Sunday, March 21, 2010

Risky Business

The firefighter's motto is, "Risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little, and risk nothing to save nothing."

(That axiom has almost nothing to do with anything I'm going to say, but it sounds like a good way to start a blog post.)

Posting my own recipes makes me a tad nervous. There is always the possibility that a real chef (like Graham from Atikokan) will show up and expose me as a charlatan. You see, I'm not a real chef. In fact, I wonder sometimes if I'm a real anything. You can read about this identity crisis in one of my earlier posts.

In spite of my trepidation, it's worth the chance just to get my ideas out there. You never know, maybe Betty Crocker will read my blog someday and immortalize me in her next cookbook (is Betty Crocker even a real person?). Anyway, the recipe.

Not So Quick, But Still Easy Chicken and Soba (hey, I have to name it something)

  1. flip through the 'What's Cooking' magazine to find something easy to make for supper
  2. Find a dish that boasts being 'delicious' and 'fabulous' and (the clincher) 'super easy'
  3. Realize that you don't have any chicken broth, asparagus, brick cream cheese, or linguine, which are about 99% of the ingredients
  4. Decide that a three hour round-trip to Thunder Bay (the nearest supermarket) would eliminate the all-important 'super easy' part
  5. Decide to innovate instead (you can skip these first five steps if you are an organized person and have all the right ingredients)
  6. Thaw some frozen chicken thighs (I used seven)
  7. Roll them in a coating of flour, mixed with onion powder, garlic powder, basil, and enough curry powder to make the flour pale yellow
  8. Fry them in oil at moderate heat until they are brown on all sides (you may have to turn the heat down and cover them partway through to make sure they are fully cooked)
  9. Put the thighs on a cookie sheet and into a warm oven (about 250) because the rest of the dish isn't ready, you don't want them to get cold, and you're paranoid about raw chicken
  10. Pour most of the oil out of the skillet
  11. Add about a cup and a half of milk to the skillet and whisk in about a tablespoon of the leftover coating while the milk is still cold
  12. Add some more spices to taste. I like a light curry flavour for this dish.
  13. Slowly heat the milk until it boils and starts to thicken
  14. Add some broccoli and mushrooms
  15. Add a couple tablespoons of soft cream cheese that you found in the back of the fridge
  16. Hope your spouse didn't have special plans for that cream cheese
  17. (note: you can omit step 14 if you don't have a spouse, or if your spouse never has plans for things hidden in the back of the fridge)
  18. Stir in the cream cheese until it is all melted. If the sauce isn't thick enough, add more cream cheese
  19. Don't listen to those stuck-in-a-box folks that say curry and cream cheese don't go together
  20. Whisk the sauce, and turn the heat to very low
  21. About ten steps ago you should have started cooking some noodles. I used soba (because I like soba and didn't have three hours to go buy linguine)
  22. Place the cooked noodles (enough for four people) on a nice, white porcelain platter
  23. Place the chicken thighs around the outside edge of the platter (symbolizing places like Baker Lake and Upsala that are on the peripheral edge of the universe)
  24. Really, really wish you had some asparagus
  25. Slice some red peppers into strips and arrange them nicely around the edge, in between the chicken
  26. Pour the broccoli and mushroom sauce over the soba (it's okay if you get a little on the chicken)
  27. Serve it to your now-ravenously hungry family (who won't care that you aren't a real chef as long as the chicken isn't raw inside)

For the record, it took about an hour to make. Graham could probably do it in 30 minutes.

You can find the real, honest-to-goodness recipe (probably invented by an honest-to-goodness chef) at Kraft Canada website. No, it doesn't look anything like my concoction. I told you I lacked 99% of the ingredients.

Speaking of risk takers, Obama and Harper are both gamblers, and I have a CBC article to prove it.

Speaking of Obama, I won't comment on his newly passed health care bill. Knowing the passionately diverse American opinions on the subject, I think the risk would outweigh the benefit. If you want to read my earlier opinions about the subject, click here and here, or type 'health care' into the search box (if you really want to know what I think). Whatever your view on the subject, I hope you can forgive me for mine.

How do you like that. I got side tracked by recipes and health care instead of educating the universe about Upsala. There's always next time.

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