Just so you know. I started this post about, oh, two weeks ago and haven't had a spare second to finish it. This how far I got:
We have been busy with lots of sheep work lately.
I cooked an interesting salad for some Chinese visitors we had yesterday. It had been so warm earlier in the week I thought a salad would be a good idea. Of course it was a cool day and soup would have been better, but the salad worked well.
CHICKEN AND MANGO RICE SALAD Serves about 6
6 chicken thigh fillets, cut in half
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tblsp rice vinegar
Juice of one lime (or lemon)
2 teasp castor sugar
1.5 cups jasmine rice
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, extra
About 1/4 cup olive oil
Mint, basil and coriander, a good handful of each, plus more for garnish, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted in a dry frying pan
1 long red chilli, seeds removed if you prefer, sliced
2 mangoes flesh chopped
1/2 cup cashew nuts, toasted
6 spring onions, chopped
Lime wedges for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180c. Season the chicken thighs, place on a baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes until the juices run clear. You could also just fry them in a pan on the cook top if you prefer. While they are cooking mix the ginger, rice vinegar, lime juice and sugar. Make sure you taste it to get the balance right, the measurements are only a guide. When the chicken is cooked and cooled slightly, slice it into smaller pieces and place in a bowl, adding the pan juices. Pour over marinade, mix together and leave for an hour or so (doesn't matter if it is for less time).
Cook the rice with a teaspoon of salt according to the packet instructions.
While it is cooking whisk the lemon juice, lemon zest and oil in a bowl, and season well. Taste and adjust if necessary.
Drain rice and refresh in cold water. Transfer to a bowl and add most of the dressing, chopped herbs, toasted coconut, chilli, mangoes, chicken and most of the nuts and toss to combine.
Turn the salad out onto a pretty platter and finish with a drizzle of remaining dressing, extra herbs, cashews and spring onions. Scatter lime wedges around the edge.
That is where I got to. It seems like months ago, the last fortnight has been frantically busy, either travelling to Melbourne for Cup Week festivities or head down in the garden preparing for a bus group who visited this morning. Visitors to the garden are an excellent motivation to get things tidied up and I was very proud of how lovely it all looked today. I have been dying to pick some roses, but have resisted the urge so that the bushes look full and lush....a job for this afternoon.
I made a little morning tea...
Next time I will tell you about the goodies I cooked, especially the sticky buns...