ArchiveAugust 2010

The Real Thing

My goodness, it’s the end of the world as I know it! Last week my two and half year old granddaughter Amelia Peggy came along clutching an iphone and told me she wanted to show me how to make a cake! She pressed several buttons in the maddeningly confident way that all kids do and opened and an app’ called Cake Doodle. Up popped lots of pictures of cakes, every shape and size – “which one shall we make grandma?” pipes up the aspiring cook, I choose a three tier chocolate confection. Ping – up comes the recipe, then the bowl, Amelia touched each ingredient on the list and whoosh they leap into the bowl, up come the eggs, Amelia taps the screen with the side of her hand to crack the eggs one after the other they leap into the bowl. Then she stirs all the ingredients around, until well mixed and turns the phone on its side to pour the mixture into the tin. Next it’s popped into the virtual oven.

Now there are more decisions to be made – what coloured icing – it has to be pink, everything in Amelia’s life has to be pink at present so she presses the shocking pink icon and then spreads the lurid icing over the three tier cake with the tip of her finger. Next we have a choice of decorations, heart shapes, stars, flowers, princesses… Amelia chooses princesses, she dotted about 15 over her cake and then at last it was ready to eat. By now Amelia was beside herself with excitement, again she tapped the virtual cake on the screen with her tiny index finger, each time putting it into her mouth as though she was eating the cake. The iphone emitted realistic sound effects throughout, pouring, swishing, egg shell cracking, mixing and finally appreciative noises. I wondered if she would have a virtual tummy ache having eaten it all in one go! Amelia and all the children love this app’ and fusty old grandma doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry! But the good news is Amelia also loves to help her mum and grandma to bake real cakes. She particularly loves to make crumpets on the cool plate of the Aga, using a flexible egg slice to flip them over. Here are several simple recipes that children will love to make and bake and share.

Raspberry Buns



As far as I can remember, these buns were the very first thing I helped my Auntie Florence to bake. My grandchildren love filling the holes with jam, just as I did.

Makes about 10

200g (7oz) self raising flour and 25g (1oz) ground rice


225g (8oz) self-raising flour

75g (3oz) caster sugar

75g (3oz) butter diced

1 organic egg

1 tablespoon full cream milk

homemade raspberry jam

egg wash

caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

Put the flour and ground rice, if using, into a bowl and add the caster sugar. Add in the diced butter and toss it in the flour. Then rub it into the dry ingredients with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with the milk and then use a fork to mix it with the dry ingredients until you have a softish dough.

Divide the mixture in two, roll each half into a thick rope and then divide each into five pieces. Form each piece into a round, dip your thumb in flour and make an indentation in the centre of each bun.

Drop a little spoonful of raspberry jam into the hole, then pinch the edges of dough together to cover the jam.

Transfer to a baking tray, brush the top of each raspberry bun with egg wash and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, sprinkle with caster sugar and eat while nice and fresh.

Joshua’s Carrot, Coconut and Sultana Muffins



A lovely recipe which we have adapted from a super little book called ‘Grow It Cook It’ written by Amanda Grant published by Rhyland Peters and Small.

Makes 12

225 g (8 oz) carrots

3 eggs, preferably free range

140 g (4½ oz) pale soft brown sugar

6 tablespoons sunflower oil

150 g (5 oz) self raising flour

1 tsp mixed spice

70 g (3 oz) desiccated coconut

75 g (3 oz) mixed dried fruit eg. sultanas

A muffin tray lined with 12 paper cases

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.

Wash, peel and grate the carrots finely. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, whisk with a whisk until lightly beaten. Add in the sugar and continue to whisk until light and creamy. Gradually add in the oil whisking all the time. Mix the flour, mixed spice, coconut, sultanas and carrots. Then stir gradually into the base mixture until it is well incorporated. Use a tablespoon to divide the mixture as evenly as you can between the muffin cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until firm and golden. Remove from the oven with oven gloves. Cool the muffins on a wire rack. They are delicious as they are but even yummier with some cream cheese icing on top

Cream Cheese Icing



3 ozs (75g) cream cheese

1 1/2 ozs (45g) icing sugar

1 1/2 ozs (45g) butter

grated rind on 1/2 orange



Mix all the ingredients together and spread over the top of the carrot muffins. Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds, crystallized flowers if you fancy.

India’s Candied Orange Squares


My grandchildren love to make these; they can use a palette knife to spread the icing and then get creative making patterns on top with the candied peel

Makes 24


6 ozs (175g) soft butter

6 ozs (175g) castor sugar

2 eggs, preferably free range

6 ozs (175g) self-raising flour

Orange Butter


rind of 2 oranges – finely grated

3oz (75g) butter

3 1/2 oz (100g) icing sugar

Candied Orange Peel


10 x 7 inch (25.5 x 18 cm) Swiss roll tin, well greased

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/regulo 4.

Put the butter, castor sugar, eggs and self-raising flour into a food processor. Whizz for a few seconds to amalgamate. Spread evenly in the well-buttered tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes approx. or until golden brown and well risen. Meanwhile make the orange butter. Cream the butter with finely grated orange rind, add the sieved icing sugar, beat until light and fluffy. When the cake is cooked, leave to cool. Spread the orange icing over the cake. Cut into squares. Decorate each one with little diamonds of candied peel.



























