Here’s a recipe for a simple side of roast tomatoes. Especially good for tomatoes that are turning overripe and softening. (Unless they’re mouldy of course then it’s time for the compost).
Roast Tomatoes Recipe ⬇️
How good do they look?. I can’t wait to visit Italy again over the summer and see the tables laden with tomatoes being left to sun-dry outside.
herbes de Provence
roast 10 mins
& squash slightly with a fork before serving.
Recipe Ends ⬆️
Why would you throw an overripe tomato away when you can turn it into something so glorious? Or an overripe banana, freezes perfectly for future smoothies or banana bread. Sometimes a little imagination can redeem a waning ingredient.
Chicken fillet cut into long strips or mini chicken fillets
Ras el Hanout
Heat some oil in a pan, add the chicken, dust generously with Ras el Hanout, turn over after a couple of minutes and dust the other side, one last turn and chicken should be done , cut through to centre to check white all the way through
Spiced Chickpea Mash ⬇️
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves crushed or chopped
1 tbsp crushed chillies or ‘easy’ chillies*
1 tbsp cumin
2 tins drained chickpeas crumbled – use food processor
Large handful chopped fresh coriander
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and chillies, cook for a minute
Add the cumin, mix through
Add the crumbled chickpeas and the coriander
Mix well, heat through & serve
Serve with lime wedges, Greek yoghurt & crusty bread
*easy chillies refers to jar of crushed chillies that are long-life, simple to use and stored in the fridge
⬆️ Recipe ends here
Well, the above are old favourites and I have shared these before. Ras el Hanout is a magnificently warming spice blend that will warm up your food and is perfect for enhancing summer dishes. I like to serve this with a side of mashed avocado splashed with lime though in Ireland getting hold of perfectly ripe avocados can be tricky and involves mostly luck!
At last the degrees have decided to start climbing and we have been gifted with some warmth and when the sun breaks through and clouds dissipate there is NOWHERE more beautiful than Ireland as it never gets too hot. We have brightness until 10pm which is magnificent and these stretched days will stay with us until 21st June. Each day awakens shortly after 5am and the darkness of winter becomes a faded memory.
Lawns are being cut and humming mowers and strimmers are a familiar background sound though it’s lovely to see that many gardeners are taking heed of the threatened bee population and leaving strips of dancing wildflowers, daisys, buttercups and dandelions to flourish.
So Instead of mowers I wish you a summer filled with nature’s sounds, chirping birds, buzzing bees, gentle breezes through the trees and meadows.
Pudding. There’s something about that word that conjures up comfort. Something you’ll be hankering as Autumn envelops you bringing darker evenings, cooler air and while you sleep a sprinkling of frost may even be dusting your doorstep. I can’t get enough of apple in desserts at this time of year; crumbles, tarts and yes oh yes please, pudding. This would be epic after a long Sunday lunch or an evening of entertainment and something sure to send the recipients over that edge into blissful food coma.
There are some blackberry stragglers still clung to the hedgerows if you get a chance to look or you’ll find them with fruit in the supermarket and those cooking apples are still abundant and inexpensive. The battery mixture of this almost forms a cake but with all the moistness of the fruit it will never dry into sponginess but will remain sumptuously soft and yielding. As moist as it already is I do recommend that you take it to the next level and serve with some softly whipped fresh cream.
Apple and Blackberry Pudding : (Serves 9)
You will need:
175g unsalted butter
250ml carton whipping cream
225g caster sugar
400g cooking apples (2 large or 3 medium)
300g plain flour
Butter to grease the dish Method: Preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 6 and grease a baking/pudding dish 25x25cm with butter.
Heat the butter and cream together in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave to cool a little.
Whisk the caster sugar and the eggs together for a few minutes until thick and set aside.
Prepare the fruit by coring, peeling and slicing the apples into rings, and washing the blackberries.
Add the butter and cream mixture to the eggs and sugar mixture, and whisk together.
Gently fold in the sifted flour to make a thick batter.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and push in the apple rings.
Scatter the blackberries over the top and push some of them down into the batter.
Bake for 45–50 minutes and test the mixture with a skewer – if it comes away clean the cake is cooked.
Great served hot, straight from the oven, with some cream.
Sunday morning, he took two of the lads to football training and I jumped out of bed knowing that food had to be got for their return and a decent dinner made as the twin girls had a football match later in the afternoon. No ordinary football match – a Senior County Final and a replay at that – so woe betide me if there were no food. (October 2018). Off I went, fitting in a yoga class and then a flit through the supermarket. On my return however they were back and my hero of a husband was already cleaning the kitchen with Niall having cooked for them all. They had polished off scrambled eggs and black pudding and there was no panic for me to cook. I didn’t mention that I had stopped off for a scone and a cappuccino in between the yoga and the shopping did I? It’s an official habit of mine now, a scone with Irish butter and a cappuccino. It’s usually accompanied by a catch up on my Instagram Feed and those stories can be very distracting!
This lack of time pressure made my foray into the kitchen so much more enjoyable. It is so much nicer to cook when you yourself are not starving and the masses are not persistently inquiring as to the nature of the dish and ‘when will it be ready?’
I had intended on a quick cook dish though and proceeded with my plan. Oven was preheated, vegetables quickly chopped and then tipped in a large baking dish with some berbere dusted chicken mini fillets.
Is Berbere new to you? It is to me. A recently discovered (by me!) Ethiopian origin spice blend similar to Ras El Hanout but with a really gentle warmth. I found it on the shelves of my local Dunnes Stores and have been using it for the past week or so and it’s going down well with everyone.
The Berbere baked chicken was accompanied by harissa spiced couscous with a little coriander mixed through and a good dollop of natural yoghurt spiked with lemon juice and topped with a sprinkling of Berbere for colour.
Baked Berbere Chicken: You will need:
A few baby potatoes
1 red pepper
1 red onion
Olive oil or rapeseed oil
Mini chicken fillets 400-700g (judge by how many you want to feed!)
Berbere spice blend
Serve with couscous made with tsp harissa paste and some coriander
Natural yoghurt spiked with lemon juice and dusted with berbere. Method:
Preheat the fan oven to 200C
Microwave the baby potatoes for 5 to 10 mins until easy to cut through
Cube the aubergine and courgette
Deseed and slice the red pepper
Peel and slice the red onion
Scatter the vegetables in the base of a large baking dish
Slice the par-cooked baby potatoes and scatter on top
Drizzle some oil over the vegetables and then mix them around
Place the chicken mini fillets on top of the chopped vegetables, drizzle with some oil and dust with berbere.
Cook in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through – turning the chicken over midway through cooking and dusting with a little more berbere.
I have to share today’s triumph with you and YOU have to make it. I’m not commanding you, I’m simply imploring, I’m pleading because it is so simple and so tasty that I don’t want to be the only person in the world who has made this. Share this with me. Please.
You will know how many people you are cooking for so use your judgement in the amount of the following ingredients you will need. I’m giving quantities that cook for 5.
You will need:
10 baby potatoes
5 pieces of fish (I used hake)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato pesto
1 tbsp mixed herbs
3 large spring onion
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
3 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
Lemon to serve – optional
Heat a fan oven to 200C and follow the method in the following words and pictures. You will need a large baking dish and tin foil.
Note : test your fish is cooked through to the centre before serving. Smaller / thinner fish pieces will take less cooking time.
Note 2 : my previous microwave would have cooked baby potatoes in 5 mins, my current one takes 8 mins so that time will vary. (You could boil if you prefer)
Lots of pluses for this dish. Simple, tasty, healthy & minimal washing up. I do hope you get to give it a try.