Monthly Archives: July 2012

Lunch On A Wall In Tipperary with a view of The Rock Of Cashel And Hore Abbey

A very pleasant lunch on a wall in Tipperary

The other day, my kids and I ate lunch on a stony wall with a view of a magnificent 12th century Cistercian abbey on one side, and the medieval buildings of The Rock Of Cashel on the other. I have started a habit that I am quite sure will be a religious one until my Summer at home in Ireland ends, and that is to pack a lunch and enjoy it in an idyllic spot.

One view – The Rock Of Cashel. This site started out as a fortress in the 4th century, but in 1101 it was handed over to the church and became an ecclesiastical site until being declared a national monument in 1875

Everyday I try to plan something fun and interesting for myself and my kids to do together. We usually look at the weather and then make a decision based on whether it is going to rain all day or not. This particular day it looked like rain where we were, however if I drove in a more south-westerly direction we might be lucky and find some sun; we did!

The other view – Hoar Abbey

The only thing that has interfered with these trips is just when we are in the middle of a great exploration of some ruined castle or other, or enjoying a museum visit, I get the request for food (my stomach also alerts me). If I don’t want to be in the company of cranks for the rest of the day I give in to the hungry pangs and leave in search of a restaurant. It became a bother, and so I discovered if I packed a nice lunch, it could be eaten on a whim almost anywhere. This has worked out brilliantly.

Gothic-Style cathedral at Rock of Cashel

I have loved introducing my kids to places that I spent my childhood visiting, while also having the pleasure of rediscovering them for myself as an adult. The Rock Of Cashel was certainly one of the places that I frequented on a regular basis, and up to now I had never taken my two children to see this wonderous, lonely looking outcropping of medieval buildings situated in the heart of Munster province.

Graveyard at The Rock Of Cashel

We got there in perfect time as a full tour of the whole site was getting ready to start. We had an amazing guide who went in to great detail both historically and architecturally, telling us about the unusual Hibernian-Romanesque Chapel, the recently discovered frescos, and how in 1101 the king of Cashel gave the entire place to the church, which may have been a clever political move.

One of the best examples of the 80 plus Round towers in Ireland (Rock Of Cashel)

We were completely captivated from beginning to end and after the tour ended we explored further, taking pictures and discussing where we should have our lunch; we were ravenous. From one side of the fortified walls we saw another beautiful building, Hoar Abbey. It looked like it could be gotten to by trekking over a few of the adjoining fields, so we set off.

A view of Hoar Abbey from the Wall at The Rock of Cashel

We walked through the field below the Rock, and then hopped over a wall to another field. The abbey stood in the middle of yet another big field, surrounded by an old rock wall. The wall was deep and flat on top; the perfect picnic spot. I spread out my little teacloth and laid out all sorts of goodies, along with a little bottle of wine for myself. It was a glorious day, and as we sat on the wall munching our sandwiches, we were joined on one side by a herd of curious cows, who grazed lazily on hefty clumps of grass. As cars wound their way down the higgledy-piggledy road they greeted us with friendly waves. They may have been hungry also, and looking for an invite to our lovely wall!

Ide having a chat after lunch

After we demolished every scrap of food, we headed down the road that led to a gate into the field. It was time to explore the ruins of the Cistercian abbey affectionately dubbed Hoar Abbey centuries earlier. Hoar refers to the type of frost that blankets the fields in this particular area of the country. Hoar frost is when the dew on the grass freezes and turns a frosty white color. I could so easily imagine how this holy place looked in the earlier winter mornings so long ago.

Interior of Hoar Abbey

We wandered around for a long time, taking in every thick wall, stone-carved door frame, and impressive gothic lancet window. When we decided to make our way back to our car which was parked at the base of the Rock of Cashel, we ventured through a different set of fields, just for the fun of it. As we walked, side-stepping big ruts hidden in the long grass, and numerous pungent cow patties, I was conscious of how my kids voices rose and fell as they talked about all the new things they had discovered since they woke up that morning. And, I was the lucky one who got to be in their company.

Discovering the abbey

Irish Lavistown Sausage And Chicken Dinner (serves 6)

Irish Lavistown Sausage & Chicken Dinner

This dinner was all about the sausages we bought the other day in Kilkenny. We first tasted them in a pub in Thomastown (will be writing about this particular pub in the near future!) and my sister told me they were local. There is nothing like eating food close to the source, especially when it comes to meat.

