Donal Skehan
My instagram
  • Oh hello! :) #maxthedog
  • Out blackberry picking yesterday...
  • Blackberry & Custard Doughnuts- recipe coming up this weekend...
  • Thai Fish Cakes- how to make them video over on my youtube channel! Head over and subscribe! :) 👍
  • Misty warm morning in #Howth! Deep breath and have a great week folks! :)
  • Picked loads of sloes today! All set to make some gin next week! :)
  • Having a go at curing my own bacon this weekend! Seems to be fairly easy- will report when done! Pork belly rubbed with sugar, salt and herbs.
  • Nutella stuffed brioche French toast! Anyone for a bit of brunch? :)
  • Such an epic day out there! Just back from a two hour walk around the cliffs of #Howth! Happy weekend folks! #ireland
  • A bit of #mittkök madness this morning on Swedish telly! Was making cannelloni with spinach and mushrooms! :)
  • Vietnamese caramel salmon in my new weekly column in the Irish independent today! Delicious recipe traditionally made with catfish- it's sweet and sticky and very easy to make! :)
  • Salted caramel peanut mud pie up on the blog! Tag a friend for a special Friday treat! What are you baking this weekend? :)
  • Red velvet cheesecake! Recipe up on @jamiesfoodtube this evening with @eric_lanlard! Grab a slice for a pal! :)
  • Post workout juice- apple, carrot, ginger, celery, cucumber & beetroot! Better @tonedfit?
  • Max can't take selfies but wanted a photo taken with his favourite view on our walk this eve! :) #howth #ireland #maxthedog
  • Shooting with the brilliantly talented @wildflourkate today for @image_interiors! Move over Christmas cake- there's a new sista in town! :)
  • BALL! Out for some #maxthedog time! :)
  • Beautiful calm morning out there! Happy Monday have a great week folks! 👍
  • Baby's day out! 99's for all! :) #howth
  • WHO LIKES CHICKEN WINGS? Sriracha baked chicken wings up on my youtube channel this morning! Head over and subscribe- link in my profile! :)
Blog Archive
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007

Spicy Chicken and Avocado Salad

I constantly go back to this salad dressing, I can make it in my sleep! I  get annoyed at myself for using it so much at times, but it really does  taste good and it’s a cinch to make. Opt for streaky rashers, as the  more traditional ones won’t crisp up and crumble into the salad.

Serves 2
2 chicken breast fillets
2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 ripe avocado, stone removed and cut into thick slices
About half the leaves of a cos lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bitesize pieces
1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
4 streaky rashers

For the dressing
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press
A generous seasoning of sea salt and ground black pepper

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl, or pop into an old jam jar, stick the lid on and give it a good shake!

Sprinkle the chicken with the cajun seasoning on a plate, and then place a frying pan over a medium high heat with a little olive oil.  Fry the chicken on both sides for about 4 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.  You can check if they are cooked by slicing through the thickest part of the chicken breast, if there are any signs of pink, throw it back on the pan.

Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a chopping board.  Keep the pan on the heat and fry the bacon until crispy.

Slice the chicken and bacon thinly.

Place the cherry tomatoes and torn lettuce leaves in a bowl and toss with half the dressing.

Assemble the salad on serving plates, topping with with the chicken, avocado and bacon.  Drizzle over the rest of the dressing, sprinkle with a little ground black pepper and you are ready to eat!

Continue reading >>

St. Patricks Day Recipe Round Up!

I am literally about to run out the door to hop on a plane to Paris to cook for 300 people outside La Defense for St. Patricks Day, but I wanted to write this quick post to let you know about all the great St. Patricks Day recipes up on the blog.

Continue reading >>

Salmon and Tuna Nigiri

Nigiri is probably one of the simplest forms of sushi to make, yet I  think it is the most elegant looking. You can make a wide range of nigiri using different vegetable and seafood toppings.

Ingredients
1 darne fresh salmon, cut into fine slices
fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, cut into fine slices
Wasabi

Take a small amount of cooked sushi rice and, using a damp hand, mould the rice into an ovalshaped ball.

Dot a small drop of wasabi on top.

Place a slice of fresh salmon on top and smooth it on to the rice.

Serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce.

Continue reading >>

ISO California roll

The inside-out roll looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. If you can master the maki roll, then this is your next step. It’s probably one of the more beautiful types of sushi and you can get really creative with the fillings.  This recipe is for the common California roll, which is a combination of avocado, cucumber and crabsticks, which are orange/pink mini batons and can be picked up at most Asian markets. If you can’t find them, try using cooked crab meat.

Continue reading >>

Sweet Chilli Chicken Maki

Maki is one  of the most common types of sushi, and it’s known by its outer layer of  dried green nori seaweed. This is the best starting point for first-time  sushi rollers.  For the less adventurous sushi samplers among your  guests, this sweet chilli chicken maki is a little less daunting.  You can poach the chicken breast in water until cooked through and then it will be quite easy to shred; otherwise, simply use leftover cooked chicken.

