Roast chicken with with sage and lemon. Photo: SuppliedBaked eggs with capsicum and tomatoes
I look for about three things in a breakfast: it needs to be easy to make without dirtying too many dishes; it needs to be delicious; and I need to be able to move after I eat it. This ticks all those boxes. The egg whites meander out into the tomatoes to almost bind it together, kind of like a frittata. If you’re an anchovy fan like me, add some to the pan just before you put it in the oven.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 red capsicum, quartered, seeds and membrane removed, cut into thin strips 400 g cherry tomatoes (I like to use a mixture of varieties) 1 large clove garlic, ﬁnely chopped 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, ﬁnely chopped (optional) 4 eggs handful of ﬂat-leaf parsley leaves, shredded sea salt and cracked black pepper freshly grated parmesan, to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat.
Add the onion and capsicum and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic and chilli, if using, along with ½ cup (125 ml) of water. Stir to combine, then place the pan in the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes or until the capsicum and onion are softened.
Remove the pan from the oven and use a wooden spoon to make 4 little pockets in the vegetable mixture. Crack an egg into each pocket, then bake for a further 5 minutes or until the eggs are set.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve scattered with a little parmesan, if desired.Roast chicken with with sage and lemonServes 4
There’s no molecular gastronomy here, just good humble flavours. As always, it’s worth using the best-quality chicken you can afford. Slashing the legs of the chicken is a great trick that helps the marinade infuse into the meat. I often serve this with the Quinoa, broccolini and asparagus salad.
10 sage leaves 1 lemon, zest ﬁnely grated, then halved 1 tablespoon sea salt 1 × 1.4 kg chicken 1 apple, quartered and cored 4 cloves garlic, squashed olive oil, for drizzling 2 onions, sliced 2 carrots, thickly sliced 2 stalks celery, trimmed and thickly sliced 1 cup white wine
Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the sage, lemon zest and salt into a mortar and use the pestle to pound until you have a vibrant green salt. If it becomes too paste-like, add a little more salt until it is grainy again.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the apple, lemon halves and garlic, then use kitchen string to tie the drumsticks together. (This helps the bird hold its shape during cooking and also prevents the ingredients in the cavity falling out.) Slash the drumsticks a few times – this will help the flavoured salt penetrate the meat.
Drizzle a roasting pan with a little olive oil and scatter the onion, carrot and celery over the base. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, then rub the flavoured salt over the entire surface of the chicken. Roast the chicken and vegetables for 10 minutes, then splash in the wine and cook for about 1 hour more, basting from time to time to keep the meat moist. The chicken is ready if the juices run clear when you tip it on an angle. If the juices are still pink, it is not cooked through and needs a little more time in the oven.
Remove from the oven and serve the chicken and roasted vegetables immediately, with any cooking juices spooned over.Quinoa, broccolini and asparagus salad
Serves 4 as a side
When we first started writing this book we had a sort of section mapped out for take-to-work lunches, but when the book began to come together we realised that all the salad and vegetable recipes could work in this category. This is a case in point – it would be amazing with the Roast chicken or eaten for lunch with some flaked smoked trout over the top.
2 heaped tablespoons low-fat plain Greek-style yoghurt sea salt and cracked black pepper 2 small handfuls of mint leaves 2 pinches of ground cumin ¾ cup quinoa 1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed and cut into 3 cm lengths 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 3 cm lengths 1 bulb baby fennel 1 tablespoon salted baby capers, rinsed and roughly chopped 1 small handful of dill, chopped ﬁnely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Place the yoghurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Finely chop half the mint leaves and mix into the yoghurt. Sprinkle with a pinch of cumin, then cover with plastic film and place in the fridge until needed.
Toast the quinoa in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups (500 ml) water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and hold at a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to absorb any remaining liquid. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and place in the fridge, uncovered, for about 10 minutes to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the broccolini and asparagus for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside until needed.
Use a sharp knife to remove the stalks from the fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds and discard the stalks. Cut the fennel in half lengthways, then slice into thin strips and place in a bowl of iced water to keep it fresh and crisp. (You could also use a mandoline, or a vegetable peeler to peel long strips.)
Remove the cooled quinoa from the fridge. Add the broccolini, asparagus, fennel, capers, dill, lemon zest and juice, remaining mint leaves and pinch of cumin, reserved fennel fronds and a good drizzle of olive oil. Mix carefully so you don’t bruise the herbs and then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve the quinoa salad with a dollop of the mint and cumin yoghurt on top.
The Chef gets Healthy: Lose the kilos, keep the flavour, by Tobie and Georgia Puttock. Lantern. $39.99.
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