LET US BAKE: fish & chips

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In the beginning there was an artist and the artist said “let there be a universe“- and *POP* there was it was. The artist said “let there be a planet“- *POP* and so planet Earth was born. “Let there be peas“- said the artist. *POP*POP*POP* and…. here we all are… Little evolved peas! Marrowfat peas, garden peas, petite pois, mushy peas! Some of us come from small gardens, others grew up in tough agricultural neighbourhoods. We come in bags, tins, packets- frozen, dried, salted in water, no added sugar and no preservatives. It’s doesn’t really matter what kind of pea you are because we all come from the same place… oh, unless you’re genetically modified pea of course. (In that case you’ll need to find a GMO flog- sorry). All you peas out there inspired this dish. Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we all come together! Form a giant pea pleasure bath (sounds slightly erotic ) to bake our wonderful Haddock, the fish of the day. Think of it exactly like a Fish & Chips takeaway… except you takeaway the deep fat frying and you takeaway half the fat. As much as I love my salads, I’ve noticed an increase in my desire for warm dinners, mainly due to the drop in temperature. I could complain about my cold nipples but instead I’m going to thank the coldness.. because if I didn’t know what it was to be cold I’d never appreciate a hot Irish summers day (16°C on average says Google- mmm toasty). We live in a world of duality, or two-sidedness. Hot/Cold. Light/Dark. Masculine/Feminine. Happy/Sad. Healthy/Unhealthy. Caoimh/Everyone else Are they really opposites or are they just two sides of the same thing? One could not exist without the other. If I didn’t have Burdocks, Charlie’s, Beshofs, Zaytoons – all the wonderful examples of takeaway food in Dublin’s fair city- I couldn’t I have created LET US BAKE: Fish & Chips. So on a final note- next time you’re feeling sad, be thankful. For without sadness we wouldn’t know happiness. This is my happy face  (glasses on of course). (glasses off, dancing in the dark).

Ingredients
1 tin of marrowfat peas
200g of frozen garden peas
Half an onion
3 Fillets of Haddock (hake,cod could work)
Bread crumbs (optional)
4 small sweet potatoes
Garlic Powder
Chilli Powder
Rosemary
Rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper

METHOD

  • Pre heat over to 180°C.
  • Wash and slice you sweet potatoes into wedges. Put them on a baking tray, cover in some rapeseed oil (olive coconut/olive oil will work fine too). Sprinkle with chilli powder, salt and pepper. Pop in the oven on the top shelf, flip the chips around after about 20mins.
  • Take half an onion, slice and fry in pan until soft.
  • In a separate bowl, empty 1 tin of marrowfat peas (mushy peas) liquid and all, 150-200g of frozen garden peas, sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper and rosemary. Add your fried onions to the pea mix and plus 4-5 spoons of water and stir.
  • Empty pea mix into an oven proof dish. Take your fish fillets and disperse them evenly throughout. Keep one side of the fish exposed and sprinkle with breadcrumbs (optional).
  • Pop it in the middle shelf and bake for around 20 minutes. (Check on your sweet potato wedges again).
  • Serve with some garlic mayonnaise and lemon. Mmmmmm

Caoimh’s Tips
~ This dish is super easy to make. Any kind of white fish would work wonders here. (Hake, Cod)
~ Feel free to add more ingredients/herbs to the pea mix. You could fry some garlic with your onions if you don’t have garlic powder.
~ If you’re feeling fancy, you could make a white fish sauce to use instead of garlic mayo. Whatever you think.. you know what you like. I know I like you

Kaleø Kidnęy Bęan Baby Qüiche

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This is a Kale and kidney bean Paleo Quiche (only Paleo if you use coconut oil instead of butter). I like to share recipes on my flog that are gluten free/dairy free/refined sugar free/vegan/vegetarian and pescartarian. Why? Because Jesus told me too! Hahaha. I know a lot of humans who have intolerances to certain food groups. It’s not a foodstyle choice on their part. One of my buddies is lactose intolerant- dairy is super mean to her! It hits her in the gut and she’s crippled with the pain. I want to feed my friends, not hurt them! Other humans I know have opted for vegetarian/vegan foodstyles, some have chosen to go gluten free. Others keep it oldschool and continue enjoy ‘cuisine á la mother’ served with big pint of milk. ‘Tis your choice (unless you have an intolerance obviously) If it hurts you, don’t eat it kiddo! You eat what’s right for you. My diet isn’t Paleo.. It’s more Caoimheo. My recipes might not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least if you fancy giving it a go or you get some inspiration to create your own dish- you won’t be held back by any intolerances/diet choices/foodstyles. It’s easy to make food- it can be a challenge to make it taste good, espcially when you’re not using conventional ingredients. I like taking traditional recipes and seeing where I can make some adjustments. Can I make a healthier equivalent that tastes just as good as the original? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.. but that’s all part of the fun I guess. I’m a food explorer with no final destination. It will be a lifelong voyage. I might get a boat.
So on a final unrelated note.. make some time for old people- they want to have the bants just as much as you do. You’ll be old too someday!