Amelia Peggy’s Crumpets

Amelia’s Aunty Rachel showed her how to make these delicious crumpets.

  Makes 12

110g (4ozs) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

25g (1oz) caster sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg

110ml (4fl ozs) milk

drop of sunflower oil, for greasing

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the sugar and salt and stir to mix. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and whisk, gradually drawing in the flour from the edge. Add the milk gradually, whisking all the time, to form a smooth batter.

Lightly grease a frying pan and warm it over a moderate heat. Drop 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan, keeping well apart so they don’t stick together. Cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface and begin to burst and the crumpets scones are golden underneath, then flip them over and cook on the other side for a minute or until golden on this side as well.

Remove from the pan and serve warm with butter and jam, apple jelly, lemon curd or if you are like my grandchildren, chocolate spread! (If you wish, wrap the crumpets in a clean tea towel to keep warm while you make the rest.)



Lucca’s Almond Macaroons

These are so simple to make and can easily keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container. Pop a peeled almond into the centre of each one, before baking for extra crunch.

Makes 12-16


110g (4ozs) ground almonds

75g (3ozs) caster sugar

1 egg white, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.


Put the ground almonds, caster sugar and the egg white into a bowl and stir to combine. It should be firm, but slightly sticky. Roll small dessertspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a wet fork. Cook for about 10 minutes or until pale golden. Cool on a wire rack.





These are also good with the grated zest of 1 lemon or orange mixed in with the coconut/almonds and sugar.


Desiccated coconut can also be used instead of ground almonds in the above recipe.



Willow’s Tropical Fruit Smoothie



My granddaughter Willow likes to use Kara coconut milk in this recipe, she gets this from Well and Good Health Food Shop in Midleton but you could try your local health food store.

2 slices of melon

I ripe banana

1 mini pineapple or ¼ of a full sized pineapple

1 big orange juiced

450 ml (16fl oz) Kara coconut milk


Peel and chop all the fruit and put it into the blender, add the coconut milk and whizz. Add honey to taste. Willow pours this into chilled glasses and shares it with her little sister India, mum and dad.


The proliferation of food festivals around the country manifests a deep craving for real local food but leaves us with a dilemma many tempting events are on the same dates.

The Midleton Food Fair is on Saturday 11th September 2010



 The main street in Midleton will be buzzing with interesting stalls, tempting you to have a taste of the best of East Cork. Midleton Farmers market will be celebrating their 10th anniversary. Visit 

for the full program. 

for the many, many interesting food events and dinners. Ludlow Food Festival in Shropshire –

10th to 12th September 2010 is the mother of all UK food festivals. Sadly clashing with the above events, nonetheless, I know several serious Irish foodies who make a pilgrimage there every year. Ludlow was Britain’s first successful food and drink festival when it started back in 1995, still the most famous and they maintained the original philosophy of highlighting only the great food and drink that’s available in the Marches. Check



– innovative West Cork artisans, Alan and Valerie Kingston have added yet another delicious product to their range. They already have a nationwide following for their thick rich cream, yogurts, cheese cakes and farmhouse butter. Their new Homemade Lemonade Cordial is unrelated to their dairy range but equally irresistible. It’s wonderfully concentrated so add lots of water and ice cubes or sparkling water to dilute to your taste. Contact 028 31179 –




Darina Allen is awarded ‘Hall of Fame’ at Food and Wine Magazines Annual Awards.

On Sunday evening, Darina was delighted to accept an award at the annual awards ceremony for ‘Food and Wine’ magazine in the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin.  Joining her Mother in Law Myrtle Allen who won the award several years ago, as well as many other important figures in Irish food, Darina gave a short speach reiterating the importance that all those in the room played in ensuring the next generation learn the vital life skill that is cooking. We all have a responsibility to teach our children how to cook.

Congratulations to Darina from All at Ballymaloe.

Tiffany Goodall, First Flat Cookbook

Tiffany Goodall was dragged kicking and screaming to the Ballymaloe Cookery School by her parents in September 2004. They earnestly hoped that their ‘wild child’ would enjoy a few months away from the bright lights in the middle of an organic farm in East Cork Ireland. Tiffany was appalled; it was like being dumped on another planet without a return ticket. But East Cork worked its magic and now Tiffany is a passionate foodie with an eye out for a strong farmer with a good parcel of land so she can keep chickens, a couple of pigs and grow organic vegetables. Meanwhile the beautiful blonde chef is in London doing guest appearances on TV and at Food Shows, has already written one best selling cookbook called ‘From Pasta to Pancakes’ – she’s recently moved into her first real flat.

“The transition from carefree student at college or university to becoming a professional, young earner and of course young foodie is the biggest change I have embarked on yet. Gone are the days of student loans, overdrafts, endless lie-ins and the misty morning hangover. Hello to work, earnings, busy life and responsibility. My first flat was a major milestone in my life.”

Tiffany moved into her new place last summer and it was both exciting and nerve racking. While at university she lived in a house of six girls, suddenly it was just her and another girlfriend and they could no longer ignore the council tax papers and the nasty brown envelopes with windows. .

