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!