Monday, September 05, 2005
Weekend copycatting: Chinese chicken stir-fry, Roasted peaches with basil, Tuna & chickpea salad
No, I'm not writing about Weekend Cat Blogging, hosted by Clare at Eat Stuff, where foodbloggers show off their adorable cuties. I managed to do quite a lot of cooking this weekend, including 2 dishes I've spotted at various foodblogs. I feel much better for it - both for cooking something nice and for finally managing to cook something other foodbloggers have suggested. There are so many tempting recipes around, and I'm keen to try them all, but there's just not enough time and energy always available.
I hosted a small casual dinner on Friday night, attended by two Edinburgh based Estonian friends and two visiting Estonian friends. We skipped the starters bit and headed straight for the chicken&greens stir-fry that I also cooked for my family in June, then with an addition of garlic scapes.
The recipe comes from February 2001 issue of BBC Good Food magazine, where it is called Chinese chicken stir fry. I guess all 5 of us thought it was a Chinese dinner enough (cooked in a wok, seasoned with soy sauce and eaten with chopsticks:) but again, am not sure whether anyone more familiar with the versatile Chinese cooking would agree, as it didn't seem to be very Chinese to me. But it's tasty and easy, very bright and colourful, and I also suspect it's reasonably light and healthy, and I have cooked it many a time since I saw the recipe few years ago.
Chinese chicken stir-fry
Serves 4 or so, depending on the amount of noodles/rice.
25 grams butter
450 grams sliced chicken fillets
3 tbsp dark soy sauce (I used Kikkoman's)
350 grams broccoli, cut into small florets
200 grams green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
a bunch of sliced spring onions
2 tsp corn flour (Maizena/corn starch)
freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges
a handful of fresh basil
Heat a large wok, melt the butter.
Add chicken fillet strips and a dash of soy sauce. Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken starts to brown.
Add broccoli florets, green beans and about half of spring onions (the whiter parts). Fry for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Mix corn flour, orange juice and rest of the soy sauce. Add to the wok and heat for another 1 minute, until the sauce thickens a little.
Add the rest of the spring onions and basil.
I served it with some egg noodles tossed with a dash of sesame oil.
Peaches Roasted With Brown Sugar and Basil
(Basiilikuvõiga küpsetatud virsikud)
There have been lots of lovely recipes using peaches recently (check out the fabulous creations at Kuidaore and another lovely peach dish on The Flying Apple blog). I then came across a very tempting and oh-so-simple peach recipe at Gluten-free Girl (originally from NY Times (25.8.2005)) and decided to go for it. This is my first copycat dish of the weekend.
A dessert simply cannot be any simpler - you halve the peaches and remove the stones, fit the peach halves snugly into a baking dish. You fill the peaches with some fresh chopped basil (I'm happily using the crops of my herb 'garden'), some brown sugar, a tiny piece of butter and sprinkle the whole lot with cinnamon:
I was even so lazy as to skip the bit where you're supposed to mix sugar, mint and butter into a paste - it worked perfectly well without that preparatory step as well.
Then you bake the whole lot in a pre-heated 225˚C oven for about 15 minutes, until the peaches have softened, the butter has melted and sugar caramelised.
I served it with my favourite ice-cream - the sticky toffee one from a Scottish organic dairy Cream O'Galloway.
Pertelote's tuna and chickpea salad
On Saturday morning I had another nice and hearty fry-up at Native State (well, I must introduce my visitors to the local food culture!), and thus skipped the lunch. I later attended a lovely BBQ at my friend Helen's place (another local Estonian), where I brought along Pertelote's fantastic tuna and chickpea salad. I should probably say that I made this salad again (photo above) - and this my second copycat dish of the weekend (and a recurrent one).
These lovely dishes and plenty of entertainment made me happy and kept me busy and retained me from missing people who are not around at the moment too much. As for the weekend entertainment - you can't go wrong with some salsa dancing, BBQ, shopping and a highly entertaining La Clique show. PS Aussie bloggers - I thoroughly recommend the latter show, coming to Melbourne in October!