oliveoilandlemon

recipes for a healthy life

Tag: paleo

Summer in the City

A quick trip to NYC to visit my sister in law was a real treat, summer had arrived there, our little one was safe in the care of her Auntie and we were free to wander the streets, enjoy great restaurants, explore the city, meet some mad locals, enjoy drinks at any hour of the day or night and generally feel like we were free and single again.

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Now home, summer has arrived here and eating outdoors is my greatest treat. The butcher in Fallon and Byrne has introduced me to Bavette which is a great cheaper meat option for cooking on the griddle or Barbie. Marinate overnight and carve against the grain this delicious cut of meat has become a favourite in our house. Serve with a Tomato Salad with Basil Pesto or my favourite Bloody Mary version and you have a super easy meal full of summer flavour.

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Herb Marinated Bavette / Flank Steak
1 bavette or flank enough for 4 (ask butcher to leave in 1 piece)
1 handful each of fresh rosemary and thyme chopped
100ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped and mashed

Mix the herbs oil and garlic
Lay the meat in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade ingredients
Into the fridge, preferably over night
Cook to desired donenes, Cut into slices and serve with tomato salad

Bloody Mary Tomato Salad
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, divided
2 cups small tomatoes of choice halved
1 cup chopped celery (young inner stalks)
2 tbsp capers
1 Tsp horseradish paste
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauces (I use Frank’s)
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 tsp brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix onion and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a large bowl. Let macerate 10 minutes, tossing often. Add tomatoes, celery, and capers.
Whisk remaining 2 tablespoon vinegar, horseradish, worcester, hot pepper sauce and fennel seeds. Slowly whisk in oil. Season Add to bowl with tomato mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and the brown sugar as required.

Simple Summer Veg

This is the 3rd year that I have harbored dreams of growing our own, of being able to say ‘These veg?, oh yes they came from garden, dreams sadly almost dead , dashed thanks to the army of slugs which attack my little patch every evening, multiplying themselves by factors beyond my mathematical ability and seemingly immune to the pots of beer and slug pellets I try dispel them with. I’m inundated with suggestions but I do draw the line at the person who suggested I go out each evening with a garden scissors and snip the buggers – even I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

So, instead I shop and bypass the more wintery vegetables in favour of lighter summer styles which are in abundance right now – (someone has solved the slug problem and I just need to know their secret). These recipes are full of summer flavours, light and easy to eat whether with fish or meat. Perfect outdoors eating and quick to prepare so you can get out in the garden after work. The spice butter and pomegranate molasses are staples in my house and they are great to add a little interest to salads and vegetables. And so, while I don’t have any produce from my own garden,I did at least get the chilli from my plant on the windowsill which the slugs haven’t worked out yet how to reach.

Griddled Bok Choi with Spiced Butter
Serves 2-3 people
2 Heads of Bok Choi – wash and keep root intact
2 oz butter
1 tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix or any dried spice mix you like to use
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trip the top leaves from the bok choi, roll up like a cigar and shred, then set aside
Cut the remaining bok choi into 1/4’s keeping root intact so it does not fall apart
Mix the butter, oil and spice until it is soft and spreadable
Season the cut sides of the bok choi then spread with the spice butter
Heat griddle pan until very hot (Open all the windows)
Place the bok choi cut side down on the pan and cook until lovely and golden, with griddle marks then flip over and continue to cook on the other side until almost tender with a little
bite. Remove from the pan to a service plate.
Add the shredded leaves with a drizzle of oil and flash for a minute on the pan then remove to the serving plate.
A final dash of seasoning and serve.

Tomato and Green Bean salad with Pomegranate dressing

4 ripe tomatoes deseeded and finely diced
1 red onion finely diced
1 red chilli deseeded (if you wish) and finely diced
2 handful of green beans, blanched for 3 minutes and chopped into small pieces

Dressing
1 tsp sumac
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
Add all the vegetables to a bowl and cover with the dressing and leave for about 15 minutes for the flavour to develop. Taste and adjust for seasoning then serve.

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chilliplant

Spiced Halibut

This is such a simple way to serve fish and any firm white fish will work equally well. Baking and basting the fish in melted butter adds a delicious richness to it and the heat from the Harissa is a perfect balance. I used Haddock and it stood up to the flavour very well. A simple supper dish which could be on the table in 30 minutes.

