Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The One About the Chicken in Pandan Leaves

When life blasts its dynamism on you, it feels humbling when things begin to normalize and life operates on a smooth pace.  I am sometimes known to take on extreme challenges - taking nine units of summer classes then thinking "Where did my summer go?", starting a relationship a month before leaving for Cebu (but look!  I married the guy!), writing my thesis drafts with such discipline every weekend in those two years when I was in Cebu - and had always thought that good fortune is with me and that the pressure of it all is simply good.  The most recent "extreme challenge" I took on was getting married AND THEN taking on a new job two weeks later.  I love being married but I sometimes wish I hadn't taken on an entirely new job just yet.  The two just don't mesh well and the new job just took away my "honeymoon aura" to be replaced by corporate stress.

Thankfully, things at work are beginning to normalize.  It feels great to be blogging again although I realize I haven't been doing much crafting lately.  And that sucks.  Big time.

I still have a long list of craft projects that I want to pursue but I just can't yet because my thesis defense is coming up in a month and I'll be needing the entire month to prepare for it and to calm my nerves before I face my panel (shudder!).  Until then, for those who are beginning to wonder where the crafts are, soon they will take place.

Cooking has been thankfully very fun for me.  My co-workers are all like, "How can you still cook given the time you get home?" or "Isn't it expensive to cook for just two?"  My answer to the first is that I look forward to cooking for a hungry husband every evening and cooking just takes all the stress from work away.  My answer to the second is no, no way is it expensive especially if you know HOW to cook.

This brings to the recent dish I cooked.  I just bought the chicken and pandan leaves.  Everything else was in the pantry and the entire dish didn't even ring up to P130.

I made chicken in pandan leaves.

I got the recipe from Yummy magazine.  It's super simple to prepare:

For the marinade:
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

For the sesame sauce:
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup tamarind paste (I used a tamarind cube which worked out just fine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade.  Add chicken cubes and marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
2.  Wrap the marinated chicken in pandan leaves.  Deep-fry in medium hot oil until golden brown.
3.  To make sesame sauce:  Pour warm water over tamarind paste and let it sit.  After 5 minutes, strain the juice and place in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with chicken.

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