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Spring Break

Published: Sunday, April 01, 2012    

Parmesan Spring Chicken



Ingredients:

1 egg white
5 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
400g new potatoes, cut into smallcubes
140g frozen peas
Good handful baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil

Method:

Heat grill to medium and line the grill pan with foil. Beat the egg white on a plate with a little salt and pepper. Tip the Parmesan onto another plate. Dip the chicken first in egg white, then the cheese. Grill the coated chicken for 10-12 min, turning once until browned and crisp.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10 min, adding the peas for the final 3 min, then drain. Toss the vegetables with the spinach leaves, vinegar, oil and seasoning to taste. Divide between four warm plates, then serve with the chicken.



Spring Green Fattoush



Ingredients

500g broad beans, frozen or fresh
1 cucumber
3 wholemeal pita bread
Zest and juice 1 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar
20g bunch mint, smaller leaves picked, rest very roughly chopped
20g bunch flat-leaf parsley, very roughly chopped
small bunch chives , snipped
170g feta cheese, crumbled

Method

First get all the ingredients ready. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the beans and boil for 2-3 mins until just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool, then drain again. Pod the beans from their skins into a large mixing bowl, discard the skins. Halve cucumber lengthways, scrap out the seeds using a teaspoon, then slice into half-moons and throw in with the beans. Split the pittas so you have 6 thin circles of bread, then toast.

Whisk together lemon zest, juice, olive oil and sugar with plenty of seasoning. Pour over the beans and cucumber, add all the herbs and toss together. Tear the toasted pitta into pieces and add this to the salad with the crumbled feta. Toss together very gently - hands are best - then pile onto a platter to serve.



Smoked Fish Risotto with Spring Asparagus



Ingredients:

250g smoked trout fillets
2 bunches thin green asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1 1/2 cups (375ml) fish or vegetable stock
50g unsalted butter, plus extra knobs to serve
1 leek, white part only, cleaned, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp good-quality mild curry powder
250g arborio rice
150ml chardonnay
3 tbs (1/4 cup) finely chopped chives

Method:

Break the smoked trout into bite-sized chunks and set aside. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the asparagus, return to boil and cook for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water. Place on paper towel to drain and set aside.

Place the stock in a saucepan over low heat and simmer gently until ready to use.

Heat half the butter in a large, deep fry pan over low heat, add leek and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until softened but not colored. Add garlic and curry powder, and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to ensure all the grains are coated. Increase heat to medium, add wine and reduce for 2-3 minutes or until very little liquid is left. Begin adding the simmering stock, 1 cupful at a time. As each cup of liquid is absorbed, add the next, stirring constantly. After all the stock is added and absorbed, gently stir through the trout, asparagus and remaining butter. Season with sea salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 3 minutes.

Stir in half the chives just before serving, then divide between plates and top with extra butter and remaining chives.



Vegetable Spring Rolls



Ingredients:

375g fresh, thin, egg noodles
1/4 Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
2 small carrots, coarsely grated
4 green onions, thinly sliced
12 snow peas, strings removed, thinly sliced
12 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
275g packet spring roll pastry, thawed
peanut oil or light olive oil, for frying
reduced-salt soy sauce, to serve

Method:

Place noodles into a heat-proof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Combine noodles and vegetables in a bowl. Mix well. Place 1 pastry sheet onto a flat surface, with 1 corner facing you.

Place a heaped tablespoonful of mixture onto corner of pastry. Fold corner over filling. Brush opposite corner with cold water. Roll up. Press to seal. Repeat with remaining filling and pastry. Pour oil into a saucepan or wok so it is one-third full. Heat over medium-high heat until a piece of bread dropped into oil sizzles. Deep-fry spring rolls, 3 at a time, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve with soy sauce.
 
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