My instagram
  • Throwback Thursday! It's 2006 and a young Donal has just joined "up and coming" boyband Streetwize with "z" coz that's how we rolled! Here we are thinkin' we were the shiz in London Town! #tbt #scarlehforyerma
  • New blog post up today! A visit to McGeoughs Artisan Butchers and a recipe for lamb sausages, lentils, creme fraiche and caramelised onions! Delish! :)
  • Beautiful morning out there! Forest walk with Max first thing this morning! #howth #ireland #maxthedog
  • Irish Cheese soufflés with a pear and walnut salad up on the blog! :)
  • Getting a great reaction to my latest youtube video recipe for Chocolate Cake- check it out: http://youtube.com/donalskehan
  • Wild garlic roast lamb with braised lettuce, spring onions and peas! What are cooking up this Easter Sunday? Have a great day! :)
  • Blue cheese and caramelised onion sliders coming up on tomorrow's #mittkök at 8.30am on TV4 in Sweden! Recipe on the blog... :)
  • Best day of the year so far! Stunning in Howth! Just finished the cliff walk! Have a great weekend guys! :) #howth #ireland
  • Gur Cake for Sean O'Rourke on Radio One! Will be on to chat about Theodora Fitzgibbon's The Pleasures of the table- out now...
  • The perfect Easter Sunday chocolate cake coming up in my youtube channel today! Subscribe over here: http://www.youtube.com/donalskehan
  • Making Gur Cake this evening from Theodora Fitzgibbon for interview with Sean O'Rourke tomorrow morning on RTE Radio One...
  • Throwback Thursday! At the Meteor Music Awards 2009 with Industry! @michelemcgrath @morgandeane #tbt
  • Best part of today was trying to teach Max how to ride a scooter!!! He was loving it! :) #scootscoot
  • Got to see what the ladies have to go through to look extra pretty at the hands of my buddy the amazingly talented make up artist @makeupfairypro today! :)
  • Had a #nobakebaking filled day today filming a video for the launch of Sharon Hearne Smith's new cookbook out in June! Check out this crepe cake! :)
  • The new issue of my Irish food magazine @feastjournal is now out. Download our free app on iTunes or print copies available in Easons.
  • Our apple tree blossoms about to burst! :)
  • Playing ball with Max this evening! #maxthedog
  • Buffalo chicken from our youtube video shoot yesterday! Who's hungry? :)
  • Making beetroot hummus for the Irish Independent Weekend magazine this morning! My Easter Sunday recipes coming this weekend! :)
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Oeufs Cocotte

This is a wonderfully simple little French dish which makes a perfect weekend brunch.

Serves 2
4 large free range eggs
6 tablespoons of cream
A generous knob of butter
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Toast and bacon to serve

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Butter 2 large ramekins and place in a highsided baking dish.

Pour half the cream into the bottom of the ramekins. Break 2 eggs in to each ramekin and pour over the remaining cream.

Add a small knob of butter to each ramekin and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Pour boiling water half way up the sides of the ramekins in the baking dish and place on the middle rack of the hot oven.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Serve with some buttered toast soldiers to dip with and some bacon just off the pan.

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Maple Bacon Buttermilk Scones

I love the combination here of sweet and savoury, and it makes for an extremely delicious breakfast treat.

Makes 16 scones
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
250g of smoked streaky bacon, cut into 2cm pieces
450g flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
A generous pinch of salt
225g cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
180ml maple syrup, plus a little extra for glazing
180ml of buttermilk
1 egg
Sea salt to sprinkle

Place a large frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the bacon in a little oil until crisp and sizzling. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a fork or pastry cutter press the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture with resembles rough breadcrumbs. Don’t worry too much if there are still some rogue lumps of butter.

Combine the maple syrup and buttermilk in a pyrex jug and pour this into the butter mixture along with the cool bacon.

Using a fork bring the dough together making sure not to over mix it.

When the dough has come together, turn it out on to a clean work surface sprinkled with flour.

Roll the dough out to about 6cm in thickness and cut out 5cm diameter circles. You may have to roll the dough out again to use it all up.

Place the scones on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and then place in the fridge to rest for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Whisk the egg in a bowl and set aside.

Before the scones go into the oven, brush a little beaten egg and sprinkle a little sea salt on each one, and then bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the scones from the oven and brush over a little maple syrup on each one. Place back in the oven for another 3 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling wrack.

Serve the scones straight away or parcel up in paper bags for a savoury breakfast snack!

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Swedish Christmas Rice Pudding

The joys of rice pudding are unfortunately no longer widely celebrated  but this was one of my favourite desserts while I lived in Sweden and  it’s the perfect sort of warm dessert for cold winter days.

Serves 4
200g pearl rice (Pudding rice)
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 litre full-fat milk
4 tablespoons vanilla Sugar, plus extra to serve
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
whipped Cream, to serve

Add the rice, 250ml (81/2fl oz) water, salt and butter to a large saucepan, then cover with a lid and place over a high heat.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Pour in the milk and add the vanilla sugar and cinnamon.

Stir through to combine then return the mixture to the boil and again reduce the heat and simmer slowly for about 25–35 minutes or until you have a creamy rice pudding consistency but the rice still has a little bite to it.

