Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Armistice and Salmonella.

In the US, today is Veteran's Day, in Canada Remembrance Day and once upon a time in Britain it was known as Armistice Day. Originally it remembered the ending of World War I - the war to end wars. Only, of course, it wasn't, we had World War II and then loads more conflicts such as the Korean War, the Viet Nam War and all the Middle Eastern wars and so on. Running around wearing poppies doesn't seem to do much except give contributions to charity, it sure doesn't make people remember not to fight. Once when I was staying in France I was taken to see the railway carriage in which Maréchal Foch, Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies, signed the treaty which ended the first war. It sits on a piece of track in solitary splendor in the middle of a large empty area. Compiègne Forest was where the occasion took place - see photo. The armistice lasted 20 years!! Today I am going to test my GSP system and see how it works on the way to the docs. Nothing major by the way, just regular diabetes check. Last night we played a few games of cards and Matt won three times, I managed to scrape through with one win only and our friend was the same. He really had all the luck. There was a segment on GMA about Salmonella, particularly in chicken. One thing they emphasised was using different cutting boards for meats and produce. I have been trying to drum this into Matt's head for a while now. It is very important and also very important that you scrub the board thoroughly after use. There is an article and video here which is worth taking a look at. I personally have always been very hyper about chicken safety and I recommend everyone else is too. Matt was watching Food TV yesterday afternoon and I picked up on this dish which was being made by Rachel Ray. I thought it looked delicious so looked it up on the internet. This will certainly be featured on our menu in the not too distant future. Middle Eastern Chicken Pot and Butter-Nut Couscous Rachael Ray 4 servings Ingredients * 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it * 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces * 1 onion, thinly sliced * 3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped * 1 cup shredded carrots * 1 fresh bay leaf * 1 teaspoon smoked paprika * 1 teaspoon ground cumin * 1 teaspoon coriander * Pinch ground cinnamon * Salt and freshly ground black pepper * 3/4 cup chopped dried fruits - pick 1 or combine: figs, pitted dates, apricots, sultanas * 1 lemon, zested and juiced * 3/4 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped * 4 cups chicken stock, divided * 2 tablespoons butter * 3 tablespoons pine nuts * 1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds * 1 1/2 cups couscous * Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped Directions Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples add the chicken and brown 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bay leaf and season with spices, salt and pepper, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Stir the fruits into the chicken and vegetables, add the zest of the lemon, olives and 2 1/2 cups of stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with lemon juice and turn off heat. Remove bay leaf. While chicken simmers, melt butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add nuts and lightly toast for a couple of minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups stock and bring up to a boil then stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Serve chicken over couscous, or vice versa, and garnish with parsley.


  1. I did not know about the cutting boards. One washes them after each use not so? I do anyway. I would not want chicken blood or something on for example my onions or tomatoes.

  2. You were thinking in French when you wrote this Marilyn. But yes, certainly one washes them after each use, however, you should still have two different boards to avoid any kind of cross contamination. Never had to bother in our younger days, but there are so many nasty new bugs out there. Watched another programme which explained most ecoli bacteria on our meat comes from cow excrement, so never, but never, serve ground beef (minced beef) underdone.

  3. Yep, n'est pas? I often think in French and speak in English, non?