Organic Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Salad Leaves and Cheese

Organic-salad-with-roasted-vegetables

This makes a perfect lunch with some crusty bread.

 Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1-2 aubergines
  • 8 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 3 tablesp.olive oil
  • 2 red peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 2 tablesp. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 8-10 black olives
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Salad leaves, generous handful per person
  • 200g cheese

To Cook

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F). Slice the aubergines lengthwise and mix with 6 of the garlic cloves and 1-2 tablespoons of the oil. Spread out on a baking sheet. Season well. Roast until tender – this will take approximately 20 minutes.

Grill the peppers until well blackened. Cover with a tea towel and leave to cool. Then remove the skins and cut into strips.

Whisk the vinegar with the remaining oil in a large bowl, peel and chop the remaining garlic and add to the bowl. Mix in the aubergines and peppers, scallions and olives. Taste for seasoning. Tear up the salad leaves, arrange on a large platter, top with aubergine mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with crusty bread.

 

The Classic French Omelette

classic-french-omelette

 Everybody, 9-90, should know how to make an omelette, then dinner is only 3 minutes away. Here it is step by step.

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 teasp. water
  • ½ tablesp. fresh herbs, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Knob of butter

Filling

  • A little butter
  • 25g Oyster or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 25g Farmhouse Cheese, grated

Alternative Filling:

  • Chopped tomatoes, basil, scallions

To Cook

Prepare the Filling

A non-stick omelette pan is essential. Beat the eggs, water, herbs and seasoning together. Heat the pan well, add the butter, pour in the egg mixture. Work quickly, drawing the egg to the centre of the pan as it begins to set. This allows the uncooked mixture to reach the base of the pan. Continue until you have the omelette cooked to your liking.

Place the filling along the centre of the omelette. Starting at the handle, fold over the omelette by 1/3.Slide the omelette down the pan.

Then, with your hand under the handle, tip the omelette onto a warm plate, making the third fold. Sprinkle with finely grated cheese (optional) and serve with mixed salad leaves.

Chocolate Iced Mille-Feuilles from Neven Maguires Irish Food Trails

 This dessert looks so impressive that it’s hard to believe that you’ve actually made it yourself with such little effort. It can be made up to 1 month in advance, leaving nothing for you to do on the day.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 x 100g (4oz) bar of plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 150g (5oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 225ml (8fl oz) cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • good-quality cocoa powder, to dust
  • fresh raspberries, to serve

To Cook

Use a little water to dampen a 450g (1lb) loaf tin (the more square shaped, the better), then line with a double layer of cling film. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spoon half the melted chocolate onto each sheet of baking paper and spread it out to the edges in a thin layer. Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set.

Melt the white chocolate and 5 tablespoons of the cream in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, give it a good stir and set aside to cool.

Whip the rest of the cream in a large bowl with the vanilla seeds until the cream is just holding its shape, then fold in the cooled melted white chocolate.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and icing sugar until stiff peaks have formed, then fold into the white chocolate mixture.

Carefully peel the plain chocolate from the baking paper and break it up into pieces.

Place a couple spoonfuls of the whipped cream mixture into the prepared loaf tin and cover with a layer of the plain chocolate pieces. Repeat the layers until the loaf tin is filled up, finishing with a layer of whipped cream. Cover the top with cling film and freeze overnight (or up to 1 month). Any remaining pieces of plain chocolate can be put into a freezer-proof container and frozen separately to use for decoration.

About 1 hour before serving, transfer the loaf tin and reserved chocolate decoration to the fridge.

Serving Suggestions

To serve, carefully turn out onto a serving plate and peel away the cling film. Break up the reserved plain chocolate into small jagged pieces and use to decorate the top. Add a light dusting of cocoa powder and put straight on the table. Cut into slices and arrange on plates with some raspberries

 

Neven Maguire’s Pan-fried Hake with Lemon and Herb Butter Sauce

pan-fried-hake-with-lemon-and-herb-butter-sauce2

 Of course this recipe is great with just parsley but experiment with a combination of soft fragrant herbs sauce as parsley, chives, tarragon or chervil depending on what’s available.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 x 175g hake fillets, skin on and boned
  • 1 tablesp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 50g butter
  • ½ lemon, pips removed
  • 1 tablesp. chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon)

To Cook

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the seasoned hake fillets, skin side down. Cook for a couple of minutes until the skin is just beginning to crisp, then add little knobs of butter to the pan around each hake fillet and cook for another couple of minutes until the skin is crisp.

Turn the hake fillets over and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to warmed plates while you make the sauce.

Add the rest of the butter to the frying pan and allow it to gently melt over a moderate heat. When it has melted, add a squeeze of lemon juice and the herbs, swirling to combine. Season to taste. Spoon this sauce over the hake fillets and serve with steamed broccoli and some sautéed new potatoes.

