Archive for the ‘Recipe’ Category

Cooking for kids via

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

This week I’ve temporarily relocated to to write a quick piece on feeding kids and coming up with nutritious home-made alternatives to the type of food kids like.

First up is Home Made Chicken Nuggets. Quick and simple and very tasty. As the comment says it can also be adapted for more mature palettes with the addition of some herbs and/or spices. Read on …

Sweet and Sour Fried Onions

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Hard to beat the simple dishes like sausage, mash and onions. Here is a quick and simple way to tart up some fried onions.

Two onions
Two teaspoons balsamic vinegar
One tablespoon of honey
Olive oil

Fry the onion in some olive oil until golden. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey and cook on a low heat for three or four minutes.

Pesto Sauce

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

We’re still plodding our way through January (will it ever end?) and coming to terms with 2010 so I guess the first effort at making something this year should not be too taxing.

Home made Pesto sauce is quick, easy, and far better than any of that stuff in a jar. Tastes better and probably better for you. Once you know the basics add your own details e.g. a dash of Lemon, some different herbs and so on…

One (25g) pack of fresh Basil.
Half a clove of garlic, finely chopped
100g of finely grated Parmesan
A Handful of Pine Nuts
1/2 Teaspoon dried Coriander
Olive oil

Toast the pine nuts in a pan over a gentle heat, keep moving them around so they don’t burn. Add all the ingredients into your blender with a dash of olive oil. Blend down into a paste adding adding more oil as you go along if necessary, don’t add too much oil at the start, get a feel for how much you need as you go along.

When this is done cook some pasta, drain, add a knob of butter and stir in the pesto sauce. Buon appetito.

Roasted Red Onion with Bacon, Garlic and Herbs

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Roasted Onion

During the winter when our thoughts turn to roast dinners we rarely entertain the idea of including roast vegetables preferring instead to boil the arse out of our veg in a pot and consume them through a straw. Roasting veggies seems to be somewhat of a Mediterranean concept and one that seems yet to catch on elsewhere so lets get the ball rolling with some roasted onion. In its most basic form add a few whole onions to the tray next time you are doing a roast but you can also do them on their own with the recipe below. Steak and onions go together like … ehh whatever … but usually fried steak with fried onions. Roast beef with roast onion (and all the other trimmings) is a real treat.

Ingredients for one
One onion
One clove of garlic
One knob of butter
Two rashers of streaky bacon
1/2 Teaspoon dried Thyme

Slice the top and bottom off the onion and peel away the outer layer. Slice a deep “X” on the top and message in the butter, cover with the herbs and a loosely crushed (or quartered) clove of garlic. Wrap the bacon around the onion. If cooking the onions on their own then add another knob of butter to the roasting tray and roast at 180F for 90minutes. Alternatively add the onions in with whatever you’re roasting. Provided the temperature is not too high the longer the better, the onion and garlic should nice and mushy and sweet.

Homemade Stock

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Chicken Stock

Here’s a nifty follow-on from the home made stuffing a few weeks back and keeping with value theme. A roast chicken does great between the four of us and maybe some left over for a sandwich or two. However, throwing out the carcass felt like waste to me I looked up how to make stock from the bones. It’s easy: Some roughly chopped veg; some herbs; a lot of seasoning; the remains of last night’s chicken and some water.

I have found a single chicken makes about two pints of decent stock, any more water and it would end up too diluted.

Ingredients (Makes two pints)
1 Chicken carcass, anything left over.
3 Carrots, roughly sliced.
1 Large onion, peeled and sliced.
2 Sticks of celery, sliced.
1 Bouquet Garni (or any bunch of mixed herbs, thyme, sage, oregano etc)
Handful of fresh thyme (if you have it)
Plenty of salt and pepper. I usually add about a tablespoon of salt.
2 pints of boiling water.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, add the water so that it covers everything and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on a very, very, low heat for two hours, just enough to keep it ever so slightly moving. After 20mins or so the chicken should start to come apart, you can use a spoon to break it up so the flavours will mix better. Allow to cool, strain and decant. I measure out pints into freezer bags and freeze it for use in soups, risotto etc.

A Whole Lot of Stuffing

Monday, April 6th, 2009
Homemade Stuffing

Everybody likes stuffing, nothing better on a Sunday than a roast chicken and plenty of stuffing and in these dark days of economic depression anybody interested in saving a bit of money, in fact a lot of money relative to what it would cost you to buy, should really consider making their own. It’s dead easy, dead quick and a fraction of the cost.

