Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Ximenez, you say. And how DO you say that?

Recipe of the week...
...Roast New Potato, Kale and Beetroot Salad

Ingredients: 1 handful of new potatoes, 2 cooked beetroots, 2 handfuls of kale, 2 bunches of fresh dill, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, a drizzling of olive oil (or you can use a low-cal cooking spray), and salt and pepper. Plus, for the dressing: 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt, and EITHER 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil and 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, OR 2 tablespoons Pedro Ximenez Sherry Vinaigrette.

Serves: One decent dinner-sized plateful of salad.

Time taken: Half an hour max.

Hi readers,

How are well all today? Are you well? Is the sun shining where you are? I do hope that it is. I hope it’s shining on YOU, and your week is off to a wonderful start. Chin up, lovely readers. We’re two days into the week  already… high five! And guess what? I passed my driving test yesterday! *the crowd goes wild*

At long last, after six months fraught with driving lessons, and one failed attempt at the test in June, I’ve gone and done it. Hurrayyyy!! I took the test for a second time yesterday (first thing in the morning at 8.10am, it was a brutal way to start the week!) and it went reasonable badly, I thought. I caused other cars to slow. I bumped the curb. My sunglasses flew off my head during our emergency stop. And… yet… I passed. Shocking, even to me.

I’m legal at last. And, in other news, here are five things I like at the moment:

·      Despicable Me 3. I went to the cinema to see with my Father Bear this weekend. We did surprisingly well – the screen was packed with kiddies but all were on best behaviour. There were no tears… only, perhaps, tears of laughter (on my part). We watched Gru busting a move on-screen, and enjoyed plenty of laughs. It is, in my humble opinion, a fun film that anyone could enjoy. Anyone with human (or unicorn) emotions. If you’re heading to the cinema sometime soon, I do recommend.

·      Brunching at Tamper. With the gals. I’ve probably (definitely) raved before on this topic, but my love for Tamper only grows with time. I just love the place. If ever you’re in Sheffield, readers. Tamper is a Kiwi-inspired breakfast/lunch/decent coffee serving café, with lots of unusual and veggie-friendly menu options, and an exciting cake counter with the option to take home cake-away (after stuffing yourself with brunch). Long overdue a visit, I made it to Tamper on Sunday morning for a catch up with a couple of the gals. We ordered omelettes – so good – and had a fine time.

·      Listening to ‘Bill Evans - My Foolish Heart’. As my dinner party-attending friends will know, though it takes most people until their senior years to hit upon this, I’ve found a premature love for Smooth Radio. And songs like these. Which make me want to wear red lipstick and a silk gown. Pour some red wine. End my smoking ban. Let my sweetheart dance me around the room, in low lighting.

·      The HandleBards – “CHARMINGLY CHAOTIC BICYCLE-POWERED SHAKESPEARE!”. I somehow this weekend ended up attending an open air performance of a classic theatre play, As You Like It (but with a comedy spin), led by an all-female troupe of travelling actors. Who cycle UK-wide, from show to show, carrying all their set, props and costumes with them as they go. For real, they do. And it was loads of fun! The girls were all hilarious – I want to be them – and we got lovely weather, sipping drinks in the sun as we watched the performance. There’s no booking process or ticket fee, you just turn up to a show and then pay what you can as you leave. Seriously – get yourself along to a performance if they’re coming to a place near you.

·      Salad. The weather’s been warm and stress (regards: driving test) has been suppressing my appetite somewhat. I’ve been enjoying dining light on a medley of salads, at both lunchtime and teatime. One of the besties, Hazoncé, gifted me a boxful of eggs laid at home by her family chickens. These are super flavoursome and yolky, and they’re making wonderful salad toppers when hard boiled.

What do you think, readers? Need a little inspiration, maybe, to muster up this level of enthusiasm for salad? Can I treat your taste buds with a new salad recipe, perhaps? One sure to knocking your salad socks off! Oh, go on then… if you insist! Here, readers, I have for you a new recipe for a summer salad, that you simply must try. It’s gluten-free, tastyyy, and it’s going to rock your world.

Found in the August 2017 edition of Glamour magazine, among an array of potato-centred salads, the ChefBeHere Recipe of the Week – this week – is for Roast New Potato, Kale and Beetroot Salad. In the words of Glamour, potatoes are “more than a bit on the side”. They’re naturally fat-free, gluten-free and a source of potassium and fibre. And they make for a mean salad topper. I’ll say no more, here’s the recipe in just ten simple steps…

Recipe: Roast New Potato, Kale and Beetroot Salad

1.     Crack your windows open wide and strettttch really tall. Pour yourself a drink and shush the voice babbling in your head. Set some chilled music playing.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: As previously mentioned, this week I’ve been listening to Bill Evans! Maybe give him a listen if you’re stuck for some music for the soul.
2.     Heat your oven to 200C and set the kettle boiling.
3.     Prep your veg! Chop your potatoes and beetroot into wedges.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Pretty as it may be to turn the kitchen pink, it pays to pat down your beetroot when remove them from their packet. Soak up as much excess beetroot juice as you can do before chopping.
4.     Pop your potato wedges in a small saucepan, fill with water from the kettle, and set boiling on a hob for 5 or so mins, to soften up.
5.     While your potatoes boil, you can be preparing your salad dressing. Add the sesame oil, natural yoghurt, rapeseed oil, and sherry vinegar to a mug. Stir together.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: In a stroke of luck – I was struggling to find sherry vinegar but then found a dressing in M&S called Pedro Ximenez Sherry Vinaigrette. This combines sherry vinegar and olive oil – perfect! I switched the rapeseed oil and the vinegar for this vinaigrette instead. Handy, if you’re ingredient shopping in M&S.

6.     Once your potatoes feel soft to stab, remove from the heat and drain. Add to an ovenproof dish along with a couple of handfuls of kale.
7.     Drizzle your kale and potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and carefully transport into the oven to bake for ten minutes.

8.     Use this time wisely! Heat a dinner plate in the microwave. Set the table and top up your drink. Light a candle and consider dessert options.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Dance around the kitchen and think something nice about yourself!
9.     Once your potatoes and kale have browned a little in the oven, safely remove and turn the oven off. Get your plate out of the microwave.
10.  Cover your plate with crispy kale. Then, add the beetroot and potatoes, and adorn with a flurry of fresh dill. Drizzle your dressing about, and then sprinkle the plateful of salad with a small shower of sesame seeds. Et bon appétit!

What do you think, readers? Does this look good or does this look gooood? Am I right?? Or am I terribly wrong – because please do share your thoughts if this recipe is actually your idea of hell. Is it the kale? Seeds? Beetroot? What are you thinking, readers? To me – this recipe is tasty but saintly tea option. It tastes good – unusual, but flavoursome – and encourages me to buy ingredients in that I normally wouldn’t. Like kale.

I enjoyed this salad a lot! It was easy to prepare, tasty to eat, and something that I never would have imagined of my own accord. I enjoy adding warm ingredients to a salad, if temperatures drop to cardy-donning degrees – as they often do in England – and will definitely add potatoes to salads in the future. It’s a good tasting combination.

Do let me know, readers, do the photos and the recipe tempt you to give this a try? And – if you do take this dish on – what was your experience in the kitchen? How did you get on? And, most importantly, did you like the food?? Fill me in, readers, I’d love to hear from you. And – remember – should you be stuck for something to bring joy to your day: Despicable me 3, Tamper brunch, Bill Evans, The HandleBards, and salad. I hope these see you through.

Smooth Radio safely,


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