Saturday, October 20, 2012

Smoked Mackerel Pate

I'm a huge fan of Felicity Cloake regular column in the Guardian. 'How to cook the perfect...." I've used several of her recipes and they've all worked out very well. She cooks and reviews several chefs recipes for well known dishes. Then she creates her own 'perfect' recipe based on her results. I can only imagine what her home life is like "Hi family, this week we're eating only salad nicoise" in her attempt to test a range of different recipes and create her own.

I made this great smoked mackerel pate over the weekend. I'm in the process of a long move - so my kitchen things are in storage. I think the pate works quite well in these nice tea cups I got in the second hand shop!

Her recipe is over here. 
I followed it pretty closely - except I didn't use a blender as I prefer a coarser pate. The horseradish and dill off set the oily fish beautifully. A great dish that comes together very quickly. A great starter for a dinner party you can prepare the night before. Serve with homemade brown bread.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cauliflower & Bacon Fritters

Easy Weekday dinner

Makes lots for 2 - enough as side for 4
1/2 head of cauliflower steamed or boiled
1 large free range egg
3 rashers of bacon grilled until crispy
2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (cause I didn't have enough milk)
a dash of milk
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 heaped table spoon of gram flour / or regular flour
mustard seeds
salt and pepper

  1. Once your cauliflower is cool mash it with a fork or masher
  2. Cut your bacon into small pieces
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl
  4. Heat a frying pan with some oil over medium to high heat
  5. When it's nice and hot spoon in one tablespoon of mixture per patty
  6. Cook one one side for 2-3 mins or until nicely golden
  7. Flip carefully over
  8. Press down with the spatula to firm up the fritter
  9. Remove from pan and place on kitchen towel
  10. Repeat with rest of mixture

I served these along side some salad and homemade baked beans

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Swedish Balcony Salad

This morning it was raining - tipping it down. A soggy July, hot on the heels of one of the wettest Junes on record! Then this afternoon the clouds parted and out came the sun. After work I headed to the park to take it in. On getting home I knocked up this quick, Swedish inspired salad with the fridge contents, and some fresh pickings from the balcony. The oak leaf lettuce, dill, parsley, and sprouts - are all the fruits of my semi attentive labour


Oak leaf Lettuce
Dill - finely chopped
Parsley - finely chopped
1/3 cucumber - seeded and diced
2 beetroots - diced
1 spring onion - thinly sliced
some fennel seeds
Some crumbled feta
Poppy seeds
a squeeze of lemon juice
a dollop of good olive oil
a drizzle of honey

To Serve - a hard boiled egg and some sprouted mung beans


Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and honey in a small dish until blended. Put the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle over the dressing and toss. Top with sprout and boiled egg on the side. Hardly a recipe to change the world, but I had to start back somewhere.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Dear Blog - it's not you, it's me
I just got very busy
With some other nice things
A rest will do you good
This is not goodbye 
Just a little see you later ...

Other nice things

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baby Gem Salad with toasted chickpea and garlic croutons

I ain't gonna call it Ceasar
While all else are roaming round a wet and soggy field in Stradbally, I spent Saturday morning filling up my freezer. Maybe I'm getting old - or maybe I didn't have the money (hint - I'm not old!) First with pots of delicious spicy anchovy and tomato pasta sauce, then with a whole heap of cinnamon bagels. For a light lunch I knocked together this lovely little salad. It feels like summer is one it's last legs so I'll get a few more tasty salads down before it's final death rattle!

Serves 1
1 head of baby gem
1 small tin of chickpeas
1/2 heel of bread - cubed
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of flour - plain or chickpea
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
zest of half a lemon
juice of a quarter of a lemon
1 teaspoon of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of plain yogurt
1 clove of garlic crushed

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. On a greaseproof tray - mix together chickpeas, lemon zest, olive oil and flour.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes - then allow to cool
  4. Mean while - mix the garlic with the bread cubes, extra virgin and season well.
  5. Pop these in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden, turning once
  6. Mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and yogurt.
  7. When the chickpeas are cool and crunchy, arrange over a bed of baby gem along with the croutons and a generous serving of dressing.
  8. Set to dusting out your wooly tights!
I made a batch of croutons - they should keep in an airtight container for a  week or two, like mini crunchy garlic breads to go on your soup/sandwich or wrap. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fried haloumi & peach salad with a mint, lemon & caper dressing

Super Success Summer Salad

I'm pretty proud of this salad, I must say. It's the perfect balance between salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth, hot and cool. It's similar to the Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Salad we made inspired by Junior's in Ringsend. This would be lovely served as a starter sitting outside in the sun - oh we can only dream of sun today! Also it could be wonderful on a buffet, sitting on a nice bed of leaves. Some crisp lambs lettuce or peppery rocket would work well. These Pan Tao peaches are just perfect and arrived in my veg box this morning, begging to be made into something special. They're flat and have a white flesh, supposedly you can push the stone out from outside, I haven't managed it! 

Serves 1
3 sliced of haloumi - a little less than 1cm thick
a little plain flour
sunflower oil fro frying
1 ripe peach or nectarine
For the Dressing
1 heaped teaspoon of capers drained
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
Handful of fresh mint
Good quality olive oil for dressing - a good tablespoon

  1. First chop the fresh herbs roughly along with the capers. Mix the in with the rest of the ingredients for the dressing, season and set aside. 
  2. Next lightly toss your slices of haloumi in the flour. Heat the sunflower oil in a non stick pan. When the oil is relatively hot pop your slices into the pan. they should sizzle but not spit - cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Next slice up your peaches, arrange alone with the haloumi on a plate and drizzle with the amount of dressing you like. Welcome to my new favorite salad

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Holidays in Devon

Knockin' on Devon's Door....

The holiday plans were, to spend some time in Devon and Cornwall. Some bad weather and some very painful wisdom teeth were to convince us to hop on a boat to France. We spent a nice week in the UK despite my gloomy summary. We camped on a farm and had delicious farm raised sausages for our breakfast. The site ran along the edge of a large stream and made for a tranquil few days in Exmoor National Park. Sadly the wisdom teeth meant little to no real eating. Cream teas, fish 'n chips and Cornish pasties will have to wait till next time.
Camping breakfast in England
River side farm camping in Exmoor
 France was as sunny and hot and oozing with good food. Here are but a few of my snaps - in case you were wondering what happened to June on the blog!
Breakfast in France

What lovely radishes you have

Evening beer in the forest camping

Non edible flowers

Lovely La Rochelle

Boudin Noir 

Cheese mobile - yes all of it!
River side camping in La Marais

Pilgrims walk across the sands to Mont St Michel

Innovative use of brie box
Must eat more brie

ehh final breakfast in France

Next years breakfast in France 
Farm camping in France

That way!