Monday, January 10, 2011

FRUIT ASSISTED COOKING

If you recently received a blender for Christmas or as a wedding or other gift, you may have read the pamphlet that came with it and started blending fruit smoothies. At first they might have been so thick you couldn’t drink them and so you kept adding juice or milk or water until it was thin enough, but you had more than a litre of beverage when you were done.

I hope you didn’t get discouraged and put the blender away (perhaps next to your old fondue pot), because a fruit beverage in the morning is a healthy way to start the day. A simple smoothie would be ½ cup of frozen blackberries and half a peeled and chopped apple with some juice or milk You can make it even better by adding a little whey protein powder to your “smoothie”. If you are using all fresh fruit, crack some ice cubes and add to the fruit in the blender.

But if you’re determined not to use the blender (maybe it sprayed your ceiling with blended fruit and now you’re punishing it), you can still enjoy and obtain the benefits of fruit. Try cooking with fruit. You will be pleasantly surprised how fruit can enhance certain dishes. If you think your foods will be sweet, don’t worry, fruit can lend a balance to many spicy foods and actually improve them. Try adding a little fruit from time to time, it will taste good and do you good.

Here is a simple Chicken Curry that uses fruit. If you don’t have all the spices in your cupboard, start with a tablespoon of Curry Powder.

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size cubes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light olive oil- or your favourite vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 piece of gingerroot, the size of a walnut, chopped finely
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 green Chile, seeds removed and sliced finely
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds or powdered
3 whole cloves or ½ teaspoon powdered
1 stick of cinnamon or ½ teaspoon powdered
½ teaspoon each, salt and black pepper
½ teaspoon brown or white sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into large dice (about the size of sugar cubes)
1 green banana, just beginning to ripen sliced as thick as the apple
8 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
Apple cider vinegar to taste, about a tablespoon

· Gather all the spices together. If you have ground spices instead of whole, that’s all right, but whole spices should be heated gently, cooled and then ground in a grinder or mortar and pestle
· Drain the rinsed chicken pieces and dry with paper towels
· While they are drying, put the onion, garlic and gingerroot in your blender and whirl it into a paste
· Put the butter and oil into a pot
· While it is heating, put the dry chicken in a bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt, sprinkle the cornstarch over it and massage the chicken all over using your clean hands
· Scrape all the paste from the blender into the pot and stir frequently over medium heat for about 5 minutes, don’t let it stick to the bottom
· Now add the spices, salt and pepper and sugar to the onion mixture and stir thoroughly. Then add the chicken and stir it as well
· While you are cooking the chicken (this will take 10 minutes), check the liquid in the pot. If it’s soupy-looking turn up the heat; but if it is dry go ahead and add the stock, vinegar and the fruit
· Simmer covered about 40 minutes. Check liquid from time to time. Now the chicken will be cooked and sitting in a fairly thick sauce
· Taste the sauce; you may want to add a little more curry powder (or garam masala if you have it). If you think it needs a little more zip, add a little more cayenne
· This goes good over a bed of boiled rice
· Serves six with side dishes

4 comments:

Leovi said...

I love smoothies, but I'm too lazy to prepare, be a matter of intending. Merry Christmas.

anthony stemke said...

LEOVI: Merry Christmas. Smoothies are not very difficult, easier than making bacon and eggs.
Take care.

everlastingdream said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
curryworld said...

Hi Anthony ..
Thanks a lot for the comment in my blog ..
U have a great blog...
U can follow me by subscribing curryworld
Keep in touch
Take care
Veena

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