Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Parsley, Lemon, Caper & Garlic Seabass

Here's a gem of a recipe for a marinade that transforms a beautiful piece of fish into a tangy flavoursome dinner. This recipe is great as the ingredients for the marinade are very healthy, but also very tasty.

The weather for us here in the South of Ireland isn't quite there for us yet this summer in terms of BBQ time, but when the sun does start to emerge, this is a wonderful recipe for all BBQ fish dishes.


  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp of capers
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 seabass, gutted and scaled
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • Extra chopped flat leaf parsley
  • lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a mini blender, add the juice of a lemon, the flat leaf parsley, capers, oil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and pulse for a few seconds.
  3. Cut 3 incisions in  each fillet on the fish. Cut the 2nd lemon into thin slices and place each lemon slice into the  the cut incisions on the fish, and divide the remaining slices into the cavity of the fish.
  4. Rub the parsley marinade into both the outside and the inside cavity of the fish. 
  5. All to marinade for 10 minutes. 
  6. Bake the fish on a baking tray for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  7. Serve with a scattering of chopped herbs and lemon wedges.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Asparagus, Feta & Serrano Pizza - A Shortcut to a Deluxe Pizza

Friday nights in our house is nearly always Pizza Night. But after a long week at work, sometimes making my own pizza dough is too laborious even for me. 

Thankfully there are some good quality shop bought pizza dough out there now which take all the hard work out of home made pizzas. Tonight was such a night when the efforts of homemade pizza dough was beyond me. Luckily I had a Jus-Rol pizza dough hidden in the fridge for such a dilemma. 


  • 1 good quality ready made pizza dough
  • 2 tbsp of tomato sauce
  • 4 asparagus spears, ends removed
  • 50g of fresh mozzarella 
  • 50g of feta cheese
  • 3 tbsp of carmelised onion relish
  • Pepper
  • 3 slices of Serrano ham
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 wedge of lemon
  • Balsamic glaze

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Lay the pizza dough on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
  3. Spread the tomato sauce over the pizza dough.
  4. Scatter the cheeses over the pizza and lay the asparagus spears over the cheese.
  5. Dot the relish in between the spears of asparagus and liberally grind black pepper over the pizza.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Divide the Serrano ham over the cooked pizza and scatter with some freshly torn basil.
  8. Serve with the lemon wedge and drizzle over the balsamic glaze.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Moroccan Lamb, Potato & Aubergine Stew

Although I've never been to Morocco, I adore Moroccan cuisine. My first taste of Morocco was in a small little family run restaurant in the heart of Paris; and I've been hooked ever since. I love slow cooked meats, and I love one pot wonders even more!!! This dish actually tastes better if made a day ahead of needing it. Moroccan dining is my way of eating, its about being social and sharing; lots of accompaniments and everyone just digging in. Super casual. it's not fussy nor posh.

I entered a Lamb Tagine recipe in a Kerrygold Recipe Book competition a few years back and my recipe was selected to be published in the recipe book. This Lamb, Potato and Aubergine stew is a twist on my traditional Tagine recipe Serena's Moroccan Lamb Tagine

This recipe is perfect to feed a crowd and can be easily doubled or trebled, and just supply more pittas and yogurt for scooping up the yummy sauce.

  • 1 lbs diced lamb
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of maldon sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 carrots thickly sliced on diagonal
  • 3 potatoes,peeled and quartered
  • 1 aubergine, diced
  • 2 tbsp runny honey

Cous cous to Serve
  • 100g cous cous
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • Generous handful chopped Coriander/flat leaf parsley
  • 50g of flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 250g tub Greek yogurt (to serve)
  • 4 mini pitta breads (to serve)


1. Combine all the spices, garlic and onion and rub into the meat
2. Leave to marinate, preferably overnight, although an hour should be sufficient.
In a lidded oven proof casserole dish, add the olive oil on a medium heat. Brown the meat, in batches if necessary.
4. Add all the meat back into the casserole dish, adding the carrots, tinned tomatoes, potato & aubergine.
5. Bring up to the boil and put lid on the dish and put in a preheated oven for 1.5 hours at 180 degrees.
6. Meanwhile, put cous cous in a bowl, add the olive oil and the turmeric and mix well; season with salt and pepper and pour over 180mls of boiling water. Cover for ten mins.
7. Fluff with a fork, adding half the chopped coriander or flat leaf parsley.
8. Put the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven, keeping an eye on them as they can burn in matter of seconds. Once toasted add to the cous cous.
10. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and add the runny honey.
11. Return the dish (uncovered) to the oven for a final 20 mins to brown.
12. Put the pittas in the oven to warm through.
13. Remove the dish from the oven and present to the table in the dish adding the chopped coriander/flat leaf parsley.
14. Put the cous cous, yogurt and pittas in bowls on the table and let your guests help themselves, Moroccan style! Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pistachio & White Chocolate Spread - The Indulgent Nutella Alternative

I first came across this spread whilst on holidays in Sicily. I mentioned before how we stayed in a Farmhouse B&B on our last night in Sicily. They made their own olive oil as well as growning pistachios. ( The breakfast was a real homely experience with everyone gathered around one big table with all the delicious baking and meats and spreads in the centre of the table, everyone helping themselves. I  must have eaten a whole bowl of the pistachio spread before asking our host, Ginevra, what exactly is was that I was eating. I thought to myself no wondering it tastes amazing.............Chocolate........White Chocolate!!!!

