Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

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


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


  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


  1. Brie, cranberry sauce and rocket leaves


  1. Crispy fried pancetta, grated Parmesan and rocket leaves


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


  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


  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
    ‘Til next time, Sheila

Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Spiced Cranberry Christmas Couscous

Spiced Cranberry Christmas Couscous Having a bowl of flavoursome couscous on stand-by in the fridge over the Christmas holiday period is a very quick way of producing an emergency snack or meal.
Spiced Cranberry Christmas Couscous on spoon from topSpiced Cranberry Christmas Couscous
Add some salad leaves and some left-over cooked meat such as turkey, ham, spiced beef or whatever it is that you enjoy and spruce it up with a good old blob of cranberry sauce.
Spiced Cranberry Christmas CousCous
As in my recently posted winter salad the recipe itself makes good use of leftover cranberry sauce by heating it up in the microwave with some water – a great standby too for when you run out of gravy.
Spiced Cranberry Christmas CousCousThe quantities here should yield about 8 generous portions and it’s so quick and easy to make you’ll have a bowl of this ready in less than 15 minutes.  Lovely served either hot or cold.
Spiced Cranberry Christmas CousCous
Spiced Cranberry Christmas Couscous
You will need:
250g couscous
150ml cranberry juice
150ml water
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
Large handful (80g) dried cranberries
1 tsp ground mixed spice
Large handful (25g) flaked almonds
Handful fresh curly parsley
1 tbsp left-over cranberry sauce & 2 tbsp water
Place the couscous in serving bowl
Heat the cranberry juice and water together in a saucepan – just bring to boil.  Pour over the couscous and cover with a lid or clingfilm for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile heat 1tbsp oil in a small frying pan, add the dried cranberries and mixed spice and stir together over medium heat until cranberries are warmed through and plumped up (2 mins).
Dry-fry the flaked almonds in a small frying pan until lightly toasted (1 min).
Rinse and finely chop the curly parsley.
Remove the covering from the couscous and fluff it up with a fork.  Stir in the cranberries, almonds and parsley.
Heat 1 tbsp of cranberry sauce & 2 tbsp water together in the microwave (1 minute) and stir this into the couscous.
‘Til next time, Sheila.