Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gai Yang

Gai Yang
Thai Grilled Chicken

for the marinade:
2 lemongrass
1 small knob fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
3 coriander root
fish sauce (nam pla)
brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil

8 chicken thighs

Blend all the ingredients for marinade until smooth. 
Pour mixture over the chicken, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. 
Turn the pieces periodically to allow them to marinate evenly. 
Grill the chicken until the juices from the thickest part run clear, about 20-30 minutes,

Monday, 29 April 2013

Chicken Korma with Garlic Coriander Naan

one of the nicest korma I've tasted
for a long time

This is my take on Rahila Hussain's winning entry
on ITV's "Food Glorious Food"

Chicken Korma

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground coriander 
1 tsp ground cumin 

1 medium onions, finely minced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
salt to taste
1 tsp ground white pepper 
1 green chilli, finely minced 
4 green cardamom pods
6 pcs chicken boneless skinless thighs, deboned, cut into bite-size chunks
1 tbsp fresh coconut, finely grated (alternatively, use desiccated coconut)
1 tbsp pistachios, finely ground
1 tbsp almonds, finely ground
1 tbsp cashew nuts, finely ground
2 green chillies, halved lengthways
2 cups water
300g natural yoghurt, lightly whisked

Heat the butter in a pan.
Add the garlic, ginger, onion, green chilli, cardamom, ground coriander and cumin and allow to fry for 3 minutes on a low heat. 
Stir in the salt and white pepper.
Add the chicken and turn the heat up. Stir fry for 15-20 minutes, or until the oil separates from the meat. 
Add the coconut, pistachios, almonds, cashews, halved chillies and the water.
Bring to the boil then simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes.
Stir in the yoghurt and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the oil separates.
Garnish with the chopped coriander.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

On Golden Pond

Okay, I admit
that title is wrong on so many levels

First, I was not on the pond
and, secondly, there was nothing golden about it
but writing "Mucking About Beside Weed Infested Pond" just don't have the same gravitas
just saying...

Today, I took upon myself the back-breaking task of clearing the pond
It was full of bladderwort, hydrilla, some over- grown grasses... you name it, we probably got it
According to my gardener, a pond without weed is a puddle
oh, bless...
he can count on his lucky star I was not in my usual homicidal mood

the weather was simply fabulous
and I managed to clear what little bit that I could
Probably need to hire some muscles to clear the bits in the middle of the pond
me hands are simply not long enough!

The pond.
We haven't come up with a name for it.
Any suggestion??

A seal of approval from a visiting grey heron

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Moroccan-inspired Baked Chicken with Olives and Lemon

Moroccan-inspired Baked Chicken with Olives and Lemon 

1 tsp ground coriander 
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 chicken thighs, skinless
a small bunch of fresh coriander
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 preserved lemons, remove flesh and coarsely chopped
10 green olives, stoned and sliced

1 sweet red pepper, deseeded and sliced
a good pinch of saffron
2 cups vegetable stock

my 2 year old homemade preserved lemon

Marinate the chicken pieces with the dry spices and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours, or preferably overnight.

In a deep pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the chicken pieces over a medium to high heat, skin side down first, for about 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
Pour in the hot stock, give everything a good stir.
Then cover with a lid or foil and bake in a 120C oven for 45 minutes.
Occasionally, have a check and give it a good stir. Add a splash of water if it looks dry.
Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with some fresh coriander leaves 
Serve it with a large bowl of couscous and lightly spiced oven-baked sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes seasoned with salt, cumin and coriander and drizzled with olive oil.
Baked in 150C oven for 1 hour.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Lemon Almond Polenta Cake

This recipe is adapted from Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake in "How to be a Domestic Goddess".

Lemon Almond Polenta Cake

200 butter
200 g light brown sugar
200 ground almonds
100 g polenta 
a pinch of salt
tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
large eggs
zest and juice of 1 lemon

for the syrup
juice and zest of lemons
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to about 160C fan. 

Grease and line an 8 inch round cake tin.

In a bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add in the eggs one by one - beat well adding in a small amount of ground almonds if mixture starts to curdle. 

Add in the remaining ground almonds and mix well. 
Stir in the polenta, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Add in the zest and juice of one lemon. 
Mix well and then scrape the mixture into your prepared tin. 
Bake bake for about 45 minutes - check to make sure a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. 

While the cake is cooking, grate the rind off two lemons and extract the juice from them.

Place the rind and the juice in a small saucepan with sugar. 
Stir to combine and then heat over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. 

When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and prick all over with a skewer - immediately pour the lemon syrup over the cake and let it soak it.
Leave to cool in the tin.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Only just realised that today is our 26th wedding anniversary after I received a congratulatory note
sent by my dear friend and blogger sister, MamaFaMi.
~ Thank you, Ma for the well-wishes and the reminder! I love you, darling!! ~

Gosh, I must have been so busy and preoccupied that the date just slipped my mind.
Right after that, I quickly sent MrD, who's away on a business trip, a guilt-trip note.
Serves him right for not remembering.
I'm not about to tell him that I've forgotten about it, too... I did tell him, eventually, but not before I had my fun.

So on my own...
what mischief can I get up to
For one, there's an empty wall space in the powder room that is in need of a painting or something to fill.
Well, then... better get starting...

I've always wanted to try my hand at naif art.

Not exactly naif painting.
This one is based on a batik sarong theme, it's a painting of a nutmeg tree.
It took me a good solid 4 hours of total concentration and diligent painting.

Finally, my artwork hanging proudly above the little throne in the powder room

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Irish Soda Bread

Anyone can make soda bread...
There's no proving and no kneading required
and you can make it with any plain old flour.

And they make the perfect accompaniment to soups, stews and curry
as it is great to soak up the gravy with.

Soda Bread

250g plain flour
250g wholegrain spelt flour
1 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 tsp salt
420ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 220C.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, soda bicarb and salt.
Add the buttermilk into the flour. Combine the mixture with your hands. It will be be very wet.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gently roll and fold the dough to bring the mixture together.
Shape the dough into a ball.

Make a deep cut into the dough.
Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and dust the dough with a little flour.
Bake for 30 - 45 minutes; to test for doneness, tap the underside of the bread, it will have a hollow sound.

I'm serving my Soda Bread with Black-eyed Beans and Tomato Stew