"I blog therefore I cook", sums up my present mindset quite aptly. Ever since I started blogging, food has taken on an entirely new meaning.
I have always been a foodie. Am part of an extended family where most phone conversations begin with: what's cooking? It is not uncommon among us cousins to call each other up across states/countries/continents for recipes. Food talk dominates whenever we meet. We plan our menus/meals days ahead of each other's scheduled visits. Post the visit we quickly update the rest of the family on the outcome of our efforts- what worked/what did not, what was perceived to be new/interesting etc.
So how is it different now? It is not easy for me to articulate what has changed but kuch to hua hai. I remember having a chat on this with fellow blogger Raindrop. Both of us agreed that blogging had given us a 'seventh sense' /a sort of third eye. We were a lot more sensitized and receptive to the various sounds, smells, flavors around us. It was like wearing a blogger's lens when one looked at the world.
Thus Khichdi was no longer a bland, healthy dish but "comfort food", Caramel pudding transformed itself into "dizzy pazzy", Soups from being mere appetizers now symbolized warm, nourishing, winter food. It was almost as if another layer/dimension had been added on to food.
One is also constantly on the lookout for new recipes, new food experiences etc. etc. Meal times at home are a lot more interesting. You try and make your everyday cooking 'blog worthy' either through a concept or execution. You cook, experiment, combine flavors and in the process hone your cooking skills. You attack recipe books with renewed vigor and more often than not find your own variations of the same.
Mustard chicken is the result of one such attempt. It has its origins somewhere in the South of France. What I present below is a leaner and easier version of the original. The sharp/pungent flavor of mustard is balanced by the combined flavors of honey, lime juice and olive oil. So a mustard based recipe without the 'bite' of mustard.
Boneless Chicken: 400 grams( Breast pieces)
Mustard paste: 3/4 tbsps( soak about 3/4 tbsps of mustard seeds for 3/4 hours and then grind to a fine paste)
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Lime juice: 1 tbsp
Oregano seasoning: 1 tbsp
Honey: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry. Prick all over with a fork. Prepare a marinade with the mustard paste, lime juice, olive oil, honey, oregano seasoning and salt. Marinate the chicken pieces in it for 2/3 hours(Ideally place the container in the refrigerator). Take the container out about 30 minutes before you start cooking, to allow the chicken to thaw.
Heat a non- stick plan. Brush some olive oil on it. Once the pan heats up place the chicken pieces. Cook on high for a little while(pan sear the chicken), turn the pieces and continue to cook on high. Then reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 8/10 minutes. Open the cover, increase the heat and let the marinade completely coat the chicken.
Serve along with a tomato and celery salad.
Exotic to be part of a party menu AND easy to cook/healthy enough to eat everyday.
Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!