Chicken Cormac McCarthy

Main, Poultry

Full disclosure, Cormac is one of those celebs that I’ve always assumed has died and I’ve got the time machine half way out of the garage, before I realise that just because his beautiful prose is timeless does not mean the man is dead.

And boy doesn’t he remind me in the kindest, most elegant of ways. Every. Damn. Time. We’re. Together.

As I mentioned, Cormac and I connected in the 50s at a writing workshop and I was brought to tears by the beauty of his words. I mean, it completely took my breath away and I knew that I was just what he needed to go from unrefined talent, to the literary icon he is today.

I’m sure that Cors would have a different take on our early years together – he’d downplay his talent, or something … I’m sure he is aware the my mentorship was the key to his success – our friendship has always been consistently strong.

Despite never being asked to write a foreword or a blurb for a novel, not that I’m bitter or anything like that!

Given that Cors is getting on, I met him at the airport and drove him straight to my home for a 4PM dinner. I mean, yes, we reconnected, caught up and chin-wagged the early afternoon away but by 4 we were well and truly done, so sat down for his favourite writing food, my Chicken Cormac McCarthy, and toasted to our beautiful friendship.

 

 

Fun fact: all the pretty horses was actually named after my original version of this dish … which he didn’t realise I actually made using horsemeat. Upon discovering that horrid little secret, he implored me to change over to chicken and this smooth, spicy delight was born.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Cormac McCarthy
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g chicken breasts, diced
50g natural yoghurt
sunflower oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp grated ginger
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp plain flour
small pinch of saffron
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 cup cold water
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck the chicken in a bowl with the natural yoghurt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large pot and sweat the onions, garlic and ginger over low heat for about fifteen minutes or so, or until your kitchen is so fragrant you just can’t control yourself anymore. Add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, bay leaves and the end of the cloves – throw away the stalks, I hate them – and cook for a further five minutes.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and a good whack of salt, then slowly pour in the water while stirring. Cook for a further ten minutes before removing from the pan, removing the bay leaf and blitzing the mixture until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and add the chicken and yoghurt, and cook over low heat, stirring, for about half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the cream and cook for about ten minutes.

Season to taste and serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice … to help with the devouring.

 

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My country’s for old men

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I have oft been described as an octogenarian in a thirty year old’s body, which I admit was super offensive until my last birthday on account of me still being in my 20s.

But anyway, now that i’m actually a senior stuck in a 30 year old’s body, I’m completely embracing my daddy-dom – as the kids say – growing out my Mr Sheffield streaks and hanging out with my distinguished peers, like the divine Cormac McCarthy.

I first met Cors at a writing workshop while attending the University of Tennessee in the 50s, where we bonded over our passion for (Phil) Olivetti typewriters, as was the style of the time.

I gave him a call on the wireless the other day and thankfully his dance card was free for latter this week. What says we’re going to the jitterbug and do the Charleston like a brutal piece of western American literature?

Image source: Unknown.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Aaron Porkin Cabbage Dumplings

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted, Party Food, Snack

As a ramblin’ man, prone to long monologues at anyone that will listen with the speedy caffeinated talking style of the Gilmore Girls, you just know I am a close friend with Aaron Sorkin.

I first met Sorki in the late 90s when he hired me as to act as his sports advisor on the set of his new show Sports Night. Given our mutual love of fast-paced talking, the bond we shared was instant and we have been working together ever since with me doctoring all of his major scripts.

Well except for The Social Network as I was banned from the set due to my arrests for stalking JT and the consulting Winklevii twins.

This year’s crop of screenplay nominees are largely first time nominees, allowing us to really get into a wordy discussion on the merits of each picture without touching the elephant in the room that is his snubbing for the Steve Jobs script – he likely blames my doctoring, I blame everything but myself because well #OscarsSoStraight too.

When engaging in spirited and verbose discussion, it is important to make sure you have a meal that is both hearty and light – that is where my Aaron Porkin Cabbage Dumplings come in!

 

aaron-porkin-cabbage-dumplings-1

 

Packed full of fresh ingredients, the flavours combine to give you an all together delicious blob of meat wrapped in a light, spongy dough. So, you know, the basic, undignified definition of what a dumpling is.

Enjoy!

 

aaron-porkin-cabbage-dumplings-2

 

Aaron Porkin Cabbage Dumplings
Makes: 48.

Ingredients
4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ cup coarsely chopped wombok
500g pork mince
4 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cooking sake
48 gow gee wrappers
1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil, extra
⅔ cup water, extra

Method
Combine ginger and garlic, cabbage, pork, shallots, tamari, sugar, sesame oil, sake and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Place a wrapper on a clean work surface. Place about2 tsps of pork mixture in the centre of the wrapper, brush edges with water and fold over to enclose, pinching the edges together. Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and pork mixture.

You can try and make them look nice and crimped but I am really terrible at it.

Heat half the extra vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook half the gyoza for 2 minutes or until bases are golden. Add half the extra water. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until cooked and liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with remaining oil, gyoza and water.

Serve with sriracha, hoisin or soy sauce while walking around delivering rapid monologues with your friends.

 

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