Saturday, June 04, 2005

Sunday Night Chicken Noodle

Dinner tonight came from the One & Two chapter. Nigella opens this chapter with a quote, and correspondingly, I will open this post by quoting her quote. Oh the postmodernity!

“‘Don’t knock masturbation,’ Woody Allen once said: ‘it’s sex with someone I love.’” (Lawson, 1998, p. 134).

References to masturbation. How fantastic! I knew this book was going to be right up my alley.

The One & Two chapter is devoted to recipes for one or two to eat. Tonight, it’s Saturday night, both my father and my brother are working, and it’s just Mum and I at home. Ordinarily, I would also be working, but I took time off work to study. (And the essay’s coming along, I promise!)

At about 5:45 this afternoon, I decided to get dinner happening. We had a roast chicken carcass leftover from lunch, some coriander and noodles from Wednesday dinner , and some choi sum sitting in the fridge…

11. Sunday Night Chicken Noodle

Now, I didn’t follow the recipe EXACTLY, but I’m still counting it as one of the 385 recipes. As Nigella says in the preface “Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next” (Lawson, 1998, p. viii). With this particular recipe, destined for solo eating on a quiet night, I think it’s more the idea than the actual ingredients, weights and measurements that are important. (And, as you’ll notice, I threw caution to the wind and made this on a Saturday night, not Sunday.)

If following the recipe properly, you would marinate a sliced chicken breast in sake, mirin, soy, dried chilli and garlic, then stir-fry the strips, before adding them to cooked noodles and soupy stock. I, instead, flavoured the stock with mirin, soy and chilli (we’re out of sake). I also soaked some dried shiitake mushrooms in there to boost flavour and add more meatiness, as the leftover chicken carcass was only scantily clad with meat. In our bowls I put briefly cooked noodles, choi sum and mushrooms, ripped up the leftover chicken, and covered it in the flavour-boosted stock. If you’re interested, it was Massel chicken flavoured vegetarian stock, which is wonderful, and MSG free. I garnished it with chopped coriander, on the suggestion of the recipe. We also added Japanese seven-spice pepper and had freshly chopped chilies in soy sauce on the side. This is the required side dish for any Chinese-style noodle dish. No arguments.

For one...

And for two...

Mum and I ate our wonderfully tasty, comforting and light dinner, as you can see, in front of the TV, watching Club [V]’s Top 10 Weekend Urban countdown.

4. Mariah Carey – We Belong Together
3. Mariah Carey – It’s Like That
2. Ciara – Oh
1. Amerie – 1 Thing

These songs and clips all rock. Amerie, especially, is gorgeous.

And then there was a re-run of the Ricky Jervais interview on Parkinson. I love Ricky Jervais! It was hilarious, we pissed ourselves laughing, and I have to get my hands on his Flanimals book!

I suppose I need no further justification of my deviation from the recipe, as the noodles tasted great, and I could easily eat them again. And again. But just in case, I present you with another Nigella quote: “real cooking, I can’t help feeling, always starts from leftovers” (Lawson, 1998, p. 460). I can’t help feeling that the goddess herself would be proud of our dinner tonight.

1 comment:

snowdrop said...

hmm... you've been busy! just read the last few posts, glad that you're up n cookin' again... now, go hit the books! ;) good luck for tomorrow.