Well, our week's menu planning went right out of the window as of Wednesday evening. I had bought ten chicken breasts so that I'd be all ready for two of the dishes booked onto the menu and could put one set of three and a single one into the freezer for next week.
However, hubby needed collecting from town with his newly acquired stereo - it was way too big to juggle all the way home on the bus - which broke into the time I would have been cooking the Paprika Chicken, before putting it in the oven. So, we had sandwiches and some hastily purchased cake, instead. A kind of high tea.
The stereo has proven to be a little gem, by the way - and a complete bargain.
Thursday evening, after a hugely busy day at work when I dealt with all the invoices for May (received so far, anyway) in the one day - never done that before! - I was absolutely wiped out when I came home and very definitely not in any fit state to make dinner. I'll have to remember that when I'm pushing myself to get all the invoices done, in future! ~slaps own forehead~
So, Thursday became a fish & chips day - and my menu planning was thrown into complete disarray.
However, bearing in mind that when Asda delivered the shopping on Tuesday, they forgot to deliver all of Friday's ingredients (and the pie for Monday!), I moved the Indonesian Fried Rice with Mackerel to Friday and bumped the Chicken Jalfrezi and Paprika Chicken to next week.
When Son & heir realised that it was Smoked Mackerel that we were going to have with the rice, he wasn't impressed. So, because I'm a kind and thoughtful Mum, I defrosted the one lone chicken breast for him. ~takes a curtsey~
I marinated it in a little sesame oil, some oyster sauce, soy sauce and honey, then put it in the oven at 200deg for 20-25 minutes. He ate the lot and declared it yummy, so that was that job done.
This is very definitely one of those dishes that requires you to commit to a mise en place (or getting everything chopped and prepared before you start cooking). I'd have totally lost the relatively small plot, had I have been trying to chop stuff as I went along. Once you've got everything chopped and ready, then it's just an easy matter of picking it up, throwing it in and mixing as it cooks. Of course, it makes a bit more washing up - which dear Hubby did for me. Bless him!
As ever, I added a few ingredients and did away with one ingredient from the original recipe. It just made it nicer from our point of view - plus it used up a few leftover veggies, which these fried rice dishes are so good at!
The ingredient I did away with, was some sliced and halved cucumbers which were used as garnish. In truth, I forgot to slice them and in actuality I'm sure they would have been nice, so I've left them in the recipe as detailed below. It's up to you whether you would like to include them, if you have a go at this.
I've also just eaten the leftovers for lunch, the day after. I can confirm that it is even nicer the next day - so if you've got time on your hands and space in the fridge, it is probably worth doing it that way!
INDONESIAN FRIED RICE WITH MACKEREL (serves 4)
From BBC Good Food website.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
pinch of caster sugar
800g cooked basmati rice
bunch spring onions, sliced
4-5 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
140g frozen peas
2 tbsp soy sauce (approx - you may need a little more)
4 smoked mackerel fillets, bones removed and flaked into chunks
half a cucumber, sliced into half moon shapes.
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Tip in the eggs (I used each egg individually) and swirl to coat the base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side until set. Remove and roughly chop into ribbons, then place to keep warm.
2. Add the mackerel to the warm place (under the grill, is good) to gently take on some heat.
3. Add the curry paste to the pan with the sugar and fry for 1 minute. Add the onions and mushrooms and stir to coat in the paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes, before adding the cooked rice and folding gently to mix everything in and heat everything through well.
4. Add the soy sauce, the omelette ribbons and mackerel. Fold them through, gently.
5. Serve, adding the cucumber sprinkled over the top.