Donal Skehan
My instagram
  • Stunning stroll in Stockholm this morning! Such a beautiful city- back to Dublin this afternoon! :) #stockholm #sweden
  • It's here! Check out the food issue of the Irish Independent WEEKEND magazine today! I'm the guest editor and thrilled to announce my new weekly food column! :)
  • Duck, pomegranate, orange and mint salad from filming today! So tasty! :)
  • It's Fika Friday here in Stockholm! We got princess cake! 14 episodes of #mittkök filmed and we are done- yeehaw! :)
  • Kom och träffa mig i Stockholm! I'm doing a book signing in Leila's General Store in MOOD Gallerian at 6pm tonight! There will be kanelbulle! :)
  • So excited to tell you I am the guest editor of this week's Irish Independent Weekend Magazine's special food issue! Out Saturday filled with my favourite London food spots, recipes from my Italian adventures, meet some of Ireland's finest food producers, my little black book, plus lots of in season produce inspiration! Also there is this cover! 😃
  • Giving a book signing at @leilalindholm's @leilasgeneralstore in Stockholm at 6pm this Thursday evening! Come by and say hej hej! :)
  • Super meal at new Stockholm restaurant NOOK- scallops, ceps and samphire | venison, chanterelles, pickled lingonberries and roast celeriac | cloudberries, pine needles, brown butter ice cream and almonds. @nookrestaurang
  • HEJ HEJ SVERIGE! Just arrived in Stockholm for a couple of days filming! :)
  • Blackberry cupcakes! Recipe makes a really moist and sweet cake- delish- recipe on my blog! :)
  • These brilliant Nonnas were so much fun and taught me to make donzelle, little savoury fried bread on the streets in Montalcino! Delicious with prosciutto and a glass off Brunello! The lovely lady on the right was up late singing Non Ho L'Età at the end of the night! :) #GrandmasBoy
  • Some serious banoffee cake action over on my youtube channel with a special guest appearance from @eric_lanlard! Head over and subscribe- link in my profile! Tag a friend who'd fancy a slice! :)
  • Pesto, green bean and potato lasagne for lunch today! Recipe in this weekends Irish Independent Weekend Mag! :)
  • Finally editing pics from filming in Italy! Bringing back so many memories! Meet Nonna Adolarata who taught me how to make cannelloni from scratch and crappiatta a traditional soup from the town of Matera in the south of Italy! #GrandmasBoy
  • It's porchetta o'clock! :)
  • Porchetta stuffed with garlic, herbs and lemon ready for a date with the oven! Sunday lunch sorted! :)
  • #Recipeoftheday Lamb Sausages with Spiced Lentils, Caramelised Onions & Creme Fraiche! :)
  • Paella on #mittkök this morning on @nyhetsmorgon in Swedish! I'll be in Stockholm next week for a book signing at @leilasgeneralstore in #moodstkhlm! :)
  • I'm heading out on a nationwide LIVE cooking tour to 16 theatre venues across Ireland this November! Details on tickets and venues over on my website! It's a great family show jam packed with great fun, recipes and audience cooking competitions! Hope to see you there! Let's get cooking! :)
  • The new issue of @feastjournal is out- full details on my website! Copies in select Irish food stores, order online or through our free app on iTunes and google play! :)
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Sweet Potato and Halloumi Salad

Barbecues do not just have to be for meat. This recipe is a great example of a delicious salad that can be partly cooked on a hot grill. It’s packed with punchy flavours that will leave you wanting more.

Serves 4
2 large sweet potatoes, sliced into 1cm pieces
400g halloumi cheese, sliced into 1cm pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 red chillis, finely sliced
Ground black pepper
1 small handful mixed salad leaves per person

For the dressing
Handful fresh basil, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
 

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Place the sweet potato and halloumi slices on a large plate and then drizzle with olive oil and scatter with the garlic and chilli. Season with ground black pepper.

Toss each slice in oil so it’s coated and then place on a medium-high heat on the barbecue. Cook the halloumi until it has golden brown score marks, then turn to cook the other side. Cook the sweet potato until charred and tender when pressed with tongs.

Assemble the salad by tossing the salad leaves in the dressing and placing a handful on each plate. Top with the slices of halloumi and sweet potato and serve with a little extra drizzle of the dressing.

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Tarte Tatin with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

 This recipe comes from the fantastic Ms. marmites AKA Kerstin Rogers cookbook “Supperclub”

Serves 4-6
Juice of 2 lemons
1kg (2lb 3oz)/about 8–10 eating apples (such as Cox,Russet or Braeburn)
125–175g (4–6oz) unsalted butter, slightly softened
125–175g (4–6oz) caster sugar
4–6 star anise
200g (7oz) puff pastry, rolled to a disc the same dimensions as your frying pan
Crème fraîche ice cream, to serve

Squeeze both lemons into a large bowl. Peel and core the apples, then halve them and put in the bowl of lemon juice to prevent them going brown

Smear butter generously over the frying pan, up the sides too. Sprinkle sugar over the top in a nice thick layer (this will be the toffee bit, so if you

like lots of toffee, put extra butter and sugar)

Remove your apple halves from the lemon juice and embed them in the butter/sugar mixture, with the holes (where the cores were) facing downwards.

