Donal Skehan
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  • Happy Halloween!!! What are cooking today? Lots of Halloween recipes up on my blog including these creepy chocolate eyeballs! 🎃👻
  • Myself and @JohnTorode1 are back with a brand new series of #JuniorMasterChef kicking off on the 10th of November on CBBC! Lots of a brilliant young cooks showcasing their cooking skills! :)
  • Sweet and savoury sticky rice dumplings: sweet green bean paste coated in sesame seeds and aromatic pork mince- deep fried until crisp and bloomin delish! #donalvietnam
  • Last lunch in Vietnam- delicious Bun Cha- a feast of chargrilled pork, rice vermicelli noodles, lots off fresh herbs with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce! Will so miss the street food here! #donalvietnam
  • Have met a load of lovely people who have been watching my youtube channel here in Vietnam! So cool! Xin Chao! #DonalVietnam
  • Met some crazy #GrandmasBoy fans today in Hanoi! So excited to hear it's been showing here in Vietnam! #DonalVietnam
  • Very excited to be filming at this brilliant little street food market tomorrow for lunch in Hanoi! #DonalVietnam
  • I have yet to meet a film crew who trust me behind the wheel so here I am with my buddy TT biking around Hanoi! Better him than me the traffic is nuts here! :) #DonalVietnam
  • Was up at 3.30am this morning to catch these Vietnamese ladies harvest young green rice- a delicacy in Hanoi at this time of year! Here they are using a machine to separate the rice from the stems... #DonalVietnam
  • Egg coffee for breakfast in Hanoi! Sounds very strange but a combination of egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, butter and laughing cow cheese is whisked until fluffy and thick and served with hot coffee! Incredible rich taste- like a liquid tiramisu! #DonalVietnam
  • Filmed at one of Hanoi's oldest and most famous restaurants today, Cha Ca La Vong, where they have been serving the same one dish for over 100 years- turmeric fish which is marinated for 12 hours with galangal and fish sauce then threaded onto bamboo skewers and chargrilled over hot coals- the fish pieces are then fried in shallot oil and served to the table on a hot plate where diners mix in dill and spring onions and serve over rice vermicelli noodles with peanuts, coriander, chilli and shrimp paste. Hugely popular here and I can see why! #DonalVietnam
  • Street food at the bustling market in Sapa- this lady was selling spicy pigs ear salad... #DonalVietnam
  • Morning market shopping in Sapa! On the way to Hanoi... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ Pork with ginger, turmeric, mint and toasted sesame seeds... #DonalVietnam
  • Just can't get over the stunning scenery here! Not bad for a Tuesday! #DonalVietnam
  • On the streets of Sapa making apple wine with apples grown by the Hmong tribe... #DonalVietnam
  • Sad to say goodbye to our fantastic Red Dao hosts for the past three days... Heading to Hanoi tomorrow to focus on street food! #DonalVietnam
  • The incredible dry store at the top of a Red Dao tribe house- here they store corn, rice and pumpkins through the winter. The kitchen is just underneath so the heat and smoke helps to dry the produce out... #DonalVietnam
  • Brilliant few days filming with the Red Dao tribe just outside Sapa! #DonalVietnam with @jonnyrocksville @lenocks...
  • Best experience of the day- a traditional herbal bath with herbs picked from the mountain and steeped in boiling water! It is used to soak the muscles after a hard day in the rice paddies! Nothing like taking a bath with a big group of strangers watching! :) #DonalVietnam
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Mediterranean Mackerel with a Tomato Panzanella Salad

Mackerel instantly reminds me of eating outside in the summer at BBQ’s on Ireland’s Eye with my grandad and all my cousins. Fried or BBQ’d with meditteranean flavours it goes beautifully with an Italian panzanella salad, which is packed with great tastes and textures.

Serves 4
4 Mackerel Fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 loaf of ciabatta bread, torn into rough pieces
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
150g of sunblush tomatoes
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A good handful of basil, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

Toss the bread chunks in a roasting tray with a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and then place in the oven until toasted and golden for about 8 minutes.  Give them a good toss half way through.  Remove from the oven and feed with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

In a large bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic and then add in the onion, cherry tomatoes, sunblush tomatoes, toasted bread and toss until completely coated.  Leave to soak up the dressing while you get on with the fish.

Place the mackerel on a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and a little of the dried oregano.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat and then place the mackerel flesh side down for 2-3 minutes, then turn over squeeze over lemon juice and cook for further 2-3 minutes.

Serve straight away alongside the panzanella salad.


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Simple Mackerel Fillets with Chilli, Garlic and Lemon

I grew up on mackerel! It was and still is one of the easiest fish to catch just off Howth head. I have some of the most amazing childhood memories of sunny mackerel filled summers with my granddad Do on his boat, where my cousins and I would be busy racing to pull in rods with heavy lines, fish on each hook, while my granddad would gut them and fillet them like the pro he was, belly laughing at the fact that we were all to squeamish to take them off the lines ourselves. For me, mackerel dishes always have to be simple with really fresh flavours, and I love this quick and simple lunch which has a great kick of heat thanks to the chilli. People get a bit worried when it comes to cooking fish, but go to the fishmongers and ask them to do all the hard work and you will be left really lovely fillets of fish which are no more complicated to cook than pan frying a chicken breast!

Serves 4
4-6 mackerel fillets
2 red chillies, finely chopped with the seeds removed
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
A good drizzle of olive oil
A good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper

Place the mackerel fillets on a large plate and drizzle with olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.  Don’t use all the lemon juice here, as it’s nice to give the fish an extra squeeze of lemon while it cooks and then at the end to serve.

Sprinkle over the chilli and garlic and gently rub into the fish on both sides, turning to coat in the lemon and olive oil.

Season the fillets with sea salt and black pepper and cook on a hot, non stick griddle pan, over a high heat, for 2-3 minutes either side, depending on their size or until they are cooked through.  Halfway through the cooking time, give them another splash of lemon juice.

Serve the mackerel fillets with a spicy tomato salsa or a fresh side salad for a really light and healthy lunch!

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BBQ Mackerel with lemon and Smoked Sea Salt

There are so many things that you can do with fish on a barbecue, but sometimes its nice to keep things simple, a few herbs, maybe some garlic butter or just plain lemon and salt will bring the natural flavours alive. If you are freezing mackerel, freeze the same day you get it, make sure to use within 3 months, and defrost in the fridge. You may notice a change in the texture of the fish but it shouldn’t be too significant.

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