Kids are back at school and possibly you’re back working in the office, at least a few days a week. Sure, you could have leftovers from last night’s dinner for lunch - or you could level things up a notch.
This month we’ve got some ideas on how to level up your lunch, whether it’s a work-from-home scenario or you’re looking for something a little fancy on the weekend. These three hunger-busting ideas will make sure you never look at your cheese and lettuce on wholemeal the same again.
The following recipes will make a generous lunch for two people. So, unleash your inner food stylist and post to your socials #citylarder #levelupyourlunch.
This Vietnamese street food combines the rich savouriness of pâté and pork belly, the crunch of pickles with the tastiness of chilli, Hoisin sauce and fresh herbs. It’s a pick-me-up as much as a fill-me-up.
• 1 cup quick pickled vegetables - see recipe below
• 1 packet City Larder Cook’s Series 24hr Sous Vide Free Range Pork Belly
• 2 crusty long rolls
• 4 tablespoons City Larder Free Range Chicken Liver Pâté
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise blended with 2 teaspoons Red Yuzu Kosho or more to taste
• 10 thin rings of red or green chilli
• 6 thin spears of Lebanese cucumber, diced
• 1/2 cup coriander
• 4 sprigs of mint
• 2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
1. Begin by making your vegetable pickle (recipe below) as that needs as long as you can give it to work its pickling magic.
2. Pan-fry the pork belly skin side down to get a lovely crispy result and warmed through (10-15 min total). Using a sharp knife, slice into nice large pieces.
3. With all your ingredients lined up ready to go, cut open the bread rolls lengthways not quite all the way through. Start with a generous spread of pâté on one side and the Red Yuzu Kosho/mayonnaise blend on the other.
4. Toss together the pickled vegetables, pork belly, cucumber, coriander, chopped chilli rings, and a couple of sprigs of fresh mint with the Hoisin until well coated then pack it into the roll. Simple as that!
• Getting the choice of bread roll right here isn’t difficult. You’re looking for a couple of light, crusty long rolls or even a baguette since you’re making two serves here.
• Pickling vegetables is a great way to use up that half bunch of radishes left in the crisper or those carrots you meant to cook the other night.
Quick Vegetable Pickle
• 50g white sugar
• 150ml rice wine vinegar (or sub in white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
• 100ml water
• 1-2 cups carrot/daikon/radish, grated
Toss the sugar, vinegar and water into a clean jar and give a good shake to combine. Add the vegetable of choice and let the whole thing sit to one side for 15 minutes or a week, depending on how much time you have.
You don’t need a nonna of your own for this Italian-inspired lunch. The key to this comfort meal is the tender free-range pork and fennel meatballs bathed in a rich tomato sauce. Oh, would you look at that - City Larder Cook’s Series has already done all the work for you. Just heat them up and you’ll be sinking your teeth into the succulent meatballs in no time.
• 1 packet City Larder Cook’s Series Free Range Pork & Fennel Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
• 2 long, soft sandwich rolls
• olive oil, to drizzle on bread before grilling
• radicchio leaves chopped
• guindillas peppers, drained well and thinly sliced
• freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1. Tip the meatballs and accompanying sauce into a saucepan and heat gently for 10-15 minutes.
2. Cut open the bread rolls lengthways not quite all the way through, drizzle with olive oil, and char on a grill or bbq.
3. On the open roll, assemble chopped radicchio and sprinkle on the peppers. Gently break open the meatballs and spread evenly across the bread rolls ensuring to coat well with the sauce.
4. Top immediately with plenty of cheese, close the lid and dig in.
• Lean forward over a plate and keep a paper napkin at hand because it’s going to get a little messy with all that tastiness. This ain’t no one-handed lunch but it’s certainly worth it.
• Grilling the roll helps guard them against getting too soggy with the sauce – totally worth the extra step.
Pairing our rich slow-roasted duck legs with moreish Stilton, perfectly cooked green beans, crunchy walnuts, and a deliciously tangy vinaigrette makes for a well-balanced (and slightly fancy) sandwich that's perfect for a WFH lunch.
• 1 packet City Larder Cook’s Series Slow-roast Duck Leg
• Colston Bassett Stilton, crumbled (don’t go crazy, less is more)
• toasted walnuts, one handful, crushed
• cooked beetroot, diced
• green beans, blanched, refreshed and cut into 1cm lengths
• 2 round sourdough bread rolls
For the vinaigrette:
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
• 1 tablespoon honey
• salt and pepper, to taste
1. Roast duck leg in an oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins until crispy. While the duck is roasting, combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar and shake to combine.
2. Remove the duck from the oven then shred the meat and skin from the bone.
3. Toss the green beans, beetroot, walnuts, blue cheese and duck meat together in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Slice the rolls in half, pack in the mixture and you’re ready to eat!
Use some gloves to help protect your hands from the heat when shredding the meat off the bones. A couple of forks would even do the trick.