A fresh start

After contemplating for years…yes, it has been years before I finally decided to join Mac World. I could have done that 4 years ago when I was choosing to buy a new laptop but the change-resistant me wanted to stay on familiar grounds and decided to stick with the usual stuff.

I’ve heard ‘Wows’ from friends who converted to using Mac and assured me that the longest time I need to adjust to the new OS is a mere few days. They raved about it; I was slightly moved but since I’m not too much of a risk taker in certain areas, I stay loyal to Windows.

Since the crash of the last laptop, I had been using the netbook as the backup. Perhaps, it’s time to consider a Mac? There’s discount for students which Ken could use and why not just go down to the store to check it out?

Between Macbook Air and Pro, I would go for the Pro. The hubs helped me find some reviews and comparison between the two and I thought that has been a very helpful exercise. The staff at the country’s biggest Apple store (@ Bolyston) were friendly and helpful (btw, it was definitely the real deal, not like the ones in China). We spent quite some time with Neila as she explained the specs and the workings of Pro before the hubs and I adjourned to Starbucks a few buildings away and what a shock I had. I mean, it’s not really a shock but more of a queer sight – almost every customer in the fully-packed coffee joint was facing a laptop. I should have taken a photo!

We conferred for a while before heading back to the Apple store to make our purchase. I’m excited yet apprehensive at the same time. Apple provides after sales service in the area of training customers to use the product and I thought this is rather cool. Most of the time, we under-utilise technology and having these ‘experts’ to guide us would be real helpful.

Currently, I feel that I’m starting a new life now with my newly-acquired toy. I’m gonna sort out my life in terms of my photos and songs (hehe) and I will step out of my comfort zone to learn.

I’m got nothing to lose and it won’t be tough, will it?

Chicken with Sherry and Mushrooms

Got hold of James Paterson’s Meat: A Kitchen Education and came across the following recipe. It is classified under chicken fricassee which is  chicken simmered with broth, cream, mushrooms, and pearl onions, and the sauce is thickened with egg yolks. It describes a specific technique: cooking partly in fat, partly in liquid. The chicken is lightly sauteed on both sides until it barely begins to brown, the cooking fat is thrown out, and liquid is added. The chicken finishes cooking in the simmering liquid, and the liquid, usually based on broth, is converted into a sauce. A point that he highlighted: Nowadays, a fricassee chicken is almost impossible to distinguish from a sauteed one.

Makes 2 main-course servings

3 – 4 chicken thighs
2 tbsp butter
1/4 dry sherry
140g button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 heavy cream

1. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Use a non-stick skillet just big enough to accommodate the pieces in a single layer, without crowding.

2. Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. When the butter froths, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the skin barely begins to brown. Turn the chicken over, flesh side down and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken thighs to a platter, and pour the fat out of the pan.

3. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, add the sherry and mushrooms, and place over low heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is just form to the touch. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover, and place in a warm spot.

4. Add the cream to the liquid in the pan, stir with a whisk to dissolve the glaze and boil down over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce forms a lightly syrupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.