Fried Breakfast Roll

The Cure To All Your Problems
The Cure To All Your Problems
Glorious Fried Breakfast Roll
Glorious Fried Breakfast Roll
Fried Irish Breakfast In A Roll
Fried Irish Breakfast In A Roll
Perfect Meaty Goodness
Perfect Meaty Goodness

Every Irish person is well familiar with the good old “Breakfast Roll”. This essentially squishes together most of the components of a Full Irish breakfast with some ketchup in a bread roll. Hardly rocket science you may think… But think again, this is the tastiest, most comforting and not remotely healthy breakfast sandwich you will ever have. This is the typical cure for a hangover, and many a Friday morning in college was started with such a breakfast.

My boyfriend often accuses me of being a health nut, and never seems quite as excited as I am about porridge, fruit salad etc for breakfast, so when we go away for the weekend we generally try and compromise, with one fresh and healthy breakfast, and one more indulgent “hey-its-the-weekend” breakfast. This was a good call a few weeks back after a particularly good night out in Schull, West Cork. With our bellies full we went for a walk along the water and soaked up the sun,  the refreshing breeze and visited the local Altar Wedge Tomb (as you do).

This is worth trying after a rough night out. Don’t scrimp on the ingredients though, cheap sausages and black pudding won’t cut the mustard. And ditch the awful sugary ketchup for some nice relish. Some fried cherry tomatoes and spring onions give it a nice little fresh sweetness too. We were stuck with tiny mini-ciabatta rolls which were far too narrow, try and find something wider so your roll doesn’t resemble the leaning tower of Pisa like mine did!

Getting Some Fresh Air in West Cork
Getting Some Fresh Air in West Cork
Getting Some Fresh Air
Enjoying The Weather
The Altar Wedge Tomb
The Altar Wedge Tomb

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 good bread rolls

3-4 sausages

6 slices Black pudding (Clonakilty Blackpudding is hands down the best)

2 eggs

1 bunch spring onions chopped

1 handful cherry plum tomatoes sliced

Tomato relish (I used Ballymaloe tomato relish but you can try my homemade tomato relish or my sweet apple relish if you want)

  1. Put a little oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat and fry the sausages until golden and cooked through. Add the slice pudding to the pan and fry for a few minutes on each side. (Black pudding is actually boiled before it’s packaged, so you don’t have to worry about it being undercooked, as it’s already cooked through. You just want to heat it through properly and let it crispy on each side).
  2. Fry the spring onions and tomatoes until soft, the tomatoes should be nice and sweet and gooey. Finally fry the egg for a few minutes until cooked to your liking, I like a gooey yolk.
  3. Slice the rolls, and lightly toast under the grill on each side so they’re warmed through. Then slather generously with relish and start layering up your ingredients. I ended up slicing my cooked sausages length ways so they wouldn’t roll out. Enjoy!
Start Layering Up Breakfast Roll
Start Layering Up Breakfast Roll
Add Your Black Pudding
Add Your Black Pudding
Add Your Sausages and Eggs
Add Your Sausages and Eggs
This Is A Serious Balancing Act
This Is A Serious Balancing Act
Dig In!!!
Dig In!!!

Chocolate Orange Nutty Brownies

Chocolate Orange Nutty Brownies
Chocolate Orange Nutty Brownies
Nutty Rich Orange Chocolate Brownies
Nutty Rich Orange Chocolate Brownies
Perfect Served Up With Creme Fraiche
Perfect Served Up With Creme Fraiche

It’s the time of year again when the Great British Bake Off starts again on TV and people around the world are gripped to their tellies, not quite sure why their worry over whether or not their favourite contestant’s choux pastry has them on the edge of their seats, or why indeed they laugh derisively at the poor contestant whose creme patissiere ends up a mess despite having never made it themselves (yes I am guilty of this).

If I have learnt one thing from watching GBBO last year, is that this is not a show to watch without a cake to eat whilst watching it. Last year trying to satisfy my cake craving with a measly biscuit didn’t cut the mustard, so this year I was more prepared when it started again. I made a batch of rich and indulgent chocolate brownies to munch away for the occasion.

