Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Pan fried Scallops with Savoy cabbage & fennel. Food in a flash

Isn't it strange how we have amazing seafood in this island and yet we don't eat a lot of fish. Furthermore good fishmongers selling fresh fish are a rare breed and rather hard to find. Gone are the days when you could pop into Molloy's off Grafton street or Sawyer's on Baggot street and pick up some fresh catch. Recently on a trip to Howth , I purchased some mighty and very fresh Scallops and couldn't wait to get home and cook them. Scallops are highly regarded and expensive and should be eaten as soon as possible after buying. If they are still in their shells, open them by separating the shells with a knife or by putting in a hot oven. The edible part is the round white muscle and the orange roe, called coral.The frilly gills and mantle should be removed and can be used for soups and stock.
The best way to cook Scallops is on the pan, but they can also be steamed, grilled, poached or eaten raw in a Ceviche. Here I seared them  in a hot pan but cooking should always be brief so the Scallops stay sweet and juicy.
This delicious dish will be on the table in 15 mins and better still, it's all prepared in one pan, so there's hardly any washing up. And if you are not watching your intake of calories,this dish tastes delicious served with warm crusty bread.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Creme Caramel

Now that Summer is finally here, when berries and fresh fruits are bountiful and the children on holidays, every Mum in the land is being asked to bake a Pavlova. Everyone's happy, as there is nothing easier to whip up a meringue base, slather on some whipped cream, mixture of fruits and a dusting of icing sugar. But most of the time, we are left to look at all the egg yolks and wonder what to do with them. Ice cream is a firm favourite but not everyone has an ice cream maker. Don't panic , here is a simple ,very easy recipe and guaranteed to please everyone. A french classic set cream infused with vanilla & caramel.
This dessert also makes a great finish to any dinner party and for that something special try infusing the milk with Orange peel, bay leaf and Stroh rum. Stroh rum is a mighty Austrian rum, it has a distinctive caramel flavour that lends itself so well to this dessert. You will need ramekins to make individual portions.
This dessert always brings to me memories of yester years and nostalgia, It reminds me of the kitchen of my mother and before that of my grandmother. It's like being back at home.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Leek & Stilton tart .... Savoury for any time, from brunch to supper

With the holiday season upon us,when the kids are at home with their posse of friends all hanging around your kitchen,and without doubt working their way through your fridge,This is the time to draw boundaries and find some recipes that are just for your taste buds. Yes, time to be a little bit selfish, for let's face it, while we love them dearly, they tend to take over our lives. Hence, it is always nice to have something simple and light,at hand to fill that little peckish gap before moving on to yet another car ride to the cricket, football or rugby club or is it all three !!! more or less at the same time and in locations scattered across the city or God forbid , during this melee, unexpected guests or distant cousins & aunts turning up unannounced....with yet more Kids !!!!
Here is a quick ,easy yet delicious tart to prepare and it will take you from brunch to supper. As most kids don't like Stilton or blue cheese of any sort, you are perfectly safe that it will be all yours.
Ditch the apron, put your feet up, relax and enjoy.