I must confess, I tend to stick to the recipes I’m used to and never really venture out into cooking new recipes that are totally different. I decided that it’s about time I upped the ante with my cooking so I recently purchased my first Jamie Oliver book, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals and I instantly fell in love with his style of cooking. There’s about 15 recipes I’ve already flagged for must-cook ASAP meals.
I cooked his Blackened Chicken and San Fran Quinoa Salad today and it was incredible. The spices, the freshness – oh my! I highly recommend trying it.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 mug (300g) of quinoa
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 100g baby spinach
- 4 spring onions
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 ripe large mango
- 2 limes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ripe avocado
- 50g fets cheese
- 1 punnet cress
- 2 x 200g skinless chicken breasts
- 1 heaped tsp ground allspice
- 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
- Olive oil
- 2 mixed colour peppers
- 4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
- Put the quinoa into the pan and generously cover with boiling water and the lid.
- Put the chilli, spinach, trimmed spring onions and coriander (reserving a few leaves) into the processor, tear in the top leafy half of the mint, then blitz until finely chopped.
- On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper, allspice and paprika. Fold over the paper and bash/flatten the chicken into 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin.
- Put chicken into frying pan with 1tbsp of olive oil, turning after 3-4 minutes until blackened and cooked through.
- Deseed the peppers and cut each one into 8 strips and add into the frying pan, toss regularly.
- Peel and cut mango chunks.
- Drain quinoa and rinse under a cold tap, then drain well again and tip on serving board or platter.
- Toss with the blitzed spinach mixture, squeeze over the lime juice, add the extra virgin olive oil, mix well and season to taste.
- Sprinkle the mango chunks and cooked peppers over the over the quinoa.
- Halve and destone the avocado, use a teaspoon to scoop curls of it over the salad.
- Slice up the chicken, toss sliced in any juices and add to salad.
- Crumble over the feta, scatter over the remaining coriander leaves and snip over the cress. Serve with yoghurt.
I cheated a little bit used this little treasure I found in the spice section at my local supermarket instead of using the paprika and all-spice. It’s called Jamaica Jerk by Fiddes Payne – it had all of the ingredients that I needed in the recipe (and a few extras although I thought it would be well with the recipe still as the blackened chicken has quite bold Jamaican flavours in it which I love).
I think Jamie exaggerates when he says ‘anyone’ can do this in 15 minutes – I think I was almost reaching half an hour – the quinoa took 20 minutes to cook to my liking, if you stop cooking it too early is doesn’t become light and fluffy and tends to have a bitter and hard in the middle.
I took a few snaps along the way to make you mouth water… Enjoy!