Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Never Trust A Skinny Chef

San Geraldo is getting back into fighting trim. I really admire his determination and commitment. He joined a local group and has been doing phenomenally well, and we've been eating even better (and more) than before. I've spent a good part of my life looking undernourished no matter how much I eat. So, to avoid looking undernourished again, in addition to eating healthy with San Geraldo, I supplement with goodies (chocolate-dipped rice crackers, protein bars, cheese and crackers, Bailey's Irish Cream). One of these days I'm going to sneak out for some churros and chocolate. Just don't tell San Geraldo. (But, really, he doesn't mind at all... or so he tells me.)


In addition to a great eating plan, the group San Geraldo joined shares recipes, which means he's been inspired to be even more creative in the kitchen. We eat at home often now and he orders differently when we're out. Last night's dinner at home of chicken (sorry my vegetarian friends) in a spiced mushroom sauce, and vegetables on the side, was unbelievable. The group leader is Scottish. (She speaks slowly for San Geraldo or a Londoner translates for him.) Since the recipes aren't described in American terms, they're sometimes as confusing for San Geraldo as Spanish recipes, but he manages... and manages well. I've included the spiced mushroom sauce recipe below. (But, understand, I simply copied it; I have no idea what it means.)

CHICKEN COVERED IN SPICED MUSHROOM SAUCE.
(YOU MIGHT RECOGNIZE THE OTHER STUFF ON THE PLATE)

Spiced Mushroom Sauce

• Fry Light cooking spray
• 1 finely chopped onion
• 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 tsp each minced garlic and ginger
• 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1/2 tsp mixed peppercorns, coarsely ground
• 1/4 tsp turmeric
• 200g close cup mushrooms, sliced
• 145 ml chicken stock (Bovril)
• 4 tbsp quark cheese*
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Small handful of freshly chopped coriander to garnish

1. Spray a pan with Fry Light and fry the onion, chili, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, peppercorns, ground coriander, and turmeric for 5 minutes. (Add a little water if sticking.)
2. Stir in the mushrooms, stock, and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until thickish consistency.
3. Take the pot off the boil and stir in the quark cheese. Season to taste and scatter with chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

*Very low-fat fromage frais can be used instead of quark cheese.

Not to be outdone, I 've been refining my culinary skills. I've recently been spotted pouring my hot coffee over ice at Cafe Manila ... without assistance. And I made my own gourmet "Papaya Breakfast Bowl" the other morning. Half a papaya, Greek yogurt, and corn flakes (I was out of muesli).

Well, San Geraldo cut the papaya and scooped out the seeds. But I spooned in the yogurt and corn flakes all by myself. Brilliant.

SO BEAUTIFUL IT WAS A SHAME TO EAT.

34 comments:

  1. Never trust a fat physiotherapist
    .......a blind pilot
    .......a child hating teacher
    .......a flatulent vicar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John:
      I had no idea flatulent vicars were not to be trusted.

      Delete
  2. I was doing really good at the recipe until the "quark" cheese showed up!

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    1. Bob:
      I had never heard of it. I looked in the fridge and the container is actually labeled "quark cheese." But I just googled it and it looks like, in the United States, farmer's cheese is very similar if not the same. That being said, Vermont Creamery sells quark: http://www.vermontcreamery.com/quark-1

      Delete
  3. That mushroom chicken dish looks great. congratulations to San Geraldo was his new emphasis on health.

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    1. Stephen:
      The chicken was unbelievably delicious. Tonight, he made the best eggplant either of us can remember having. I'm enjoying his diet!

      Delete
  4. Good for San Geraldo! It can only be a positive move on his part. He will reap the benefits.
    And it looks like you will too Mitch! lol

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Great eating and San Geraldo will soon be blown over in the wind.