Pack the apples in tightly. Tuck a few star anise between the apples

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF), Gas Mark 7. If using an Aga, prepare the roasting oven

Put the frying pan over a medium flame on your hob. Keep an eye on it; this will caramelise. You have to be brave here and keep it going for about

15 minutes – you want a deep golden caramel colour and texture to develop

Once this has happened, leave the pan to cool, then plop your pastry disc on the top of the pan, tucking in the edges. Place the pan in the oven and

bake the tart for 15 minutes or until the pastry has risen

Here is the tricky bit: find a plate slightly larger than your frying pan and lay it over the top. Holding the handle firmly and keeping the plate pressed

tightly to the pan, flip them both over.

The plate will now be on the bottomand the frying pan on top. Lift the pan off to reveal a gorgeous, sticky, toffee-apple tart. If some of the apples have become displaced, don’t worry, just take a fork and prod them back into place

Cut into slices while hot and serve with a scoop or quenelle of Crème Fraîche Ice Cream.

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Mega Feast Friday!

The summer really is when food comes alive. For me, things become almost effortless because the fantastic fresh produce on offer requires very little work to make it really beautiful. Eating outside also makes everything taste better! With that in mind, this Friday’s recipe is for one of the best meals I’ve had in a while…  I got very excited last week when I heard our local butcher Ray Collier in Howth had got a delivery of beef from Lambay island.  The island is a private one just beyond Ireland’s Eye and I remember being on it once or twice as a kid with my granddad.  The fact that it was private and that we were told they kept wallabies (yes, wallabies) added to the mystery of the place.  Today’s recipe is proudly made with local beef from Lambay island and some fresh Dublin Bay prawns, served alongside some salad leaves from my garden, lightly dressed, and some sweet potato chips (not so local but delicious all the same!). This a proper feast so head out, pick up the ingredients and treat yourself this weekend.

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Chimichurri Surf and Turf with Skinny Sweet Potato Chips and a Garden Salad

This is one heck of a meal, packed with flavours which won’t disappoint!  The chimichurri sauce is originally from Argentina and it’s so simple to make yourself with just a couple of simple store-cupboard ingredients. When you’re selecting your steaks try and look out for ones with an even marbling of fat and a rich red colour.  The steaks and prawns are perfect for the BBQ if you want to cook outdoors.

Serves 2
2 rib eye steaks
6-8 Dublin bay prawns
3 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into thin chips
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning
3 large handfuls of mixed garden salad leaves

For the dressing
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the chimichurri sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
A pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt

Preheat the oven to 210°C.

Toss the sweet potato chips in a large roasting tin, with the rapeseed oil and cajun seasoning.  Pop the roasting tin in the oven for 35-40 mins making sure to toss them half way through, until they are slightly charred on the edges.

Whizz together the ingredients for the chimichurri sauce in a food processor and decant into a bowl.

Place the steaks on a plate along with the prawns and spread over half the chimichurri sauce allow to sit while you prepare the salad.

In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and then toss through the salad leaves when you’re ready to serve.

Heat a large griddle pan over a high heat and cook the steaks for 2–3 minutes either side for medium and a little longer if you prefer a more well-done steak.  Remove from the heat and allow to rest on a plate under some tinfoil.

Add the prawns to the griddle pan and cook for about 2 minutes either side.

Serve the prawns with the steak, salad and some crispy sweet potato chips with a good dollop of chimichurri sauce on the side.

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Gothenburg, Here I Come!

Actually scratch that, Gothenberg, here I am!  I’m over this weekend to celebrate Midsummer in the land of crayfish and schnapps.  I’ve spent the last five summers in Sweden, but strangely enough have never managed to be here on the 24th and 25th of June, when the official midsummer celebrations take place!  This year however that all changes, we have the crayfish, we have the schnapps, the fresh potatoes, and the strawberries, it all kicks off very soon!

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Pea, Mint and Pancetta Soup

A true classic, but it never fails to get me excited. The combination of mint and peas is unique and it’s a really fresh flavour for a soup in the summer. You can, of course, make this with frozen peas, and unless you can pick some from your own garden, the frozen pea route is actually the better option. I add pancetta to my soup for a salty kick.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon of olive oil
200g of pancetta pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 litre of vegetable stock
500g of frozen or fresh peas
1 small bunch of mint, about a handful
sea salt and ground black pepper to season
Crème fraîche to serve

Place a medium-sized pot over a high heat and fry the pancetta in a drop of olive oil for about 4 minutes until crispy. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

You should be left with enough oil and pancetta fat in the pan, if not, add a little more olive oil and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Then, add in the potato and vegetable stock. Bring to a steady simmer and cook until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. It should take about 10 minutes.

