Category Archives: Poultry

Cheater’s Chicken Curry

Wow, it’s been a while since I blogged! I received some very exciting news about my writing over a week ago, and since then, everything else has taken a back seat while I fluctuated between floating in a daze and scurrying about while squealing. Kinda like a hamster alternating between weed and crack.

On second thought, a hamster alternating between weed and crack would probably be a dead hamster, so nevermind. Fingers crossed I will soon have official good news to share!

On to the food. I’m probably going to sound like Sandra Lee saying this, but I rarely make curries from scratch. Especially in Oxford, where it’s a challenge getting fresh galangal and tamarind. So I cheat. But before you take out the stakes, I only KINDA cheat. I know, I know, it’s like saying “I only embezzle 50% of what I could have embezzled. . .” but the end result is SO worth the guilt.

Don't hate me, I am only semi-homemade.

Don’t hate me, I am only semi-homemade.

Every time I go back to Indo, I make sure to buy a bunch of spice packs like these:

006You could probably find similar stuff at your local Asian supermarket. Anyway, the key to a good Cheater’s Curry is to only use these spice packets as a base to kickstart your curry. You still need to add a ton of fresh spices to your paste, otherwise it’ll come out tasting really bland, like an Anglicized version of curry.

Cheater’s Curry Recipe

Ingredients:

– About 500 to 600 g of chicken, beef, or tofu, cut into bite-size cubes

– A crapload of veggies of your choice. I love cauliflower in curries because they absorb flavor so well, but zuchinni works just as well, and so do green beans, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Mike likes bell pepper, but sometimes I think they’re a bit over-powering. Whatever works for you.

– 4 kaffir lime leaves

– 1 cup thick coconut milk

– 2 cloves

– 2 star anise

– 2 cardamom pods

– 1 cup water

– If you think the pre-made spice mix isn’t spicy enough, you can add fresh chilies

For the spice paste:

– 1 packet pre-made spice mix of your choice.

– 4 cloves garlic

– 1 onion

– 4 shallots

– 2 stalks lemongrass

– 1 inch ginger

– 1 tsp sugar

– Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Put all of the spice paste ingredients in a blender and blend the bejesus out of them. When all of the ingredients have been blended into a smooth paste, fry them with the cloves, star aniseeds, and cardamom until they’re fragrant.

2. Put the chicken into the pan.

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3. Sear the chicken until the outside is cooked, then add your veg.

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4. Add the water, coconut milk, chilies, and kaffir lime leaves. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 min, stirring once in a while and salting to taste.

5. Serve hot with rice (since we’re on a low-carb thing, I just ate it on its own. And I didn’t miss the rice at all.)

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004Aw yea! You know you wanna be a dirty cheater too.

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Badassery and Turkey Fajitas

Last night, Mike and I went to see Monsters University, which was really cute. The movie, I mean, not us. Anyway, we had the bad luck of sitting behind two really annoying high school girls. Throughout the movie, they alternated between talking to each other, talking on their cell phones, going “RAWR!” at each other and giggling, and standing up. Seriously, who stands up and stretches in the middle of a damn movie? I ignored it until she started banging on her armrest like a caveman.

Leaning over, I said in my sternest voice, “Can you stop doing that please.”

When she turned around and glared at me, I did this: (Minus the “hur hur” bit. That came later.)

stopit

Apparently, my scary face. . . isn’t. She immediately went back to banging on her armrest, at which point I kicked her chair. She turned around again and snapped, “Can you not kick my chair??” to which I snapped back, “Can you stop being noisy??” We glared at each other for a few seconds, and then. . . she backed off. That’s right, people.

Me > Two high school girls.

There are no words to describe how badass I felt. I wanted to beat my chest and roar, “THIS IS SPARTA!!!” But I didn’t, because I’m classy like that. Also I was too busy sweating, trembling, and hiding my face in Mike’s arm. But for that one minute, I was a GLADIATOR. Woe befall those who dare cross my path!

*ahem* Aaanywho. Turkey fajitas! Fajitas are awesome because 1. They’re like an explosion of yum, and 2. If you order them at a restaurant, you can pronounce “fajitas” the way Seth McFarlane does and watch the waiter’s reaction.

Recipe for Turkey Fajitas

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Ingredients:

– 500g boneless, skinless turkey (I used leg meat, but you could be all lame and healthy and go for breast. You could also use chicken or beef.), sliced into strips.

– 1 onion, sliced

– 2 bell peppers, sliced

– 2 limes, juiced

– a good pinch (using all five fingertips) of paprika

– an equally large pinch of cumin (I still don’t have cumin, so I used Jamaican jerk rub)

– 1 jalapeno, finely minced (seeded or not, it’s up to you)

– salt and pepper

Directions:

1. If you have a griddle plan, get it screaming hot. How hot is “screaming hot”? This hot:

chris

Phwoar.

If you’re like me and don’t have a griddle pan, a regular frying pan would do.

2. While your pan’s heating up, mix all of the ingredients except for half of the lime juice in a bowl. Once the pan is hot enough, fry the crap out of them.

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My pan’s not big enough to fit everything, so I cooked the meat and veg separately. Stop judging me.

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3. Fry until meat’s cooked through and the onions are caramelized. Pour the remaining lime juice over it. Set aside and try not to eat all of it while you make the salsa.

Salsa ingredients:

– 250 g cherry tomatoes, diced

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1/4 red onion, minced

– 1 jalapeno, minced

– 1 lime, juiced

– 1 small handful (like a baby’s grip) coriander, chopped

– Salt and pepper

Directions:

. . . Do you really need directions? *looks at you with judgy eyes*

You can serve your fajitas with as many toppings as you want. Guac, sour cream (or yogurt), and cheese would work just fine. I served mine with fresh lettuce and a nice sprinkling of mature cheddar and it was good enough that Mike and I fought each other for every last bite.

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O little packet of deliciousness, throw yourself into my open maw!

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