jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Chicken meatloaf and the clouds of London

I love cold meats, they are ideal for a light lunch or dinner, served with slices of good bread and in good company, who can ask for anything more? And if you are in a picnic, enjoying the sun, surrounded by your friends ans sharing some laughs, then it couldn't get better, could it? But again, here in London, you can think that a picnic, or organizing a picnic can be an intrepid challenge. I love picnics but, as I said, it can be a bit tricky trying to organize one for your friends, and I can honestly say that I have only been to four picnics because of the sun.                   

You can never EVER rely on the weather if you live here in London, but I guess it can always be worse, I could live further north, or even in a Nordic country where you can hardly see the sun light. But then again, I remember when I first moved from Spain, and you can imagine, coming from a Mediterranean country where the sun is up in the sky almost always, and moving here, it was quite a change. But as the weather changed and now temperatures are not so cold anymore, it doesn't rain that much, and we have quite "mild" winters. I remember my first winter here, when my ears for frozen while I was walking through the park and I could hardly feel my feet! But one learns with everything, and now, I ALWAYS carry an extra jacket, you never know! And yes, even in summer, because I firmly believe in the old English saying. "If you don't like the weather, wait for five minutes"                                                               

So, I started talking about cold meats, and here I am now babbling about English weather. Let's go back to some gorgeous food, and a chicken meatloaf that you and your guests will love. It comes from one of Australian Women's weekly, and you can use mince turkey or pork instead of chicken, and the salsa verde can be served with fish as well. 

900g mince chicken
100g drained semidried tomatoes in oil, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg
25g stale breadcrumbs
40g roasted pine nuts
40g chopped chives

Salsa Verde
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 chopped chives
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped coarsely
80ml olive oil
60ml lemon juice
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 clove garlic crushed

Oven dried tomatoes
500g cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a metal rack on a baking tray, season with the salt and pepper, and sprinkle the thyme all over. Bake at 100 degrees for three hours. If you lucky enough to live in a hot country you can skip the oven step and just place them on a tray under the sun until they are dried. If you are not going to use them right away, keep them in a glass jar covered with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 180. Grease a medium loaf pan.
Make salsa verde and reserve.
Combine chicken, tomato, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, nuts. and chives in large bowl. Press meatloaf mixture into pan.
Bake 20 minutes.
Serve meatloaves, top side up, with the salsa verde and slices of bread.