recipes

Trash

Good Housekeeping Magazine

There has been the odd day where I’ve felt the need to herald from a high vantage point, ”OK, stick a fork in me, I’m done!” Well done. Done washing, done grocery shopping, done bed making, done basin scrubbing, done path sweeping. On these occasions, the only way to self-tenderise, is to make like the meat does after a big roasting – and rest. And what better way to get some juice flowing back into the soul, than a bit of quiet trashy mag time.

As much as I love some thought-provoking non-fiction or a masterful piece of literary excellence, at certain times of the week, the developments of a Kardashian relationship or a royal outing are about all I have the head space to absorb. In fact, I consider time spent with a glossy and a coffee, to be time well spent. Apart from the celebrity trials and trysts, I really enjoy the convenience of leafing through the snapshots of up-and-coming fashion peeks, the latest beauty product and ways to scatter my cushions, without having to leave the kitchen. By the time I have read the entire mag (usually 30 minutes), I have been recharged with a posse of new ideas and feel abreast of emerging trends.

Personal development aside, I love the humour these magazines elicit. Articles on weight-loss programs followed by pages of pudding recipes, never fail to make me smile. The outrageous claims made by ”close sources” of the famous are also worth a chuckle. And of course there are also the latest research snippets: people who eat less and exercise more are inclined to live longer….

Of course the food coverage always takes my eye – and the growing pile of tear sheets next to my recipe books bears evidence of this. There would be very few weekly publications that I would reach the end of without at least one recipe snaring my attention. This week was no different. When I flipped the page to this Chicken, artichoke and lemon dish and saw that I had most of the ingredients on hand and they could all cook together in one dish, an instant ripping of paper broke the sunny afternoon silence.

Chicken Artichoke and Lemon

1/4 cup olive oil
8 chicken drumsticks
500g potatoes, cut into wedges (skin left on)
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 lemon, sliced into rings
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup white wine
170g jar artichokes, drained
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. In an ovenproof pan, heat half of the oil and brown off the drumsticks until golden.
  3. Add potatoes and onion with the rest of the oil and mix around. Top with lemon slices and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  5. Pour over wine, and stir in artichokes and tomatoes.
  6. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes, ensuring chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.
    (Even though this dish contains potatoes, I served it over steamed rice because the sauce is delicious when absorbed into the rice.)

Postscript: and after reading of the births, remarriages and body makeovers it’s heartening to realise your own life is not that exhausting after all.

recipes

PS

Warm potato salad

If you roamed earth at the same time as Marcia Brady, fondue and teak veneer, then you would not be blamed for recoiling in horror at the mere mention of potato salad. Often appearing as unrecognisable dice submerged in mayonnaise or impossibly white cubes hailing straight from the can, early potato salads loomed large in glass bowls on buffets and at barbeques alike. Thankfully there was always a plethora of buttered bread-stick from which to extract ones ‘carbs’ allowing the menacing PS to be skilfully avoided.

Fortunately as we grew up, so did potato salad. In latter years it has been permitted to appear at the table wearing its skin and now dressed rather than drowned in mayonnaise. It now invites its friend texture along – so the salami crisps herself up for the occasion. And to ensure the two do not become so visually entangled as to merge into one, fresh aunt parsley attends in her contrasting manner as a wonderful chaperone for the dish.

Like us, ps has improved tremendously with age, so this weekend, build a giant bowl and treat everyone to some grown-up fare.

red-skinned potatoes (eg Desiree) – enough to fill a large bowl
a 250g whole pepperoni salami
1/2 a 235g jar of Thomy mayonnaise
juice of a lemon
cracked sea salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch continental parsley, roughly chopped

  1. Put unpeeled potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until tender (but not falling apart).
  2. Drain and cut into small chunks and place in large serving bowl.
  3. Thinly slice the salami and cut these slices in half (you may only need half of the salami).
  4. Pan fry the salami until crisp. Drain on paper towel and then add to potatoes.
  5. Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt and pepper and stir this dressing through the potato and salami mix.
  6. Stir through the parsley and serve warm.

potato salad makings

Postscript: serve your ps with the grill or barbeque of your choice but if you can rid your home of occupants, it’s the perfect solo fork and bowl couch meal.