A mist of rain began, but we danced on…
~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
Sometimes, I don’t want a full meal – just something really easy to prepare and just as effortless to eat. I call those my tapas moments (though that hardly does justice to the real thing, I know). Do you get those days? Where you just want something like a peach. Or a jacket potato. Or a handful of red cabbage, simmered with thinly sliced apple, butter and fennel seeds…
Today, I had chicken drumsticks for lunch. Bonus points of chicken drumsticks: easy to eat and so many ways to flavour them (I went for a spiced up version today). Plus points of the oven: no standing by the stove required, so I could work on while lunch cooked itself.
Hope you are all having a great Wednesday :-)
5 chicken drumsticks
a small knob of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a sprinkle of Chinese five spice powder
a smaller sprinkle of ground chilli
a dribble of oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place everything in a bowl. Mix it well with your hands, then cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line a baking dish with foil, then arrange the chicken drumsticks in a single layer inside. Pour on remaining sauce and garlic / ginger bits. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until they are golden brown on the outside, and a fork / skewer inserted into the thickest part of a drumstick finds clear juices and the chicken cooked.
If desired, serve with bread, rice, or a side of your choice.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
~ Leonardo da Vinci
One of the quickest and easiest dinners to make, especially when you have a bunch of seemingly mismatched ingredients left in your fridge… they might just get along on a pizza base :-)
Instant gratification pizza
Recipe for pizza base adapted from KiwiWise
For the base:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
Whatever you like – I used:
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red potato, thinly sliced then diced
2 button mushrooms, sliced
3 slices salami, quartered
1/3 tomato, thinly sliced
Loose handful of baby spinach leaves
Feta cheese, diced
For the base:
Combine the water and sugar in a small bowl, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Cover the bowl loosely with a tea towel and leave for 15 minutes until frothy.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle, add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and combine.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and elastic (if sticky, add a little extra flour). Shape it into a ball and place it into a greased bowl. Leave covered in a warm place until the ball doubles in size (approximately 40 minutes). Punch down the dough and knead it lightly. Set it aside.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a baking tray.
In a skillet, heat approximately 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat, then throw in the onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes before adding in the potato and garlic. Fry the mixture for around 3 minutes, till partially cooked and the potato edges start to go a tiny bit brown. Add in the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Do not overcook anything – it will cook further in the oven. Remove from the heat.
Roll out the pizza base with a rolling pin or suitable substitute (I used a drinking glass), then spread it with a thin, even layer of tomato paste.
Add the spinach leaves, potato mix, salami, tomatoes and feta (or toppings of your choice). Sprinkle with dried oregano and a generous amount of black pepper.
Bake pizza for 15 minutes, or until the base is golden brown and your pizza looks ripe for eating! Serve immediately.
What kind of scale compares the weight of two beauties, the gravity of duties, or the ground speed of joy? Tell me, what kind of ga[u]ge can quantify elation? What kind of equation could I possibly employ?
~ Ani Difranco
There’s something about home-cooked steak. You know? So quick and so good? Hot pan, big splash of oil, lovely sizzling noise when meat meets pan? Juicy eye fillet, quick shake of salt and pepper, runny yolk, savoury-sweet onion? Loud thoughts of “I am very happy right now” emerging from mind and mouth?
It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.
~ Cole Porter
Tonight, I came home rather hungry and with no grand visions of dinner. I found 1/3 of a capsicum in the fridge, and half a box of eggs in the cupboard – so dinner took the form of an experiment: spiced eggs with capsicum, dill & parmesan on toast. A seemingly odd combination of flavours perhaps, but it was yummy and just the thing I needed!
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 capsicum, diced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground chilli
sprinkle of dill
sprinkle of parmesan
pepper to taste
2 slices of toast
Heat the olive oil, paprika, curry powder and ground chilli in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan such that the mixture spreads evenly across the base of the pan.
When the oil is hot, crack the eggs into the pan, and add in the capsicum. Leave it to cook while you prepare the slices of toast.
Using a spatula, scoop the eggs carefully and arrange them on the slices of toast, adding sprinkles of parmesan, dill and pepper. Eat immediately, preferably with knife and fork, while sitting/standing in your favourite corner of the house.