Friday, 17 June 2011

Peanut Noodle Veggie Salad

Probably one of the best things about working from home is being able to create all manner of taste sensations at lunch time and not be restricted to whatever plastic wrapped, bread based items that are normally available to purchase at mid-day or find yourself limited to something that wont sweat or go soggy after 4 hours in plastic box.

Actually when I think about it, having the option  to get up 10-15 mins before you start work is pretty damn good , ok so it’s a close second

Although I say you’re able to create many wondrous things I usually go for the cheese sandwich as that’s what time often dictates and to be honest I love a cheese sarnie in all of its many guises anyway.

Right so I haven’t sat down in front of the keyboard to rattle on endlessly about cheese butties, far from it.

This dish is full of good things, its extremely tasty and can pack a punch if you want it to. Now who can say that about their average work day lunch. The only difficulty comes if you have a nut allergy other than that it’s a winner for Kids, Veggies and I think, for those who don’t work at home. If you take all the veg and noodles etc in one box and the dressing in another , then mix when your ready to eat it should work I reckon.

One of the best things is, it takes about 5-10 mins to make

The Veg ingredients I list here are totally optional, you can add or remove whatever you think will work. You can even add some cooked strips of Beef, Chicken or maybe some prawns if the though of totally veggie leaves you in a cold sweat

Serves 4

1 Pack of Pre-cooked egg noodles
1 Small carrot cut into very fine strips
10 Mange tout / Sugar snap peas cut into very fine strips
2 Spring onions cut into very fine strips
4 Radishes sliced very finely
5-6 Mint leaves chopped
4-5 Sprigs of Coriander chopped

2 Tablepsoons of smooth peanut butter
2 Tablespoons of Light Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Chilli Sauce ( I used the sweet dipping sauce)
1 Teaspoon of Sesame oil

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined
In a separate bowl toss all the salad ingredients together until mixed.
Add the dressing to the salad, get your hands in and mix well until all of the salad is coated.
Serve and top with some or all of the following, fresh coriander, fresh mint, finely sliced chilli, pea shoots….

Monday, 6 June 2011

Pigeon Breast With Crispy Bacon

I spotted 6 of these little beauties at the Rode Hall Farmers Market, originally I went to this stall for chicken thighs but the bloke said, in a round about way, he couldn’t be arsed to prep them the morning of the market. Already disappointed that the fish man had sold out of Crayfish tails by 10am and being jostled by people with no sense of spatial awareness I was beginning to rage. Then the thought of succulent pigeon breast placated me. That was until I had to beat off a troupe of octogenarians to buy some Veg.

Anyway the dish, Ok so I did a bit of searching and most of the Pigeon dishes called for either whole pigeons or blackberries. So no luck there, I had Pigeon breast once before at a restaurant and the sauce was nice but I couldn’t remember the taste.

Then I saw one with bacon …. Hmmm salty bacon and Gamey Pigeon that’ll do.
So Here’s what I came up with. I started by crisping up some streaky bacon in pan then frying the pigeon, a whole raft of flavours were left stuck invitingly at bottom, like a carpet of  Savoury loveliness. Red wine to deglaze, then pour off to make a dressing with oil, sugar and vinegar. Some leaves for balance and big huge olive bread crutony things for texture

Serves 4 as a Starter

6 Pigeon breasts
8 rashers of Streaky Bacon
Splash of Red wine
Tablespoon red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons of Rapeseed oil
Teaspoon of sugar
8 Slices of Olive Bread (other bread is fine really) about 2 inches per slice

Season the Pigeon breasts with Salt and Pepper, rub with Olive oil and put to one side
Take a large frying pan (not non stick is best for leaving the most taste residue) brush lightly with olive oil and heat.
Fry the streaky bacon until golden and crispy, remove from the pan and place on kitchen towel to drain.
Fry the breasts for a couple of mins on each side, if you cut open a breast and the middle is still just pink then you’re done.
Remove the breasts and leave to rest, deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping round with a spatula to get all the bits of the bottom of the pan. Reduce the red wine by half, pour into a bowl and whisk in the Rapeseed oil, vinegar and sugar .. Taste and add, a little at a time, more of what you like until you get the balance just how you like it.

Toast the bread slices either under the grill or on a griddle pan
Slice the Pigeon on an angle
Dress the salad, place the bread on the plate, top with Salad, then bacon broken into pieces, add the slices of pigeon and finally drizzle over some more of the dressing.