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A Moroccan-inspired fish dish for mid-week. Some couscous and yoghurt on the side are good additions.

Wine Suggestion: this works well with Grenache Blanc and we’ve fallen in love with one from Terra Alta in the south of Catalonia made by Edetaria. As it’s mid-week, the basic and joyful “via Terra” Garnatxa Blanca with its perfume and balance af fresh and ripe fruit flavours is perfect.

Fish Tagine with Saffron & Almonds – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • a good pinch of saffron
  • 600ml hot fish stock or chicken stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ a green chilli, thinly sliced (keep the other half to serve)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • zest of 1 orange, juice of ½
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 700g white fish, cut into large chunks, we used hake
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • a handful of flaked almonds, toasted
  • ½ green chilli, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes to soften.

Meanwhile, put the saffron in the hot stock and leave to steep.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan and cook for another few minutes. Add the spices and tomato purée, stir for a few minutes until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, ground almonds, orange zest and juice, honey and saffron-stock. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Add the fish and nestle it well down into the sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked. Season to taste, then add the coriander and scatter with the toasted almonds. Scatter with the extra green chilli to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

We’ve had limited success with prawn cakes in the past, they often fall apart. These are grilled which makes things much easier and the peanut chilli sauce is amazing!

Wine Suggestion: these call for a vibrant, youthful white like Weingut Korrell’s Weißer Burgunder (Pinot Blanc) which was full of charming pear and apple flavours with a zesty citrus twist that complemented the limes and fish sauce a treat.

Prawn cakes with peanut chilli sauce – serves 4 as a starter

  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 3 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 small Thai shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, diced
  • 400g raw peeled prawns
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • chilled iceberg lettuce, to serve

FOR THE PEANUT CHILLI SAUCE:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml rice vinegar
  • 2 red chillies, diced
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, toasted, finely chopped
  • 2 small Thai shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Put the palm or brown sugar into a small frying pan with 1 tbsp of water. Mix together and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.

To make the peanut chilli sauce, boil the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until syrupy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely, then add the chilli, peanuts, shallot, fish sauce and coriander.

To make the cakes, put the ginger, coriander, shallot and chilli in a food processor and blend until fine. Add the prawns, lime zest and fish sauce and pulse until combined, keep it chunky. Season with plenty of black pepper.

Put a little oil on your hands, then form the prawn mixture into 16 flat cakes. Put in the fridge until ready to cook.

Preheat the grill. Brush both sides of the prawn cakes with a tiny bit of oil then put on a rack on top of a baking tray.

Grill the cakes for 1 minute, then brush the tops with the palm sugar syrup. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until opaque, there is no need to turn. Serve warm with the chilled lettuce leaves and peanut chilli sauce.

(Original recipe from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, 2018.)

We’ve been serving this salad from Ottolenghi Flavour with just about everything this summer. We were surprised at the amount of lemon but it works perfectly and produces a really zingy and fresh salad.

Cucumber, za’atar and lemon salad – serves 4

  • 3 lemons
  • 4½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1¼ tsp dried mint
  • 1½ tsp za’atar
  • 1 banana shallot, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 1½ green chillies, finely sliced into strips
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out, and cut at an angle into ½ cm thisk slices
  • 60g lamb’s lettuce
  • 10g dill, roughly chopped
  • 10g basil leaves
  • 5g mint leaves
  • salt

Squeeze 1-2 lemons to get 2½ tbsp of juice and put into a large salad bowl.

Cut 7 thin slices from another lemon. Discard the pips and pile the slices on top of each other. Remove and throw away half of the rind, then finely chop the slices inlcuding any remaining rind. Add this to the bowl along with the oil, dried mint, za’atar, shallots, green chillies, cucumber, and 1 tsp of salt.

Mix it all together really well, then add the lamb’s lettuce and all of the herbs, toss gently and serve.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2020.)

We’ve been cooking from a new book, Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thompson and Matt Williamson. Every summer we’re usually off camping in a tent in France but not this year unfortunately. Still, we’ve had some amazing Irish sunshine so we’re making a big effort to cook and eat outside as much as possible. These chops were lovely with some flatbreads warmed on the barbecue alongside a herby couscous, and a tomato and cucumber salad.

