simple food

Thai-style salade nicoise

I had eggs and I had tuna and I had green beans.

So it was looking like a salade nicoise ... but I was STILL hankering after my favourite salad dressing of the moment, which goes with EVERYTHING!

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I've had it with roast beef, with sliced steak, with chicken.

Why not with tuna and egg?

Here's how to make my Thai-style version of a (kind of) salade nicoise (give or take the lettuce, olives, potatoes, French dressing ...) for two.

For the dressing, mix together to dissolve the sugar:

1-2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 small garlic clove, minced very fine

1-2 teaspoons sugar, to your taste

the juice of 1 juicy lime

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the salad, whatever you like really!

I had tomatoes, spring onions, courgette (cored and sliced with a julienne peeler), cucumber (peeled and diced), radishes, green pepper.

What makes it really good is also to have some chopped fresh mint and coriander (or parsley if you don't like coriander) leaves.

Oh, and toast some almond flakes in a dry pan ready to add to the finished dish.

For the tuna - I decided I wanted the tuna to be spicy rather than all the salad or the dressing:

1 tin tuna, mixed with a few drops of soy sauce, a squeeze of lime juice and a finely diced red chilli (just use a few slices or half a chilli if you don't want it too hot).

And finally, you'll need:

some fine green beans

2 eggs


Put a pan of water on to heat, add a pinch of salt and when boiling carefully add the eggs.

After two minutes add the green beans and boil for a further four minutes.

Immediately remove from the heat and rinse and rinse in cold water to prevent the eggs or beans cooking further, then set aside.

Combine all the salad ingredients, add the salad dressing and mix - I just use my (clean!) hands to scrunch it all together.

Put the green beans on top, then the tuna mixture and peel, halve and add the eggs.

Top with the toasted almonds and a little freshly ground black pepper.

Rachel Redlaw
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Gai pad pong karee / chicken curry stir fry

 

It's a curry, kind of, a stir-fry, kind of ... and just a good, easy comfort-food dish really.

It uses curry powder rather than paste plus some nam prik pao - chilli paste in oil - for the heat, and it's all finished into a scrambled egg mixture.

OK, I can't say it's the prettiest dish ever, but when you need something warming, comforting and easy ... this would be a good choice, whether for brunch or a simple supper.

Serve with lovely hot fluffy rice and do cook the rice first - so it's ready to go.

For two, you'll need:
 

one egg

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

2 teaspoons chilli paste in oil (buy in Asian supermarkets or it's easy to make your own)

a good splash of fish sauce

a good big blob of oyster sauce

a good splash of almond milk (or use cow's milk if you prefer) - maybe 50-100 ml

cooking oil spray plus 1 teaspoon of the oil from the top of the chilli paste in oil

1/2 an onion, sliced

a few slices of red chilli, if liked

1 garlic clove, minced

1 chicken breast, cut into very small pieces

some vegetables, whatever you have and like really - I made it once with red and yellow peppers and spinach and then again with orange pepper, asparagus and broccoli - all cut up small


Mix the egg, curry powder, chilli paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce and milk in a bowl and set aside.

Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry

Add some sprays of cooking oil and the oil from the top of the chilli paste to a non-stick frying pan and then add the onion, chilli (if using) and garlic and cook, stirring often, over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add a little splash of water if needed.

Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry

Then add the chicken and cook for another three minutes or so, again add a little splash of water if it's too dry.

Next add the vegetables and cook again, stirring all the time, for another two minutes or so.

Then tip in the egg mixture and stir to cook and scramble - it'll take another couple of minutes or so until scrambled.

I forgot to take a photo of when the eggy mixture first went in! I'll add one next time I make this.

Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry
Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry

And that's it!

Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry

Something a little different and really easy - I hope you try it.



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Ruth's Homemade Chunky Guacamole

Whenever I talk to someone about food and life for this blog, I always ask them to share a recipe too ... and I honestly couldn't wait to try this one shared with me by my friend and huge inspiration to me ... Ruth Ridgeway.

For some unknown reason, I've never had a good guacamole recipe and now when I think about it, that seems really strange - I love all the flavours in this and I adore avocado.

But sometimes, maybe, perhaps  .... the reason I've never had a good one before because one day I would have this one.

And this one is my idea of perfection when it comes to guacamole.

Also, pretty much perfection in other ways.

In it's beautiful simplicity ... every ingredient is exactly what is needed and results in a big flavour, easily.

I also love those baby avocados now available - and just as well as now this seems to be a staple part of my diet - I don't want to be using half an avocado and having the other half go brown (no matter what I do, or tips I follow, it seems to still happen).

I've already made this twice in the last 24 hours!

Once to go with a griddled steak and some stir fried vegetables, which was amazing.

And then to top a piece of toasted ciabatta - with an egg on top of that, which was pretty much SUBLIME - and one of the best breakfast/brunches I've had for a long time.

I love this recipe ... I know you will too.


Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole
I just love things on a good slice of wholemeal toast - and this homemade guacamole is one of them ... preferably with a crispy fried egg too
— Ruth Ridgeway

To serve 2, you'll need:

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole

1 avocado

1 tomato (flesh only) chopped into small cubes

A little red onion (or spring onions, either work) diced into small cubes

1/2 finely chopped red chilli

A little salt, a little pepper

Squeeze of lime (I used a good half a lime as I like it very lime-y!)


Put everything in a bowl and mash with a fork until mixed but chunky.

Serve, eat, enjoy.

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole
Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole

But those avocado skins!  What to do with them?

I hate food waste and I love natural beauty ingredients, so the avocado skins went straight into my bath - yep, just as they are.

OK, it IS messy, there's no hiding from that, but I turn them kind of inside out and rub all that leftover flesh, full of gorgeous avocado oil, onto my knees, elbows, all over my skin, then soak in the bath with the pieces of avocado.

You'll need to pick the pieces out and clean the bath straight away but it does give you very soft skin - it's so good for you! 

There's something about using natural ingredients that just makes me feel really good too - as well as getting that deliciously soft skin of course.

Oh and I added a couple of drops of my favourite lime essential oil too - just to kinda recreate the guacamole essence in my bath :) 

Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado
Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado lime
Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado


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