Donal Skehan

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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7 brilliant pancake recipes…

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With pancake pandaemonium about to hit, it’s time to get the whisks out! If you don’t know what Pancake Tuesday is, you’re in for a treat. Also known as Shrove Tuesday, every year before Lent kicked in, it was a tradition to use up all the ingredients that were off limits during Lent like fat, butter, sugar and eggs and lucky for us, they are just the ingredients you need for pancakes! Nowadays it’s more of an excuse to pile up your plate with pancakes for breakfast lunch and dinner but I am totally on board with that!

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Whether you like your pancakes with a simple squeeze of lemon and sugar or like to go throw every topping imaginable into the mix, this batter will work great either way. In this recipe I have included three of my all time favourite toppings, Strawberries & Cream, Nutella & Fresh Berries and Caramelised Bananas with Dark Chocolate so give them a try and see which is your favourite. As well as this basic recipe, I have done a round up of some of my all time favourite pancake recipes as well as a video recipe playlist, so be sure to check them out below also! Happy Flipping!

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 - PANCAKE RECIPES-

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Pancakes Three Ways

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The best thing about a great pancake batter is recipe is that once you have perfected it, you can change and adapt it with all your favourite flavours and toppings. You can easily make this batter the night before to save time in the morning. Have a little melted butter in a bowl and some kitchen paper so you can wipe the pan before adding a ladle of the batter.

Basic Pancake Batter
Makes 12-14 pancakes

110g of plain flour
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
200ml of milk
75ml of water
2 tablespoons of melted butter

Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and with a spoon make a well in the center.  Break the eggs into the well and using a whisk slowly incorporate them with the flour.  Don’t worry too much about lumps as they should disappear when you add the rest of the liquid.  Gradually add the milk and water until you have a light batter.

Heat a little butter in your frying pan over a hot heat, and add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the batter, stir through to combine.  Add a ladle full of the batter to the hot pan and move from side to side until it evenly covers the surface of the pan.  Reduce the heat and cook for about a minute each side or until the batter begins to take a nice golden colour.  Feel free to try your hand at flipping half way through! Serve straight away with your filling of choice. Alternatively you can cook all the batter off and save the pancakes for later.  Simply layer the crepes on top each other, cover with some cling film and store in the fridge.  They should heat up well in a microwave.

Toppings:

Nutella & Berries
Makes 1 portion
2 tbsp Nutella
handful of berries of your choice
Handful toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Spread the nutella over the warm pancake, pile on your favourite fresh berries and finish with a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Enjoy!

Strawberries & Cream filling
Makes 1 portion
6tbsp creme fraiche
1tsp icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp strawberry jam
handful of strawberries, sliced

Mix the creme fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla extract together and set aside. Spread the jam on to the pancake then dollop the creme fraiche mixture on top and sprinkle the strawberries over the mixture before rolling the pancake and tuck in!

Caramelised Bananas & Dark Chocolate
Makes 1 portion
3 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthways
2tbsp demerera sugar
knob of butter
100g dark chocolate, chopped
hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Coat the bananas in the sugar and set aside. Place the chocolate in a bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water and let it melt. In a fryingpan, fry the bananas on a medium heat in the butter until they have a nice colour on all sides. Spread the pancake with the melted chocolate, top with the bananas and sprinkle over the hazelnuts. Enjoy!

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Healthy Buckwheat Pancakes

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These super healthy pancakes are best made small, as if they are too large they are hard to flip. They are dairy-free and sugar free but still taste really good. (Recipe from David & Stephen Flynn’s The Happy Pear available on Amazon. )

Makes 15 Small Pancakes
120g Buckwheat flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
250ml rice milk
1⁄3 of ripe banana
4 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1⁄2 teaspoons tahini/peanut butter
oil for frying

Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until everything is smooth. Cover the base of a non-stick frying pan or skillet with the lightest coating of oil maginable – use a sheet of kitchen paper to mop up any extra (melted coconut oil is a good option). It’s just so that your pancake won’t stick to the pan.

Put the pan on a high heat and give it a few minutes to heat up. We want a nice hot pan. Drop in dollops of your pancake mixture and leave them to cook for 3–4 minutes on each side. You’ll know they’re done when they start to bubble a little and turn golden.

Some tasty serving ideas are to top with soya yoghurt, fresh fruit or fruit compote and honey, or simply a little lemon and honey. Or try a savoury pancake with hummus, roasted peppers and mixed leaves.

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Blueberry & Chia Seed Muffins…

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If you’re anything like me, you’ll be running out the door every morning trying to make it to a meeting or to the office on time. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet it’s the one that people skip the most. Not anymore! Healthy muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast on the go.

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These blueberry and chia seed muffins are packed with healthy ingredients, which will keep you going for any busy morning. I normally make them the night before and grab one or two just before I leave the house. The addition of the chia seeds give them an extra health boost as they are rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and are packed full of fibre! And all before you’re fully awake! 

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Eggs Benedict

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Eggs Benedict has to be one of my ultimate treat breakfasts. Runny poached eggs with salty crisp bacon on top of a soft toasted English muffin, all coated in a tangy rich Hollandaise sauce – true perfection!

