Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Red Onion Relish – Recipe 10 of 12 from Enjoy!

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Simple to make.  Just add time!  As below in the picture you can see how a dollop of red onion relish can lift a simple crostini.  Great in any sandwich or even as a pizza topping and perfect on a cheese board, a jar of this would make a very welcome gift for the foodie in your life.

Caramelised Red Onion Relish
 You can store caramelised red onion relish in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks to use whatever way you fancy.
Makes 2 medium jars (2 x 350ml Kilner)
You will need:
6 medium red onions
2 tbsp rapeseed or coconut oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar (or any dark brown sugar)
Method:
Peel, halve and thinly slice the red onions. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low to medium heat and gently soften the sliced onions for 35 minutes.
Raise the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and muscovado sugar. Stir well and cook for 3–4 minutes, then set aside to cool before spooning into sterilised jars.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Cranberry Croque Monsieur – Recipe 9 of 12 from Enjoy!

Cranberry Croque Monsieur
Look at this for a beautiful image, I can’t believe that it was photographed in my home.  It really shows how something very simple can be spectacular.  There is a misconception that because I am a food blogger with 2 published recipe books that the food in my house is always amazing. It’s not!  There are days when I am so busy with work that I don’t have time to shop or cook and there is always a frozen pizza or two in my freezer.  I am not a purist food saint.  Food made from fresh ingredients will always taste better than frozen food though and on one of the busy days I would definitely opt for this glorious croque monsieur over a pizza.   This will be an excellent use of any left-over baked ham and cranberry sauce after Christmas and that cheese, there will definitely be left-over cheese.

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi

Cranberry Croque Monsieur
Serves 1
You will need:
2 slices of granary or multi-seed whole-wheat bread
Butter
Cranberry sauce
Cooked ham slices
Cheddar cheese slices
Rocket leaves
Red onion, thinly sliced
Method:
Heat the sandwich toaster. Butter both sides of the bread, then smear one side with a generous layer of cranberry sauce. Cover with slices of ham and cheese and a scattering of rocket leaves and sliced onion. Close the sandwich, toast until golden brown and enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

seabass veg precook

Sea Bass Parcels – Recipe 8 of 12 from Enjoy!

Sea Bass Parcels
We’re getting there!  Week by week inching closer to the revelry and indeed you may be contemplating some in-house entertainment in advance of the festivities yourself.
In need of a no hassle but grown-up dinner party recipe?  This is it.  No-one wants to be entertained by a flappy flustered chef who is so bothered with timings and enslaved to stirring that they don’t get to sit down and enjoy the company.  Don’t be that chef.  Be prepared!  Make a couple of dips/hummus etc. the night before.  Get in a good selection of cheese and crackers for your cheese-board, a delicious box of good chocolates – no-one needs or wants a heavy dessert – and of course some amazing wine and you’re sorted apart from the mains which I guarantee you is easy.
Note:  Cooking everything as described below in a parcel is obviously the easiest but be warned the green beans will be super al-dente, so if you have an audience of veggie lovers this won’t be a problem if however they are heathens you may wish to cook them separately.

veg for seabass

A little bit of prep. Baby potatoes par-cooked in the microwave

seabass fillet

Fold in the edges of the baking paper to stiffen them up

seabass veg precook
seabass parcel
parcels precook
parcels post cook
parcels opened
seabass and wine
Sea Bass Parcels

Serves 4
You will need:
250g baby potatoes
4 sea bass fillets
100g slow-roasted cherry tomatoes (deli counter or just use sun-dried tomatoes if cherry not available), drained and chopped
100g fine green beans
4 spring onions
4 tbsp Sauvignon Blanc or any white wine that you like to drink
Method:
Preheat a fan oven to 200°C. Cut out four 30cm square sheets of baking paper.
Par-cook the baby potatoes, skin on, in the microwave for 4 minutes and set aside.
Place the four sheets of paper on the worktop and place a sea bass fillet in the centre of each one.
Slice the baby potatoes and place them close along one side of the sea bass.
Scatter the drained, chopped slow-roasted cherry tomatoes over the potatoes. Halve the fine green beans and finely chop the spring onions and scatter them on top of the sea bass fillets.
Pour 1 tablespoon of white wine over each fillet.
Fold the edges of the paper in by 1cm all round to stiffen the paper. It should still be a large square. Bring in the two opposite sides to meet and fold them together, then fold in the top and bottom ends. You want a little room in the package for steam to circulate but not escape. Place the parcels onto two baking trays, two parcels per tray.
Cook in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then swap the shelves and turn the trays around and cook for 5 minutes more.
Bring the parcels straight to the table for your guests to open themselves.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

Vegetarian Lasagne

Vegetarian Lasagne – Recipe 7 of 12 from Enjoy!