Lavistown Gourmet Sausages

Lavistown Gourmet Sausages hail from Lavistown House in County Kilkenny in Ireland. They have been making these lovely meaty sausages from locally sourced pork (no fillers!) for the past 21 years, and after eating them, it will be impossible to buy run-of-the-mill sausage links in the supermarket ever again!

www.lavistownhouse.ie

unctuous sausages from County Kilkenny!

We used their Italian Style variety and cooking them first on the pan, which released their beautiful flavor, and finishing them off in the oven with wine and thyme brought out a deliciousness my taste buds won’t easily forget. If you live anywhere near Kilkenny these sausages should be a weekly staple for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

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You will need:

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

8 sausages (Lavistown brand if you can find them, but any good quality sausages will work. do not use breakfast links as they are too small, but a bigger dinner-like sausage such as Italian or other seasoned sausage)

4 or 5 small-sized chicken breast fillets

3 cups baby potatoes, washed and left unpeeled (if you can’t find or don’t have them, use bigger potatoes, washed and cut into smaller pieces)

1 large onion, roughly chopped or sliced

2 celery ribs, including the leaves, sliced

6 fresh thyme sprigs

2 cups baby potatoes (or 3 medium carrots, large dice)

1 cup white wine

1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth (or good quality bouillon cube and water)

sea-salt for seasoning (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes)

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Put large saute or roasting pan on medium heat and add oil. Add sausage and cook until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Fry Sausages

2  – Season chicken with a light sprinkle of sea-salt. Turn heat up slightly and brown the chicken fillets on both sides (they will soak up the flavor of the sausage juices and oil). Remove to a plate and set aside.

brown chicken

3 – Add onions, celery and thyme to pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adjusting heat so as not to burn the vegetables.

saute onions,  celery & thyme

4 – Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 4 or so minutes. The potatoes will begin to brown.

add baby potatoes

5 – Turn heat up and add the wine. When it comes to a boil, cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up the brown bits stuck to the bottom of your pan. Add the broth (or bouillon & water) and bring to a boil. Add the meat in an even layer. Turn heat off, cover pan with lid and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

add liquid, then meat

Serve this with whatever you like. Some of us had it with lots of field greens, while others loaded up on more carbs in the form of basmati rice. 

Chicken with Greens

My 500th Post (and what that means to me)

What does it mean to be writing my 500th blog? In the first place I would not know it was a milestone number only WordPress (my host) keeps me updated on all sorts of statistics that I probably should pay more attention to. The thing that popped into my head was a massive jumble of photographic images of the parts of my life that I have shared with anyone who happened upon my site. 

A lot of time has been spent making food, taking photographs, documenting recipes and writing general commentary on what I have observed in my life over the past 500 entries. Because I made it a goal to only write about events in a positive way, it has helped me see the good in the smallest things. I am glad for that, and will continue to see every day as a full-fledged opportunity to work hard on simply being happy. And yes, I am very aware at how corny that sounds, and that how some days are truly much harder than others, but there is always something to take comfort in if we would only take the time to look.

 If I am forced to choose just one photograph from the thousands I have taken since January 3rd 2011 that epitomizes in some way what this blog means to me, it is the image below. It is my daughter being whooshed very expertly into the air by Tyler at Blair Vineyards, Pennsylvania, when a group of friends and strangers got together one Sunday for wine and lovely conversation (which prompted me to invite everyone to our house afterwards for dinner!). It was just an ordinary day, but when I saw Ide sailing into the air, it took my breath away, and I will never forget how she seemed to float for a few precious seconds. All I want is more of that.

Ide & Tyler

I have no plans to stop cooking, or writing about food and my various outings. Why give up on a good thing!

Heavenly Lunch On A Beach In Ireland (Despite The Weather!)

Curracloe

I am finally coming to terms with the fact that going to the beach in Ireland in the height of Summer is very different from say my beach experience in Cape May, New Jersey (United States) a few weeks ago. Getting ready to spend the day lounging on the beach in Cape May was a simple matter of lathering up with sunscreen, sticking a beach towel and chair under my arm, and sauntering over to the beach in my bikini and flip-flops.

