Sunday, June 14, 2009


Xanthe Clay has brought out a wonderful book for the busy cook. The title says it all - 10 Minutes to Table.

Speedy recipes are all well and good, provided they pack a punch on taste. This recipe had plenty of punch but I think the 10 minutes to table was pushing it somewhat. The cookery book market has been saturated with speedy, quick, in minutes, so on and so on.......

This recipe came from a taster of the book, in Sainsbury's July Magazine 2009. Crisp fish with minted mushy peas look wonderful, although if I just served this up to my husband, I think I might be in line for the sack.....Tomato, soft cheese and sesame tart looks promising as does a salad of asparagus with buffalo mozzarella, pine nuts, peas and new potatoes. All of these recipes are to serve two people.

You will need: 2 nests of medium egg or rice noodles, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 peeled cloves of garlic, a handful of blanched almonds, 1 skinless chicken (I used more), 1 head of pak choi, 4 spring onions trimmed, 1 medium red chilli (optional), toasted sesame oil.
For the sauce: 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons dry sherry or Chinese rice wine, 1 teaspoon cornflour.

1. Put the kettle on to boil. Put the noodles in a pan, pour over the boiling water, cover and keep to one side. Mix the sauce ingredients together with 4 tablespoons water.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan, add the oil and heat until almost smoking. slice the garlic, cook until golden, then scoop it out and discard.
3. Add the almonds, cook until pale gold, then remove and keep to one side. Thinly slice the chicken across the grain. Spread it out in the wok, allow to sizzle for a few seconds, then toss until lightly coloured and cooked through, then scoop it out.
4. Slice the pak choi. Slice the spring onions diagonally and the chilli, if using, into thin rings and add both to the wok, with more oil if needed. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then tip in the pak choi and stir for another minute, until just cooked.
5. Return the cooked chicken and almonds to the wok. Add the sauce and heat through, stir-frying everything together, adding a little more water if necessary.
6. Drain the noodles and toss with a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Serve with the stir-fry.

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