[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!
- 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)
- Pine nuts (or a kind of nut)
- Yogurt, plain
- Lemon juice (or lime)
- Garlic, crushed
- Fresh coriander (or basil)
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.
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.
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…
Each plate gets:
- a bed of rice (size of bed can vary between stomach capacities)
- a blanket of greens
- a splodge of mashed avocado
- a serve of chicken pieces/tofu chunks (Best Beloved likes his meat, so there’s probably more than necessary shown here)
- a scattering of nuts
- a thick topping of plain thick yoghurt
Enjoy demolishing it.