Monthly Archives: May 2014

Eleven Euro Lunch


We’re  hanging out in Alicante. When we mentioned to friends that we were going to Alicante they looked at us as if we were cracked – it has such a reputation for lager louts, teabags, and chips . This may be true of the resorts, I can’t vouch for them, but Alicante, like many of Spain’s cities  has a thriving city centre complete with good food, culture and a beach.

I have been exploring cities with beaches for some years now, visiting cities that we can travel to, mostly via Cork airport, for a short break.


We set off this morning to check out the beach, it was a little busy at the city end but we walked along and there was plenty of space. It’s not a bad beach in the grand scheme of things, it’s clean and sandy and the sea is blue. When we needed some lunch so we wandered back through the small streets and found ourselves a sunny spot to sit,


The Menu del Dia is the way to go  in Spain if you  like good value local food. Our menu was ¢11 for four courses and a glass of wine which is quite phenomenal. It never ceases to amaze me and we enjoyed everything that we ate.


The lunch kicked off with a classic Spanish salad – lettuce, tomatoes, onions, tuna and olives and was then followed with a choice of three dishes. I chose the gazpacho, one the the ultimate sunshine dishes.


Con took the Alubias a lo Pobre – poor mans beans.


We shared a main course of Fideua de Mariscos. This is a paella type dish which is made with noodles instead of rice. It was a different version from the one that we are used to – larger macaroni type noodles.


For dessert Con chose a torta de Chocolate – chocolate tart


I had Flan de Coco, a take on the traditional creme caramel made with coconut, both were delicious although I was a little defeated at this stage.


All of this washed down with a glass of Alicante white wine cost us twenty two euro.

Maybe we won’t go home!!




Pak Choi Explosion

All the Chinese greens that we planted in the tunnel have gone crazy. There are six rows requiring immediate eating.


One minute they were politely growing, very quickly admittedly, and the next it’s Wham Bam Eat Me Now or I’ll shoot up and flower.

It’s a lot of pak choi to eat at once. Luckily they are very fast and easy to prepare. It’s something that we ate a lot of in Malaysia, in fact we ate them at every opportunity being addicted to fresh greens. I used to have this notion that they were stir fried but I  discovered that the secret is to blanch the pak choi for thirty seconds then put it on a hot plate and pour over oyster sauce and hot garlic oil.  So simple, so yum and looks the business too.



3-4 baby pak choi per person

2tbs oyster sauce

2tbs water

1 tsp sugar

a pinch of ground white pepper

2 cloves garlic

2tbs oil

Put a big pot of water to boil

Chop the garlic finely, heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and gently fry the garlic until it’s lightly golden. Tip out of the pan and put aside – if you leave it in the pan it will continue cooking and might  burn.

When the water is boiling drop the pak choi in, submerge with the help of a wooden spoon and cook for 30 seconds. Drain into a colander and shake off any excess water. Arrange on a warm plate. Put the oyster sauce, water, sugar and pepper into small pan and cook at full heat. As soon as it boils pour it over the the pak choi. Drizzle the garlic oil on top and eat immediately.