Monday, June 13, 2011

Putting the brakes on

Have aching leg today - is from pressing against floor of car while conducting teenage driving lesson. Hadn't realised how much driving is instinctive, particularly braking. Find self slamming foot to car floor whenever we approach - well anything pretty much.

Am trying hard to conceal my terror, keeping clenched fists tucked out of sight, and offering carefully worded directions, if sometimes sounding a little shrill.

My own parents went from cavalier to crazed after only two horrifying lessons (one from each parent) leaving me to mercies of driving instructor with dual control, lucky lucky man. And my ever patient brother in law, enlisted provide the "mileage". Hadn't appreciated until now, what they were going through.

My girl is doing fine but I am wreck. No going back though as have to have surgery soon and wont be able to drive myself for a while. Will need her to drive me around- God help us all.

Great result with 3 point turns the other night, but we're currently avoiding main thoroughfares due to alarming incident involving fellow food writer and ardent walker Annabelle White, a pedestrian crossing, a panic attack and van load of hot young men. Suffice to say Annabelle lucky to be alive and we are sticking to back roads for foreseeable future.

Belle does appreciate the lessons and regularly reciprocates by offering to make dinner. One of her standby's and our family faves is Peanut Chicken and rice - a one pan comfort food dish that teenagers can not only make, but will actually like.

Peanut Chicken and Rice

This one pan dish has the comfort food qualities of risotto but a bit more zing. Serve it with salad or a green veg. Left-over’s can be made into patties like risotto cakes.

1 tbsp oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 400 can of chopped tomatoes
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp curry powder
3 cups chicken stock
1½ cups basmati or jasmine rice
Large pinch of thyme
½ tsp salt

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the chicken slices until sealed then set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook till soft. Return the chicken to the pan and mix in the tomatoes, peanut butter and curry powder and thyme and mix well to disperse the peanut butter through the mixture.

Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. When the mixture is boiling stir in the salt and rice. Return the mixture to the boil then cover and reduce the heat. Cook for 20 minutes on low then check to see if all the liquid is absorbed and the rice cooked. Serve with a salad or green vegetables.