Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spicy Asian Beef Salad

The month of January is all about detox detox detox!! Gone are the mince pies, the selection boxes and the over indulging on Irish Cream Liqueur. Now tis the season to be healthy! Healthy for me doesn't have to mean boring. This Thai inspired beef salad is an exciting combination of fresh flavours, that is so tasty and satisfying you forget that its healthy.

The salad dressing is from Saba restaurant's cookbook. If you are ever in Dublin and in search of a great Thai/Vietnamese Restaurant, then you got to check Saba out. Everything on the menu is delicious. The recipe calls for 4 birds eye chilies in addition to everything else. I've left these out as I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to chilies, but feel free to add them. I'm content with my chili flakes.

Serves 2



  • 1 steak, fillet or sirloin
  • 2 tbsp of mirin
  • 1 tbsp of palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped


  • 1 stack of rice noodles
  • 1 carrot
  • 50g of chopped roasted peanuts
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp of chopped coriander

Salad Dressing

  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp of chili flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp of coriander stalks
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of chili sauce
To serve
  • 1 tsp of chopped peanuts
  • 1 tsp of freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 lime cut into wedges


  1. Firstly, you must marinate the steak. Combine all the steak ingredients in non metallic bowl and place the steak in the bowl. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Pour Boiling water over the noodles and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Then drain and rinse in cold water and drain again.
  3. To make the salad dressing, simply add all ingredients into a mini food blender and blend until liquidised.
  4. Heat a frying pan on high, get it really hot then add the steak. Cook for 3 minutes each side and then set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and cook on high heat until its thickened and reduced.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the noodles with the rest of the salad ingredients. Pour over all the salad dressing and mix really well so that everything is coated.
  7. Divide the salad into 2 bowls.
  8. Cut the steak against the grain into strips as thinly as you can. Divide the steak pieces on top of each noodle bowl. 
  9. Pour over the thickened reduced marinade.
  10. Scatter with some more crushed peanuts, sliced spring onion and freshly chopped coriander. Serve with lime wedges.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Irish Liqueur Cream

I got this recipe from the BBC Website and I must say its absolutely awesome! I love Baileys, but this homemade version of Irish Cream Liqueur wins hands down and all my family and neighbours who received a bottle from me this Christmas agreed.  I brought the bottle to neigbours when visiting instead, and I also added to my homemade gift hampers for my mother and mother in law.

But this is not just a drink for Christmas, its way too tasty to reserve it for just once a year. It's a fabulous treat at the end of a meal at a dinner party, or even drop a sneaky bit into a coffee. Bliss!!!

 Here's the recipe, which I tweaked a little to my own taste, unable to source coffee syrup I used a cold strong espresso shot from my coffee machine and I added more chocolate sauce.


  • 350ml/12fl oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 tsp Camp coffee essence/or an espresso shot cooled if you cannot source the Camp.


  1. Sterilise the bottles for the liqueur: wash in very hot water or on the hot cycle of a dishwasher. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. 
  2. Place the bottles on a baking tray and dry in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  3.  Leave to cool.
  4. Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. 
  5. Add extra Camp or chocolate to taste.
  6. Pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge. (The liqueur will keep for up to two months.) Shake well before using.

Chinese Style Roast Chicken

New year, new roast chicken version!! Anyone who knows me, know that I'm obsessed with Roast Chicken and I roast a large (free range) chicken every single Sunday. Not only does it cover Sunday supper, but it provides for lunch and dinner the following day also.

Over Christmas I saw Gordon Ramsey do a 5 spice duck, and it inspired me to try a different take on my roast chicken. The result was a very flavorful bird and I added a glaze at the end, which gave it a wonderful bronzed glow and deliciously sticky skin!


  • 1 large free range chicken
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger
  • 1 red chili, kept whole
  • 1 satsuma, pricked with a fork
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemongrass bulb, bruised
  • 3 tbsp of Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Stuff the chicken cavity with the chilli, ginger, garlic, satsuma and lemongrass.
  3. Rub the chicken generously with the 5 spice.
  4. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
  5. Roast in the oven for 1 hour.
  6. After 1 hour, turn the chicken upside down and roast for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Turn the chicken back over and roast for another 10 minutes.
  8. Whisk the honey and soy sauce together.
  9. Turn the oven up to 200 degrees.
  10. Pour over the honey and soy glaze and return to the oven, glazing the chicken every 5 minutes for 20 minutes.
  11. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  12. Serve with steamed greens and brown rice for a healthy roast chicken dinner.

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