Avengers Style Shwarma – #ScrumptiousSunday

In an attempt to avoid decision fatigue and to not waste food, Derek and I prefer to pre-plan our weekly meals. It makes shopping more efficient, and means that we don’t have to play the “What should we eat?” game every evening.

Added bonus? We always know what diner we get to look forward to in the evening. 🙂

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One of my favourite meals this week was the Avengers inspired Shwarma, and so, with this being #ScrumptiousSunday I thought I’d share a few highlights and show you where to find the recipe if you wish to re-create it.

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The Geeky Chef’s Cookbook – find it here: http://www.geekychef.com/

It turned out awesome, if I do say so myself; especially when paired with Greek Salad.

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Thanks for reading. #ScrumptiousSunday

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#ScrumptiousSunday – Markets & Festivals

Happy Sunday everyone; I hope it’s been a lovely weekend for you. 🙂 IMG_8426

While I adore discovering, creating and cooking both my own and other people’s recipes, I am also known to indulge in local restaurants and dishes every now and then, and today, I would like to share some of the delicious things, that Derek and I sampled at both the Belfast Maritime Festival and Continental Spring Market this weekend.

(Heads up: I’m an awful food photographer, and we only tried a very small sampling of dishes, but boy were we happy with all of them!)

German Bratwurst and Krakauer Sausage

These sizzling, savoury bites are easy to love. We always go to the same stand each time they’re in town (usually for the Continental and Xmas markets) and while they’re a touch pricey, they sure know how to cook ’em and they never disappoint. (Even Riker was hoping to score a bite… which he certainly did; spoiled brat that he is. 😉 )

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French Cheese and Bacon Twist – It’s a like a Croissant but twisty… and savoury! *melt*

 

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And we follow that up with? A sweet and heartbreakingly delicious Éclair.

 

 

 

To end the evening, we also bought some truly and indescribably scrumptious teas and flavoured coffees from Jimmy Bean. Yes please!

 

It doesn’t always have to be home cooked to be delicious.

Thanks for reading! #ScrumptiousSunday

Around the World in 26 Breakfasts – #6 Mexico

Wow… the last time I did one of these was in April. (I am so sorry!)

To those of you who have been asking for the next instalment, than you so much for your interest and for pushing me to get back into the swing of things.

For those of you just joining, this is a little series I have been enjoying, in which I take cultural trips right in my kitchen. The idea? To cook breakfasts from around the world and showcase the deliciousness of them.

With no further ado, on to number 6 – Mexico!

When asking around the office for ideas for this project, one of the first suggestions I got was Mexican Huevos Divorciados. This literally translates to “divorced eggs”.

What makes this recipe special is that it uses 2 different salsas. The first one is the classic “Salsa Roja” (red salsa); made of red tomatoes, this is the one most of us imagine when we think of a salsa. However, there’s a second one in this mix, “Salsa Verde” (green salsa). Now, when I first looked this recipe up online, I thought the green side may have been a guacamole, not knowing that there is such as thing as green tomatoes! Not unripe ones mind you, but actually green; they’re called tomatillos.

IMG_3187They’re incredibly hard to find in Ireland, outside of Mexican speciality shops and I was told I could get tinned tomatillos in Dublin. Not wanting to travel that far for tomatoes, I put the idea on hold for a while. As luck would have it, one of the greengrocers at St. George’s market sells tomatillos – and fresh ones at that! I was thrilled to get to take a crack at this recipe. 😀

Now, you make the salsa verde recipe very much the same way you would a classic raw salsa, except you make sure to use green ingredients (obviously). The dish is classically served on tortillas (or with tortilla chips), with a wall of beans (or refried beans) as a dividing (or divorcing) line down the middle of the plate

Assemble all your ingredients. IMG_3179

For the Salsas Roja and Verde:

  • 2 red tomatoes
  • 2 green tomatillos
  • 1/4 finely diced red onion
  • 2 scallions (spring onions)
  • 1/2 orange (or red) pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/8 tsp chopped chilly
  • 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil (don’t measure this out, just have the bottle handy)

For the refried beans:

  • 1 tin of Kidney Beans
  • 1 tin of Cannellini Beans (or any other beans you prefer)
  • 2/3 finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/8 tsp chopped chilly
  • pinch of each salt, pepper and corriander
  • dash of olive oil
  • splash of water

For the tortillas:

  • 400 g self raising flour
  • 300 ml water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

+ 4 Eggs (this recipe serves 2 people)

The Steps:

Prepare the Salsa Roja – Finely dice all the red salsa ingredients (red tomato, orange pepper, 1/4 red onion, olive oil and red chillies) blend lightly until it looks like a sauce but still has plenty of chunky bits left.