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Spiced Halibut
Serves 2
2 oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp harissa
juice of half a lemon
1 large halibut fillet, trimmed and boned and cut into 2 pieces

Oven at 180C

Melt the butter in small pan, stir in the harissa and lemon juice
Season the fish and place into an oven proof baking dish
Pour over the butter mix and place in the oven for about 20 mins depending on the thickness of your fish, basting it at intervals
Serve the fish topped with the butter juices and some green beans.
Delicious!

Red Peanut & Vegetable Curry for Thai New Year – Songkran

OO&L Thai Curry

I have not yet been to Thailand but was introduced to some of its food in recent years and it is one of my favourite cuisines. The heat does get to me but I find the combination of flavours, sweet sour salty & bitter usually with lots of heat compulsive eating – so while I have often been on fire, I have still found myself unable to stop tasting, so extraordinary have I found the flavours. It is easy enough to get most of the common ingredients in Dublin now so I usually make a monthly trip to the Asia Market on Drury St. to stock up on my Thai essentials. The theater alone in the shop is worth stopping by even if you don’t need anything or don’t yet know what you need.

This curry paste is easy to make once you line up the ingredients. It is apparently better to crush them in a mortar and pestle (the traditional way – I hear prospective Mothers in Law judge suitors by the size of their pestle) rather than use a food processor (I don’t judge!). I usually use about 1/3 of this paste when I’m making dinner for 2. You can up the chilli content or lower as you wish.

1/2 doz dried chillies
1 tbsp chopped coriander root
1 tbsp chopped galangal use ginger if you can’t get it
1 tbsp chopped lemongrass
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp chopped thai shallots or 1 of ours if you can’t get them
1/2 tsp shrimp paste (don’t go without it, you need this!)
4 tbsp peanuts (boiled until tender)

To make the paste add ingredients in order listed to your mortar and pestle them one by one until all blended and no large lumps are left. Set aside about 1/3 for this recipe and store in the fridge until needed.

2 chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk (400ml)
Vegetables of choice (I used tender stem broccoli blanched for 5 minutes and some cherry tomatoes)
Seasonings – Palm sugar, Fish sauce, soy sauce, as needed
Handful of Thai basil
Toasted peanuts

Poach the chicken breasts until almost cooked and slice to bite size pieces
Heat a wok and add the paste with some oil and cook out for a few minutes
Add the coconut milk and turn heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes until the paste and coconut milk have become a lovely sauce
Season well with palm sugar, fish sauce, soy and add the chicken, broccoli and halved cherry tomatoes, and simmer to finish cooking.
Check seasoning again then top with chiffonade of thai basil and toasted peanuts and serve with rice.

OO&L Market Chillies

Butternut squash and tomato gratin with Coconut Milk

A gratin based on coconut milk adds a difference to this dish. Perfect for most root vegetables such as pumpkin, celeriac, or sweet potato instead of butternut squash if you prefer. The coconut milk in the mix adds a delicious creamy but less indulgent hit. Try with a sprinkle of toasted cuimin seeds for an extra hit of flavour.

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Butternut squash & Tomato gratin
Serves 4-6
1 large butternut squash
1lb plum tomatoes, halved
3 medium red onions sliced finely
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
A little soft light brown sugar (optional)
150ml double cream
400 ml tin coconut milk
30g grated Parmesan

Oven at 190°C
Peel and de-seed the squash and cut it into slices.
Put into a large roasting tin along with the halved plum tomatoes.
Tip over the olive oil and season well.
If the tomatoes are a bit tart, sprinkle a small amount of light brown sugar on them.
Roast for about 10 minutes then add the red onion
Continue to roast for a further 10 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a gratin dish.
Season, then pour over the coconut milk and cream mixture and sprinkle on the cheese.
Put the dish back in the oven for another 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and the gratin is bubbling and golden. Periodically during the cooking, use a fish slice to press down the vegetables under the cream mixture.
This is delicious as a side with Chicken or topped with a few eggs for a delicious supper.

butter nut squash and tomato gratin

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