Any american football fans around? Rumor has it that if you live stateside, Sunday night football is holy. Apparently there is even a theme song welcoming viewers back. Part of the tradition also includes ordering take-out (usually pizza) – the best part in my opinion. Personally, not being such a fan of the sport, one can easily reach a compromise with moi regarding what TV channel will run if the words take out and seamless are mentioned. (Un)lucky for me – my better half is currently based in Trumpland, so I actually have to hang out in New York occasionally. First thing I ever ordered on seamless? Sesame Broccoli Chicken – sticky take away heaven.
Now, sadly, my home town doesn’t offer such a tasty range of unhealthy goodness delivered straight to your doorstep. My solution? Try to recreate. What occasion? Sunday night Academy Awards. Instead of drowning in ones sorrows about celebrities and their perfect bodies, one can drown in some sticky home-made chinese dish. Doesn’t sound too bad? Also, sooooo much better than football. So if you’re still arguing about what’s for dinner – head to the shops and have a go! I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Sesame Broccoli Chicken
This past month has been insane – I can’t believe it’s already March. It started with two days out of my usual surgical routine, namely in the life of an Anesthetist, because why not. A perfect base specialty for going into emergency medicine – a potential career goal after (hopefully) successfully becoming a surgeon. It continued with a few crazy days of Fasnacht (= my local carnival), the highlight! Have you been? If not, add it to your bucket list. Apparently it’s even listed in 1000 Places to See Before You Die, the city goes insane, who thought Swiss people could actually have fun? Fasnacht lasts for just 3 days, but what glorious days these are. One calls them the “drey scheenschte Dääg” (= three nicest days of the year). I don’t think I would go that far, but they are fun. In a nutshell – parades of giant burning wood pieces, booze, confetti ALL OVER, parades of crazy people throwing oranges, flowers, alcohol and again, confetti, at you, flour soup (ew), booze, cheese tart, cellar bar hopping, booze, more confetti, amazing brass bands, schnitzelbängg (satirical poetry), crazy costumes. Also, very little sleep. Retrospectively it would have been wiser to take the days off work before my 10 day shift……
Now, after all this booze, my roommate and I were not in the best of states, understandably. Ideal culinary hangover cure? 1. Bacon, 2. Garlic, 3. Bacon, 4. Garlic, 5. Alcohol (always), 6. Panko breadcrumbs. Turn that into something crispy and satisfying? You end up with Chicken Kiev. There is a debate going on whether this dish is of American, Ukrainian or Russian origin…. honestly, who cares, thank you to whoever invented it, it’s delicious.
P.S. Apologies for the picture – blaming it on the hangover.
Chicken Kiev with BACON
Here’s a question: Have you ever been accidentally locked in a room somewhere, subsequently had a panic attack because you already pictured yourself dying of starvation in the very near future, and jumped up and down like a frog on crack after finally being found? Last time that happened to me I was luckily not alone – my beloved four-legged bestie kept me company in the tiniest lift on earth for what seemed like forever……. not going to lie, I think I even started crying and calling for my mother…… yeees ok so now we all know I am emotionally unstable, but I was only 12 at this point, ok? Anyhow, after about an hour I was saved and boy I did not set foot into that lift for at least a year.
Now, have you heard of Room Escape? After my childhood experience I never thought I would voluntarily lock myself into a room try to solving puzzles to get out. It was SOOOO MUCH FUN and I recommend you all try it. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like SAW. Although, admittedly, our game-master was pretty creepy – were it not for him I think we’d all still be in there searching for more riddles to solve:-).
As for this recipe, there really isn’t much to say: I love curry, I love raita, and who doesn’t love chapatis??
Balti Chicken Madras, Homemade Chapati and Cucumber Mint Raita
adapted from Complete Indian Cooking by Mridula Baljekar et al.
Time for something savoury, don’t you think? This dish was inspired by my neighbours, a wonderful Japanese and Chinese couple, who are sadly moving very soon. Last week they invited us round for a delicious leaving apéro – my does she know how to cook – I was in Japanese finger food heaven. One of the highlights were the pork panko meatballs. I don’t know what it is about panko, but when it comes to breaded meats – panko breadcrumbs win, 200% of the time. Your good old classic breadcrumbs are lame in comparison.
