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  • Max couldn't get enough of the water this morning! Half the beach is now in our hall! :) #maxthedog #howth #ireland
  • Having just spent the whole morning here! Such a beautiful day out there- great sunshine! Happy Sunday folks! :) #howth #ireland
  • Nutella cheesecake squares! New recipe video on my youtube channel feat. Romina from @thechiappas! Head over and subscribe! :)
  • Called in to my grandparents this morning- Caught my granny in the middle of making Irish soda bread...
  • Mega fudge chocolate cupcake kinda day? Tag a friend who would like one! :)
  • My ice bucket challenge! Check out the full video on youtube! :) DONATE by texting MND to 50300 x
  • What a morning out there! Nearly the WEEKEND! Woohoo- have a great day everyone! :) #ireland #howth
  • Horrible day out there but guess doesn't care! WALK! :) #maxthedog
  • Have seriously missed hanging out with this little fella! So good to be back home! :) #maxthedog
  • My favourite recipe from filming today: these tasty Thai Fishcakes- incredibly easy to make and bloomin delish to boot! :) #thailand #streetfood #love
  • Beer batter fish and crispy hasselback potatoes on set today! Coming to my youtube channel soon- hands up who wants some! :)
  • Gone fishing... #howth #ireland
  • Properly epic morning out there! Happy weekend folks! :) #ireland #howth
  • Tandoori chicken using bloody brilliant spices from @greensaffron served with aged basmati rice! Loving being back in my kitchen! :)
  • Oh boy! It is good to be home! #ireland #howth #love
  • Beer and candied bacon cookies! Sounds a bit mad but so delicious! :) #bacon #cookies
  • Spent the afternoon cooking in @jamieoliver's kitchen with Jonny from the Craft @beerchannel! Don't worry Jamie we didn't make too much mess! :)
  • I am in cheesecake heaven! Check out @eric_lanlard's epic red velvet cheesecake! :) #love
  • Beautiful banoffee cake made under the watchful eye of @eric_lanlard this morn! Tough life for the crew @mrtomreader @toraldavda @ryburnham @beccabroadhurst who are tucking in! :)
  • End of filming present from the crew! Basically because I have been late every day and also because I love penguins! :)
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Västerbottenost and Chanterelle Mushroom Tart

This recipe makes a wonderful Autumnal tart which can be adapted to use any type of mushrooms or cheese you can get your hands on. While I suggest västerbottenost a cheese common in Sweden, you could use a good Irish blue cheese or cheddar. There are lots of varieties of mushrooms you can get your hands on in most good food shops, so experiment with them, this tart is a lovely way to show them off.

Makes enough for 6-8 portions
For the pastry:

125g butter, cold and cut into pieces
225g plain flour
1 tbsp water

For the filling:
200g of chanterelle mushrooms (or any mushrooms you can find)
150g grated Västerbottensost (or Gruyere Cheese)
3 eggs
200 ml double cream
A pinch sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/Gas 7.

Using your finger tips combine the flour and butter in a bowl until you are left with rough bread crumbs. Add in the water and bring the dough together. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.

While the pastry rests, place a large frying pan over a medium high heat and add in a knob of butter. Fry the mushrooms until any moisture has disappeared and they are tender and have a nice colour. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Roll out the pastry until about 1/2cm thickness and use it to line a pie dish with a removable base. Prick the base with a fork and place in the oven for about 10 minutes until light and golden.

While the pastry blind bakes, mix together the eggs and cream, whisking to combine. Stir in the cheese and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Place the cooked mushrooms on the base of the pastry and then pour the cheese mixture over and bake for about 20 min or until the pie filling is set.

Allow to cool and serve in generous slices.

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Irish Blue Cheese Burgers with Soda Bread Baps

I love that these burgers have a bit of an Irish twist, the homemade soda bread buns are full of flavour and far healthier than those air filled sweet ones you buy in the shops. The blue cheese is a wonderful addition here too and make sure to pick some wonderful Irish blue cheese for your burgers.

Serves 6
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
500g of Irish beef mince
1 heaped teaspoon of Dijon
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
1 large free range egg
A small handful of dry breadcrumbs
Sea salt and ground black pepper
60g of Cashel, Bellingham or Boyne Valley Blue Cheese
2 baby gem lettuce, broken into leaves
2 large tomatoes, in slices

For the soda bread baps:
200g of wholemeal flour
250g strong white flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 large free range egg
350ml buttermilk
2 tablespoons of rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 200˚C and dust a large baking sheet with flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine together the flours and bicarbonate of soda and make a well.

