For this week’s edition of Finding Food we caught up with Ellie Hallam, a English Literature graduate, who told us about her favourite dish (and most successful dish to date): a delicious, summery peach salsa, served up with grilled chicken.
Who taught you how to cook?
No one really, I learnt the odd recipe from specific relatives (e.g. Dad taught me how to make his surprisingly delicious salad cream scrambled eggs) but most of the little I know was learnt through trial and a lot of error.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Brighton?
The best food I’ve ever had here was at The Coal Shed for my graduation meal. However, if I had to choose somewhere I could never sacrifice it would have to be a hungover fastfood takeaway delivered straight to my or one of my housemate’s bed.
What is the first meal you remember making?
I tried to make my family Sunday roast but I didn’t realise you actually needed water to boil carrots and I ruined one of my mum’s Le Creuset saucepans.
What inspires you when you cook?
I’m obsessed with the sped up cooking videos you see all over social media. I could watch them for hours, there’s something so satisfying about them, plus they definitely give me a lot of ideas of new recipes to try.
What is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever tried?
Goats Cheese, there’s just something so inherently off about it for me.
Why did you choose your recipe?
The recipe I’ve chosen is Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Zesty Lime Chicken with Peach Salsa’. I bought her cookbook, Flavour after reading another of hers called Eat Up, which is described as “a radical manifesto here to put pleasure back on the plate.” Ruby is very much against diet culture and food snobbery, so all of her recipes are solely built around accessible ingredients and the tastiest flavours. I chose this one because it’s really summery, the lime contrasts so nicely with the peach and it’s great for both lunch and dinner.
For the salsa:
2 medium peaches, diced (Ellie used tinned peaches – worked just as well just a little sweeter)
3 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 handfuls of fresh coriander
Juice of 2 limes
2 table spoons of olive oil
For the chicken:
4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 gloves of garlic, crushed
zest of three limes
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lime
Bash chicken breasts with a rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper until meat is flattened, which helps the meat cook more evenly. Cover the breasts with the oil, garlic, lime zest and salt, and put in a large container in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 hours.
Whilst the chicken is marinating, prepare the star of the show: the salsa. Combine all the salsa ingredients in a large bowl and season to taste.
When your two hours is up, heat a frying pan, no need for extra oil as there is plenty in your marinade, and fry your chicken on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on size of breast fillets, and serve immediately!
The recipe suggests dishing it up in a taco, but I went for a simple little rocket salad to finish.