When they first moved in, the kitchen was a disaster. Zero equipment, not even a chopping board or frying pan. So not only did they have to shop for food, but they also had to buy some basic kitchen kit. But behind every cloud there is a silver lining and that experience prompted Tiffany to write a book for others facing the same traumatic situation.

The book called ‘First Flat Cookbook’ published by Quadrille is perfect for young people with busy lives and a small budget. What equipment should you buy? What food should you get in? When you have a 9 – 5 job, how do you make time to shop or cook? Tiffany passes on her tips and you’ll find that with a bit of planning you can eat well, save money and consequently really enjoy the precious time you have at home.

There are recipes for nights you’re in on your own, and others for mid-week get-togethers. When you’re in a rush the chapter of 10-minute meals will feed you even faster than a takeaway, and then when you’ve got time to treat yourself there’s a chapter of cakes, puddings and other irresistible naughtiness. There are lazy weekend breakfast and brunch ideas, a selection of dishes to impress a hot date, and clever ideas for easy, speedy party food.

If you want to eat well you’ll need to be thrifty and savvy with your budget. Tiffany has lots of tips to help you to save money and sassy ways to use leftovers in a delicious way. The trick is not to waste anything, if you’ve got a bit of leftover chicken don’t chuck it, there are lots of delicious ways to reinvent it. Maybe add it to pasta or make a yummy chicken salad the next day, and a few leftover breakfast sausages can be transformed into a sausage stew for dinner.

First Flat Cook Book would make a terrific present and here are a few recipes to whet your appetite.

Chicken and Coconut Laksa



serves 1

Shopping List


60g (2½oz) rice noodles

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1cm/½inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped finely

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely

1 spring onion, chopped finely

1 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk

200ml/7fl oz chicken or vegetable stock (optional)

1 chicken breast, cut into strips

handful of bean sprouts (optional)

handful coriander leaves

lime wedge

Place your rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan or wok, and when hot add your garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onion. Cook on a medium heat for 1–2 minutes. You don’t want them to colour but rather just start to smell fragrant. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and stir well. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk. Follow with the chicken, allowing it to slowly poach in the coconut milk for 5–7 minutes until it is tender. Finally add the bean sprouts and cooked rice noodles. Serve sprinkled with coriander and with a wedge of lime.

My Fish in a Flash



serves 1

Get a roasting tin, chuck in some seasonal vegetables, and lay a piece of fish on top. Add a bit of garlic and a slug of oil and in 8–10 minutes you’re laughing. This recipe works wonderfully with pollack, coley or haddock. Coley is a very under-used and thus ethical choice with cod being so over-farmed.


Shopping List

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, chopped

½ teaspoon red chilli flakes

1cm/½ inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 x 300g/10½oz fillet of white fish, such as haddock, pollack or salmon

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Place the tomatoes and red onion in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the red chilli flakes. Add the ginger and garlic cloves and drizzle over the olive oil. Mix well. Now lay the fish fillet on top of the veggies, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon over the top. Let the juice run through your fingers so you can catch any pips. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, and then place in the hot oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and check it’s cooked. The flesh should now be opaque. Serve with the roasted veggies. The tomatoes should be soft and bursting. I also like to eat this with a handful of baby spinach leaves and maybe a little French dressing

Tiff’s Tips

Salmon is a little bit more of a treat but its creaminess works brilliantly with these slightly sweet flavours. When you cut it through the middle after 8 minutes it’ll be just perfectly cooked. If you’re really hungry and want a more hearty supper, serve it with some penne pasta. This technique would also be ideal when cooking chicken.


Any extra roasted vegetables can do double duty for dinner the following night. Simply toss them through some cooked pasta, drizzle with olive oil, and then give it all an extra bit of bite by adding some Parmesan shavings.

Amatriciana Penne Pasta Bake



serves 2

This is a great twist on the classic Amatriciana sauce and it is a great speedy supper.

Shopping List


250g/9oz penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, chopped finely

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g/7oz pancetta cubes or bacon lardons

400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes

100g/3½oz mascarpone

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

100g/3½oz Gruyère cheese, grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to hot. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the penne pasta and cook for 6–8 minutes, according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile make the amatriciana sauce. Drizzle the olive oil into a pan and when warm add the onion, chilli and garlic to soften for about 2–3 minutes. Then increase the heat and add the pancetta cubes. Fry for a couple of minutes until crispy. Now add the tomatoes and season well. Simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the mascarpone and parsley. Drain the penne and add it to the amatriciana sauce. Stir well, taste and season. Tip it all into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Place under the hot grill for 3–5 minutes until golden. Serve with a lovely crisp salad and dive in. Heaven.

How to Make Risotto



Mellow Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

serves 4

Risotto rice is a fantastic staple to have in your cupboard. The chances are you’ll always have some stock cubes and a splash of leftover wine – then you can just throw all sorts into your risotto, depending on what you have lurking in your fridge.

