Monday, 27 September 2010

Chicken burger with quinoa salad

I had such a bad day today, you know one of those days when you really should not have bothered getting out of bed. Monday, rain, too much work, delayed trains.... When I'm in a bad mood and I just want to punch someone, anyone, I cook instead. Once I've chopped through an onion I'm at peace again. Cooking and food, that's my kind of therapy.

This chicken burger is packed with flavours, hot chili to get that chill out after waiting for the bus in the drizzle, zingy lemon and ginger and lime to help you escape the bleakness of a rainy September night that feels like November. If you like me feels like Life has kicked you in the stomach, this will hopefully make you feel a least a little bit better. And if you're happy and content already, good for you and this will still be a fantastic meal. I served this with a quinoa salad and yoghurt dressing, but another option would be to serve as traditional burgers with maybe lightly toasted ciabatta and sliced avocado.

Chicken burgers (12 small burgers, or 6 portions)
700 g chicken fillets, finely chopped to a mince
1 bunch of spring onions
3 red chillies, finely chopped
4-5 pressed garlic cloves
zest from 2 limes
3 cm fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tsps lemongrass paste
1 egg
salt and pepper
olive oil

It's easy mincing chicken fillets, it just takes minutes with a sharp knife to mince the meat. Or you can use a food processor if you have one.

Mix the minced chicken with all the other ingredients, adding the egg last.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, form the chicken mince to small burgers and fry on both sides until golden. Make small burgers, this will make it easier to turn them when you're cooking them, and also makes it easier to make sure that they're really cooked through properly.

This burgers freeze well if you want to eat them later.

I served the burgers with this easy quinoa salad. Quinoa is one of my favourite grains, actually quinoa is not a grain but the seeds from a plant related to spinach and weeds like tumbleweed, but biology lesson aside, it's filling and healthier than other grains like couscous.

Quinoa salad (4-6 portions)
2 dl quinoa
chicken stock
3 small courgettes, thinly sliced
200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 small bunches of coriander
Juice from 1 lime
1 pressed garlic clove
salt and pepper
olive oil

Cook the quinoa in chicken stock on gentle heat until soft, drain of the excess water

Fry the courgette with the garlic in olive oil until golden. Add the tomatoes, red onion and spring onions and fry for a couple of minutes.

Mix the quinoa with the vegetables, coriander and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This salad is good warm, lukewarm and cold, perfect for the lunch box.

Yoghurt dressing
1 dl yoghurt
2 tbs sweet chili sauce
1 small pressed garlic clove
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste.

The other thing that always make me happy is music. This is one of my current favourites, from Swedish electro clash band Alice in Videoland, listening to this I just want to dance.

Happy Monday all of you!!!

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