Serve straight away or pour the rice pudding into a ceramic dish and allow to cool before covering and popping it in the fridge until chilled.

Serve big hearty spoonfuls of the chilled rice with an extra sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon and big dollops of whipped cream.

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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.  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 purée. 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.  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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Strawberry State Of Mind!

Breakfast in the summer is just way more fun -fact! I put it down to the fact it’s bright when you wake up… you’re more likely to want to be up and about when the sun is shining. Of course this means making breafast a little more interesting. Porridge, as much as I have a love/ hate relationship with it, keeps me going during the colder months.

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Strawberries With Homemade Granola, Honey and Yoghurt

One of my favourite ways to serve homemade granola is with some fresh strawberries,  some natural yoghurt and a nice drizzle of honey. Add whatever nuts,  seeds, or dried fruit you like…

Makes enough for 6-8 servings
250g/9oz jumbo oats
100g/4oz of pumpkin seeds
125g/41⁄2oz raisins
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1⁄4 teaspoon of salt

Combine all the dry ingredients apart from the raisins in a large mixing bowl, drizzle over the maple syrup and mix through. Empty the contents onto a large baking tray and spread out evenly.

Toast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 180°C/350°/Gas Mark 4, but keep an eye on it as ovens vary – you are looking for the oats to just turn a light golden brown. Give them a mix halfway through the cooking time and add in the raisins. Allow to cool before you transfer to an airtight container. The granola should last up to two weeks, if you don’t eat it all before then!

Serve with some organic yoghurt, strawberries and a drizzle of honey.

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The Morning After The Night Before… Well Actually The Afternoon!

Last night saw the official launch of Kitchen Hero book and TV series at Solas in Dublin!  We had a really great turn out and everyone got a taste of some of the recipes from the book and more importantly a highly exclusive glimpse of the brand new TV series before it airs on Monday!  OMG MONDAY THAT’S ONLY 4 DAYS AWAY!  EXCITED ME? Just a little! In case you hadn’t noticed.

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Scrambled Eggs with Goat’s Cheese and Rocket

A recent trip to NYC provided me with the inspiration for this little  beauty of a breakfast.  We snaffled one of these in an organic  restaurant just below the Brooklyn Bridge,  sitting elbow to elbow with a crowd of skinny-jeaned espresso drinkers.  My everyday breakfast tends to be scrambled eggs, so I was happy to try  something a little different.  Although not exactly  groundbreaking, the simple addition of rocket and goat’s cheese makes  these eggs served on a croissant a fantastic lazy breakfast treat.

Serves 2
2 large croissants
2 handfuls rocket leaves
4 large free-range eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp butter
90g goat’s cheese
A few chives, snipped with a scissors, to serve

Slice open the croissants and fill with a generous amount of rocket leaves. Set aside.

In a small non-stick saucepan with a handle, whisk the eggs together until combined. Place the saucepan over a medium-low heat and, using a wooden spoon, slowly pull the eggs towards the centre. Keep the mixture moving until you have really creamy scrambled eggs. Make sure not to overcook the eggs — take them off the heat while they are still slightly runny and creamy.

Season with sea salt and black pepper and stir through the butter and goat’s cheese. Serve in the open croissants with an extra sprinkle of black pepper and a few snips of chives.

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Breakfast of Champions!

I don’t know about you but it seems that everyone I talk to at the moment is on a healthy eating buzz and I for one am more than happy jump on board.  When I was in first started blogging it was all about healthy eating because that was what I was doing at the time, you may have noticed that has changed lately with the ridiculous amounts of cakes and baking recipes on the website.  That being said I am a big believer in keeping a balance between indulging and having a nice healthy diet.

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Frozen Fruit Smoothie

This smoothie recipe is the perfect pick-me-up for any sleepy head. It has the ideal combination of sharp and sweet and provides the ice-cold hit that could wake anybody up. Don’t be tempted to add sugar or any extra sweetness, as the banana and apple juice will balance out any sharpness from the berries.

Serves 2
100g frozen berries
1 banana, peeled and broken into chunky pieces
Apple juice, not from concentrate

Allow the berries to thaw slightly before putting them into a high-sided container with the banana.

Fill the container with apple juice up to the level of the banana, then blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

Serve in a glass with some ice.


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Big Breakfast For A Big Week!

The excitement is definitely building at Chez Donal ahead of the show airing next week!  It’s been a long time coming so it feels so weird to think that very first episode airs on Monday night.  For the last few days we have had some of Sofie’s family over to stay so things have been fairly manic juggling entertaining, work, and a 2 day whirlwind trip to the south west of Ireland.  I tried to pick some nice little stops along the drive from Cork through to Killarney.  We had some really beautiful meals at The Fish Kitchen in Bantry Bay, Café Paradiso in Cork, and in particular and the real revelation for me was Chapter 40 in Killarney.  I’m fairly picky about making sure we end up in a nice restaurant, but I hadn’t got a chance to pick a place for Killarney, so in the pouring rain we stumbled fairly bedraggled into Chapter 40 where we had a really fantastic meal.  It was top quality food with really fantastic flavours, for really decent prices. If you are down that way soon make sure to give it a try!

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