This fudgy, squidgy, moist brownie recipe I first stumbled upon while watching Rachen Allen make a batch of her White Chocolate and Raspberry brownies on TV. I have stuck to the general fudge chocolate brownie recipe she used but omitted the raspberries and white chocolate, and instead used orange, hazelnuts and cocoa nibs for an entirely different flavour. I also used quite dark chocolate making these really rich which works well with the orange. The hazelnuts and cocoa nibs give a nice bit of crunch too. These are the easiest and best brownies I’ve ever made, which is quite a statement, I know, but you have to give them a try yourself.

These are to be enjoyed while laughing condescendingly at the far more talented bakers on GBBO, from the safety of your couch.

Rich Orange Chocolate Nutty Brownies
Rich Orange Chocolate Nutty Brownies

Ingredients:

100g dark chocolate (85% cocoa)

100g orange flavoured dark chocolate (not milk chocolate unless you want a much sweeter brownie)

150g butter

225g sugar

3 eggs

150g self-raising flour

100g chopped hazelnuts

2 tbsp cocoa nibs

Zest of 2 oranges (and extra for decorating if you wish)

Cocoa powder (optional- for decorating)

Creme fraiche to serve

1. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter in a bain marie. This is a bowl sat over a pot with some hot water in it simmering away, this gently and slowly melts the chocolate and ensures it won’t separate.

2. When melted take the bowl off the pot and stir the sugar into the chocolate mix with a wooden spoon. Then stir in the eggs one by one.  Gradually stir in the flour and then finally stir in the grated orange zest, hazelnuts and cocoa nibs.

3. Grease and line a brownie tin and pour the mixture in. Pop the brownie mix into an oven pre-heated to 180C for 35- 45 minutes. They will be done when they are slightly firm on top.

4. To decorate dust with a little cocoa powder sieved on top and grate a little extra orange zest over that. Serve with a spoon of creme fraiche.

Grate In The All Important Orange Zest
Grate In The All Important Orange Zest
Stir In The Goodies
Stir In The Goodies
Slice Up When Cooled
Slice Up When Cooled
Best Chocolate Brownie Recipe
Best Chocolate Brownie Recipe
Easy and Delicious Chocolate Brownies
Easy and Delicious Chocolate Brownies

Fruity Ricotta and Honey Toast

Fruity Ricotta Honey Toast
Fruity Ricotta Honey Toast
A Delicious Quick Breakfast
A Delicious Quick Breakfast

It seems every time I put up a post on a breakfast dish, I harp on about how much I love breakfast etc. Instead in this post I will harp on about how much I love West Cork. I took some time off last week to go home, chill out, meet friends and of course… Eat good food! Every time I arrive at my parent’s home in West Cork, I instantly feel relaxed. Of course it helps that I have no internet coverage, our house is in the middle of a load of fields. Every morning when I wake up before breakfast, I like to pick some bright flowers of all colours and varieties that grow around our house to brighten up the kitchen table. Our house is surrounded by trees and when you look out the window as you drink your tea, or sit in the garden, reading your book, you can watch all the little rabbits emerge from their burren and hop along our garden. How could you not chill out here, right?

Add to this mix that West Cork has the best food produce in the country (sorry, I know I’m probably biased, but it’s true). So when we head down we either stop in Supervalu in Clonakilty (which is really just like an indoor version of the English Market that sells the most delicious artisan and local foods that were produced honestly) and when we’re down there we stock up on local meat, fish, veg, and pick up sweet treats and cheesy delights at the local farmers markets. That’s before even mentioning the batches of food we make when picking Wild Garlic when it’s in season, or the blackberries that grow wild on all the hedgerows.

Wild Montbretia Growing Along Our House
Wild Montbretia Growing Along Our House
These Beautiful Fuchsia Are The West Cork Symbol
These Beautiful Fuchsia Are The West Cork Symbol
Wild Thistle
Wild Thistle
I Think This Bright Yellow Bush That Grows By Our House is Ragwort
I Think This Bright Yellow Bush That Grows By Our House is Ragwort
And I Have No Idea What This Is, But I Think It's Quite Pretty!
And I Have No Idea What This Is, But I Think It’s Quite Pretty!

