I have been trying to write this blog post, or any blog post, for a couple of days but I just seem to have a bit of writers block at the moment. It is so frustrating when I have so many things to post about. It doesn't help that I am still not feeling very well. I am so tired all the time and cannot seem to concentrate for any length of time. I hope that things pick up soon. I am really sick of not having the energy to do anything. Perhaps when it starts to cool down a bit. I am getting pretty sick of the days being over 30 C. It really seems to have affected me more this year than any other. It is hot and sticky again tonight. It looked so much like it was going to rain all day but nothing has come of it. We really do need so again very soon. I am sure that all the farmers are getting pretty desperate for some too. Unfortunately it never seems to be just right. Things were looking so good last year and then we got so much rain during harvest and which wiped out crops, not we are getting rain to keep the newly seeded crops growing. Can't seem to win.
I struggled to find something in this issue of Delicious to make. There were plenty of nice looking things, some of the "Aussie" dishes geared towards Australia Day celebrations looked nice but none really caught my fancy. I really wanted to make one of Matthew Evans' recipes. I really like him and what he is doing. The prawns with roasted cauliflower sounded really good but cauliflower isn't in season here yet. I might give it a go when they start to come in though. The picture of the Banana & Macadamia Sour Cream Pie looked so inviting but I just didn't want to make any more sweet things. Since being unwell I seem to have put back on some weight so I am trying to limit the amount of sweets I eat, especially when I don't have people around to eat them.
In the end I decided to go with the one recipe that really grabbed me, Bill Granger's Prawn, Cashew & Mint salad with Sweet Chilli Dressing. I had been trying to avoid making Bill's recipes from Delicious given that I am already making everything from Sydney Food. However, this really was the one recipe that grabbed. When I went to make it I couldn't get any decent prawns so I decided to make it with chicken instead. It was very nice. The dressing was particularly fantastic. Although I did reduce the amount a bit. I also only used about half of the noodles. I think that the whole 200 g would be way too much. I still ended up getting 2 main meals and 2 lunches out of it so no shortage. I grated the carrot instead of fiddling around with cutting into matchsticks, I think it would have been much better if I had of cut it into matchsticks. After marinading in the rice vinegar the grated carrot seemed to stick together in clumps rather than disperse through the salad well. I would also cut the cabbage a bit more finely. Some of it was find but some was a bit chunky. Overall, it was excellent and I will definitely be making this one again.
Chicken, Cashew & Mint Salad with Sweet Chilli Dressing
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 100 g dried vermicelli noodles, soaked
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 1/4 small red cabbage, shredded
- Large handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/3 c cashews, lightly toasted, chopped
- Combine sugar, vinegar & carrot and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
- Toss noodles with sesame oil.
- Drain carrot and add to noodles with the chicken meat, cabbage, mint, nuts & dressing (recipe to follow). Toss to combine, then serve.
- 2 tsp chilli paste (or 1 long red chilli finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 c caster sugar
- 1/4 c rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- Combine chilli, garlic, ginger, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Simmer until reduced by half.
- Cool then add lime juice and fish sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.