Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun..and Eat

I spent my six years of high school with girls. That's right, I went to a girls high school. Absolute heaven in the eyes of males, yet apparently terrifying for females.

People often have this idea that I spent my entire time at school either being a bully or being bullied since there is this misconception that girls are catty and unforgiving.

But let me tell you, this is not true. Sure, just like every school, there were those people, but with my year group all we were really ever concerned with was what was on the cards for lunch. And whether the new, hot, male student teacher was going to be taking over our next class.

Every lunch time we would sit at our "spot", tell each other every single little detail of our life that had happened since we hadn't seen each other since last period and talk about food. What we ate for breakfast, what we had packed for lunch that day and more importantly what we were going to have for dinner that night. I'm not joking - the amount of times I sms'd my mum requesting a certain dish after lusting after someone else's dinner from the previous night is unbelievable (thanks, mum).

The only time things ever became really fiesty was when there was a free sausage sizzle on at lunch time. It got nasty; hair was torn, lines were jumped and offensive comments were muttered more loudly than quietly. We wanted that free sausage sandwich and we didn't care who or what came in between us (especially any junior girls).

Oh yeah, and if someone forgot that it was their turn on the roster to bring the biscuits/chocolate/chips for our double period snacks then man were they made to feel a fool.

And so this pattern of food obsession has definitely continued into our young adulthood - I can't recall of a single time when my lady friends and I have hung out and not discussed food in one way or another. Which is why we like to make a meal of it (heh) and go all out by discussing our latest food escapades over an entire meal, so that next time when we catch up we can all look back and reminisce for hours about how tasty that potato salad was, even if it was only last week.



Grilled Snapper with Three Bean and Herb Salad
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Serves 4

400g can of borlotti beans
400g can of chickpeas
400g can of cannellini beans
2 lemons
Huge bunch of parsley, basil, mint and oregano
1/2 a spanish onion, sliced thinly
2 large long red chillies
1 clove of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
4 fillets of fresh snapper, de-boned
Splash of vino cotto or sweet balsamic

To make the salad, drain and rinse the beans under running water. Place in bowl with the thinly sliced spanish onion and douse with about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Finely chop one of the chillis, making sure to check the heat of the chilli by tasting one of the seeds. Add to the beans and onions. Roughly chop the herbs and stir through the beans. Season with salt and pepper and finish with the juice of half a lemon, adding more if needed. A bit of vino cotto goes well to balance out the tartness of the lemon too.

Meanwhile in a bowl combine 1 tablepsoon olive oil with the minced garlic, 1/2 a chilli finely diced and a few sprigs of each of the herbs. Place snapper fillets in bowl and stir to coat in the marinade. Before cooking, season with salt and pepper. Cook over a medium-high heat for about 3 minutes each side.

Serve with the bean salad, a few wedges of lemon and some more chopped chilli.


Tomato and Fennel Salad
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced thickly
A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved and whole
1 small bulb of fennel, sliced very fine
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Vino cotto or balsamic vinegar

Arrange the slices of tomato on a plate and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Lay a few leaves of basil ontop of the tomatoes. Pile on the thinly sliced fennel and finish with a drizzle of vino cotto.

And for dessert, Frozen grapes, Chocolate and Warm Grilled Pineapple with Mint



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