Cinnamon & Orange Custard Tart

With lots of vibrant oranges coming in from Spain & southern Europe at the moment I thought I would share this custard tart – my nod to winter in Portugal and the traditional pastel de nata! Though different from the individual custard tarts, my favourite way to enjoy this is while it is still slightly warm to enjoy the full aroma of the orange and cinnamon. This will serve 12 guests. What you need Pastry (more…)

Abbeyleix Saturday Market, Co. Laois

L-R; Tony (Hartley’s seafood), Paddy Lalor (Eggs), Billy Gorman (Plants), John Malone (Firewood/Timber). The past two Saturday’s have been great days for ducks. Grey, overcast skies have been sprinkling intermittently gentle mists and heavier showers of rain which kept people hibernating indoors, or if pushed, running from one shop to another as quick as they could.The ground stayed wet all day with plenty of puddles forming and while I wouldn’t classify the temperature as being (more…)

Moscatel, Pear & Almond Roulade

Coming home from Portugal with a bottle of Moscatel from Setúbal, I wanted to make some dishes that reminded me of the pastelerias of the villages and towns I had just visited. This is my Irish hybrid version of the Azeitão rolls that caught my eye one evening. I actually prefer the cake just plain without the cream & fruit along with an espresso – and no butter means it is light in texture and (more…)

Hake, Root Veg Salsa, Za’atar Rice

With a request for something light yet warming on a dreary November evening, this hake dish went down well and was subsequently sought after for the following weeks supper! Brown rice and fish is about as healthy as you can get, but I will strongly argue against any assumptions towards “boring” and “yuck”, when dressed up in flavourful and robust flavours like za’atar and sweet sun dried tomatoes! The root veg salsa is a favourite (more…)

Rosemary & Orange Loaf

Once the hustle and bustle of the party season subsides, January is a time that I like to catch up with friends that I did not get to see over Christmas. This is a cake that I like to make for such catch up’s as it is quick and easy, will happily sit in the tin for a week or more and gives us a sweet treat without being overly indulgent – a plain cake (more…)

An alternative Surf ‘n’ Turf

Pollock dressed with Beetroot Tahini, Quinoa, Pomegranate & Coriander With the grey skies and dark evenings of January stretching out before us, one way to bring a little colour to our lives is through our food. This meal can be on the table in 30minutes and not only will this cheer you up with some colour therapy, it will also be quite good bang for your buck in terms of nourishment – surely a lighter, (more…)

Passionfruit & Lime Yule Log

Having spent a few Christmases in sunnier climes, back at home I still like to enjoy light tropical flavours at Christmas time as it reminds me of fun times spent on beaches and at BBQ’s in Santa hats and tinsel. This is my take on a yule log – my effort at ensuring we have a white Christmas!!  A lime swiss roll, passionfruit curd and a cream cheese frosting provide a zesty, tart alternative to (more…)

Celeriac, Apple & Thyme Soup

Knobbly & gnarly Celeriac has begun to reappear in vegetable patches and shops these past few weeks. With the homegrown version coming in a lot smaller than what you see in the supermarket, it is full of flavour and offers you many choices in how you prepare it. For veggie-phobes, adding some thinly sliced celeriac to creamy potato gratin resulted in them reaching for seconds and raving about how sweet the gratin tasted. Again, when (more…)

Stuffed Butternut Squash

This has come about a number of ways! It all starts with smoked sun-dried tomato pesto which is probably my favourite ingredient to buy whenever I see The Real Olive Company market stalls. I really didn’t know what to do with it so I just stirred it into a lot of things and this turned out to be my favourite. Then, I was chatting with a neighbour recently about how “isn’t it great how all (more…)

Duck, Beetroot & Kale

With beetroot and members of the Kale family bursting through the soil, it’s fair to say we can eat very virtuously these few weeks in anticipation of the merry season just around the corner. Being a big fan of beetroot, I’m sure there are websites devoted to beetroot (or beets as our friends Down Unda’ say) such is their versatility. Here, I made a lighter version of a gratin – a Boulangere and a Beetroot (more…)