a different sort of vegetable salad side dish
a small red onion
1 a yellow pepper
3 large juicy plump tomatoes
3 stalks of celery
1 garlic clove
Juice of half a lemon
¼ teaspoon of hot mustard
a glug of Irish rapeseed oil (okay use Olive oil if you need to)
1 tablespoon Capers (optional)
1 green chilli (optional)
A pinch of hot paprika
Take the bowl you are going to serve the salad, chop the garlic clove in half and run it around the bowl, it adds a hint of garlic and is a wonderful technique to add an extra layer of flavour.
Chop the onion finely and place it in the bowl season it with salt and pepper, mix and add the lemon juice. this wilts the onion slightly. Add the mustard and mix.
Chop the yellow pepper and celery finely add to bowl.
Keep the tomatoes large add to bowl. Pour the glug of rapeseed oil over the salad – sparingly it does not need much.
Chop the chilly finely add to bowl and use as much as you want. I liked this salad with a kick.
Add the capers to bowl. If you are using salted ones wash them and dry them off on kitchen paper.
Mix and leave to sit. Sprinkle the paprika over it before you bring it to the table and toss nce again before serving.
I made this to accompany crab claws and some left over monkfish that was served cold. I had a little mature cheddar on the side too. It was delicious and think it would go great with BBQ meat, roast chicken and steak too.
I suppose it is an unconventional way to make a salad dressing making it in the bowl as you go along. But it works and I will make this again.
Hope you try it, if you do let me know what you like about it.
At the end of a bright beautiful blue skied spring day and after a lovely dinner I felt everyone need something sweet.
Frozen Raspberries a small handful per person
1 frozen banana* (one per 3 handfuls of berries)
100ml milk or juice
Put everything in a deep container and whizz. Scoop and serve. It really is that fast.
It is a cross between and ice cream and a sorbet.
I think the frozen banana makes this sweet enough but add honey if you think it needs it.
This is perfect for those over ripe bananas at the end of the fruit bowl. *Peel the banana’s and slice them before freezing them. If you don’t slice them they are tougher to whizz through and you can’t make smaller quantities.
This is also good with any frozen berries.
This dish was influenced by tofu and twice cooked rice.
5 chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon French mustard
2 tablespoons soya sauce
2 tablespoon marmalade
1 large onion
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon cornflour
Pick a container with a lid that will take all the chicken. I like to use a long flat plastic container with a lid.
Squeeze the lemon of all its juice into the container. Add the chicken and coat them in the lemon juice. Sprinkle the cumin and paprika on top. Pour in the soya sauce. Mix well. Add the marmalade and mustard mashing them into the liquid with a fork and coating the chicken. Chop the garlic and sprinkle over the chicken. Put the lid on the box and shake. Then live in the fridge for several hours. I did this step at lunchtime for an evening meal. Shake the box every time you open the fridge or get the kids to do this.
When you marinate chicken like this it takes on a soft delicate flavour and texture. You could swap out the lemon for cider vinegar but use half the suggested amount.
When you are ready to cook the chicken take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan use olive oil or rapeseed oil. Slice the onion and fry it off don’t let it go brown. When it has become translucent add the chicken, cook until the underside is sealed. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook. After the chicken is cooked both sides six minutes or so add the carrots and the marinade and about a cupful of water. Cook bring the pot to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for a further 20 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked taste it to see do the flavours need adjusting. Remove the chicken from the pan along with half the carrots. Whiz the remaining liquid, onions and carrot in the pan to create a smooth sauce. Mix the cornflour in a small container with water to make a paste and add this to the sauce, you will see it thicken but do cook out the cornflour. Stir the sauce well and keep the heat on it. You can choose to slice the chicken before adding it back into the sauce but I added the chicken and carrots back in to the sauce. Then I broke up the chicken with the wooden spoon.
This was served with basmati rice.
This dish did not need any salt as the soya sauce provided plenty of flavour.
Everyone ate it… okay son#3 the seven year old wanted the sauce on his rice and the chicken without sauce. I had kept one chicken breast without sauce. I know my kids!
Good coffee and a tasty bread
I was just going to link to Nigella Lawsons Norwegian Cinnamon Bread but annoyingly it is not on her site however I did find the recipe posted on Paris Pastry with fine photos to match.
The liquid ingredients melted butter, 2 eggs and milk should equate to 500ml. Use good strong white flour or Spelt flour it does make a difference. I also add a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and double the amount of cinnamon.
If you live in a dairy free house use Pura (available from good health food stores or suppermarkets) and soya milk.
In our house as per son #1 the recent teenager the more cinnamon the better.
This beetroot relish can be served to spice up a salad or a main meal. I like it served as a salad in it’s own right and it is rather good with pecans.
1 medium beetroot
1 small red onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
Peel the beetroot I prefer to do this with a small sharp knife. Using a large toothed grater grate the beetroot. Or chop into small pieces.
Finely chop the onion.
Mix all the ingredients together and leave for at least twenty minutes to let the flavours mingle.
Serve as a side dish and allow people to help themselves or pile on top of a green salad to add… well a kick.
You can add more cayenne pepper to suit your pallet.
This year I have discovered I like beetroot raw rather then vinegared or cooked. But I am the only one who likes it in our house.
Beetroot is said to have very positive effects on the blood and other health inducing properties.