Two weeks ago, I started training in GAA football (Irish Football) with a team here in Perth. The team is made up of mainly Australian girls with a few Irish thrown in the mix. I was so surprised when I arrived in Australia and learned that the girls team of my boyfriend’s football club were mainly Australian. I shouldn’t really have been too surprised seeing as the team I trained with in Qatar had Australian, English, Irish, American, Scottish etc… What does surprise me though, is the influence that GAA is having throughout the world. So much so, that in September of every year, the GAA hold a Tournament known as the Asian Gaelic Games. Last year it was Seoul and the year before, Hong Kong. My boyfriend with his team flew to Hong Kong in 2010 and played against other Irish living abroad in Asian countries. They even had the pleasure of having a drink with Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest commentators on Irish gaelic games.
When I started training with the girls in Qatar in 2010, I had no technique in football, zero confidence with a ball and fairly minimal fitness when it came to running after a ball for 90 minutes during a training session. Starting with the girls in Perth, I realise that I still have no technique and zero confidence, I blame my two left feet. Although, it helps to have a great coach and an enthusiastic bunch of girls to play with. Our coach is Irish and an avid GAA follower. I’m hoping some divine inspiration will transform my dad’s old playing days down the line to me and I will be able to kick a ball in the right direction.
Having lived abroad for the last 2 1/2 years, I am constantly surprised by the influence of the Irish on a world wide level. We seem to be such a small nation, yet around every corner is one more of us. Every week sitting in my office, someone will pop in and low and behold the Irish accent unites us once again. Saying this, it is great to see a group of Aussies so passionate about a sport that originated thousands of miles from their homeland. Being a notoriously sporty nation, they take to GAA like a duck to water.
One thing that I have noticed about living in Perth, is the level of fitness that the Aussies maintain. On lunch breaks, on the way home from work or to work, after dinner, before breakfast. This is when you will find most people pounding the pavements or spruced up in their trendy cycling gear. You can’t ignore it so the best thing to do is embrace it and with the weather this good, you really can’t help it!
On that note I will give you this recipe that I have been playing with over the last few weeks. When Jennifer from Delicieux posted a Lettuce, Spring Onion and Cheese Tart recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s new book Veg Every Day, I was inspired to get on board. That night I followed the Lettuce, Spring Onion and Cheese Tart recipe and left out the base. So, by default, turning into a baked frittata of sorts. Who knew baked lettuce could taste so good? A gluten free meal, which suited me and it was delicious with a tossed salad.
This week, I wanted to take that idea, following the same method but just change around the flavours. Incorporating buttery leeks and sweet fennel makes a very tasty baked frittata. This dish is high in protein using eggs, milk, sour cream and cheese. It is also high in flavour 😉
Follow this recipe for some baked love
This recipe yields 6 ramekin portions/25 cm quiche dish
2 medium sized fennels
1 large leek
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
200g sour cream
60g sharp cheddar cheese
Herbs – I used parsley, rosemary & chives
Salt and Pepper
Heat oven to 180°C
Finely slice the fennel, leeks and onion. Peel the garlic.
Heat a wide based frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil.
Add in the onions, saute for a few minutes until soft.
Add the fennel and leeks to the mix and stir.
Finely grate in the garlic.
Toss in the freshly chopped herbs. Season with salt & pepper.
Leave to fry for 4 minutes
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, sour cream, milk and 1/2 the cheese.
Mix up the vegetable mixture to coat everything in the garlic and herbs.
Butter a quiche dish/ramekin dishes, lay the vegetable mixture down.
Pour over the egg mixture.
Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.