Mum and dad spent the end of the week together in Victoria, and arrived home late Friday night in hunger and a tiresome state, having followed my direction to wait until they were home for dinner. And to ignore the smells of hot food from the ferry bistro, which was an excuse to steer clear of the long lines, winding down the hall, and nearly to front of the ship.
Their hunger, as they walked in the door, was stretched on as I simmered off dinner, regretting my planning for time. Thankfully, they had wine to sip at. I've never quite got a handle on the time it really does take for me to cook: a perfectionist's best trait. Starting too late, some nights we eat closer to bed time than "dinner time."
It was my fault for leaving to the store just before closing time, trailing my shopping bag and list, and trying to find the ingredients as quickly as I could in order to race back and start cooking. Before I left, I had been caught up in refurbishing my blog, and emerged in the savoir-faire of things, I kept pushing the trip down later and later as the light outside dimmed slowly. I had finally found out how to add an ingredients index, which means no more scrolling through each post to find the right recipe!
And better yet, this recipe index is filling up nicely.
So, to prepare for cooking I cranked the music loud with the best songs of 2012, and laced my apron around my back. It was a gift last Christmas from mum after she noticed my flour stained shirts after baking, the white powder apparent on black tops, and ruining some too.
Mum and dad sat at the table, poured the wine, and sank into relaxed conversation about the week's events, which overflowed with snippets from their days exploring around. I listened as I attended to the stove, hearing about mum's excursions of Vancouver Island and the people she saw and met throughout.
Starting with coffee, in a small building bursting with noise and activity from the customers settled in, she watched how life played out in this area. Her book as a mask of sorts, she watched as some locals spent their mornings huddled around a large mug while other stretched out the morning paper, scanning the headlines for interesting stories. A group of bikers who'd ridden from another town caught up with friends while comparing their accomplishments on bike. And all different parties, those quiet and those exuberant, were connected by the time and the place in which they had decided to settle for an hour, or just a few moments, and were all greeted by the warm welcome of the young Calgarian at the till, spending time there to explore different places of Canada, experiencing life just as everyone else was, in his own way.
In our own way, we have dinner as a family on weekends, untied by work and commitments we can enjoy the company of each other.
As the skillet was taken off the stove, it steamed proudly and fogged the lenses of my camera as I tried to take pictures before it was snatched into awaiting bowls. Watering mouths were nearly burnt when fingers reached to test the food, and I tried to press,
"Don't worry! It's definitely worth the wait."
And boy, were we glad we did.
Guzzling down water after a burn from scalding food is never enviable, and food is never as flavourful when half your tastebuds are gone, squealing at spicy, and resisting sour in agony.
Instead, we could taste the different spices, all emerging from one pot.
Ginger root, surprisingly the most common ingredient in natural arthritis relief supplements because of it's anti-inflammatory compounds called 'gingerols,' added to this curry dish by complementing the other spices incorporated together as well as making our legs feel great despite sitting at the table for a while.
I once heard that by ingesting raw ginger root one could self remedy problems in the joints, as well as awaken the tastebuds! If raw ginger is too powerful (I've once sneezed because off it's taste!) it can also be steeped in hot water for a few minutes.
And to add to that, check out all the other super-food ingredients packed into this one recipe! Garlic... Coconut... Nutmeg... "An apple a day keeps the doctor away..." And even cilantro, the best cleanser around!
And I don't mean household cleaner, I mean, this superfood is loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, iron, beta-carotene and vitamin C and has the ability to remove heavy metals from our systems.
Call that spring cleaning!
Especially beneficial for people suffering with depression, Alzheimer's, or other neurological disorders, cilantro can oppose the effects of these conditions which worsen the levels of toxicity in the body.
So with that, I hope everyone will Curry Home for Dinner tonight!
For a delicious weekday meal, or a scrumptuous Friday night feast, this recipe can be adapted for the spice-happy or the mild-lovers by adjusting the amount of chilli added. To accompany, cook some jasmine rice or a favourite quinoa recipe, which both will soak up the curry and leave your plate clean (which I doubt anyone will need help with at this dinner!)
Serves 3 - 4
3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbsp grape seed oil
1 white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp chilli (add more for an increased spiciness)
1/2 tsp both nutmeg and turmeric
3/4 can light coconut milk
1/4 c mango chutney
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 Golden Delicious or Gala apple, cored, peeled and cubed (make sure the pieces are not too small, otherwise they will become too mushy and fall apart in the curry.)
2 tbsp cilantro, minced (I added more, since I am a huge fan of the fresh flavour cilantro adds, it was more like 3 - 4 tbsp)
Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken until cooked through and browned slightly.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Lower the heat to medium, and in the same skillet cook the onion, red bell pepper, and minced garlic until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the grated ginger, chilli, turmeric and nutmeg. Stir, and cook for another minute.
Pour in the coconut milk, and add the mango chutney, lemon zest, salt.
Stir in the apple and chicken and then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Removing the lid, toss in the cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes before serving over a bed of wild rice.
Labels: apple, chicken, cilantro, coconut, curry, dinner, ginger, hot, Indian, main, red pepper, spice