Serving Suggestions

Steamed broccoli and sauté new potatoes

Tips

Above all be careful not to overcook the fish.  To check, gently prod the thickest part of the fish with a small knife.  If it is cooked, the flesh will look opaque and the flakes will separate easily.  If it isn’t done yet, it will still have the translucent look for raw fish.

Other fish you could use: Whiting, haddock or trout fillets

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Protein: 39g 

Carbohydrates: 52g 

Fat: 26g 

Iron: 2.4mg 

Energy: 644kcal 

 http://www.bordbia.ie/consumer/recipes/fish/pages/panfriedhake.aspx

Rory O’Connell’s Grilled Fish with Herb Relish

bbia grilled fish 211516

This way of cooking fish is perceived as being rather old fashioned, but if you have a really fresh fish, it can be fabulous and quite contemporary in its simplicity. Hake, cod, ling and mackerel are all delicious cooked in this way. The relish served here is classic, and when properly prepared, it will remind you why herbs, butter and lemon will always have a place at the table when fresh fish is being served.

Serves 4

  • 4 x 120- 150g pieces of your fish of choice
  • 2 tablespoons of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper optional
  • 25 g butter at room temperature
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 wedges of lemon
    • Herb Relish
    • 50g butter
    • 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped herbs such as parsley, chives, fennel and a few thyme leaves
    • black pepper

To cook the fish, place the grill pan on a medium heat and allow to become quite hot. You don’t want it smoking madly, but should see a light haze, almost like vapour, arising from the pan. Dry the fish fillets with paper towel and dip in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. You can skip this flouring stage if you wish. With a knife, lightly butter the flesh side of the fish fillets. Place the fish, buttered sides down on the hot grill. The fish should sizzle immediately it hits the pan, if it doesn’t, the pan wasn’t hot enough and you need to crank up the heat immediately. If you have difficulty determining if the pan is hot enough, take one of the pieces of fish and holding it above the pan, just place a corner of the buttered side onto the grill. If it sizzles, it is fine to proceed, if it doesn’t then allow the pan to get hotter. Let the fish cook, still on a high heat until the fish is well coloured. There should be a bit of smoke coming from the pan, but not great clouds of it, so adjust the heat accordingly. Lift the fish at one corner to check if it is golden and getting crisp. When you are confident this stage has been reached, turn the heat down a little and with the help of a fish or egg slice, turn the fish over on to the skin side. Let it continue to cook until the skin is crispy and the fish is cooked through. You will know the fish is cooked when the flesh appears to be white and creamy in colour and no longer looks translucent.

While the fish is cooking, melt the butter for the relish. Allow the butter to cool a little before stirring in the chopped herbs.

Remove the cooked fish to hot serving plates, placing them with the golden flesh side up. Place a wedge of lemon on each plate and drizzle the herb relish over.

If you wish garnish with a spring of parsley and serve immediately.

http://www.bordbia.ie/consumer/recipes/roryoconnell/pages/grilledfishwithherbrelish.aspx

Neven Maguire’s Apple Tart with Custard

Apple-Tart-with-Custard

From The Nation’s Favourite Food by Neven Maguire

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 225g plain flour, extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g butter, diced and chilled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2-3 tbps ice-cold water

Filling

  • 900g Bramley cooking apples
  • 100g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Good pinch ground cloves/4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp milk

Custard

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
  • 300ml milk
  • 100ml cream

To Cook

To make the pastry: Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Using a round-bladed knife or the tips of your fingers, work in the butter and then mix in the egg yolks. Add the ice-cold water until the dough just comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). Lightly dust the work surface with flour.

Divide the pastry into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other, then roll out the larger piece until it is about 30cm in diameter. Use to line a 20cm pie dish or a 23cm flat plate, gently pressing into the corners. Trim the edges with a knife and reserve the excess for decorating. Place back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the apples.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar. Add the cinnamon and cloves and mix together. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk and then pile the apples into the lined pie dish. Roll out the second piece of pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pie dish and use to cover the apples. Press the edges together to seal, then use a sharp knife to cut away any excess.

Crimp the edges of the tart with a round-bladed knife, using your fingers as a guide. If you wish roll out the pastry scraps and cut into leaf shapes. Brush the shapes with milk and stick on top of the pie. Brush the entire top of the pastry with milk and sprinkle over the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, to make the custard, place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds. Whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and thickened.

Place the milk and cream in a medium pan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the heated milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth, then pour back into the pan and place over a gently heat. Cook gently for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Keep warm.

Serving Suggestions

To serve, cut the warm apple tart into slices and arrange on warmed serving places with some of the custard. Pour the remaining custard into a jug and hand around separately.

 

http://www.bordbia.ie/consumer/recipes/desserts/pages/appletartwithcustard.aspx