Melt in the mouth.  That’s the description my daughter Éimear gave as she tucked in heartily to a mammoth portion of this vegetarian lasagne yesterday.  When I cook I often ask myself what can I do to make something  easier and for this recipe it was the white sauce.  For a classic white sauce there would be infusing of flavours into milk, the making of a roux and at least 15 to 20 minutes cooking  to the end result.  Mine takes probably 3 minutes at most.
Stash this recipe for one of those “i need something other than turkey” days of the holidays because it’s now only 5 more weeks (recipes) until Christmas!! The lights went on in Cork City this evening so let the shopping begin.
Vegetarian Lasagne
Vegetarian Lasagne
Vegetarian Lasagne
Vegetarian Lasagne
Vegetarian Lasagne
Vegetarian Lasagne:
You will need:
250g green speckled or puy lentils (see the note below)
4 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
3 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus a little extra
300g mushrooms
2 tsp oregano
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp water
250g ricotta cheese
75g grated Parmesan, plus a little extra
150ml crème fraîche (approx. 6 tbsps
2 tbsp basil pesto
Fresh lasagne pasta sheets
Method:
Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a peeled clove of garlic and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 15–20 minutes, then drain, removing and discarding the garlic clove.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of the rapeseed oil in a large pan over a low heat, then add the onions and let them soften for 5 minutes. Peel and crush the three remaining garlic cloves. Add to the softened onion, stir through and cook for 1 minute.
Chop the mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Turn the heat up add them to the pan of onions along with the oregano and another tablespoon of oil. Stir through and cook for a couple of minutes, until the mushrooms start to colour.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the cooked, drained lentils. Stir well, then add the tomato purée and water. Reduce to a simmer for a couple of minutes while you prepare the cheesy sauce.
Preheat a fan oven to 180°C.
Mix the ricotta, grated Parmesan, crème fraîche and basil pesto together in a bowl to a thick sauce consistency. If you need to loosen it up a little, add some oil.
Layer up the lasagne in a large ovenproof baking dish – spread half of the lentil mix on the base of the dish and top with a layer of lasagne sheets, then the remaining lentil mix, half of the cheese sauce, a layer of lasagne sheets, then the remaining cheese sauce. Top with a little grated Parmesan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, until the cheese is turning golden brown.
Note: Follow the directions on your packet of lentils for cooking – the ones I buy don’t require pre-soaking, but some do. Feel free to substitute a drained tin of pre-cooked lentils if you prefer.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

baked potato close up

Eight Ways with Baked Potatoes – Recipe 6 of 12 from Enjoy!

The humble spud.  A divine medium to be elevated, cajoled, flourished, transformed in whatever direction you chose.  Mash, Champ, Deep-fry, Roast, Gratin, Dauphinoise, Hasselback, Gnocchi, Rosti, Hash, Boxty or as is here kept simple and straightforward baked in its skin until a crispy edible shell beholds a smooth creamy innard that deserves to be adorned.  Here I crown it with Irish Wicklow Blue Brie, Cranberry Sauce and a garnish of chives which will be a simple way come Christmas time to use up that extravagant cheese-board selection and those extra  jars of ‘just in case’ cranberry sauce.
irish wicklow blue brie
cranberry sauce
baked potatoes
In my cookbook Enjoy! I offer 8 alternative ways to serve baked potatoes and it makes a fabulously easy Saturday supper.

Eight Ways with Baked Potatoes
You will need / Method:
Large baking potatoes (I normally use Roosters)
Pre-heat oven to 200oC
Bake scrubbed potatoes (skin on) for 45 minutes to an hour  (depending on size) (push a knife into the centre and it should glide easily when done)
Then indulge with lashings of melted butter, salt and pepper
Or serve in any of the 8 following ways:

  1. Heated kidney beans with chopped red chilli, sprinkled with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and finished with a dollop of Greek yoghurt

or

  1. Spiced ratatouille – soften some chopped onions, garlic, peppers and celery in oil with a dash of smoked paprika

or

  1. Herby lentils – simply soften a chopped onion in a little oil with some herbes de Provence, then add a tin of drained lentils and heat it through

or

  1. Brie, cranberry sauce and rocket leaves

 

  1. Crispy fried pancetta, grated Parmesan and rocket leaves

or

  1. Basil pesto and diced cooked chicken breast with halved cherry tomatoes

or

  1. Garlic butter and peppered sweetcorn kernels – heat a tin of sweetcorn, add a knob of garlic butter and season generously with freshly ground salt and black pepper

or

  1. Halved black olives, feta cubes, sliced beef tomato, sliced red onion and a drizzle of rapeseed oil

    No.4 being the simplest is my favourite embellished with a scattering of chives!
    baked potato close up
    Enjoy!
    ‘Til next time, Sheila