Simple bistro food – that’s the style of food I most enjoy both eating and cooking! Nothing overly complicated, nothing too froufrou (that means you foams!) but something damn tasty, thank you. One of my most used cook books – used as in splattered, marked and well thumbed – was published back in 2002 – Australian Gourmet Traveller: Food For Friends. I only brought it really for the ideas on wine and food pairing. Each recipe has a specific wine suggestion. Being so old now I doubt many of the wines will be the same, perhaps not even now available (especially in the UK) but the ideas certainly give a good push towards the style of wine that should work with each dish.
So rather than trying to hunt down a bottle of Stonier Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula for this Poached Quail with Somen Noodles and Spinach dish I cracked open a bottle of the Invivo Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand as an alternative.
One quail is suitable for one person as a light lunch; serving two for a dinner doesn’t seem too extravagant or greedy.
- 4 large quail
- 6 trimmed green onions
- 10cm piece of sliced ginger
- 1 small red chilli
- 1 stick of lemongrass split lengthwise
- 5 star anise
- ½ cup tamari
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 125ml rice wine
- 150g somen noodles
- 400g spinach leaves
- Put an onion and a slice of ginger in each of the birds. Put the quail in a pan and cover with remaining onions, ginger, chilli, lemongrass, star anise, tamari, brown sugar and cover with cold water.
- Bring to the boil and boil for one minute. Turn off the heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid and cool for 4 hours then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove quail from liquid. Strain and reserve the liquid. Remove flesh from each bird, tearing into bit sized pieces.
- Place two cups of the cooking liquid in a saucepan and heat until reduced by half. Cook noodles in a separate pan until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Drain well and add to reduced cooking liquid. Cook spinach in boiling water (or steam) until just wilted. Drain well.
- Serve noodles topped with spinach and quail. Pour broth over the top.
- One quail is suitable for one person as a light lunch; serving two for a dinner doesn’t seem too extravagant or greedy.