Ingredients

Crust (Makes 2 Baby Quiches)
Coconut Flour 100g
1 egg
2 Spoons melted coconut oil (4 if you want to go dairy free)
1 spoon melted butter
Chilli Powder
Salt & Pepper
Sprinkle of baking powder.

Filling
4 eggs
Kale
Kidney Beans
1 spoon of cream (Optional)
Grated cheese (Optional)
Salt & Pepper

  • Method
  • Preheat oven to 180/Gas Mark 6
  • In a large bowl, blend all crust ingredients. I found it easier to melt coconut oil and butter in the microwave first.
  • Bare in mind using coconut flour makes the mix a little more crumbly. If it’s too dry I’d add more butter/coconut oil. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t completely bind together in the bowl- you just want the mixture to stay connected when you start to line the ramekins.
  • Grease your two ramekins with coconut oil/butter then slowly start to build your crust case. This involves adding a little at a time, starting with the base and patting it down firmly so that it creates an even  layer on the bottom.
  • Then it’s time to build the walls. Again same method, add a little bit of the mixture to ramekin, gently and firmly join it to the base then begin to evenly press it to the sides until you reach the height of the ramekin. I would take it in sections.
  • In a separate bowl, add 4 eggs and stir. Add 1 spoon of cream(optional) and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.
  • Take some Kale leafs and add them accordingly to the ramekins. I tried to keep the leaves closest to the walls of the crust so as to keep space in the centre to pour in the egg mixture. Drop in some kidney beans into the centre of the leaves.
  • Pour in the egg mixture, divided evenly between the two. Top with some more kidney beans and sprinkle with some cheese (optional).
  • Pop them in the oven for about 15-20mins. (I forgot to time mine, so that’s a guess) I would check on them after 15.
  • The quiches will rise slightly. You can stick a knife in to check if they are are cooked the whole way through.
  • I left mine to cool for a few minutes, then attempted to take them out of the ramekins. Luckily, it worked this time. So just be warned they might break up if you try to remove them.

Caoimh’s Tips
~ Slow and steady wins the race. Just be firm and gentle when packing your ramekins. Then mixture can be crumbly, however you want to make sure it’s packed in tight otherwise the crust won’t stay together.
~ You could make a large version if you don’t have small ramekins. You may need to up the coconut flour to 120g and use more butter/oil. Also you’ll need more eggs to for your quiche filling.

Ctrl-ALT-DELicious HIP AUBERGINE TOAST

 

with poached egg, tomato & sweet pepper chutney & avocadoimage

The very hip and happenin’ eggs and avocado combo has been a favourite of mine for a while now. Great for breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. A favourite of hipster Hobbits and just regular hipsters 😉 What makes it a hipster delicacy? I don’t really know to be honest but you can be sure to find endless variations of the notorious avocado toast on some of the hippest menus in town- not to mention it’s takeover on Instagram. Bloggers, floggers, vloggers, joggers and food fiends alike are keen keen fans. The imagery can get extremely vivid and colourful and hipster and cool, so cool- you just might drool. I sure do! The attention to detail is wizardry! The amount of ways you can slice an avocado is overwhelming. I always panic and end up spooning it out like a kiwi. Luckily it still tastes like avocado, not kiwi. I decided to get hipster in the kitchen and substitute regular toast for aubergine toast! Dipped in egg, coated in sesame seeds and ground almonds then pan fried in coconut oil. It was b-e-a-utiful! Crispy ALT toast, with gooey egg, avocado and tomato & sweet pepper chutney! Please do it! I know you’ll like it. And if you don’t.. it can be your little secret.

