Chicken Laksa – Easiest dish ever!

 

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Hi everyone!

I promised to put this recipe up weeks ago and totally forgot! It’s one of our house favourites. So easy but tastes as though a lot more time and love was involved! It’s a mildly tweaked Jamie Oliver recipe (different chicken cuts, more of some bits, less of others), who I’m not always a huge fan of but this recipe is just delicious! Please let me know what you think!

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts

2 tsp chinese five-spice

1 tbsp honey (but don’t be afraid to use more – enough to fully blacken the chicken)

1 heaped tbsp sesame seeds

2 fresh red chillis (the heat levels can be monitor by the omission or addition of the seeds)

800ml of chicken stock (for convenience sake you can use a stock pot or cube, but I cannot tell you how much nicer EVERY dish tastes when you make your own stock!)

1 butternut squash

2 cloves of garlic

30g fresh ginger (about a finger sized)

1 teaspoon turmeric

½ bunch spring onions

1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter

4 dried kaffir lime leaves

½ bunch fresh coriander (a “bunch” to my mind is half of the fresh packs you get in the supermarket… I’ll have to re-gauge this when the coriander in my garden starts growing!)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce (this bottle will also say nam pla on it)

300 g medium rice noodles (I used 3 minutes noodles, the already cooked variety with this recipe once and they also worked)

600g asparagus

1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk

3 limes

1. Cut the chicken breasts in large pieces (usually around 6 pieces per breast) and shake with salt, pepper and the five-spice. Cook on a hot pan, until cooked through (about 10 minutes)

2. Peel and great just the neck end off the buttersquash. Heat your stock until boiling and add the squash. This is actually the only moderately time consuming part of this recipe. If making this with friends, definitely delegate this job when someone asks what they can do to help!

3. Put the peeled garlic, ginger, 1 chilli, turmeric, spring onions (just trim these), peanut butter, lime leaves, coriander stalks (keep the leaves back for adding later), sesame oil, soy and fish sauce into a food processor, whizz up into a paste and add to the stock.

4. Add the noodles to the stock.

5. Trim the asparagus and cut into four pieces (bite size). Add these to the stock mixture with the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Correct the seasoning with some soy sauce and lime juice and turn the heat off.

6. Pour the honey into the pan with your chicken and squeeze in the juice of a lime. Add the other chilli (sliced). Toss the chicken with the sesame seeds until coated. Turn the heat back on for this step so that the chicken is warm but also so the honey blackens and you get that delish flavour! 

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7. Sprinkle everything in the coriander leaves (OBSESSED with coriander in our house!) and lime wedges.

8. Devour!

 

A note on nuts: We have left out the peanut butter sometimes for this recipe and it works the same, so don’t worry about having to replace the peanut butter. If you really want to, then tahini also works well. We’ve tried that too. Maybe we’ve made this dish too much… 

 

If you do decide to try the dish, please get in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, carrier pigeon, or just leave a comment below! 

J

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New Job!

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I have been busy the last few weeks with calls and Skypes, interviewing for the role of office manager in the Etsy Dublin office… but it’s all paid off as I was offered the position and signed the contract this week!

I could not be happier, I adore the website! And the more I researched the company, the more excited I got about working with Etsy and their culture!

Start date is 1st April! New chapter ahead!

J
❤️>

Green Velvets for Patrick’s Day!

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I thought I might share a Patrick’s Day style recipe, but while I’m here this made me laugh today. 

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This recipe is exactly the same as the red velvet recipe we used in Jennie’s for the last two years, and will keep for at least three days.

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Makes – 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

120g butter

300g caster sugar

2 eggs

20g good quality cocoa powder

40ml green food colouring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

240ml buttermilk

300g plain flour

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

300g full fat cream cheese

100g butter

800g icing sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time until pale.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa, vanilla and food colouring into a paste. Add this paste to the egg mixture.

4. Slowly add the buttermilk until fully mixed. Then add the sifted flour in 3 batches. Make sure to scrape down the flour as it gathers on the side of the bowl. 

5. Stir the white wine vinegar and baking soda together (be careful as it will fizz up), and fold into the mixture. 

6. Spoon evenly among 12 cupcake cases and pop into the oven for 20 minutes. To check the cupcakes are ready, put a cocktail stick in the middle of one. If it comes out clean, they are ready!

7. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth, and slowly add the icing sugar until fully mixed and piping consistency. 

8. Once the cupcakes are cool, spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes in a circular motion beginning in the middle, and working your way outward.

9. I used little green balls to decorate the cupcake, but it’s completely up to you!

10. Put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and enjoy your baked goods!

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Love,

J

x

Juan more post about Barcelona!

