Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Eat! Drink and be Mary?

Hullo ma wee blog,

No. Don't worry. The post name just reflects my love of puns.........

Today I'm feeling a bit frustrated and jaded at the same time.

 A letter dropped through the door from one of my insurance companies saying that they have not had any paperwork and do I still have a claim I want to make against my payment protection insurance. I had missed this company from the list of credit cards for which I had payment protection when made redundant last year but had eventually twigged that I had protection and raised a backdated claim. To do this I got the insurance company to send me a form which I completed, then sent to my old employers for them to complete and return - which they did - then I passed it to good old Job Center plus, our friendly Govt dept of unemployed persons, so they could do their bit. Once this is done, they send it off {they won't give it back to you for you to send 'recorded' delivery as they don't trust you not to tamper with the information they provide} except in this case, despite me checking with them and getting assurances it had all been dealt with - the insurance company have never received it. Now, of course, it's possible that JC+ have done their part correctly and the Royal Mail have fouled up, but my constant struggle to get claims filed suggests to me that my local office have proved their incompetence once again and not actually sent the form.


Ah...........that's better.

On top of that I feel a bit jaded today and my lovely G is going through a review at work today and has been keyed up through all day yesterday - which was May day holiday here - and will no doubt be coming home frazzled too.

So I'm going to make us a Thai Green Curry for tonight's dinner. We need something to perk us up and I'm kind of longing for something with the sour zing of lime and a kick of chili behind it, or maybe lemon and cracked black pepper depending on what looks best at the supermarket later. So I'll do my best to drive the blues away for us both tonight.

recipe Thai Green Chicken Curry

first stick a couple of beers in the cold part of the fridge. Most important. Don't proceed with the rest of the recipe if this step is missed - ok, at a push a really cold dry white wine.......

Thai Green Spice Paste

4 Green birds eye chillies - maybe try 2 without the seeds first time if you don't like it too hot
2 Stalks of lemon grass - do the usual, taking outer leaves off and slightly crush then roughly chop for the  blender to do the rest
6 lime leaves or lime zest and juice if I cant find them - lime leaves rolled then finely shredded
6 tablespoons minimum of coriander leaves
coriander stalks - as many as possible from a  bunch { rest of the leaves for garnish at serving}
3 garlic cloves
Fresh Ginger - a big fat thumbs worth peeled and chunked.

or buy a jar if short of time or are feeling lazy - but it's not the same

The rest.
2 chicken breasts cut into chunks
2 shallots or a small/med onion chopped however you feel like
2 tablespoons fresh green peppercorns
12 cherry toms
250ml coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon Nam Pla - thai fish sauce
oil for frying
optional - handful of aubergine chunks or even better - a handful of those small Asian pea aubergines if I can ever find them.

Coriander leaves - however much you have to hand, with few mint and basil leaves torn up to go on at the end.
white rice/chapatis/naan bread/green salad - whatever I fancy, it's me that's eating it after all - you make your own!

Roughly chop everything for the paste - I leave the chili seeds in because I like it fairly hot. Whizz to a paste with a little - maybe 2 tablespoons - water to keep it loose.

Fry the onion for a couple of mins to soften, add the aubergine and cook for a few mins more - no more than 5 more mins maybe. Remove from pan and keep aside till later.
In same pan fry the spice paste until the water content evaporates - you might need  a touch more oil.
Halve the toms and throw them in for a few minutes. Add the onion/aubergine back in and warm through.  Add the chicken/stock and then the coconut milk and the fish sauce. Cook at med heat until chicken is how you like it. Taste and check the seasoning - add pepper or fish sauce or lime juice to taste - even some raw sliced fresh chili if your up to it.

Throw over the rest of the leaves and serve with what you fancy


Inspiration from a Nigel Slater recipe.

I feel better just writing that and thinking it through as I go.

Hungry now - HOW long before the lovely G is home?????


lom said...

sounds delish

Alistair said...

Hullo lom,

It was. Me being me I couldn't just do the recipe - not that I really follow recipies all that closely - they're just a guide really aren't they?

I added some small new potatoes which I cut into 4 or 6 pieces depending on size and also added spring onions and some slivers of sugar snap peas just at the last minute for some crunchy texture.

I have to say I outdid myself. It was grrrreaaat!

Leftovers for lunch heated and spooned into some little gem lettuce leaves with a crusty roll was a bit of heaven too.

Scottish Nature Boy said...

Oh joy Al - that sounds delightful! I'm thinking of growing some lemon grass from the sticks sold in the supermarket for some superfresh lemon grass. Apparently it grows really easily from these.

By contrast, your insurance experience sucks! No way to find out where things have gone worng. Total disempowerment. Except... except... maybe you could request from the Government department, under Freedom Of Information legislation, copies of all the papers related to your case. I can see no reason whereby they should refuse and at least you could then determine perhaps if they did actually send the form on. Just a thought. Cheers, SNB

Alistair said...

Mmmnn........that's got me thinking.

Ta for that!

Scottish Nature Boy said...

Nae problem - I work in the public sector and, as Leonard Cohen once sang...
"They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within". Maybe time for a little more trying... good luck!

Alistair said...

Naw SNB,
I meant about growing Lemon Grass!

Just Kidding.

Remember - The Man also said,

"It's the cracks that let the light in"

lom said...

I never follow a recipe either, it's more fun to make it up as you go along

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