Determined to try make something using the panko breadcrumbs, I ended up attempting a Japanese classic – chicken katsu curry. Not too bad for a first go. Sorry for the picture – definitely not a stunner.
Chicken Katsu Curry
adapted from bbcgoodfood
Can you believe it’s already almost Christmas again?? Personally, I am quite excited for my favourite season of the year – the lights, the smell of gingerbread, the food, the mood, everything about it basically. There are two reasons Christmas came to mind. First being that today I actually helped a friend start on making Christmas puddings. Yes, you heard right, we were making dessert for December 25th on the October 12th . Bizarre. But the pudding has to sit for around 8 weeks to fully allow all of the flavours to develop. Boy was it hard not to dig in to the gooey, raisiny, spice filled boozy mess. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.
Second being today’s recipe. In recent years, my brother and I had decided to give our family & close family friends group excursions as a Christmas present (makes it sooo much easier and the outings are super fun). A few weeks ago we finally organised our last years gift – an evening/dinner/drinks on a small ferry in the middle of the Rhine. What flavour packed dish is better made in advance (30 year old boats sadly don’t have cooking facilities) than a tagine or a chilli? We opted for the more “exotic” of the two which went down extremely well.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Only a few weeks after having left London I was presenting with withdrawal symptoms. The only cure – book flights. There are a few things I have to do on each trip to LDN. Besides the obligatory dose of culture (this time round I saw The 39 Steps and went to a rather disappointing photography exhibition), being the crazy foodie I am, I always test a new restaurant. The most recent location choices were successful – for those of you who have already tasted their way through my previously posted secret list, I present you with a few more options worth trying:
The Shed – Notting Hill Gate, excellent british cuisine with a modern twist, but beware of the aubergine caviar…. seems like the chef has a slight garlic obsession
Banh Mi Bay – Vietnamese near Holborn, their vietnamese spring rolls are to die for
The Lodge Cafe – Hyde Park Corner, opened only 3 weeks ago in a former information office, nice sandwiches, salads, yoghurts, perfect for an afternoon in the park
Madison Rooftop Tapas & Cocktail Bar – great views of St.Pauls, I don’t know why I never came across this venue before
Moving on to today’s recipe. Pad Thai is an asian classic and unless you’re allergic to peanuts, you can’t go wrong with this dish. With a lack of good and affordable asian cuisine in my city, I took it upon myself to attempt making Pad Thai. It’s actually quite simple and sooooooo rewarding. Bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, peanuts and limes….. mhhmmmmm!
Pad Thai Gai
This scrumptious recipe was the birth of the glorious food blog 1234cook! One day as we were all sitting on the couch watching Star Wars, Number One decided to start annoying the rest of us to create a blog. She managed to reel us all in, wasting tons of money and getting us disturbingly excited about kitchen utensils. Admittedly, it’s probably a wiser investment than re-enacting The Hangover on a weekly basis.
Chicken with Thai Basil, Chili and Cashews
Never fear, we didn’t discover this curry in the back of a wardrobe behind a bunch of fur coats – we’re just ignorant westerners who can’t pronounce Nonya correctly. However, walking into an asian shop trying to find the appropriate ingredients is (for us) a little bit like a trip to Cair Paravel.
This curry is dead easy to make and has a brilliant flavour payoff; an ideal comfort meal for a cold, rainy spring day.
Malaysian Nonya Chicken Curry
It’s Friday and the gorgeous sun that we’ve had all week has suddenly and distressingly been snatched away by the sky gods, so we decided to hole up inside and cooking Warming Food and Watch StarWars and Listen to Backstreet Boys. (Is our age showing?)
After vetoing ALL THE THINGS involving aubergine and cucumber, we settled on the following recipe.
This recipe is so good, Three and Four are still scraping the pots. We have declared culinary triumph and are feeling very smug about our skills.
Jaime Oliver’s Chicken, Chorizo and Prawn Jambalaya
The essence of this salad is in the pomegranate seeds. Add those crunchy sweet pops to anything and its taste will magically transform to a gourmet level. Ok not quite, but almost. I really only discovered the diversity of pomegranate when in a beach club in South Africa. They had a pomegranate mojito. It was amazing. Best mojito ever.
Warm Couscous Salad with Chicken, Rocket and Pomegranate seeds