“Stir-fried Chicken with Cashews and Broccoli” from “Eat”

Kirstin: The original recipe for this had 3 teaspoons of Chinese five spice for two.

Tom: Well you’ve got it just right here. And I love the nuts!


Kirstin: This has less than 3 teaspoons of Chinese five spice. For six. I think Chinese five spice can be totally overpowering and ruin a dish. If I had put in the amount he suggested, it would have been unpalatable.

Tom: Do you think we’ll be making this again?

Kirstin: No. It’s not that special.

“Stir-fried Chicken with Cashews and Broccoli” from “Eat”

“Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry” and “White Chocolate Almond Cake” from “Forever Summer”

Anna: I chose this menu for you Natalie.  It’s your birthday week, and everyone deserves a nice curry on their birthday.  Will you be blogging tonight in the manner of Gregg Wallace?

Nats: If I was critiquing in the Gregg Wallace-manner, I’d call it a ‘tender, buttery, smack-in-the-chops of flavour’.

Anna: Can you translate for us?

Nats: That was me trying to be Southern! I was particularly impressed with how well the rice was cooked, and that wasn’t even in the recipe.

Anna: Thank you.

Nats: I think the curry was milder than I’d expect from you.  But absolutely delish.

Peter: It had an interesting texture due to the addition of nuts.

Nats: Did you feel they contrasted particularly well with the beans, which were a bridge between the chicken and the nuts?

Peter: I’m with you.  I can see where you’re going with that one.  Good point.  Well observed.

Nats: I’d always associate Anna with cooking something that punches you round the mouth.

Peter: No, it wasn’t a chicken Nazi.

Anna: You make me sick.  The pair of you.

Nats: Now the cake was absolutely lush.

Anna: I have to admit that I had to improvise a bit with the ground almonds, discovering as I did at the eleventh hour that I had none.  So I whizzed up some blanched almonds in the food processor instead. This means it probably has a crunchier texture than it’s meant to.

Nats: I would say that’s a good thing.  Because it was quite a simple cake. I’m saying that, but how many cakes do I make?

Anna: Do you mean rustic?

Nats: I don’t know… do I?  Maybe because it was flourless, it needed a bit of texture.  It was very moist.

Anna: I don’t like the word moist.  You know that.

Nats: It’s so descriptive though.  It means exactly what it says on the cake tin.  Anything with almonds is a winner with me.  I particularly liked the addition of the fruit.  Even though I don’t normally like mango.  I’m with Kirstin on that.

Anna: Did you get the white chocolate?

Nats: No.  I couldn’t taste it specifically.  No.  NO.

Anna; I did.  But I knew what I was tasting as I licked the spatula when I was cooking it.

“Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry” and “White Chocolate Almond Cake” from “Forever Summer”