Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Coronation Chicken"

This isn't really a coronation chicken recipe, but near enough as damnit, and I felt like it had been long enough between posts that I needed to post something. So, in honour of the recent royal hype, I present my (made it up 5 minutes ago) 'coronation chicken' recipe.

1 large breaded & cooked chicken breast
1 tbsp Madras curry powder
1 1/2 tbsp mango chutney
2+ tbsp thick yoghurt
1+ tbsp mayonnaise

Combine curry powder and chutney. Slice chicken breast to manageable bite-sized pieces (dice, if desired). Combine with curry/chutney mix
Add yoghurt and mayonnaise and combine. adjust for desired creaminess.

This chicken salad may be used as a sandwich filling or as a main dish, depending on quantity and desire. If used as a main dish, a whole chicken or chicken parts should be poached with the spices first, and the dish should be served warm. Dried fruits such as sultanas or apricots, and vegetables such as celery may be added.

This is an old-school recipe that could come out if your grandmother is coming to tea (use boring curry powder instead of the Madras stuff). Alternatively, you might punch up the spice and it can impress more jaded palates. I based my recipe on what I had available - if I had my druthers I wouldn't have bothered breading the chicken, would just have poached it, ideally with some spices.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

C'est Quétaine!

It seems that I am a terrible blogger, and only able to put one post up every few months. I'll never get any more readers that way. Ah well.

Anyway, this is a post about the distinctly Québequois word "quétaine" (also spelt "kétaine"). It's an odd sort of word, one that is not immediately translatable into English. It shares a lot of parallels with the BrE "twee", tho it doesn't quite mean the same thing.

"Quétaine" was apparently first attested in the hamlet of Saint-Hyacinthe in the forties. It was used to describe the jarring mishmash of clothing that was worn by the poor who dressed themselves out of the church poor-boxes. This post attributes it to the poor people who were "quêtant" from house to house (cognate for English "questing") i.e. begging. A (to me) slightly more dubious etymology is cited on the French Wikipedia page; that it referred to the surname of a local family - the Keatons or "Quétonnes".

At any rate, the meaning of the word has shifted over the years. It now means something like kitchy or tacky, cheesy, or countrified, or "chavvy", or even "twee". And is used throughout Québec, not only in St-Hyacinthe.

I do find it interesting that a word like "quétaine", which originally referred to the dress of beggars, has managed to intersect with a word like "twee", which also holds connotations of "overly prim and proper". But both could readily be used to describe the verses in some hallmark cards.

I should note that the research for this post was nothing but the most rudimentary Google search, so I've probably missed something important.

Image credit to Benoit.Paillé

Monday, January 31, 2011

so I said I'd try to start posting regularly again, guess that was a lie. Anyway, SOUP!

We have some lovely ginger root at work right now so I was inspired to do a carrot and ginger soup. The colour could have been a bit better as I have difficulty cooking onions to anything less than caramelised but the flavour was phenomenal. If you’re on a soup kick I highly recommend it. Easy to make with local ingredients at this time of year too, which is a plus for me. The version I made was:
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4″ piece of good ginger, peeled and chopped (peel it with a spoon, it’s easier)
1 1/2L good stock (I used home made chicken)
600g carrots, cut into coins
some olive oil
(my version) dry roasted and ground whole cumin, coriander, cardamom and chilli flakes, grated fresh turmeric
(otherwise) 1 tsp good curry powder
salt & pepper to taste
cook onions slowly in oil til soft (or caramelised, if you’re me)
add garlic and ginger & other spices, cook for 5 mins or so
add carrots, mix around til coated, cook for a few minutes
add stock, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until carrots are soft
use immersion blender to whiz to puree or puree in stand blender
(return to heat if applicable), adjust seasoning to taste.
simmer very gently for another couple of minutes to incorporate seasoning
cream/soured cream and garnish of parsley or coriander leaves may be added at serving if desired.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hi, I'm actually posting again

Well, the wedding is over, so I have a few brain cells back to share with the internet.

We went to a peculiar picnic this evening and I brought pizza. it was a multi stage process. I had made the dough ages ago (maybe 2 weeks even? A week and a half?) and it just didn’t seem to work. It didn’t seem to rise at all, and I could see bits of yeast still in the dough. My husband convinced me not to throw it out, so we wrapped it up and stuck it in the fridge. Tonight I had a last minute potluck to cook for, and I was strapped for time, so I decided to give this a go.

I hauled the dough out of the fridge, stuck it in a bowl with some extra oil, turned the oven on full blast, and stuck the bowl on top of the stove to warm up. I also, in a fit of madness, decided I’d try using the Serious Eats broiler method – yeah, great, try cooking something a way I’ve never done it before, for a party, with time constraints. Brilliant move! Anyway, the dough survived its sojourn in fridge-land well, and stretched and shaped beautifully.

I couldn’t find cornmeal, and I didn’t have parchment paper, so I decided cardboard and a whole bunch of flour would have to do. Of course, attempting to slide the pizzas (I ended up doing four rather amorphously-shaped small pizzas) onto the pans was no easy task, I ended up turning the air blue with creative uses of the word 'fuck' and needing to call my husband over to help me, so cornmeal and parchment paper are definitely on the shopping list now!

The broiler method was a dismal failure, sadly, as the pan was a bit too large for my broiler and my broiler is apparently unlike any other broiler I’ve owned and turns off when the door is open. Damn. On to plan B – stuck them in the oven at the highest setting for a few minutes.

The eventual pizzas were a tiny bit undercooked, but delicious nonetheless. My dinner companions were very complimentary. I made super basic ‘margherita’ pizzas – sauce from the tomatoes I jarred a couple of weeks ago (I just warmed it up with a bit of fresh basil, salt, and pepper), rounds of mozzarella, a bit of oil drizzled on top and fresh basil torn on top when they came out of the oven.

Anyway, sorry this is a bit boring and has no photos - my camera is currently being held hostage. Will try to get back to real posting soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I was going to write a post, but realised I didn't really have anything coherent to say, so here are some bullet points.

- I am currently mired in a combo of planning my wedding (boring!) and looking for work (even more boring!), hence my general brain-deadedness. On a side note, discovered that I don't know how to spell 'nuptials'. Wish I'd found that out before it was too late! Unbelievably, I have actually worked as a proofreader in the past.

- Registered us today for M60, the Montreal 60 second film festival. Discovered that the deadline is 2 days after the Wdg. Arg. Oh well, it'll be a fun side project to go along with all the other fun side-projects I'm working on this month.

- I am apparently very skilled at killing yeast, an organism which is generally quite difficult to kill.

- Fed up yet? You can go read our comics. So far I have contributed only ideas and not drawings, but there will be some that I drew up soon. You can point and laugh at the ineptitude.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Grotty to the max, dude!

I just discovered (whilst trying to figure out how to spell 'mould') that grotty and grody are considered to be variant spellings of the same word! I would personally disagree. I can see how they could have begun as such, I feel that by now the connotations of each have diverged sufficiently to make them two separate words. In other news, my (mediocre) ability to spell seems to have left me this evening, I keep on having to go back to correct silly typos. Thank goodness I live in the era that developed the backspace key.

I leave you with a picture of a Grody catfish, which I stole from Shannon's blog (hi Shannon!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Duty calls, I don't answer

I just had one of these moments:

And then I took a deep breath, sat back, and closed the tab. Just because I am being exposed to vitriol on this peculiar, ephemeral yet permanent medium of the internet it does not necessarily follow that I must engage in said vitriol. It just makes me cross, and achieves nothing. Don't feed the trolls.