Thursday, January 12, 2023

Chicken thighs in hoisin peanut paste

Recipe by Matt Preston. Jenny made this for me recently and it was Yum

(1 cup) salted peanuts
230 ml (1 cup) hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoons salt flakes
8 chicken thighs fillets, at room temperature
1 very large handful of chopped Asian herbs (Thai basil, Vietnamese mint or coriander in any combination)

Preheat the oven to 200øC and lightly oil a baking tray. Using a food processor. stand mixer or stick blender, blitz the peanuts until they become a fine meal. Add the hoisin sauce, vinegar, salt and a little warm water, if needed to loosen.

Tip into a large mixing bowl, add the chicken pieces and rub them all over with the paste. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the paste is all dark and bubbling. You can always give them a quick blast under the grill at the end to create those dark bits.

Scatter the fresh herbs onto the chicken and serve with sauteed Asian greens or a crunchy Asian salad.

NOTE: If you use a suitable brand of hoisin sauce (like Changs), this recipe is gluten free.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Blending ready-made food

We live in an era of dinners and other food prepared for us by businesses of various sorts. There are full frozen dinners available and components of dinners. So our basic ingredients for food preparation have stretched out way further than the basic meat, beans and potato (etc.)

But we can still be creative to some extent -- by modifying the commercial product. And one of my favourite dinners -- a soup as a meal -- is such a blend.

I start out with a large container of a very hearty chicken Laksa soup. It is a reasonable meal by itself. There is a lot in it. But it is still a bit bland in taste. So I add a sachet of Satay chicken soup base and blend the two. I end up with a soup that is both hearty and flavoursome. The blend is much more tasty and filling than either component alone. I have it often.