 When Ginevra explained that it was a type of chocolate spread made with pistachios and white chocolate, I was hooked. It tasted unreal and the vibrant green colour gives it a fantastic appearance.

My own tried and tested spread is simple to make, but I've found, very difficult to eat only a small portion at a time. I use coconut oil here, but you could use other oils,  like sunflower oil or groundnut oil.


  • 300g of shelled pistachios
  • 200g of good quality qhite chocolate
  • 4 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of table salt


  1. Place the pistachios in a food processor and blitz until a wet crumb forms, could take up to 3 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the vanilla extract to the melted chocolate.
  3. Allow the chocolate to cool.
  4. Add the coconut oil, salt and melted chocolate to the pistachio crumb and blitz it again until to clumps together and ressembles a butter.
  5. Store in an airtight container, in a cool dry place. (Not the fridge, otherwise it will loose it's spreadability).
  6. It's delicious on toast, crusty bread, or on cupcakes, or as an alternative to cream in a victoria sponge perhaps.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Apple & Strawberry Turnovers - The Perfect Quickie Snack

I made these turnovers this morning for the Bed and Breakfast guests, and honestly they were made from start to finish in 20 minutes using only four ingredients. Now how's that for a quickie?!

Quick snacks do require short cut ingredients, so as always, I use premade shop bought ready rolled puff pastry, and I use a high quality strawberry conserve. There is nothing wrong with using short cut ingredients from time to time, as long as you buy the best quality you can afford. There really is such a difference.

These turnovers are perfect for my guests who love a morning pastry, but they would work equally as well with a dollop of cream or custard for an elegant dinner party dessert. Either way, they are simply childs play to make and way too delicious not to make.

Here's how:


  • 1 packet of ready rolled all butter puff pastry
  • 1 jar of good quality strawberry conserve
  • 2 tbsp of flaked almonds
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced.

To Glaze:

  • Some milk and brown sugar

To decorate:

  • Some icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry with the longest end neares you. Then cut it into 3. Then cut horizontal in half.
  3. On each square place a teaspoon of strawberry conserve in the centre and top with a teaspoon of diced apple
  4. Repeat with every remaining square.
  5. Brush the edges of each pastry square with the milk and fold in half pressing down all the edges.
  6. Use a fork to press down the pinched sides of the squares.
  7. Brush the tops of the squares with the milk, top with a couple of flaked almonds and finish off with a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  8. Place in the centre of the oven for 16-18 minutes to bake.
  9. When beautifully risen and golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  10. When cooled dust liberally with icing sugar.

So easy, there's simply no excuse!!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Refreshing and Tangy Lemon & Ginger Bars

With summer only a hop, skip and jump away, it's out with the comforting cakes and in with some zesty light but vibrant summer baking! These lemon and ginger bar are the perfect way to start the summer season. They are so simple to make , kids would be only too happy to help and they are absolutely awesome for picnics and lunchbox treats.

I find that they keep great for a couple of days in an airtight container.


  • 90g of butter
  • 250g of ginger nut biscuits.
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs and 1 extra egg yolk, beaten
  • 100ml of lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 25g of plain flour.


  1. Line a swiss roll tin, 18cm x 23cm, with grease proof paper and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Crush the biscuit in a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin (kids love this), and add to a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. Pour the melted butter into the crushed biscuits and mix well so that the biscuits are well coated.
  5. Press the buttery biscuits into the base of the baking tin and press down really well with a spoon.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
  7. In a clean bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine thoroughly.
  8. Pour the mixture oven the golden base and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until completely set.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack in the tin. Once cooled cut into bars.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chocolate and Orange Blossom Marble Cake

I recently watched the Comic Relief Great British Bake Off and I was left in stitches at the celebrities attempts at baking, some highly skilled for amateur bakers, others clearly need to stick to their day jobs, mentioning no names - Jonathon Ross. It provided great entertainment nonetheless. The baking of the marble cake, left me with a hankering for some marble cake myself. So I set about googling marble cake. I came across a very easy recipe for the marble cake on the BBC Food website; so I used that recipe with a tweak or two from myself.

I find the BBC Food website is a fantastic outlet for cooking/baking ideas; and is great bedtime reading on the mobile version in bed.

Here's how I made my marble cake. Just in time for a weekend treat!


  • 175g of soft butter
  • 175g of caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 225g of self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1 tbsp of orange blossom
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a loaf tin (or just use a silicone tin - they are all the rage now don't you know).
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar with an electric whisk, until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time whilst continuing to whisk. 
  4. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  5. Sift in the flour and gently fold into the beaten egg, sugar, & butter mixture.
  6. Divide the batter into 2 equal parts.
  7. Sift the cocoa powder into one mixture and stir the orange blossom and orange zest into the second mixture.
  8. Add large spoons of each mixture into the loaf tin, alternating to give a marble effect. I used a skewer to swirl the mixture a little for a more marbled pattern.
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Bake until a skewer comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool completely in the tin before turning out.
  11. Enjoy with a big cup of tea or coffee.

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