Archive for April, 2008

:: MOOD FOOD YAKI SOBA

One of my most favorite things to do after enjoying a great meal out, is to recreate it from memory! Normally it doesn’t exactly go to plan, but this one really worked out and it’s now a classic here in the mood food kitchen. I have a terrible habit when I eat in a restaurant that when I find my favorite dish, I tend to stick to it and order the dish over and over again! I know variety is the spice of life and all that but when it tastes so good I’d feel like I was missing out if I didn’t order it.

This is an adaptation of a classic dish on the menu at the Wagamama chain of eateries, I think the original recipe includes shrimp, chicken and squid but this is more of a vegetarian version. The eggs added add the end of recipe gives a great texture to the noodles!

Mood Food Yaki Soba

  1. 4oz of Ramen Noodles
  2. 1/2 Cup of Oyster Sauce
  3. 1/3 Cup of Water
  4. 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  5. 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  6. 1/2 Head of Broccoli Finely chopped
  7. 1 cup of finely chopped Chinese Cabbage
  8. 5 Baby Corn finely sliced
  9. 1 Small Onion sliced into half moons
  10. 5 Spring Onions finely sliced length ways
  11. 2 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  12. 1 Red Pepper finely chopped
  13. 2 Eggs lightly beaten

Before you start finely chopping all the veg, boil the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Strain and set aside.
In a small sauce pan bring to the boil, Oyster sauce, Water, Salt and Sugar. Leave on a low heat and cook for 10 mins.
While the sauce is cooking, prep the Broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, Baby Corn, Spring Onions, and Onion and set aside in a large bowl. Chop the pepper and garlic and set aside.
Take the sauce pan off the heat and combine it with the veg in the bowl and toss. Add the noodles and toss again.
In a large very hot frying pan or wok, add about two tablespoons of vegetable oil and stirfry the pepper and garlic for about 1 minute.
Add the noodles and veg mix and cook for another 2 minutes until cooked through, then add the eggs and cook for a further minute.

Serve in a big bowl and enjoy! You can garnish the dish with thinly sliced pickled ginger but that’s optional.

April 17, 2008 at 9:25 am 19 comments

:: FRIED MUSHROOM AND GARLIC ON TOASTED FOCACCIA

After an early start this morning and pretty little organisation on my part I managed to miss breakfast. So all day I’ve been dreaming up a simple tasty lunch- I wanted to have something quick that I could make the minute I got in the door. I baked a big hunk of foccacia last week and froze half of it- which came in extremely handy for today! Make this dish when you need a quick blast of tastiness! Fried Mushroom and Garlic on Toast

  1. About 8 Button Mushrooms
  2. 2 Cloves of Garlic
  3. 1 teaspoon of Butter
  4. Finely shopped fresh Parsley
  5. A good pinch of Sea Salt and Freshly ground Pepper
  6. A few slices of bread toasted.

This doesn’t exactly need a complex written recipe, it takes under 15 mins to make. Slice the mushrooms and chop the garlic roughly. Slice your bread and set aside to toast.
In a hot frying pan, throw in the butter and sizzle over the whole pan- add the garlic till brown and then toss in the mushrooms.
Sizzle gently for about 5 minutes until soft.
Tumble the mushrooms out onto the slices of toast and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh Parsley.

Serve and devour in less time than it took to make!

April 16, 2008 at 4:01 pm 12 comments

:: PICS FROM OUR SUNDAY FAMILY DINNER

Just thought I’d post these pics I took from dinner at my mom and dads on Sunday. I think they were just compensating for all the plants they made me water as a child- see post. 🙂
The steaks were marinated in a really tasty Argentinian marinade called Chimichurri which was bought at the local Farmers Market in Howth from, Saucy’s who actually do a whole range of yummy sauces but unfortunately don’t have a website just yet.

It’s kind of in the same vein as pesto, texture wise, and is quite simple to make, in a large bowl combine- 1 Cup of chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 4 garlic cloves chopped, one medium onion finely chopped, 125 ml of Olive Oil, 60 ml of red wine vinegar, and a pinch of Cayenne pepper, and Sea Salt. Mix it all together adding more oil if the mixture is too thick. You can use straight away or let the flavour develop by leaving in the fridge few hours or even over night.

The sauce goes great with grilled meat.

The carrots were very tasty, cooked al dente and sauted in cream and smoked garlic with salt and pepper.Here’s the massive bulb of smoked garlic!

Crispy Parsnips:
Crsipy Roast Potatoes:

And Time to eat!

April 14, 2008 at 8:03 pm 10 comments

:: CHEAP AND CHEERFUL FISHCAKES

This, I’ll be honest with you, is a bit of an experimental recipe! I like fishcakes but it just feels a bit wasteful, to spend money on a nice bit fish, and mash it up, with potatoes. I know that it’s a bit weird, but it got me thinking that even though its not exactly the height of culinary excellence, I could substitute the fresh fish with some cheap and cheerful canned fish like tuna.
As a recipe this works fine, the cakes form well and cook evenly, the only thing is that if you use canned tuna like I did, you have the flavor of canned tuna, which can be a bit over powering in something like this. When I make it again, I’m going to use tuna packaged with oil in a jar which might be a little less in your face. But really the recipe works with any fish, so just substitute that part.


