Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasty (cheats) Tortellini

I totally forgot to add this on to my second last post, but a brilliant way to use up any leftover dumpling wrappers (wrappers can be stored in the fridge no problem for a couple of weeks) is to make ravioli or tortellini with them. As dumpling wrappers don't usually contain egg they won't taste as luxurious as homemade pasta dough would, but still they work great and are a handy quick cheat!

The tortellini Isaac and I made were with dried and fresh mushrooms, thyme, lots of garlic and a hint of nutmeg and were rich but delicious. They only take a couple of minutes in a pot of salted boiling water and tossed in a light sauce with lots of cracked black pepper they make a gorgeous and sophisticated dinner for 2!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Scones

I think everyone has their favourite scone recipes. My mum has used the same scone recipe for years and it works out perfect every time (it's not even really a recipe she knows by the look and the feel of the dough when it's perfect). 

It's taken me a while to find my perfect scone recipe, I like to eat as healthily as possible so my version contains very little sugar or fat but is high on flavour! Very thankfully Isaac enjoys my version as much as I do.

I've adapted my recipe from a vegan recipe I found on the BBC food website, one of the main differences being that I use cow's milk. I love cooking and eating vegan food but I'm not a huge fan of vegan milk substitutes, so regular milk works just fine for me.

I don't have a proper scone cutter either so I use a cute heart-shaped biscuit cutter and they turn out lovely. With a pretty cup of tea (and a manly mug for Isaac) and plenty of raspberry jam, scones are the perfect weekend treat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Delicious dumplings

Ok, here goes..Hello, my name is Odette and I'm a dumpling addict.
*phew* it feels good to get that off my chest haha!

Actually not only am I addicted to dumplings, I'm also addicted just about any type of Asian food.
There is something so satisfying about making your own dumplings. I have before made my own dumpling dough from scratch (and if you don't mind adding a good hour on to your cooking time, it's well worth it) but it's just so much easier to go to an Asian market and along with your ingredients to go into your dumplings, pick up dumpling wrappers from the freezer. Perfect thickness every time and much much quicker. 

I like to get the circular ones which are perfect for Chinese potsticker dumplings as well as the square wrappers which are great for money parcel steamed dumplings (the ones tied with sprigs of chive). 

They take around 5-7 mins to cook, either in a bamboo steamer or in a wok and with near endless fillings to go inside and a simple dipping sauce of light soy sauce, hot water, pinch of sugar and chilli you can't go wrong. In fact you can only go right..every time!

Friday, July 20, 2012

What I typically eat in a day

I thought it might be interesting to do a "what I ate today" kind of post. 

I keep it very simple, I'm one of those people who has to eat breakfast almost immediately after I get out of bed so I have to be able to get it ready in a flash. It's funny because Isaac is the exact opposite. His 1st meal of the day is usually lunch, I don't know how he does it! I do try encourage him to have even a piece of toast though.

My typical breakfast is cereal, like oatibix or porridge and honey with a glass of juice or if I want to have a lighter breakfast I'll have a hard-boiled egg with fruit and some seeds.

Of all my meals, lunch is my least favourite. I very very rarely eat sandwiches (veggie sandwiches are usually pretty uninspiring). However, I do like eggs for lunch, so I'll either have a 5 and a half min soft boiled egg with brown bread or a salad with egg. I have to say that I absolutely ADORE this salad, a lovely runny egg, crunchy leaves with pine nuts and sesame seeds, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, lots of cracked black pepper, sweet baby tomatoes and a bit of indulgence with a teaspoon crispy shallots. Yum!!

This is obviously the most varied of all my meals so I can't say I really have a typical dinner.

One of my favourites is quinoa with lots of herbs, spices and chickpeas topped with charred courgette and aubergine. A gorgeous summery dish that is light but substantial.


                        I hope you found this little look into what I'd eat in a day interesting!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The simple things

It's true what the say, the simple things in life really are the best.
I try not to mess around with my food too much, use as few ingredients as necessary to enhance all the goodness nature has to offer. Yum!

Tomatoes (the gorgeous slices in the image above are from Spanish tomatoes brought home by my parents), drizzled in rich green extra virgin olive oil and scattered sweet basil leaves and sea salt. So simple yet sublime!

Aubergines, their pale flesh criss-crossed with griddle lines until soft all the way through and finished with fresh thyme picked from the garden, chilli flakes and a drizzle of Irish honey.

Butternut Squash, roasted for a hour with lots of garlic cloves left in the papery jackets, thick sage leaves, sweet sprigs of rosemary (not terribly summery I know..but that's just how Irish summers go!) and plenty of cracked black pepper.

These 3 make delicious side dishes to any meal and never cease to delight the taste buds!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thoughts on..."Floyd in the Soup"

I was at home one afternoon on one of the (very!) rare sunny days of the Irish summer and realised that it was far too nice a day to be stuck inside tapping away on my laptop. I don't know what it is about summer and sunshine but I find a new kind of enthusiasm for reading. I'd looked through my books in my room and was left very uninspired (I must buy some new books soon) but while heading to the sitting room to look through the floor to ceiling wall of books that belong to my dad, I passed by the cookery book section in the kitchen and this lovely little gem caught my eye!

I've mentioned before in a previous post one of my favourite tv chefs is Keith Floyd, so I was delighted to find this very kitsch and cute book recounting his travels from full time restauranteur to one of Britain's best loved tv chefs. It's a lovely easy summery read, I read it in that afternoon at the garden table with the dog at my feet. In between tales of fame and misfortune he dishes out classic Floydian recipes fashionable during the 80's and seen as retro now. On numerous occasions it made me giggle out loud and reaffirmed my love for his genius in the kitchen combined with his razor sharp wit washed down with a good schlurp of red wine!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wimbledon & Strawberries

A match made in heaven! (get it?!)
The epitome of summer, plump and ruby red, topped with little green sun hats.

Ever since my sister and I were little mum would always have huge punnets strawberries for us to nibble our way through watching the Wimbledon men's final. A perfect sweet treat to enjoy on dull and rainy Irish July days. 

Who will be champion this year?!! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dinner at Thornton's

Wednesday night my family and I went to Thornton's Restaurant in the Fitzwilliam Hotel for my mum's birthday. My parents have been quite a few times (mainly for lunch) but as a special treat for my mum we went for dinner.

Owned by Kevin Thornton, Thornton's is one of the few Michelin Star restaurants in Dublin and the dinner we had was out of this world, despite all being stuffed none of us left a morsel of food on our plates.
All the photos from the meal were taken on an iphone so I apologise that the photos will not do the food justice.

We were served an amazing amuse-bouche which I forgot to take a picture of but I will do my best to explain it! A small glass bowl filled with slices of artichoke heart and wood smoke, topped with a stemless martini glass containing a beautiful tomato consommé with a cucumber ice cube. Wow! Just wow! I'm so sad I don't have a picture because words just cannot do it justice.

Starters:  Slowly roasted beetroot with baby leaves, served with a shot of concentrated beetroot with a teaspoon of beetroot jelly with pepper

Main Course: Celeriac cannelloni with aubergine caviar, puy lentils, and shallot red wine viaigrette.
Followed by a a palate cleansing sorbet with citron vodka. 

Dessert: Strawberry and raspberry salad with blueberries and blueberry reduction, which was accompanied by a spectacular nettle and thyme sorbet with gin.

We also had a beautiful bottle of champagne with a did not take a picture of but I'm sure you can imagine just what an incredible night we had and how much we enjoyed every plate of food we were served.