Wine Suggestion: A barbecue Cotes du Rhone red comes to the rescue here; medium weight with gentle, warming spices. Jean-Paul Daumen’s version in the glass tonight and we can almost picture us sipping this in France.

Lamb Chops with Cumin and Sumac with Tahini Sauce – serves 4

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chill flakes/aleppo chilli flakes/urfa chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 lamb cutlets
  • ½ lemon

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little salt
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice of ½ lemon

Mix the garlic, cumin, chilli flakes and half the sumac with the oil in a bowl. Season the chops with salt and pepper, then rub them all over with the spicy oil and put them in the fridge. You need to leave them for at least half an hour or longer if you can. Bring them back to room temperature before cooking.

To make the sauce, put the garlic and tahini in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and a splash of cold water, you want a smooth sauce with the consistency of double cream. Season to taste.

Heat a barbecue until very hot and cook the chops for a few minutes on each side or until nicely charred on the outside and however you like them in the middle. Grill the lemon half at the same time. Allow the chops to rest off the heat for a few minutes, then serve drizzled with the tahini and sprinkled with the rest of the sumac and a good squeeze of the barbecued lemon.

(Original crecipe from Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thompson & Matt Williamson,

Turkish Eggs

We loved these easy breakfast eggs, a nice change from scrambled or poached. You will want some nice toast on the side to mop it all up.

Turkish Eggs – serves 2

  • 50g butter
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 200g thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ½ a lemon, juiced
  • 2 eggs
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • a pinch of pul biber or chilli flakes

Melt the butter in a small pan with the sliced chilli, then set aside.

Whisk the yoghurt with the garlic, lemon juice and some seasoning, then divide between 2 shallow bowls.

Poach the eggs and set one on top of each bowl of yoghurt. Drizzle with the chilli butter and sprinkle over the coriander and pul biber.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Do try and find Italian sausages for this, they’re much meatier and richer. We buy a brand called Levoni. You can also use fresh tomatoes if you can find fantastic ones but otherwise we’d recommend a good-quality tin.

Wine Suggestion: This was made after an online wine tasting Jono was running which focussed on Grenache, so naturally we had to try them with this. The amazing Domaine de Cébène Ex Arena from Faugeres was our pick. Mostly old vine, low yeilding Grenache with a touch of Mourvedre, grown on sand. This is perfumed and complex with vitality and energy. The deep red berried fruit is both rounded and structured with a bass note of earthy black fruits and forest floor. Very elegant but also big enough to stand up to the meaty and rich pasta.

Fusilli with Sausage – serves 4

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 400g Italian sausages, skins removed
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • 400g dried fusilli pasta
  • grated pecorino, to serve

Gently warm the garlic and olive oil in a large pan, then crumble in the sausages. Turn the heat up and cook until they are no longer pink (as you would with mince).

Add the wine and bubble until evaporated, then add the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Add the mint and taste for seasoning, sausages can be quite salty so you might not need any.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just al dente in lots of very salty water.

Drain the pasta but keep a little cooking water in case you need to thin the sauce. Stir the pasta into the sausage sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Serve in warm bowls with pecorino sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from An A-Z of Pasta by Rachel Roddy, Fig Tree, 2021.)

These ribs are cooked in the oven before going on the barbecue so they are meltingly tender. They go great with some coleslaw and a jacket potato.

Drink suggestion: As this dish has a sweetness to it we looked to a lager with a bit of bitterness instead. Taking the recommendation by Justin from our local store (Sweeneys D3) of the Samuel Adams Boston Lager, this was deeply smooth and complex, with a well-balanced hoppy bitterness and clean, lingering finish. The hints of malt added a hint of sweetness which helped accentuate the pork flavours, so well suggested. A beer we’d overlooked for no apparent reason, but one we’ll revisit again.

Barbecued pork ribs – serves 4

  • 2 racks of baby back pork ribs, trimmed and sinew removed
  • 330ml can of beer

FOR THE SPICE RUB:

  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked paparika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp veg oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

FOR THE BARBECUE SAUCE:

  • 100ml American mustard
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

Mix the spice rub ingredients together in a bowl, then lay the ribs in a large roasting dish and massage all over with the rub.

