Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patty's Day!

After having a couple frustrating days at work while feeling on the brink of a cold and chronic shoulder pain, I've managed to concoct the perfect remedy (that surprisingly doesn't contain booze): exercise, cook, eat, chill. Maybe throw a power nap in there (I am the queen of power naps).
Yesterday I went for a run and make a delicious, rich chicken curry with the little ingredients in our fridge. Curry is my fallback plan for any meal. It's so easy and good. Go ahead and try it out if you dare:

1kg chicken thighs (bone in), about 7-8 pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
Some ginger, about a tbsp roughly chopped
One leek, sliced
One can of coconut milk
1 - 1.5 tbsp green curry paste
About 1.5 - 2 cups frozen peas

Brown the chicken thighs in a little oil in a large pan or saucepan on high. Set aside and drain excess oil.
Throw in a little more oil and brown up the garlic, onion and ginger. Throw in the leek and toss around a bit. Reduce heat to medium.
Dump in the coconut milk and mix in curry paste until delightfully homogenous.
Put in the chicken thighs and peas, mix around until everything is covered. Reduce heat to medium-low. Put a lid on the pan/pot and simmer (stirring occasionally) until the chicken falls off the bone with minimal effort.

My cure for the blues today was trying my hand at Irish soda bread. I thought it appropriate, as it's St Patrick's Day and I don't feel like getting drunk. I'm really happy about the results. I couldn't help but try out a slice before snapping a picture.

It was warm, dense, and a bit tart. I hope it lasts till Saturday so I can make some french toast and use up the 1/2 container of mascapone cheese I have hanging out in the fridge.
This bread is ridiculously easy to make.

Preheat oven to 375F
3 cups flour
1.5 cups buttermilk
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a reservoir in the center for the milk. Pour in 1 cup of buttermilk and set aside the other 1/2 cup. Mix ingredients together, stirring in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Mix until you have a soft dough.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface. Knead dough on surface for no longer than 30 seconds to a minute, just enough to make the dough stick together. Pat into a flat circle and slice an X about 1/2" deep and plop it onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes or until the bread makes a hollow sound when you tap it on the bottom.
DO NOT OVERKNEAD or else the carbon dioxide bubbles will collapse.
Also apparently it's important to make sure the oven is fully preheated before putting the bread in.

Voila! Enjoy your bread.


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