Working in a bar/restaurant means nights with late hours, dinner at odd times and much less time to cook. Sometimes I’ll be super organized and cook something for lunch and bring extras to have after my shift, other times I’ll grab one of the $5 special meals on my way to work and eat before I start. And other times there may be a sneaky trip to Maccas or Pie Face.
One of the other challenges with working in hospitality is that when I do get a chance to cook, sometimes I go a little bit overboard. Sunday night dinners at Ciarans parent’s house tend to be one of those times. In the past I’ve made chicken schnitzel with mash and creamy jaeger sauce, meaty lasagna, beer braised chicken, a lot of heavy meals. So this time I was gently instructed, no red meat and no cream. Which actually wasn’t too much of a challenge. Delicious dinners definitely don’t need a bunch of cream or butter to taste great. I remembered this dish from a small dinner party my mum held ages ago and spent a while tracking down the recipe. It’s simple, fresh and keeps well for leftovers. The tomatoes may not keep as well, but they’re a fancy little accompaniment for a nice sit down dinner.
Chicken, spinach and pecorino risoni
200g cooked warm risoni
400g shredded bbq chicken
1/2 cup ﬁnely grated percorino (also known as romano)
50g shredded baby spinach
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Cook risoni and set aside in a warm pan. Shred a store bought bbq chicken. Add the chicken, pecorino, spinach and basil to the risoni. In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice, oil and garlic and toss through the pasta. Serve warm.
Recipe from Donna Hay Magazine
Tomatoes roasted with pesto
2 to 2 1/2 pounds large red tomatoes
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pesto (store bought or home made)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
Core the tomatoes and then slice them across (not through the stem) arrange on a sheet pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper.
Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, spread each slice with the pesto, and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Return the tomatoes to the oven and continue baking for 7 to 10 minutes, until the parmesan cheese is melted and begins to brown. Using a flat metal spatula, put the tomatoes on a serving platter, sprinkle with extra salt, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.