menu eight

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Sliced Tomatoes with Sea Salt
Grilled Chicken Breasts
Corn, Squash and Beans with Jalapeño Butter
Blueberry-Blackberry Crumble


Sliced Tomatoes with Sea Salt

It takes guts to serve just tomatoes, even as a starter. And as much as I love simplicity, I don’t think I would have attempted such a feat without David’s suggestion. But with some seriously great farmers market tomatoes and a few torn basil leaves, my Irishman and I enjoyed these immensely. Eaten outdoors while we waited for the coals to be just right for grilling our chicken, it was the essence of Summer.

Grilled Chicken Breasts
I normally avoid chicken breasts unless they’re part of a whole bird. I’ve had too many dry disappointments. I would never think of serving chicken breast for a Saturday night dinner. So I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this part of the meal.

But what a surprise! With rosemary to flavour them and grilled on a lowish hear, our chicken was tasty, succulent and tender. I think buying skin-on breasts from the farmers market also played a key role in making this dish a winner.

Corn, Squash and Beans with Jalapeño Butter
If I wasn’t enthused about the chicken, I was even less hopeful about the veg.

Since I couldn’t get my hands on any jalapeños, I made do with some hot Thai birds eye chillies for our chilli butter. And left the seeds in because we like it hot in our house. As a Japanese guy my Irishman follows on Instagram says, ‘No spicy, no Life’!

I’m not the biggest green bean fan. When I was writing my latest eCookbook the most difficult section for me was the green bean recipes. And while I did come up with some winners, I still haven’t completely fallen for the bean. So looking at the picture of chopped beans, zucchini and corn, I had my doubts. But David didn’t let us down. With the chicken and the spicy butter, the veg were delicious. Summery and substantial. Another dark horse!

Blueberry-Blackberry Crumble
The part of this menu that I knew would be a winner was dessert, especially when I came home from the farmers market with giant punnets of blueberries and blackberries. I wasn’t wrong. Possible the best crumble I’ve ever eaten (and I don’t make sure claims lightly!)

My changes to the recipe were:
i. Reduce the quantity for 2 serves
ii. Skip the cinnamon – apples are great with cinnamon but for me berries are better off without it.
iii. Halving the sugar (I usually halve or reduce by 1/3 the amount of sugar in other peoples recipes – occasionally I wish I hadn’t but mostly we don’t notice) These crumbles were lovely and sweet even with my reduced sugar.
iv. Adding in some chopped pecans. I love crunchy nuts in a crumble topping.
v. Replacing the flour with my favourite gluten-free flour substitute (half rice flour and half chickpea flour). Worked really well. The raw mixture tasted quite ‘beany’ but the baked crumble was delish!

For more see: The Jules & David Project