Ingredients
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce
1-2 sheets nori
Cooked sushi rice
50g rocket

In a bowl, mix the chicken with the sweet chilli sauce.

Take a sheet of nori and place it shiny-side down on a rolling mat with the longest end facing towards you. Using wet hands — this will prevent you having a fist coated in sushi rice — spread one-sixth of a portion of the rice in an even layer on the nori, leaving 2cm of nori visible at the end farthest away from you. Don’t squash the rice or make the layer too thick — you should be able to see the nori through the rice.

Spoon the chicken mix in a line across the nori, about half way through the middle of the rice. Top with a few leaves of rocket.

To roll the sushi, fold the mat over, starting at the end where the ingredients are and tucking in the end of the nori to start the roll. Keep rolling, lifting up the mat as you go and keeping the pressure even but gentle, until you have finished the roll. Moisten the top edge of the nori with water to seal the sushi roll closed. Don’t worry if anything falls out the sides, just push it back in. The edges may look ragged, but it doesn’t matter.

Remove the roll from the mat and cut it into four even-sized pieces with a very sharp, wet knife. If you do not use a sharp knife the roll will squash as you cut it. Arrange the rolls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Variation:

Spicy tuna maki
1 fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, chopped roughly
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tsp schimi powder
1 tsp soy sauce

In a bowl, mix the chopped tuna with the spring onions, schimi powder and soy sauce. Then follow the same instructions for making up the sweet chilli chicken maki.

Continue reading >>

Sushi Rice and Seasoning

The basic ingredient for any good sushi starts and ends with the rice.  Sushi rice can be bought  in most supermarkets and is a short-grain  Japanese rice, which must be cooled before use as it will turn sticky  and be difficult to work with. It is really important to make sure you  wash the rice under cold water until the water is clear; this ensures  the perfect sushi rice. This recipe makes enough for 24 pieces.  Sushi seasoning can be made at home quite easily, but bottles of  pre-mixed   sushi seasoning can also be purchased in good supermarkets  and Asian shops.

Makes 24 pieces
250g sushi rice
325ml water
2 tbsps sushi rice seasoning

For the sushi rice seasoning
500ml rice vinegar
300g sugar
150g salt

Wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a pot with the water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil as quickly as you can.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid still on.

Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on the pot throughout the cooking.

Remove the lid and put the hot rice in a shallow dish, as this will help it cool, and pour sushi seasoning over the surface of the rice.

Now mix the seasoning into the rice with quick cutting strokes, using a spatula. Try not to over-mix the rice as you don’t want to break down the grains.

The rice should look shiny and be at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

For the Sushi Rice Seasoning:

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved, then transfer the mix to a sealed container and store in the fridge. The sushi seasoning should last up to six months.

Continue reading >>

Will Write For Food- Dianne Jacob- Win A Copy!

The quote on the front of this book by legendary food blogger, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond really says it all for me.  This indeed is the book I wish I had read before I began my stumbling journey into the vast world of food writing and blogging!  I say stumbling because that’s exactly what it was, it wasn’t smooth and it wasn’t planned.  When I look back at some of my very early posts, part of me cringes at just how all over the place they are, and then a huge part of me is incredibly proud because I was so unaware that it was those very posts, which would lead me to something I can call my day job!  It’s true that the first step can often be the one most people procrastinate about, but realistically it is better to stand up and be counted than to never make any impression at all.

Continue reading >>

Simple Sushi Dinner Party!

I was scrolling through my photos the other day and realised that I had never posted this piece about sushi I wrote the Irish Independent last year.  There are some really nice little sushi recipes, which even if you’ve never tried making it yourself, make it seem all a little more manageable…

Continue reading >>

Fragrant Thai Chicken Stew

This is very similar to a Thai green curry but it’s a lot lighter in terms of spices, sticking mainly with the fresh ingredients like ginger and lemongrass. I use Kaffir lime leaves here, which some supermarkets carry in the herb section, Asian markets are also bound to have them. Improvise with finely grated zest of lime. If you haven’t used lemongrass before it’s a fantastic little ingredient which is responsible for giving this dish that wonderful light and fragrant flavour. To prepare, slice off the woody ends and the root, you should be left with about 2-3 inches. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the paste ingredients until they’re as fine as you can get them.

Continue reading >>

Fragrant Thai Chicken Stew

Last week I travelled to London to appear on ITV One’s This Morning with Eamon Holmes and Ruth Langsford – an absolutely amazing experience and a real eye opener as to how things work in the UK food world. Next week I’ll be in Paris with Bord Bia to cook for 300 people in front of La Defense for St. Patricks Day and then it’s one final week of filming before the RTE show airs on May 16th! I can’t believe it’s all happening.

Continue reading >>

It’s About Flipping Time!

One of the first things I ever learned to make was pancakes for Pancake Tuesday. I can’t remember what age I was but I do remember being told the day before and not being able to sleep at the thought of flipping my very first pancake! I sat on the kitchen counter as my mom assembled the ingredients, armed with a splattered and stained copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. A basic pancake batter is quite easy to make but when I was younger I truly believed it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.

Continue reading >>