Thursday 22 March 2018

Naughty or Nice?

Enjoying food is all about balance, so let foodiesAoife McElwain and Aoife Barry give you a naughty and anice option each week. Choice never tasted so good!

FATHER’S DAY DINNER TWO WAYS: NAUGHTY: Steak with chunky chips. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.

For two people, take two large, peeled potatoes and cut into chunky chips. Boil the chips in salted water for three to five minutes, then drain and let them steam dry in the pot. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a roasting tin in the oven. Once the potatoes have steamed dry, add them to the roasting tin and toss in the oil. Mix the chips with two crushed cloves of garlic and the leaves of three sprigs of rosemary. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake for 30-35 minutes.

When the chips are nearly ready, heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan. Take two steaks of your choice — fillet steaks are always a welcome treat — and season each side with salt and pepper. Fry to dad's preference, then serve with some peas or a crisp green salad.

NICE: Vegan ‘steak’ sandwich

If the main man in your family is a vegan or looking to cut down on red meat, how about making him this Korean-inspired bulgogi steak sandwich? You need: bulgogi tofu (see recipe below); two baguettes; chilli sauce; vegan cheese (grated or shredded, optional); 1 green pepper, thinly sliced and sautéed; 1 red pepper, thinly sliced and sautéed; and 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced and sautéed.

For the tofu (four servings) you will need: one block of very dense, extra-firm tofu; 4 spring onions, chopped; 3 cloves garlic, minced; ½ average-sized onion, sliced; 1 heaped tsp fresh grated ginger; two-thirds cup wheat-free tamari or soy sauce; 4 tbsps toasted sesame oil; 6 tbsps organic sugar; 1 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes; 4 tbsps mirin; 2 tbsps rice vinegar; ¼ cup shredded pear, skin and all. Drain the tofu then cut into thin slices to resemble little tofu steaks. Arrange them in a deep dish then cover with the chopped onions, spring onions, ginger and garlic. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the tamari, sesame oil, sugar, black pepper, mirin, rice vinegar, red-pepper flakes and shredded pear and stir really well. Pour this over tofu and veggies, cover and leave to marinate for at least eight hours or overnight.

Remove the tofu strips from the marinade, but reserve the vegetables and sauce. Heat up a frying pan over a medium heat and drizzle with some sesame oil. When hot, place the strips into the pan in an even layer. If you have a small pan, do this in batches. Pour over enough of the marinade to just cover the tofu, allowing some of the vegetables to cook along with the tofu. Cook until most of the marinade has reduced and the tofu slices are a caramel brown colour. Then flip the tofu strips and cook the other side. Drizzle the chilli sauce over the baguettes. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the top, then layer on the tofu steak followed by some shredded vegan cheese, if you like. You can then grill the sandwich until the cheese is melted. Find out more at

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Mike Vrobel is an Ohio-based blogger who has been cooking for his family almost every night since 1999. He started his blog to share some of his supper ideas. He likes to eat seasonally and locally, while experimenting with ethnic food and showcasing a love for roast dinners.


@NoMeatAthlete Matt Frazier is a young dad, husband and marathoner who went vegetarian to see if it would improve his running ability. It did, and he has recently turned vegan. Follow his tweets for links to his thought-provoking blogs on about everything from food to the best ways to run a blog.

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