Compiled by MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY
Anthony Bourdain’s whistlestop 36-hour tour of Dublin’s eating and drinking highlights for the Travel Channel’s ‘The Layover’ aired in the US on Monday night. You can watch it online, or catch the highlights at travelchannel.com. Bourdain’s pitstops included The Gravediggers, Slattery’s, The Chop House, Bear and Matt The Thresher.
Every cent matters in January, but we still need little treats to get us through the dark days, so the dinner for two for €19 offer from Bombay Pantry is tempting. The offer includes starters, plus any two vegetable or chicken dishes, nan bread and rice. A larger selection, to serve four or five, costs €30. Recent additions to the menu at Bombay Pantry, which has been open for 15 years and has seven outlets in Dublin and Co Wicklow, are small plates, ideal for sharing. Pictured below is group operations director Emma Sheehan. See bombaypantry.com.
The buzz: top food tweets
@TheFoodieBugle: Chief Economist Liam Halligan predicts that increasing food prices will result in social upheaval
@EpsteinTravels: Congrats @BallyfinDemesne for making the CNN list of 8 ultimate getaways
@BITEdublin: Out with the old, in with the new. Bite reopens Jan 15th. New menu, new rules, new vibe.
@IrishStreetFood: Thinking about starting a StreetFood business? Follow Zack for details about buying a Street Food Cart in Ireland
The 532 calorie Italian diet dinner
A hearty squid and tomato stew followed by a feather light lemon cake; doesn’t sound like dieting does it? But the calorie count for both dishes (above), from Gino D’Acampo’s new diet book, comes to only 532. The 20cm cake is meant to serve 16 though, so don’t count on having a large slice. The book contains 100 recipes, insider tips on how the Italians maintain their bella figura, and instructions and photographs for a five-minute metabolism-boosting workout.
CALAMARI ALL ARRABBIATA
330 cals 20.3g fat 3.1g saturates 3.2g sugar 0.7g salt. Serves 4
600g fresh squid
100ml olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
200ml dry white wine
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
To prepare the squid, first pull away the tentacles from the body and then remove the quill. (It looks like a long piece of clear plastic.) Next pull the wings away from the body, peel off the grey membrane and set aside. Peel away the thin purple membrane from the body of the squid. Turn the squid inside out and wash under cold running water. Set aside.
Cut the tentacles away from the head, just behind the eyes. Pull out the hard beak and discard. Slice the body of the squid into 1cm rings and the wings into 1cm thick slices.
Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli for 30 seconds. Add the squid and let it cook for eight minutes so that the water is released. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and continue to cook for a further two minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, mix in the parsley and simmer, uncovered, for one hour. Stir every 10 minutes. Season with salt and serve hot with warm crusty bread.
SUPER-LIGHT LEMON SPONGE
202 cals 11.3g fat 2g saturates 10.8g sugar 0.2g salt. Serves 16
Juice and zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
150g caster sugar
160ml low-fat natural yogurt
150ml sunflower oil
270g self-raising flour
2 large eggs
1 tbs butter, for greasing
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees/gas 3. Grease a 20cm diameter round cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl and mix in one tablespoon of sugar. Set aside. Place the lemon zest in a large bowl and add the remaining sugar with the yogurt, oil, flour and eggs. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the middle of the oven to bake for 55 minutes or until risen and springy when touched.
Remove the cake from the oven and stand the tin on a cooling rack. Slowly spoon the lemon juice over the hot cake. Allow it to cool down completely in the tin before turning out. Once completely cooled, slice the lemon sponge into 16 portions and enjoy with your afternoon tea.
From La Dolce Diet, by Gino D’Acampo (Kyle Books, £12.99)
Tops for cereal
Fans of Helen’s Linseed Crunch with Cranberry and Almond, an award-winning cereal and yoghurt topping that has been on sale in Lidl, should not panic when they can no longer find it in those stores. It is being replaced by an own brand equivalent, Crownfield, made by Virginia Health, the same company that makes the Helen’s range. The price will stay the same, €2.79 for 200g.