Thursday, August 4, 2011

Turandot, Supper,

Last night I went, with a friend, to see the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Turandot on film. I quote “Franco Zeffirelli’s glittering production of Puccini’s Turandot, with Maria Guleghina in the title role and Marcello Giordani as Calàf, makes its debut on Great Performances turandotat the Met. Marina Poplavskaya sings Liù, Samuel Ramey is Timur, and conductor Andris Nelsons makes his Great Performances at the Met debut.” If you are unfamiliar with the story of the opera, there is a good synopsis here. Most people, even if they are not opera buffs, are familiar with the aria Nessun Dorma which became Luciano Pavarotti’s signature aria and I don’t believe anyone ever sang it better, or maybe ever will. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, it was beautifully done and the singing was wonderful. In fact one tended to forget it was a film and we started applauding. I was somewhat  flabbergasted at the size of the back stage area which we saw quite a lot of, and the actual stage itself which in a couple of finales must have held something in the region of a couple of hundred people. The costumes of the court were fabulous, and the scenery was, also, very impressive. During the intermissions a lot of the lead cast were interviewed and I was particularly impressed that Samuel Ramey has been performing at the Met for over 50 years. I will certainly go again if I have the opportunity.

Before we went to see the movie, we ate at a Thai/VietnameseThai Soup restaurant in Cambridge (the cinema was in Cambridge) and shared some spring rolls and then had noodle soups, my friend had beef and I had a seafood one. It was delicious. Quite inexpensive too. My friend’s sister joined us at the cinema and she bought a pack of liquorice twizzlers which she insisted we eat. I wasn’t thinking and had some and then asked for the sugar content, surprise, surprise they were pretty high. I did not have any more.

ExileI have finished my library book so now I can start on Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke which arrived on Tuesday. Can’t wait. I was surprised, talking to my friend, who reads much the same things as I do, she has never read the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, as you may remember, I recently re-read them all and am anxiously awaiting the last book which is due out next year. I just might gradually treat myself to the books on my Kindle.

For those who like Thai, here is a recipe which sounds pretty good  to me, I love mangoes so I will definitely be trying this in the not too distant future.

Thai Chicken and Mango Stir-Fry

Chicken & Mango Stir FryFrom EatingWell: January/February 2010

Both ripe and underripe mango work well in this chicken and vegetable stir-fry. If the mangoes you have are less ripe, use 2 teaspoons brown sugar. If they’re ripe and sweet, just use 1 teaspoon or omit the brown sugar altogether.

6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 fresh small red or green chile peppers, stemmed and sliced, or 1/2-3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups bite-size broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, preferably Thai
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges (optional)
  1. Combine fish sauce, lime juice, cornstarch and brown sugar to taste in a small bowl.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add chicken; cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, garlic, ginger and chiles (or crushed red pepper) to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add broccoli and water; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mangoes and scallions; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the reserved sauce and chicken; cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro, basil and mint. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Per serving :195 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 44 mg Cholesterol; 20 g Carbohydrates; 21 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 531 mg Sodium; 557 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat

Tips & Notes
  • Ingredient note: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our nutritional analyses.

Have a great day.


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