Shopping List


800ml/28fl oz chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

½ small onion, peeled and chopped finely

6–8 sage leaves, chopped finely, plus extra to garnish

300g/10½oz Arborio rice

1 glass of white wine

1 butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and roughly diced

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

sage leaves, to garnish

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the stock to the boil and then keep it at a low simmer while cooking the risotto. In a separate pan heat the oil and when warm add the garlic and onion, followed by the sage leaves. Stir and then leave to sweat until soft – this should take about 5 minutes on a low heat. Increase the heat a little and add the Arborio rice, then the white wine, if you’re using it, and keep stirring until it is absorbed. Add the cubed squash and a ladleful of stock, and stir again until absorbed. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes until the rice has expanded and is soft and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Now add the butter and Parmesan. Turn the heat off and let it sit for a couple of minutes while the cheese and butter melt. Serve drizzled with olive oil and garnished with some fresh sage leaves.

Hearty Spiced Bean Stew with Sausage



serves 4

Shopping List


4 tablespoons olive oil

6–8 sausages

1 red onion, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, peeled, bruised but left intact

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely

150g/5½oz pancetta/bacon lardons (optional)

1 bunch of thyme, rosemary or both

350g/12oz canned cannellini beans

800g/1lb 12oz canned tomatoes

1 glass red wine

1 teaspoon sugar

basil leaves, to serve

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Take a heavy frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When hot, fry the sausages for 5–8 minutes until golden brown and then set aside on a plate. Wipe the pan clean and then add a splash of the remaining olive oil. Add the red onion, garlic, and red chilli, and soften over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes. Increase the heat and then add the pancetta or bacon lardons, if you’re using them. Fry for 3–4 minutes until soft and slightly crispy. Now add the thyme and/or rosemary, cannellini beans, tomatoes, red wine and cooked sausages. Add the sugar and season well. Cover and cook for 1–2 hours on a very low heat. Just 1 hour is fine, but if you have the time 2 hours just matures and strengthens the flavours. Serve with mash or pasta, for example fusilli, gigli or even tagliatelle. Serve with some lovely basil leaves on top.




This freezes very well for up to a month or it’s lovely for lunch on a crispy oiled ciabatta half with some rocket and basil over the top. You could also blitz it, add some hot stock and make a delicious soup.

Epic Greek Lamb Burger



makes 4

I got the inspiration for these delicious burgers on a trip to a London food market – they were heaving with cumin and zingy mint. I recreated them at home and came up with this recipe. With the herbs, fresh tsatsiki and the hot halloumi to finish it’s brilliant for an easy yet innovative weeknight supper.

Shopping List


500g/1lb 2oz lamb mince

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ red onion, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped finely

2 sprigs mint, chopped

1 teaspoon lemon juice

5 tablespoons olive oil

125g/4½oz halloumi cheese, cut into slices

4 ciabatta rolls, opened

rocket leaves, to serve

salt and freshly ground black pepper





6 tablespoons plain yoghurt

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

cucumber, chopped finely

teaspoon cumin

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a large bowl mix together the lamb mince, cumin, coriander, red onion, garlic, rosemary, mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and bind the mixture together with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Shape the lamb mixture into four burgers and put them in the fridge for 5–10 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile make the tsatsiki. Mix the yoghurt, crème fraîche, cucumber, cumin, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Season and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat then add the burgers. Cook for 4–5 minutes on each side. Gently fry the halloumi slices for 2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Now place the ciabatta rolls on a dry pan, under the grill or in a grill pan to toast for a couple of minutes on each side. Assemble your burgers. Place the rocket leaves on one half of the toasted rolls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bung on the burger and top with delicious tsatsiki and a slice of halloumi. Put the top bun op top. Serve with a big green salad, absolutely delish!

Tiff’s Tips

When pan frying the burgers don’t try and turn them too much, as they are quite delicate until the sugars in the meat caramelise and give the burger a crust below. Then you can turn them after about 4 minutes.

Hot Tips

While making journey from Cork city to West Cork Coast via Dunmanway there is a very good little café in Ballineen – the ideal stopping point to stretch your legs and have a meal or tea and scones. Susan Fehily is very talented in the kitchen and is focused on sourcing quality local produce. Her quiches are fast becoming famous and you’ll be hard pushed to choose a dessert from the tempting list and she serves very good coffee too – well worth the stop. Located down a small lane behind Fehily’s Supermarket on Bridge Street, Ballineen (023) 8847173 or email 

 If you’re travelling from Cork to Dublin it’s well worth making a quick detour to pick up some treats from The Gallic Kitchen in Abbeyleix. Sarah Webb has a wonderful selection of cookies, tarts, cakes, pies, preserves and she also stocks Castlewood Organic Bacon, black pudding from Inch House in South Tipperary, Laois Honey

Open seven days a week 10am to 6pm. Main Street, Abbeyleix, Co Laois 0866058208



Stevie Parle – London

A few months ago I wrote a piece on a new young chef called Stevie Parle who is making waves on the London food scene. Stevie was on of the youngest students we ever had on our 12 Week course. He was just 17 years old when he signed up for the January 2002 Certificate Course. He like many young people was fed up with ordinary school – he just wanted to cook.

Stevie is an erudite young chef with a blistering pedigree. Aged just 24, he has already worked at the River Café with Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, for Skye Gyngell at renowned Petersham Nurseries and at the landmark Moro with Sam and Sam Clark. When he set up his pop-up Moveable Restaurant with Joseph Trivelli last year, fashion leaders clamoured to eat at the twice monthly word-of-mouth supper clubs, one of which was hosted by Nigella Lawson. Now, Stevie runs and cooks at the Dock Kitchen in Portobello Docks, where he also continues the highly successful supper club tradition.