Pour the can of beer into the roasing tin and cover with foil. Leave to marinate for an hour or so but make sure they’re back to room temperature before you start cooking.

Preheat your oven to 150C/130C fan, then put the roasting tin with the ribs in to bake for 2 hours. Leave to cool slightly.

Make the sauce by putting the mustard, honey, bourbon, cider vinegar and brown sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat and stir to melt the sugar. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.

When you’re ready to eat, put the ribs onto a hot barbecue and allow to colour for a couple of minutes on each side. Use a pastry brush to glaze the ribs with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. When the sugar starts to caramelise, brush them again and barbecue for another couple of minutes until thoroughly glazed.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking By Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

Macaroons

No, not those fancy French ones, but traditional, light and melt-in-the-mouth ones. They started disappearing from the cooling rack and didn’t last very long in the cake tin as they were very moreish.

Macaroons – makes at least 16 biscuits

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 8 blanched almonds
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 25g ground rice, or semolina
  • almond extract (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C / 130°Fan / Gas 2.

Line two baking trays with parchment.

Halve the blanched almonds and dip into the egg whites. Set these aside.

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold in the ground almonds, sugar, ground rice or semolina, and a few drops of almond essence if using.

Spoon teaspoon amounts onto the prepared baking sheets. Make circles but don’t flatten too much. Place the reserved almond halves onto the centre of each macaroon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and until a pale, golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the trays before lifting off with a palate knife and finishing on wire racks.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, BBC Books)

This is a nice simple marinade for chicken thighs, perfect for sunny evenings.

Wine Suggestion: A good match with a nice, dry Provençal rosé. Tonight, one Jono’s work has commissioned from Chateau Vignelaure, the “Ode to Joy Rosé”. The name is inspired by Beethoven’s famous symphony which was written to celebrate the end of war and desperation, but with the current pandemic dragging on and effecting all our lives also celebrating hope and better times ahead from this as well. We’ll happily celebrate this with this wine as it’s delicious and tastes of a joyful summer.

Herby lemon chicken thighs – serves 6

  • 12 boneless chicken thighs with the skin on
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Put the chicken thighs into a shallow dish, then add the olive oil, preserved lemon, garlic, herbs and lots of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to coat then cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Take out of the fridge for 15 minutes before cooking.

Cook on a hot barbecue for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Serve with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

We’re a bit nervous cooking chicken from raw on the barbecue but it’s fine so long as you take your time. You also need to cook the wings before you brush on the glaze. This is so they don’t burn on the outside before cooking all the way through.

Start a day ahead with the brine and you’ll have the perfect party dish for the barbecue. Oh, and you’ll need napkins.

Wine Suggestion: With such big, burly flavours on the glaze and in the spirit of a fun, messy dish we’d suggest a similar style of red wine to match. Zinfandel, Grenache or similar. Tonight Pikes Los Compañeros, a juicy, Shiraz-Tempranillo blend from the Clare Valley. Brambles and plums with a cool kick of spice on the finish. A new barbecue favourite.

BBQ Chicken Wings with Korean Glaze – serves 4-6

  • 20 large chicken wings, jointed in 2 (get your butcher to prep these for you)
  • 200g table salt
  • 2 litres of water
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 80ml rice vinegar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 50ml Sriracha hot sauce
  • 50ml tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp gochujang chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 20g butter

FOR GARNISH:

  • 2-3 scallions (green parts only), shredded
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

To make the brine, put the salt into a large bowl, then add the water and whisk until the salt disolves. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and chicken wings. Cover the bowl and leave overnight in the fridge.

When you’re ready to cook, remove the wings from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Make the glaze by putting all of the ingredients into a small pan and bringing to a simmer. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, then set aside until needed.

Put the chicken wings onto a hot barbecue and cook for 10-12 minutes or until browing on both sides. Now coat the chicken wings with the glaze using a pastry brush. Cook for another few minutes, turning, until slightly charred.

Put the chickin wings onto a large warm platter, then brush generously with extra glaze and rest for a minute before serving. Scatter over the shredded scallions and toasted sesame seeds and eat with your hands.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

We like to have soup for lunch but tend to get out of the habit in the summer months. This one is suitably summery and really captures the flavour of courgette.

