As a life long meat eater, it can happen that the Sunday roast can become all to focussed on the meat as the centrepiece to the meal.
Lately I’ve been challenging myself to think differently about the end of week feast and try to focus less on the meat, and look more to vegetables and fish as the showpieces on my dish.
Continue reading “Pan Fried Atlantic Cod, Smoked Garlic Celeriac Puree, Thyme Roasted Beetroot and Carrots and Potato and Leek Cakes”
As summer approaches, us Irish and Brits are faced with important food dilemmas like: is it too hot outside for a roast dinner or, how rainy does it have to be exactly before you have to abandon the BBQ?!
Well, in relation to the traditional Sunday roast I say to you: it is never too hot outside for a roast chicken dinner! Forget about trying to faff about with making the meat “different” – stick to its brilliant beautiful traditional self; instead take a sideways look at your veg and think about different ways to cook, prepare and serve up your veg sides to bring the roast back on the summery Sunday table.
The other day I roasted a chicken with lemon and tarragon. The sun was out, the dogs were toasting themselves nicely on the hot stones outside and I was most definitely not in the mood for roast veg and gravy. Instead I cooked panfried green beans with smoked salt, oregano and almonds; smashed new potatoes with chilli and garlic and a carrot slaw with cumin and coriander seeds, parsley, sultanas, lemon juice and rapeseed oil. Everything was a definite hit! See below the three very simple receipes and enjoy!
Smashed New Potatoes with Chilli and Garlic:
Steam as many baby new potatoes as you need or dare!
Once cooked through, take off the heat; put a frying pan onto a medium high heat and heat a good glug of olive oil (you’ll need more depending on how many spuds you have, but don’t make it very oily)
Whilst that is heating up, take a normal spoon and using the back of it gently push each of the potatoes to “smash them” – don’t be annihilating them now!
When the oil is hot enough, put the potatoes in the frying pan with half a finely chopped fresh jalapeno chili pepper and two small or one large finely chopped garlic clove.
Toss everything together, mind it until the potatoes start to colour and are warmed through again. Don’t let the chilli and garlic catch.
Place into a warmed serving bowl and set aside.
Fragrant Carrot Slaw
Peel two large carrots, top and tail.
Using a food processor, attached the grater blade. Put both carrots through the processor. Empty the grated carrot into a bowl.
Crush 1/2 teaspoon each of coriander and cumin seed, add that to the bowl along with a handful of sultanas for sweetness, the zest of one whole lemon and the juice of half; a handful of finely chipped parsley.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and a good sprinkly of Maldon sea salt flakes. Drizzle with rapeseed oil. Mix together well and set aside ready for serving.
Smokey Green Beans
Take a pack of fine green beans, top and tail the lot. Place in bowl and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over them along with a generous sprinkle of Maldon smoked sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a pan. Don’t add any oil to the pan. When it is hot enough throw in the green beans complete with the oil and seasoning.
Toss the green beans ensuring they get some colour (don’t worry if they take a little). You want the beans quite al dente. Cook more if you don’t like them super crunchy.
A minute before they are ready, throw in a 1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped oregano and a good sprinkle of flaked almonds.
Toss everything together, finish with the lightest spritz of lemon oil and serve in a warmed bowl.
Bring to the table and serve up with your lovely juicy roast chicken. Serve outside in the sunshine with a well chilled bottle of Chablis; and Enjoy!
Summer equals salads. But then it rains a bit, and the wind starts coming from the North. But then the sun comes out again and its 100% humidity. The weather doesn’t know what it’s doing and it makes you feel like you’re not quite sure whether you should be eating something to cool you down or warm you up. A warm salad is the perfect solution!
This particular salad has a pretty special main ingredient. It’s not any old duck breast (even though that would be lovely too). Oh no, this is THE best duck meat you will get anywhere. Local? Yes. Hand reared? Yes. 100% all natural diet? Yes. Happy Ducks? Yes, yes and thrice yes! They have a better llife than me, you or most of us I’d say. Skeaghanore West Cork Duck is a delight of an ingredient. This salad is an oak-smoked duck breast which technically you can eat cold from its happy wrapper, but a gentle spice rub and a warming turns it into, I think, something extra special. It’s not the cheapest ingredient on the planet so it is to be used conservatively, but is no less packed with flavour. And anyway, I like to think that my duck has had the best possible life!
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 Skeaghanore West Cork Oak-Smoked Duck Breast
1 tsp of ground Mixed Spice
1 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
2 medium carrots
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp of chopped coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper and smoked sea salt
1 bag of mixed salad leaves (ideally watercress, rocket, and herby aromatic salad leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Take the duck breast out of the packet and with a very sharp knife, make a criss-cross of cuts along the duck breast skin side (not deep, just enough to slice through the skin).
On to the duck breast, rub the mixed spice and cayenne pepper all over and into the knife marks.
Place the breast skin side down into a cold frying pan, and turn on the heat to medium-low.
Place the salad potatoes onto boil in some salted water.
Grate the two carrots. Set aside into a bowl and grate into it the zest of the orange and add in the ground cumin, chopped coriander, a good grinding of black pepper and season with the smoked sea salt. Pour over 1tsp or so or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Mix well together (I find its best using my hands); taste to check seasoning and adjust according to your pallet.
On two dinner plates, arrange the salad leaves.
Check the duck breast. If there is colour on the skin, turn it over to heat through from the other side too.
Cut the pomegranate into quarters. Take one quarter for each plate and knock out the seeds with a spoon (or pop them out using your hands) over the salad leaves.
Arrange the carrot salad in a rough line through the centre of the salad on each plate.
Check the duck again, and turn it over again for final colouring of the skin. Turn the heat down slightly (if cooking with gas) or off altogether (if cooking with electric) so the duck continues to warm through without buring the skin.
Check that the potatoes are cooked and drain. Set aside.
Take the duck out of the pan, and slice it in thin diagonal strips. The duck should not be hot, merely warmed through. Arrange the strips on each plate on top of the carrot salad.
Take the last two quarters of the pomegranate for each plate, knock a few more seeds out over the duck and then squeeze the pomegranate for the juice. It doesn’t need to be swimming in juice, but you want to be able to tell it’s there too!
Finally finish off the dish with a final flourish of black pepper and about 1tsp of extra virgin olive oil over each salad plate.
Place a few salad potatoes on the side of the salad, so as not to wilt the leaves, and serve immediately!