Jerk Chicken and What Kind of World

Tragedy brings out the best and the worst of us.  And it was true to form this past weekend.  After the attacks in Paris I, like millions of others, added the French flag to our profile pic on Facebook.  But I also quickly, like many, realised the hypocrisy of not speaking out against the terror in Beirut and many other countries.

And that’s when it started getting ugly.  When you combine fear with bigotry some seriously hateful things start getting posted.  It saddens me no end we have a serious humanitarian situation and we have people running for president saying we should only accept Christians.  Never mind that this isn’t a Christian nation as laid out in the Treaty of Tripoli which said this was a secular nation.  And it was ratified by 100% of the senate of the time.  That concept is being lost to the mists of time.  The West has a lot of responsibility of the vacuum that keeps being created in the Middle East but yet a lot would wash their hands of the crisis.  A situation where you have children so scared they put their hands up in fear because they think the journalist cameras are guns.

I am well aware there aren’t any easy solutions laying about.  But I do wish the powers that be would start thinking of the ramifications before they keep repeating history.  I mean how many times do we put people in power to only have to forcibly remove them.  Or how many times do we change the governments or boundaries without fully understanding the region.

Because not only do I want peace and not have people living in fear, I would love to be able to not have to figure out how to explain to my kids how much humanity is still getting it wrong.

While all this was going on we were preparing for my husband’s birthday party.  The theme?  A pirate murder mystery night.  There was a lot of planning for this as I had to assign characters for our guests and get the packets ready for each person so they knew what their objectives were for the murder and investigation.

One of our friends had great fun with doing themed food of cannon balls, shark teeth, etc.  She also did a great Minecraft themed party for her son a few weeks ago.  This is definitely up her alley.

One of the dishes I made was jerk chicken.  A great time to try using our dried habaneros.  I also used some dried cayenne.  Sinuses would be cleared for miles around.

Jerk chicken 1 2015

The recipe I used as a guide was from food.com and I followed it for the most part.  I didn’t have bay leaves but I’m not a fan of that ingredient.  I didn’t have any dried thyme either.  But I have to say the ingredients weren’t missed.

In a spice grinder, finely grind 3 habaneros and 2 cayenne peppers that have been dried.  Add that to a medium sized bowl.  Then grind rosemary and allspice so you have about a tablespoon of each.  Again add that to the bowl.  Add a tablespoon of ground ginger and a tablespoon and a half of sea salt.  Next you will need 1 1/2 teaspoons each of onion powder, black pepper, and ground cinnamon.  Add 3/4 teaspoon of each of ground nutmeg and paprika.  Finish with 1/3 cup sugar, a juice of a lime, and 1/3 cup of olive oil.

Jerk chicken 2 2015

Mix well and add about a pound and a half of chicken that you have cubed.  Make sure the chicken is well coated.  Then remember not to touch your eyes.  Ahem.  Even after washing your hands.

Jerk chicken 3 2015

Let this marinate for a couple of hours.  I chose to grill this on the stove top.  But given the potency of the hot peppers I should have done this outside.  It was like I pepper sprayed the kitchen!  What a way to welcome guests.

Jerk chicken 4 2015

I did want to do a mango dipping sauce but the mango I bought refused to ripen so it was just the chicken.

Jerk chicken 5 2015

This was a hit.  Fortunately our friends could handle the heat.  Because, while the flavours were balanced, this is not for the weak of heart.

 

Advertisements

Time to Banish the Cold with Spicy Thai Curry

We’ve been experiencing what would be in normal times unbelievable frigid temps.  But it is positively balmy compared to the Midwest.  It’s mind blowing the temps they are experiencing.  Walking our dogs in all our winter gear trying to stay warm and watching the dogs get what we call flat tyres with their paws lifted off the ground left me wondering what we would do if that type of cold made it to us. You can’t not walk the dogs.  I’m thinking we should be looking into getting coats for them but what are the chances?  I would have thought zero until this past week and the polar vortex.

I was actually wondering last night what we had for old winter coats that could be used in case the cold hits us.  I think the dogs would fight us on that one!  I can just imagine trying to zip them up.

Because it’s cold and I still have that cold going round I thought I would make a spicy dish for my husband.  A knock your socks off, make Texas stand up and take notice, evict the cold dish.  That was the plan.  I thought it was spicy while my husband thought it had a lovely mild heat.  I put a habanero and two serranos in the dish!

Before I begin the recipe please excuse the photos.  Something is going on with my camera and I have to figure it out.  Suddenly in the kitchen the camera has slowed down on the shutter speed.  When I do it manually the pictures come out dark as can be.  Plus it keeps thinking there is a memory card error or it thinks the card is full.  It works fine in natural light as I tested it this morning.  The lights in the kitchen overhead are now all fluorescent instead of a mix, could that be an issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Back to the food!

In a skillet brown some chicken and when they are nearly cooked add sweet pepper and garlic.  To that add about a cup of plain tomato sauce and grated ginger (about an inch square though you can add more).

Spicy Thai Chicken curry 1 2014

Simmer for a couple of minutes then add about 7 or 8 oz of coconut milk, a bit of lime juice, cilantro, and a couple of spoonfuls of red thai curry paste.

Spicy thai chicken curry 2 2014

While this is simmering I diced up a habanero pepper and two serranos.  I use gloves to do this as the pepper oil sticks on me for days and it burns.  Add the peppers to the dish a long with a good handful of chopped scallions.

Spicy thai chicken curry 3 2014 Spicy thai chicken curry 4 2014

I let the mixture reduce a bit to concentrate the flavours.  I did add more of the curry paste to kick it up a bit.  Serve over rice of your choice.

Spicy thai chicken curry 5 2014

This would have knocked the kids back.  I felt the heat.  And my husband enjoyed it.  🙂  The beauty of this dish is you can make it as hot as you would like.  I wonder how many peppers I would have to add for my husband to go Whoa!