Category Archives: the lardy runner

The Lardy Runner: Tarte Au Citron (And Doing Things That Scare You).

There are a few things that I have been nervous about and never really got round to trying. One of those was cycling on the roads and seeing as I’m well on my way to conquering this fear I thought I’d take on another one: making my own pastry.

The Great British Bake Off has a lot to answer for. I watched the pastries episode and immediately felt a craving for a really tangy lemon tart. A little hunt around the internet lead me back to the BBC site and this recipe by Mary Berry. I did have a little search around but as I’ve had success with Mary’s recipes in the past I decided to give it a whirl. There were lots of firsts going into this recipe. My first fluted tin, my first time using baking beads and my first time making short crust pastry. The nerves I felt about making this tart weren’t too dissimilar to standing on the start line of a race and the effort over the course of making it left me feeling as drained as I would after a long run.

I set my expectations pretty low and called it an experiment. Which meant when the pastry went wrong for me the first two times I wasn’t too upset.

Wrecked pastry is lovely with a cuppa.

Wrecked pastry is lovely with a cuppa.

I put all my hopes on my last attempt. With a dash of faith and a little bit of attention to the finer details of Mary’s recipe I managed to produce what could pass as and definitely tasted like a Tart au citron. Phew.

Ta da!

Ta da!

I was ridiculously happy with my first attempt at pastry. As per usual Mary Berry’s recipe was spot on and the filling of the tart was absolutely delicious. Not sure I’d make my own pastry as  a regular thing though. I found the whole rolling of it and fitting into my tin pretty tough. But maybe it just takes more practice.

On the other hand the cycling thing is definitely taking off. I’m not sure I’ve made the full transition to fully fledged bike babe yet but sometimes you need a little nudge to take things to the next level. And so I took another leap of faith and entered this:

And not just entered it. Gone for the fully loaded 120km distance. I figure I’ve got until next June which time wise is a longer preparation time than either of the marathons I’ve trained for. I’m sure I’ll be able to fit plenty of Tart au citron into my training regime. I just might not have the energy left to make my own though.

 

 

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The Lardy Runner: Slow Cooked Pulled Pork.

I have sort of, very gingerly begun running again. The most I can run at any time in one go right now is 15 minutes. This has been built up by walk/running on grass. My main concern right now is to load my calves and achilles very very gradually while trying to cause minimal discomfort. It is taking a lot of patience and restraint on my part. A bit like this recipe.

I have been cross training and rehabbing as quietly as I can wihout getting over excited. Sometimes I think it can be the passion for running that can hinder the injured runner when you’re trying to get back into it. The mind is willing and can over rule the head, persuading us to do more than we should. Reallly I should harness my passion to get back into running and channel it into my rehab and the long term goal of being injury free. 

Anyway, enough waffle. Food is what we’re here for. I don’t know why but I just really fancied pulled pork with coleslaw and barbecue sauce. I looked for a few tips on line and then used my own judgement to come up wih the following:

You will need:

Shoulder of pork. Roughly 2kg. Yesterday one shoulder fed two adults and two children with enough for second pickings.
Salt and pepper.
Olive oil.
One onion/red onion

For the coleslaw:
1/2 White cabbage
Red onion
1 apple
1 carrot

For the BBQ sauce:
Ketchup
Balsamic vinegar
Worcestershire sauce
Brown sugar
Salt and pepper to season

Start by rubbing olive oil into the pork shoulder and seasoning well. Pre heat the oven to 150 ºC/ 130 ºC fan. Place the pork on a metal rack over a roasting tin. Pop into the oven on a low shelf and cook for 4 -4 and a half hours. Half way through cooking slice up an onion and place under the rack to sock up the juice from the pork.

You’ve now got plenty of time to do other things while the pork is slowly cooking. The smell from the oven was amazing yesterday and it was making me snack so I did end up going for a little jaunt round the block.

After my run I set about making my coleslaw and barbecue sauce. For the coleslaw just slice up the cabbage and onion and pop it into a bowl. Using my vegetable peeler I thinly sliced up the apple and carrot and popped this in with the cabbage and onion. Squeeze copious amounts of mayonaise into the bowl and stir. If you are being health conscious I did see a recipe yesterday which used natural yoghurt and  a squeeze of lemon in place of the mayonaise.

For the barbecue sauce I poored half a small bottle of ketchup into a small pan. I then added dashes of Worcestershire sauce,  balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Heat over a low flame and stir. I have no idea about amounts for the sauce. I just keep adding and stirring and tasting until I feel I’ve got the right flavour.

