As promised, the next couple of weeks recipes are designed to use up the chametz in your store cupboard. I can't promise that we will get through it all and you may still end up binning it or 'selling' some to your Rabbi. I usually try to get mine down to a manageable plastic lidded boxful that can be sealed and 'sold' for the eight days of the festival. If I know there is not a snowball's chance in the Negev of me using something before the Winter stew season starts, I throw it away. I hate wasting food but if it is a choice between finding space in the box for a handful of butter beans or the same amount of couscous, I'm afraid I keep the couscous and bin the beans! I have also been looking around on the net for other ways to use odds and ends of beans and lentils; so if the thought of throwing anything away upsets you too much, just cook the beans and use them to feed the birds in your garden.
A quick method is to put them in a deep microwaveable bowl, add a pinch of Bicarbonate of Soda and nuke them on full power for 10 minutes. Allow the beans to stand for 30-40 minutes and they will be perfect for cooking. Drain them and either boil them in a pan or cover with fresh water and cook in the microwave.
Remember they need to be COOKED not just soaked for the birds as the hemagglutinin present in raw beans is toxic to animals and birds as well as humans.
Jews the world over have an innate love of Chinese food. My American husband still can't get over the fact that us Brits would rather stay home on 25th December - the holiday that shall not be named - than do what our cousins across The Pond have been doing for years, namely going out for Chinese food and a movie, rather than slaving over a hot turkey! In fact, there have been Jews in China for over 1000 years which you can read about online here http://www.sino-judaic.org/index.php?page=kaifeng_jews_history
With our planet fast becoming a global village, it is easier now than it has ever been to buy heschered or unsupervised Beth Din approved world food condiments, noodles, tacos, canned exotic vegetables and spice pastes to create authentic dishes from wherever you might fancy. Chinese, Thai or even Mexican Taco Tuesdays from the Lego Movie are no longer out of reach. Fancy a taste of North Africa? Couscous, tagine spices and pomegranate molasses are on the shelf.
Indian your thing? Curry pastes, rice and gram flour is all for the taking.
Japanese, ditto: sake, mirin, wasabi and pickled ginger are but a grocery store away. The choice is endless and there are many fantastic blogs, YouTube videos and web pages given over to creating fantastic feasts from around the globe. It is easier than ever to find kosher approved substitutes for Nam Pla (fish sauce) and other treif condiments and your butcher should be able to suggest meat and poultry cuts that will work well in place of meats that are forbidden for dietary reasons and any knowledgeable fishmonger will be able to do the same. Today's recipes are a bit of a re-hash from blogs past as well as a few new ones. I am concentrating mainly on Oriental food with a broad brush-stroke as some of them are more Thai/generally Asian than specifically Chinese, I'm not sure they use Satay sauce in Beijing! That said, satay sauce is a good way to use up peanut butter and teriyaki is a great way to use up soy as is the sticky wing glaze. The noodle dishes, which I will publish later on in the week, are ace at making a little bit of left-over chicken or a single steak feed two (or more as a two dish main course) as is the crispy chilli beef recipe.
SESAME CHICKEN TOASTS
250 g chicken mince
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cornflour
1 egg white
6 slices bread
1/4 cup sesame seeds
oil for frying
Combine the chicken mince, garlic, ginger, cornflour and egg white together in a bowl. Cut the crusts off the bread and into triangles.
Spread the chicken paste on the bread in a thin layer and then dip it, chicken side down, into the sesame seeds. Fry in medium hot oil until crisp and golden and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with soy or sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
THE STORY OF TWO SAUCES AND A MARINADE.
One day two sauces met and fell in love and produced a marinade. It's a nice story and partly true...really it is.... Here's a quick to make sticky teriyaki glaze, a satay sauce and a wing marinade which can all be dialed back by reducing the chili or kicked up a notch by adding more delicious bottled sweet chili sauce and/or some fresh sliced chillies.
THICK TERIYAKI GLAZE
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 dessertspoons mirin
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-3 sliced red chilies - optional
3cm fresh root ginger peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 clove crushed garlic Bring the soy, mirin and sugar to a boil, reduce the heat; slake the cornflour with the lemon juice and whisk in until thickened. Be careful as it can boil over like Vesuvius! Add one, two or all three of the optional flavourings to your taste. This will do 8-10 skinned drumsticks, more or less a whole chicken cut in 1/8s or 8 skinless thighs. Let it cool and pour over the chicken and then cook. It would be great on salmon too.
1 x dessertspoon vegetable oil 1 crushed clove garlic 1 x small onion very finely chopped 1 x chopped red chilli (optional) 1 x tablespoon sweet chilli sauce 1 x tablespoon brown sugar 1 x tablespoon soy sauce 2-3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter 1 can coconut milk
Stir fry the garlic, onion and chilli (if using) in the oil until softened. Sprinkle on the sugar and allow to caramelise a little and then stir in the peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce and soy until well blended. Add the coconut milk a little at a time until you reach the consistency you prefer. STICKY CHICKEN MARINADE
4 Tablespoons Ketchup
4 Tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
4 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves crushed garlic
Whisk this all together in a jug or bowl. Add extra chilli sauce or chopped fresh chillis and fresh ginger if you want to make them more spicy. This should give you enough for about 20 wings or the equivalent (4 breasts or 8 thighs & drumsticks). I like to put the wings into a ziplock bag and then pour over the marinade and seal it up. The wings are best left to marinate for 12-24 hours for the best flavour. The teriyaki sauce and sticky chicken marinade are best cooked in a foil container or line your baking trays with two layers of foil as trying to scrub caramelised sauce off a baking tray is one of the worst jobs in the world! The satay sauce is best served warm but can be made ahead of time and heated gently before serving.
Try it with some grilled chicken or turkey breast and pineapple kebabs that you've marinated in a mix of the following beaten together: 1 tablespoon honey Juice and zest of 1 small lime 1 -2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1-2 grated garlic cloves. 1 dessertspoon tumeric
Allow the chicken or the turkey breast cubes to marinate for a few hours then thread onto soaked bamboo skewers and grill or bbq until cooked all the way through. Serve with the satay dipping sauce and some cut fresh limes to squeeze over.