      Delete
  5. "I've spent a good part of my life looking undernourished no matter how much I eat."
    This is NOT fair, I hate you for it. I am struggling to keep carbohydrates out of my mouth and to cut down on fat. I lost 25 pounds, but no one has noticed. Life is not fair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank:
      Wallis Simpson (and I have no respect for Wallis Simpson) said "You can never be too rich or too thin." I don't know about rich but I can tell you, it was no fun being a skinny kid (at 12, I was 5'2 and weighed 72 pounds; at 17, 6'1" and 125 pounds). I'm grateful for my make-up now and know how much easier it is for me. But don't hate me because I'm skinny... (or something like that). Congratulations on those 25 pounds. I like to think of weight loss in terms of potatoes. Just imagine. 25 pounds is a hell of a lot of potatoes!

      Delete
  6. Quark is a type of fresh dairy product. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained ~~ yum ?

    I'll take the recipe sans Quark no problem.

    Papaya a la Corn Flakes ~~ how inventive!!

    Ron

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    Replies
    1. Ron:
      Or Quark is a dairy product in a plastic container; much more appetizing.

      That's Corn Flakes A La Papaya!

      Delete
  7. Sounds like a good creme fraiche, plain yoghurt, or even good ole sour cream might make a somewhat adequate replacement. Good for both of you eating healthier!

    Returning your cyber hug with gratitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacquelineand....
      So glad you were able to take a break for a visit. I'm honored.

      Someone who cooks would know (without Google) what to replace quark with. I'd up just leaving it out.

      Delete
  8. whenever I try to eat better, it always seems to have bland tasteless food and quickly this is disgarded.

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      Oh, there are so many "better" things to eat that are full of flavor. Don't give up.

      Delete
  9. You go through all that trouble just for a little bit of SAUCE? It's no good, I'll just never get the attractions of culinary effort. Apart from fresh veg & fruit, if it doesn't come out of a tin, jar or packet then it just doesn't make it to my stomach!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      I can't believe all the work San Geraldo puts into these meals for just the two of us. If I had to prepare it, it would never happen. As you know, fresh veg & fruit is "cooking" in my book.

      Delete
  10. Leave out the hen and the hen-juice (the stock) and that recipe sounds almost good enough to eat, although I can't even begin to imagine it being relayed or demonstrated in Spain-ish with a Scots-ish accent!

    Why people worry about this business of eating healthily I do not know - why not simply buy heavier cutlery and benefit from the exercise?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian:
      And even my simple cooking mind could see replacing vegetable stock for the chicken stock. But, I thought of you last night: San Geraldo made "Poor Man's Steak" — the most delicious egg plant dish either of us can remember having and totally vegan.

      Do you suppose there's a market for "The Heavy Cutlery Diet" cookbook?

      Delete
  11. Excellent! Congratulations to San Geraldo on his healthy eating and healthy food creating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judeet:
      Thanks! He's making me really happy (and not just because he continues to feed me so well).

      Delete
  12. San Geraldo is a good man -- and you are apparently both good AND lucky. :-)

    Should not have come here before breakfast, though... Now I am hungry!

    Pearl

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    Replies
    1. Pearl:
      San Geraldo is a very good man, but his sister says I'm the saint.

      Delete
  13. Mitch, would you mind terribly if I came over there and married S.G.? You wouldn't be averse to a little polyandry, would you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      Is polyandry as good as spiced mushroom sauce?

      Delete
  14. That looks delicious and I'd love to try the recipe.

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    1. Kristi:
      1) Cut a papaya in half. 2) Scoop out the seeds. 3) Spoon in a container of yogurt. 4) Add corn flakes or other cereal.

      ... Oh, you probably meant the OTHER recipe.

      Delete
  15. Polyandry better than spiced mushroom sauce? Probably not. But, like the sauce, one never knows until one tries.

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  16. Which? Polyandry or the sauce? One of those I'm not likely to try because it means taking more trouble and effort than it's worth. Same goes for the sauce. :-)

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  17. Haha, papaya breakfast bowl is now my new favourite thing! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeff:
      Need gourmet inspiration? You know where to find me (and I know where to find San Geraldo).

      Delete

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