I had the weekend to myself and decided to treat it as a relaxing weekend to rest and unwind. In reality this resulting in spoiling myself with some amazing foods- steak, dark salted chocolate, olives and even pancakes for breakfast… Whoever said eating for one is depressing, has obviously never met me before.
I like making pancakes every now and then on the weekends but I usually try and keep them relatively healthy (as much as pancakes can be healthy I suppose). This weekend I decided to try and make some chocolate pancakes and these turned out really well. I used buckwheat and oats in place of flour and they had a lovely texture. If you don’t like buckwheat or are just not bothered trying to give your pancakes a healthy slant, you can just use plain flour. As the cocoa used is unsweetened, you could add some honey if you liked for your sugar rush.
These are so easy to make and take no time at all to whip up (about 10 minutes from start to finish!). Give them a go and rid yourself of your pancake guilt!
Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup buckwheat (or other flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 level tbsp cocoa (you could use raw cocao for extra health freak brownie points)
Flaked toasted almonds
Peanut butter (optional)
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cocoa, milk and egg in a mixing bowl. You want a custard like consistency so you might not need all the milk.
Pop a non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a little oil (I used coconut oil but you can use any mild tasting oil… not olive oil!), then spoon a ladle of batter onto the pan. You should be able to fit about 3 on the pan at a time.
After a minute or two bubbles will start appearing at the top of the pancake, this means it’s time to flip them over. Fry for another 2 minutes.
Stack ‘em high and if you like peanut butter and have it handy, I like to smear a little between the layers of pancakes. Serve with banana, yoghurt, toasted flaked almonds. You can also add a spoon of honey if you need your sugar hit.
The sun is finally shining…. Hurray! I actually didn’t need to wear a big woolly coat at all the last few days and even managed to forgo my morning porridge for fruit and yoghurt. This is big news as for the the last 6 months in Ireland I may as well have been living in Antarctica. The excitement of the approaching summer has me craving fresher, lighter dishes in the same way that in winter I crave warm, hearty stews.
This salad is incredibly quick and easy to make, it only takes a few minutes but I find myself making it a lot as an easy side to go with lunches or dinners, any leftovers are always good in a sandwich or wrap the following day too. Make sure to try out this easy, tasty recipe and leave me a comment to let me know how you get on!
3 large carrots
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used sunflower and flax)
2 tbsp raisins
Wash and peel the carrots and then dry them off. Take a vegetable peeler and peel the carrots lengthways in long ribbons.
Peel the clementine and then take the skins off the segments and roughly chop.
Pop the carrot ribbons into a serving bowl and stir in the apple cider vinegar, seeds, raisins and clementines until evenly coated.
Taste and add a little more apple cider vinegar if necessary. (Sometimes if I want it sweeter I add a squeeze of clementine juice also).
For those of you who follow me on social media (@therebelkitchen), you’ll probably have noticed that I have started guest blogging on the infamous blog Lovin’ Dublin. It’s the ultimate website for straight-talking, no-nonsense tips on the places to go (or not to go as the case may be) for the best food in Dublin. As well as review there are also loads of great recipes and interviews going up the whole time.
The great thing about the recipes on this site is that they are all super easy, really delicious and none of them contain more than 7 ingredients which is great for those of us caught for time during the week.
Check out the recipes I have contributed and let me know what you think:
I’m not the biggest meringue fan in the world (excluding the ridiculously good Pavlova that my two aunts make of course!). I never order them when I’m out for dinner as they’re usually cardboard like monstrosities that are rock hard and dry. However, when tasked with dessert last Sunday I decided to finally give them a go myself after realising they contained just two ingredients that could just be thrown into a mixer. Simple. Egg white and sugar thrown into the mixer for about 10 minutes produced the most amazing airy, marshmallowy soft meringue mix… I ate a few spoons raw straight from the bowl, I’m not going to lie.
