Duckie’s Mount Yum

[for meat-eaters, but can be converted to vegetarian]

In my (reasonably broad) experience of men, each likes to have their Signature Dish, a culinary piece that they’ve stumbled upon or invented (or mother used to make) and have tweaked to make it utterly Theirs. It is carried with them through the years, brought out to impress the chicks, and then served to the family proudly over the years and passed down from father to son etc etc… ok, maybe that last bit’s an exaggeration, but most of it rings true, no?

Best Beloved is a enthusiastic but slightly nervous cook. He travels widely in the foodie universe, but never without a guidebook. This following dish is one of the very few things he will cook without a recipe; it is a family favourite, and went nameless until I decided to blog it, upon which Bumblebee decided that it should be called Mount Yum. Before this, it was always know as ‘your/my chicken/nut dish’.

To celebrate the fact that it is made without a recipe on the bench, I will not be providing ingredient quantities. You need to think about how much each person can eat and provide enough of everything to divide between the number of people eating. There’s no right or wrong; substitutions are not only welcome, but encouraged. There are endless possibilities. Best Beloved rarely strays from his favourite combination, but the other day we had no pine nuts and I persuaded him to use slivered almonds rather than popping down to the shop. Lo! It worked! (Sigh.)

Please excuse the crockery, we’re waiting for it all to break. If BB had known I was doing this before he started, he would have brought out his collection of 60s Poole pottery!

Ingredients

  • Breast of chicken, cut into chunks. You could also substitute firm tofu for the chicken.
  • Rice (Jasmine is juicier, Basmati works well, brown would be nice)
  • A green vegetable able to be wilted (we use baby spinach)
  • Avocado
  • Pine nuts (or a kind of nut)
  • Yogurt, plain
  • Lemon juice (or lime)
  • Garlic, crushed
  • Fresh coriander (or basil)

Method

Marinate the chicken chunks in the juice of the lemon/lime along with a handful of shredded coriander and a crushed clove or two of garlic. Leave for at least one hour, all day is good if you think of it in time.

marinating

Cook your rice whichever way you do. We use a very cheap but effective rice cooker. Do everything else while the rice is cooking, which is about 15 minutes?

Mash the avocado, get out the greens, chop a heap of coriander and set aside.

greens

Stir fry the chicken in batches, marinade and all, until brown and juicy. Set aside and keep warm. Have a small pot of water heating to boil while you do this.

After you’ve taken the chicken out, add the nuts to the wok/frypan and roast them slightly in the pan juices/leavings. Set aside.

Wilt the green veg in the boiling water: doesn’t take long, just use tongs and dip the leaves in and out. Set aside in a warm bowl.

By now your rice should be cooked. This is when you build the mountain…

serving

Each plate gets:

  • a bed of rice (size of bed can vary between stomach capacities)
  • a blanket of greens
  • a splodge of mashed avocado

layers

  • a serve of chicken pieces/tofu chunks (Best Beloved likes his meat, so there’s probably more than necessary shown here)

browns

  • a scattering of nuts
  • a thick topping of plain thick yoghurt

And:

final

Mount Yum!

Enjoy demolishing it.

24 comments ↓

#1 ampersand duck on 25.02.09 at 4:19 pm

Now that I look at it, that isn’t breast chunks! We used thigh meat, very happily. And better for teh budget.

#2 Dr Sister Outlaw on 25.02.09 at 4:33 pm

also better for teh flavour and teh moisture content

#3 Dr Sister Outlaw on 25.02.09 at 4:35 pm

dish looks most yum btw

#4 Virtual Vermonter on 25.02.09 at 4:45 pm

Dish looks very much most yum. Great presentation!

#5 ampersand duck on 25.02.09 at 7:05 pm

And I forgot to mention (and show) the heavy sprinkling of fresh coriander you do at the end, along with an extra squeeze of citrus if desired. Meh, you foodies will work that out…

#6 steev on 25.02.09 at 10:09 pm

Hey that plate is the same as the ones we had in my ancestral home (in the 70s). Cool. Maybe brown suits will come back soon too?? p.s. looks yum when am I coming to dinner?

#7 shauna on 25.02.09 at 11:46 pm

Ohhhhhhh yeah.. that’s a mountain i’d be willing to climb. Yummo.

(My grandmother has those plates too… happy memories :)

#8 Wendy on 26.02.09 at 5:18 am

Ooooh, wish I were having that for dinner instead of what’s on the stove right now.

