Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chicken And Pok Choy With Cabbage Fritters And A Fresh Fruity Salsa





"An empty belly is the best cook." ~Estonian Proverb


It happens now and then, even though I try my best to not let it occur this way, that I find myself with an empty belly and an almost empty refrigerator. Well, I can say this in my favour that the store is never empty, but when one doesn't want to eat anything that can be stored outside a refrigerator, the 'fridge' (a very Indian word!!) must be stocked well! So all I had were some chicken thighs, pok choy, pimiento roja which was low on heat, garlic, only one spring onion, half a medium sized onion, a large potato, some ginger and a small wedge of cabbage and a small, lean carrot. An apple, a small orange and lemons and not much time, I had a class in forty minutes and I had to cook and eat before the tutor arrived. And I don't like to wolf down my food...aaraam se...is how I like to eat! Our dining table at home was always full of food, and lots of conversation and laughter accompanied the meal. So, leisurely meals is what I like. But times have changed and everything is on-the-go it seems, literally like meals on wheels! Anyway, an empty belly is indeed not only the best cook but a quick cook too. I had a delicious, unhurried meal and was ready for my tutor with a good meal tucked in. Simple, fast and delicious, that's what it's all about.





Ingredients:
For Chicken:
Chicken thighs......two large. 
Pok Choy..............1 bunch, cut into strips
Potato...................cut into wedges or fries
Garlic...................3-4 cloves chopped into tiny pcs
Spring onion.........1,chopped small, green separate and white separate
Onion....................1/4, chopped small
Fresh red chilli.....1,deseeded and chopped
Salt
Pepper
Soya
Red wine vinegar (you could use balsamic instead)
Extra virgin olive oil

First make three pieces of each chicken thigh by cutting off the flesh on either side, keeping a decent amount on the bone. You can retain a whole chicken thigh if you wish. Smaller pieces cook faster and I needed to economize on time. Wash well and drain out water.
Marinate in a sprinkle of soya, extra virgin olive oil, pepper. Keep aside.
Next cut the potato into fries or wedges. Sprinkle salt and rub into the fries.
Chop spring onion and 1/4 onion.
Chop the garlic
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan. Add the garlic, give a stir and then drop in the white part of the spring onion. After a couple of stirs on high flame. Lower to medium and drop in the chicken. Stir.
Add some salt (remember there's a bit of soya) and a small sprinkle of red wine vinegar.
Cover and allow to cook on low. Keep stirring occasionally.
Now, heat enough oil in a pan for the fries. Drop in the fries and cook until done. Remove on absorbent paper and keep aside. Retain the oil in the pan for the fritters.
Check the chicken. If it is cooked and slightly browned on the outside add the pok choy, red chilli and toss. Check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper accordingly.
Cover, reduce to low flame and allow to cook for a few seconds more, while you prep the cabbage for the fritters. When done, add the fries and gently stir it in with a lift and drop motion. Remove from fire.

For the salsa:
Red apple.............1 large
Orange.................1 sweet, only the juice
Lemon..................juice, acc to taste
Sugar..................acc to taste
Cinnamon..........1, (1/2 inch stick)
Salt...................acc to taste
Cumin pwdr.....a tiny pinch
Red chilli pwdr (optional)

Peel and core the apple. Grate. Put the grated apple into a thick bottom saucepan along with some water. The water should be about an inch above the apple. Add the cinnamon stick. Cover and allow to cook on low flame.
(In the mean time start on the cabbage fritters)
Keep tabs on the apple. Stir and add more water a little at a time if the apple isn't cooked and soft.
When apple is soft to the pressure of a spoon, add the sugar. Continue to cook on low until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
Squeeze out the orange juice, when the sauce is thick. Add the orange juice. Check for sweetness and acidity.
Now add the lemon juice. Stir. Add the cumin and red chilli and salt according to taste. 
Cook until it is a pouring consistency thickness. Remove  

For the fritters:
Green cabbage.........abt 1 cup shredded
Carrot......................a little less than 1/4 cup shredded
Ginger......................1/4 tsp minced
Green chilli..............chopped fine, acc to taste 
1/4 onion..................chopped tiny
Besan (Harina de garbanza)............2 tbsps
Corn starch (aka corn flour in India).....1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Red Chilli pwdr acc to taste
A small pinch of baking powder.
Water to make a batter

Shred the cabbage and carrot fine. Add all the other ingredients and water to make a thickish batter, but not too heavy. Reheat the oil you used for the fries. Drop a spoonful of the cabbage mixture into the oil and deep fry, turning constantly to get even browning. Remove and drain off excess oil on absorbent kitchen paper towels.
Enjoy a quick, easy, hot, wholesome meal!

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