Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who Won? And - The Cookbook Challenge - Week 10 - Cool - Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Cashew Salad

And the winners of the Bondi Chai giveaway are.....

Sarah from http://imasugarjunkie.wordpress.com/ with her suggestion of a vanilla honey chai cupcake, with honey buttercream icing, and Agnes from http://offthespork.blogspot.com/ who said she'd use the chai in a sweet baked ravoli with a chai & ricotta filling. Thanks guys, and congratulations. Email me your postal addresses to somethingbykate at gmail.com, and you'll soon have some Bondi Chai winging its way to you. I hope you'll make your suggestions soon, and post them on your blogs so everyone gets to see!

I really didn't have time to do ice-cream this week - or post on time, I'm so sorry!!!! As much as I have been desperate to make a strawberry balsamic ice cream, without an ice cream maker, and being back at work meant it just was not going to happen.

Cool, cool, cool??? Cucumbers! Cool as!

Without this week's challenge, I may never have gotten around to making Bill Granger's Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Cashew Salad, and that would have been an absolute shame. This dish is awesome! Plate licking awesome, believe me, I saw Mr Something literally licking it clean. He also rarely comments on my cooking, unless he really doesn't want me to make something again, but two bites in, and compliments were flying. Definitely in the Repeat Recipe Rotation.

 I didn't follow Bill's recipe exactly, but I really think that's in the spirit of Bill! He's self-taught, and so casual, I think he wants people to just have a crack.

  • I didn't have any fish sauce, so I substituted a couple of ground up anchovies and soy sauce.
  • I didn't have any mint, so I used coriander - I think the coriander is a win, I won't be reverting to mint next time I make it.
  • I only had whole cashews and was feeling lazy so didn't crush them - it wasn't necessary. 
  • I used only a third of the amount of sugar that Bill recommended and it was still plenty sweet - it may be necessary to use more if you're using fish sauce and not soy, or love it sweet. 
  • I used half the chicken and salad amount but the whole sauce amount - it was perfect.
  • I went nuts with the lime juice.

The ingredients list below show Bill's quantities.

Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Cashew Salad
3 tablespoons fish sauce
freshly ground black pepper
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 large red chilled, finely minced
2 teaspoons of sugar
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons caster sugar
200g vermicelli noodles
2 cucumbers, halved and thinly sliced
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cashew nuts, crushed

My fish sauce substitute in the flavour shaker

Whisk the soy sauce, pepper, garlic, chillies and sugar in a bowl. Put the chicken in a separate bowl and pour over half the marinade, cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Fry the chicken in the vegetable oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on high. Bill suggests putting another frypan on top to make the chicken crisp, I used a plate, and it worked quite well.

Trust me, there's chicken under there.

While the chicken cooks, add lime juice and sugar to the marinade that wasn't added to the chicken, and stir until the sugar had dissolved to make a dressing.

Pour boiling water over the vermicelli and leave it for a minute or two until soft, drain and rinse under cold water. Mix with the cucumber, coriander, spring onions, cashews and dressing in a large bowl. Serve with the sliced chicken.

Since I was juicing a lime, I also zested it, and put the zest in a zip lock back in the freezer.

How much do I love my new microplane?

Is anyone else as big a slob as I am, ending up with food all over their books?

There you go. That's something by Kate.


  1. Sounds like a winner, which Bill book is it from? I love his recipes as you will probably notice from the challenge, maybe I should challenge myself to cook from books other than his!

  2. Ooooh check out the zest in your microplane! The chicken looks great too - I'm sure that coriander would be much better than mint with it.

    Have sent you an email - yay!

  3. Oops, Ange, I forgot to mention it! It's Bill's Every Day. I have all of Bill's books except for Sydney Food - maybe one day :)

    Congrats Agnes! I'm looking forward to seeing you produce some of that sweet ravioli - your suggestions was the first time I'd seen it. I'll be posting your Bondi Chai out to you on Saturday, I hope you like it.

    I'm not a big fan of mint, so I was actually really pleased they didn't have any at the supermarket.

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my microplane grater. I was using Rilsta's and I thought omg I HAD to get it. and I never looked up. salad looks great.


Free Hit Counter