September 13, 2018

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Last weekI left you as I was going to a beautiful food market here in Colombia. Meatproduce, grains and  eggs as far as the eye could see. Any food imagined or desired seemed to be here! A further delight was the sprawling flower market just outside. Both markets were amazing-so much so that we are
making the trek there again, bright and early today, for my birthday breakfast! We're going to feast on fish soup, arepas with cheese and savory yuca pastries filled with rice, egg and meat. After that, some shopping for fruits for the week. And then... a well deserved nap! 

While I'm napping, maybe you would think of making this banana bread? Everyone seems to like banana bread. I mean, what's not to like? It is a rich, moist banana cake, cut into thick bread- like slices. You have utter control over how thick you cut this bread. What a honour! 

It can be be baked entirely with some simple spices or studded decadently with chocolate chips or dried fruit and nuts. There are countless versions that can be made. Here is a Chocolate and Pecan version I made a some time ago. The addition of chocolate makes it a perfect companion to a steaming cup of coffee. Or any hot beverage really. 

September 07, 2018

Vegetarian Lasagne with Cauliflower White Sauce

Hola de Colombia! Hello from Colombia! I arrived here on Monday and it has been amazing. The food here is incredible. The fruits! Oh the fruits! I'm making a list of things I have eaten and when I return to Ireland, I will be trying to create some new recipes using the exciting ingredients I have tasted. A cookie called 'cucas' is at the top of the list. This is a big cookie the size of your handmade from panela -unrefined cane sugar. Gingerbread- like in texture without the kick of spice, this biscuit is soft, toothsome and really good for dipping in coffee!

The recipe today though does not come from Colombia. I made it before I left home last week. It is especially  made for Aedin and James, following their request on Instagram for a vegetarian lasagne and a recipe for something with cauliflower

In response, I thought why not use as many vegetables as possible? And then came the idea of a cauliflower white sauce. It works so so well and gives the lasagne a lovely rich creaminesswithout being too heavy. The cauliflower is cooked in water and blended with milk, seasoning and some of the cooking liquid.

After the white sauce, I moved on to thinking about the vegetable ragu. I thought hard for a few days about what vegetables to use. I knew I wanted to make a ragu that had lots of flavor, a great texture and good body so that it would be filling and super comforting without being  heavy.