Serves 2–4
6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
4 large eggs
2 English muffins, split and toasted
Butter, for the muffins
Small handful of chives, snipped

For the Hollandaise Sauce 
2 large egg yolks
150g butter, cold and cut into cubes
Juice of lemon

Cook the bacon under a hot grill until it is crisp. To make the hollandaise sauce, place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk the yolks and slowly add the butter, bit by bit after each one melts, whisking continuously until it is completely combined and the sauce has thickened. Add the lemon juice and stir through. Turn off the heat, but keep the sauce warm over the pan of water. To cook the eggs, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the salt and vinegar. Swirl the water with a tablespoon and then gently crack an egg into the centre. Cook the egg at a very gentle simmer for 3–4 minutes for the yolk to still be runny. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them in iced water to stop them cooking any further. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Just before serving, reheat the eggs in warm water for 1 minute.

Butter the muffi ns and assemble the eggs Benedict by placing a few slices of bacon and an egg on each half and then top with the warm hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle over the chives and serve straight away.

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Kedgeree

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This wonderful spiced rice and egg dish from colonial India makes for a rather different breakfast. Keep an eye out for undyed smoked haddock. Many fishmongers and supermarkets now stock it and the flavour is far superior.

Serves 2
1 tablespoon butter, plus a little extra
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
250g basmati rice, washed and drained
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
600ml chicken stock
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 small smoked haddock fillets, skinned
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 soft-boiled eggs, shelled and halved
Lemon wedges, to serve

Melt the butter in a high-sided saucepan over a medium heat until it is foaming and golden. Add the onion, reduce the heat and sweat gently for about 8 minutes until is has softened. Add the rice, garam masala and turmeric and cook gently, tossing until completely coated in the onion and butter for 2 minutes. Add the stock and stir through. Cover with a lid and allow to cook gently for 15 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.

About 5 minutes before the rice is cooked, stir in sea salt and ground black pepper as necessary and lay the haddock fillets over the top, dotting them with a little extra butter. Continue cooking with the lid on until the rice is tender, then gently fork the fish through the rice. Serve generous portions on warmed plates topped with parsley, soft-boiled eggs and wedges of lemon.

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Irish Omelette

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This might come as a surprise to some people, but I found this recipe in an eighteenth-century manuscript, spelt ‘amulet’ (maybe it was considered lucky to eat it), and it is extremely good and filling. Recipe from The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon.

Serves 2
4 eggs
250g black pudding, cut into rings
4 rashers smoked, streaky bacon, finely sliced
1 tablespoon butter
small handful of chives
8 baby potatoes, cooked and sliced into 1 cm discs
salt and pepper

Fry the bacon and black pudding in a pan and transfer to s separate plate when cooked. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and add in all of the ingredients. Bring the pan to a medium heat, add in butter and when butter has melted pour in egg mixture. Cook the bottom until golden, then put under a hot grill to finish the top. Season to taste and garnish with chopped chives. Originally the top was finished with a ‘brander’ which was a heated disc of metal, often used in conjunction with the girdle or griddle, for baking.

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Frozen Yoghurt Breakfast Ring

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Make breakfast memorable with this frozen ring of deliciousness, packed with yoghurt, berries and muesli to see you through the morning. Of course it can also be enjoyed at any time of the day. If you don’t have a suitable jelly mould, use a loaf or cake tin of the same volume (these alternatives need to be lined with cling film). Feel free to experiment with your favourite yoghurt flavours and fruits. (Recipe from Sharon Hearne Smith’s, No Bake Baking available on amazon.)

Serves 8
300g natural yoghurt
1 x 400g can condensed milk
300g frozen berries, such as fruits of the forest, strawberries or raspberries
200g granola, broken up if in clusters
125g fresh mixed berries
Small handful of fresh mint sprigs

Divide both the yoghurt and the condensed milk equally between two separate medium bowls and stir until well blended. Stir the frozen berries into one of the mixes and pour this into the mould, spreading it out evenly. Scatter the granola evenly on top and gently pour the second yoghurt mixture over it, levelling with the back of a spoon. Cover with the lid or cling film and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight, until frozen solid. Before serving, remove from the freezer and leave to stand for 5–10 minutes to soften a little.

Take the cover off and place a round cake stand or serving plate upside down on top. Turn both over together, allowing the ice-cream ring to drop onto the stand and lift off the mould to reveal it. Scatter with the fresh berries and mint sprigs to decorate and serve at once, cutting it into eight portions. Any leftover ice-cream ring should be frozen straight away. Store individual portions in lidded plastic tubs in the freezer, where they will keep happily for a few months to enjoy as you please.

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Brilliant Brunch Ideas…

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It has been a very busy few weeks filming my new TV series Donal’s Irish FEAST, all around Ireland and I have a whole separate blog post lined up to tell you about that.  Until then I wanted to check in and tell you that I’ve just passed the 30,000 subscriber mark on my new youtube channel! I am so delighted and it couldn’t have happened without you guys subscribing, liking and sharing my recipe videos, so I want to say a big thank you!

If you have missed any of my recent recipes, you can subscribe here to see them all but I thought I would round up my brand new brunch recipe videos as we are fast approaching the weekend. The first recipe is my Scrambled Egg and Goats Cheese Croissant. This is a quick and simple little breakfast but it’s taken to another level with the addition of goats cheese and rocket!  Bound to impress any weekend guest that happen to pop by to say hello.

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Blueberry and Walnut Muffins with Cinnamon Coffee

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The rapeseed oil gives these muffins a pale yellow hue, which is a pretty contrast with the blueberries. Use smaller cupcake cases for daintier versions.  Recipe from Catherine Fulvio-  The Weekend Chef

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