Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A few days on 'detox'

Well what a weekend. One of the best make no mistake and while friends and good company are vital to any celebration it is always the food and drink that stay in my heart. Barnsley House sure know how to look after people and my glass at the reception was permanently full of Laurent Perrier rose, which by the way is great pink fizz, if expensive, but hey I wasn't paying. The food was also lovely, particularly the breakfasts and I would highly recommend it for a romantic weekend as the setting and gardens are spectacular.

Back home on Sunday evening and bizzarely I was peckish (i.e. starving). Ali saw takeaway in my eyes and I promptly ordered a curry from the Anarkarli Indian restaurant in Swansea. Food snobs love to hate the British high street curry house but to my mind they generally serve excellent, tasty and good value food. Service is always good and I'm rarely dissapointed. The restaurant scene in most British towns and cities would be far worse off without them and they are a place where 'ordinary' folk can go for a meal without feeling ripped off or patronised. Cheers to the curry house I say.

Monday morning I realise to my horror that I have gained about half a stone over the past week so a bit of a detox is in order before another week of 'storecupboard challenge'. So here are three little dishes to soothe and restore after a bit of splurge.

spiced pork patties wrapped in lettuce

Take a handful of coriander, 1 chilli, 1 clove garlic and a thumb sized piece of ginger, half a lemongass stalk and blitz together in a food processor. Mix with 500g of pork mince and shape into patties and fry on either side until cooked through. Dab a little sweet chilli sauce on top and wrap in a soft lettuce leaf. serve with ice cold beer - doh! forgot I'm on a bit of a detox.

Thai noodle soup  

Any type of Asian soup makes me feel instantly healthier and happier. Its somehow quite magical. You can use other flavour combinations, use whatever veg or meat you want but this is what I'm making. Again, blitz a handful of coriander, 1 chilli, 1 clove garlic and a thumb sized piece of ginger, half a lemongass stalk and stir fry with 1/4 of green shredded cabbage and sliced mushrooms. Add 1 pint of hot chicken stock and season with 1 tbsp soy sauce, the same amount of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. Add some noodles and a couple of spiced pork balls from the recipe above and simmer for a few minutes before the end. Then you can slurp away to your hearts content (best done in private).

Dressed broccoli

Make a simple vinaigrette dressing. In a jar put 6 parts groundnut oil and 1 part red wine vinegar. Add 1/2 clove of crushed garlic and a teaspoon of dijon mustard, season with a little salt and pepper, place a lid on the jar and shake. Steam some broccoli and while warm toss in the dressing. Makes a lovely side dish to grilled meat or fish but also lovely on its own.

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