Smoky fire roasted tumeric chicken for Troppo…

As part of my new segment, “Easy shit for Troppo to cook”.

My mate Troppo is a man of simple pleasures. A nice girl, something to eat, snow and some good tunes are a fine beginning to a smiling Troppo.

When venturing into that belly-filling hub of any home, the kitchen, Troppo likes to cook things that are easy and hopefully have a bit of room for error. And if the whole meal can be cooked in one pan even better… If it can be baked in the oven the guy is going to be pretty pleased with himself… And if it contains 5 ingredients or less and still tastes anywhere between OK and good, Troppo is going to be wearing his winning smile… And if there is a naked carnie to eat it off, even better… And then maybe he finds five bucks.

Troppo is also very tall. I mean, I am tall but Troppo is one of those really tall guys who I have to look up to. Relevance to this story? Nil. My care factor? Nil also.

So, as a favour to a jolly stirling old chap and a true friend, I shall see if I can’t use my chef’s brains to conjure up a few decent recipes constructed of five ingredients, or there abouts. And maybe I’ll even share a few gripping tales about my mate Troppo.

On a very relevant note, troppo has been quoted in various highly esteemed society publications as saying “fire is the start of something good” (This is reason alone that I would love this man like a brother), so it was agreed that fire would be the source of heat for the caramelisation of meats that would inevitably become part of our quest for satiation on this fine evening. The “Maillard Reaction” would be our friend tonight!

All you need for chooky success. The tumeric is the one marked “tumeric”
Troppo slaps the chicken
Chicken meets smoky goodness
Troppo and Jennee. To cool for this shit…
Looking good ladies
Chopped up and ready to roll
You remember how to eat, yeah?

Smoky chooks with tumeric and a couple of other things

With this sort of cooking you are going to have a hard time producing a shit product if you listen to your favourite pirate Uncle (me) and follow a couple of simple rules. 1) Use the best meat your back pocket will allow, and 2) wait until your fire has calmed down a bit and keep your meat to the side so it can hang out for a while a get all smoky and fantastic. Sounds easy? It is!

If you don’t have a fire pit, as I understand a lot of people don’t, don’t be scared to use a BBQ or a medium-high oven.

Almost five ingredients
2 free-range chickens… maybe 1 if you’re not feeding a hoard, butterflied
2 tablespoons tumeric powder, unless it’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for a year in which case it probably tastes all musty and shitty
5 cloves garlic
1 long red chilli
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon palm sugar
• Blitz all ingredients together
• Rub down that bird like the naughty little girl it is. Maybe slap it once or twice too. Now do the same to the other one
• Season with a good splash of fish sauce
• Now grill the chooks on the side of your fire pit for an hour, or two if time is your friend. Cover with banana leaves if you really want to catch that smoky flavour
• We ate these with Asian slaw, nam jim, pickled cucumber salad and a pile of good company

You’re welcome!

Roast chicken with something different because it’s spring

Sunday roast getting a bit boring? Whatever. Cut out my tongue. Comments like that make me want to punch myself in the face. Who am I effing kidding. Sunday roast chicken is one of the thing I truly love in this world. That was one of the not heaps of things my mum could cook well. She excelled at golden crisp skin and fantastic roast vegetables. Awesome. Good job ma… seriously. So we agree (or I agree anyways) that the roast chicken doesn’t need to be fluffed up and frizzed out, it just needs to be good roast chicken. I’m just saying that you can serve it with other shite besides roast vegetables and peas.

So I’m going to make roast chicken with a papaya salad from my tree, and nam jim dressing just cos I can. And I think I may not have given you a recipe for nam jim yet. And it’s nice and springy and shit.

…Actually I did a little research and discovered that the recipes for green papaya salad and nam jim are back in July, under the headings green papaya salad, and condiments; the fun part of food.

This particular papaya salad had a bit of shredded cabbage and carrot in it and it was kick-ass. And I roasted some peanuts in the chicken juices for 10 minutes for some tasty crunch.

Smash your nam Jim up in a mortar and pestle or if you want to look OG, or, if you are weak and you’re about to miss an episode of Neighbours, blitz it with a stick wizz.


green papaya salad with nam jim

There’s been a couple of factors, or forces of evil, or small gypsy hobbits working together in a gallant effort to stymie my ability to fulfill my obligations as a pro blogger at the moment.

Firstly. As will often happen in the land of head chef-dom, the beast has dictated that I work extra hard to please the fire breathing dragon or it shall scorch all of my lands to a cinder.

Also I had a sous chef, but one day the beast within him dictated he should go to a far away land, and never come back.

So now I do the work of two men and one small troll.

Secondly, the fact that I could actually ice skate through my house most mornings is not really conducive to a “sit at the computer writing heaps amusing stories and kickass recipes” type lifestyle.

I mean I have blankets but, well, it’s like eating or drinking (stay with me here), they just have no place at the computer desk.

But I have whipped this muther effer into submission. Like Australia post, I will deliver. Wait a minute, I said I will deliver.

