I drove from Carlow to Wexford yesterday afternoon to spend the weekend with my other sister, Mimi. It was my 3rd day in Ireland and I was excited to jump behind the wheel of a car and take my kids from the inland countryside to the coast. I kept making them look out the window as I pointed to the landscape hoping to instill the feeling of love I have for the place that I call home.
When we arrived I was immediately ousted into the kitchen to cook dinner! My sister had bought everything I requested, and was anxious for me to get going because she was hungry. As I stood there scanning the kitchen for what I would need, I couldn’t help but jokingly comment on how I felt a bit like the “help”, which did not seem to move my sister in the slightest, who just shoved a glass of rose champagne into my hand, clink glasses, thinking that would soften me: works every time!
Knowing I would be under pressure to make something fast, I choose fish. However, one of the diners did not like salmon so I cooked some chicken along with everything else. It worked out perfectly, and I managed to make a dish that was a total crowd-pleaser (even the finicky chicken-eater like the zesty broth!).
Looking forward to cooking a lot more dinners in my sisters not-so-crappy kitchen.
*This is a Blood Type A Friendly Recipe (Salmon being beneficial, Chicken neutral)*
You will need:
3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
6 6oz salmon fillets OR 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 lengthways OR combination of the two
1 large onion, small dice
2 celery ribs, including leaves, diced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
2 heads butter or gem lettuce (Boston will also work), chopped
1 cup white wine
2 cups veggie or chicken broth (can also use good quality bouillon cube with 2 cups water)
1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional, BUT not for Type A’s)
1/2 tsp sea-salt (or 1 tsp of sea-salt flakes, like Maldon salt)
1 lb spaghetti (a little more if you are big pasta eaters)
1 – Prep the veggies as instructed, wash and dry fish if using, slice chicken.
2 – Put large saute pan on medium/low heat and add the oil. Add onions and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After onions & celery have cooked for 10 minutes, put big pot of cold water on for pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain (do not rinse) and add to pasta when sauce is cooked.
3 – Add rosemary and salt, and cook for another 3 minutes.
4 – Turn up heat and add wine. Bring to a bubble and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth, cayenne flakes (if using), lemon zest and juice, and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken (if only using salmon, add at this time) and turn heat down keeping at a gently simmer. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and add fish (if using a combination). Cover and cook for 5 minutes at a gently simmer. *If only using salmon, cook for 6 minutes before adding lettuce, and then follow instruction.
5 – Add the lettuce and continue to cook (lid on) for 3 more minutes, or until salmon is fully cooked, and lettuce has braided. Turn off pan.
6 – Add drained spaghetti and stir very gently.
Divide between 6 shallow bowls and add a little more cayenne pepper, and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano Cheese.