No bikinis on this cloudy beach (check out the man in the beach chair: perfectly dressed for the day)

The preparations for my beach trips to Curracloe in County Wexford this week required a little more luggage shall we say. I knew it would be brisk, so I exchanged the bikini for a skirt and t-shirt, along with a sweater and umbrella (not for the sun, but for the likelihood of rain!).

My heavenly lunch (truly)

On our way to the coast I decided to pick up something for lunch. I was not organised enough to pack a picnic, but knew the moment we laid our towels on the sand my kids would say they were hungry. Somehow, the combination of sitting on a beach and watching the waves, awakens our appetites in a ravenous way. My only luck at finding a grocery shop ended at a little hole-in-the-wall store, which only grabbed my attention because of the over abundant display of plastic beach paraphernalia dangling from a multitude of hooks and teetering outside of the entrance.

Bundled up with hearty sandwiches.

It so happened to be the perfect place for all of my beach needs. We picked up a couple of buckets and spades, 3 fresh crusty rolls, stuffed with roasted chicken, strong cheese, and greens, a bunch of red grapes, and a little bottle of screw-cap french wine, which I couldn’t believe a little rural shop would even think to stock. We were set!

just plain fun

I learned a few things while watching my kids play very happily on the blustery beach: I remembered how when I was their age doing exactly the same thing, not bothered that the sun shone intermittently in-between billowy clouds, and that the water was cold, but not cold enough to keep me out of it, at how eating a sandwich after digging up the sand for an hour tasted like the best thing I had ever eaten, and at how watching the rush of the waves turning little pebbles over in its wake was mesmerizing, and finally, the best part of it all was watching my children, mimicking my own childhood.

cold, but no more complaining

So, the deal is, the beach doesn’t have to be tropical (or even warm for that matter) to be enjoyable. The truth is I was probably more comfortable reading my book all bundled up than I would have been melting on some sweltering beach with no relief for the glaring hot sun. I will most certainly be back to the little shop for sandwiches and wine on my way to our spot by the grassy dunes in Curracloe.

A Dinner for Vegetarians & Meat Eaters Alike! (serves 4)

Since coming home to Ireland for the summer a few weeks ago, cooking has been one of the priorities. My sisters love when they come home from work and dinner is underway, and since they like the same foods I do, it is an easy way for me to please them and myself at the same time. The problem is that shopping has not been high on my list. I have made this admission before, but shopping for groceries in large supermarkets is a loathsome task as far as I’m concerned. From the garish lighting to the tinny-sounding elevator music, the whole thing feels like torture. It is a different story when the grocery shop is all about the finest of everything, with little samples of this and that to amuse me while I find myself pondering over things that very seldom find their way into my food, like elegant jars of preserved lemons and lychee syrups.

A walk before Dinner on Curracloe Beach, Wexford

The supermarkets in Ireland are not that interesting unless you are shopping in a big city or the suburbs of one, where there is more diversity and affluence, resulting in a more interesting selection of foods and higher quality standards. The way to shop if one had time is to go to the fabulous butchers shops, fishmongers, and farmers market style shops. During the day, my time is spent hanging out with my kids, reading and trying to write (Ok I’m spoiled rotten), and in the evening I cook and spend time with my lovely sisters and sometimes a few friends. Who has time to trek from shop to shop everyday for key ingredients!

Vegetarian Version

That leaves me doing a lot of what I call house-foraging. The minutes before I have to start cooking are spent poking my head in the freezer, the fridge and cupboards of my sister’s respective houses (depending where I have installed myself for the night!) and coming up with ingredients for the evening meal. One of my sisters always claims to have “nothing in the house” as far as food is concerned, but she is now learning that a bag of kale, onions and a stock cube can be turned into something well worth eating (isn’t that so Mimi?)

Meat Version

This great dish was born from scrounged-together ingredients, managing to satisfy the carnivores and herbivores alike! At this point I can’t say enough about deep green, curly edged kale. I bought it at a farmer stand where the man said he had just picked it from his garden at ten o’ clock that morning. I bought a few bags knowing it would keep very well in the fridge for a week, and this was the kale that made this dish special (along with the wonderful lemon zest). If you buy hardy greens, have a supply of protein in the freezer (be it tofu, fish or meat), and a handful of herbs in your fridge, putting a meal like this together requires only occasional visits to the dreaded supermarket.