When you feel the pork is ready bring it out of the oven and set it to rest.  Place it on a carving tray and start to, well, pull it apart. No precise carving skills required.

Make sure the sauce is heated through and then add the onions that were cooking underneath the pork.  Place pork, coleslaw and sauce on the table for everyone to help themselves. Yesterday I served it with warm crusty french bread, new potatoes and peas.  The boys loved the pork. My 4 year old called it a dinosaur dinner so I would say it’s a great meal for all ages.  And definitely a good one for runners: protein, vegetables and loads of flavour. After a run this really hit the spot. Plus I thought ahead and made enough for leftovers today!

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A tip that I read on the Good Food site yesterday is to pre cook the pork in the oven and then finish it off on a BBQ the next day. I could  imagine taking the pork and a portable BBQ on a picnic and having your own mini hog roast somewhere scenic!

The recipe that inspired me was one by James Martin although I exchanged the red wine vinegar in the sauce for the balsamic vinegar. The recipe is on the Good Food web site.

The Lardy Runner: Pysgodyn Pie (Fish Pie)

As a family we can get a bit bogged down in the same old menu routine, week in, week out. Occasionally though I have a ‘wait a minute’ moment and declare that we should have something that we haven’t had for a while. Yesterday while in the car wondering whether we should have another Sunday Roast I had a moment of genius: ‘We shall have Fish Pie!’.

If I recall Fish Pie was traditionally a way of using up left over fish and shell fish. What they didn’t realise back then is that they had invented what was to be one of my all time favourite dishes. It is comforting and so simple and yet you can dress it up and make it as fancy as you like. Plus I would say it is an ideal dish for runners because you can make it as healthy or as decadent as you choose. It is packed full of good fish proteins and oils.

Yesterday my husband served up a really tasty Fish Pie which I’ve now christened ‘Pysgodyn Pie’*. It has been adapted from a Marco Pierre White recipe. I have cooked this Fish Pie a few times but it can be even better when it’s made for you!

For your Pysgodyn Pie You will need:

Butter

Onion

2 eggs which have been hard boiled.

Smoked fish of your choosing.

Salmon.

White fish of your choosing.

Prawns, pre cooked and peeled probably easiest (can also add scallops if you’re feeling fancy).

Roughly 250 mls of single cream (we used soya cream and it turned out great).

Potatoes.

Cheese (can use lactose free.

Peas.

1. Fry the onions in a knob of butter, or oil if you prefer, until soft.

2. Add the cream and then double the amount of water to the pan. At this point you can add a fish stock cube but you don’t have to. Add the fish and poach it in the cream/water and onions.

3. Once the fish is cooked remove it from the pan and place it to one side.

4. Add any vegetables you like to cook away in the liquor while waiting for it to thicken. We added peas yesterday which gives the dish a lovely shot of colour.

5. Peel your potatoes, boil and then drain and mash them (don’t want to teach you to suck eggs, just make sure you have enough mash to top your pie).

6. Flake your fish and add to a pie dish. Pour your poaching liquor over the top. Chuck in your prawns and/or scallops.

7. Chop up the egg and place this amongst the fish and prawns.

8. Just before you pop the mash on you can add a layer of cheese. Spoon your mash over the top and smooth it down, peak it with your fork, make a funky pattern or sprinkle more cheese over the top.

9. Place in your oven at about 150 degrees (ours is a fan though so you may be able to go higher) until it is hot all the way through (I’m no good with times, but probably about 20 minutes will be enough).

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Serve with other vegetables you like or just a have a massive bowl of it on it’s own. When I’ve cooked this before I’ve added some spinach or some chopped cherry tomatoes to the pie just to give it a twist. It doesn’t need a lot of seasoning in the cooking process as your fish should be full of flavour. If buying the fish individually is a bit expensive then most fishmongers and supermarkets have a pre-prepared fish pie mix.

Excuse the rubbish photo I took on my phone. As this little idea progresses I’m hoping that this is one aspect that will improve. Plus it might have been an idea to take the photo before we’d started to eat.

As I said in my last Lardy Runner post I really want to get this up and going as a sharing meme. I had hoped to do that this week but I didn’t realise that you need to be self hosted for Linkys. Argh! So it might take a little bit more self learning, planning and organisation on my part. I am so blog illiterate it’s not even funny.

In the meantime, if you have found a great recipe or you’ve blogged a recipe that you really want to share, please leave the link in the comments for others! This feature was partly inspired by recipes I’ve found on other running blogs.

*Pysgodyn is Welsh for Fish!