Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A last minute dinner

Yes, I do still eat (all the time, unfortunately!) but I hardly ever seem to post about it these days. But for a change I've come up with something post-worthy and it all came about as the result of a bit of a disaster.

We're having a bit of a freezer clearout at the moment but when it came to preparing the meat we'd defrosted for last night, it was obviously off. I don't know whether it had been bad when we bought it, or had been in leaky packaging, but there was no way we wanted to risk eating it, so it was time to raid the fridge and cupboard.

I came up with:
one skinless chicken breast
a bowl of cooked rice
a stub of cucumber
a small chunk of a head of Chinese leaves
a couple of carrots
one banana
the heart of a little gem lettuce
half a lime
a small pot of peanut sauce - I'd made a double batch when we had satay
a box of eggs

The addition of a few store cupboard basics produced this:

which is Chicken  Sort-Of Nasi Goreng

and this

Which for the sake of argument I'll call Fridge Raid Gado Gado
I cooked a few prawn crackers to serve with it too, and we feasted - we ended up with full tummies and an empty fridge.

So, how to make this? First of all the salad - you will need
Chinese leaves
peanut sauce (there are some excellent ones in the shops if you don't make your own - or for an almost-instant one put 3 tbs peanut butter, 1 tbs soy sauce and half a cup of water in a small pan, bring to the boil stirring like mad and then allow to cool)

Boil the eggs until hard, crack the shells all over then plunge into cold water and allow to cool. Cracking the shells while hot helps to make them easer to peel.
Meanwhile shred the cabbage and cut the carrots into short batons. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes then the cabbage and cook for one minute. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside to cool.

When the eggs and veg are cool, cut the cucumber into short batons and mix with the other veg. Top with the quartered eggs and drizzle with the peanut sauce.

Now on to the Nasi Goreng. You need COLD cooked rice for this - freshly cooked rice will go mushy when you fry it. But do make sure you get that rice cool as fast as possible after cooking and then make the cold rice piping hot before serving it - as rice cools, a bacterium can grow rapidly in it, and serving badly reheated rice can cause nasty tummy upsets (In Mark's army days, I knew a Catering Corps chef who managed to poison 600 people at a stroke by leaving his rice to cool in a hot kitchen for too long).

Dire Warnings over, here's how you make it. You need:

one skinless boneless chicken breast (or a pork chop, or some prawns, or a mixture of these)
1 tbs sunflower oil
enough cold cooked rice for 2
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli, plus an optional extra one for garnish. You could use chilli paste, hot sauce or dried chilli flakes if you have no fresh chillis. We always have a huge bag of them in the freezer.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon Ketjap Manis (sweet soy sauce) - or use normal soy, dark for preference, and add a teaspoon of black treacle, golden syrup or honey

to garnish:
shredded lettuce
roasted salted cashews (or fry raw cashews in a little oil, toss with salt and leave to cool)
a shredded red chilli
lime wedges
crispy fried onion flakes if you have them (often sold as a salad topper)
1 banana, quartered and fried in a little oil

Dice the chicken into small pieces (about the size of a cashew nut).
Finely chop the chilli and crush the garlic.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan and stir fry the chicken for about 4 minutes until cooked. Lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and stir fry until soft, then stir in the chilli, garlic and ground coriander and cook for another minute.

Mix in the rice, Ketjap  Manis and chicken and continue cooking until piping hot.

Garnish with the suggested ingredients scattered over the rice and serve with the bananas and lime wedges to squeeze over while eating.

I am sharing this with Kitchen Clearout at Madhouse Family Reviews


Cheryl Pasquier said...

Jane - you are a total genius, for several reasons ! Firstly, I have half a tin (yes, a tin !) of thick peanut butter in the fridge after making chicken mafe last week and I wanted to find a recipe to use it up. Secondly, I was looking at my dwindling bottle of kecap manis (presumably the same thing as ketjap manis) and wondering where I'd manage to get another bottle from - you've just given me the idea of trying a mixture of regular soy sauce and black treacle (which is another tin I have lurking in the cupboard). Above all, it looks and sounds absolutely delicious - so you get this week's gold star ! :)

Cara said...

I think I would have given up with that selection of oddities and gone to the takeaway instead! You are a genius coming up with these things, you'd ace the invention test on masterchef! Cara x

Galina Varese said...

What a delightful dinner, cooked from odds and ends. Very creative and delicious. I love the gado gado variation.