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.
It’s probably apparent to anyone who has read this blog more than a few times, that I have a weakness for anything with oats or nuts in the ingredient list or any dish that can fall into the breakfast/ brunch spectrum- so making a tray of granola bars for this blog was an inevitability. These are ridiculously good. Now these are decadent granola bars… I don’t suggest eating them every morning for breakfast as they do contain butter, brown sugar and honey. However, the taste and texture is pretty unparalleled.
I think these would be brilliant to make some weekend for breakfast, or if calling to a friends for brunch, or even brining to work some morning if you are looking for brownie points. Or you can make a batch like me on a Sunday evening and eat three in quick succession. The choice is yours, however I do urge you to make these- they’re delicious.
250g Jumbo Oats
50g Coconut Flakes
100g Dried Prunes (chopped)
200g chopped nuts (almonds and hazelnuts)
175g soft brown sugar
1. Melt the honey, sugar and butter in a large heavy bottomed pot until it’s liquid. Then stir in all other ingredients until totally combined and all the dry ingredients are coated.
2. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined brownie tin. Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 40 minutes or until golden. Keep an eye on them throughout cooking and increase/decrease the temperature if necessary.
3. You must wait until totally cooled before slicing as otherwise the granola bars will crumble apart into crumbs. When cooled slice into rectangles and store in an airtight container for a few days.
Calling all lovers of the humble scone! These brown oatmeal scones are just the thing you need to accompany your cup of tea, or even for a quick breakfast. During my few years living in Dublin I have become well acquainted with the Avoca scones. They are amazing. They come with jam, butter and cream (enough said). While I initially was all about their berry scones, I am now quite obsessed with the brown scones they make. I found the recipe online and decided to give them a go but substitute some of the flour for oats. The result was pretty amazing, they are really nice and wholesome. The outside is all biscuity and crunchy/crispy and the inside is all soft and wholesome. They take hardly any time at all to make, you feel like you’re eating something relatively healthy… Unless you load on the butter and raspberry jam like I do.
I think adding some nuts, seeds and dried fruit would be really nice too, but I thought if I added them in to these they would be a little too similar to my Fruity Seeded Spelt Scones. These are definitely worth giving a go, and adding to your baking repertoire. Now go forth and bake!
Ingredients (makes 10-12 small scones):
350g wholemeal flour (I used Howards coarse wholemeal flour)
110g butter cut into cubes
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp greek yoghurt
75 – 150ml whole milk
1 pinch salt
1 egg beaten
Pour the flour, oats and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Running your hands under cold water for a minute first helps prevent the butter from melting.
Mix a well in the centre of the bowl and add in the yoghurt of bicarbonate of soda. Leave to react for a couple of minutes and then add 75ml of the milk and mix well. You may need more or less milk, you just want it to come together. (I used all 150ml milk)
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat down until it’s about 2 1/2 cm thick. Cut out into scones with a scones cutter or an upside down glass and transfer onto a buttered baking tray.
Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle the seeds on top. Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 15-20 minutes (they took me 16 minutes). Enjoy hot from the oven with butter and jam. When cooled, store in a sealed container. They’re best eaten the day they’re made, but gorgeous a day or two after toasted and buttered.