I havent written my blog for a few weeks and that has mainly been due to the fact that I have revived my love of reading and, after what can only be described as a shopping spree in Waterstones and the glorious Primrose Hill Books, I have grabbed every second I can with three brilliant books. The first is The Cookbook Collector, I thought this would be more cooking orientated but what it lacks in actual cooking talk it more than makes up for in the romantic liaisons!
The second book is The Lollipop Shoes by my favorite Author Joanne Harris and this is one of her best - known famously for writing Chocolat, she is the Queen on Fantasy thrillers, and yet again she has produced a book that is full of love, food and witchcraft....a must read.
And finally onto my final God send - Return to Paris: A Memoir with Recipes by Collette Rossant - one of my favorite books of all time. My mum gave me this book about 6 years ago, she said it was one of her favorties and that I would love it and sure enough I did. It is about Collettes discovery of cooking and her love for French food that makes her decide to move to Paris. Its just such a lovely lovely book, full of mouthwatering recipes and romance on every level.
So why the sudden change to book reviews....obviously I am becoming a book critic....yeah right! Its actually becasue I have decided to write a cookbook and after years of struggling to find an idea that I really wanted to run with I think I have finally found it and my inspiration comes from fictional books. I am going to write a story about a girl who meets lots of people throughout her life, each giving her recipes that she keeps close to her heart so that whenever she needs to feel comfort she simply makes one of the recipes from her past and falls into a nostalgic dream world.
And so to my blog post - On thinking about what recipes I want to write about in the book, I decided that there is one which wins hands down and that is my mums 'Cowsway'. Now, my mother is certainly not renowned for being a lover of cooking, in fact she winces at the very thought of chopping meat and her idea of producing a meal is sprinkling oxo chicken stockcubes on some chicken and poping it in the oven but I have to give it to her, when it comes to Cowsway the women knows what shes doing. In fact, it was so good that I requested cowsway for every single birthday celebration!!!
Now hang on just a second - Most of you have never heard of Cowsway and actually apart from my mum calling it that I have never heard of it either so I just googled it and apparently its the most popular dish in Burmha and the actual recipe is completely different to what mum used to serve up so although Im calling this Cowsway, its not the real recipe - God only knows where mum conjured this up from!!
My Mums Comforting Cheats Cowsway
1 tsp ginger finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
4 x chicken breasts or thighs, diced into little chunks
1/2 Lemons zest
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 lemons juice
half bunch coriander
1/4 onion very finely chopped (after chopping the onion sprinkle with salt to draw all the water out, this adds a bit of crunch!)
Gently fry the ginger and garlic on a low hear for 5 mins. If it starts to stick, turn the heat down and add a dash of water. Then add the diced chicken and the lemon zest. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 5 mins. Then add half a pint of chicken stock and simmer for 10 mins. Put the fresh pasta in the boiling water and cook for about three mins or to taste. Add the pasta to the chicken mix, squeeze in a whole lemons juice and sprinkle with the coriander and finely chopped raw onion. Season to taste and enjoy.
This dish is perfectly balanced, its homely and filling but fresh and vibrant. Perfect in the summer or winter come rain or shine!