Roast Chicken, Moroccan Style

This is a really tasty way to cook chicken, either on the BBQ or roasted in the oven.  I bought a whole chicken and jointed it (you can ask your butcher to do it for you if you prefer) but I often buy packs of chicken thighs for this.  [Read more…]

The Best Birthday Cake in the World!!

My wonderful son and husband made me a birthday cake.  A beautiful, simple, delicious cake that was so lovingly made by them for me.  It was an old fashioned Victoria Sponge complete with raspberry jam and fresh cream and the recipe is from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls’ River Cottage Family Cookbook – I gave this book, with a special inscription, to my 9 year old son as a first cookbook and I know from his reaction when he received it that it will be something he will treasure forever.

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Potato Rösti

I have tried various ways of making rösti over the years and this for me is the easiest and tastiest method.  Most recipes suggest using raw spuds and squeezing the starchy liquid from them in a teatowel – this has never worked for me and the centre of the rösti remained quite slimey.  Perhaps this is because I like my rösti thick rather than thin and crispy.  I use parboiled potatoes and leave them to cool down completely before grating.  You can also use left-over spuds from the day before provided they are not too soft to grate. [Read more…]

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is one of our favourite desserts in this house.  My husband loves Rum & Raisin, my son prefers his plain and I like mine with rhubarb (as you can see from the pictures below!).  With this in mind I tend to keep a small jar of sultanas soaking in dark rum and when I find beautiful pink rhubarb I poach it or bake it and then freeze in batches that are very easy to defrost at short notice.  I definitely recommend purchasing a cooks blow torch – I think I purchased mine for around €20 in Superquinn.  If you do not have one then get your grill as hot as you can and place the ramekins under to carmelise the caster sugar. [Read more…]

Butternut Squash & Pancetta Risotto

I think a lot of people are put off making risotto for fear of overcooking or being chained to the cooker for hours on end.   Risotto really isn’t anything to be scared of – once you have everything prepared and to hand then it is simply a matter of 15/20 minutes stirring and you will be well rewarded for your efforts.  The most important thing is to stir almost constantly to help the rice release starch and to absorb the liquid, which should only be added one ladle at a time. [Read more…]

Chicken and Coconut Laksa

There are many different variants of and recipes for this spicy noodle soup but this one is very simple and uses ingredients that are very easy to find.  It is so delicious and fragrant and is wonderful served in small bowls for 6 as a starter or 4 for lunch.  This recipe does use 2 tins of coconut milk – if you prefer not to use that much by all means don’t but it does give a much creamier, richer flavour.  Occasionally I substitute prawns for the chicken and if you wish to do that the prawns should be added towards the end to avoid over-cooking. [Read more…]

Prawn and Chilli Spaghetti

This recipe is my version of Gordon Ramsay’s Lobster Spaghetti.  I used frozen shell-on (but de-veined) tiger prawns and approx. 3 per person if they are very large.  I used tinned chopped tomatoes because the cherry tomatoes available in local shop at the moment are rather hard and not very sweet.  In the summer I will gladly substitute the tinned variety for some cherry tomatoes – and if you do this you need to put them in before the wine and give them a few minutes to soften, helping them to break down by crushing them slightly in the pan.  If the chillis are not very hot then I add another half or so – I like a bit of heat in this dish. [Read more…]

Brown Soda Bread

Brown soda is probably my favorite bread – it is so rustic and simple.  There is no kneading or proving so you can get a loaf ready for the oven in just a few minutes.  I love to eat soda bread with a hot bowl of soup or topped with a slice of crumbly vintage cheddar.   This recipe is based on one I found in Tamasin Day Lewis’ beautiful book West of Ireland Summers, which was sadly out of print the last time I checked. [Read more…]

Pea & Feta Salad

This is based on a salad I met and fell in love with in Avoca last summer.  I think their salad used broad beans but for me garden peas are much more readily available. It is a very simple but fresh, light salad that everyone seems to love… even some who claim  not to like peas. Quantities below are a suggestion only for a medium sized bowl – they are of course totally flexible depending on your preference. [Read more…]

Spinach & Potato Frittata

I love the frugality of frittata – some eggs, an onion and whatever you have left over or in the fridge can be amalgamated to produce a wonderful, tasty offering in very little time.  I served this frittata with a pea and feta salad. [Read more…]