Chicken Pesto Salad

Normally you can attribute the success of a dish to a particular ingredient. This however lets every ingredient share the stage. You can leave out one or more of the ingredients but each one adds its own voice to the choir.

Using my last salad post as a base, (Check it out HERE) make it a full lunch or dinner with these other amazing flavours. Grilled Chicken gives this the protein to fill you up. Pesto adds a whole new dimension to the original flavour of the salad. Then, my favourite bit, toasted cumin seeds and pine nuts. That flavour from the fennel seeds really boosts the overall outcome of this pretty healthy, quick lunch or dinner.

What do you need

1x chicken breast

1tsp cumin seeds

25g pine nuts

1 tbsp pesto

1x lemon

Handful of spinach or rocket (or both)

1x pre cooked beetroot

5 sun dried tomatoes halved

40g feta cheese

What you need to do

Bash your chicken breast between some cling film to make it nice and even, around 1 cm thick would be good. Season it with a little salt and pepper and then drizzle it with a little olive oil. Add the breast to a hot pan and cook for around 4 minutes on each side (this can obviously vary, just make sure your chicken is white all the way through and there are no pink bits left inside).Once it is cooked through remove it to a plate and leave it to rest.

While the chicken cooks away heat another small pan and add the cumin seeds and pine nuts. Toast them for around a minute. You are not trying to cook them and you don't want to burn them so keep an eye out. All this does is release the aromatic oils and smells out of them both to make them taste amazing.

In a small bowl mix the pesto and lemon juice together.

Now to plate up just toss the spinach and rocket onto a plate and scatter over the beetroot, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and cumin seeds. Crumble the feta cheese over everything. Slice your chicken breast into strips and lay on top and drizzle over the lemon pesto.

Minted Lamb and Feta Burgers With a Crunchy Salad

Normally when I want a burger I want cheddar cheese, blue cheese, bacon, black pudding, burger sauce, mayo, ketchup, mustard, cooked onion, raw onion, onion rings,  lettuce, rocket and any other accompaniment you could think of, not all at once obviously although I wouldn’t say no to trying that. So when I looked at this recipe I wasn’t expecting much. A burger with no sauce! How wrong I could be.

Firstly, the peripherals. The wedges, you can’t go wrong with home made wedges, a little oil and salt and pepper and you are golden. Keep the skins on for that extra crispiness. The salad was light and refreshing. Lettuce, radish, spring onion and mint with a little olive oil. I used my good olive oil here that I got from our trip to France. The better the oil the better the flavour so therefor the better the salad.

So, onto the burger. The two most important parts of a good burger. The burger patty itself and the bun. Here we have a brioche bun which for me is the best bun you can get. I am partial to a nice soft white roll at a BBQ but where ever possible its brioche all the way. The burger here is lamb mince which apart from tasting different to your usual beef burger is also filled with a lot more fat which really, really helps. I am all for healthy eating and lean meat but I cannot sit here and lie and say that a lean piece of meat tastes as good as a fatty piece of meat. Obviously moderation is the key. Or in the wise words of Oscar Wilde “Everything in moderation, including moderation”

Along with that lovely sweet lamb that has mint, spring onion and feta all mixed in to the patty itself. You have an onion relish, this is literally onion that is stewed in a pan with some salt and a little sugar. These sweet caramelised onions really combine well with the lamb. These amazing flavour combinations make this a great burger. I didn’t miss any of my usual “must have fillings.. this time. I don’t think anything will beat my usual combination but this has opened up my eyes to other possibilities.

What

2x Large Potatoes

1 Onion

2x Baby Gem Lettuce

1x Pack Radish

3x Spring Onion

1 Bunch Mint

375g Minced Lamb

1 Block Feta Cheese

3x Brioche Buns

How

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees. while its warming up Chop the potatoes into wedges, you don’t have to peel them the skins will go nice and crispy. Toss the wedges in a splash of olive oil, season with some salt and pepper and pop them in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes.

Onion, slice it into thin half moons

Baby Gem, roughly chop it.

Radish, finely slice it

Spring onion, finely chop it.

Mint, roughly chop it.

Heat up a dash of olive oil in a small pan, add your onion with a pinch of salt and sugar. Put a lid on the pan and leave it on a low heat for around 15 minutes.

Next, mix your lamb with half the chopped mint and three quarters of your spring onion. crumble in half the feta cheese and then add a little flour, salt and pepper. mix it all together with your hands. Divide the mixture into one burger each.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the burgers. cook for around 4 – 5 minutes on each side. If you find they are cooking to quickly on the outside before the center is cooked you can turn down the heat or transfer them to the oven until cooked through.

Mix the remaining spring onion with the radish and lettuce and the rest of the mint. drizzle over some olive oil and salt and pepper and mix together.

Lastly split your buns in half and pop under the grill for around a minute each side. Keep an eye on them they burn fast.

Pop a burger in the bun with a spoonful of your onion relish. put it on the plate with some crispy wedges and a handful of salad.

 

Jamie’s Grilled Steak with Herby Brown Rice

Steak that melts in your mouth matched with roasted red pepper, feta cheese and pistachio’s, need I say more.

As I grow older and with the more steak I eat I am finding that I need to cook it less and less. Even since I started the blog, at the beginning I would have said I was a medium/rare kind of guy, now I am definitely in the rare category. It seems the more you cook it the more flavour is lost. Now, I could go on about the cuts of beef and the way they should be cooked but I have just decided to do a separate post on this. 

One of my favourite flavours is roasted red pepper. Most of the time though I have to make do from a jar. Here I actually got to roast them myself, which although is very easy, the change you get from the pepper is amazing. Its hard to describe, the sweet, crisp and crunchy pepper turns into a sweet, soft and err… well, roasted one. The rice is simply mixed with parsley, spring onions, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and the zest and half the juice from a lemon. This is served undereneath the sliced steak and roasted red peppers. This is topped with yogurt with lemon juice and salt and pepper. 

What really makes this dish though is the addition of feta cheese and pistachios. The saltiness of the cheese and that unique flavour from the pistachios make this dish come alive. I loved this meal, it is one of the reasons I enjoy cooking, making something that has few ingredients taste like you have used the whole cupboard and fridge.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s Paprika Spiced Chicken Thighs with Herby Bulgher and Skinny Slaw

Succulent chicken, flavour packed bulgher salad, tangy carrot and apple slaw and fantastic feta cheese crumbled all over.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this dish. There were so many flavours, yet they all managed to fit cohesively together. I’ll start with the chicken. Chicken thighs are our new favourite piece. There is so much more flavour and it is so much more juicy than the breast. For this we coated them in paprika and a little oil and pan fried them.  Once they were rested we Sliced them into 1 cm thick slices.

The Bulgher wheat was cooked in stock. While it was cooking I chopped the spinach, spring onion, chilli and parsley, some olive oil and half a lime’s worth of juice. Once the Bulgher wheat was cooked, drained and cooled slightly, it got mixed in with the herby mixture.To make the slaw we just grated the carrot and apple together added some chopped parsley some of the lime juice and a little olive oil.

With all these flavours going on its hard to imagine that you could improve it but then along comes the feta cheese. Every now and then you get that salty tang that comes with real quality feta. Apparently in 2002 feta became a protected designation of origin product. This means only cheeses produced in a traditional way in particular area of Greece, that are made of sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and up to 30% goats milk (from the same area) can be called feta.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk