Sunshine on a plate

Posted on: 9th February, 2015

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

By the time that you read this recipe we will be at home and back to work at the shop but right now I am on a plane travelling up to Bangkok.

It’s a crazy looking plane, twin propellers and painted like a bird. It’s quite old fashioned and doesn’t fly very high but it does give out free snacks. Very civilised!

We have had quite an adventure, travelled thousands of kilometres by planes, trains and boats and discovered some great new recipes.

I figure I have 14 more trees to plant when I get home. Four for each of the long haul flights and one each for all the shorter hops!

We spent our last week on a small island in Thailand, no electricity, no roads, no retail therapy. We slept in a bamboo hut beside the ocean and enjoyed swinging in the hammocks listening to the sea.

The family that owns the ‘bungalows’ looked after everything. They got up early and swept the paths and the beach to clear it of fallen leaves and made delicious home cooked food anytime we asked.

The food is quite simple, very fresh and spicy. The seafood is freshly landed and there is plenty of fruit, vegetables and herbs.

One night we were offered barracuda with ‘green apple sauce’, which sounded intriguing…

The green apple sauce wasn’t even remotely related to the type of apple sauce that we are used to eating in Ireland. It was fresh and zippy, laced with toasted cashew nuts and absolutely yummy.

I think the sauce would go well with most fish – cod, hake, salmon etc. Try to get fat fillets rather than the tail for this recipe

Thai Fish will Green Apple Salsa

serves 2

Ingredients:

• 300g fish divided into 2 portions

• 2 limes

• 1 large granny smith apple

• 1 carrot

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1-2 small red chillies

• 50g cashew nuts

• a handful of chopped mint

• 2tbs Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)

• 1 dsp sugar

• a little oil for frying

Method:

• Juice the limes and put in a bowl.

• Wash the apple, cut into thin slices then into a skinny julienne/ matchsticks and put directly into the lime juice and toss to prevent the apple from discolouring.

• Peel the carrot, cut into thin slices then into a skinny julienne and add to the apple.

• Peel the garlic and chop finely.

• Chop the chilli finely.

• Mix the chilli and garlic with the apple and stir in the sugar, mint and nam pla/fish sauce

• Heat a small frying pan and add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan then add the cashew nuts and cook on a medium heat until golden. Drain onto a piece of kitchen paper.

• Season the fish with a little salt and pepper. Wipe the pan clean and add a little fresh oil and fry the fish for a three to four minutes on each side, depending on the size of your piece of fish. If it’s firm to touch it should be cooked.

• Place the fish on a warm plate, quickly toss the cashews through the sauce and pile on top of the fish. Guaranteed to bring a little sunshine into your life!

It’s going to be quite a shock to land back in Ireland but we’re well armed with a good dose of sun and looking forward to the spring.

The cooking classes begin on February 21, kicking off with some new Spring Recipes to liven up your daily repertoire with some tasty ideas for dinners, salads and soups

We will also have a Fish, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese/Thai/SE Asian, Healthy Vegetarian and a Salad and Herb class.

Please contact us if you are interested or would like more details. You can drop into the shop, Lettercollum KItchen Project, 22 Connolly Street, Clonakilty or email karen@lettercollum.ie. www.lettercollum.ie.

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