then, the other day, when I was thinking, “What’s for dinner?”, it sprang forth.

It is very simple but it does take about 30 minutes to cook the freekeh so allow yourself sufficient time.

I am a real fan of freekeh but we don’t eat it often enough.  As a consequence, there was a packet in the pantry getting precariously close to its use-by date.  Coincidently, we also had abundant pomegranates, mint, parsley and chives so the recipe was a perfect choice.  There was not much on the shopping list.

The recipe as published (and as set out below) is supposed to feed four.  I guess it just depends on how much chicken you like.  We usually eat one breast between two of us.  I used one large breast and made about a third of the marinade, ie, 1 teaspoon of dried mint, 1 teaspoon of za’atar, etc.  I roughly halved the salad ingredients.  What constitutes “a large bunch of parsley”, “a bunch of chives” and “a bunch of rocket” is anyone’s guess.  As it turned out, the quantities I chose were perfect for us.  The top photo, which was half of what I made, was just right for one.  Work out how much chicken and how much salad you think you will need and adjust the recipe accordingly.

If you like to eat grains (we all should) and haven’t tried freekeh, give it a go.  It is very nice.  I find it  similar to brown rice.  For those who don’t know, freekeh is roasted green wheat grain.

Ingredients:

  • 300g freekeh
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthways

Marinade:

  • 1 tbs* dried mint
  • 1 tbs* za’atar
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbs* pomegranate molasses
  •  a drizzle of olive oil
  • salt & black pepper

Salad:

  • a large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 spring onions, chopped
  • a bunch of fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • a bunch of rocket
  • 2 red chillies, chopped

Dressing:

  • 100ml apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbs* pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbs* caster sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 70ml olive oil
  • 1 tbs* dried mint
  • 1 tbs* za’atar
  • 1 tsp salt

*These are 15 mil tablespoons.

Instructions:

  1. Boil the freekeh in a saucepan of salted water for about 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, drain and then leave the freekeh to cool down slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C with fan .
  3. Put the chicken in a bowl and add the dried mint, za’atar, chilli flakes, pomegranate molasses and a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.  Mix to ensure it is all coated.
  4. Tip the chicken out onto a baking tray, pouring over any excess juices from the bowl as you do.  Bake for about 20–25 minutes until cooked through.  Slice the chicken into strips.
  5. Add the parsley, spring onions and chives, red chilli and pomegranate seeds to the freekeh and mix together.
  6. Mix the dressing ingredients together, adjust the seasoning to your liking and toss  over the salad.
  7. Sit the salad on a bed of rocket and then top with the sliced chicken and its juices.

Corn fritters (Bhutteyan Da Kebab)

Did I mention that we have a lot of corn at the moment?  The first day back from our holidays, I picked 14 cobs and, two days later, eight more. We, usually, have a glut this time of the year and go into corn fritter mode.  I have previously posted Bill Grangers’ sweetcorn fritters with roasted tomatoes and bacon and corn & ricotta cakes with roasted tomatoes and pesto from Delicious magazine.  If you are inundated with corn or love corn fritters, I recommend both recipes but, for us, it was time to try something new. Continue reading

Sanbuseh – Savoury turnovers

 

Ok … Summer is here and the festive season is upon us and that means outdoor activities.  We will have gatherings to host and requests to ‘just bring a plate’.  Finger food is the go.

Instead of making meat pies, sausage rolls and mini quiches, how about making some Sanbuseh?  They are just as easy to make but taste and look just that little bit different.  I have already served them twice this season and they have been a hit both times.  Best of all, they are dead easy to make.  They use commercial puff pastry and the filling ingredients are all in together.  They can be served straight from the oven or at room temperature.  How easy is that? Continue reading