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*This is a Blood Type A Diet Friendly Dish*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, large dice or roughly chopped

1 celery rib, including upper leaves, sliced

1 large carrot, grated (use largest setting on box grater)

zest of 1 lemon (save lemon for other use)

1 tbs chopped herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage leaves)

4 cups kale, chopped (fairly small pieces)

2 cups chicken or veggie broth (or 1 good quality bouillon cube & water)

1 tsp sea-salt (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes)

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional, and omit for Type A Blood Type Dieters)

4 Italian-style sausage (for meat version)

Ramen Noodles for 4 (or other pasta such as udon or regular semolina-based pasta. I recommend Buckwheat noodles for Blood Type “A” dieters)

Method:

1 – Cook noodles according to instructions and rinse well with cold water. Set aside. Prep all veggies before you begin cooking. * if you intend to serve this dish with sausage, put about 2 tbs of olive oil in a pan and add the sausages. Cook on medium heat until browned on all sides and cooked through. cover with lid and set aside*

Saute onions & Celery

2 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add the extra-virgin oil. Cook onions and celery for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

add kale, then carrots

3 – Add chopped kale and give everything a stir before adding the grated carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes until kale begins to wilt.

add lemon, herbs and liquid

4 – Add the broth (or water & Bouillon cube), herbs, salt, cayenne pepper flakes, and lemon zest and stir. Bring everything to a simmer, and cover.

cook

5 – Allow to simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes after which time the kale should be soft. Taste for addition of more salt (and pepper if you like).

Add Noodles

Add the noodles and serve when heated through. If you are using sausage, slice into thick pieces and divide between each dish.

On a different note…

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Francesco_Petrarca00.jpg

Happy Birthday Francesco

A moment of digression allows me to announce that today is the birthday of the Italian poet and scholar, Francesco Petrarch (a brilliant thinker, and one of the founding fathers of the Renaissance).

“we must write just as the bees make honey, not keeping the flowers but turning them into a sweetness of our own, blending many very different flavours into one, which shall be unlike them all, and better”

(from a letter to his friend and fellow Humanist, Giovanni Boccaccio)

Barbecue: Irish Style & A Great Recipe! (Spaghetti with Lemon, Greens, & Olives)

Before I begin this post, I want to share with you the official weather forecast for next week from the National Weather Service in Ireland. It is almost poetic:

“There is a possibility that warm Continental air may then push in over Ireland over the following days bringing some fine, summer weather with temperatures well into the twenties. Although this is still far from certain, it is a distinct possibility”

I decided after reading this subtly contradictory weather report,  I could make a decent living as a meteorologist in Ireland.

do you think it will rain?

I have been back home in Ireland 2 weeks today and the topic foremost on everyone’s lips when exchanging casual pleasantries is most definitely the weather, or should I say, the lack of any kind of weather remotely reminiscent of Summer. I shouldn’t even think about jumping on the band wagon since I am lucky enough to get to spend the entire Summer with my family, but it has become a source of amusement for me, and talking about it helps me realize that there may even be benefits to crappy weather and cryptic weather reports!

Spaghetti with Lemon, Greens, & Olives (Recipe below)

This story sums up the Irish weather pretty nicely: The day after I arrived in Ireland was breezy and sunny which was a welcome relief after coming from the United States where I was wilting in 100 degree temperatures. I put on a dress and sandals and actually felt a little chilly, but my sister reminded me that this was warm for her and I would acclimate. My sister happy to have me around decided that for it to fully feel like Summer was officially here she should buy a barbecue (which she did!).  As it turned out, that was the only real nice day for the next two weeks.

Summer Skies

It was always the same: I would wake up in the morning, open the curtains and the sky would look promising, with bits of blue sky visible through vast swaths of very puffy clouds. I would make plans to go to a beach, or for a walk or to visit some ruined castle or other, and right when we were all packed and heading for fun, the rain would come pelting down. Plans would change, substituted for a possible museum visit, movie, or even just relaxing inside with a book, and then the sun would come out. I made the sensible decision to get back into long pants with a sweater handy, and stop smiling and pretending to be perfectly happy in t-shirts and shorts – brrrr!

