Bombay Chicken Cups

IMG_7241This is a delightful little appetizer that is refreshing, and nutritious. It works well in any season, is easy to prepare, and different enough to interest your guests.

At a recent dinner, we set out a platter of four-dozen of these, and the platter was emptied within 10 minutes. They are truly a little nibble. Light and fresh, just perfect before a meal, or as a refreshing addition to an appetizer buffet.

They can be served in tiny pastry cups, croustades, or as shown here, in tortilla chips. Continue reading

Bombay Chicken Wraps

IMG_7255Having wanted to design a recipe for an appetizer that didn’t include seafood, cheese, or deep-frying, I came up with a miniature chicken salad, that is usually served in tiny pastry cups, croustades. I have, on occasion, served it on tortilla chips. I’m not sure when I started making these, but do know that it was many years ago! Perhaps back when Mumbai was still Bombay, maybe the early nineties?

Recently I morphed the idea into wraps for a luncheon I was catering, they were gone in a flash. The flavours work just as well in a bigger format.

If you don’t have leftover cooked chicken to use, do what I do, buy a BBQ chicken from your grocer. Chill it, remove all the skin, fat & bones, and use all of the meat. This way you get a prefect mix of light and dark meat. It tends to be more economical than cooking even inexpensive fryer cuts. One standard BBQ chicken should give you about 650 grams of prepared meat, enough for 6 wraps.

The recipe shows amounts for 6 wraps, just use the appropriate portion if you are doing less. All of the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time, ready for assembly at your convenience. Continue reading

Pea & Edamame Dip

IMG_7272It’s spring! Time to set aside thoughts of roasted roots, and go for the green. We sat outside after a full day of sunshine and working outside. Even though it was early April, the temperature made us so aware of summer days around the corner. I had spent a few hours, getting the porch ready, by washing winter’s dust and grime off of stored deck furniture, with the sounds of ongoing fence repairs as my soundtrack.

When the hammers had been laid down; and the deck was in its summer duds, we gathered for beer and nibbles to toast the season. Serendipitously, the day before I had made a dip I’d been working my head around for the past few weeks. Super green, it made me feel good just looking at it! Pretty much all the ingredients are green, with bright, cheerful flavours.

We ate it with plain crackers, but the next day I was told of leftovers being eaten as a side to scrambled eggs. I’m planning on trying it stirred into some pasta or risotto, as a finish.

Use good quality frozen peas & edamame, not the shrivelled up ones that might be in the bottom of your freezer. Continue reading

Porridge

IMG_7047It may seem like a simple recipe, however, it is a reminder of how we can easily make the right choices when it comes to eating. A bowl of porridge will feed you well to make it through the morning, with a wholesome whole grain that has saved populations from starvation, and only takes a few minutes to make from scratch, and costs about 25¢ a serving, including milk & a bit of brown sugar.

My relationship with porridge (oats) started at a very early age. We had a certain pot that Dad used to make porridge in every morning. It was thick walled aluminum, a type probably not even sold today. When the handle went, he carved a new one and bolted it on. When the pot lid knob went, he carved a delightfully threatening little totem to replace it.

Every morning through our school years, Dad would get up and make a big pot of porridge for us all, even though we were all still sound asleep. It would be cooled and congealed by the time we would be eating it. But, that was breakfast. This was also at a time prior (long prior) to microwaves being a common kitchen tool for reheating. One morning Dad taught me the trick of frying leftover porridge with a bit of butter and brown sugar in a cast iron pan. Amazingly delicious. It may sound like we were “down on our luck”, but our family always took pride in being thrifty. But never to a fault.

Today the health virtues of starting our days with a bowl of large-flake, old-fashioned oats, made into porridge, has been well documented. We might now add a handful of berries, or a chopped apple & some spice, but it still is able to satisfy us well until lunch. So here’s to putting your porridge pot back on the hob, and starting your day with a great, easy, and thrifty breakfast! Continue reading