Today I did everything in my plan.
I went to a local town (Lay-it-on-berzooms) which boasts a good butcher, a health food store and an ethical shopping store, all within a few yards of each other. I parked in a free space with a time limit of 30 minutes and purchased all my meat and groceries within that time. I need a shopping trolley though, or my arms will be down to my ankles by this time next year!
I then cooked for most of the afternoon and had time to do homework and play with Mavis after school. I even had a long chat with a friend on the telephone although I made the pate at the same time. There was a bit of a mess after I tried to tip a pan full of chicken livers, garlic, brandy etc into the bowl of the food processor with my head holding the telephone to my shoulder. Nothing too disastrous though and the pate is fab.
Chicken Liver Pate
1kg chicken livers (use good ones, it makes so much difference)
large knob of organic butter
several cloves of garlic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few gratings of nutmeg
2 tbsp brandy
Melt the butter and fry the crushed garlic, gently, for a few minutes, until golden brown. Tip in the chicken livers and seasonings and continue to cook, stirring to ensure they are cooked through and browned all over.
Pour over the brandy and cook for a couple more minutes.
Tip the lot into a food processor and blend until extremely smooth.
Spoon into pots and smooth the tops before covering in clarified butter.
Clarified butter – the quick method
Invest in a “fat separator” jug. You know, one of those jugs with a spout that comes from the very bottom like this one http://www.lakeland.co.uk/product.aspx/!5034.
Put half a pack of butter into it and microwave it, keeping a close eye on it so the butter doesn’t boil or catch fire! To be on the safe side you can stop neuking before the butter is completely liquid and leave it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to finish off.
The butter solids should be on the top of the clarified fat so you can pour off the clarified butter from the bottom, straight onto your pots of pate.
I have a pyrex jug that is slightly more slender in the spout than the one illustrated which works really well.
This made 5 pots, one for tomorrow and four for the freezer.
We are having, as you will know if you have studied my plan, satay chicken tonight. A friend gave a lovely recipe for satay sauce which I have amended slightly. Sadly I had run out of chicken stock so I am ashamed to say I used a cube. More stock in the crock pot as we speak.
1 chopped onion
quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt
1 tbsp each of soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, soft brown sugar and fresh lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
half a pint of chicken stock
Marinade for chicken breasts
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 chopped chili without the pith and seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 crushed clove of garlic.
Mix it together and soak diced chicken in it for 10 mins to several hours.
Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill until cooked
serve with basmati rice enriched with a little coconut milk and cucumber salad.
(Thanks to Waitrose for this one – I know it’s a supermarket but I’ve had the recipe for a while)
Half a cucumber
six or 7 radishes
half a chili, seeded and finely diced
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Slice the radishes and the cucumber very finely
Mix the vinegar and sugar together to make a dressing
Toss all the vegetables in the dressing and put in the fridge until needed
Quick sticky coconut rice
Bring a pan just under half filled with water to the boil and add a bit of sea salt.
Tip in basmati rice from about 10 inches above the pan so that it forms a heap with the point stopping just at the surface of the water.
Return the water to the boil and stir the rice just a little to separate the grains then cover the pan. Turn the heat down to just simmering. Set the timer to 10 minutes
When 10 minutes is up turn off the heat. Don’t at any time remove the lid. Set the timer for another 10 minutes after which your rice will be cooked. Lift the lid and break up the rice to let out some steam.
Because all the water has been absorbed, you can leave it standing for quite a while with the lid on and it won’t get any stickier.
Stir in a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk and some diced coriander leaves.