Stevie has worked and lived in Tokyo, New York and Sri Lanka, as well as bussed biked, walked and boated all around India, Ireland, Morocco, Italy and south east Asia, picking up recipes magpie like where ever he goes. The London Evening Standard named Stevie and pop-up restaurant partner as the capital’s hottest young chefs.

Stevie lives with his wife on a red barge, the Avontuur, moored at Hammersmith in west London. They keep a pontoon allotment and a dry land plot, and growing fruit and vegetables has become one of Stevie’s passions.

It’s definitely my book of the year so far… My Kitchen – Real Food from Near and Far is an eclectic collection of food and recipes from Stevie’s life in food so far, gleaned from his travels and his intimate knowledge of ingredients. It is a charming mixture of anecdote, tales from his Hammersmith houseboat and wonderful recipes, as well as occasions from his life such as a ‘Ligurian supper for friends, who would prefer to be on holiday but instead have to work’ and Early morning on the deck, watching the cherry blossom on the bank’.

Divided into 12 monthly chapters, the dishes are based around seasonal bounty and Stevie’s global inspirations. Though his influences are incredibly wide, Stevie understands the rules of food and doesn’t mess with the classics, instead finding new ways to approach old recipes, using his vast creativity and impeccably trained craftsmanship. Within each chapter, Stevie gives a master class about a single foodstuff, with the aim of teaching readers how to cook better by watching subtle changes in the pan and by paying attention to the life cycles of fresh produce. If you thought you knew garlic and how to cook it for instance, Stevie may well show you there is more to learn. My Kitchen is a unique cook book from a stunning young culinary talent.

Stevie is one of two young chefs and cooks chosen by Quadrille Publishing for their exciting new cookery book series entitled ‘New Voices in Food’.

Here are some of Stevie Parle’s recipes from the book for you to enjoy…

Coconut Broth with Squash or Potato



This typically Sri Lankan dish is very quick and easy to make.

serves 6 as part of a big selection

200g (7oz) waxy potatoes or sweet squash, in 2cm (1 inch) dice,

1 red onion, chopped very small

1 or 2 hot green chilli, left whole

a small handful of fresh curry leaves,

1 garlic clove, green shoot removed, chipped

1cm (1/2 inch) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

a knife tip of turmeric,

25 or so fenugreek seeds, whole

½ tsp black pepper, finely freshly ground

1 tsp Maldive fish or 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and salted

500ml (18fl oz) coconut milk,

lime juice, to taste

Put everything except the coconut milk and lime in a pan. Pour in 250ml (9floz) water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the potato or squash is soft. Add the coconut milk, salt and lime, to taste.

Couscous with Broad Beans



A delicious mixture that makes an excellent breakfast. Here it worked well as part of a mixed table.

serves 4

200g small fresh broad beans, podded

200g fine couscous (not the coarse or pre-cooked),

olive oil

1 small spring garlic clove

1 tsp cumin seeds

4 tbsp thin yogurt, preferably homemade

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Briefly boil the beans in unsalted water (salt toughens the skins), then place in a bowl with the couscous. Sprinkle with salt and 1 tbsp olive oil. Rub everything between your hands to coat in oil. Pour over enough hot water to cover, and leave until it is absorbed (about 15 minutes).

Crush the garlic with salt to a fine paste. Toast the cumin in a dry pan. When it crackles, grind with the garlic, adding the yogurt and some black pepper. Mix the couscous with the yogurt and coriander, check the seasoning and serve with a little more olive oil.


Aubergines, Walnuts, Mint and Yogurt


“This is my favourite dish in our local Persian restaurant. It’s great as a dip. I generally eat it all, much to the dismay of my wife Nicky.”

serves 4 as part of a spread

2 large aubergines

1 spring garlic clove

a few mint leaves

15 walnuts, shelled

100ml (3½fl oz) olive oil

50g (2oz) white Arabic cheese or feta

1 lemon

Roast the aubergines whole under the grill or on the barbecue until the skin is black and the aubergine has almost collapsed. This will take about 20 minutes. Put in a colander to cool. Crush the garlic; add the mint, then the nuts. Crush to a paste, and then add the oil and cheese. Mash everything up until smooth. When the aubergines are cool, remove the skin and put the flesh in a bowl, then pour over the walnut mixture. Squeeze over the lemon juice and mix, squashing the aubergines to a smooth mush. Taste for balance and salt. Eat at room temperature.

Cashew Nut Curry



“One of the best and simplest Sri Lankan dishes I have found. Use a salted anchovy fillet if Maldive fish flakes or dried sprats prove elusive.”

serves 6 as part of a big selection

300g (10 ½ oz) raw cashew nuts

300ml (10fl oz) coconut milk

½ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp chilli powder

2cm (3/4 in) cinnamon stick

½ tsp/2 fish Maldive fish or dried sprats
or 1 rinsed and salted anchovy fillet

¼ tsp anise seeds,

1 tbsp sunflower oil

20 curry leaves

Put all the ingredients except the oil and curry leaves in a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes, then season with salt. Pour the oil into a frying pan and, when hot, throw in the curry leaves until they crackle. Mix the leaves through the curry and serve.

