1. The sun wakes me up early.
2. My jasmine is about to pop.
3. There are lorikeets in the garden.
4. The air smells good.
5. It is light when I leave home. It is light when I return.
6. All the (non-native) trees are bright green with new growth.
7. New season fruit and vegies are in the shops.
8. I'm not cold (I despise being cold).
9. Third term is nearly over.
10. Stone fruit is on its way, but then again so is Christmas.....
And so winter gives way to spring, and shanks give way to salad. Part of my plan for the warmer seasons ahead, is to get the kids eating main course salads for dinner. For some sensible and also some stupid reasons, I have never really pushed salads on them in the past, but it is definitely time. With this in mind, I was glad to see the challenge this month for Hey Hey It's Donna Day, because it was a kid-friendly main course salad.
The salad looked delightfully sunny and yellow. The polenta and parmesan crumbed chicken was tasty, although a bit "sandy" in texture according to one 10 yr old expert. I accidentally overcooked the corn, so instead of coming off the cob in nice elegant slivers, it came off kernel by kernel (hence the lack of an elegant photo above). No matter; the small fry don't really care about plating or aesthetics. Baby spinach is a great salad leaf for children too - not too strong in flavour or bitter, it is the second salad leaf I got them to eat (sort of) after iceberg lettuce. The dressing is a little strong for the kids, so serve this on the side for the adults rather than dressing everyone's salad. All in all a lovely meal enjoyed by the whole tribe. And the leftover chicken made great sandwiches for the kids for a couple of days.
Thanks to Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness for the choice. If you feel like making use of your enormous pile of Donna hay cookbooks / magazines once a month, join in Hey Hey It's Donna Day, facilitated by Denise from Chez Us.
Parmesan and Polenta Chickenfrom Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 31
2 cobs corn, husks and silks removed
olive oil for brushing
2 x 200g (7oz) chicken breasts
flour for dusting
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup(100g/3 1/2 oz) polenta
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
100g (3 1/2 oz) baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
grated parmesan cheese, extra to serve
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
sea salt and cracked black pepper
To make the dressing, place the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, oil, honey, salt & pepper in a bowl & whisk to combine. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 220 C. Brush the corn with oil, place in a baking dish & roast for 25 minutes or until golden. Slice the kernels from the corn & set aside.
Slice the chicken in half horizontally, dust with the flour, dip into the egg & press into the combined parmesan & polenta to coat. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat & cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden & cooked through. Arrange the chicken, corn, spinach & basil on plates & spoon over the dressing & grated parmesan to serve. Serves 4