Donal Skehan

Lyndey Milanโ€™s Taste Of Ireland and Beef and Guinness Pie

First off, Lyndey Milan is a total legend!ย  She is an Australian food expert who has been working tirelessly for the past 20 years to spread the gospel of good food.ย  I had the absolute pleasure to spend the day yesterday filming with Lyndey, her daughter Lucy and her crew, for her new show, “Lyndey Milan’s Taste Of Ireland”.ย ย  Filming for the show started back at the beginning of September and since then Lyndey and her team have traveled the country high and low in search of great Irish food.

For our little episode, we kicked things off at the top of the Guinness Storehouse, in the gravity bar to check out the fantastic view of the the city.ย  Then we went for a wander around the streets of Dublin, to show off some of the city’s young and funky foodie spots.ย  After meeting up with Lyndey’s daughter we headed back out to Howth, to my house, to cook up a Skehan family favourite, a beef and Guinness pie.ย  I don’t know about you but in Dublin, the weather was unusually hot so while cooking up the pie, Lyndey, a total pro, whipped up a fan, and gave me a quick fanning in between shooting! :) The pie was a big hit and Lyndey loved the fact that it was a really easy dish to prepare!

Then it was off to enjoy some Dublin nightlife and we got the unique opportunity to try some food on the go, making stops at Coppinger Row, The Pig’s Ear and The Porterhouse.ย  It was a really long day but everyone was so friendly the time flew!ย  Lyndey’s show will air in the spring of next year on Australian TV screens, hopefully we might even get a chance to see some episodes in Ireland too!ย  You can try the tasty Beef and Guinnes Pie I made for Lyndey using the recipe below, but it also works great as just a plain stew.

Continue to the recipe for Beef and Guinness Pie…

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Dennis Cotter- For The Love Of Food- Cookbook Competition

No foodies cookbook collection could be considered complete without a Dennis Cotter book in the mix.ย  Not only are they beautifully written and illustrated, they are full of inspiration for meat free meals and more.ย  Dennis runs the fantastic Cafรฉ Paradiso in Cork city where diners are treated to his creations including dishes like “sweet chilli-glazed panfried tofu with asian greens in a coconut & lemongrass broth, soba noodles and a gingered aduki bean wonton” and “rosewater & almond baklava with cardamom yoghurt ice cream and passionfruit syrup”. His latest book, “For The Love Of Food”, does not disappoint and after eating in Cafe Paradiso earlier this year, I was dieing to get my hands on a copy.ย  The book is broken up into simple straightforward chapters like “Risotto”, “All Wrapped Up”, “Bowls” and “Sweetness” which not only offer up a delicious selection of tempting recipes but are also packed with advice from Dennis.

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Filming with Xposรฉ at the Waldorf Barbers…

Yes I am aware I am missing a fringe in the above photo but don’t panic I still have it and I can explain!ย  Nothing makes me more excited than discovering funky little spots in Dublin that I never knew existed.ย  This happened to me yesterday, when I headed down to the Westmoreland Street in Dublin for an interview with the bubbly Karen Koster from Xposรฉ.ย  The lovely folks from Xposรฉ said they wanted to talk about all things Kitchen Hero while I was treated to a hot shave.ย  I hope there was no sniggers out there as you read that, I do realise that I look like I could barely grow a bit of facial fuzz, but I do have to shave once a day! :)

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Vanilla & Coconut Risotto with Spiced Mango and Pistachio

You can think of this as a risotto for breakfast, which sounds strange, or rice pudding for breakfast – less weird and only a little naughty.ย  Or you can think of it as rice porridge for breakfast, for what is risotto anyway but rice porridge? This procedure follows the classic risotto method of absorbing liquid into rice in stages, though I would be inclined to let the rice cook a bit more than for a savoury risotto. The recipe calls for sweet wine. This doesn’t mean you have to crack open your precious expensive dessert wines. A slightly sweet Riesling or Muscat is what’s needed, though you might get away with that Liebfraumilch you’ve got hidden away for visiting aunties.

This recipe comes from Dennis Cotter’s “For The Love Of Food”.

Serves 4

For the spiced mango
100g/3oz caster sugar
1 star anise, coarsely ground
4 cloves
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 large ripe mango

For the vanilla and coconut risotto
400ml/14fl oz milk
1 x 400ml/14fl oz tin of coconut milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
15g/oz butter
200g/7oz Carnaroli or Arborio rice
4 tbsp sweet white wine
finely grated zest of 1 orange
finely grated zest of 1 lime

To serve
2 tbsp shelled pistachio
nuts, coarsely chopped
nutmeg, for grating

First make the spiced syrup for the mango: put the sugar, star anise, cloves and ginger in a small saucepan with 5 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse. Pass the syrup through a fine sieve. Peel the mango and slice the flesh from the stone.

Put half of it in a food processor, add 2 tablespoons of the spice syrup and blend to a purรฉe. Add a little water, if necessary, to get a pouring consistency. Check for flavour and sweetness, and add a little more syrup to taste if it needs it.

Slice the remaining mango into matchsticks and put them in a bowl with a tablespoon of the mango sauce.

To make the risotto: put the milk, coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to at a simmer. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the pulp into the milk. Heat the butter in a wide, heavy pan over medium heat, add the rice and toast it, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until it has been absorbed. Add a ladle or 2 of the hot milk mixture.ย  Stirring often, let this simmer until it has been absorbed, then add more of it.

