On Friday night we had no plans for our weekend, except to get my poorly car to a garage for starter motor surgery…oh, adulting…you suck…
Somehow, by 11am on Saturday the car was in the garage, I was booked on to a three hour ashtanga yoga workshop (ooooof…my shoulders!), Andy was cycling to a bonfire night party in the arse end of nowhere, we had a friend coming for Sunday lunch AND we were having an early celebration of a spurious Hungarian festival involving geese on Sunday evening. HELLO SOCIAL LIFE, WE’VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU!
This required Sunday’s lunch to be a bit special for my lovely friend Sarah, whilst also not being so heavy that we couldn’t face roast goose/duck on the same evening. Just to complicate matters a fraction more, Andy is counting the old macros again for a ‘pre-Christmas reset’ so it needed to be nutritious to boot. I can’t promise I ticked all the boxes, but everyone was happy. And the happiness of others is basically my thang.
So, this is the lunch I made for Sarah, Andy and me:
makes enough for three
2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion
5 cherry tomatoes
juice of one lime
a big bunch of coriander
a pinch of chilli flakes
(this is barely a recipe, more an assembly job, but Antoni on Queer Eye makes it, so don’t come round here telling me what I can and can’t do, hunny)
1) Slice through your avocados and then scoop out the flesh – I use a teaspoon to do this – into a bowl.
2) chop your onion as very finely as you can and add to the bowl.
3) add the juice of a lime, a goodly pinch of sea salt, the chilli flakes and a generous handful of chopped coriander. (I was on a training course last week and one of the facilitators kept saying ‘goodly’ and now I say it too.)
4) now, depending on the ripeness of your avocado, you may be able to just mash it with a fork. If they are a little firm (mine were) use a stick blender to give them a little zjoosh. You don’t want it perfectly smooth, but equally you don’t want massive lumps of hard avocado in there either.
5) finely chop your cherry tomatoes and add them to the mixture, stirring through.
6) chill until you’re ready to serve.
Pita Chips for dipping into the aforementioned guacamole.
3 pita breads
Fry Light oil
(oh boy, if you didn’t think much of my guacamole ‘recipe’, you aren’t going to like this much either…move along, sister.)
1) slice the pita breads through lengthways, through the pocket. Be careful here.
2) once you have your two halves of pita cut them into triangles or strips, according to how fancy you feel.
3) arrange on a single layer on a large baking sheet.
4) spritz with fry light – about 12 spritzes.
5) turn them all over and spray them again with Fry Light. Sprinkle with sea salt, according to your taste (and blood pressure)
6) pop in an oven at 190′ for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, check on them. You want them golden brown and crisp. If they are still a little anemic looking, turn them over and pop them in for another 2 minutes at a time. If they are getting a little dark, take them out.
7) dip into aforementioned guacamole. Try not to eat them all before your guests arrive.
The Main Event – Spectacular Noodley soup to make you go ‘oooh yeah’.
(view the veg ingredients as more of a suggestion, mix and match according to what you like and have in your fridge!)
2 tsp of sesame oil (or another kind of oil)
3 spring onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 birds eye chili (or two medium chilis, according to fierceness)
two tsps lemongrass paste
1 tsp sugar
1 litre of chicken stock (ideally homemade, if your trying to impress – or from a stock cube) or veg stock
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
200g noodles (I used Hanoi rice noodles that we bought in a Chinese supermarket)
1 1/2 packs of cooked prawns (defrosted if frozen)
2 head of pak choi
100g baby corn
6 stems tender stem broccoli
a big handful of mangetout
a bunch of coriander
one lime to serve
1) make the broth first – gently heat 1 tsp of oil and fry off the spring onion, garlic, chili and lemongrass on a very low heat – you don’t want any of this to catch or burn. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add the sliced red onion at this point. Reduce to a simmer and let all those flavours mingle.
2) in a wok or massive frying pan, heat another tsp oil over a medium heat. Stir fry the broccolli and baby corn for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
3) add the prawns, mangetout and pak choi and continue to stir for a further 3 minutes.
4) add your noodles to the broth, bring to the boil. Depending on your noodles, these will need 30secs – 3 minutes. Read the packet instructions of do it by feel. They are done when they’re soft, so taste for softness.
5) It’s up to you how to serve this, but I used tongs to grab out most of the noodles and put them into bowls. Then I arranged the stir-fried prawns and veg on top and poured the broth over it all.
6) finish with the coriander and a wedge of lime each. You may with to take some siracha to the table with you for those who like a little more fire.