Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Iced Irish-ish Coffee

The inspiration for this drink came from Corey and Lindsay, a couple of friends of mine from across the pond. The two of them are recently engaged, and at their engagement party they served these iced Irish coffees which just sounded amazing, and I knew I had to make something like that. It's not exactly an Irish coffee, because I didn't add whiskey - I guess you could call it an Irish-ish coffee. (But you don't have to.) Either way, these are just the best. Usually, as a rule, I don't have a drink before 11am, but for these smooth operators I'm willing to make an exception.
Start with some quality coffee. Grind your beans (wink) and grab a cafetiere. If something's worth doing it's worth doing right, especially where booze is concerned. Let it brew and then leave the coffee to cool down completely - otherwise when you add the ice it will melt and dilute your Joe, which is a big no-no.
You know what you're doing here. Hopefully all I'm doing with these pictures is tempting you to wake up tomorrow morning, call in sick, go out and buy a bottle of Baileys and have the best day ever.
Sure, you could make this drink without rum and I'm pretty certain that it would still taste delicious. But I don't take risks, and neither should you. Just half a shot for warmth. And another half for luck.
Shake it up some and pour over ice into a tumbler. You could stop right here and enjoy the drink if you want to. But I don't want to.
Hit it with some double cream poured over a teaspoon, and a few chocolate shavings. Now that's what I'm talking about. Hell, it kinda makes me want to get engaged again. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bill's Crunchy Noodle Salad

For me, a salad has got to be pretty special to be able to take centre stage around dinner time. I mean, I've always been a chicken Caesar or tuna nicoise-kinda guy, but aside from that you'd usually be hard-pressed to find a leaf-based option that I'd opt for over my protein and carbs. This one, however, I'll eat anytime. The dish comes from a close family friend who once made it for my wife and I and - as he was kind enough to give us the recipe - it's since become a regular thing for us. Crunchy toasted noodles, fresh greens and a sticky, sweet dressing - you gotta try this.
The base for this salad is a packet of broccoli slaw - bagged salad that contains thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, broccoli stems, peppers and onions. You can always prepare this yourself, but I'm sure you've got better things to be doing with your time.
Add about 1/2 dozen spring onions, sliced quite thick. I freaking love a spring onion. Definitely my favourite of all the onions and the weird thing is I've thought long and hard about this before. (Red onion is #2)
For anyone who might have thought that I was losing my edge, and that I was going all healthy with a pansy little salad - think again. To make your dressing stir five hefty tablespoons of brown sugar (because, of course) into 75ml soy sauce and 75ml rapeseed oil - vegetable oil also works just fine. Mix well, taste and modify until you've got the sweet and salty thing going on to your liking.
Instant noodles. Never has a 20pence meal tasted so good. Takes me back to university, when I survived on these things. Sometimes I would even mix a chicken and a beef, then eat them both together in one bowl. Ha. Mental. Take two packets and break up the noodles into smaller chunks. Heat some oil in a wok, then fry the noodles until they turn a toasty brown. About a minute before they're finished throw in a couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil and the contents of the flavour packets. Chicken, beef and vegetable all work great here - beyond that you're in uncharted territory.
And all you gotta do now is bring is all together into one delicious and totally not healthy mess of a salad. Go easy on the dressing as it's packed full of flavour and you don't want soggy noodles. (Feels kinda like a conga line. You don't want soggy noodles, hey! You don't want soggy noodles, hey!)
And that, my friends, is Bill's Crunchy Noodle Salad - an absolutely outstanding dish that's worthy of any mealtime. Serve it with burgers, or some roast chicken if you like - I think it holds its own as a main course in its own right. Really really trust me on this one guys, it's too good to not give it a go. 

5tbsp brown sugar
75ml rapeseed or vegetable oil
75ml soy sauce
1 packet broccoli slaw
2 packets instant noodles (chicken, veg, beef)
6 spring onions
1/2tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp sesame seeds