Courgette and mint soup – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 6 courgettes, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 750ml veg stock
  • 150ml crème fraîche, plus a bit extra to serve
  • a small bunch of mint leaeves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then cook the onions withs ome salt for about 10 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes, then add the courgettes and cook gently for 20 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Whizz the soup until smooth, then stir in the crème fraîche and mint, then whizz again. Season.

Serve in warm bowls with some extra crème fraîche and mint leaves to garnish.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, June 2020.)

A summer day of torrential rain showers, so we retreat inside and cook this comfort food instead. We love barbecues but a nice change for today.

Don’t be afraid to get a good char on the aubergines when frying them, it really helps to flavour the chilli. We like to serve this with all of usual chilli sides – rice, coriander, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and grated cheddar cheese.

Wine Suggestion: A wet weather red wine with this … The Bee Side Grenache by Domaine of the Bee in Roussillon. Deeply coloured and full-bodied. This is, significantly, not heavy and has a real panache alongside refined, spicy tannins that suit this wet summer evening and our smoky aubergine chilli.

Smoky Aubergine Chilli – serves 4

  • 3 aubergines, diced (not too big)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tins kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • a small bunch of coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • sour cream or yoghurt
  • steamed rice

Toss the diced aubergines with 2 tbsp of the oil and plenty of salt in a large bowl.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the aubergine in batches for 4-5 minutes, it should be browned and charred. Scoop out onto a plate and set aside.

Add the other 2 tbsp of oil to the pan along with the onion and some salt, cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the peppers, spices and chipotle paste. Stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and a full tin of water.

Add the aubergines and beans, season well and simmer gently for 40 minutes until thickened.

Stir in the coriander and serve with lime wedges, yoghurt/sour cream, steamed rice and any of the other suggstions above.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, June 2021.)

This is good with some spicy barbecued chicken, it’s a bit like the celery sticks and blue cheese sauce you get with chicken wings.

Blue Cheese Slaw – serves 4 as a side

  • 75g hard blue cheese
  • 100g sour cream
  • 50g mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 4-6 celery sticks, shredded
  • 1 green pepper, finely sliced
  • ½ a red onion, finely sliced
  • a few chives, finely chopped

Crumble the blue into a large bowl. Stir in the sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard.

Season and add a squeeze of lemon juice. You can whizz until smooth if you like at this stage but we didn’t bother.

Fold in the celery, pepper and onion and scatter over the chives to serve.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush and Anna Glover in Olive Magazine, June 2021.)

We’ve been a bit quiet on here because we’ve been spending our evenings outside in the sunshine. This week looks less promising weather-wise so we should get all the recipes we’ve tried posted.

Wine Suggestion: We’d pair this with a current favourite, from Sartarelli’s side project, the Colline Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi from the rolling hills of Marches, Italy. Fresh and lightly floral, the green apple and pear flavours emphasise the lovely fresh broad beans and the hints of sage and green almonds match the cream and chilli.

Broad beans, mint & chilli pasta – serves 2

  • 200g podded broad beans (we use frozen)
  • 200g pasta e.g. penne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, remove the seeds and finely slice
  • 1 lemon, zested, plus 1tbsp of juice
  • a knob of butter
  • 30g Parmesan or pecorino, finely grated, plus some extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche
  • a large handful of mint, roughly chopped

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the broad beans for 2-3 minutes, depending on their size. Scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon, then rinse under cold water to cool. Pop the beans out of their skins and set aside.

Bring the water back to the boil again and add some more salt. Cook the pasta until al dente, skimming off any scum from the surface of the water.

Meanwhile, warm a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, scallions, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes without colouring.

Add the butter and broad beans and season with black pepper. Stir to coat the beans in the sauce and crush a few of them with your spoon. Remove the cooked pasta from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the pan with the beans. Add an extra couple of spoons of pasta cooking water if you need, then the Parmesan. Toss until the sauce is creamy and glossy, then pour in the cream, followed by the lemon juice and mint. Season to tate and serve in warm bowls with some extra cheese.

(Original recipe by Rosie Birkett in Olive Magazine, June 2021.)