Baking these for only 15 minutes allows the inside to remain soft and fluffy, they really were light and heavenly. You can top the meringues with whatever you like but I loved the flavoured cream and chocolate orange toppings that I went for. You could of course put on whatever cream, fruit, berry, compote concoctions that you wish. But I think next time I make them I’ll try caramel and banana for extra decadence. I am a meringue convert. Go forth and try these cloud like balls of heaven.
Ingredients (serves 12)
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1/4 cup grated milk chocolate
Zest of 1 orange
100g milk chocolate
Zest One orange
Preheat your oven to 150C. In a spotlessly clean bowl whisk together the egg whites and sugar for about 10 minutes until they form stiff peaks. I rubbed my mixing bowl with a little lemon juice and then wiped it off before mixing in the egg and sugar. This cuts and removes any grease on the bowl that would prevent the eggs from whipping up. Similarly any egg yolk at all in the bowl will prevent the eggs from whipping.
Cover two baking trays with greaseproof paper and plop 12 individual balls of meringue onto the tray. Well spaced apart.
Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays. These are beautifully soft meringues that are fluffy and marshmallowy in the inside, so the top may collapse a little, don’t worry about this. They’ll be covered in cream anyway.
To make the flavoured cream mix together the cream, grated chocolate and orange zest and blend until softly whipped. Spoon equal amounts on top of the meringues. (If you’re not using all the meringues straight away, keep the ones you won’t use in an airtight tupperware free from any toppings and they’ll keep for a week or two).
Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and when melted drizzle over the cream topped meringues. Finish with a little orange zest over the top.
Here is my last recipe from my trip in Cloughjordan House and Cookery School. I was really glad to learn this recipe in the cookery class as I’m usually cooking for one and so often don’t cook such large pieces of meat. This was actually really easy to make, and would make a great Sunday lunch if you wanted nice change from the usual roast. Pork belly is typically an inexpensive cut of meat also.
The sauce made with this pork is absolutely delicious and really helped flavour the lentils and greens that we served this pork with. I’m sure this would be lovely with rice too. Definitely give this a go and let me know how you get on, it’s great one to add to your list for when you’re entertaining. Once everything goes into the pot, it doesn’t need much care until you fry up the meat before serving. If you like this recipe, check out the other two I put up from my stay in the beautiful Cloughjordan House- Beetroot and Parsnip Crisps and Self-Saucing Lemon Pudding.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1.3kg free range pork belly
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 small red chilli
2cm piece fresh root ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped coriander
70ml Soy sauce
50ml maple syrup
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Cover the pork belly in a snug fitting pan with cold water. Bring it to the boil, then remove the pork, drain, rinse the pot and return the pork to the pot.
Add the pork, spices, chilli, ginger, garlic and chopped coriander, then add just enough water to cover the pork. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for about one hour fifteen minutes until the meat is cooked and very tender.
Carefully remove the meat from the pan and keep in warm by covering it in tinfoil. Turn up the heat and add the soy sauce and maple syrup to the pan. Let the liquid boil until it is reduced by half. This will take about 20 minutes and you will be left with a dark, rich sauce.
In the meantime slice the pork into equal portions and season with a little salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan with oil until smoking and add the pork. Brown well on both sides. Serve the pork with the reduced sauce. (We has lentils and asian greens with ours too).
Here comes another incredible recipe from my stay at Cloughjordan House and Cookery School. This recipe was started after Peter arrived in from the farm with a bucket of parsnips and beetroot that he had plucked straight from his vegetable garden, it doesn’t get more farm to fork fresh than that! We took a stroll through the vegetable garden after the class and dreamed of a little vegetable garden of our own… One day! For now though these amazing beetroot and parsnips crisps will fill the void.
If you’re a fan of the humble crisp (who isn’t?!), or “chip” if you’re American, then you really need to try these. They’re so easy to make and great if you’re having a party or guests over. We enjoyed these with hummus but they are equally delicious on their own. To say they were inhaled is an understatement. If you don’t have a deep fryer you can use a deep frying pan filled with oil, or even coat the vegetable slices in oil and oven bake them. You can also use any root vegetable you want: carrots, butternut squash, carrots and of course potatoes. Try these this weekend!
