Ok first things first I have been away from blogging for nearly 2 months now for numerous reasons, 1 of which you will hear about in the coming months just not yet, sure don't we all love waiting for a surprise.......... This weekend I am down home and spent most of today down in Ballybunion. I could bleat on like everyone else is right now about the weather but for the love of jeff its the weather enjoy it, stop talking about it already. Today was my first day in Ballybunion since I was about 12 years of ages so we are talking nearly 17 years ago. We used to go there quite regularly as kids or kid ( when my bro arrived we didn't go as much anymore, thanks Steve!) so it was a treat to head back down and see what had changed over the years. New places opened , old places closed and most notably my favourite chipper as a kid, Jumbo's beside Shortis's bar had since changed hands. After a day on the beach my dad would take us in there for a strawberry milkshake and chips, heavenly at the time. Now its still a chipper, and so cleverly named Chips, must have taken them an age to come up with that one. However there is a lovely ice cream parlour now open on the main street called Sundaes ( check them out here :
https://www.facebook.com/sundaes.ballybunion). They do a range of ice creams, sundaes, frozen yogurt and even hot doughnuts. I went for a tub of the frogurt today and it was beautiiiiiiful, its so much more refreshing than ice cream, however I still had to get the flake and sprinkles, it was yummy.
Ballybunion's stunning beach
Sundaes's gorgeous frozen yogurt ( I do not know who owns the midriffs!)
On to my salad, yes I have named it after myself its my own little creation I came up with tonight in a hurry, its tasty and works so well. Its essentially done in a caesar salad style with a few changes. I hope read this, make it and enjoy it cause my dad scoffed it down.
Ingredients (Feeds 4-6 people or 3 hungry men)
Two heads of washed Cos / Romaine Lettuce
8 slices of Pancetta or good streaky bacon ( I used Crowes Farm's stunning streaky bacon)
150g of cashew nuts
1 small loaf of a good wholemeal batch bread
250g of natural yogurt ( I used Old MacDonnells)
1 heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
2-3 teaspoon of honey (maybe judge this for taste)
4 chicken breasts
1 small red onion
120g of Parmigiano Reggiano
1) Season your chicken breasts and fry in a little oil for 1-2 mins on both sides, transferring to a pre heated oven of 180c for a further 30 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2) Grill the bacon until crispy, pat dry to remove excess grease.
3) Toast your cashews in a hot pan for 3-4 mins to colour and allow the release of the natural flavour. Its always important and I cannot stress this enough to toast your nuts!
4) Cut about 4 thick slices of your bread removing the crusts, and cutting in to cubes. Drizzle in a little olive oil and grill until golden brown, remembering to turn them throughout so as not to burn.
5) Make the dressing by placing your yogurt, mustard and honey in a bowl, give a good whisk until ingredients mixed. Adjust the taste with a little more honey if you like a sweeter dressing.
6) Finely slice your red onion in half moon shapes, also at this stage slice up your chicken breasts length ways.
7) Assembly time! With your cleaned lettuce cut the large leaves in to 3. Start layering on a nice serving dish, lettuce, bacon, cashews, croutons, red onions, chicken, and dressing. You will end up with about 3 layers, finally top with drizzle of dressing and parmesan shavings (I used a vegetable peeler to do this).
8) Enjoy it! I even surprised my dad, as the whole way through he was saying "all you are doing is a salad, thats not much now is it, you said you were doing a pie Willem, you have had me waiting till 7pm for salad!" (Picture him saying that in a grumpy Dutch accent)Yup needless to say he devoured two plate fulls......
Thanks for reading, I am back indefinitely now with my distractions ended for the moment anyhow.