Lamb, Okra and Tomato Tashreeb



Tashreeb is a common Iraqi dish; though it is unusual to us. The word comes from sharaab, ‘to drink’, referring to the way the pitta bread under the stew drinks up the liquid.

serves 6

1 tbsp allspice berries, ground

1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

1 tsp unsmoked paprika or mild chilli powder

1 small lamb shoulder on the bone

olive oil

6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole

15 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 dried lime, left whole

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (if you have some)

500g (18oz) small fingers of okra

6 pitta breads

Rub the spices on to the lamb and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a wide pan that will accommodate the whole shoulder with a bit of space to move.

Fry the lamb gently in olive oil until well browned. Be careful not to burn the spices. Throw in the garlic, then the tomatoes and dried lime.

Add water to almost cover the lamb and pour in the pomegranate molasses, if using. Cover and cook gently until the lamb is tender. It might take two hours, depending on the age of the animal and the speed of cooking. Gently is better; just about bubbling.

When the lamb is soft, add the okra and put the pitta bread in a medium oven until it is hard. When the okra is tender, tear the lamb from the bone and put it in a large, shallow bowl with the pitta bread, then pour over the tomato, okra and cooking liquid.

Tandoor Chicken



serves 2 very hungry people

2 large tsp cumin seeds

2 large tsp coriander seeds

2cm cinnamon stick

1 tsp peppercorns

½ tsp turmeric

2 large tsp Kashmiri (mild) chilli powder

1 slim wedge small red onion

4 garlic cloves, green sprout removed

2 large mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

200ml rich yogurt,

1 chicken, spatchcocked

Toast the cumin in a dry pan over low heat until it smells slightly smoky and starts to crackle, then chuck it in a large pestle and mortar (you could use a blender but it’s not as good, or as rewarding). Add the coriander, cinnamon and peppercorns and grind to a fine powder. Add the turmeric, chilli powder, onion and garlic and a good amount of salt. Grind to a fine paste. Add the chillies and yogurt. Rub the chicken well with the paste. Leave at room temperature to marinate for a few hours.

When you are ready, get your barbecue going, but spread the coals well so it is not too hot. Lay the chicken as flat as you can and barbecue on both sides until cooked through. Pay particular attention to the legs. Eat with Naan bread, lime pickle and a cold beer.

Chocolate, Hazelnut, Brandy and Espresso Cake



“I love having so many of my favourite things in one recipe. This is a great cake I could eat at any time of day.”

serves 10–12

300g (10 ½ oz) really good butter, plus more for the tin

6 eggs

250g (9oz) caster sugar

400g (14oz) really good dark chocolate,

300g (10 ½ oz) whole, skinned, roasted hazelnuts

1 big tbsp bitter cocoa

6 espressos or 150ml (5fl oz) very strong cafetiere coffee

100ml (3½fl oz) brandy

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Butter a 20cm springform tin, then line with greaseproof paper. In an electric mixer, mix the eggs with the sugar very fast for about 10 minutes; it should triple in volume. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water). Grind the hazelnuts and cocoa together medium-fine; don’t carry on for too long or they will turn oily. Add the coffee and brandy to the chocolate, then mix this concoction into the eggs. Gently mix in the hazelnuts and pour into the tin.

Bake for 40 minutes until dry on the top and not too wobbly beneath.

Madelines St John-style



Based on the excellent recipe from Fergus Henderson. He browns the butter and doesn’t add orange flower water. (They are great that way, too.) I cannot work out what the variable is that gives them a proper Madeleine dimple on the top; sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. You will need a Madeleine tray.

makes about 24

135g unsalted butter, plus more for the tray

2 tbsp good floral honey

1 tbsp orange flower water

3 large eggs

15g soft brown sugar

110g caster sugar

135g self-raising flour, sifted, plus more for the tray,

Melt the butter with the honey, then pour in the orange flower water and set aside to cool. Whisk the eggs and sugars in an electric mixer for 10 minutes or so, until they are really fluffy. Fold in the flour, then the butter and honey mixture. Pour into a container and leave the batter to rest for at least three hours in the refrigerator (sometimes I leave it overnight and it seems fine). Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Butter a Madeleine tray, then dust with flour and tap off the excess. Fill the moulds two-thirds full, and then bake for 10 minutes or so until golden brown and firm to the touch.




Hot Tips

Gourmet Greystones Event or phone Denise Bevan on 086 8916715

It rare nowadays to see a traditional 3 or 4 tier wedding cake, it’s more likely to be a pyramid of cupcakes or a killer chocolate confection. But it’s funny how fashion goes around in food as in everything else. My daughter recently had the ‘retro’ wedding cake of her dreams complete with happy bride and groom on top and exquisitely iced with delicate royal icing, by Mary Cahill from Gourmet Gateaux and More! 021 496686 or 087 2396758

Taste of Kildare or by calling David Russell at The K Club on (01) 6017200.