Barbecued watermelon is a revelation for us as it really intensifies the flavour. This combination with prawns, feta and chilli is total winner! Serve as a starter at your next barbecue. Another fab idea from Chasing Smoke.

Wine Suggestion: This dish has a real affinity with a juicy, youthful Grenache, be it a Rosé or a lightly chilled red like tonight’s Rubus by Jesus Romero. Made at 1000m above sea-level in the rural, far south of Aragon, Spain this is all cherry, blackberry and spice; seriously gluggable.

Grilled watermelon and prawns with feta & chilli – serves 4

  • 12 whole prawns in the shells (buy 16 if they’re small)
  • 2 thick slices from a large watermelon
  • 1 red chilli, sliced into rings (if you cut of the stalk and rub the chilli between your hands the seeds will fall out)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250g feta
  • a small bunch of mint, leave half the leaves whole and chop the rest
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for brushing
  • 1 tsp roughly crushed black pepper

Take a small pointy knife and cut and cut down the back of each prawn, when you see the digestive string gently pull it out with the tip of the knife. Leave the prawns in a bowl in the fridge until ready to cook.

Cut the watermelon into 8 large wedges, leaving the skin on.

Mix the chilli slices with the vinegar and salt and set aside.

Light your barbecue and get it up to a high heat.

Brush the watermelon with some olive oil, then put on the hottest part of the barbecue for 1-2 minutes on each side or until charred. Remove to a platter, then grill the prawns for a 2-3 minutes on each side, depending how big they are.

Add the prawns to the watermelon, crumble over the feta, then scatter with the mint leaves.

Stir the olive oil, black pepper and chopped mint into the marinating chilli and drizzle over the platter.

(Original recipe from Chasing Smoke: Cooking Over Fire Aroudn the Levant by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Pavilion, 2021.)

This is pretty much a meal in a brioche bun, don’t skip anything as it all comes together perfectly.

Wine Suggestion: Given the weather and the dish we cracked open a Domaine of the Bee, Bee Pink Rosé from Roussillon. A blend of Grenache and Syrah this had the obligatory red fruit flavours we expected but the thing that made it work so well with the food was the wonderful texture and hints of thyme. An accidental but fortuitous match.

Barbecued Chicken with Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado – serves 4

  • 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

FOR THE MAYONNAISE:

  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 2 tsp mild American mustard
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

TO SERVE:

  • 4 large brioche buns
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 little gem lettuces, leaves separated

Bash the chicken thighs between sheets of baking paper or cling film until about 1cm thick.

Put the chicken into a shallow dish with the garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss the chicken until coated in the herbs and oil.

Mix all of the mayonnaise ingredients together and sesason to taste.

Cook the chicken on a hot barbecue for a few minutes on each side. Add the bacon to the barbecue and cook until crispy, it will only take a couple of minutes. Once cooked, leave the chicken and bacon aside to rest.

Add the brioche buns to the barbecue and char briefly.

Peel and slice the avocados (don’t do this in advance or they will discolour).

Spread some mayo on the bottom half of each brioche bun and top with 2 chicken thighs. Add layers of tomato, bacon, avocado and lettuce, then spread the top half of the buns with the rest of the mayonnaise, sandwich together and serve.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

These are super tasty, especially with the quick pickled onions and some naan breads from the takeaway.

Wine Suggestion: Cline Cellar’s Sonoma Coast Viognier; a wonderfully fresh, stonefruit flavoured wine with a soft acidity. Rich and flavoursome to match the flavour depth of salmon and spices. This is dry with low residual sugar levels, however it has juicy, fruit flavours carrying the chilli and paprika well and complementing the ginger and lime.

Tandoori Fish Skewers – serves 8 (easily halved)

  • 8 salmon fillets, skin removed (about 125g each)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 2.5 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • veg oil for brushing

FOR THE QUICK PICKLED RED ONIONS:

  • 2 small red onions
  • 125ml water
  • 125ml white white vinegar
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

TO SERVE:

  • warm naan breads
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 long green chilli, finely sliced
  • lime halves
  • sweet chilli sauce

You can start the pickled onions about an hour ahead. Slice them finely and put into a bowl.

