Judging from most conversations I've heard from parents who have sent their kids off the college, and from conversations I've heard from said kids, they
don't eat very well. They live on fast food, or potato chips, or most famously, 3 minute ramen noodle packs. As an alternative they may choose to go with cup o'noodle instead. However, all that is packed with something I have difficulty eating. Wheat/gluten. Which means, when I came here, I knew I'd be cooking for myself for the most part. Yes, I have found a couple of things that I can eat from the local on campus cafe. But it's only one thing. Green Chicken Curry. It's what I had for dinner on Tuesday... and then for lunch the next day.
So, it doesn't look green, but it sure tastes like green curry and it's got a healthy amount of veggies in there with all that rice. I got rice to go with it when I bought it. Originally I went down to the cafe to get Hot Cocoa, but ended up coming home with dinner! Anyway, it is very very good, and I will probably be getting more when I'm too exhausted to stand over a burner with a pan or pot.
Believe it or not I've only grabbed take-away once since I've been here... ok, that might be a small lie on my part. There was the smoked salmon sushi that I got for lunch the same day I got curry, but that was only once... twice. There was lunch in Perth this afternoon too...
Anyway, for the most part I've been cooking!
This was dinner on Wednesday!
It took less than 20 minutes to make and it was absolutely scrumptious! I didn't pick up the recipe from anywhere, but you can probably find something similar online I'm sure. This made two servings easy, so you could technically make it, and set half aside for lunch or dinner the next day. Easy to reheat in a frying pan or pot. Or if you MUST, you can use the microwave.
For reasons I will not go into, I'm not a fan of the microwave.
If you'd like to make this yourself, it's fairly simple. Here's what you'll need:
Chicken (whatever make and model you want)
Capers (preferably in their vinegar juices)
Green Beans (however many you want... within reason)
Garlic (one section should do)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt in a grinder
Lemon (one should do ya)
I used boneless chicken thigh fillets, but you can probably do this with any piece of chicken you want... although I suspect that it turned out so well, because I was using the brown portions of the chicken. Breast or white parts may dry out kinda fast. Anyway, I went with thigh fillets off a chicken. 4 of them. In Aus they pack these critters up in little boxes which is darned convenient for marinating things.
First of all, during the afternoon put your choice of chicken pieces into a bowl, or use the little tub they came in, and dump in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a healthy load of fresh squeezed lemon, and ground sea salt, then cover it and put it back in the fridge and leave it there for several hours. Don't wash the chicken! I know everyone says to rinse it, but you'll be cooking these little suckers at some fairly high heat, and trust me, if you do the cooking correctly, it kills all the nasties that may be lurking in your chicken. If you don't cook the chicken right then... Just cook the chicken until it's white all the way through.
If you cut open your chicken and you see PINK; IT'S NOT DONE!
When you feel like cooking dinner, put a frying pan on the stove top, and dump in some Olive Oil. I usually just put in a splash, but you can add however much you want. Then get the garlic clove, put it on a hard surface, and use the flat side of a large cutting knife to smash it. This does two things. It shoves the garlic out of its wrapping, and it opens up the insides of the clove. Don't do anything else to the garlic after you crush it. Just take the wrapping off, and put the soft stuff into the pan. Then turn on the heat, up to medium heat or so. My stovetop has 6 settings. I set mine of 4, so maybe that's medium high??? Anyway, let the pan stand for a bit, and get out your green beans.
Wash off the green beans, then cut off the ends, and chop the remaining portion of the beans in half. You're not using the ends, so you can toss those. (sorry, I had to say that because someone is going to use the ends, and not the bean if I don't.) Then set them aside in a bowl for later. Also you should cut your lemon in half at this point, if you haven't already done it. Your pan should be relatively hot now, so go ahead and put your chicken into the frying pan. It may not immediately sizzle, which is alright. You sort of want these to slow cook for a bit in with the garlic.
When the chickens looks like it's turning white on the bottoms and side, get a lemon half, and squeeze the heck out of it over the chicken pieces. Then add salt, and flip the chicken over. It'll probably sizzle this time, and possibly spit at you, so be careful. Then add about half the bottle of capers to the pan. You want the juice in there too, so don't freak if you end up with that in there as well. Move everything in the pan around with a flipper or spoon, or tongs or whatever.
Just let it cook. When the chicken looks like it might be done, carefully cut open the biggest piece of chicken and see if it's white or almost white inside. If it is, then add your green beans, and use the second half of the lemon at this stage on the entire pan. Keep everything moving in the pan from this point on. Stir, or flip, but keep it moving. When the green beans start to look a little like your fingers after too long the bath, your dinner is done!
Hope you enjoy!
If you're wondering what type of wine would go well with this? I have no idea. Sorry. This is what went with my dinner. I'm really not into alcoholic beverages.
Anyway, whatever you have with the food, the dish is best enjoyed while it's hot. I know this because I had 4 mouthfuls of it while it was hot, and stopped because I knew I'd inhale it if I didn't stop there. So, I emailed Mom the recipe, and then went back to it while it was warm. STILL good, but it was better when it was hot.