Measure the butter milk into a pyrex jug and then crack in the egg, whisk to combine.

Pour the mix into the well and then using a wooden spoon, bring the mix together with the dry ingredients until you have a dough.

Form six little palm sized buns and place on the baking sheet and sprinkle with rolled oats.  Transfer to the oven for 40 minutes.

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

For the burgers, fry the red onion in a frying pan with a little oil over a high heat to start and then lower it once it gets a little colour and then cook gently for about 8 minutes until softed right down.  Set aside to cool completely.

Combine in a large mixing bowl the beef, mustard, worcestershire sauce, egg, breadcrumbs, cooled onions and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Form the meat mixture into 6 burger patties and place on a plate, cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge until you are ready to fry them.

To cook the burgers, place a large frying pan over high heat and add a little oil.  Fry the burgers for 4-5 minutes either side until they are cooked all the way through.  When you turn the burgers on the pan, add a slice of blue cheese to each one.

To serve, split the soda bread baps and fill with baby gem lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, the burgers and a good dollop of ketchup!

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Leftover Ham and Cheese Caramelised Onion Tart

This tart is not only delicious but also makes the most of leftover ham and cheese.  The true highlight of dish however is the caramelised red onions.

Serves 6-8
225g (8oz) Plain flour, Plus extra for dusting
a Pinch of Salt
125g (41/2oz) Cold Butter, Cut into Pieces
green Salad, to Serve

Filling
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large red onions, peeled, halved and sliced into half moons
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black pepper
3 large eggs
300ml (101/2fl oz) double Cream
150g (5oz) of leftover cheese, chopped up or crumbled
200g of leftover ham, chopped
a few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only

Equipment
A 28cm (11in) quiche tin with removable base

To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onions and gently fry for 10–15 minutes until soft and caramelised.

Season with salt and black pepper then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. This can be done well ahead of time.

To make the pastry, place the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles rough breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle over 1–2 tablespoons of water and bring the dough together to form a ball.

Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4 and place a baking tray on the middle shelf.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and use to line the quiche tin. Prick the base with a fork and place on the baking tray in the oven for about 15 minutes until light and golden.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together until combined. Arrange the caramelised onions on the base of the pastry case, scatter over the crumbled cheese, ham and thyme leaves and season with salt and ground black pepper.

Gently pour the egg and cream mixture into the pastry case and bake in the oven for about 30–35 minutes or until the filling is set. Allow to cool then serve in generous slices with a green salad.

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Mega Turkey and Brie, Cranberry Chutney, Grilled Sambos

TurkeySandwich

You can’t beat a grilled cheese sandwich, except at Christmas! Make this with leftover turkey, brie and cranberry relish and you will have on your hands the ultimate leftover sandwich!

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Blue Cheese Soufflés

These make a very elegant Christmas starter and are quite easy to prepare. You can make these ahead of time and they will puff up again when you place them back in the oven.

Serves 6 individual portions
160g of blue cheese
40g self raising flour
40g of butter
340ml of milk
3 large eggs, separated
1 small onion cut in half
1 bay leaf
3 black pepper corns
A pinch of grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour 6 ramekins.

Pour the milk into a small pot and add the onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and grated nutmeg. Bring to a steady simmer slowly, then remove from the heat and strain into a pyrex jug.

Melt butter, in a small pot and add the flour to make a roux, whisking until it’s comined. Slowly add the warm milk until you have added it all and are left with a thick white sauce.

Transfer the sauce to a mixing bowl. Then whisk in the egg yolks and 3/4 of the cheese. Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy and forming soft peaks.
Divide the mixture amongst the ramekins and place in roasting tin.

Pour boiling water around the base of the ramekins and place in the oven for 15 minutes until risen.
Serve straight away in the ramekins or allow to cool slightly and remove from the ramekins and place on a lined baking sheet.

At this point you can keep the ramekins to serve the following day if you wish.  Just add a sprinkle of extra blue cheese and place in the oven to puff to puff back up!

Serve with a crisp winter salad!

Continue reading >>

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup

This recipe makes a highly nutritious soup which is taken to another level with the addition of good cheddar cheese. Try and get your hands on some good quality cheese for this one as it will make all the difference to the taste of the soup.

Serves 4

a good knob of butter

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1 large head of broccoli, broken into florets

1l vegetable stock

100g cheddar cheese, grated

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Add the butter to a medium pot over a medium heat until it begins to foam.