Continue in this way for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and you have a nice porridgey texture. Stir in the citrus zest.

Serve the risotto in shallow bowls. Pour over a little mango sauce and place some of the sliced mango on top. Scatter over the pistachios, grate over a little nutmeg and serve.

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Top 8 Autumn Warming Recipes!

I’ve been trawling back through old blog posts from the past 5 years and I’ve come to the conclusion that I cook far more during the colder months.ย  I don’t know whether I like heartier food, or whether I just tend to have more time indoors but either way, I have a whole heap of Autumn and Winter dishes to choose from!ย  So I decided to pop up some of my favorites here in a bit of a recipe roundup for your viewing pleasure.ย  Hopefully there will be a few dishes of interest to keep you well fed as the days get shorter and if you have any Autumn warming dishes you’d love to see a recipe for by all means leave a comment below! Enjoy! :)

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Postcard from a Swedish Summer…

Most of my summers over the past five years have been spent in Sweden and having suffered through a miserable, freezing cold winter there myself, I can completely understand why the Swedes make the most of life during the warmer months.ย  Like everything in Sweden, when it comes to summer there are of course tradition celebrations for everything and the two main ones of the summer being midsummer celebrations and the obligatory crayfish parties.

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Cookery Demo At Catherine Fulvio’s Ballyknocken House!

I headed down to Co. Wicklow yesterday afternoon to give a cookery demo at Catherine Fulvio‘s fantastic Ballyknocken House and cookery school.ย  We had a lovely group of people attending who I got to have a good chat with after the demo.ย  I cooked up lots of dishes from the TV show and books including, spatchcocked chicken, thai chicken stew, Asian pork lettuce cups, blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake and some lovely apple and cinnamon muffins!ย  Here are a few shots from the day! :)

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Tune in to Four Live on RTร‰ today!

I’ll be cooking up a tasty pasta dish using some fantastic Irish cheese.ย  The lovely Elizabeth Ryan from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers will be joining us to chat about a selection of different cheese available.

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Big Ball Of Autumn Fun…

So I admit it, after all my complaining about the summer coming to and end, I have finally embraced the autumn! I’ve been out picking blackberries, baking up a storm with lots of autumnal ingredients and best of all, I’ve been making soup. One of the biggest lessons you learn when you cook a lot is to understand the seasonality of produce. As a home cook, learning to buy fruits and vegetables which are in season is not only ultimately satisfying but you also get the pick of the crop! At the moment there is so much in season to get excited about; wild mushrooms, blackberries, apples, elderberries are just some of the key ingredients you should try to make the best of over the next few weeks.

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Apple and Cinnamon Crumble Muffins

This has to be the ultimate Autumnal muffin!ย  Soft apple in a light and fluffy batter lightly spiced with cinnamon and then finished off with a buttery crumble topping! You won’t be able to resist!

Makes 12 Muffins
75ml of olive oil
200ml of buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
2 large free range eggs
150g of caster sugar
250g of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
250g of peeled and diced cooking apple (Approx 1 large cooking apple)

For the crumble topping:
50g of vanilla sugar (or substitute with caster sugar)
50g of plain flour
50g of butter

Preheat the oven to 190หšC. Line a muffin/cupcake tray with paper cases.ย Measure the oil and buttermilk in a pyrex jug and then stir through the lemon zest and set aside.

Using a handblender with a food processor attachment, blitz the ingredients for the crumble topping until you get left with rough crumbs. You can also do this by hand in a bowl using your fingertips to combine the ingredients together. Set the crumble topping aside.

In a standalone mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.ย Add in the oil, buttermilk and lemon zest and whisk until combined.ย Gently fold in the flour and cinnamon until just combined. Fold through 3/4 of the diced apple until combined. Be sure not to over mix the batter.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, top with the remaining apple and about a teaspoonful of the crumble topping.ย Place in the oven on the middle wrack to cook for 20 minutes until brown on top.

Remove from the oven and place on a wire wrack to cool.

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Raspberry Goddess Pie

This recipe is adapted from an old Swedish cookbook which I found in the basement of Sofie’s grandmothers house. This pie is wonderfully moist and has a tasty crust. You can adapt it with any berries you wish.

Serves 6-8
225g of plain flour
125g of caster sugar
125g of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
250g of raspberries
200ml of creme fraiche
Vanilla ice cream to serve

Whizz together the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla extract and baking powder in a food processor until it forms a dough. Press the dough into a lined baking tin with a removable base. Pop in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 225หšC. Mix together the raspberries and creme fraiche in a bowl and then spread over the base of the pie dough.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the heat to 150หšC and bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow to cool and serve slices with vanilla ice cream.

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Beer Me Batter!

Just stealing a few minutes away from today to post a recipe.ย  It’s incredibly busy this week, with lots happening!ย  A big thank you to everyone who sent lovely messages of support and to all who was chatting about #kitchenhero on twitter, because on Monday night it was one of the top trending topics on twitter in Ireland!ย  After lots of fun at Electric Picnic with we are back on the road again today to head down to the Waterford Harvest Festival.ย  I’ll be giving a demo this evening with recipes from the book and hopefully everyone will get a taste!ย  Speaking of which I better head off and whip up a blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake which is on the menu tonight! Mmmmm… cheesecake….

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