Donal Skehan

Slow Roasted Rhubarb Panna Cotta…

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Panna cotta is a sweet Italian dessert that literally translates as ‘cooked cream.’ It couldn’t be easier to make and simply involves thickening sweetened cream with gelatin and leaving to set. The beauty of panna cotta is that you can then flavour it with vanilla, rum, coffee or any of your favourite additions. I love the look of using a real vanilla pod as you’re left with beautiful black flecks throughout the creamy panna cotta.

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This classic dessert really is one of my favourite summer treats but depending on the time of year, you can serve it with fresh fruit, a berry coulis, a caramel sauce etc. In this recipe, I’ve combined it with slow roasted rhubarb scented with honey, star anise and orange zest and it is a brilliant combination of sweetness paired with the tart rhubarb.

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Sticky Slow Roasted BBQ Ribs…

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If you’ve ever been to the states you’ll know they take their BBQ very seriously. Some of the best barbecue food I have ever eaten has been while I’ve been in the US as they have taken slow cooked meats to another level! Meat is marinated and roasted for days on end resulting in fall off the bone, melt in your mouth meat!

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Some people argue that boiling your ribs first isn’t true bbq etiquette but it’s a tip I picked up while over in America. It keeps the meet moist and tender and cuts the grill time a huge amount….Always a good thing when the weather is so unpredictable in Ireland! I like to serve these ribs with a quick and simple red cabbage coleslaw which is great with any other barbecued meats.

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Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Burgers…

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Veggie burgers get a bad rap because 9 times out of 10, they are pretty underwhelming. I love a good burger as much as the next guy but every now and again I like to mix things up and these healthy chickpea burgers are my go to recipe when it comes to meat-free burgers.

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If you like falafels you’ll love these tasty chickpea burgers as I use a lot of the same spices. They are gently spiced with a bit of a kick, cooled down with the earthy beetroot puree. If you serve these at your next summer BBQ, I promise it won’t be just the vegetarians fighting for these little babies!

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Dairy-Free Semolina Pancakes…

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Brunch is a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland but no weekend is complete now without a leisurely feast enjoyed anytime from morning until 4pm! Eggs Benedict, French toast, waffles and pancakes are all invited to the brunch party and there are a whole host of new brunch spots popping up all over Dublin serving really amazing dishes.

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One of my favourite spots is Brother Hubbard and their menu is heavily influenced with Middle Eastern flavours. These semolina pancakes take influence from that and the best bit…They are dairy free! I’ve topped mine with yoghurt, a drizzle of honey, crushed pistachios and some of my slow-roasted rhubarb. If you need these to be entirely dairy-free, just omit the yoghurt topping.

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Healthy Jar Salad: Lunch on the go…

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One of the most common requests I get is for healthy lunches that you can take with you when you’re on the go. Jar salads are a huge craze on Pinterest and healthy eating blogs but they really are so handy. You just chop up your favourite ingredients, pop them in a jar and you have a balanced, filling and healthy meal to enjoy whenever you need it!

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My Jar Salad recipe combines some of my favourite ingredients including quinoa, kale, roasted chickpeas and creamy avocado. I like to add some griddled halloumi cheese but if you want to keep this vegan friendly, just leave it out. If you’d prefer to dress everything in one big bowl before placing in the jar you can but I like to dress the leaves instead.

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How to Make Millionaire Squares…

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These decadent caramel slices really are the ultimate treat! If the thoughts of making your own caramel scares you, don’t worry! This is a cheats version and couldn’t be easier! I used dark chocolate to top these millionaire squares but by all means use milk chocolate if your prefer.

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My favourite Raspberry Scones…

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There is something about scones that conjures up real feelings of nostalgia, especially here in Ireland. There really is nothing better than a warm, freshly baked scone served with a cup of tea! Most Irish mammies and grandmothers have their own scone recipe and would know how to whip up a batch in a matter of minutes!

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Scones are one of the first recipes most people learn to make in Ireland, especially if you did Home Ec. in school! What I love most about this classic bake is that you usually have all the ingredients in the house already…My kind of recipe! I like to add fresh raspberries but you can keep the dough plain or add any berries you like. A thick layer of butter and jam is essential though!

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New Series: Donal’s Irish Feast…

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The new series of Donal’s Irish Feast kicked off last night on RTE One. This series celebrates the finest food producers Ireland has to offer and in episode one, I travelled to Donegal to cook up a feast in the stunning Rathmullan House. Along the way, I visited with Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Kinnegar Brewery and Steve Cullen Oysters and their fantastic products inspired the dishes I created for my big feast.

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***This competition is now closed*** To celebrate the new series, the show’s sponsor Spar have kindly offered to give away a €50 Spar voucher to a viewer in the Republic of Ireland. To be in with a chance of winning the voucher (you can use it to buy treats for next week’s episode!), leave a comment below telling me your favourite dish from last night’s show, and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter here. Entries close on Monday 1st of June 2015. The winner will be chosen at random that day and in the meantime you can catch up on last night show here and get the recipes featured below!

- RECIPES -

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{ Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters with Raw Oysters & Shallot Mignonette… }

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My take on a Classic Victoria Sponge…

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Nothing says summer like strawberries and cream and a cake that combines both is a winner in my books! Light, vanilla scented sponges, layered with softly whipped cream and lashings of strawberry jam- this sponge cake is a total crowd pleaser!

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Now when you make a Victoria sandwich, there are a few key questions. Do you use strawberry or raspberry jam? Do you put cream inside or serve on the side? Do you sprinkle caster or icing sugar on the top? I like to use strawberry jam and cream to sandwich them together and finish with a light dusting of icing sugar. I let you decide how you want to serve yours!

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Irish Coffee Swirl Cake…

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This recipe makes a moist coffee swirl cake cooked in a bundt tin. If you don’t have one, you can easily make it in a springform tin, buttered and the base lined with baking parchment. The addition of a cream liqueur is optional but really adds an extra special touch to both the cake and icing.

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This coffee cake is really simple to make but is quite the showstopper when topped off with it’s gooey icing and edible gold stars. It keeps fantastically in an air tight tin, ready to be sliced and enjoyed with a cup of coffee!

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Hole in the bread Eggs with a twist…

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Hole in the bread eggs, eggs in baskets, one eyed toast, toad in the whole…Whatever you call them, everyone seems to know and love this little egg toast recipe! They’re a proper old family  favourite in my house. Despite extremely ambitious kitchen creations, my dad’s cooking isn’t exactly widely celebrated, but I’ll give him this — when I was a kid he always knew how to pull out the stops to impress me in the kitchen.  I remember making these with him early one Sunday morning for my mom and thinking to myself that he was the coolest dad in  the world!

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Now I know this can barely even be called a recipe because it’s so simple but I like to jazz up the old classic with some exciting toppings. The addition of sweet chilli sauce might not get the approval from my old fella, but I think it goes quite nicely. I also love a squirt of sriracha or even sweet chilli if you like a bit of spice in the morning. Another great addition is a dollop of pesto or by all means keep is simple with just a scattering of chives. Whatever way you have them, this simple little dish is a total knockout when it comes to a quick breakfast or light lunch!

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