This recipe was the result of what I could rustle up for wife and I without having to order anything from the local grocery. Here’s how it goes:
1 chicken breast: marinate with salt and pepper and oregano flakes on one side
2 table-spoon olive oil for grilling
400 grams of veggies (anything you want to eat with your meat). I chose peas, carrots and broccoli.
4 table spoons of pesto. I chose classic basil pesto. Cannot think beyond that, honestly.
Heat the skillet / griddle pan on high flame. Add olive oil and let it smoke. Meanwhile, lightly beat the chicken breast to a consistent thickness. With the griddle all ready, add in the chicken breast. Prepare to go high on the decibel as the pan screams and smokes out.
Bring water to a boil and blanch the vegetables. Add some salt. Carrots take more time. Peas don’t. Broccoli needs some careful handling to keep the colour in tact. Once blanched, put them in cold water, specially the broccoli to stop the cooking and keep up colour.
Check on the chicken. Grill each side for about 5-6 minutes. Watching food as it cooks is a very satisfying activity. Once the chicken is done, take it off the pan and let it rest for about 5 – 7 minutes.
Lightly saute the vegetables in olive oil (with a small smatter of butter). Season it. Keep aside.
Now for the plating. Bed up the plate with the sautéed vegetables. Place the grilled chicken on top. Spoon some pesto sauce on the chicken. You may want to dust some parmesan cheese on top. Add a grilled lemon by the side. Tuck in! And don’t forget to squeeze that lemon – you will not believe how wonderful the juice will taste with the veggies!
I admit that I was very nervous as I promised my wife that I will cook fish. This was the first time I was attempting to be friends with fish. The last statement might come as a surprise to many who are acquainted with me and my vernacular belonging. I was ready with everything, including a new griddle that I bought. And so, with all the courage and confidence I could amass and special blessing from Jamie Oliver, I set off to cook salmon steaks. I was super-delighted with the results. A good dinner and happy wife are strong signs of posting the recipe on my blog.
I started with 2 fresh salmon steaks. I had the skin on. Was not too sure if I should cook with skin, so decided to knife it off. The steak might have some bones. Use your knife to find it and pluck them out. Salt both sides and rub in some olive oil. Let it rest.
For the salsa, I used 2 medium-sized cucumbers and cut them into small pieces after peeling off the skin. Continued the same with a big tomato. Threw in 3-4 young leeks. Open up an avocado and scoop out the flesh. Roughly chop it up and put some lemon juice over it to stop discolouration. Throw them all together in a bowl, add red chilli flakes, pinch of salt and lots of lemon juice. A quick swig of olive oil and some chopped mint on top. You could add in a couple of spoons of orange or pineapple juice. Mix them all well and keep aside.
Meanwhile, put the griddle on the stove till it is as hot as Ramsey’s temper. Put in the salmon steaks and hear them scream on the griddle. Keep them on for 7-8 minutes on the side and then turn them over. It will look nice and well done. A little extra grilling will keep the steak crunchy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. Repeat the same for the other side. I was experimenting on getting the criss-cross griddle marks correct. Will perfect them the next time. Take them off heat and allow them to rest a while. You may notice the juices in the griddle pan; pour them back on the steaks.
Now plate them. Steak first and spoon generous amounts of the salsa on top. Take a picture. Sit down and eat well. And do not look at the kitchen sink. That is for another time.