Where Can I Buy a Gun - A Really Big One?

Tuesday 1/2/2005

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Diary and Notes

Maybe I shouldn't have started reading the food section in today's papers:

I've added another name to my list. Of course at the top there's everyone's favourite sheep farmer's daughter, Jill Duplex and second, old mincer himself, Nigel Slater (see below) but I've decided that third on the list must be that pretentious old windbag, Giles Coren. What is it about restaurant reviewers that force them to use words like cavil (which I had to look up to find the meaning of) and splatter their columns with adjectives that nobody in real life ever uses (e.g. copious, unctuous and noisome). Is it necessary to eat a dictionary before every meal? I have to confess I've disliked Giles Coren for some time, and it's probably because both he and Jill write for the Times that I stopped reading it some years ago. (Plus it's a load of pretentious, reactionary toss, pandering to the bigotries and fears of people living in small villages in Surrey.)

Maybe I should stop reading and get cooking, that'll relax me.

Today's dinner was bloomin' marvellous. Satay is one of the tastiest things in the world and everyone should eat it on a regular basis. I've never been to Indonesia, but this is the second Indonesian thing on my blog and they've both provided me with a luscious, ambrosial banquet, which would sate even the most edacious gourmand. (See, I can do it too!) It was lucky that I already had all the necessary ingredients (the peanut butter left over the my Elvis day and everything else I always have in my cupboard). A fine dinner Jonny boy, a fine dinner indeed.

On Nigel Slater: In Waitrose Food Illustrated the following is quoted, "An honest love of fuss-free food is what makes Nigel Slater a true man of the people, says Tamasin Day-Lewis." Do you think anyone called Tamasin Day-Lewis, writing for Waitrose Food Illustrated, has ever seen a man of the people?

And just because I'm putting in lots of links today, check out this advert for McDonalds How to mince a hamburger


Before anyone writes me an email about 'why are you buying chicken breasts when you always say they're a waste of money?' I bought a chicken today, an absolute whopper (over 2 kilos). I cut off the breasts, one of which was my satay (probably big enough for two, but I'm greedy) the other I froze. I also chopped off the legs, jointed these and froze them. The rest I boiled for stock and removed the cooked meat for soup or nasi goreng or whatever else I decide to do with it. I also bought a big pork leg joint. This I cut into slices (steaks) and chunks (diced pork) and froze in small bags. The skin and fat I put in the stock. I now have a freezer full of chicken and pork, some excellent chicken/pork stock and some cooked meat. The pork is not fatty nor the horrid offcuts (like when you but diced pork from a supermarket or a butchers) and I've enough meat for about 10 days for much less than a quid a day (and that's a lot of meat per day, I can assure you). Am I tight? Should I change my name to Gnat Chuff MacBorresen? Or is it just good planning? Either way, I'll be eating well for a while to come.

Cake Blog

MacVities Ginger Cake. I quite like these but they're pretty heavy. It was 9.00pm and I realised I hadn't had any cake so I went out to an all night shop. Don't you admire the dedication? Also, this also gives me a chance to make '6 man pudding' tomorrow.


  • Chicken Satay
  • Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Steamed Rice


  • Chicken: Chicken breast, peanut oil, peanut butter (crunchy is best), chilli sauce, soy sauce, garlic (minced), ginger (minced), lemon juice (should have been lime), maple syrup (honey is normal but I didn't have any), ground cumin, ground coriander,
  • Satay Sauce: Peanut butter, coconut milk, chilli sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, fresh coriander.
  • Stir Fry: Onions, carrots, red pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, celery, peanut oil, ginger, green chilli, soy sauce, white pepper.


  • First make a thick marinade from the ingredients from the chicken list (except the chicken). Save enough for the dipping sauce though (see below). Cut the chicken breast into strips and marinade for a few hours.
  • Satay: Don't shake off the marinade, leave as much as you can on the chicken. Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill under a high heat until the marinade starts to crisp. Make sure they're good and cooked all over.
  • Dipping Sauce: For extra peanut-spiciness, mix some peanut butter, coconut milk, lemon juice, soy sauce, chilli sauce and fresh coriander to a thick paste. Serve with the satay.
  • Stir Fry: Chop everything first, before you start cooking! Cut the onion into chunks, the slice the carrot 'on the dutch' (a film-makers' expression meaning at an angle, also called batman style - kerplow!), slice the mushrooms and cut the peppers into strips. Thinly slice the ginger and chillis. heat the peanut oil until it's really hot and throw in the chilli, ginger, onion, celery and carrot first. Stir fry for about two minutes minute, add the peppers, broccoli florets and mushrooms and fry for a minute longer. Add a dash of soy sauce and some white pepper while things are cooking.

    Another Note

    A lot of people I know can't stir fry. They read that you need to get the pan really hot and end up with everything burnt. When you're stir frying have a cup with some water (or a little dilute chicken stock is even better) nearby. Add the ingredients and keep them moving. Every now and again, when things look like they're about to burn, pour in a dash of water or stock, this will explode with steam and it's the super heated steam that makes sure everything cooks evenly and doesn't burn.