Saturday, March 29, 2008


Ok, so we're wrapping up our March Madness. We got through Paddy's Day and the birthday. I finally turned 30, what a relief! Thanks to all for the good wishes and the teabags too, Mum. You never know when they'll arrive but they always do.

I've decided to finish up with the focus on vegetables. I know I've covered the more "Irish" types (potatoes, cabbage and parsnips) but today we're talking about Baby carrots, Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower. Even though Ireland is really known as a meat and potato country, veg plays a big part. Today I'm going to spice them up a little to make them a bit more interesting.

Baby carrots: I use these all the time and love the sweetness. You just want to trim the stalks and rinse them. Don't peel them as you'll loose too much. All I did was cut the very thick ones in half lengthwise. You want to keep them all the same size/length so they cook evenly. Toss them in 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. ground cumin, S&P and a drizzle of honey/agave. Pre-heat oven 375 and roast for 20 mins. approx or 'til tender. I like them to have a slight bite when they come out of the oven as they'll keep softening a little once free from the heat.

Brussels Sprouts: Not exactly indiginous to Ireland. They actually get their name from the origional place they were cultivated as opposed to being really popular in Brussels. They come from the cabbage family which I suppose if you look at them you can see that. When cooking them, peel off the outer layers and cut a cross in the stem which helps get the heat into the stem. Cook them in boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool. To finish cut them in half lengthwise and in medium hot saute pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and saute 'til golden. Season with S&P. To finish squeeze fresh lemon juice.

Cauliflower: Another vegetable not originating in Ireland but one you'll find on almost every dinner table. They come from the same species as cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens and are very nutritious. My preferred technique is to roast them. Pre-heated your oven to 375 degrees and cut the cauliflower into florets. In a mixing bowl add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. curry powder, S&P, and a drizzle of honey/agave. Place on foiled sheet pan and roast in oven for about 20 minutes, approx. or until tender. They'll stick a little to the foil but once cooled a little they'll come right off. These taste amazing and work great with fish as well.

And then there's the chicken. This is pretty straight forward but you'll have to watch the webisode to see how to do it.

So we'll tuck away March Madness until next year. Just think, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner...

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