Lee Tiernan, head chef at St John Bread and Wine, London

Tel: 087 287 8215 will be giving another demonstration at Donnybrook Fair Cookery School – a simple, delicious no nonsense approach to cooking with pigs’ ears, tails, trotters and heads! Friday 20th August 2010 at 7:30 to 9:30pm €35.00. Contact Carmel McWilliams starts on Monday 16th August and is set in the Victorian walled garden of the K Club – join in the week long celebration of local flavours. Food & Craft Festival is on Sunday 22nd of August from 12 noon until 5pm. More details on the day are available through the Taste Kildare website on Sunday 5th September 2010 celebrates the restaurants, cafes and gourmet food shops in the award winning coastal town of Greystones, Co Wicklow. For more information contact

How the British Fell in Love with Food

The British Guild of Food Writers was founded on April 12th 1984 when a small group of food writers met over a superb lunch, amongst them Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David, Arabella Boxer and Michael Smith. The purpose was to start an association of Britain’s culinary scribes. 25 years later there are almost 400 members who include some of the most influential voices in food writing and broadcasting. To celebrate a quarter of a century the British Guild of Food Writers has published ‘How the British Fell in Love with Food’. It’s a fascinating historical record from the arrival of avocado in our supermarkets in 1970s to the food blogs of the 21st century. It’s a fascinating read and includes some superb examples of creative food writing as well as some delicious recipes, here are a few to whet your appetite.


Harold Wilshaw’s Avocado Salad

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book – Michael Joseph

There is no need to restrict this salad to Summer. It works well with frozen broad beans.

1 ripe avocado

lemon juice

olive oil

salt, pepper

250 g (8 oz) shelled broad beans

soured cream

chopped parsley

Peel and dice the avocado, sprinkling it immediately with lemon juice, oil and seasoning. Cook the beans, and then skin them – this is essential. Arrange beans and avocado on a plate, preferably a bright pink plate to show off the different greens. Pour over a little soured cream and sprinkle with parsley.

Jill Norman’s Ceviche

The Complete Book of Spices – Dorling Kindersley

In this Mexican hors d’oeuvre, the fish is tenderized by marinating in lemon juice for several hours.

Serves 4

175 g (6 oz) salmon

175 g (6 oz) brill or turbot

175 g (6 oz) cod fillet

juice of 2–3 lemons

1–2 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 small mild onion, chopped

1/2 avocado, peeled, stoned and cubed

2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

125 ml (4 fl oz) olive oil

handful of coriander leaves, chopped

salt and pepper

Remove any skin or bones from the fish and cut the flesh into small cubes. Put the cubes into a dish with the lemon juice, turn to coat all the fish and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 5 hours. Drain the lemon juice from the fish and combine with the chopped vegetables, olive oil and coriander. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour over the fish in a serving dish. Leave in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Peter Gordon’s Grilled Scallops with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Crème Fraîche

The Sugar Club Cookbook – Hodder and Stoughton

Peter Gordon first put this on his menu in July 1995 and it has only come off when storms prevented divers collecting scallops. The chilli sauce recipe makes more than you need, so keep the surplus in the fridge for other dishes.

Serves 4

12 large diver-caught scallops, trimmed

sesame oil

salt and pepper

watercress leaves

½ cup creme fraiche

Sweet Chilli Sauce

10 cloves of garlic, peeled

4 large red chillies, stems removed

3 thumbs of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 thumb of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped

8 lime leaves

3 lemon-grass stems, remove the two outside leaves, discard the top third of the stem and finely slice the remainder

1 cup fresh coriander leaves

11/2 cups unrefined golden caster sugar

100 ml (5 fl oz) cider vinegar

50 ml (31/2 fl oz) Asian fish sauce

50 ml (13/4 fl oz) tamari

Put the first seven ingredients of the chilli sauce in a food processer and

puree to a coarse paste.

Put the sugar in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water and place on

a moderate heat, stirring well until the sugar dissolves. When it has, remove the spoon and turn the heat up to full. Boil for 5–8 minutes and do not stir until it has turned a dark caramel colour (but don’t allow it to burn). Now stir in the paste, bring the sauce back to the boil and add the last three ingredients. Return to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Leave it to cool before eating. Lightly oil the scallops with sesame oil and season, then grill each side on a char-grill, overhead grill or skillet for 90 seconds. Sit them on a bed of watercress, put a dollop of crème fraiche on top and drizzle generously with sweet chilli sauce.


Anna Del Conte’s Tagliatelle al Limone

Gastronomy of Italy – Bantam Press

“For me the lemon tree is the most beautiful tree there is, magical in the way that it can produce both flowers and fruit at any time of the year. The flowers known as zagara have a pungent yet delicate fragrance; they contain essential oils used in the production of eau-de-Cologne.”

Serves 4

tagliatelle made with 200 g (7 oz) Italian 00 flour and 2 free-range eggs,








500 g (1lb 2oz) fresh tagliatelle,


250 g

(8 oz) dried egg tagliatelle

40 g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter

grated rind and juice of 1 organic lemon

3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and chives

150 ml (1/4 pt) double cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper

40 g (1 1/2 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan. Add the grated lemon rind, the chopped herbs, cream, salt and pepper. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice to the pan and bring back to the boil, then take the pan off the heat and keep warm. Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain but do not over-drain, and then transfer to a warmed bowl. Dress immediately the pasta with the sauce and a sprinkling of

Parmesan. Toss very well and serve at once with the remaining cheese separately.