Ingredients
1 large Aubergine
3 eggs
Half sweet red pepper
5-6 cherry tomatoes
Tomato Chutney
1 Avocado
Ground Almonds
Sesame seeds
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper

  • Method
  • Finely chop the sweet pepper and tomatoes. Put them in a bowl and give them a good mash up, so they tomatoes go saucy.
    I already had some pre bought tomato chutney in the fridge, so I added 2 dollops to the tomato/pepper mix. If you have time you could make your own chutney from scratch. (Oh ballymaloe relish would be epic here actually)
  • Take your aubergine, cut off the top then slice it lengthways into desired thickness (think bread slices). I would suggest using slices from the centre, so that both sides are free of the outer peel.
  • In a shallow dish, crack 1 egg and give it a good whisk. In another dish mix together ground almonds and sesame seeds add sprinkle of salt and pepper. I didn’t measure but I’d estimate 4 spoons almonds, 1 spoon seeds. You can always make more it’s no biggy.
  • You want to simultaneously cook the poached eggs and the aubergine at the same time. Both are best eaten straight away. Boil the kettle and get a pot for the eggs and heavy based pan for the aubergine.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to the pan and turn up to a high heat.
  • Individually dip each slice of aubergine in egg, front and back. Then dip into the almonds, coating each side well. Put them straight on the pan and cook 3-4 mins each side. (Depending on your pan/heat might take less).
  • Everyone has their own way of making poachies. I pour boiling water into the pot, bring it to a simmer. Crack your egg into a small glass (makes it easier to tip it in). Take a spoon stir the water so you get a swirling, cyclone action. Then slowly pour your egg into the centre of the pot. Cook for 3mins.
  • Plate up aubergine, layer with chutney, sliced avocado and throw your eggs on top. Eat asap! Taste!

Caoimh’s Tip
~ Top with grated parmesan or cheddar! Mmmm
~ The aubergine could be a base for any sambo. Chicken & pesto could be a winner for the carnivores. Salmon, chive & cream cheese perhaps? Fried egg and bacon? Get funky. Get creative with the batter.. You could add a variety of seeds.
~ This is a gluten free option but you could definitely make a batter using regular flour.

ROOT UP THE HoLE sOup

Squash, Carrot & Parsnip with ginger, honey, curry & coconut  image

I’m rooting for the root vegetables at the moment. Especially when you roast them.. so naturally sweet and satisfying. The cold weather has landed bringing with it the unfavourable ‘head cold’ or ‘shnotty nose McGinty’ as I like to call it. If your nostril tap is running it’s generally a good indicator that you’re a bit run down hunzo. The snotty nose monster has detected a weakness in your immune system and has decided to set up camp in your nasal cavity. (This is why you get the tickle in your nose, he’s a hairy fella). When the drip kicks in it’s always a good time to try and catch up on some sleep, go to bed early, stay warm, take some vitamin C and try increase your intake of head cold fighting ninja foods. If you’re looking to give the Snotty nose monster a big ROOT up the hole.. then this is the soup for you. Packed with roasted roots- Butternut Squash, Carrots and Parsnips. And for A a double kick to the system- ginger, garlic, honey & leeks. My secret ingredient.. which is actually not a secret at all, is coconut milk. Gives the soup and smooth creamy edge. This soup is not just for invalids by the way. It aids able bodied people too. You don’t have to have the drippy nose syndrome or the ah-choo virus to enjoy it. In fact I would encourage all kinds of soup making.  It’s steamy soup season.. so stick on the immersion, get into a hot bath, get creative and get peeling.. Cause those vegetables ain’t gonna peel themselves. I wouldn’t advice making soup in the bath itself, you can peel the veg in there no problem though.

Ingredients
1 Butternut Squash
3 Large Carrots
3 Large Parsnips
1 Leek (Onion will work too)
Root ginger
Ground ginger
3-4 Cloves of garlic
Curry powder
Honey
1 tin Light Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil
Organic Bouillon (veg stock)
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Half the butternut squash, spoon out seeds. Peel and chop the carrots parsnips. Get 2 baking trays, one for squash the other for the veg.
  • Put the squash on tray, insides facing up. Rub with coconut oil (olive will work fine too). Drizzle with honey and then sprinkle with curry powder.
  • Same for the carrots and parsnips, drizzle with oil. Add sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Put the squash on the top shelf of the oven first as this takes longer to cook. After 15 minutes add the carrots and parsnips to middle shelf. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them. Squash should soften and start to crisp on the top, same as the carrots and parsnips.
  • Take 3-4 cloves of garlic and chop finely. Take half a small ginger root and cut finely. Take 1 leek (or onion) and chop.
  • In a large pot heat some coconut oil (olive oil). Add garlic and ginger and simmer gently. Then add the leeks and let them soften.
  • Add 3 cups of water to pot and 1.5 teaspoons of bouillon (or 1 veg stock cube).
  • Cut the squash into chunks and add them to the pot along with the carrots and parsnips. Add a sprinkle of curry powder and dried ginger. If pot looks a little low on liquid, add another cup of water to make sure the veg is sufficiently covered. Turn it onto a medium/low heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Finally add a tin of coconut milk, stir and taste. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Liquidise and Bon appetite!!