This is Lemon, Thyme and Garlic stuffing but homemade stuffing can be flavored with anything, if you take the breadcrumbs, butter and onion as the base you can add whatever herbs and flavours you fancy.

Ingredients: (for 4)
Breadcrumbs from 5 slices of bread
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Handful of fresh thyme
150g butter
1 Onion finely sliced.
1 Clove of grlic finely chopped.
Salt & Pepper
Dash of olive oil

Melt the butter in Olive Oil on a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and herbs and cook gently for 2mins. Add the onion and cook for another three or four minutes. Add in the breadcrumbs and remove from the heat. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste.

Yassi’s Lemon Spuds

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Lemon Spuds

As messy-chef is proud to serve and because JD asked nicely then it’s time to post the Lemon Spuds I mentioned in the post about SuperValu doing cheap chicken (pun intended). It’s actually Yassi’s recipe, not mine, so I’ll give her the credit.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Ingredients: (for 2)
5 or 6 potatoes cut into wedges or cubes.
Juice of two lemons
Rind of half a lemon
2 Teaspoons of Thyme
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
6 cloves of Garlic, peeled and cut in two
1 Onion sliced.
1 glass of water

Combine all the ingredients in a dish and mix well. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and bake in the over at 180C for 90mins or until the potatoes are cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on how think the potatoes are cut.

Parma Ham, Goats Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Salad

Thursday, February 5th, 2009
Parma Ham, Goat's Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Salad

Feb 5th 2009: I’ve updated this to include the wine recommendation below. Apologies for the rehash of an old post but I thought Lar had a great idea to match wines with recipes from different food blogs. It’s a fun way to navigate the different food blogs out there.

Jan 14th 2009: Work has been a bit mental since the new year so I’ve been short on blog time. Aside from trying to figure out how best to cook roast beef I’ve also been pretty short on cook time. The roast beef results will follow, I finally nailed the Yorkshire puddings which is a post and a series of photos in itself, but for now here’s a salad you can fling together in a matter of seconds. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated to be good. AdiĆ³s muchachos, vaya con Dios.

Ingredients (for two)
1 Bag of Supermarket mixed leaves
10 fresh sun-dried tomato segments.
6 slices of Parma Ham
1 small pack of crumbly goats cheese. Cabridoux is widely available in Irish supermarkets, anything really, doesn’t even have to be goat’s cheese.
Extra virgin olive oil or Balsamic vinegar

Place a pile of leaves on each plate. Arrange the sun dried tomato segments around the outside. Tear up the Parma Ham and add onto the leaves. Crumble the cheese on top. Sprinkle with a little olive oil or Balsamic vinegar. Serve with crusty bread etc.

For a wine to go with this check out this post from, excellent idea Lar and thanks!

2008 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc

That’s all

Quick Chicken Curry

Monday, February 2nd, 2009
Quick Chicken Curry

We go through phases at home where we cook a lot of curries and then don’t do any for ages. Maybe its time to get back into it while the weather is still nice and cold. Here is a curry recipe I learned from a friend a few months back. It takes about 5mins to prep.

Ingredients: (for 2)
2 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces.
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 1/2tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp mango chutney
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 fresh chilli chopped.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, add chicken and marinade. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the marinaded chicken pieces. Add extra marinade and water to loosen if needed.

Make your own Big Mac with Todd Wilbur

Monday, January 26th, 2009
2007 Todd Wilbur

I happend accross a chef called Todd Wilbur at the weekend. Apparently Todd, based in Las Vegas, has sold a couple of million recipe books on how to clone food from chains such as McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and KFC. He used his lab (kitchen) to reverse-engineer things like Twinkies and Big Macs, once he finds out what they are made from he reproduces them. Simple huh? I have never tried any of his stuff or read any of his books but he’s a pretty entertaining cook and has screen presence.

Here is his take on the Big Mac. If you were to get this right your kids would either love your ability to produce McDonald’s food on tap, or they’ll resent you for depriving them of their treats in life. Some things are about more than just the raw ingredients, the first step are the burgers and a year later you’re sending your kids to school in home made Nikes. Where does end? Interesting character none the less, take a look.

If you try it, the burgers not the shoes, let me know how it turns out.