Friday, May 11, 2012

Healthy Inspiration for the Weekend

Salmon with steamed pak choi

Organic salmon fillets, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper,
wrapped loosely in tin foil and cooked at 180 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Heat a little groundnut oil in a large wok/pan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp sesame oil, a little crushed garlic,  finely sliced chilli, and the pak choi. Toss until coated and clamp a pan lid over them. Reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the leaves have wilted but the stem remain crisp. 
Serve with the salmon and a little sesame oil.
Healthy and delicious.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Beetroot Rostis

We have been eating beetroot in many forms since our trip to Berlin in late December.  The markets there were abound with it and it seems to me that in Ireland this wonderful vegetable is often ignored.  I am not sure that we have shaken off many years of pickled beetroot from jars - I do have fond memories of it staining the cheese and onion crisps on my early 80's salad plate!

Last weekend whilst enroute to walk the hills we came across a lovely little rural market. It is called the Waterfall market and is close to Powerscourt Waterfall, Co Wicklow.  The farm had lots of small (live!) animals which my children loved, including a baby dwarf-goat, some small donkeys and several breeds of hen.  The farm shop sells hot teas, coffees and warm cups of homemade soup to local walkers as well as fresh farm eggs, home made bread, local vegetables and a lot more.

So we left with laden with beetroot, parsnip, leeks, eggs, two hot coffees and some delicious oat cookies.

And so to the beetroot...

My beautiful Russian friend makes a wonderful beetroot salad with finely grated steamed beetroot, mixed with pulped garlic and a little mayonnaise.  She serves it with thinly sliced smoked salmon and slices of bread. Perfect for a winter appetiser.
And my other beautiful friend in Berlin, serves it cooked and sliced with a honey and balsamic dressing, some sharp feta and scattered with pine nuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds - really delicious.

So here is another beetroot option ...

I served it coarsely grated with garlic puree mixed with a beaten egg, a little sea salt and black pepper and fried on the pan and served with a large dollop of my favourite Glenisk natural greek yoghurt......the result was very near perfection.

For six small Beetroot rostis you will need(serves 2 as a starter or side):

  • 4 small beets, peeled and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • a little sunflower oil for frying
  • Peel the beetroot and grate it on the coarse section of a box grater.  
  • Take the grated beetroot and place it in the middle of a clean tea towel which you are not attached to in any way.  Twist the tea towel around the beetroot and wring it out over the sink releasing all of the beetroot juices.  When you have the beetroot as dry as you can, place in a bowl.  
  • Finely crush the garlic and mix it through the dry-ish beetroot. 
  • Beat the egg and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and finally mix into the beetroot.
  • Warm the oil on  a non-stick pan.  Fashion the beetroot with your hands into small flattish patties and fry on the pan for 5-7 minutes on each side.  They should be firm enough to flip over without  too much fall out!
  • Set aside on a wire rack and continue until you have made small rostis out of all of the mixture.
  • These can either be served warm from the pan or set aside and warmed through in a hot oven before serving.
  • Add a dollop of natural Greek style yoghurt and enjoy.

I ate this with a medium-rare pan-fried fillet steak but this has the confidence and bold flavours to hold its own as a starter or served as a main course with perhaps some feta and a green salad.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year for 2012.

I have been taking stock recently and with a renewed vigour I will be back here in a more regular fashion than I have been of late.  My excuse is that I have been working full time and juggling that with looking after the boys and trying to keep the general running of the family machine to a stress-free level.  I do however hold out hope that this newly imposed daily routine of 9-5.30pm will have me so organised that I will have time to come up with more recipes and experiments in the evenings.  This is the plan!

Here's to a new-found optimism for my kitchen in 2012.