#9 Helen on 26.02.09 at 12:57 pm

Please excuse the crockery, we’re waiting for it all to break.

Wedding present?…

#10 FDB on 26.02.09 at 1:48 pm

A green vegetable able to be wilted (we use baby spinach)

Ooh, I’ve been waiting for an excuse to flog this stuff. Native to not just Australia but to my very suburb, and currently attempting to colonise an entire bed in my garden. We have to slaughter it every couple of weeks to keep it in check. Survived the stinking pre-fire weather of 3 weeks ago with nary a singed leaf, and tastes superb. Spinach but a little more bitter and peppery. And a tad hairier as the pic shows, but blanching fixes that.

Do yourself a favour &c &c

Recipe looks easy and delicious. Unfortunately the Lady Friend doesn’t dig avocado but. I am trying not to be offended by the genderalisation at the top of this piece, with moderate success.

#11 Zoe on 26.02.09 at 1:54 pm

FDB, any chance of sending some seeds my way? I’ve heard very good things about warrigal greens, but not where to find them.

#12 Dr Sister Outlaw on 26.02.09 at 2:07 pm

Eden Seeds sells them

#13 FDB on 26.02.09 at 2:25 pm

We got a single seedling from CERES in East Brunswick, but were warned that they self-sow voraciously in addition to spreading, so if you can find them you won’t need many.

It’s AKA New Zealand spinach – same species, but we’re getting all sticklery about finding stuff as genetically local as possible (the Lady Friend’s an ecologist). Ours is raised from seed gathered up Merri Creek somewhere – Coburg I think.

#14 ampersand duck on 26.02.09 at 7:22 pm

If it’s NZ spinach, then it’s no wonder it survived the pre-fire weather. That stuff is a renowned fire-retardant, and an uber-greenie printer dude I used to know from the far south coast of NSW would let it grow wild in a huge ring around his house for that exact purpose. It was a staple part of his diet, and it kept his house safe. Bonus!

#15 ampersand duck on 26.02.09 at 7:25 pm

And no, Helen, just too lazy to go out and buy anything else. We do have gorgeous green plates that were wedding presents, but they never get used because they don’t fit in the dishwasher!

#16 ampersand duck on 26.02.09 at 7:27 pm

St33ve: anytime you can bother to come around :)

#17 Mindy on 27.02.09 at 9:00 am

My chicken is marinating in the fridge right now. Looking forward to this tonight. Have to remember the yoghurt though.

Is NZ spinach safe for horses? I like the idea of an edible fire break, but if it’s going to poison the neighbours horses they might have some unkind words to say.

#18 FDB on 27.02.09 at 9:13 am

Hey! I’ve just discovered it’s also called Bower Spinach too. Being as how that’s my surname, that’s what I’ll call it from now on.

Mindy – it’s apparently got some oxalates in it – concentrations vary with conditions (soil moisture basically) and age of the particular leaves eaten (as you’d expect). But as long as your neighbours’ hosses are well nourished and not eating lots of it, I doubt you’d have a problem.

Looks like varieties are pretty various within the species too – lots of pics on the net are of much fleshier, shinier leaves than our plant.

The Lady Friend did a lasagne tricolore last night with a layer of sauteed mushrooms, one of tomato and basil, and one of wilted Bower spinach and toasted almonds. Freaking supoib.

#19 worldpeace and a speedboat on 27.02.09 at 4:52 pm

ummmm… we pinch a Warrigal plant from the beach down the coast every now and then… shhhhhh!! but it’s a prolific seeder.

#20 worldpeace and a speedboat on 27.02.09 at 7:47 pm

also, I can’t believe no-one’s paraphrased Mother Superior from TSOM.

eat ev’ry Mount Yum!

#21 dylwah on 28.02.09 at 10:44 am

Yummy looking Mt yum ampersand duck. the group house plates are a treat.

FBD, i saw some of that plant down at the park this morn as the hbomb used up some energy, wondered what it was, thanks for the tip.

#22 librarygirl on 28.02.09 at 5:11 pm

Today I bought a packet of Warrigal/nz spinach seeds from Diggers at Dromana – 20 seeds for $2.50 I think.
Can’t wait to try growing and eating this – sounds great.

#23 Dr Sister Outlaw on 01.03.09 at 7:50 pm

and verily, I say, the Mountain of Yum be yummy indeed – thanks for the sample!!

#24 Mindy on 02.03.09 at 12:05 pm

This was so good, I cooked it again Saturday night using the tenderloins I found in the freezer. They were really good too. I think this may become a staple at our place.

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