Salty tip of the week

Whole roasted chicken or turkey can dry out easily. By rubbing salt (a dry brine) into the cavity of the bird before cooking it helps to keep the meat moist. Rubbing salt on the skin helps the skin to crisp up.

How does the salt do this?

When applied to the surface of meats it draws water to the surface and then dissolves into that water creating a brine. That brine is then reabsorbed back into the meat which takes at least half an hour. Proteins are changed by the salt allowing them to retain more of their juices. The juicier or more marbled the meat is the better it responds to the salt.

If the meat is already dry placing the meat in a wet brine overnight may be necessary. A  brine needs a minimum of 12 hours to be effective.

Basic brine recipe: 4 tablespoons (60ml) of salt to 4 cups (1000ml) of water.

Of course, other seasonings can be added to a brine.


The 2017 James Beard Award Winners: A Reading List


The growth of food writing has evolved with the explosion of all the food-watching that accompanied programs like Top Chef and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and we’re way past the days of Craig Claiborne or Ruth Reichl reveling about an up-and-coming chef in an out-of-the-way corner of a yet-to-be-gentrified-neighborhood somewhere.

The James Beard awards—otherwise known as the Oscars of food—were announced earlier this week, and befitting the honor’s nearly 30-year history, let’s toast sparkling rosé and caviar-topped amuse-bouches to the best food writing published in 2016 (here is the full list of winners).

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Salty Tip of the Week

Salt prevents fruits from browning.

Instead of using lemon or vinegar to stop peeled apples from browning, try placing them in lightly salted water.

Salt helps to shell nuts.

Pecans and walnuts soaked in salt water for 2-3 before shelling makes it so much easier to reveal the meat.

Remember, salt is the key to making all foods taste good.

Spicy Soup with Dumplings

This soup recipe is the result of Spicy Thai Soup meets Chinese Dumpling Soup. I have tweaked it countless times and I probably will continue to do so, but for now it is ready to be published as a “finished” unfinished-painting.

What I do know, is that it warms both body and soul.

Wayne's Spicy Soup with dumplings

MEAL: Dinner or Lunch  COURSE: Main
PREP TIME: 30 mins
COOK TIME: 60 mins
TOTAL TIME: 90 mins

1 cup of onion, medium diced
1/2 cup of celery, medium diced
1 cup of carrots, Julienne cut strips
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp. fresh jalapeño chilies include half of the seeds, finely chopped (2tbsp. = moderately spicy)
1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
1 cup of cilantro, stems included, roughly chopped
1 lime, the juice, and zest
4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and medium diced
1 can 796 ml whole tomatoes, medium diced
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. canola oil
4 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
12 cups /3 L chicken stock

36 wonton dumplings: I used ready made wontons. Please feel free to make your own, but this doubles prep time.

-In a large pot (I used a Dutch Oven #28 /6.7 L) heat the oil, and sauté the onions for 2 min or until translucent, then add the celery and carrots.
-Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are soft, for about 5 minutes.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies. Cook for uncovered for 3 minutes,  still on medium.
-Add all of the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.
-Now add the Chicken stock, fish sauce and soy sauce and bring to a  boil. When it boils, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30  minutes.
-Add the wontons, simmer till they pop up to the surface.
-Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

-Turn off the heat, add the chopped cilantro, let the soup stand for 5  minutes and serve.

(This soup is intended as a single course meal, but a green papaya salad as a starter or side would make for an ample meal).

Salty Tip of the Week

Salt spilled from blue-glass salt shaker.

Salt is essential to life and also to good health. The recommendation is that we consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health. Salt and Good Health.

The maximum is 2300mg/day of sodium.

It is recommended that people over the age of one year eat between 1000-1500 mg sodium per day which is the Adequate Intake (AI) and people aged 14 and over should not eat more than 2300 mg sodium per day. This is referred to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL). A sodium intake above 2300 mg per day is likely to pose a health risk. Health Canada




Wayne’s Chicken Curry Recipe

AUTHOR: Wayne Stanley

CUISINE: Cape-Malay


PREP TIME: 30 mins

COOK TIME: 60 mins

TOTAL TIME: 90 mins




1 cup of onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

2 tbsp. Fresh ginger finely chopped or grated

1 green pepper cut into 2cm strips (yellow and or orange peppers can be substituted)

3 jalapeño chili peppers – include the seeds of 2 peppers, finely chopped

1 lemon squeezed juice & zest

796 ml can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock

125 ml of apricot jam

16 chicken thighs with the skin intact

2 cups fresh cilantro roughly chopped, reserve 1 cup for garnish

*Optional: 2 handfuls of fresh green beans halved, they add color and crunch.

1-2 tbsp. of canola oil, only if using skinless thighs, otherwise use the rendered fat from frying the chicken.


Dry ingredients:

2 tbsp. Garam masala mixture (Garam masala)

1 tbsp. curry powder or 7-8 curry leaves (Curry Tree)

2 tsp. cumin spice

1 tbsp. coriander spice

3 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste




**(Make the sides ahead of time – see below)



  • In a heated large pot, Dutch oven preferably, sauté the chicken thighs starting skin-side down until the skin is golden. Remove the chicken pieces and set them aside.
  • Fry the onions in the rendered fat at medium heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  • Add garlic, ginger, green pepper and jalapeño peppers, fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low, add the dry ingredients, simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and apricot jam.
  • Return the chicken thighs to the pot and bring to the boil, then reduce to low heat, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Start cooking the rice.
  • Add the green beans after about 20 minutes.
  • Taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste.
  • Turn off the heat, add the chopped cilantro, let the curry rest for 5 minutes and serve with the sides and condiments.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.



I prefer the chicken with the skin on and bone in, but you may choose to debone them. When the curry is almost finished remove the chicken thighs, set them aside and allow them to cool down, and then pull the chicken off of the bones with your fingers and return the pieces to the curry. You may choose to do this if you think your guests would not want to use their hands.



Basmati Rice

“South African style Sambals” – see recipe below

Raita – see one of many recipes below

Sliced banana placed in cow’s milk or coconut milk

Shredded coconut to sprinkle

Fruit Chutney e.g. Mrs. Ball’s

(The addition of the sweet ingredients is the Malaysian influence).



2 cups of rice

3 cups of water

2.5 ml of salt

Rinse the rice in cold water, drain and then soak in cold water for 30 minutes.

Bring the water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Add rice and salt. Stir and cover. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Add butter to taste and fluff with a fork.



Sambals are served with most Cape Malay dishes – cool with spicy dishes and warm with bland dishes. Sambals must be crisp and keep their color so are best made just before the meal.

2 fresh tomatoes chopped fine

1 onion chopped fine

1 jalapeño chili pepper chopped fine

125 ml white wine vinegar

75 ml water

1 tsp. sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a dish that can be covered and place in the fridge.

Serve in small individual dishes with the curry.



1 cup of Greek yogurt

I cup of sour cream

1 cucumber coarsely grated, squeeze as much water out as you can

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1-2 sprigs of fresh mint

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a dish that can be covered and place in the fridge.

Serve in small individual dishes with the curry.


Wine Pairing:

Although it is difficult to pair wine with foods containing chilies consider these.

White: (fruity) Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon /Fumé Blanc

Red: (soft and fruity) Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel


© Wayne Stanley 2016
WAYNE’S CHICKEN CURRY RECIPE by Wayne Stanley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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