Category Archives: Salad

Perfect Beef Fillet

Hi friends, are you drooling? You probably should be. I’m going to share with you a recipe from my Aunt and cousins on how to get a perfect fillet of beef every time, without hassle, without strife.

Simply take your fillet and marinate it in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and horseradish for a couple of hours. Preheat your oven to 200°C, then heat up a large, heavy fry pan til it’s really rather hot and sear your beef quickly on all sides then place in the oven for half an hour. Remove from the oven, place on a serving plate and rest for at least 20 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with potatoes, a green salad and plenty more horseradish.

This dish, I must say, is an ex-vegetarians dream. The beef absolutely melts in your mouth and the marinade lends a subtle sweetness.Very rich and very let’s-have-seconds. Would be fantastic the day after in a crusty sourdough roll with strong mustard and rocket.

That night we also roasted some tomatoes, which turned into little, succulent sauce-bombs.

And since we were celebrating Mum’s birthday, I made up the salad below according to her request.

Fennel and Radish Salad

Thinly slice 3 washed radishes and one trimmed fennel bulb. Place in a bowl with a mix of rocket and other lettuce that takes your fancy. To make the dressing combine 2 Tbsp of oil, 1 Tbsp of balsamic vingear, 1 peeled clove of garlic, 1 tsp of wholegrain mustard and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk together with a fork and pour over the salad. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

This salad tastes as pretty as it looks. The warm acidity of the balsamic combined with shards of crunchy fennel and peppery radish is an absolute delight. I was not a fan of raw fennel, but this salad has converted me. That aniseed flavour (a flavour I completely and utterly despise) is not too overpowering and is counteracted to some extent by the dressing.

Also, it made my wee heart sing to see that people have signed up to follow my blog! You have all made this girl very, very happy and I treasure you wonderful people who listen to my ramblings.

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Summertime Saladtime!

Poached chicken salas


The other evening it got deliciously warm. One of those evenings which makes you think that summer has finally come to this windy city, time passing languidly, barely a breeze and all you can do is lounge in the sun. This called for salad and a light one at that. So, my sister and I pulled out piles of cookbooks and sat down to read through them, it felt very luxurious for some reason.

This salad is a combination of a Bill Granger Salad with an Annabel Langbein dressing and it fitted well with our mood. I’ve never been a huge fan of chicken and having only recently jumped back on the meat eating band wagon, I’m ready to try new things. Poached chicken for some reason has always seemed to me to be a bland thing, but this recipe has completely changed my mind. You really get the flavour of the chicken and a very delicate hint of the spicy black peppercorns and spring onions used to flavour the poaching broth. I am now a complete convert, we felt that poaching chicken was an elegant way to cook the chicken (use free range!) and it went so well with the crispy vegetables and the spicy, sweet, sour dressing. Kaffir lime leaves in the dressing give it a heavenly perfume, cannot wait to include them in more dishes.


Poached Chicken Summer Salad (from Simply Bill Granger and Annabel Langbein’s The Free Range Cook)

Dressing (also a good dipping sauce)

Combine 3tsp finely grated lemongrass, 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce, 1/4 cup water, 2T fish sauce,  2 (I used 3) kaffir lime leaves, finely grated zest of 1 lime, 2T lime juice, 2 cloves crushed garlic and 2T freshly minced ginger. Taste and adjust seasoning, should have a balance of flavours.



1T black peppercorns

2 spring onions, roughly chopped

2T sea salt

2 chicken breasts

375g fresh egg noodles (we used dried)

6 spring onions, julienned

200g edamame beans, podded (buy frozen from asian supermarkets, then simply pop the required amount in the microwave and blast 30secs at a time til thawed. Then you can easily pop them out of their shells- fun!)

2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally

2 lebanese cucumbers, finely sliced (or about a third of a telegraph cucumber)

2 teaspoons of sesame seeds

Put the peppercorns, chopped spring onions and salt in a large saucepan, fill with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the chicken breasts and stir. Remove from heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and leave to poach for an hour. After an hour, shred the chicken.

Cook noodles according to packet. Drain and pour cold water over them to refresh them, drain again. Return to pot and drizzle with a little sesame oil and about half of the dressing to stop them sticking together and to give them some more flavour. Arrange on a plate, then lay the chicken and vegetables on top, drizzle the remaining dressing over and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


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