Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Tummy

Last week I was particularly experimental with my cooking. I think I tried a new recipe every time I cooked. It all started off pretty well - I got a nice bell pepper and beef stir-fry; an absolute winner of a veggie soup; and something else that I can't remember. But then on Tuesday I found a recipe for a veggie stew, which I made a great big batch of, and it turned out to be completely tasteless and inedible. My confidence was shattered; we had baked beans on toast for supper; and I didn't cook for another 3 days. The wife was really supportive about the whole thing - shoulder to cry on, etc. - and kept telling me how tasty the other experiments had been recently. But that was when I was distraught, then this morning we were working out what we would eat for the week, and she was a little too quick in coming up with old favourites for me to cook - thereby not letting me tying my hands in terms of coming up with something fantastic and new.

Nevertheless, I managed to sneak one in. Its not really new, but last time I had a recipe to follow. Tonight the munchkin was camped in front of her Fairytopia DVD, and so daddy had no chance to search the internet for a recipe. So I freehanded it:

Saturday nights are typically braai night in our house (that's a barbeque with South African heritage and culture attached). On the menu tonight was Honey and Mustard chicken skewers. I rock.

  • Chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A little cream to make the sauce a bit runnier.
Mix together everything and pour over the chicken breasts.
Marinate for about 2 hours.
Slice up chicken into bit sized pieces and thread them onto skewers.
Barbeque, turning occassionally.
Ahhh, perfection.

Wifey made a salad to go with it. And now we're both chillin' in front of our computers with very happy tummy's (the Munchkin has so far slept through the whole thing.) Brett Dennan and Joe Purdy sing sweetly over This is what Saturday nights are all about.

Simple food to get my confidence back. Using lots of sauce made it really tasteful. Also used big metal skewers, so that each of us had 2 skewers and a big mound of salad, and I have absolutely had elegant sufficiency. The art of the braai is also really relaxing when done properly. If you're trying to do too much it can be quite a source of stress, but only 5 chicken skewers leaves more than enough time to concentrate on getting the food right. The secret is generally to not rush it - wait until the coals are the right temperature (properly covered in grey ash, with no flames anywhere); allow the meat a chance to sit on the grill before turning it (if its caramelised / crispy then it doesn't stick to the grill and have bits torn off); and seeing as the coals are cool enough, the chicken can have a chance to cook through properly without getting charred on the outside.

Tomorrow we're going to a friends house for another braai, and relaxing afternoon on the beach. So I need to find a nice steak recipe. Man, I love the weekend.

Note to self: If I'm going to write a cooking blog, I need to start taking photos of the food before it's all eaten.

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