Nicoise in a Jar

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I like things in jars, and here is another good use for the many jars I have laying around.

Putting salads in Jars is a great way to make things them of time, and to keep the salad fresh, and develop flavors while they sit in the fridge.

The order of the layering is important, as keeping the lettuce away from the moist ingredients keeps it crisp, while allowing some to touch the dressing improves their flavor – in this case the tomatoes and onion.

They also look, really pretty. Depending on how tightly packed the jar is  you may be able to eat directly from the jar (shaking to mix), or as I had, added to a plate or bowl to mix and eat.

Nicoise is a classic French salad, I didn’t use olives as I didn’t have any, and used capers instead of anchovies for a salt hit.

The tuna, egg, potato and beans make a very filling salad. If you wish, replace the eggs and tuna with white bans or chickpeas for a vegan alternative.

You need two large size clean jars for this recipe,  mine where 750mls, but you can add more or less lettuce to fit a slightly smaller or larger jar.

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Ingredients: for two large jars (these make a BIG salad for one).

2 tins of tuna slices in oil, drained

2 boiled eggs cooled, and sliced.

1 cos lettuce, washed, spun and torn into pieces

10 cherry tomatoes – halved

1 red onion – diced

6 baby potatoes, steamed, cooled, cut into slices.

250 gs of green beans, steamed lightly and cooled, cut into thirds

2 tsp of capers

2 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs of red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Steps.

1. Add oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to the bottom of the jar.

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2. Add tomatoes, onions and capers.

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3. Add tuna.

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4. Add the potato slices, carefully so that they are flat and cover the bottom layers completely.

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5. Add the green beans to cover the potato.

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6. Add the egg, reserving a couple of slices to arrange vertically against the jar for decoration.

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7. Place the decorative eggs slice against the glass, add the lettuce to ‘hold’ up the egg and fill the jar.

8. Screw on lid, and refrigerate until you want to eat!

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Txx

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Adam Liaw’s Lemon Chicken!!

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Yay! finally have the computer back!

When I was little and we went out for a special dinner it was always Chinese food. Especially if I went out with my Grandparents. As I got older we started to expand our taste in Asian foods (probably as more became available) to Thai, Japanese, Malaysian Korean etc.

When I say Chinese, I mean Westernized Cantonese food which is prolific in Australia, in every shopping center food court and local take away shop. Things like lemon and honey chicken, special  fried rice, fried dim sims and sweet and sour pork.

We now have really high quality Cantonese and other regional Chinese food available, but sometimes, I still crave my lemon chicken and special fried rice. I got some the other day from the local take away. It was a DISAPPOINTMENT! The chicken was dry and the sauce tasted like lemon cordial. Yuk. I wasted so many calories!

Then I was flicking through the July issue of the Australian Women Weekly and it featured a lemon chicken recipe by Adam Liaw (winner of the of second series of Australian Master Chef). So I had a go at making my own. It was YUMMY. I was a scared of frying at home, I usually avoid it, but the chicken was tender and crisp! The sauce was beautifully lemony and balanced! Give it a go…

Ingredients:

400g Chicken breast

2 egg whites

oil of choice, to shallow fry

1/2 cup of corn flour ( he recommends water-chestnut flour if you can get it)

white rice to serve

Marinade

1 tbs of light soy sauce

1/4 tsp of sesame oil

1/4 tsp of sea salt flakes

1 tbs of Shaoxiang wine (Chinese cooking wine, it you can’t find this use dry sherry)

Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup of caster sugar

1/4 cup of white vinegar

zest and juice of one lemon

1/2 cup of chicken stock

2 tsp of cornflour or arrowroot

1 small julienned carrot

3 green onions, julienned

Steps.

1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish.

2. Between two sheets of plastic wrap, beat chicken softly to a uniform thickness of 1.5 to 2 cm. Place in dish with marinade, coat well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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3. Heat 2 cm of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Beat the egg whites until fluid and frothy. Dip chicken in egg white, then into flour. Fry for 3 -4 minutes or until golden. Turn and fry for a further 3 minutes or until brown and cooked through. Drain chicken on paper towel. Repeat with remaining chicken, be careful not to over crowd the pan, as this will drop the temperature and result in soggy oily chicken.

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Sauce

Combine sugar, vinegar, zest, juice and stock in a pot over  medium heat. Bring to a simmer stirring, to dissolve sugar. Mix the arrowroot or corn flour with a little cold water and stir into the sauce. Cook stirring for about one minute, or until clear and glossy. Add the carrot and onion, cook to 30 secs to soften.

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To Serve

Slice chicken into 2.5 cm strips. Arrange on plate, scatter with some chopped green onion, serve with rice and sauce.

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Txx