Hmm! Now doesn't that sound DELICIOUS? But as regular readers know, I am in Italy visiting Hilary, who has had two bouts of chemo and has a third one coming up. I do the cooking, and it is not easy finding my way around Another Woman's Kitchen, believe you me. Things aren't where I put them at home, and although the local produce is marvellous, Hilary's cookbooks are all for England.
Hilary, who believes very firmly in REALITY, does not want to be a fake Italian, but a real British (and Canadian) expatriate, and what is more British than CURRY? (Believe me on this.) And since I am married to a Scotsman, I know how to make a good curry from scratch. I generally follow the directions on the back of the curry powder jar.
That recipe I have memorized, but Hilary's kitchen did not have what I needed today, so I had to wing it. Normally I disapprove of winging it, unless one has made a dish so many times that one really can intelligently substitute this for that. And, happily, my noon-time experiment worked out so well that Hilary asked for the recipe.
Hilary, incidentally, does not believe in flattery.
The reason why I call this Chemo Curry is a chemo patient's abstention from pasta, bread, rice and potatoes. I served this on barley and various kinds of lettuce, and it really worked. The nuttiness of the barley substitutes for almonds, so this recipe really doesn't need almonds.
Cummings-McLeans Sweet and Spicy Chemo Curry*
chicken breasts (defrosted is fine) for two cut up
2 Tbsp curry powder with chili powder added to taste
1 cup yogurt
some cream if you have any, milk if not
1/4-1/3 cup chicken stock (made from powder)
big (2 Tbsp?) spoonful coconut cream
2 squirts tomato paste
1. Dice onion and cook till golden in olive oil.
2. Cook pieces of chicken for 2.5 minutes either side.
3. Throw in curry powder and cook for 2 minutes, coating chicken and onions with it.
4. Pour in yogurt, cream (or milk), chicken stock.
5. Throw in coconut cream and squirt tomato paste squirts.
6. Mix gently to incorporate tomato paste and coconut into sauce.
7. Bring to boil, lower heat and put on lid.
8. Simmer for 20 minutes.
1. Put 1 teacup of barley in 3 teacups of water and smidge of chicken stock powder. Set to boil.
2. Boil for 20-25 minutes. Test for chewiness.
3. If sufficiently yummy, pour off any water remaining.
In Italy, barley is called orzo.
If the chicken curry sauce seems a bit too thin, let boil for another 3-5 minutes with the lid off.
Put mixed salad greens in shallow soup plate. Heap barley in centre. Spoon chicken onto barley. Pour curry sauce over chicken.
The cancer patient should drink water with lemon. The cook-carer, however, should have a lovely cold glass of dry white wine.
*Not doctor approved. I am not a doctor! Heaven knows if chemo patients are really supposed to be eating coconut cream.