Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our JAVA Dinner

A few years ago, good friends Laura and Joel introduced us

to a great meal from the small country of JAVA. Lately, I've

been craving that very meal, so tonight, I whipped up the

ingredients for Huggs and I.

Here's the drill for those of you who would enjoy the adventure.

Like Asian cuisine, this meal centers around a lot of chopping.

Boil up some chicken till fully cooked and tender. Around here, I

use Costco's frozen boneless/skinless thighs. They're not as dry as

using breast meat, but use whatever floats your boat.

While chicken is cooking, use this time to cook your favorite rice.

A nice sticky rice, like Calrose, is fine. I wouldn't suggest quick rice.

It's just too dry. Enough said about that!

THEN, begin to chop and assemble your toppings of choice.

Here are the traditional choices that I remember, not that you

couldn't choose others, but these flavors work really well together.

Chopped ripe tomatoes. I prefer Roma's.
Mandarin Oranges
Pineapple chunks; fresh is awesome, but canned and drained is okay.
Chopped little green onions.
Shredded cheese. We like Cheddar or Colby/Jack.
Chopped Celery.
Slivered Almonds.
Large shredded coconut. I find this at the health food market.
When chicken is done, remove from cooking water to

cool, then chop coarsely, reserving chicken stock.

While chicken is cooling, its a good time to test a glass of your favorite

Thicken the reserved chicken stock into a gravy.

If you don't have enough stock or need to add additional
flavor, you can add canned Swanson's Chicken stock or
increase the flavor with a good quality chicken stock paste.
Flavor gravy with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Assemble ingredients on a lazy susan or buffet for each to

serve themselves.

Start with rice, adding chopped chicken and all other
ingredients and top with gravy.

Some like to add Soy Sauce or Yoshida sauce to taste.

The blend of sweet fruits, the coconut, chicken, tomatoes
and onions compliment the flavor of the chicken and rice
for a simple, delicious meal.

This meal works great for a group or neighborhood meal,
where each member can bring a certain ingredient. And
having all the ingredients laid out for each person to create
their own perfect dish, takes care of the dilemma of
"what if they don't like onions?"

I always make lots of extra when I create this meal,
because its so easy to grab the makings from the fridge
and assemble another masterpiece for tomorrow's lunch!
Bon' Appetit!

Miss Vicki