Tom was in charge of the barbecuing

That is until two days ago when miracle of miracles, late in the morning the sun came out and decided to stay. What would I do with all this fine weather? Right when I was planning a possible outing to a beach, our friend Tom appeared at the back door. My earliest memory of Tom’s family was when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and going to his house just before Christmas, where his father who was a doctor, had a clinic. It was late in the evening and I remember driving the three miles to his house in the cold and dark, shivering in the back of the car under a blanket. I remember his rolled up shirt sleeves, and his hands smelling of soap as he felt my glands while consoling me saying I would feel better soon. People you spend your life in close proximity to, even if your ties are just the fact that you lived in the same town,  shopped in the same supermarket and knew the same bumps on the roads when you rode your bike, are connections that bind you to those people for your entire life. You have a shared commonality and familiar things are automatic magnetizers.

the engineers at work

So when Tom showed up at the back door I didn’t think twice about telling him he just had to assemble the barbecue that had been sitting in a box for the past two weeks. He told me that all of “the sisters” in our house were the same, ordering him to do something for them at a moment’s notice. I ignored his complaining and handed him scissors to cut the black binding holding the box together. A half hour later my nephew Colm appeared, calling in to see his cousins for the first time since last year. After lots of hugs and excited hellos we headed to the backyard only to find Tom looking slightly overwhelmed with finicky metal barbecue parts and an even more confusing instruction manual.

the back garden

Colm was ordered to work by his Auntie (that would be me!) and after about two hours our shiny new barbecue was ready to be fired up. The joke throughout the assemble process was that it would rain the moment plans were made to actually have a barbecue. And, right when the last bolt was in place and the grill was situated along the wall by the backdoor steps, it began to rain. I quickly covered the top with the box as we had no cover for it yet and said there would be a barbecue no matter what the weather and that Tom was invited. He said he would be happy to show up “if it wasn’t raining”

Prosecco (in my mother’s Millenium Waterford Crystal Champagne flutes.

Well, it stopped raining and the sun (mixed with clouds of course) came out. June arrived home armed with lots of meat and vegetables for grilling. I felt like it was Summer for the first time and switched from drinking red wine to opening a bottle of fresh, crisp prosecco which myself and June drank from my mother’s precious Millenium Waterford Crystal glasses, as a reminder of her, and how she loved a good dinner party. Tom arrived amused that it wasn’t raining, and less amused when I told him he was in charge of barbecuing everything that needed barbecuing! I took care of the pasta dish, made sure the table was set and that glasses were topped up. And, when another old friend of the family showed up he was promptly handed a drink, and it appeared that a family reunion of sorts was under way.

Swingball: an old game I used to play that has been revived, and now my kids are addicted.

As food was being cooked, talk finally drifted from the weather, and when I noticed this change, it dawned on me how much we all had being obsessing and pinning our hopes of happiness upon whether the sun would shine or not? If this was winter, we would have accepted the constant gloom and gotten on with our lives. I decided to try as hard as I could to forget about the fact that it was summer, and that if it rained all day long for the next 6 weeks (please God, no!), I would do my utmost to make the best of it.

miraculously, no rain, so we dined outside!

We ate outside, enjoying the light breeze while catching up on everyone’s news. We all had ravenous appetites and even ate the bits of meat that Tom half apologised for burning. It was his very first forray into being the grill master, but now he was more experienced than most of the people eating dinner together, which means he will most likely be roped into doing it again!

Did it rain when the table was cleared and we had just gotten ourselves inside the house: most definitely.

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Spaghetti With Lemon, Greens & Olives (serves 4-6)

*This dish can be a Blood Type A Friendly Diet Dish if you omit the Butter & Black Olives (green are fine)*

You will need:

juice & zest of 1 large lemon

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or, 1 good quality bouillon cube & 1 1/2 cups water)

1 head escarole, washed & roughly chopped *you could also use 3 heads of Little Gem lettuce or 2 heads of Butter or Boston lettuce*

2 cups chopped greens such as lettuce or spinach leaves (to be added at the end)

1 1/2 cups mixed green and black olive (try to use something good like Kalamata)

1 tbs chopped thyme leaves

2 tbs good quality extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand)

1 tsp sea-salt, and more to taste (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes)

2 tbs unsalted butter (optional)

Method:

1 – Cook pasta according to instructions. While pasta is cooking, get the rest of the dish ready.

swirl bouillon cube in pan

2 – Put large saute pan (one that will hold the completed dish) on low/medium heat and add the bouillon cube to the pan with about 2 tbs of water. If not using bouillon cube, go to next step.