1 large parsnip, scrubbed clean
1 large raw beetroot, peeled
Oil for deep frying
Using a mandolin or other fine vegetable peeler, cut the parsnip and beetroot into wafer-thin slices, then pat the vegetables strips dry on kitchen paper.
Heat approximately an 8cm depth of oil in a deep-fat fryer or heavy pan to 180C (be really careful of the hot oil).
Deep fry the vegetables a handful at a time for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden and just starting to crisp. Stir them around in the oil to ensure that they cook evenly and don’t stick together.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetable crisps to a tray lined with kitchen paper and immediately sprinkle with sea salt.
Leave them to dry, they will continue to crisp as they dry. Serve them as soon as possible.
This past weekend, I had the most relaxing yet fun filled weekend in Cloughjordan House. I was approached by Glenisk to go and stay there for a night and complete one of the Cloughjordan Cookery School classes the following morning. After a quick look on their website I jumped at the chance. Cloughjordan House is a 400 year old house in North Tipperary that has been converted into a luxury guest house and cookery school that also accommodates weddings and events. The house is run by Sarah and Peter Baker, the most lovely and hospitable couple you could ever hope to meet, and the house has been in their family for 100 years. Sarah is a Ballymaloe trained cook so I was really excited to stay there and enjoy her breakfast and learn something new at the cookery class. The actual house itself is incredible, I stayed in a beautiful, huge bedroom that had the most stunning old features: huge bay windows with shutters, high-ceilings, a fireplace, beautiful antique furniture and most importantly, a really cosy soft bed. I couldn’t recommend a stay at Cloughjordan House more, it’s in a beautiful location and while the old house retains all it’s old features and charms it comes with all the modern luxuries you could wish for. The Bakers couldn’t have been more hospitable or made us feel more welcome, this place is definitely a gem worth visiting. Before the cookery class, I woke up to honestly the best breakfast I have had in any guest house or hotel in Ireland. A table was lined with the most amazing home made rhubarb compote, bircher muesli, granola, cereals, homemade breads, marmalades, honey etc. Then out came a beautiful tray of loose tea and delicious coffee (my companion for the weekend is the coffee drinker and was raving about the stuff). This was all before Peter came out of the kitchen announcing their was porridge on the hob while holding a massive tray of beautiful sausages, rashers, eggs, mushrooms etc… You get the gist. Honestly, after that breakfast feast, I could have went home happy.
After our feast, we slowly plodded over to the cookery school trying to ward off a mild food coma and were greeted by our teacher for the day, Colleen. We all perked back up again after she read through our menu for the day that we would be enjoying for lunch afterwards. The majority of the ingredients used were grown in the Baker’s vegetable garden, so as you can imagine, everything tasted that bit better. One of the recipes we completed was a self-saucing lemon pudding, and it was absolutely delicious. Really zingy and fresh, but not too heavy and really easy to make. The perfect end to a three-course meal. The top of the pudding is very light and airy like a soufflé, and the bottom is like a really lemony, curd-like sauce. It is divine. After a morning of great craic cooking with the other students we all sat down to eat our second feast of the day together, and this was the perfect end to it all. I’ll put up a few other recipes from the class as they were all delicious, however this is one you definitely need to add to your dessert repertoire. We were also sent away with a hamper of goodies from Glenisk, so I’ll probably end up making this again this weekend with the creamy ingredients we were sent away with!
250g caster sugar
Zest & juice of 2 lemons
Preheat your oven to 180C and butter a 1.2 litre oven proof pudding dish.
Separate your eggs and set aside.
Cream the butter in a food processor or with a handheld mixer. Ass the sugar and beat week, then add the egg yolks and mix in the flour.
Add in the lemon zest, juice and milk to the mixture, and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites stuffily and gently fold into the lemon mixture. Pour it into the pudding dish and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden and firm,
Serve immediately sprinkled with icing sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.