I live in Northern Tasmania with my husband who works hard to make living financially viable, my teenage daughter who is way too much like me and my toddler daughter who will, I am sure, operate a nudist colony when she grows up. I love food. And good wine. The two combined is heaven.
When deciding to go on a cleaning rampage in the kitchen and then deciding to put your spices in your new fandangle twirly whirly spice rack, don't blow on the top of the container until after you've put the lid back on. Otherwise you shall inhale a rather sickening amount of ground fennel into your eyes, nose and mouth. I'm hoping it has secret properties that I don't know about yet and will make me gorgeous, young and rich within the hour.
Often if we're bored or the weather is reasonable and we need to escape the normal beat of the drum that is life, we hop in the car and drive approximately 50 minutes away to a town called Latrobe: home of the Axeman's Hall of Fame and Anvers Chocolates. mmmmm...Anvers. It's a place that is best visited in the cooler months of the year as they have the fires burning and the hot chocolate pouring. We indulged in our usual fare: Chilli hot chocolate in a large mug for DH and I always keep it simple with a normal hot chocolate served in a chocolatiere. We shared an indulgent piece of Chocolate mousse cake given that it was Father's Day on this side of the world.
I took the pic of the cake with my new camera. It's just a cheapie Canon but it certainly takes a decent enough macro shot if I play with the settings a bit. One day I will be able to afford a dslr. One day.
I'm a fan of the pilaf. I find them easy to do and I like combining different meats with rice and having a relatively one pot meal. This is something I came across on www.taste.com.au. It was absolutely delicious. Both big girl and husband LOVED it. In fact, husband said he loved it so much he wanted to learn how to cook it! Now you have to know my husband to realise just how much of a major statement this truly is! This is a man who does not like to cook (and why would he when he has me for a wife ;-)....his signature dish is chilli con carne and well...chilli con carne. Poor kids when I'm out of action, there is a lot of chilli eaten as well as a LOT of takeaway..blergh. And pilafs, well they are something he can easily do. This one just needs everything to be ready and in front of you before hand. For instance it tells you to grate the orange and squeeze whilst the chicken is cooking...nup...too stressful for me to concentrate on both. Just have that all done before you start cooking if you're like me. Ok..so onto the recipe.
3 (200g each) chicken breast fillets, trimmed
3 teaspoons cajun seasoning (see note)
olive oil cooking spray
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
3 cups salt-reduced chicken stock
1/4 cup currants
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Coat both sides of chicken in cajun seasoning. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan oven medium heat. Spray both sides of chicken with oil. Cook chicken for 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Remove to a plate. Cover and stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, grate rind from 2 oranges. Juice all 3 oranges. Spray a large saucepan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add rice and stir to coat. Add stock, orange rind and 1 cup orange juice. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in currants and peas. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes or until rice has absorbed stock.
Slice chicken. Add chicken and almonds to rice. Stir to combine. Season with pepper. Serve.
And credit where credit is due:
Super Food Ideas - June 2007 , Page 36
Recipe by Claire Brookman and Jenny Fanshaw
Thanks Claire and Jenny. Great dish and I really had to share with all of my million and one readers out there :-D
Edited to add: if you are not huge on orange or the citrus taste in your cooking back off on the amount of orange zest and juice you use. It is quite strong but I think it balanced out the other flavours of the dish really well. Others on the taste site though noted that it was too overpowering for them, so I thought I would mention that.