On most evenings, I at least have a vague idea about what I am going to prepare for supper. Yesterday, at 7PM, I had less than a clue. There are times when inspiration just totally fails. The only thing I could resort to was looking in the fridge and freezer and see what I could find. Since it was already late and lead time was therefore short, it would have to be something fast and easy. When I found some frozen chicken breast, I knew that I was in business. I threw this quickly in the microwave to defrost while I went hunting for other ingredients to turn meat into a meal!
Pictured at left, you will see the raw ingredients that I selected. In fact, they really selected themselves, since this is what I found in our vegetable crispers. I also found carrots, and parsnips but rejected these. Cooking off the cuff is all about making do with what you have at hand but you have to be careful to pick those items where colours, flavours and consistencies match the overall theme of what you have in mind. I was tending towards an Asian-thai-chinese fusion, I guess 😉
The first step was to prepare these ingredients for cooking. I decided that I would go stir-fry style, so diced everything in relatively small pieces. I kept the chicken and onion separate. After pre-heating a little olive oil in a skillet, I added the onion and sauteed until slightly browned, then added the chicken and cooked stirring frequently until no more pink was visible. Finally I added the remaining chopped ingredients.
The final step was to select and add the appropriate seasonings and spices. Those of you who have been regular visitors to our pages will already know that I do not generally measure ingredients, so I cannot give you chapter and verse on how much of each to add. However, since the key flavours were to be coc0nut and ginger, you could correctly assume that these were added in larger quantities than the Thai Sweet Chili sauce, Trinidad Green Seasoning and garlic. The sour cream was added (about 1/2 cup to give the creamy consistency. I could just as easily have used whipping cream, buttermilk or plain yoghourt, though each would lend a slightly different final consistency and might require some thickening agent which was not needed here. Don’t forget that you could easily substitute one or all of the seasonings and sauces that I chose. Just be careful that you test for spicyness if you are not used to flying by the seat of your pants. Once all ingredients were added, the dish was simmered on low heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the vegetables were cooked but still slightly crunchy!
I chose to serve this dish with penne pasta and brussell sprouts which had been halved, blanched in the microwave and drizzled with a little green seasoning and sweet vidalia onion dressing. These quantities made enough to serve four. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try.