Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cooking up an idea


Writers don’t just write, and blogs need variety, or at least that’s what Google tells me. So, cooking. I like to cook. A lot. I go through the usual meat-based periods, but I’m on a vegetable-heavy Indian kick lately, with a variety of masalas and curries.

I should offer one disclaimer. I don’t follow recipes. I toss things in until it looks, feels and tastes right to me, so I wind up talking about cooking as a process, not a sequence of additions; even when I bake it’s by eye. But here’s one you can try the next time you feel like Kraft Dinner just isn’t going to cut it.

Start with a hot pan and some olive oil, dump in the base for your marsala – a bay leaf, chopped garlic, half a chopped onion, masala mix (garam or red, or a bit of both) , and work it until the paste is coherent. Set paste aside. Add and stir in cubed chicken or pork, add parsley (chopped fresh or dry) and some grated ginger – keep it moist and add water and paste once the meat is seared, then cook it down. Add diced veggies (broccoli, green peas, whatever you fancy) before it reduces completely so they cook. Keep the heat on until the consistency is nice and thick and most of the water is gone. Dump over basmati rice or noodles or whip up some naan. You could try couscous as well. Garnish with a bit of pickled ginger.

The whole works takes about half an hour and is much, much nicer than instant mac and cheese.