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  • Had such a brill time cooking with Mr. Gennaro Contaldo in London a few weeks ago- you can check out our collab videos on my youtube channel this morning! :)
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Brilliant Brunch Ideas…

Scrambled Egg Croissant

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

BLUEBERRY&WALNUTMUFFIN

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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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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