Add in the onion, garlic and potato and fry gently until the onion is soft. Add in the broccoli and stir through.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. You check this by piercing it with a fork.

Take the pot off the heat and, using a hand blender, blitz until smooth. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and stir through half the cheddar cheese and taste.

Serve the soup in deep bowls with crusty bread and an extra sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

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Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Soup

Cauliflower soup has such a simple and pure flavour and the addition of blue cheese here really pumps up the volume and makes this soup sing.

Serves 6
A good knob of butter
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large potato, diced
1 large head of cauliflower
1 1/2 litres vegetable stock
75g of local blue cheese, crumbled
60ml of double cream

Add the butter to a medium pot over a medium heat until it begins to foam.

Add the shallots, thyme and potato and fry until the shallots are soft. Add in the cauliflower and toss through.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork.

Take the soup off the heat and, using a hand blender, blitz until smooth. If you find the soup is too thick just add boiling water until you have the right consistency.

Season with sea salt and black pepper and stir through the cream and half the cheese. Taste the soup to ensure you have the seasoning correct.

Serve in deep bowls with crusty bread and top with an extra sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese.

Continue reading >>

Tune in to Four Live on RTÉ today!

I’ll be cooking up a tasty pasta dish using some fantastic Irish cheese.  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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Veggie Kebabs with Vegan Pesto Sauce

BBQs are an Australian national obsession and most Australians would have a signature BBQ recipe. Veggie Kebabs would have to be my ‘go to’ recipe if I am ever hosting or am invited to BBQ. Traditional Pesto is not technically vegetarian because of the Parmesan cheese so this pesto sauce has all the flavor that you love from pesto but keeps the vegetarians happy.

Veggie Kebabs
Serves 2
large aubergine
large courgette
16 cherry tomatoes
red pepper
yellow pepper
250g packet of halloumi cheese
8 kebab sticks

Vegan Pesto Sauce
1 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup water
salt and pepper

Veggie Kebabs
If you are using wooden kebab sticks soak them in water for at least an hour. Chop the halloumi cheese into 3cm squares. Slice the vegetables into 1cm slices.

Slide the vegetables and cheese onto the kebab sticks in a regular pattern. Repeat the pattern on each of the kebabs so they appear uniform.

Lay the kebabs on a hot griddle or BBQ. Turn the kebabs to grill each of the sides for a couple of minutes each. The kebabs are cooked when the vegetables are soft.

Vegan Pesto Sauce
Add all the ingredients to a large jug and puree with a hand blender. Drizzle the sauce over the kebabs just before you serve them.

Continue reading >>

Zesty Brocolli and Goats Cheese Orecchiette

This makes the perfect midweek supper, which can be easily thrown together with a few simple ingredients.

Serves 4
300g of orecchiette or other small pasta pieces
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
Zest of 1 lemon
1-2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
150g of goats cheese
A good glug of extra virgin olive oil to serve
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and drop the broccoli florets in. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender, then remove from the pot and refresh in a bowl filled with ice cold water.

Bring the pot of water back to the boil, add in the orecchiette and cook according to the instructions on the pack or for about 12-15 minutes, until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, add a good drop of olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the chilli flakes and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Drain the broccoli and then add it the pan, tossing to combine.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and place it back in the pot. Toss through the broccoli, chilli and garlic and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Then add the lemon zest and crumble in the goats cheese.

Gently fold the goats cheese in so that it doesn’t break up and melt completely.

Serve the pasta straight away with a final generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Sweet Potato and Halloumi Salad

Barbecues do not just have to be for meat. This recipe is a great example of a delicious salad that can be partly cooked on a hot grill. It’s packed with punchy flavours that will leave you wanting more.

Serves 4
2 large sweet potatoes, sliced into 1cm pieces
400g halloumi cheese, sliced into 1cm pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 red chillis, finely sliced
Ground black pepper
1 small handful mixed salad leaves per person

For the dressing
Handful fresh basil, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
 

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Place the sweet potato and halloumi slices on a large plate and then drizzle with olive oil and scatter with the garlic and chilli. Season with ground black pepper.

Toss each slice in oil so it’s coated and then place on a medium-high heat on the barbecue. Cook the halloumi until it has golden brown score marks, then turn to cook the other side. Cook the sweet potato until charred and tender when pressed with tongs.

Assemble the salad by tossing the salad leaves in the dressing and placing a handful on each plate. Top with the slices of halloumi and sweet potato and serve with a little extra drizzle of the dressing.

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