Archive for July, 2008

:: MOHITO LIME AND MINT CHICKEN!

Unfortunately thanks to my hangover a few weeks ago, after one or two many Mohito’s, it was not a pleasant experience pouring the rum into this recipe at 8am yesterday.  Why was I pouring rum, bleary eyed, into a zip lock bag in the early hours of the morning?  Well I came up with an ingenious idea to marinade the chicken in the mix for this recipe, while I was at work, so the flavors would permeate through the breasts.

I’m glad I did, because this dish was packed with really tasty flavors.  I served the breasts with couscous, but it would also go really nicely with a crisp green salad.  Sofie told me the chicken was like heaven in her mouth, and if that doesn’t sell it to you I don’t know what will!

Lime and Mint Mohito Chicken

  1. 4 Free-range Chicken Breasts.
  2. A small handful of Fresh Mint.
  3. 2 Limes Quartered.
  4. Juice of 2 Limes.
  5. A glug of Rum (About 1/4 of a cup).
  6. 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil.
  7. 1 Clove of Garlic.
  8. A generous pinch of Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper.

Chop the mint and garlic finely and place in a large zip lock bag.  Add to the bag, the rum and lime juice.  I butterfly the chicken breasts so they cook quicker and the garlic doesn’t burn.  To do this, place one hand on the breast and with the other slice through the thickest part leaving, making sure the breast is attached on one side.  Put the chicken in the bag and seal.  Squidge the chicken around in the bag and make sure the breasts are covered in the mint and garlic.  Leave in the fridge preferably overnight, or you can make in the morning and leave for the day.

To cook the chicken, heat a pan over a high heat and fry the breasts for about 3 minutes on either side.  Tumble in the lime quarters after you turn the chicken and allow to caramelize.  Serve straight away with a final squeeze of juice from the lime quarters.

July 31, 2008 at 6:43 am 21 comments

:: Handy Quick Caesar Dressing!

You know one of those days where everything seems to be a little bit off center?  The days where everything just doesn’t go as planned?  Well yesterday was definitely one of those days, it started off with a phone call from my dear old mammy, claiming she couldn’t find her booking on Ryanair and wanted help to locate it.  Being the ever accommodating son, I spent the next forty minutes, trying every combination of reference number, credit card number, and email to try and retrieve it from the Ryanair website to absolutely no avail.

I eventually gave up after the website told me I had too many unsuccessful login attempts, and gave her a call to inform her of this.  But was she bothered?  No!  And let me tell you why- during the time I was banging my head against the computer screen, she had gone back too her notes and realised that her booking was with, wait for it…. AER LINGUS!!!  You see this is what I have to deal with!  Anyone else out there with parents suffering from technical difficulties?  I’m sure there are!

(Sorry Mammy…)

As I arrived home, I went to get the lift up to the apartment, but the electricity seemed to be on half voltage, so it wasn’t working.  Got up to the apartment, NO WATER AND NO ELECTRICITY!  That was my grand plan for baked Mackerel in tinfoil out the window.  But the panic of the blackout seemed to have gotten to poor little Sofie, who develops a serious problem when she is hungry- she looses the ability to think rationally and until she gets food, goes into severe depression.  So we needed food fast, and despite all my cold food suggestions- we had to eat out!

After a lovely meal at the Orangerie in Malahide (always order the specials), we got home and went to get the lift up, which still wasn’t working.  I had given my security key for the outside doors to our visitor, so I didn’t have one on my bunch, which meant disaster struck one more time, when we realised no one else had their keys with them, which resulted in standing outside until someone came out!

It was definitely one of those days…

That’s my little rant over for now, sorry to put all of that on you!  To make up for it, here is a really handy little dressing to make when you’re short on ingredients and time.



Quick Mayo Caesar Style Dressing

  1. 2 Tbsp of Mayonnaise.
  2. 1 Tsp of English Mustard Powder.
  3. 1 Tsp of Worcester Sauce.
  4. Juice of Half a Lemon.
  5. 1 Clove of Garlic Finely Minced.
  6. A Good Pinch of Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper.

