Donal Skehan

Honey and Cardamom Roast Carrot and Parsnips

Cardamom is a widely used spice in Sweden and is used quite a lotย  particularly in baking. Roast vegetables and cardamom are a wonderfulย  combination and with a little drizzle of honey these are the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas dinner.

Serves 6
4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 large parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of honey
sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200หšC.

Place the carrots and parsnips in a roasting tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes.ย  Remove from the oven, give a little shake and dot with little knobs of butter and drizzle with honey and sprinkle over the cardamom.

Place back in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until tender and caramelised.

Serve straight away.

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Thin-Crust Barbecue Pizza

This recipe creates a wonderfully thin, crisp yet chewy dough, which ticks all the boxes for me. I make my pizzas on the barbecue on a pizza stone, which you can pick up quite cheaply these days. The idea is to get the stone really hot and assemble your pizza on top.

Makes 3 Pizzas
255g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
tsp salt
1 x 7.5g sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
175ml/6fl oz tepid water
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling

To assemble
3 tbsps tomato sauce per pizza
175g/6oz grated mozzarella cheese

For the tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
red onion
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
glass red wine
2 tsps dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce:
Fry the garlic and red onion in the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat for about three minutes.

Add the tomatoes, red wine, oregano, sugar and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until you are left with a thick reduced tomato sauce. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

For the pizza:
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Whisk together the yeast, water and honey and allow to stand for a few minutes until frothy, then stir through the olive oil.

Make a well in the flour and pour in the wet mix. Using your fingertips, slowly bring the flour in from the sides and continue to mix until a rough dough forms.

Turn the dough out on a floured work surface and knead for about five minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little extra flour until it becomes smooth.

Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or clingfilm and set aside in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. Punch the dough down on a lightly floured surface, then knead again for a minute and place back in the bowl to rise for a further 10 minutes.

Pre-heat a pizza stone on a hot barbecue for about 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into three pieces and roll out into rounds as thinly as possible. Pop one of the bases on the pizza stone and spread the base with the tomato sauce, a sprinkling of mozzarella, some prosciutto slices and a little pesto.

Cover with a lid and bake the pizza on the barbecue for about eight minutes or until the cheese turns golden and the crust becomes crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.

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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,ย  some natural yoghurt and a nice drizzle of honey. Add whatever nuts,ย  seeds, or dried fruit you like…

Makes enough for 6-8 servings
250g/9oz jumbo oats
100g/4oz of pumpkin seeds
125g/41โ„2oz raisins
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1โ„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 180ยฐC/350ยฐ/Gas Mark 4, but keep an eye on it as ovens vary โ€“ 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 donโ€™t eat it all before then!

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

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Honey Chilli Prawn Skewers

Prawns can be a little daunting if you haven’t cooked them before but to be honest they literally take minutes under the grill and this really simple recipe transforms them into the perfect sweet and spicy party food! They can be tricky if you can’t get your hands on the prawns prepared, but don’t be put off if you can’t. Simply spend a few minutes removing the heads and peeling the outer shells, and they are ready to rock.

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Sticky Star Anise Honey Duck

One thing I love about Chinese cooking is the fantastic spices that are used, I remember first coming across star anise and thinking it was one of the coolest spices I had ever seen and that was before I had even tasted it! If you havenโ€™t used it before, donโ€™t be put off, itโ€™s really easy to use, just bash it in a pestle and mortar until you have a fine aromatic powder. The combination of ingredients in this recipe makes a wonderfully sticky and delicious dish.

Serves 2
1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of rice wine
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon of ground star anise
2 large duck breasts

In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, honey, rice wine, garlic and star anise.ย Toss the duck breasts in the marinade until completely coated, cover and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you have the time.

Place the duck on an oven tray and cook for about 25 minutes at 200oC/Gas Mark 6 or until cooked all the way through.ย  Make sure to baste the breasts with the juices during the cooking time.

When the duck is cooked, place the tray under a hot grill to caramelise the duck skin for 1-2 minutes.ย Cut into thin slices and serve with a drizzle of the juices.

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Sesame Honey Duck with Broccoli

With just a few simple ingredients this is an easy dish to create and is really tasty.

Serves 2 portions
1 head of brocolli chopped into florets
2 duck breasts
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
5 tablespoons of soya sauce
3 tablespoons of honey

In a small bowl, mix the soya sauce, sesame oil and the honey until combined.

Place two duck breasts in a small roasting tray and brush over half the soya honey marinade. Place in the oven at 200ยฐC for 25-30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of the cooking time brush over the rest of the soya honey marinade, sprinkle with half the sesame seeds and finish cooking.

When the duck is ready, remove from the roasting tray and allow to rest on a chopping board.ย Keep the roasting tray which should still be full of tasty duck flavours as this makes a great dressing for the broccoli, try to spoon off as much fat as possible.ย While the duck is cooking steam the broccoli for 4-5 minutes and remove from the heat.

Tumble the broccoli florets into the roasting tray and toss gently until they are completely coated.ย Slice the duck thinly and serve with the broccoli.ย  Sprinkle over some extra sesame seeds and enjoy!

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