It’s been a while since I’ve put a post on here, I know. There have been several things that all happened in a concentrated period recently that led to me feeling not quite at the top of my game. Up until now, the thought of getting it together to make myself a lunch that was anywhere near photograph-worthy, let alone actually photograph it and write about it, seemed a daunting task. But now I’m feeling a bit more myself, I decided to intentionally carve out some time to make a blog post.
That time came today, a rainy Saturday, where I suddenly found myself with little on the agenda other than some household chores. The idea for lunch came in part from a recipe in Nigel Slater’s most recent cookbook (Kitchen Diaries III), a book so evocative in its descriptions that it sets me off on wild cooking fantasies. I adapted a recipe for grilled lamb steaks with cannellini bean and spinach puree, as I had a hankering for griddled chicken.
I do a lot of food photography for work, but doing photography that is just for me always feels like exercising a different muscle. There’s a lot more freedom involved in taking photographs that don’t have a specific brief, and it’s completely up to me the direction in which they take. I always feel I’m more able to take risks and experiment with composition and angles, and the outcome usually surprises me. I found a day spend gently pottering in the kitchen, then arranging bits of material, deciding on which plate to use (a lengthy process) and photographing the dish, bought a sense of much needed restoration.
Makes enough for 1 (with leftover purée)
1 chicken breast
1 400g tin butterbeans, drained and washed
100ml vegetable stock
200g fresh spinach
1 small slice of butter
salt and pepper
1 tbsp crème fraiche
Set the griddle pan over a high heat. Season the chicken breast and add it to the pan, pressing it down. Add the butter to the pan, Fry the chicken for about 7 minutes on each side until grill marks appear on both sides and the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, heat the butterbeans in a pan along with the chicken stock. When the beans and stock have reached simmering point, add the spinach a little at a time until it wilts down. Take the pan off the heat, and purée the mix using a stick blender, until smooth. Stir in the crème fraiche just before serving. This recipe will make way more purée than you need, but it’s nice spread on toast.