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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Post the Fifty-third (in which our heroine is happy with the Heineken Cup draw)

Ah, you have to love rugby.  No sooner is the season over and you're wondering how you're going to last until September, when the ERC step in with the draw for the next year's Heineken Cup pools, keeping you going for, ooh, at least a week while you try to decide which away trip you'd like to go on and waste countless hours in work looking at flights, which you can't actually book because they haven't published the match dates yet.  Leinster got a pretty nice draw this year - we're in Pool 5 with Scarlets, Exeter and Clermont.  ASM are the only potential spanner in the works there, as they are determined to win the HEC soon, and they're quite unhappy with us at the moment, having been beaten by us in the semi final this year.

Pool 2, on the other hand, is horrible.  El Grupo del Muerte.  Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.  Toulouse, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers and, erm, Benetton Treviso.  Poor Treviso.

I'm just going to gloss over the fact that the national team are still on tour in New Zealand.  I've decided to pretend we don't have a national team for the remainder of Declan Kidney's tenure.  It's just better for my mental health.

Anyway, moving swiftly on to the grub...  I'm just back from a few days in Kinsale, where I ate approximately my own bodyweight in seafood and brown bread.  I also ate my entire week's salary in seafood and brown bread (and possibly also one or two sociable drinks), so it's going to be a lean couple of days chez moi in both senses of the word.  A slightly less depressing option than beans on toast on constant rotation when your bank balance is less than rotund is homemade hummous.  Tins of chickpeas are ridiculously inexpensive (about 35c in Aldi) and there's also the added bonus of them being low in fat, low GI and generally all-round good for you.  And you should have practically everything else you need to make this already lying around the kitchen.

Chilli Hummous

1x 400g tin chickpeas, drained & rinsed                          1 red chilli, roughly chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled & quartered                             Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Small bunch fresh coriander                                             Dash of olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Tip the chickpeas, chilli, garlic & coriander into a food processor and blitz til you get a crumbly mix.  Add the lemon/lime juice and pulse again, scraping down the sides between goes if you need to.  Then, with the motor running, drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Stop the motor (obviously), season with the salt & pepper, taste and season again if needed.

2. If the texture still isn't quite right (I like mine quite stiff), you can continue to thin the hummous out with a little extra olive oil, or even water if you're trying to undo the damage of four days in Kinsale.  Just keep checking the seasoning after every addition of liquid.

This will keep for a good five days in the fridge in an airtight container, but to be honest, it rarely lives that long - it's incredibly moreish with griddled flatbreads or even (dare I say it), carrot or cucumber sticks.


  1. You've never eaten a cucumber stick in your life!

  2. How very dare you, I've eaten loads! They all just happened to be rolled up in Chinese pancakes with crispy aromatic lamb...