Thursday, June 19, 2014

Flavour of the Month.

There I was spending quite a long time trying to find a recipe to be worthy of today's football match, but as I write, knowing England lost the match, am wondering if it is worth including the recipe after all.  Well, why not?  It's got canned tomatoes as one of the ingredients, and these are my favourite food of the month/year, knowing how good they are for us, forget the football and make it anyway.
Six chicken breasts seems expensive, and so my suggestion is to buy three reasonably large ones, then split each in half to make six. 

Brazilian Chicken with Spicy Sauce: serves 6
2 onions, roughly chopped
small chunk of root ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tblsp olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 x 200ml can/carton coconut cream
chopped coriander for garnish
wedges of lime for garnish
Put the prepared onions, ginger, garlic, and chilli into a food processor and whizz to a paste.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken, frying lightly until browned on both sides, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Stir the spicy paste into the pan juices and stir-fry for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and seasoning to taste.  Bring to the boil, then add the chicken.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the coconut cream, cooking for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
At this point the chicken can be cooled and chilled, or frozen for up to 3 months (defrost before reheating).
Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander and garnish with wedges of lime, accompanied by a bowl of basmati rice and a green salad.

Another good-weather day, cloudy at times but plenty of sun.  Most of the containers are now in place and just a few of the heavier ones waiting for B to move them for me.  As my neighbour will be coming for coffee tomorrow morning, we can sit outside and enjoy looking at the flowers (last week she was away and before that we had no flowers - so she will see a difference).

My knees seem to be as painful when the weather is warm as when it is cold Jane.  Maybe if I could lose some weight it would help, for some reason I'm finding it difficult to lose those pounds, even though I've been working hard all week (far more active than previously), my weight stubbornly refuses to drop, even though it is too warm to eat more than salads.
Had to smile when you called me 'a famous TV cook and author'.  Don't I wish!  Have never thought of myself other than 'just a housewife' interested in the cost-cutting side of domesticity.  When I used to go to the rehearsal studios in London (when I was in 'Bazaar'), for a while I used to enjoy meeting all the really famous people I recognised (other actors were also rehearsing on those days - I remember the Howard's Way team there).  When eating in the canteen with everyone there, I very soon realised that this - to all of them - was just 'work'.  They accepted me as one of them, and I got to feel the same.  We were just ordinary people doing a job.

A welcome to Lynne (Australia) who originated from Bradford, West Yorkshire.  Fairly close to where we used to live in Leeds, so I know the area well (or should say 'knew' as now we live in Lancashire).

It does seem that some taxi-drivers are really good company, jane, and others just want to drive and not chat at all.  I don't mind short distances, but having to keep my mouth shut over several miles I would find very difficult.  I'd probably have to end up going to sleep.

Like you Ali (Shropshire), today I felt sluggish, but put this down to the heat, it has felt more sultry today, and I've got a bit of a thunder headache.  Not yet humid, but moving in that direction.  We could do with a cool shower of rain to clear the air a bit, but hope that will be during the night, not tomorrow morning.

Am quite envious of the Australian winter Kate,  (in the Sydney area at least) as it seems much milder that we have in the UK, even though we really didn't have much of a cold winter this year.  However, don't think we could stand the extremes of heat you get during your summer.
The tomatoes on sale here have fairly thin skins, but generally have little flavour.  The tiny plum tomatoes have more taste, but nowhere as good as the ones my dad used to grow.  I've never tasted any as good since I was in my early teens.  Even my home-grown didn't taste as good as my dad's.

Problem with all fruits on sale (and tomatoes are a fruit), is that they are picked before they are fully ripe.  Only when really ripe do fruits have the flavour that us older folk remember.  But to pick them when they are ready to eat, by the time they have reached the shops, they will have 'gone over', and not be fit to sell.  So we end up with varieties of fruits that keep longer when picked early, and none of these are really worth eating.  
Seems that all fruits and veg are now bred for appearance and keeping quality, and to reach this level they breed out all the flavour.   This doesn't make sense when this fresh produce is bought to eat (not to look at), so we want those that have the best flavour.  But where are they?

This is the month for strawberries.  Yet the ones from the supermarket - sold as British - still haven't that full flavour.  Again it is the varieties on sale.  One tip (we probably all know it anyway) is to eat strawberries at room temperature, preferable when they have been sitting in the sun for an hour. Eating straight from the fridge takes away most of the flavour.  Same thing happens to cheese, always bring that to room temperature before eating. 

That Food Historical Group sounds interesting Margie.  I'd love to join something like that.  Am assuming the fuel used for cooking food over the hearth was wood?  This gives quite a different flavour to what is being cooked, coal smoke is best kept away from food (and why barbecued food is supposed not to be so good for us, especially when charred).

Oh yes, Granny G., you can be sure that Fork biscuits would be served at our communal coffee morning, along with scones, jam and cream; gingerbread; and possibly shortbread.  Profiteroles and macaroons as well on a good day.  Probably invite you all to stay for lunch as well (wine chilled in the fridge waiting), and we can make a day of it. 
As I would find it difficult to stop talking, just jump in when I take a breath, and then you'll find I can also be a good listener.  What fun we could all have.

That's is for today, expect me back again this time tomorrow.  Fingers crossed the weather holds for over the weekend so that we can all get out and enjoy it.  TTFN.