Add lemon juice, zest and butter

3 – When bouillon cube has turned to a pasta, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1 tbs of the butter and swirl ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the broth (or water), along with the salt and bring to a simmer.

add lettuce

4 – Add the chopped greens and cover pan with lid and simmer very gently for 5 minutes.

add spaghetti

5 – While broth is simmering, chop thyme leaves and combine with the olives and extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl. When pasta has cooked, drain and add to simmered broth, along with the olive mixture, 1 tbs butter, and 2 cups of reserved chopped greens. Turn off pan. Taste for addition of salt and freshly ground pepper.

add olives

Serve as it (which would then lend itself to some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese) or with whatever protein you would like along with it (in our case barbecue chicken, sausages and grilled onions!)

Suki enjoying the lovely day

Pad Thai With Chicken & Improvised Sauce (Serves 6-8)

Most every day I ask my kids, and anyone else who might be dining with us, for dinner suggestions. I do this knowing full well I will not be able to please everyone, and that a food tiff between my two culinary-opinionated children is a possibility.

Pad Thai With Chicken & Improvised Sauce

My son always begs for anything Asian, while my daughter likes more comforting dishes like roasted chicken with a brothy pasta. Tonight I made something that appealed more to my son, and it was only because I found some super-fresh bean sprouts at the supermarket yesterday. When I think of the fabulous water-filled crunch of bean sprouts, I think of Pad Thai. It is the perfect combination of Asian zing, while also having the comfort factor, (the yummy noodles).

My daughter said not to give her too much as it was not her favorite thing in the world, but she ended up loving it as much as everyone else, declaring it to be my “best Pad Thai ever!”

I attribute this to the fact that my sauce combination turned out to be the perfect balance between tangy and subtly sweet. I usually make the sauce with tamarind paste, but since I didn’t have any, I improvised with lime juice and ketchup, (sounds awful I know, but it really worked!). That, along with some soy sauce and brown sugar made my Pad Thai sing.

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* This is a Blood type A Diet Friendly Dish. If you are really strict you may not want to use the ketchup, but I feel it is a small enough amount to be forgiven*

You will need:

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 tbs tomato ketchup

juice of 2 limes

3 tbs soft brown sugar

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 medium carrots, peeled and  grated (use large side of box-grater)

8 scallions, including green parts, sliced

4 large eggs, cracked into a bowl and beaten with a fork

3 cups bean sprouts

1 1/2 cups crushed peanuts (to crush peanuts: place in a strong plastic bag and roll with a rolling-pin until nuts are broken and slightly crushed)

1 lb rice noodles (sometimes called Pad Thai noodles, or Thai noodles)

6 cups chopped curly kale (optional)

Method:

1 – Prep all ingredients as directed above. Mix first 4 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cook rice noodles according to instruction, making sure to rinse well with cold water after draining. Scramble the beaten eggs in a small pan with a little olive oil, and set aside. When the egg is cold, break it up into smaller pieces in the pan with a wooden spoon.

Prep all ingredients before you begin

2 – Put large saute pan or wok (large enough to hold the entire finished dish) on high heat and add oil. When it is hot, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

saute chicken

3 – Add grated carrots and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

add carrots

4 – Add the scallions and scrambled egg and cook for a further 2 or so minutes.

add scallions and cooked eggs

5 – Add the bean sprouts and stir into rest of ingredients. Cook for another minute.

add bean sprouts

6 – Add the rinsed rice noodles and using two wooden spoons, turn the noodles into the rest of the dish. Add the sauce and cook everything until noodles are heated through. Add crushed peanuts and give one last stir.

add cooked noodles

Serve, passing more peanuts and a little hot sauce if you like.

I also served this with cooked kale

*To cook the kale: wash and chop into small pieces. Put 1 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add kale, cover pot, and simmer until soft (about 12 minutes). Toss into the finished dish*