Put the water, wine vinegar, fennel and cumin seeds, salt and sugar into a small pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this hot liquid over the onions and leave to cool, then cover the bowl and leave in the firdge.

Cut the salmon fillets into large chunks. Put into a bowl with the garlic, ginger and lime juice and mix well.

Put the yoghurt into a bowl, then mix in the spices and some seasoning. Add the spiced yoghurt to the salmon and mix gently, then leave to marinate in a cool place for about 20 minutes.

Thread the salmon onto skewers, brush the barbecue witha little veg oil, then cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly charred.

Serve the skewers on warm naan breads with pickled red onions, coriander and green chilli sprinkled over. Serve with some lime for squeezing over and sweet chilli sauce (we served with our hot pepper jam).

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

It’s very rare that we cook a brunch like this but we’re glad we tried this one. Buy top qulity sausages, bacon and eggs and you will have a feast!

Smoky beans, mushrooms, sausages, bacon and eggs – serves 2 (generously!)

  • 1 tbsp veg oil, plus a bit extra
  • 4 chipolata sausages
  • 4 bacon rasheres
  • 4 large mushrooms, sliced or torn into pieces
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, don’t drain as you will use the liquid
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp brown sugar
  • a few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
  • 2 eggs

Heat a large heavy pan over a medium heat, then heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

Fry the sausages for 5 minutes, or until golden, then push to one side. Add the bacon and cook until godlen and crisp. Remove the sausages and bacon to a warm plate when they’re cooked through.

Add the mushrooms and a little more oil if needed, then fry until golden, scraping up any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove to the plate with the sausages and bacon.

Tip the cannellini beans and their liquid into the pan, then add the tomatoes, garlic granules and dried thyme. Bring to a simmer, breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Add the paprika, sugar, worcestershire sauce and some seasoning, then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened.

Nestle the sausages into the beans, then make two gaps in the mixture and crack in the eggs. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are set. Top with the bacon and mushrooms and serve with some Tabasco if you like.

You will need toast or crusty bread to mop it all up.

(Original recipe by Anna Glover in Olive Magazine, June 2021.)

We’ve had a spell of nice weather in Dublin so we’re barbecuing everything! We served these sweet potatoes with some marinated chicken but they would be lovely with anything, or even pretty good on their own.

Sweet Potatoes on the Barbecue – serves 4

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked parika
  • 120g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 generous tbsp of sour cream
  • a small bunch of chives

Get your barbecue going.

Rub the potatoes with a little olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper and wrap each one in tinfoil.

Put the potatoes onto the grill and cook for 45-50 minutes, turning them now and then, until soft.

Unwrap the foil slightly and cut the potatoes down the middle. Sprinle each one with a little sea salt and about ½ tsp smoked paprika, then divide the cheese between them. Set them back on the barbecue, still on the foil, and close the lid on the barbecue for a few minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Take the potatoes off the barbecue, top with the sour cream, and snip the chives over the top.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

The local asparagus is still available and we can’t resist a bargain. So here’s another version of this classic dish.

Wine Suggestion: Domaine Bellevue Touraine Sauvignon Blanc with this today. The grassy freshness and zesty lemon flavours cutting through the richness from the butter and parmesan and bringing out the lovely aspargus flavours even more.

Asparagus Risotto – serves 4

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, about 200g
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 2 small onion, fineldy chopped
  • 175g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine or vermouth
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and put into a saucepan with the vegetable stock. Put on a low heat and bring to a gently simmer.

Cut the tips off the asparagus spears and add to the simmering stock for 1 minute, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Cut the rest of the asparagus into slim rounds.

Heat the oil and half the butter in a heavy, wide pan. Gently cook the onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the finely chopped asparagus stalks and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the rice and stir for a few minutes until it becomes semi-transparent and is nicely coated with the butter.

Stir in the wine or vermouth and allow to evaporate, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Begin adding the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously after each addition until it is absorbed. This will take about 15 minutes.

Start tasting the rice, it should be tender with a little bite. Stir in the blanched asparagus tips and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and top with the butter and most of the Parmesan. Season well, then cover and leave aside for a few minutes.

Stir well to incorporate the butter and Parmesan, then serve with the rest of the Parmesan to sprinkle over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)