Thursday, February 15, 2007

a romantic little dinner for...four

Well, you know where all that romance can lead to if you're not careful: two extra place settings at the dinner table. Ha ha. Hmm, maybe Mr. M and I should leave the kids at home and go out on a real date sometime. It's been a while. Like maybe 14 years or so. Oh well.

Last night I made chicken and prawn skewers with a fruit salsa, basmati rice and stir-fried broccoli. The recipe came from an old magazine and was developed especially for Valentine's Day by a Chinese chef who claimed that in Chinese folklore, the chicken and the prawn often represent the dragon and the phoenix, which in turn represent the male and the female. Opposites attract and all that. The salsa includes tomatoes (love apples!) and your choice of juicy yellow fruit (juicy!). And it's common knowledge that nothing says love like a plate full of gorgeous green broccoli, right?

I used peaches for the salsa and was pleased with the flavour. Kumquats are pretty hard to come by around here and I'm not that big of a fan anyway. I couldn't find any coriander either, so I substituted flat leaf parsley instead. I wouldn't do that again - the taste was a bit too strong and overpowered the other ingredients somewhat. It did go very nicely with the skewers, though.

The following recipe makes enough for two. I just increased the amounts accordingly to accomodate our voracious appetites.

Chicken and Prawns with Tomato Kumquat Salsa
(Canadian Living Magazine, February 2001)

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1 Tbsp each olive oil and fish sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp each minced gingerroot and grated lime rind
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch (2,5 cm) chunks
8 tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
4 wooden skewers

1 tomato, seeded and diced
4 kumquats, seeded and diced or very thinly sliced (or substitute 1 cup chopped mangoes, papayas, peaches or strawberries)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
pinch each salt and pepper

Salsa: In a small bowl, stir together tomato, kumquats, coriander, onion, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate one hour.

Meanwhile, in bowl stir together coriander, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lime rind and hot pepper flakes. Add chicken and prawns, stirring to coat; marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. While chicken and shrimp marinate, soak wooden skewers in water.

Onto each of 4 skewers, alternately thread chicken and shrimp; place on greased broiler pan. Broil for about 5 minutes per side until shrimp are opaque and chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve with salsa. Makes 2 servings.

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At February 15, 2007 5:28 p.m., Blogger C N Heidelberg said...

Aw, nice touch with the heart decorations!

At February 15, 2007 6:04 p.m., Blogger traveller one said...

An old magazine--- AHA--- my favourite-- Candian Living!!!!! I never throw them away and have a stack here and back in Canada! The recipes are so practical and yummy!

Love those clever hearts you made!

At February 15, 2007 6:25 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Mmmmm. Sounds (and looks) delicious! I'm a big fan of anything that has fresh coriander.

At February 15, 2007 6:51 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

Mmmmm.... delish!

Although the thought of parsely overpowering other ingredients is new to me. Especially when you consider it was a substitute for coriander, one of the strongest herbs I know of. I love coriander!

At February 15, 2007 8:48 p.m., Blogger Rebecca said...

looks yummy. I don't make seafood too often, but I just might have to make that. ..

At February 15, 2007 9:56 p.m., Blogger Maria said...

Your attention to detail and presentation are excellent-- like always!

At February 15, 2007 10:19 p.m., Blogger Mike B said...

Coriander ... Cilantro. Either way you call it, it's not easy to find, but it can be found. I usually ask my local green grocer if he has any. The Turks often do. The Markets like Rewe don't.

At February 15, 2007 10:22 p.m., Blogger amy said...

Excellent! You are too good. Also want to say Congratulations for your beautiful wonderful new kitchen! Did you smash a bottle of champagne on a cabinet? Probably not a good idea... And yes - you should go out on a real date!

At February 15, 2007 11:13 p.m., Blogger christina said...

cnheidelberg - Thanks! I whittled them myself!

traveller one - Oh yes! I have them way back into the 90s - can't bear to throw them out and I just subscribed for another two years.

CSwiss - You should try it. It was pretty mild and could probably do with some experimenting and spicy up but everyone really liked it.

ms mac - I know, it's weird, but I guess this was just really strongly flavoured parsley.

rebecca - You could even leave out the prawns and it would still be great.

maria - Thanks! "Das Auge isst mit", as they say in German.

Mike - Our local Edeka sometimes has it, just not when *I* need it, unfortunately (the nerve!). The herb selection has been pretty feeble lately. We used to have a nice Turkish grocery in town and the owner ordered stuff for me, but sadly they went out of business.

amy - Thanks! Well, no smashing bottles but we did a little happy dance.

At February 16, 2007 4:12 a.m., Blogger Kim and Victoria said...

Be careful or this will happen to you; my hubbie says we have such great food at home, why go out to eat?
Nice to see all the Vday celebrations.

At February 16, 2007 11:42 a.m., Blogger traveller one said...

Hey Christina-- I tagged you for a meme on my blog today- come and see what I thought up!

At February 16, 2007 7:57 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

You have got to go out on a real date right now, Ms. Christina. The boys can even babysit each other! Hmm. I'll have to have a talk with Mr. M!

BTW, landlady Uschi invited us to dinner last trip and made an incredible casserole with turkey and peaches in a fabulous white sauce. She and I went over the recipe together later, which I'll have to give you the next time I see you.

At February 16, 2007 9:04 p.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

My, my. You are so clever and if it tastes as good as it looks, then I am coming to dinner!

At February 18, 2007 3:46 a.m., Blogger Julie said...

So yummy looking! I love the little hearts!

At February 18, 2007 3:35 p.m., Blogger meredith said...

Like everyone else, I like the hearts in the rice! Nice touch.

At February 19, 2007 10:41 p.m., Blogger christina said...

kim and victoria - He says that all the time, actually. Hmm, maybe I should just start opening cans for dinner!

traveller one - Gotcha - I'm all over it!

Ginnie - I'm afraid it would take a lot of persuading. The recipe sounds wonderful, I'd love to have it.

maribeth - Any time, my dear.

Julie - I think they brighten the whole thing up a bit.

meredith - Thanks!

At March 13, 2007 8:11 a.m., Blogger Betty C. said...

Your food looks great! We're not that far off as expats because I'm from Washington State and am living in France. Hope life is going okay. I've heard it's a little difficult for women with kids in Germany, is that just a stereotype?


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