I make all my dressing in jam jars, as they are easy to give a good shake in and will keep in the fridge.  Dollop the Mayo into the jar, followed by the Mustard Powder, Worcester Sauce, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Salt and Pepper.  Put the lid on top, close tightly and shake the bejesus out of it.  Drizzle over some freshly tossed Salad leaves and top with some Freshly Grated Parmesan and some croutons if you have some hanging about.  Dig in!

July 30, 2008 at 11:04 am 11 comments

:: Avocado Lime and Tobasco Salsa

I’m so totally in Summer mode at the moment!  Especially after the weekend- we had great weather for the whole trip up through the Burren and up the coast towards Galway.  I was really blown away by some of the scenery, but less so by the food on offer.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to look up any great places to eat, so we ended up eating dinner at a pub in Doolin, mainly due to most of the restaurants being fully booked.  I was hoping for some really solid pub grub, but unfortunately, the seafood platter was less than impressive and the sides for all the mains were basically soggy coleslaw!  There were two guide recommended restaurants in the village, so next time I’ll be sure to book ahead!

Here’s a few little foodie related links, I’ve come across over the last few days:

  1. Tasty Planner One of the best sites I’ve come across which features a meal planner.  You can drag and drop recipes into a meal planner which in turn adds the ingredients to a shopping list.  Very handy!
  2. Cake WrecksThis is not for the faint hearted, basically a blog full of weird and freaky cakes, say goodbye to your afternoon!
  3. Food Blogger Deals with Legal IssuesA really interesting post about recipe rights and copyright issues- well worth a read for bloggers.
  4. Messy ChefA brand new Irish Food blogger!  Check it out!

Today’s recipe involves no cooking and is basically all prep, it’s a zingin’ little salsa to go with tortilla chips, for quick munching!

Adjust the quantity of ingredients to your own taste, use less Tabasco sauce if you want a milder mix.

Avocado, Lime and Tabasco Salsa

  1. 1 Ripe Avocado.
  2. The Juice of one Lime.
  3. 1 Tsp of Tabasco Sauce.
  4. 1/2 a Red Onion.
  5. 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil.
  6. A Good pinch of Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper.

Cut the avocado lengthways, and remove the stone.  Scoop out the green flesh and chop finely, but don’t worry too much, it all turns a bit mushy when you add the rest of the ingredients.   Add to a small bowl. Chop the red onion finely and add to the Avocado.  Mix together the rest of the ingredients with the onion and avocado to your desired consistency, and that’s it!  Enjoy!

-Sorry the photo’s are a bit crap today!

July 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm 8 comments

:: Pictures from the Burren and Galway

July 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm 11 comments

:: Asparagus and Garlic Pasta

I thought I would post one last recipe for the week before we head off to Galway.  We’ve decided to head towards The Burren for a bit of tourist style exploring, and then on to the cliffs of Moher, so you can expect some pictures next week!

This is one of the quickest little dishes I make when I’m stuck for time, but am in need of a big bowl of comfort without skimping on the nutrition.  It’s not exactly the most decadant uses of Asparagus, but when I first made it, I was trying to use them up before they went off.  Doesn’t that make this recipe sound appealing?!  But honestly you can have this whole dish cooked in the time it takes to boil the pasta.

Aparagus and Garlic Pasta (Serves 2)

  1. 225g of Wholemeal Spaghetti.
  2. 400g of Aspargus Spears.
  3. 1 Clove of Garlic.
  4. A Squeeze of Lemon Juice.
  5. One handful of Fresh Parsley.
  6. Pinch of Salt and Pepper.
  7. Parmesan Cheese.

Before anything else happens, stick two pots of water on the boil, then add the spaghetti to one and cook for approx 15 mins or until tender (Wholemeal pasta takes a little bit longer than refined).  While the spaghetti is cooking, chop the Asparagus into one inch pieces and tip into the boiling water, it takes approx 5 mins until they are tender, but check with a fork. Once they’re cooked, drain, and in a pestle and mortar, mash with the garlic, parsley, lemon, and Salt.