IMG_3180IMG_3191Simmer the red salsa over a medium heat until bubbling lightly. This is to straighten the flavour. Once this is done, pour into a separate bowl to let cool. (As soon as it’s cool enough pop it into the fridge.)

Now the prepare the Salsa Verde. Using the same method as for the first salsa, dice all the green ingredients, [2 green tomatillos, 1/2 green bell pepper, 2 spring onions, 1/4 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tsp olive oil] combine in a bowl and blend to a slightly chunkier consistency. (This salsa stays raw to preserve the sweetness of the tomatillos, so just pop it in the fridge to chill when you’re done.)

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The next step is to make the refried beans. I found this recipe very helpful. We did ours like this: Thoroughly rinse all the beans and set aside. Chop the remaining 3/4 red onion. In a pan, heat up a glug of olive oil, then add 1/2 tsp of garlic and the onions. Simmer until the onions are translucent. Add the beans to the pan (these are usually pre-cooked) and heat thoroughly. Season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon chopped chilly, salt, pepper and coriander to taste. Once the beans are soft, turn off the heat and mash the whole mixture (adding drops of water and olive oil as needed to keep the mixture moist). Fill the mixture into an oven safe bowl and keep warm at 50°C.

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Finally, we made our first ever home made tortillas! 😀 (Thanks to an excellent recipe on BBC Good Food.)

IMG_3202Combine the tortilla ingredients [400 g self raising flour, 300 ml water, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp olive oil] either by hand or using a stand mixer and a dough hook, and knead until you have a smooth dough.  Separate into 8 dough balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball out to be about the size of a dinner plate (or the centre of your frying pan). Heat a bit of oil in a pan, and fry each flat bread until golden and slightly crispy.

Ta-da! —>

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The last steps are to fry the 4 eggs to sunny side up perfection and then assemble! Place two tortillas (slightly overlapping in the middle) on a plate. Create a wall out of the fried bean paste along the middle and place one egg on either side. Generously add one salsa to either side; you want to add enough for lots of flavour but not too much as to drown everything. Enjoy!

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As far as eating them is concerned, Derek chose to use cutlery, enjoying the different components that way, but I chose the messier route and rolled each tortilla up and enjoyed them by hand. 🙂

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The Salsja Roja was mildly spicy and smoky, whereas the Salsa Verde was very sweet and fresh; they complimented each other very very well. The refried beans offered the type of heartiness that meat usually offers on a breakfast plate, and I was very surprised by how filling and delicious it was.

All in all this is a smashing recipe, but if you want to make everything from scratch be prepared to invest quite a bit of time in this culinary adventure.

You can read more about Huevos Divorciados here and you can also find this recipe in a compact and mobile friendly version on my personal profile over at Sorted Food: https://sortedfood.com/recipe/9059 

There’s only one thing missing to enjoying this hearty, quirky and delicious mean; a polite table greeting. To say “enjoy your meal” in Spanish is: ¡Que aproveche!

And with that, thanks for reading! Take care. xoxo

Travel Review: AerLingus & Sky Dine

Review;

This was our first time travelling with AerLingus and as such, it seems naught but appropriate to share my findings of this delectable experience so that others may choose their next airfare wisely.

AerLingus

AerLingus, the national flag carrier of Ireland, offers a very welcoming and truly Irish experience from booking all the way through to landing at your destination. The booking process was swift and easy, with a very easy to navigate website, that should put even the most internet illiterate travellers at ease, as well as offering an ever open line of communication from the moment you confirm your booking. To the great relief of my paranoid nerves, I received my booking confirmation almost instantly, and was permanently kept reminded of my upcoming journey with them, through regular offers of upgrades and satisfaction surveys that kept me clicking through their pages in my down time, yet pleasantly without finding myself inundated with junk mail.

