Happy blogday to me, happy blogday to me!
Yes, folks, it’s four (count ’em!) years to the day since I first took to my keyboard and started CookSister. At the time, I knew close to nothing about blogs or the blogging community – all I knew was that reading Jeremy’s blog had opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me and that I wanted a blog of my own. I had no idea what an addictive, frustrating, rewarding, time-consuming, satisfying, exhausting and inspiring a journey it was going to be. But clearly the good outweighed the bad, because here I still am.
Highlights over the past year include:
- Being interviewed by the BBC
- Appearing in the BBC’s Olive Magazine
- Writing a post a day in November for NaBloPoMo
- Hosting the UK part of the very successful Menu for Hope 2007
- Being a finalist in the category Best Writing in the Food Blog Awards 2007
- Winning Best South African Food Blog and Best South African Overseas Blog in the 2008 South African Blog Awards
I’ve also cooked some great stuff over the past twelve months, like:
- trout with almonds and samphire,
- broad bean crostini,
- Peppermint Crisp fridge tart,
- raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake,
- cheese olives,
- triple ginger layer cake,
- South African milk tart,
- sea bass stuffed with fennel and olives;
- apple-cranberry bran muffins,
- cranberry ginger caramel pudding,
- Mamma’s scones,
- tomato & marmalade soup,
- cranberry & pear upside down cake,
- peach and cardamom clafoutis,
- creamy smoked haddock with flageolet beans, and
- classic fish pie.
But the main dish I’m re-posting today is one of the very first things I ever blogged – chicken a la King. I blogged it at the request of my friend Greg, but I didn’t actually cook it at the time. These days, that would be unthinkable – every recipe I blog has been tried and tested by me! So maybe that’s why I’ve always intended to go back and revisit this dish. As you’ll see in my original post, it’s the dish I loved most as a child and it is still one of my favourite ways of using up leftover cooked chicken. Although it’s properly meant to be made with green pepper, red is what I had and so that’s what I used. I hope you enjoy the recipe and I hope that this blog has brought you as much joy as it has brought me over the past four years.
CHICKEN A LA KING (serves 2)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 green (or red, or both) pepper, diced
1 amall onion, diced
1 cup quartered button mushrooms
1.5-2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Heat the oil in a large, shallow saucepan. Add the onion and, when it begins to soften, the red/green pepper. Allow everything to soften over medium heat but don’t caramelise the onions – add a bit more oil to the pan if things start to stick. Add the chicken and heat through, adding the mushrooms towards the end.
Melt the butter in a separate pot and when it is completely liquid, stir in the flour. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then whisk in the milk. Allow the sauce to thicken and season with salt and pepper, then pour over the chicken mixture and mix well. A splash of cream may also be added for richness. Serve at once on cooked rice or noodles.