Jul. 3rd, 2012

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So... I planted cilantro in my garden. It grew into flowers, so I pulled off all the leaves and chopped them up and put them in a green curry sauce. Today I pulled off the berries that had baked into brown little balls in the summer heat, and then, not sure if I was supposed to wait until they dried on the stem or what, I picked about the same amount of green plump ones as well. Then, as instructed by google, I toasted them in the sauté pan and crushed them with a mortar and pestle. I was considering putting them in the coffee grinder, because oh well if my coffee tastes like coriander for a little while, but I didn't want my coriander tasting like coffee and I didn't have enough to spare whatever small amount was going to get stuck in the machine. And yes I DO have a mortar and pestle, not because I am that old-school of a chef or because I brew potions in a cauldron (also my wand does not have the ability to cast spells even thought it SAID Ollivander's on the box...) but because my boyfriend is a bartender and makes drinks for us at home that require muddling or spices and fruit and such. So technically it's HIS muddler, but if he can use all my hair stuff like it's his then I can use his bar stuff like it's mine. And into a big bowl the crushed toasted coriander went.

I also added the last of the dill-like cilantro leaves that were still green from the tops of my plant, and then the juice and zest of three lemons. Then I chopped three garlic cloves and added that. Then I squeezed a good amount of honey into the lemon juice and stirred that around, and then I chopped up a red chile pepper and added that as well, no seeds cause the texture is weird, but I added red pepper flakes for extra spice. Then I chopped up thin sliced chicken breast and stirred that around in the lemon and honey and spices, and covered it and stuck it in the fridge. I plan to spread this out on a baking sheet (because for some reason, when you cook chicken pieces and they touch each other, all the juice runs out of them, but if they're not touching, the juice stays in the meat. I have no idea what causes this, but it is def true) and bake them and serve them with wild rice cooked in coconut water and a green vegetable I don't have yet, like spinach or green beans. We shall see. I'll put pics of the results in my next post (and maybe some garden pics too!)

Note on marinades: marinating chicken for more than 2-3 hours makes no difference. Freezing chicken in a marinade makes a HUGE difference and for some reason seals in the juices. Marinating steak or fish for 24+ hours is good. Adding vinegar to a steak marinade makes it tastier. Adding it to fish or chicken marinade makes it taste like vinegar. Marinating fresh fish will extend its fridge life by a day or two, so for ex. buying flash-frozen fish fillets and sticking them, frozen, into the fridge in a marinade is a good idea if you know you aren't going to cook it the very next day. I have no knowledge about marinating vegetables. It's prob delicious.

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Lara I.

October 2012

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