Full Steam Ahead

It has been some time since I really got creative in the kitchen and I found myself getting really bored with my everyday meals. Being pregnant for most of last year slowed down my kitchen adventures and my diet also took a hit as I shunned my regular delights.

All that has changed now and I am ready to resume my food creating activities in my “Flab” (food lab).

St. Patrick’s day was this past Saturday and although I am not Irish, I wanted to commemorate the day through food.

A few days ago as I watched the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network, Ina Garten made what seemed to be a simple delicious looking Lemon Chicken Breast dish. And I thought to myself “How easy is that?” and decided I would try the recipe at home soon.

I also watched Cooking for Real with Sunny Anderson on the Food Network and she made a fridge brewed Iced tea that looked like it could quench the thirst of the most sun-scorched desert traveller; I also resolved to try to make it.

I happened upon an interesting recipe for shamrock eggs on Twitter, via @BabbleEditors, which looked dead easy to make.

So armed with my need to get creative and these recipes, on St, Patrick’s day, I marched off to the shops to get my ingredients. There was no difficulty in sourcing most of what I needed except that I could not find fresh thyme for the Lemon Chicken dish. I substituted curly leaf parsley for thyme because I figured that parsley had a similar earthy flavour of thyme and would also work well to counterbalance the lemon and garlic in the recipe.

I plan to start a herb garden so that I can always have fresh herbs on hand and put an end to my head scratching escapades in front of the supermarket’s herb aisle. πŸ™‚

I decided that for breakfast, I would try my hands at the Shamrock eggs. Of course no St. Patrick’s day breakfast would be complete without the inclusion of potatoes so I sautΓ©ed potato slices in butter, pan grilled some cherry tomatoes and served up the meal with a liberal sprinkling of chopped parsley.

The result waa a meal well received by my hubby and his friend who joined us for breakfast. The success of this dish bolstered my spirits and encouraged me to get cracking with lunch. For lunch I made Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken, served with Tagliatelle and white sauce, honey glazed carrots and steamed string beans. As Ina said, it was quite easy to make; save for cutting myself when I was grating the rind of the lemon, the dish was a delight to put together.

The chicken started out like this

And after about 40 minutes in the oven and resting for another 15 minutes or so, it looked like this

I cooked the Tagliatelle according the instructions on the packet, julliened and steamed the carrots, then glazed them with butter and honey. Steamed the string beans and whipped up some white sauce.

I thought it would be a great idea to accompany the meal with Sunny Anderson’s Iced Tea recipe.

So using 7 tea bags, 600 cl of water, fresh oranges; squeezed, plums; pitted and halved, and lemons. I put them all in the jug let it brew for about 6 hours in the refrigerator before adding sugar.

After all the work I put into preparing the meal I was more than eager to plate up and tuck in.

In the end every bite and every sip was worth the time it took to put it all together.

Oh, and by the way, if you are thinking to yourself that Tagliatelle is not Irish, you would be right but it suited my theme well because of its colour – green. πŸ™‚

So there you have it a St. Patrick’s day inspired feast!!

Look out for my next post about cooking with left overs.

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6 thoughts on “Full Steam Ahead

  1. Aunty Nkem ooohhh!!! I need to come ova for a visit too, I dnt even mind said left overs:) Jst rediscovered my love for cookin but to be honest I’m either too busy or too lazy to do anythin abt it mst of d time. As usual, glad I have a motivator in u! Hope baby Kitan’s being a gd lil boy 4 u. See u soon xoxo

  2. Just fired my cook, he had become boring so now its up to me to come up with creative ideas to keep hubby tum happy. So this is where you come in, more ideas and posts please and inbox me some simple ‘ultra simple’ recipes. Shhhh this is just between 2 of us

    • Don’t you worry! I will hook you up and Uncle E will be eating out of the palm of your hands literally! Just let me know what you would like; vege based meals? Or something exotic etc…

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