For Christmas this past year, my father got me many beautiful cookbooks. The most interesting, I think is Diane Forley’s Anatomy of a Dish, which focuses on complete dishes and understanding the foundations of dishes. It’s actually really complicated, and I have to admit I haven’t read it all yet (and, yes, it’s one of those cookbooks you really should read, with charts for different plant families and whatnot). Even without many pictures, the book is gorgeous, and I do love food pictures.
Anyway, last night I made the quinoa-crusted chicken, which is basically a protein explosion, but also surprisingly good given the simple recipe. The cookbook comes with accompaniments, so I also tried the Spinach and Herb Sauce that was recommended.
- 2 cups quinoa
- 2 large scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil
Combine the quinoa, scallions, ginger, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the flour on a separate plate. Beat the eggs and put them on another plate. Dip the chicken breasts in the flour first, then the egg, then the quinoa breading, making sure everything sticks. Heat the oil and add the chicken, cooking on the first side until they’re browned, which takes maybe 7 minutes, then flip, and cook the other side, I guess another 7 minutes.
After dinner, my stomach was a bit sorry, but it might have been the Dairy Queen blizzard I had for dessert, but it also could have been that the quinoa (maybe?) expands in your stomach? I don’t know.
The Spinach and Herb Sauce was easy and Neil and Zack kept saying it was delicious but I think they were maybe just being nice. It was good, but not the most amazing. I am always hesitant to not add garlic… but I followed the recipe this time. I realize that I’m not really talking up this sauce. It’s good!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 pound spinach
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons 1-inch chive lengths
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the spinach and add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally (I recommend tongs here), until the spinach is wilted, which takes maybe 5 minutes. Add the chives, parsley, and the recipe at this point also calls for 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon which I did not have. Add half a cup of water and bring to a simmer. I just left this at low heat until I had prepped everything for the chicken, which was a good system. Then I got Zack to actually handle the raw chicken, because I hate it, and I took over the sauce, puréeing it in a food processor. Then I added more salt, and served it warm. It was really nice directly on the chicken.
IMPORTANT QUESTION! Why is the garlic on the asparagus a beautiful turquoise colour? This is not the colour of garlic! I fried the asparagus in a bit of olive oil with garlic and lemon juice. What’s going on? This is not a rhetorical question!