Caoimh’s Tips
~ Share! Nothing beats getting home and being served a hot bowl of soup.
~ Experiment. Make it your own.

 

Crumble-ing with Nostalgia

Blackberry, Beetroot & Apple

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My name is Caoimhe. I am 26 years old and I don’t have a favourite colour because I always change my mind. Today I went for a walk all by myself. The skies were blue and the sun was shining. I walked the whole way to the end of lane and across the fields. I was starting to get thirsty and I also realised I forgot to put a bra on before I left so I decided it was probably time to start making my way home. Along the journey home, I discovered loads and loads of blackberries growing amongst the hedges. It reminded me of all the times I used to go picking blackberries with my Dad. We would fill up our buckets and my Dad would use the blackberries to make jam. I wanted to stop and pick the blackberries but I had no bucket to put them in. Then I had an idea! I will fill my pockets with as many blackberries as I can carry!!  For some reason I had decided to wear my Mam’s jacket which has incredibly large pockets (seriously! the zips go all the way up to your nipples). So as I made my way home I began to fill my pockets with delicious blackberries, trying very carefully not to squash them. After a leisurely 20 minute picking my pockets became heavy and full- I knew then, it was time for me to go home. As I walked down the lane carefree and bra free I embraced a nostalgic wave of joy and I was filled with a deep appreciation for nature. I may not be making jam today but I’m certainly going to bake something! The last stop was the apple tree in my garden, to get the final ingredients for my Nostalgic Rustic crumble. A fruitful day indeed. It was nice to be 6 years old again. The End.

Ingredients
   For Crumble
Gluten Free Oats 3 Cups
2 Tbsp Ground Almonds
Almond Flakes
Date Syrup or honey
Vanilla Essence Optional
Cinnamon Optional
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp coconut oil.
   Fruit Filling
1 cup Blackberries
3 Small Apples
1 Large Beetroot
Lemon Juice
Date Syrup/Honey

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180^C.
  • Get 2 heavy based pan/pots. 1 for the fruit one for the oats.
  • In the oat pot, melt 2 spoons of coconut oil & 2 spoon of butter (4 spoon coconut if you want to keep it dairy free).
  • Add 3 cups of oats and stir until coated. Don’t let the pan get too hot otherwise your oats will burn, keep it low.
  • Add 2 or 3 spoons of date syrup (honey), sprinkle with cinnamon (optional), a drop of vanilla essence and 2 spoons of ground almonds and stir. Leave for another 2-3mins, then take off the heat.
  • Wash your blackberries and apples & beetroot. Thinly slice the beetroot and the apple. Put your other pot on the heat, put the apples in first, add 2 spoons of water. Turn the heat up and cover. Let the apples soften for a few minutes.
  • Add the beetroot and let it stew away for another few mins. Finally add your blackberries last along with 2 spoons of data syrup (honey) and 1 spoon of lemon juice. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Grease baking dish with some coconut oil or butter.
    Into a separate bowl spoon out the fruit mixture. Take a hand blender and blend the mix slightly, breaking up any larger pieces so the mixture becomes soupy.
  • Add the fruit to the baking dish and spread evenly. Cover the fruit with the oat crumble, making sure it’s all covered and patted down lightly.
  • Sprinkle with flaked almonds and drizzle with date syrup or honey.
  • Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins, then transfer to the grill and cook for 5-6 mins, checking every few minutes.

Caoimh’s Tips

~ If you want to gauge how much oats you’ll need to cover your dish, fill your baking dish with oats before you begin to get an idea. Just remember that half your dish will be filled with fruit, you want enough oats to cover the top.
~ Because this is gluten free crumble I decided to pre cook the fruit. Technically the crumble is already cooked but I like to oven bake it for 10-15mins and finish it off under the grill just to get the crumble good and crispy.