Cheap and Cheerful Fishcakes

  1. 300g of baby potatoes
  2. 2 cans of tuna
  3. 1 egg lightly beaten
  4. Bunch of spring onions chopped
  5. Handful of Parsley roughly chopped
  6. A good pinch of salt and pepper

Bring the potatoes to a boil in some water and cook for about 10 mins, or stick a fork in the them to see if there soft and tender. Drain the water and mash the potatoes.

Drain the tuna or fish of choice and add to the the pot of potatoes along with the egg, spring onions, salt, pepper and parsley. Mix together and form into palm sized cakes and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan, add a little bit of vegetable oil, and fry the cakes on both sides for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a side salad and some sweet chili dipping sauce.

April 14, 2008 at 6:05 am 8 comments

:: SIMPLE BASIC CHICKEN STOCK RECIPE

The beauty of a good hearty chicken stock is, that not only is it packed with health benefits, it can be the base for hundreds of different, quick and simple recipe’s. The recipe I’m posting is fairly basic, but really you can add whatever herbs or root veg you have in your kitchen, and experiment with the flavors. The cooking process breaks down the ingredients and the finished product contains minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, in a form which the body can easily absorb.
Now I know that making stock is not the most exciting of recipe’s to talk about, but once you do have the rich golden finished product, it can be transformed so easily. Boil a portion of the stock, add some minced garlic, ginger and chili, some fish sauce and rice wine vinegar and drop in some cooked noodles. Top with some spring onion sliced thinly and within minutes you have a healthy, hearty, Asian inspired soup.
The easiest time to make this stock is probably right after you have devoured a roast chicken, as the bones are more than likely ready for use! Just throw the ingredients in the pot and let it boil away for a few hours- effort level zero! Alternatively you can throw the bones into a zip lock bag and store in the freezer until you find a perfect stock making day.

Basic Chicken Stock

  1. Leftover bones and carcass of chicken
  2. 8 Litres of Water
  3. 12fl oz White Wine
  4. 1 white onion Chopped
  5. 1 large carrot Sliced
  6. 1 Large Leek Sliced
  7. 1 Stick of Celery chopped
  8. 3 Stalks of Parsley
  9. 8 Black peppercorns

Place the chicken bones and carcass in a large pot with the water and bring to a steady boil.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer consistently for 3 hours or until the flavour is right for you.

Make sure to check on the pot ever now and then to skim any fat that rises to the surface- this while make sure you have a nice clear stock.

The stock can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen in handy bags in the freezer. You can also store some of the liquid in ice cube trays, which comes in handy to add an extra bit of flavour to sauces, and gravy.
And if thats not enough about stock for one day check out this interesting article.

April 13, 2008 at 7:05 am 9 comments

:: APARTMENT

We’ve had a few new additions to the apartment in the last few weeks, and I thought I would introduce you to a few of them! First of all since moving in together with my lovely girlfriend there has been a few things I’ve noticed- number one, the girl can’t get enough of candles, there everywhere even in the bathroom! Number two, is that she likes plants- a lot!

I have had a thing about plants ever since I was a kid, it mainly stems from the fact that our house was filled with them, and it was always the job of me and my brother to water them. A job which we hated, mainly because we had no interest in having them and felt that if our parents wanted them, they should water themselves . But recently I have come around to the idea of them, mainly because I use herbs in my cooking, they look nice and because they produce Oxygen and we need lots of that!

Our latest addition to the plant collection, is a basil plant which can be picked up at most supermarkets. It came in a little plastic container so I replanted it in a little pot we picked up in IKEA. Apparently Basil thrives on sunlight so at the moment its sitting on the balcony windowsill, where it can soak up some rays every morning. I’ll let you know if it survives over the next few weeks, I’m yet to be convinced!

My favourite purchase from the recent trip to IKEA (which by the way I’m sorry I’m mentioning again!) has to be this kitchen counter! The best part is that it’s on rollers, so when were not cooking we roll it off to the side of fridge, where it fits perfectly, and it has handy storage space just below the counter top! It’s AMAZING! But the best part of all is that it was quite cheap a bargain at 37 euro!

The last thing I want to talk about in the this pretty random post, is mainly directed to fellow bloggers. I have a question, if you post a comment on my blog is it netiquette to post a comment back on your blog or should I keep the commenting in my own comments section? The world of blogging can get be tough! 🙂

April 10, 2008 at 8:04 am 6 comments

:: CRISPY SWEET POTATO WEDGES

Well I just finished putting together the rest of the stuff we got for the apartment from IKEA and I am very impressed with myself- not really being the handyman type- even Sofie was impressed! I’m going to post a few pics of the things we got as I’m pretty proud of them- it’s really amazing how just a few new things can make your house feel so much more homely!

This is a nice little recipe that can be served as a side dish or a nice TV dinner style
Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges (Serves 4)

  1. 5 Large Sweet Potatoes
  2. 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  3. 2 Gloves of finely chopped Garlic
  4. 1 teaspoon of Maldon Sea Salt
  5. 1 teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon of dried Oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of dried Red Chilli Flakes

Preheat the oven to 220 oC/ 425 oF/ Gas Mark 7

Peel the Sweet Potatoes and slice length ways into 8 pieces.

Place in a large roasting tin and toss the wedges with oil and the remaining ingredient’s until all the wedges are well coated.

Roast in the oven for about 20-25 mins, or until crispy. Make sure to toss them halfway through.

Serve as a nice side dish or a quick and tasty snack! YUM!

April 3, 2008 at 11:58 am 11 comments

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