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain the water and return to the pot.  Tip in the vivid green asparagus paste and mix through, serve in two bowls, topped with grated Parmesan and a generous sprinkling of black pepper.  A quick fix for any hungry belly!

July 25, 2008 at 9:28 pm 10 comments

:: Asian Chicken Wings

There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of interest in the food styling demonstration, but I’ll be working with Erica for the photo’s in the book, so maybe I can film a few bits and stick them up here.

Is it me or is the weather at the moment causing extreme drowsiness?  Maybe not, maybe it’s having to work when it feels like everyone else is on holidays- maybe it’s a mix.  Well I’ll just have to put up with it, after all it’s only a few more weeks and were heading back over to Sweden again.  Sofie’s dad arrived last night and is staying with us for the week, so we’ll be doing some sight seeing this weekend and driving cross country to Galway.  If you have any suggestions on where to bring a tourist in Galway please let me know!

I have been trawling the world wide web for international food blogs, and I wanted to share just a few of the ones that caught my eye:

Bitchin Camero– Mel is from Miami, and has some really great pictures, and the recipe’s to match.

Kitchen Confit– Is written by three bloggers from Nashville, Tennassee, I love their post about “Fire Pit Roasted Oysters”.

A Cat In The Kitchen– A great little Swedish blog- check out the cake buffet!

Dinner’s For A Year– I love the idea of a BBQ turkey.

And via Mulley.net, Lidl Treats– How to get the best out of shopping at Lidl!

Inspired by my recent trip to the Chinese Supermarket, this is another one of the snacks I made for the party last weekend.  It’s kind of a mix between BBQ and sweet and sour sauce, but top it with finely sliced spring onions and sesame seeds, and you’ll make your intentions clear!

Asian Chicken Wings

  1. 12 Chicken Wings.
  2. 1 Cup of Chinese Sweet Chili Sauce (looks like tomato paste)
  3. The Juice Of One Lemon.
  4. 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce.
  5. 2 Cloves of Garlic Minced.
  6. 1 Thumb of Ginger Minced.
  7. 2 Tablespoons of Honey
  8. 1 Tsp of Chinese 5 Spice powder.
  9. 1 Tsp of Sesame Oil.
  10. 1 Tsp of Cornflour.
  11. Spring Onions and Sesame Seeds.

In a large roasting tray combine the ingredients with the chicken wings.  Cover with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 oC/ 390 oF/ Gas Mark 6.

Bang the Chicken Wings into the oven on the top rack and cook for approx 45-60 mins, turning them halfway through.  Serve straight away topped with sliced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.

July 24, 2008 at 9:46 am 17 comments

:: FOOD STYLING 101

I’m basically just going to throw this out there, just see what sort of interest it gets, but would any of the Irish food bloggers and foodies be interested in attending a Food Styling Demonstration from someone in the industry?

Erica Ryan is a professional food stylist and works with food across all forms of the media.  If you’ve shopped in a supermarket here, you have probably seen her work, as it appears on many of the Irish produced packages!  Apart from working closely with some of the industry’s finest food photographers, bronzing chickens and beefing up beef burgers are just some of the fascinating things she does on a daily basis.

I have spoken to Erica about the amount of Irish food bloggers out there, and the fact that we all take our own pictures and style the food ourselves.  She would love to give an insight into the world of food styling, if not just to reveal some of the special techniques she uses, but to maybe give us food bloggers, a chance to spruce up our own pictures!  Potentially the demonstration would include a talk about food photography, composition, and then a demonstration of some of the interesting methods used.

Although I have no dates set, I would imagine sometime in August would work and it will rely totally on numbers, so if you would be in anyway interested please leave a comment below or email me.  You don’t even have to have a blog, if you have any sort of interest in food, this is really exciting stuff!

July 22, 2008 at 9:41 pm 13 comments

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