Monday, July 23, 2012

According to plan*

Hi again.

Last time I was telling about how me and Berlin were finally getting along, I started feeling at home, having very dear friends, became a regular in two bars, found my own flat and started a new job.

Since then, it just became even more clear that things are falling into place, and I could really see myself living there for a long while.
So obviously, something had to change.

I got a phone call from Israel, from the production of Master chef, calling me to audition for the next season, and so, I had to leave everything once again.

I'm not sure what if I'm free to tell much about it after signing a contract that basically says that I'm now owned by the production company, but I will say that I'm still in the sorting stage, so my destiny is not clear. If I make it I might have to stay in Israel for 4 months, that is if I make it all the way to the final, if i don't I'll just fly back to Berlin and see what's still standing from my newly formed life.

I have to say that unlike the previous times, I wasn't too stressed about leaving this time, cause I felt that for the first time I actually built something real and steady there, so I figured it will wait there for me until my return. I could be wrong though...

I'm trying to think if I'm scared of anything at the moment, and even though I think maybe I should be scared or at least worried, I'm actually pretty calm about the whole thing. I was very ambivalent about staying in Israel for so long, going back to living with my mom, In a room that was never mine, in a city that I can't really afford to live in, even for a short while, and without my good friends (I really miss my Berlin friends, and it seems as though my closest Israeli friends are either away or too busy for me). The other thing is that I don't know if I'm here for another week or another 3 months, so I don't know whether I should try and build something or just continue my permanent vacation.

I guess I just have to wait and see.

Fresh corn polenta:

(with chicken and mushrooms)

This is another one of my 'practicing for Master chef' dishes. I made it a few times already, in a few different versions (I hope the production is not reading this and that I could make it on the show as well), this one works as a main course, but you could do it without the chicken and it will be a great starter.


(serves about 5)

10 corncobs
50g butter
1/2 cup of milk
30g Hard salty cheese (Parmesan is great, but I actually made it with mozzarella once and it was just as good).


- Peel and wash the corn.
- Using a sharp knife, pierce the corn through the middle of all the seeds, working along the lines. (For maximum control use just the bottom part of the knife and hold the corn firmly in your other hand, turning it away from you as you go, it's faster and easier than it sounds).
- Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape the flesh out of the seeds into a medium pot, be careful, it tends to spray. Make sure you're applying enough force to bring out the flesh, but not too much, you don't want any of the shells, just the inside.
- Over a medium heat, cook the corn and butter, stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
- after 3 minutes or so, add the milk, cook for about 10 minutes, until the corn is cooked and the polenta is slightly thick. Now this is a fresh corn polenta so the texture is more like mashed potatoes rather than a 'normal' polenta or mamaliga.
- Add Parmesan and salt to taste.

So in total this takes about 20 minutes, I would make it at the very last minute, cause its really nice warm and fresh.

For the chicken:

- Chicken legs and thighs, one of each per person.
- 500g button mushrooms.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce.
- 2tbs honey/silan (start with less, keep adding and tasting until the saltiness of the soy is balanced).
- 1 tbs rice vinegar.
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin.
- about 5cm fresh ginger root, cut into matchsticks.
- Spring onion.
- Coarse salt.
- Fresh red chili, or dry chili.
- Neutral oil.


- In a large deep pan, heat a little oil, and sear the chicken from all sides, then remove from the pan.
- Add dry chili (if you're using fresh keep it for later), then garlic and ginger and saute for a few minutes, until the garlic is soft. You may need to add some boiling water, to keep the garlic from burning as the pan is very hot.
- In a bowl mix soy, vinegar and honey, taste to so make sure its not too sweet or salty.
- Add the chicken to the bowl, coat from all sides, put it in the pan and pour the sauce in as well.
- Cover with boiling water, cover the pot, bring to another boil, and then reduce heat and cook for at least an hour, until the chicken is very tender.


- Fish out the chicken and mushrooms. And continue reducing the sauce over a high heat, pan uncovered.
- Pour the polenta onto a large and semi deep serving plate. Place chicken and mushrooms on top, and pour the reduced sauce. Sprinkle with spring onions, fresh red chili and coarse salt.

* In Hebrew the title has a double meaning, ask your closest Hebrew speaking friend.
** For a non chicken version, just saute the garlic and ginger with a little butter and oil, add the mushrooms, soy and honey (you will need less of both) and cook until the mushrooms are ready.

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