The Australian Football League (AFL) season starts in earnest this weekend (it actually started last weekend but as there was only one match and it was between 2 Sydney teams that hardly counts). I love AFL, always have, I think its the opportunity to yell with abandon at the TV screen, or better yet at the actual players as they run around the ground, that attracts me to it. Since having kids my live footy experiences are limited to day games and even then I have been loathe to take Mr 2 since he turned one as I think he’d just be too much of a pain. I used to be an Essendon member though and went every week (student concession membership was ridiculously cheap in those days). I think my supporting reached fever pitch in about 1993 (yes I know this sounds like a long time ago but I did spend 1995 – 2007 in the UK and away from my beloved game) when Essendon won the premiership. Although I didn’t go to the grand final I did attend the preliminary final and watched Michael Long turn the game and lead what must be one of the greatest comebacks of all time. Michael Long has the distinction of not only being my favourite footballer of all time, (although I still have a place in my heart for Leon Baker but you’d have to be both a hardcore Bomber fan and about my age to remember him) but also is pictured here on my favourite piece of Essendon memorabilia. This cookbook was published in 1995 and includes a recipe from each of the Essendon squad from that year.
For those outside Australia or those who avoid Australian Rules like the plague; Essendon’s nickname is the Bombers hence the books title. This book does make entertaining reading and I am inclined to think that the players may have actually submitted recipes themselves (or at the very least asked a family member for one). Out of a total of 42 recipes there are 6 for pasta with cream/cheese sauce, there is also one for mashed potato and another for scrambled eggs with cheese – ingredients: eggs, butter & cheese. Michael Long himself supplies a recipe for burgers which consists of mince, bread rolls and then a list of possible fillings, so unfortunately I wont be cooking his dish today. Instead I bypassed the big names of James Hird, Mark Harvey, Damien Hardwick, Dustin Fletcher, Matthew Lloyd and Bomber Thompson to bring you a dish from the little known Ryan O’Connor. I have to say I have only the vaguest recollection of Ryan as a footballer, but his dish contained a decent quantity of lemongrass which is what I have a lot of in the garden at the moment thus I chose to cook it.
When I came to cook this dish I read the ingredients list and then prepared them assuming that this was a recipe for a stir fry. The original recipe calls for whole chicken thighs which are cooked in the sauce in a frypan, apologies to Ryan but it I think works as a stir fry – not sure about as whole pieces.
Lemongrass Chicken Stir Fry
- 500g chicken breasts or thighs thinly sliced.
- 1 tbspn fish sauce
- 3 10cm lengths of lemongrass – finely cut
- 4 spring onions
- 2 tbspns peanut oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tspn chilli paste
- 1 tspn palm or brown sugar
Heat the oil in a wok. Stir fry the chicken until lightly browned. Remove from wok. Add the lemongrass, spring onions and chilli paste, stir twice. Add the fish sauce, stock and sugar. Reduce by about half. Add the chicken. Stir to combine and then serve with rice and some stir fried or steamed Asian vegetables.
I think if I was to make this recipe again I would add a clove or two of finely chopped garlic but otherwise it worked well. It got my partner’s approval but the kids were fairly ambivalent. Miss 5 ate about half hers:
To see what others are preparing this week head over to the Gardener of Eden’s place.