Booking

On one of those curious click through adventures it came to my attention that upgrading to business class with AerLingus is just as outrageously expensive as on any other airline (I booked us into economy) , yet since it is common practise to charge extortionate amounts of money for an incremental increase in leg-space and the luxury of arriving at your destination completely inebriated at no extra cost (which I believe to be almost necessary in order to drown the guilt of the money you just wasted), I shall not judge them on that too harshly. However what was interesting to see, was their “make us an offer” gauge. Yes, you can make AerLIngus an offer on what you would like to pay for your upgrade to business class, and they will judge your offer from “unfair” to “excellent” and then (presumably) award or not award you your upgrade. It is an interesting looking system, albeit not one I felt the need to experiment with, at the risk of accidentally promising my humble sum of spending money for my trip on the aforementioned leg room and promise of gratuitous amounts of alcohol. (Even though the new business class, does look tempting….)

Business Class

I did, however, opt to upgrade to their SkyDine experience (which according to their website has in the 5 days since my flight been discontinued and replaced with what they’re calling “bia” in flight dining *sigh*) , which in essence lets you upgrade your standard airline meal to something a little more extravagant and delicious, without having to upgrade into another class.

It may not look like in the picture, but it sure was delicious and worth every penny. :)

It may not look like in the picture, but it sure was delicious and worth every penny. 🙂

I opted for the steak meal, which came with two sides, bread, crackers, a yummy salad, a chocolate caramel dessert, a personal bottle of wine, mineral water and coffee/tea. All of this, served hot and fresh, on real ceramic plates with metal cutlery, for the very reasonable price of €17. Not bad at all.

We will most certainly be upgrading the breakfast to the full Irish breakfast as well for our flight home, since it was most certainly worth the money, and breakfast is only €7.50.

"The angriest Man in Brooklyn" was my first movie of choice, followed by "Noah". It was a great way to pass the time.

“The angriest Man in Brooklyn” was my first movie of choice, followed by “Noah”. It was a great way to pass the time.

In addition to this, the AerLingus staff was very friendly, charming and efficient. Everything you could ask for in a cabin crew. Soft drinks, water, coffee and teas were complimentary and additional snacks and alcoholic beverages could be paid for by card and cash, in either Canadian Dollars, Euro or Pounds (cash) which was refreshing given that many other airlines won’t take anything but credit card anymore. The seats were by no means large, but surprisingly spacious in comparison to most other economy flights I have been on, with comfortable wee pillows and head sets provided complimentary in every seat (*yay*) and a very comprehensive, individual entertainment system in every seat.

All in all, the trip was a very pleasant experience from start to finish, great value for money, especially considering the connection straight to Dublin, rather than having to go via London or Frankfurt, and so in conclusion I am happy to say that I am very much looking forward to my next AerLingus experience.

Do you have a favourite airline?

Take care. xoxo

First Blog

Hi,

my name is Sáoirse and this is my first ever blog.

I’m not exactly sure what I want to write about, and have even more doubts about whether anyone would ever bother reading what I write, but I reckon it’s worth a go, and so here we are.

It has happened more than once in the past that I have been advised by people in my life, as well as people that I have only just met casually, that I should do something like this; I dare say that I don’t consider myself or my life to be particularly interesting or worth reporting about, but I must admit to possessing a generally bad habit of sharing my rants, rambles, and basic opinions on most given topics, with utter disregard as to whether my present company wishes to partake in them or not. A struggle for both the speaker and most certainly the weary listener.

If nothing else, this blog might just offer itself as a vent for all of the clutter that I struggle with in my mind, from my musings on modern sociological problems and phenomena, over accounts of my personal travels, experiences and adventures (which might even include the one or other travel review), sharing my passion and love for cooking and great food, music, movies and theatre to the most intense opinions on historical and current political events and affairs.

As such, I have no idea exactly what I want to write about… but when I find a topic that inspires me, I shall bring it here.

Thank you so much for taking time to read this, and joining me on this new adventure, that I shall call – The Blog.