RSVP Magazine

#EATEASY with YVONNE CONNOLLY Who Talks About The Ultimate Comfort Food And The App That Changed Her Life

Making your own hot noodle soup at home is not hard – all you need is a simple recipe packed full of flavour, and you have the ultimate comfort food for a cosy night in. If you’re not a fan of diets, check out the app that has transformed my life; and I reveal my go-to place every time I visit Limerick.

RSVP Magazine/Lili Forberg

This month I’ve the pleasure in writing from sunny Naples in Italy. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, it’s warm and there are an endless list of amazing restaurants. But unfortunately I don’t have enough  time here – only three days – to do everything that I’d like. I’m visiting my boyfriend John on the set of The Happy Prince, a movie he is shooting about the last days in the life of Oscar Wilde. He is working with actor and director Rupert Everett who I have just had a splendid lunch with. Rupert is as wonderfully charming and charismatic as  you can imagine. We dined at one of Naples’ most popular restaurants, Ciro, where I had a divine champagne risotto.

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EATERY OF THE MONTH:

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Work brought me to Limerick this month where I held an autumn fashion workshop in the Crescent Shopping Centre. I couldn’t go that far without staying overnight in one of my favourite boutique hotels, The George, and eating in Da Vincenzo – an Italian restaurant I never tire of. Any excuse! It’s a perfect night out for foodies and wine lovers especially if you’re partial to dancing after dinner. On a visit last year, head chef Vincenzo Del Santo gifted me a panettone from their food and wine hall. We savoured every morsel of the Italian Christmas cake!

WEIGH TO GO:

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I hate the word “diet”! Yes, sometimes I make a food plan to help me stay healthy but ever since I downloaded a free app called MyFitnessPal, I find it a lot easier to keep on track. Popular as a calorie counter and diet tracker, the app also has nutritional information for over five million foods on its database. You can also log food consumption and exercise and enjoy an endless amount of healthy recipes. Say hello to your new best friend!

PROTEIN PUNCH:

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Body Byrne has collaborated with The Market Butchers to produce healthy-food that’s tasty to boot! Their protein bites are made from 50% lean beef and 50% protein packed turkey breast these two mixed together gives you complete protein and also contain quinoa, chia and flax seeds with amazing health benefits Available from Market Butcher shops in Newbridge, Rathcoole, Prussia St and online at www.marketbutchers.ie

GET COOKING: USE YOUR NOODLE

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Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup is a hearty and flavoursome dish to serve up to family or friends. With whole spices, chilli and a dash of fish sauce, a piping hot bowl of aromatic “pho” is guaranteed to warm you up on the coldest of winter days. But don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients: it’s a simple recipe and if you love fragrant flavours, it’s definitely for you. My version serves four. If cooking for large numbers, substitute beef for chicken for a less expensive option.

INGREDIENTS:

400/500g of rice noodles

400g of fillet or rump steak

2 handfuls of bean sprouts

1 handful of coriander leaves

Lime wedges, to serve

Small handful Thai basil leaves

1 bird’s eye chilli, sliced

for the broth

1 litre beef stock

3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 star anise

5 cloves

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

5 cloves of garlic, squashed with the flat of a knife

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

1 red chilli, descended and chopped

2/3 tbsp of brown sugar (to taste)

METHOD

1. Put all of the broth ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a medium heat for approximately 15 minutes or until it has reduced down to about a third. Pass through a sieve. (Can be made the night before and stored in the fridge.)

2. Cook noodles as per pack instructions. If not using immediately add them to cold water to stop the cooking process.

3. Rub the beef with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear in a very hot pan for 2-3 minutes each side (for rare). Allow to rest then slice. Add the meat juices to the broth.

4. Wash bean sprouts and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water.

5. Add noodles and sliced beef to a bowl. Ladle in the broth and scatter with bean sprouts, Thai basil leaves, coriander and chilli to garnish. Serve lime wedges on the side.

To get in touch with any questions, I’m on…

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