All of this leaves me craving my trips to West Cork so I can leave well rested and well fed as usual. The last time I was down, I decided to make an easy and delicious breakfast that used some of Cork’s best ingredients. You can easily replicate this with whatever food you have local to you, and the best part is that this takes pretty much no time or effort, but tastes amazing.

You Can Use Any Soft Fruit On This Ricotta Toast
You Can Use Any Soft Fruit On This Ricotta Toast

Ingredients (Serves 2):

4 Slices of good quality bread (I used Arbutus Bakery’s Medieval bread- a fruit and nut spelt bread)

1 tub ricotta cheese (I used Toonsbridge Dairy buffalo ricotta)

2 tsp runny honey (try Youghal honey… amazing!)

4 figs/ apricots or other soft fruits

  1. Toast your bread until just crisp and generously smear with ricotta.
  2. Slice your fruit and lay it on top of your toast. Then drizzle with some honey.
  3. Yes that is it, it really is that fuss-free!
A Perfect Way To Start The Weekend
A Perfect Way To Start The Weekend

Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad

Fig and Mozzarella Salad
Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad
Quick, Simple and Delicious Fig and Mozzarella Salad
Quick, Simple and Delicious Fig and Mozzarella Salad

Every now and then you make a super quick dish for dinner out of the few ingredients lying around your kitchen, and it ends up being so good people think it must have taken more time and effort than it did. I love those dishes. This salad was prepared in literally less than 5 minutes, maybe it was 3 minutes. I had a ball of Toonsbridge Buffalo Mozzarella in the fridge that I had picked up in the market that weekend, a few figs (you could use peaches, apricots, plums or any other soft fruit or berry that you have handy) that never got used in a dessert I was planning, and the rest of the ingredients were just stuff I would always have lying around in my fridge and cupboard.

I wasn’t even planning on blogging this, as it was a spur of the moment dish, but I put a picture of it up on instagram, and people seemed to like it so much, that I thought I would share it on my blog, so sorry for less photos than usual! I had this as a main for dinner, but it would also make a great, stress-free starter for a dinner party. Just double up the ingredients as you need. I highly encourage you to make this, I have yet to eat another meal that took this quick to make, but tasted so mouth-wateringly delicious!

Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad
Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad

Ingredients (Serves 1 as a main course):

1 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella

3 fresh figs

1 handful of mixed dark green salad leaves

1 tbsp flaked almonds

1 glug of balsamic vinegar (I used Llewellyn’s Irish Apple Balsamic which had a lovely sweetness to it)

1 tsp honey

  1. Put a dry frying pan on a high heat, add almonds and toss until golden, about 45 seconds (they burn quickly so be careful)
  2. Toss your leaves in a glug of the balsamic vinegar until they are just coated.
  3. Cut two of your figs into quarters and lay them out over the leaves. Quarter the third fig only half way down so they fig is still attached together, place this in the centre of your salad.
  4. Roughly tear up your ball of mozzarella and scatter over the salad, place one chunk of mozzarella within the fig in the centre of the salad.
  5. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and drizzle with the tsp runny honey. It’s that easy!
So Juicy and Delicious
So Juicy and Delicious
Enjoy this Super Quick Salad
Enjoy this Super Quick Salad

Potato and Ham Salad

My Potato And Ham Salad
My Potato And Ham Salad
Beautiful Potato and Ham Salad with Lemon Zest and Caper Berries
Beautiful Potato and Ham Salad with Lemon Zest and Caper Berries

You can’t beat a really good potato salad. Not the kind supermarket versions slathered in mayonnaise that make you feel sickly after a helping, but this fresh delicious kind bursting with punchy flavours and with some cooked ham thrown in for a meaty and filling addition.

I made this dish for a picnic a few weekends ago for my house-mate and I when we were still experiencing the Irish heatwave. Luckily there is a really nice park just around the corner from my house so with the rug, dishes and food in a bag, off we trotted to the local park for a sunny light lunch. My potato salad was made with garlic, onions, capers, lemon zest and ham and really could be eaten as a meal in itself, as well as I side.

Enjoying Our Picnic In The Park
Enjoying Our Picnic In The Park

This is really quick, and the ham makes it filling and substantial enough as a main dish. I used leftovers for lunch in work on Monday, and some more leftovers the following night in a kind of a spanish omlette/ tortilla.

