I had a kitchen disaster on Saturday night. Well, it was probably more a mini moment, or a little blip - but it felt like a disaster!
I've just moved into a new flat. Boxes are all unpacked, my plates, pans, knives and utensils as all in situ and ready for cooking up a storm.
My flat mate and I had been to the market and found some amazing produce. The most wonderful looking pumpkin and brussel sprouts so we felt like a lamb roast was in order. Our local butcher is one of the best around and the shoulder was perfect for a slow cook.
Lamb in, slow cooker on - sit back and enjoy some writing and me time.
About two hours in, I realized we were short on time. Well the lamb was having a time issue, not me personally. Now most of the time, time is not an issue for me. I manage time by allowing plenty of time and not rushing - it's the ultimate time waster and I have no time for it.
Anyway, so the lamb needed more time, which we didn't have. So I turned up the volume on the slow cooker and kept my fingers crossed. In the mean time, vegetables were roasting slowly in the oven and the kitchen smells were reassuring.
Time to serve and the lamb was just cooked, medium rare. What a relief. But the usual flavor and tenderness of the slow-cooked lamb just wasn't there. The fat had not had time to render into the meat. It was OK - but just OK. Not up to my usual lofty standards, know what I mean?
I realized that I have a huge attachment to 'getting it right' when it comes to food and cooking for others. I realized there is a theme to be recognized as a good cook, and be complimented. The roast was devoured and the bone was promptly made into the most amazing stock. All was good in the world again. Whew! My flat mate and friend were totally delightful and polite and said it was great - but it wasn't enough for me. Self-doubt was niggling.
But what's wrong with making mistakes? Aren't the best recipes where we just allow the process to evolve? Aren't mistakes also successes in the kitchen? I know the success is my preferred blog option - though my Coconut Mistake Cake was a huge triumph from disaster pancakes ... maybe I'm being too hard on myself. From now on, I'm going to cut myself some slack and go with the flow!
You will all be relieved to know that I redeemed myself the following night with my super simple green curry with chicken
Now I know there are literally hundreds of everyone's favourite green curry with chicken ... here's mine ...
Sauté a finely sliced brown onion in some coconut oil with two large tablespoons of green curry paste.
Add one packet of creamed coconut (hard pressed) into the pan and two cups of water. Allow the coconut to break down, helping with your wooden spoon!
Once the coconut has dissolved and you now have a thick cream, add six skinless chicken thighs. Cover and simmer ever so slowly for 30 minutes till the chicken is almost falling off the bone.
Add about a cup and a half of chopped fresh green beans and simmer for only five minutes then add about 20 or so cherry tomatoes.
Simmer for another five minutes till the tomatoes just start to split and the beans are al dente.
Serve and sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander/cilantro.
Seven simple ingredients - just be careful with the cherry tomatoes - they are hot hot hot - little lava balls ;)