With plenty of heart warming braises and stews, smart brains, a strong will to survive, a large stock whip and plenty of sex… points 1-4 are definite… I shall survive. Or at least I’ll be ready when they decide to make a sexy time “survivor” series. Join the dots on that one.

So from the warmth of my bed, typing on my I-phone, I bring you another enthralling installment of Grazza’s soapbox, with Grazza… that’s me. Actually I’m pretty much done here. Move along now. That’s right, move along.

my favourite home for the green papaya salad is next to it’s good friend, salt and pepper calamari

Green papaya salad with nam jim

nam jim looks like this

There’s a recipe for nam jim two posts back and I mentioned that it does go jolly well on the old green papaya salad. So now here’s the green papaya salad recipe so your nam jim doesn’t have to sit there all alone and scared by itself…

The biggest favour you could do yourself right now, or maybe the second biggest actually, is to go to a kitchenware shop and buy yourself a papaya shredder (it looks just like a veg peeler except, instead of a flat blade it has corrugations)

my papaya tree

1 green papaya (my tree grows them in the shape of animals penises. I am truly a lucky man)
1 continental cucumber, deseeded* and sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, slice in half
2 eshallots (baby red onions), or half a red onion, sliced finely
a handful of coriander, mint and Thai basil, put your knife through the lot three or four times
Crisp eshallots (go to the Asian super market for these. And pick up a couple of other random things while you’re there)
Nam jim to dress

your papaya salad should look at least a little bit like this

• Peel the thick skin off your papaya with a honky dory vegetable peeler.
• Shred your papaya and if you, like me, are lucky enough a have a papaya tree that grows this buxom fruit like elephants dongs, chuckle to yourself as you go…
• Now combine the shredded papaya with everything except the crisp eshallots.
• Put it in a bowl if it’s part of a Thai feast, or divide it onto plates as a garnish for seafood or whatever, and sprinkle with crisp eshallots.
• You should be pretty impressed with yourself right now. Unless you have a self-esteem problem in which case you’ll just go on hating and self-depreciating and you won’t ever be allowed to come to my place for dinner.
• Once again all I have left to say is DERICIOUS. Nom, nom, nom.

*To deseed your cucumber, slice it in half lengthways and then scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Crazy talk, I know.

condiments; the fun part of food


Con·di·ment (knd-mnt) n.
A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin condmentum, from condre, to season; see dh- in Indo-European roots.]

Condiments were created for the people who never quite got past the mud pie stage of their lives, the people who want to be able to play with their food, the people who love the mad flavor and of course, the people who aren’t afraid to try something different then the missionary position.

From breakfast to late night snacks condiments have a special place in my heart. They can bring a bit of bread or a pack of mi-goreng noodles to life. They turn a meat patty in a bun into, well, a hamburger. They are shared when important people discuss important things. They can be smeared all over ones girlfriend and then… well that’s up to you is guess.

Let’s face it; Australia was built on a foundation of condiments. Firmly ingrained in our way of life are the tomato sauce and the vegemite. Nowhere else in the world would the inhabitants of a land be called traitors if they didn’t like lamb chops with peas and tomato sauce, or thickly buttered mighty white toast smeared with vegemite. Archeologists are literally able to show us an actual layer of tomato sauce bottles and vegemite jars 20 meters below the Earth’s surface*.

And, during the wave of multi-cultural cooking that has swept our nations taste buds off their feet in the last twenty years (yeah. It’s been like a dream first date), we have been introduced to such life changing events as smoky BBQ sauce, chilli jam, chilli in soy bean oil, Japanese mayonnaise, wasabi, and beer. No, we always had beer. Maybe that’s just when I was introduced to it. And yes, beer is a condiment to me.


Nim Jam, as I have seen it called more than once, or, Nam Jim as I like to call it (but that’s just because I can be quite sumpsimus about these types of things) is one of my favorite all time top blokes… And by that I clearly mean condiments and, for me, condiments are one of the funnest parts of having hands and a mouth… Hmmm.

salt and pepper calamari is super good with green papaya salad dressed with nam jim

12 long red chilli, deseed** and roughly chop
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
60ml fish sauce
200ml lime juice, from fresh limes fool. Don’t even be tempted to use bought lime juice for this one. If you have to use bought lime juice you should just mix it with some store bought sweet chilli sauce and use it as a dipping sauce for your next road house dim sim or dried dog turd
6 coriander roots, washed
0.5 cup light palm sugar
• Smash all of the dry ingredients together in a mortar and pestle or blitz in a food processor
• When you have a smooth-ish paste add the wets and mix well
• Taste
• It should be hot and sour and salty and slightly sweet. Adjust any seasonings you may need more of
• This is a perfect friend for a green papaya salad, which is a perfect friend for seafood, which is a perfect friend for your mouth, which is a perfect friend for your face, which is a perfect friend for you girlfriends crotch…


*This may or may not be based on any actual facts or evidence.

**Usual rules apply. If you want it hot, leave some or all of the seed in.