Colin Spencer’s Rocket and Avocado Sandwich

Colin Spencer’s Vegetable Book – Conran Octopus

“This is my favourite summer sandwich. Rocket and avocado go marvellously

well together, but I confess I like a touch of other flavourings in it as well, as

a kind of background track to the two stars. This amount will make two fairly large and bulky sandwiches, which provide an excellent and satisfying lunch for two people.”

2 tbsp soft goats’ cheese

4 slices of your favourite brown bread, buttered

smear of Marmite, Vegemite or Vecon

about 10 thin cucumber slices

1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

20 or so rocket leaves tiny drop of Tabasco (optional)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Smear the goats’ cheese on the buttered side of 2 slices of the bread and smear the Marmite or whatever on the other 2 slices. Lay the cucumber slices over the cheese, season with pepper, then lay the avocado slices on top of that, followed by the rocket leaves. Season with salt and Tabasco, if using. Then cover with the other pieces of the brown bread. Press the tops gently down and slice the sandwiches in half with great care.


Xanthe Clay’s Pimms Jellies with Orange Cream and Strawberries

It’s Raining Plums – Martin Books

A British summer in a glass, the orange cream balances the alcoholic bite

of the Pimms.

Serves 6

175 ml Pimms

3 sheets gelatine

400 ml lemonade

juice of half a lemon and half a lime

1/2 pint double cream

grated rind of an orange

2 tbsp unrefined golden caster sugar

1/2 lb strawberries and peeled segments of two oranges

mint sprigs and borage flowers

Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft. Heat half the lemonade until

just about boiling, remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine. When the gelatine is dissolved, add the Pimms, lemon and lime juice, and the rest of the lemonade. Pour through a sieve into a bowl and refrigerate until set. Lightly whip the cream and stir in the sugar and orange rind. Slice the strawberries. To serve, dollop some jelly in a glass, and top with strawberries and orange segments. Finish with a blob of the orange cream and a long sprig of mint tucked in the side.

Xanthe Clay’s Rosewater Cake, Strawberries and Cream

It’s Raining Plums – Martin Books


This easy cake with its slightly crunchy glaze is lovely by itself for tea, or like

this, piled with strawberries for pudding.

Serves 8–10

6 oz (170 g) butter

6 oz (170 g) unrefined

golden caster sugar

3 eggs

1/2 lb (225 g) self raising flour

6 tbsp rosewater

1/2 lb (225 g) icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/4 lb (600g) or so strawberries, sliced in half if large

300 ml double cream, whipped until softly billowing

Pre-heat the oven to 180.C (350.F, Gas 4) Grease and base line an 8 x 10 in ( 20 x 25 cm) cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar until pale, then beat in the eggs one by one. Mix in the flour, then 4 tbsp rosewater. Turn into the tin, spread out and bake for 35–40minutes. Leave in the tin while you mix the icing sugar, remaining rosewater and lemon juice to make a glaze. Prick the still warm cake all over with a fork and pour over the glaze. Remove from the tin when cold and cut into squares or fingers. Serve the cake with strawberries and cream, or for a more dramatic effect, stack the pieces in a pyramid, dollop on a little of the cream and tumble over the strawberries. Scatter with rose petals, either fresh from unsprayed, garden roses, or crystallized, and serve with the rest of the cream.



Wild Food

If you are lucky enough to have a glut of mackerel this recipe is perfect.

Soused Sprats, Herrings or Mackerel with Tomatoes and Mustard Seed

The fish will keep refrigerated for up to one month.

Serves 4

4 fresh mackerel or herrings or 12-16 sprats

150ml (5fl oz) white wine vinegar

150ml (5fl oz) dry white wine

62g (2 1/2oz) thinly sliced onion

225g (8oz) ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced

2 sprigs of fennel

2 small bay leaves

1 teaspoon white mustard seed

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

lots of freshly ground pepper

Pour the vinegar and white wine into a stainless steel saucepan, add the sliced onion and tomatoes, herbs, mustard seed and seasoning. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Meanwhile gut and fillet the fish. Roll the fish fillets or lay flat in a casserole or sauté pan. Pour the pickle over the top. Cover and bring to the boil, simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Serve chilled.


How the British Fell in Love with Food Durrus Fete

Contact Canon Paul Willoughby for details – phone: 027 61011 –


O’Brien Chop House in Lismore

Green Saffron & the Dungarvan Brewing Company are having a “Beer and Curry Feast” on Friday, 27 August, 2010 at 7:30pm. Chop House Chef, Eddie Baguio, and Arun Kapil have created a delicious authentic curry feast using Green Saffron’s Indian spices as well as local produce such as Michael McGrath’s lamb, Dan Aherne’s organic chicken, hand-reared Ballyvolane House saddleback pork, and potatoes and vegetables from Ballyvolane’s walled garden. The Dungarvan Brewing Company’s Head Brewer, Cormac O’Dwyer, will showcase each of his craft beers which will compliment the curries perfectly. To book contact + 353 58 53810 and in association with is on Wednesday 11th August this year and takes place in the gardens of the Durrus Rectory. the Fete has three distinct places to eat – a garden lunch with all produce from the local area, a barbecue with locally sourced meat and afternoon tea. Elizabeth Warner and her team will run a fabulous cake stall showcasing the most vivid taste of West Cork in the form of local baking. All the proceeds from this fete go to supporting local and international charities. is published by Simon & Schuster and can be purchased at


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