Posted in Recipes

Kerry Again! Eat in Killarney, Stay in Annascaul.

A recent family celebration saw us foray over the county bounds yet again and  enter the Kingdom of Kerry.  I’ve been on so many trips there of late I’ve lost count.  And again she was glowing in her splendour.

Inch Beach

Our trip had to be quick owing to sporting commitments but it’s amazing what you can achieve in 24 hours.

First up was lunch in Killarney and Cafe du Parc will now be one of my go-tos for food, service and location.  Set in the Killarney Plaza Hotel you are in the heart of the town and we had seats beside the window where you could watch the horse-drawn jaunting cars go by.   Food was delicious and speedily delivered by very friendly and efficient staff.  The pictures will speak for themselves.

Killarney Plaza Hotel
Cafe du Parc
Cafe du Parc
Cafe du Parc
Cafe du Parc
Cafe du Parc

Onwards then to Inch Beach (if you choose to drive on it, do not go too far or you may end up having to be rescued by a tractor – but that’s another story!).  A vast and spectacular beach you simply have to stop there every time you pass it.  A short drive from Inch brings you to the cosy village of Annascaul.  Ancestral home of the Antarctic explorer Tom Crean a visit to the South Pole Inn was next on the list.  A wonderful ambience awaits you here and in our other watering hole Patcheen’s an equal welcome.  Good food is provided in both.

Some of our party stayed in a large air b&b house and I stayed in The Old Anchor B&B which was scrupulously clean and comfortable.

Annascaul has a touristy, welcoming vibe but without the noisy bustle of close-by Dingle.  For a more relaxed Kerry break I recommend it.

Sheila.

 

Posted in Recipes

One Tray Fish Bake. A simple fish supper.

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

Method

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.

Enjoy! Sheila

Posted in Recipes

Chicken Biryani, a delicious creamy one pot curry

I love food. That’s a given. This is one of the best things that I have ever cooked. What that means is that this is a really good dish. REALLY GOOD! Okay, you get it, I like this Chicken Biryani. Let me count the ways though : It is easy. It is relatively quick. It is a crowd pleaser. It will feed a crowd (yes, these are two different points). It cooks in one pot. It is delicious. I like it. 7. There are 7 reasons why this is a really good dish! And you don’t care, you just want the recipe so move along there Sheila and share…

Couple of notes, if you are finding your way with cooking and exploring new things you may yet have come to use cardamom. Don’t be put off by ingredients that may be unknown to you. You will find cardamom pods easily in the super market and you will bash the outer husks using a pestle and mortar or a rolling pin to release the inner seeds. Another note I like to share is about fresh ginger. Keep it in the freezer and grate what you need straight from frozen using a microplane grater, there is no need to peel ginger.

Chicken curry

Chicken Biryani Recipe
Feeds 6 easily.
You will need :
250g frozen peas
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion chopped finely
spices :
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp Garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
8 cardomon pods seeded
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
Chicken breast 500g
2 tbsp tomatoes purée
2 cups quick cook rice = approx. 350g
Tin coconut milk
2 cup veg stock = approx. 250ml
Flaked almonds to toast
Fresh Coriander to serve
Method:
Place 250g frozen peas in jug of boiling hot water and set aside
Finely chop the onion, grate the ginger, crack open the cardamom pods to release the seeds
Melt 1 tbsp coconut oil in large pan over medium heat
Gently fry the onion for 5 mins.
Stir in the following spices :
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp Garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
8 cardomon pods seeded
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
Cook spices couple minutes stirring through the onion.
Add chopped chicken 500g and 2 tbsp tomatoes purée, mix to coat chicken with spice
Add the drained peas stir through
Add 2 cups rice stir through
Pour in Can of coconut milk and the 2 cups veg stock
Raise the heat until just begging to bubble, stir well reduce the heat to medium and cover with lid for 10 mins
(Check every so often with wooden spoon that nothing is sticking to bottom of pan if it is give it a stir and turn down the heat a little.)
Toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan
Chop the fresh coriander
Once the Chicken Biryani has simmered for 10 minutes remove the lid and test to see if rice cooked, if not simmer a little longer covered and add more liquid if any danger of sticking.Turn the heat up for a few minutes more until just bubbling again.
Serve with the toasted almonds and fresh coriander.}
Enjoy! Sheila.

Posted in Dinner Party, Recipes

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.

Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

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.