Ingredients:

1 kg of baby potatoes

1-2 cups of roughly torn cooked ham

4 cloves garlic crushed

2 red onions finely minced

1 small bunch of chives chopped

1 large cup of caper berries

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup rapeseed oil (or other mild tasting oil)

Sea salt

  1. In a big salted pot of boiling water add your potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile add the garlic, onion and all the oil to a large pan and stir on a medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done. You want this soft and translucent, but not golden and crispy.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked slice them length ways and stir into the pan (make sure the heat is off at this point) coating in the garlic and onion oil.
  4. Finely chop the caper berries (reserve a few whole ones for serving) and stir into the mix along with the lemon zest and a generous seasoning of sea salt.
  5. Serve in a dish with the remaining whole capers decorated on top with some more lemon zest.
Season Well
Season Well
Add Ham and Herbs
Add Ham and Herbs

Gooseberry Tart with Strawberry Cream

Gooseberry Tart
Gooseberry Tart
My Gooseberry Tart
My Gooseberry Tart
Delicious Gooseberry Tart with Strawberry Cream
Delicious Gooseberry Tart with Strawberry Cream
Sit Back and Enjoy a Slice of Gooseberry Tart
Sit Back and Enjoy a Slice of Gooseberry Tart

Memories always seemed to be tied up with smells and tastes. Certain perfumes remind you of people or great holidays from years ago, and certain tastes can bring you back to a particular place instantly. The smell of freshly cut grass makes me feel that I’m about to sit my leaving cert exams again, the taste of salty soda bread reminds me of my Granddad’s kitchen, Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume always brings me straight back to my favourite holiday in Sicily, and the taste of gooseberries always remind me of my Nana.

Despite living in town, my Nana has a large garden and when we were younger it seemed that there wasn’t much she didn’t grow in there. She has two apple trees lining the left hand side of her garden and had a fruit and vegetable patch in the centre of her garden which used to produce strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, and lettuce amongst other things. The gooseberries and rhubarb were my favourites as you wouldn’t get them much in the supermarkets so the only time I tended to taste them was in my Nana’s kitchen. Gooseberry jams and gooseberry tarts were produced every summer to all the visitors to her house and I always found the taste absolutely delicious.

I was popping into my local green grocer recently and they had the first batch of gooseberries this summer, I decided I had to try and bang out a gooseberry tart. I added some strawberries to mine for a bit of colour, but you can leave them out, or add apricots or other fruits instead if you like.

Gooseberries and Strawberries- A Great Combination
Gooseberries and Strawberries- A Great Combination
Fresh In Season Gooseberries
Fresh In Season Gooseberries

Ingredients:

Shortcrust pastry to line and cover one tart (I always use this sweet shortcrust recipe and add orange zest and nutmeg but you can always buy some)

1 kilo of gooseberries

200g strawberries sliced

1/3 cup sugar

1 beaten egg

Strawberry Cream:

1 handful strawberries

300ml cream

  1. Grease a baking tin and roll out the pastry, try and keep the pastry as thin as possible without being too thin (you don’t want it to crack or tear). If it’s too think it won’t get crispy all the way through. Line the tray with the pastry and pop into the fridge with the remaining pastry.
  2. Pop the gooseberries into a pop with the sugar and two tablespoons of water, stir until cooked and stewed through. Try not to break up the gooseberries too much with your spoon. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the gooseberries into the tin and scatter the sliced strawberries on top. Cover the tart with the remaining pastry, use a little beaten egg to seal the pastry to one another along the edges. Brush the rest of the beaten egg to coat the top of the tart and sprinkle with a little sugar.
  4. Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 30 to 40 minutes (until golden on top). If it browns too quickly for you cover with tinfoil and keep in the oven.
  5. For the strawberry cream blitz the strawberries with a hand blender until smooth and add in all the cream and blend until whipped up.
  6. Serve a slice of the hot tart with a big dollop of strawberry cream and some scattered strawberries.
Add Sugar and Stew
Add Sugar and Stew
Fill Pastry with Stewed Gooseberries and Strawberries
Fill Pastry with Stewed Gooseberries and Strawberries
Ready For The Oven
Ready For The Oven
Dessert For Everyone
Dessert For Everyone