One: I want to apologise for my altogether whingeing, whining tone yesterday. If life gets too busy I have no-one to blame but myself. I don't work. I am busy with childcare, volunteering, housework, cooking...the stuff of life, things I enjoy. It's just that you caught me in a sulk, when I was feeling tired, irritable and a little bit sorry for myself. Thank you for your lovely supportive words.
Two: The print I showed you yesterday is by the artist Jeremy Speck and it's called Four Mugs. Fans of the St Ives Movement, Ben Nicholson, Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden may like his work.
Three: Here is the recipe for the chicken and couscous I mentioned yesterday, and for the yogurt dressing should you want it. Quantities feed four people either as one main meal for four, or as one meal for two followed by salad for two the next day.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp harissa paste
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt
- 200 g plain couscous
- 100 g pomegranate seeds
- 50 g flaked almonds
- bunch of fresh coriander
A few hours before cooking, put the chicken, harissa paste and yogurt in a freezer bag and mix it all together so that the meat is well coated with both ingredients. Leave in the fridge for a while to marinate. When you're ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge, butterfly the meat so it's as flat as possible then heat a little olive oil in a frying pan or skillet. Fry the chicken until it's cooked through, turning regularly. This should take about 15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking boil the kettle. Put your couscous in a large bowl and add 250 ml boiling water and leave it to stand for five minutes so it can soak up the water. Roughly chop the coriander. Then, just before serving, fluff up the couscous with a fork and add the pomegranate seeds, coriander and almonds and mix well.
For the salad, just add any leftover chicken (chopped), salad leaves, maybe some avocado, and toss together. It's really good with this yogurt dressing:
- 250 ml plain yogurt. I find the runnier low fat yogurts make a better dressing than the thicker, Greek styles.
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp finely grated or minced cucumber
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Put all your ingredients in a jam jar and shake well or stir with a fork. It will keep in the fridge for three or four days. This is a cross between a dip and a dressing. It's thick enough to be spooned into pitta breads and runny enough to be drizzled over a salad.