Gourmet Food for a Fiver by Jason Atherton
As I came out of the gym on Saturday morning I realised we had not seen our friends A & L for a very long time. Too long in fact. A couple of sms later, I was in Greensmith’s buying our weekend groceries. I remember seeing an interesting recipe for chicken breast on Atherton’s latest book, ‘Gourmet food for a fiver’ and Ginger Pig’s chicken breast are top quality, as free range as you can get.
Back home, I also chose a dessert to go with the chicken dish. For no particular reason other than I had never made one, I picked Treacle Tart…a British classic, but not such a classic on an Italian table.
I had a little trouble finding tamarind paste – that’s the problem of not having a Waitrose near you! Thankfully, due to a Kensington based saturday night dinner, managed to solve the problem with a quick dash at Whole Foods…man, that’s a heaven for foodies! Im glad I was in a hurry or I could have spent my monthly food allowance…
Sunday morning I started with the marinade; Atherton says to do this the night before, but I figured 12 or so hours would have been enough anyway. Tamarind paste, crushed sesame seeds (replacing the coriander seeds I couldnt find), oyster sauce, cracked black and white pepper corns, salt and brown sugar… looked pretty nasty I have to say:
Once grilled though (on a brand new Prestige grill rack, purchased from Peter Jones during our afternoon Sunday stroll), it actually looked and tasted really good!
The only problem was that I think I went too ‘hard boiled’ on the ‘sauce’ and, in my husband’s words, was good enough to plaster a wall with! Still, it actually tasted really good, and was quite spicy with a tangy hint from the tamarind and the kick from the pepper corns. The fresh leaves (mint, basil and coriander all fresh from the garden) was a perfect complement to the spices. I added some jersey royal potatoes as I felt just the chicken would have been a bit thin on the ground but next time I shall do some steamed rice which would probably work better.
Finally, the cake. I was pleased with the results, it was moist and not too sweet actually, and again, perfectly complemented by the creme fraiche (instead of the recipe’s fromage frais which I was unable to find).
So, for my second experience with Atherton’s book, I am pleased to see it got the thumbs up! The book itself is great, well written and each recipe is well laid out, with options to ‘tart it up’ a little too.