Add the peas and mint and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes. Then, blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

Taste and season with sea salt and ground black pepper as required. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and crispy pancetta pieces.

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Leila Lindholm: One More Slice- Cookbook Review and Competition

Those of you who have been following the blog over the last few years, will be well aware of my love of all things Leila.  I first came across her during one of my summers in Sweden and have been hooked ever since.  She is one of Sweden’s most popular tv cooks and has incredibly unique sense of style.  All her recipes are completely drool worthy and her most recent cookbook release, One More Slice does not disappoint.  The latest offering is the follow up to her fantastic book A Piece of Cake which was released a couple of years ago and despite being convinced she could not produce even more delicious delights, she has managed to do so with One More Slice which offers recipes for sourdough bread, pizza, pasta and tons of sweet pastries.

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Leila Lindholm’s Dime Bar Ice Cream Cake With Strawberries

This cake is a big favourite amongst kids and some adults too! Dime bar and ice cream are great together. And the addition of lime-sugared strawberries makes a really fresh and summery accompaniment that suits the cake perfectly.

Serves 8
4 free-range eggs
50g (2oz) sugar
200g (7oz) cream cheese
300ml (10 fl oz) double cream
3 double Dime bars, chopped to make about 150g (5oz) in total
200g (7oz) digestive biscuits, crushed

Lime Strawberries
1kg (2lb 2oz) fresh strawberries
100g (4oz) Demerara sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 limes

Separate the egg yolks from the whites.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and mix in the cream cheese.

Whip the cream until fluffy and fold it into the egg mixture.

Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and carefully fold into the mixture.

Mix the chopped Dime bars into the mixture.

Crush the digestive biscuits and then layer the crumbs with the creamy mixture in a sponge cake mould.

Freeze the ice cream for about 5 hours, until it is lightly frozen.

Hull and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle the slices with the demerara sugar and grated lime zest and serve them with the dime bar ice cream cake.

Recipe translated by Dr. B.J. Epstein.

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Home Alone And A No Fuss Curry Recipe!

This week I’ve been home alone for the first time in a while. I do like my own space, but only for a limited amount of time.  Despite thinking I might enjoy a little bit of ‘me time’, because I work from home, I would go absolutely insane if I didn’t have some sort of human interaction. So my solution this week, rather than stick to solitary meals for one, has been to have people over for a bite to eat! I like the pressure of having people for dinner, there’s a set time I have to start cooking, which basically prevents me from sitting at the computer munching on fridge leftovers.

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Nutty Thai Red Beef Curry

This is a nice fast dish that can be cooked in the time it takes to make the rice! It’s really important to taste a dish like this, if you feel it’s missing something, add more soy sauce, more honey, or more spice from the curry paste. Cooking is all about making it taste right for you!

Serves 4
2 rib eye steaks, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of red curry paste
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 thumbsized piece of ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 large pak choy, roughly sliced
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of honey
400ml of coconut milk 240g of basmati rice
800ml of water
A handful of salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Place the rice in a pot with the full quantity of water and place over a medium heat, and simmer for about 10-12 minutes until the water has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to sit with the lid on until you are ready to serve.

While the rice is cooking, combine the sliced beef with 1 tablespoon of red curry paste, half the garlic and ginger and the sesame oil.

Place a wok over a high heat with 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil and then stir fry the beef rapidly in two batches for about 3 minutes until just cooked.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Place the wok back on the heat with a little extra oil and stir fry the onions with the remaining curry paste, for 2 mins, then add in the remaining garlic and ginger with the sliced pak choy. Stir fry until just tender.

Add in the coconut milk, soy sauce, and honey and bring to the boil. Taste it and once you’re happy with the balance of flavours, serve.

Fluff up the rice with a fork and then serve alongside the beef. Top with a little sprinkling of chopped peanuts.

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Duck, Duck, Duck… No Goose!

Finally after all the madness of the start of June with Bloom and Taste Of Dublin, things have calmed down a little.  There is far less running around with crates of food and shopping lists this week, so I am taking the time to soak up just being at home.  It’s a weird kind of feeling at the moment because all the work that went into Kitchen Hero the book and TV series has now all been done and it now has a life of it’s own, so I guess I’m happy to let it run.  I have to admit I’m getting itchy feet to get started on the next book and with a looming due date in the coming months, this summer will be spent working on my third book.

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Crispy Sticky Duck with Green Beans and a Pak Choy Sesame Salad

I absolutely love Asian flavours which was what prompted me to start growing my own pak choy, a really easy-to-grow Asian vegetable. Here I’ve tossed it with green beans in a fantastic Japanese sesame dressing, which is nutty, aromatic and full of flavour. The duck is roasted in the oven, coated in a dark soy-sauce marinade, sprinkled with a little five-spice powder and then popped under the grill to crisp up the skin.

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