Chocolate Polo Biscuits

My problem with chocolate polo biscuits is that I could eat the whole packet if it is left near enough to me.  Which is how my mother banned Chocolate Polo’s from her shopping list years ago and so it was up to me to come up with an alternative. This is what I came up with… What you will need Butter, 125g softened to room temperature Caster sugar, 125g Plain flour,125g Desiccated coconut, 75g Chocolate, (more…)

Free-Range Pork Collar with Sherry & Bay

Having spent a morning with Trish Butler and her happy little piggies in Kilkenny, I was eager to taste the result of their free-range upbringing. This cut is from the neck of the pig and as you can see it is quite darker in colour than the conventionally produced pork you see on butchers counters and supermarket shelves. This is because the animals have been reared with the freedom to roam outdoors in fields, their natural (more…)

Stop off in Spanish Point   Driving north along the coast road from Quilty in west Clare, the Armada Hotel comes into view jutting out over a headland and soon below, the white horses crashing onto the sand at the wow-some Spanish Point beach come into view. Passing through before the season began, we decided on a pit stop to revive ourselves with a beach walk and an alfresco picnic lunch. Arriving at the car park just at the (more…)

Apricot, Pear & Ginger Crumble

Working with a client who does not eat sugar, I came up with this pudding for a spring Sunday lunch. I adapted a simple crumble recipe so that the only sweetness comes from fruit with no sugar alternatives used. If you do happen to have quite a well developed sweet tooth, then you may need to reach for a sweet source, but I appeal to you to at least try this version first! What will (more…)

An Irish Lamb Hot Pot

Following a recent request for Lancashire Hot Pot, I thought I would share how I made this Irish version here with you here as it is a very simple and tasty supper for when the evenings have yet to brighten up. When you go to the butchers for the lamb, check if the meat is quite young as if this is the case, then this will be cooked surprisingly quickly. For cooking hot pots, I (more…)

Trout, Wild Garlic, Chicory & Blood Orange

I am noticing that we seem to be about 2 weeks ahead of where nature was a year ago. Last year the wild garlic really didn’t appear where I was until the third week in April, whereas this year it was popping up at the end of March and is really in its prime around mid-April. Delicious stirred through pasta or used to flavour butter, this year a favourite seems to be potato salad dressed (more…)

Coconut & Vanilla Flapjacks

These flapjacks are my go-to snack for a homemade sweet treat. If I am hill-walking or travelling for a few days I will always have a tin of these lurking around! I can be quite strategic with these, not telling anyone I have them and when needs be, pulling them out of my bag and providing some sustenance when energies are flagging. A friend of mine was doing the Round Ireland Yacht Race in 2014 (more…)

Roast Chicken with Wild Garlic & Pearl Barley

Remember years ago the distinctive smell of roast chicken weaving from the kitchen on a Sunday? And how that lingered through to Monday when you brought roast chicken sandwiches to school made with the brown & greasy scraps of leftover meat? About 30 minutes from my home, Ring’s Free-Range Poultry farmers in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny are helping us bring back that unmistakeable rich, delicious aroma with their free-range chickens now available in selected butchers and (more…)

Beetroot Risotto with Honeyed Feta

As the evenings stretch out and dark gives way to the light of Spring, I am already looking forward to lighter summery dishes but am not quite ready to say good bye to creamy, comforting winter nourishment…. So how to compromise? A risotto that includes sweet, earthy beetroot! Beetroot grows very easily in Ireland and it is in plentiful supply in the shops right now. Although I do not include dairy in the actual risotto (more…)

Valentines Treats

These little bites will be sure to impress this St. Valentine’s Day. I had some Elderberry Syrup leftover from autumn so I experimented with using that as an alternative to food colouring and it worked out pretty well! As an alternative to berry syrup, you could try some beetroot juice that also gives a great vibrant colour. But why not play around and see what results you would get from say, Cranberry juice? For the (more…)