Day started with breakfast in the panoramic bar in our hotel!

We got a cable car to Montjuic castle (something I was very afraid of!) which is an old military fortress from the 17th century. The views were amazing!

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We ate lunch in a seafood bar in Port Vell and then back to the hotel to get ready for one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had!
We ate in Passadis Del Pep. There are no menus here and you are ushered in through a little corridor as if you’re an old friend late for dinner.
First up was tuna tartare, and Iberian ham.
Then we were served the best calamari I’ve ever eaten and salted peppers. Everything is cooked to perfection but with little preparation, and because it’s all so fresh you are really eating the best of the best.

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After this was a huge platter of different types of clams and mussels, and a plate of canaillas (a type of Catalan sea snail) which were delicious

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Then we had a black ink risotto with mini sea squid. This was my favourite dish, and even though we were reaching our limit, there wasn’t a speck of risotto left!

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I bowed out then when a large platter of langoustines arrived, but they would have kept the food coming if we hadn’t explained how full we were!
10/10 though. An amazing dining experience! And the cava flowed throughout!

The next morning was spent in our hotel spa enjoying a steam room and hydrotherapy area, and then it was off to an Irish bar (for shame!) to watch the Irish game.

That night we ate in Arola, the tapas restaurant in Hotel Arts. This was the best meal of the weekend (and probably top three ever).

We ordered 12 tapas dishes between us. Everything from bravas to Foie Gras.

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Dish of the night was the Iberian sliced pork carpaccio. Unbelievable.

The final day of the trip was spent in the Torres vineyard. Well worth the drive out (under an hour). Definitely a little touristy but for 12 euro we got a tour of the vineyard and grounds, and a wine tasting sessions with five of the many different varieties on offer.

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Another seafood dinner on the beach this time. Paella on Barceloneta as the sun set was the perfect end to our wonderful trip!

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Four jam packed days there and I feel that was only the tip of the Gaudi shaped iceberg! Something I’m taking home with me from the trip is how they serve their bread in Catalan. Pa amb tomaquet; ciabatta type bread (usually toasted), rubbed with garlic, then rubbed with a halved tomato and drizzled with oil and a little salt. So simple, so delicious!

I have three recipes for you tomorrow!
Until then!
J
x

Barcelona…. day one….

Barcelona… where to begin! We decided to go on our first family trip in over 10 years to celebrate my Mum’s 60th. Just the five of us… and it was amazing!

We left Sandy (our amazing Labrador) with my sisters boyfriend, and boarded our plane on Thursday morning at 6am…. and so the selfies began!

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We arrived in our hotel to a lovely welcome! The staff were so eager to make an occasion out of our Mums big weekend! We had a drink in the hotel and hopped on an open top bus to find our bearings!

We took the east loop and which brought us to the vast and notoriously unfinished Sagrada Familia, Plaza Cataluyna and Port Vell. One of my favourite things was Onades, located at the end of the walkway and built in 2003. The sculpture, designed by Andreu Alfaro, to reproduce the shape of the waves of the Mediterranean sea, was majestic, yet subtle. It consists of a series of seven tubular steel arches that rise above the central section and the roads that connect the city with the quayside where the World Trade Center stands. The sculpture is 42 metres high and weighs 15 tonnes.

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At Plaza de Catalunya we got onto the other loop and got off at Park Guell. Barcelona and Gaudi are synonymous with each other, and Park Guell did not disappoint. The famous tourist attraction was very crowded so I can’t imagine what it must be like in June or July but we loved it. The most impressive and interesting part of it all though was, to me, the tiles. They were amazing.

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After the park, we headed back to the hotel and ate a beautiful meal in the hotel, where Mum got the royal treatment again!

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The food is the hotel was lovely, but nothing compared to what we were going to eat that weekend. My starter was definitely my favourite thing; goats cheese cornet salad

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After dinner was not stop gin and tonics (basically a bowl of Hendricks!)

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Day two tomorrow….

J
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Spring and beginnings of my herb garden!

Hello everyone!

Huge week for blog related activities this week.

Firstly I began sowing the early herb seeds! Sweet basil, mint, parsley and cress. The mint was planted in the little red pots within the crate so as not to strangle the other herbs. Robust little herb is our mint!

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The rest of the herbs will have to wait until April or so. I cannot WAIT until I see the first shoot! Hopefully not long with the chives I think.

I’ve also begun the starter mix for my sourdough. More about that later.

Spring is such a lovely time, and daffodils seem to mark the beginning. We bought the cheapest little bunches of buds last week for the house and they look brilliant now.

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Tomorrow, I’m going to put up one of my favourite recipes for a midweek quick dinner.

In other news, I love this!

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Until tomorrow lovely people!

J
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