Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Cold Summer Dinner

In case you have been living under a rock, Melbourne has been experiencing a record breaking heat wave. This can create many challenges to a party-thrower: "is it too hot for an outside picnic or BBQ?", "can I really serve just salad for dinner?", "its too hot to use the oven, what are my options for a dinner party?"

But alas - do not fear - Lush is hear with a solution - see my recipes below for the perfect stay at home (in the AirCon) dinner party.

MAIN - Cold Chicken in Curried Cream (serves 6-10)

 A family favorite of ours - tasty, spicy and served cold.
 PLEASE NOTE - this dish must be prepared the day prior.

The Chicken

  • 1.5kg skinless chicken breasts (cut into medium sized tenderloins)
    • Poached gently at a simmer on the stove-top in a thin stock consisting of:
      • Chicken Stock Powder 
      • Salt/Pepper 
      • Garlic Powder 
      • Curry Powder 
      • Mild Smoked Paprika 
      • Turmeric 
      • Cumin Powder 
      • Lemon Oil (or zest will substitute)
    • Poach until just done and tender. (do not overcook or will be tough).
    • Let cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours in half the cooking liquid (add ice to expedite)

The Sauce

  • Whilst the chicken is cooling in the fridge, you can start to prepare the curried cream sauce:
  • First in a saucepan, saute until translucent and soft:
    •  3 Tbl vegetable oil
    • 2 medium onions, roughly diced
  •  Once soft, add: 
    • 1 Tbl curry powder (cook for a further one minute)
  •  Remove from heat, and add
    • ¼ cup tomato sauce
    • 1 Tbl apricot jam
    • 1 Tbl  mango chutney
  •  Once completely cool - fold in:
    •  ½ cup oil mayonnaise
    •  ½ cup cream, lightly whipped to soft peaks

 Finishing it off

  • Drain the chicken pieces
  • Layer in a casserole dish (alternating layers of Sauce/Chicken) 
  • Ensure all chicken is covered 
  • Then Refrigerated overnight



SIDE - Turkish Spoon Salad (serves 6-10)


  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 lemon - juiced + 1 tsp zest
  • 1 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli (finely grated)
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 bunch mint (finely chopped)
  • 2 punnets cherry tomatoes
  • 2 yellow capsicums (bell peppers)
  • 2 Lebanese cucumber
  • 3 whole pomegranates
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios


  1. Combine the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, oil and chilli in bowl
  2. Add the parsley and mint to the same bowl and refrigerate to marinate for 15 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, Finely dice (into peanut sized pieces):
    1. Cherry tomatoes - each needs to be cut into sixths (or use whole tomatoes but remove seeds)
    2. Cucumber - with the seeds removed
    3. Capsicums - also with the seeds removed
  4. Combine with the remaining ingredients (i.e add vegetables to sauce/herbs).
  5. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes - this will allow the flavours to infuse perfectly.
  6. Once marinated -  drain in a sieve to remove any excess juices that has accumulated.
  7. Season to taste with salt & pepper.



It can be unwise to serve wine or sparkling on extremely hot day - therefore I would stick to beer or non-alcoholic beverages.

Enjoy the AirCon and your cold feast.

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