Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Chicken Superfood Salad

Guaranteed to make you feel healthier without having to leave the table!

After a big weekend/night out people have different foods they favour to get themselves ready to face the world once more. Bacon and eggs are a sunday brunch favourite in the Keston kitchen. Sometimes however it is an injection of veggies and vitamins that you need.

A few weeks ago me and Jules returned from a epic 6 days at Glastonbury, it was the festival's 40th birthday and the best year yet. There is a whole array of culinary delights to be sampled in between all the songs, sun, shopping, sculptures and the spectacular shows in the Arcadia field (where the Keston kitchen's Ceri is to be found at the helm) - but so much fun took its toll and we were in need of a seriously special salad once it was all over!
After we had made the return journey to London, had several baths and caught up on some sleep, I knew the Leon cook book was the place to look and went straight to page with the chicken superfood salad. I made loads to ensure there would be left overs to help us through the first day back at our desks.

Chicken (or Salmon) Superfood Salad

Serves 2

2 tablespoons Quinoa (I used red Quinoa which I got from our excellent local shop SMBS in East Dulwich, Quinoa is a yummy, nutty tasting little grain packed with twice as much protein as rice or barley and is excellent in salads, if you can't get quinoa I would probably use some couscous)
1/2 head of broccoli
300g Chicken thighs (I used chicken breast) marinated in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 clove of chopped garlic OR 4 X 70g fillets of salmon
2 handfuls of rocket
2 handfuls of baby spinach
2 vine ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
120g frozen peas (boiled for a few minutes)
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
A light sprinkling of alfalfa sprouts (i couldn't find any alfalfa sprouts so chucked in a few bean sprouts which are completely different)
3 tablespoons of aioli (this should involve egg but I just used a glug of sunflower oil, a dollop of greek yogurt, a crushed clove of garlic, plenty of lemon juice, salt and pepper)
2 tablespoons toasted seeds (i used sesame seeds and poppy seeds as that is what we had in the cupboard)
Sprinkling of chopped mint and parsley
Salt and pepper

Ideally marinade your chicken over night but an hour or so will do.
Put 80 ml of water in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the quinoa and boil fast for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes more. Turn the heat off and fluff with a fork, and leave until cooled.
Pre-heat your grill to very hot or get a griddle pan smoking.
Cut the broccoli into small florets and slice the stalks into 1cm thick circles. Drop the broccoli into a pan of rapidly boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then drain and run under the tap until cold.
Season you chicken (or salmon) before you grill it: for chicken, grill for 5 minutes, turn it over, then 5 minutes more; just 3 minutes each side for salmon slices.
While all this is going on, build your salad: toss the leaves, tomatoes, broccoli and the peas in the juice of half a lemon and the olive oil.
Lift them onto whatever you're serving them on, then scatter on the quinoa and alfalfa.
The next layer is the protein (could use feta if you are vegetarian), and top it off with aioli, seeds and herbs, with the other half of lemon, wedged on the side.

Best enjoyed in front of the TV watching the Glastonbury highlights!

Rachael xx

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Pink Drinks

Pink Drinks by Charlotte 

On a recent trip to Berlin to see our Canadian friend Shotgun Jimmie play some tunes, check out art and sample some sauerkraut, we came across a super cool bar in East Kreuzberg which offered prosecco with rhubarb juice, a perfect summer drink combining two of my favourite things.

On my return, 5 days later, I decided to look into rhubarb recipes and found several for rhubarb cordial, all sounding pretty straightforward. A couple of weeks later I was in the supermarket and rhubarb was on offer so I bought a kilogram and decided I would make some cordial for a birthday bbq that we were hosting that coming weekend. I checked the recipe and the site I was going with said it would take 2 days as it involved straining the fruit through muslin for 24 hours. Suddenly it was Saturday morning and the impending bbq was taking place at 5pm that day…

So I decided to not look at the recipe and just go for it. I chopped the rhubarb and gently boiled the fruit for 15 minutes with about 50ml of water, covered, until it was soft and falling apart. I then set up a pan with the muslin across the top –fixed with pegs and elastic bands to hold it tight and scooped in the rhubarb. I left it for 2 hours while I ran errands, leaving Jules to sort out dessert and Rach pruning the garden in 30 degree heat.

All went to plan. I returned to find that I had 450ml of sharp rhubarb juice to transform into a delicious pink cordial. I knew it required lemon juice and sugar so I added about 50ml of lemon juice and several desserts spoons of sugar, boiled it up and after a few taste tests it was there – pink, sweet and syrupy with a little sour kick at the end.

So, why make this amazing, beautiful drink?

It’s really easy and can be made in less than 24 hours

It is aesthetically very pleasing and goes very well with sparkling wine

You’re left with a mass of rhubarb that looks a bit dried out but can definitely be used to make rhubarb fool, cake or crumble.

All rhubarb recipes and suggestions welcome! Enjoy.