Tiffany Goodall, First Flat Cookbook

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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.

Leftovers

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.

Leftovers

 

 

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

 

 

Tsatsiki

 

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

 

fehilyrobbins@eircom.net 

 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

 

 

About the author

Darina Allen
By Darina Allen

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