I have no idea where this fascination with food has come from….it’s not like I intended to start a blog and then write only about food. But, I find lately that I’m so interested in every aspect of food. Cooking, presenting and eating. The eating part especially.
I do have other passions.
But…I can’t exactly practice my piano with a sleeping baby….but I can silently whip up a Beef Stew, or some Chocolate puddings….
It seems like my child and food are my whole world. As well as my wonderful husband. And the endless piles of washing, dishes and cat-hair-covered floors. I’m sure the genie got my Tim-Tam request mixed up with the washing and the basket…..
So, I have two new recipes cooked for you today. A Honey-Mustard Chicken and some Sweet Indian Rice Balls. The chicken recipe is from a magazine I have; but I changed it a little, as I always do. I served it up to Phil one night and after eating it he stated that I should learn more technique and try out for Masterchef next year.
So what I did was to pan fry two chicken breasts for only 1-2 minutes on either side till sealed then I popped it into the oven for 15 minutes to cook all the way through. I love cooking chicken this way, as the seal locks in all that lovely chicken juice that you generally lose when roasting chicken. When it’s finished, it’s so nice and moist to eat! While it was in the oven, I used the same pan and fried up a chopped up leek with some zucchini ribbons (just run your peeler over the zucchini for nice thin ribbons) and a little butter, scraping any flavours left over from the chicken into the leek. Don’t forget to season! When the leek is soft and just about ready, I through in a few chopped cherry tomatoes and tossed it a few times before removing that all from the pan.
Lastly, using the same pan I put in some cream, Dijon Mustard, Wholegrain Mustard and a touch of honey and let it simmer and reduce to a nice sauce. Season as well. Pile it all together, with the cooked chicken and enjoy! So nice!
Now, the Indian Rice Balls. A lovely friend of mine cooks a lunch for a bunch of girls every now and then, and I always offer to make the sweets, as I LOVE to make anything sweet. She’d cooked up an Indian feast for us this time, so I google’d for a Gluten Free Indian sweet to make, coming across this recipe quite quickly. It’s a beautiful recipe, tastes wonderful and I’m sure it’s one that gets easier to make the more you do it.
So, as I’m currently on a Gluten Free diet, I was wrapped to find this! For the filling: in a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 2 tbs butter then add in 1 cup of coconut, 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, 1/4 cup cranberries (the recipe calls for raisins, but I think the cranberries were a much better flavour), and 1 tsp of ground cardamon. It should pull together like a loose dough. Take it off the heat to let it cool.
While it’s cooling, make the dough for the balls. Bring a cup of water to the boil then add 4 tsp of melted butter. Now, you’ll have to be ready as it congeals really quickly. Stirring the water, pour in 1 cup of rice flour. KEEP STIRRING! Take it off the heat and turn out onto a bench. It’ll probably look like lumpy bread crumbs, and you’ll be thinking I’m full of it, but keep going, trust me.
You’ll need to knead the rice dough together, but be careful as it’s best to do it while its still hot. Spray some olive oil on your hands, that helps. When it’s come together, roll it into separate balls, to get ready to fill. Press a ball into the palm of your hand then press into the ball, making a hole where your filling goes. Don’t play with it too much, or it’ll fall apart. Add a bit of the filling and press the dough together around the filling. The filling is a bit oily and makes the dough hard to press together, but keep persevering, as it gets easier. When all the balls have been made, you just need to steam them for 20 minutes (or maybe a bit more) to cook the dough through, or your eating raw dough. When they’re all nice and cooked, they’re so so so so yummy!!
I found this recipe on the net, and found that I needed to make two batches of the dough for the filling, and even then I had heaps of filling left (that I turned into little Friands. Give it a go, cos it’s a really nice light dessert and you’ll really enjoy the effort you’ve put into making them!