Thai Beef Salad

A blow your head off salad for a Sunday night.

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Thai Beef Salad (serves 2)

For the marinade:

2 tblspn oyster sauce
1 tblspn fish sauce
1 tblspn sesame oil

1 large ribeye steak, approx 300g

For the dressing:
3 garlic cloves
2 birds eye chillis
3 tblspn fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
½ tspn palm sugar (or golden caster)
2 tblspn groundnut oil (or other neutral oil)

To serve:
100g thin rice noodles
Handful of rocket
1 tblspn roughly chopped mint
2 tblspn roughly chopped coriander
½ cucumber, deseeded and sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, chopped

  • Whisk together the marinade ingredients then pour over the beef, turning to coat both sides. Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • For the dressing, pound the garlic and chilli in a mortar then add the other ingredients. Taste and adjust the lime or fish sauce to suit your own taste. It should be hot and sour and salty and sweet all at once.
  • Pour boiling water over the rice noodles and let soak for 10 mins. Drain then pour over cold water until noodles are chilled. Set aside to drain completely.
  • Heat a griddle pan over a medium high heat and cook the steak for 2 mins on each side. Rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly.
  • Assemble the salad using the noodles and all remaining ingredients. Top with the steak and drizzle over the dressing.

 

Carrots & Chickpeas – Part 1

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Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a good festive season.  I did but I’m very glad it’s over. Being ill and very tired before the holidays began, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about all the celebrations this year.

These early, quiet days of January are very welcome.  I haven’t left the village since Hogmanay.  Marco has been walked mostly along the shore, I’ve read a few books and I’ve been cooking with whatever is in the cupboard rather than venturing out to the supermarket.

In my cupboard, it turns out, are a lot of carrots and chickpeas.  And carrots and chickpeas, I have discovered, are a great combination.

Made the following salad the other night and it’s a winner.  It’s all about the contrasting textures, I think.  Chewy chickpeas.  Sweet, sticky, roasted carrots. Nubbly grains.  Crunchy, lemon dressed red onion.  You could eat this salad as a side but add a dollop of Greek yogurt and this is a meal in its own.

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Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad (serves 2)

I find it easier to think about this salad in its component parts first.  Start with the grains.  While they are cooking, get on with the other parts. Don’t combine the ingredients when hot.  Warm or cool is better.

Start by preheating an oven to 190 oC.   You’ll need two baking trays as the carrots and chickpeas should roast seperately to avoid the flavours combining and so you can cook each perfectly.

For the grains:

½ cup quinoa or bulgar
2 celery stick, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
¾ cup stock or water

Fry the celery in a little olive oil over a medium heat until it begins to soften (5 mins).  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 mins.  Stir in the grains.  Add the water and increase the heat.  Once the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and put a clear lid on the pad.  Cook until the liquid has been absorbed and little air pockets appear in the surface of the grains.  Remove from heat and let sit for 10 mins without removing lid.  Remove lid and fluff with a fork.  Allow to steam dry.  Season carefully.

For the Carrots:

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 cm pieces
Olive oil
1 tspn honey
1 tpsn cumin
Pepper

Toss the carrots in a little olive oil then roast for 15 minutes until starting to soften.  Heat the honey until liquid (I just put it in the oven in a heat proof dish for 2 mins), add the cumin and pepper.  Remove the carrots from the oven and toss in the spiced honey.  Roast for another 10 mins until carrots start to caramelise.

For the chickpeas:

400g tin of chickpeas
½ tspn smoked paprika
Pinch of chilli powder
Salt

Rinse and drain the chickpeas well.  Toss with a little olive oil, the spices and the salt.  Roast for 20 – 25 mins until chickpeas darken slightly and become nutty.

For the onion:

½ onion, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon

While the carrots and chickpeas are in the oven, let the onion marinate in the lemon juice.

To serve:

1 tblspn chopped coriander
1 tblspn chopped parsley

Toss the grains, carrots, chickpeas, onions and herbs together.

Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

 

Leftover Roast Chicken & Squash Salad

One of David & I’s favourite dinners at the moment. Perfect for using up those leftovers.

Leftover Roast Chicken & Squash Salad

(Serves 2)

1 squash, cut into 2cm chunks

1 tspn smoked paprika

Salt & pepper

400g tin chickpeas

300g (ish) leftover roast chicken – dark or light – shredded

Big handful of rocket

Yogurt

Coriander

  • Preheat the oven to 200 oC.  Toss the squash with salt, pepper, olive oil and the smoked paprika.  Roast for 30 mins or so until slightly caramelised.
  • Drain the chickpeas and tip onto a baking tray.  Roast for 10 mins in same oven as squash.
  • Toss the chicken, roasted squash and chickpeas with the rocket and a little balsalmic vinegar.
  • Serve with yogurt with coriander stirred through.