Category Archives: Lunch

Chorizo Beans on Toast

My Chorizo Beans on Toast
My Chorizo Beans on Toast
Gone Before You Know It
Gone Before You Know It

I wrote this post from my bed surrounded by Kleenex. All the crazy weather this past week has created army of flu infected zombies like myself. As it turns out waiting 45 minutes in the freezing cold and rain for the Cork Dublin bus can induce the flu. As it also turns out, going for a run in the rain the next day won’t help matters either… who knew? I should have known from the ominous grey wet weather when setting out on Saturday morning, but it has become a ritual when I’m home to go for a quick run around the Marina in Blackrock. Alas, as a result I have spent the last 4 days in hibernation drinking hot drinks and eating comforting tasty food.

Yesterday I made chorizo beans on toast for lunch, and it was mighty. Just what the doctor ordered. Beans are so comforting and tasty, and posh beans are popping up in cafes everywhere. I loved the addition of chorizo  because it gave the beans some extra flavour, but any chopped sausages, smoky or streaky bacon, or any leftover meat torn up would make a nice addition. Nice bread makes a difference too, I had some leftover Arbutus Rye which was delicious. Arbutus Bread company is an amazing Irish bread company, run by Declan Ryan who used to run the Arbutus Lodge Cork, in fact he was the first Irish chef to receive a Michelin Star. His breads are amazing, and much loved in Cork. You can get them outside of Cork too though, so definitely have a look out for them. Enjoy your beans!

The Marina, Blackrock, Cork
The Marina, Blackrock, Cork
The Marina, Blackrock Cork
The Marina, Blackrock Cork
Pretty but Freezing
Pretty but Freezing
At This Point in Desperate Need Of Beans
At This Point in Desperate Need Of Beans

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 cans butter beans (or other type of beans)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

200g chorizo chopped (Gubbeen is my favourite, but any will do)

1 handful cherry tomatoes slighted lengthways

1 slice rye bread per person (or whatever bread)

1 tsp honey

1 tsp salt

1/2 to 1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp mixed allspice

1/2 to 1 tsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli flakes

1. Fry chorizo in a pan lightly, then remove and set aside.

2. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and beans to the pan you used for the chorizo. (The chorizo oil in the pan will add to the flavour)

3.  Add all spices, honey, salt, pepper and tomatoes to pot and reduce. Season to taste, it may need generous extra seasoning so don’t be shy.

4. Toast bread. When sauce is reduced, and it has been seasoned to taste, then serve on the toasted bread and top with the chorizo.

Fry Chorizo Lightly
Fry Chorizo Lightly
Heat Beans and Tomato Sauce
Heat Beans and Tomato Sauce
Add Tomatoes, Season and Simmer
Add Tomatoes, Season and Simmer
Add Spices to Taste and Reduce
Add Spices to Taste and Reduce
Chorizo Beans on Toast
Chorizo Beans on Toast
Lunch Time
Lunch Time
Delicious Sexy Beans
Delicious Sexy Beans

Tom Yam Ghoong Soup

Sailing around Koh Chang
Sailing around Koh Chang
Bang Bao
Bang Bao
Floating Bang Bao
Floating Bang Bao
Bang Bao At Night
Bang Bao At Night

This is the last recipe I will share from my week in Thailand, but I really loved it. Tom Yam Ghoong soup is delicious, and a nice exotic soup for the winter months! It’s traditionally served clear, but this variation makes it creamy.

It’s packed with flavour and spice, if you made it with a few extra prawns and some flat bread you could make a meal of it! It’s easy too. It seems most Thai cooking takes only minutes, it’s the preparation (chopping, crushing etc) that takes time, however if you have a mandolin for quick slicing, all these meals can be made in minutes!

We spent an afternoon diving in Koh Chang and left from a village called Bang Bao. It’s an amazing fishing village where all the shops and restaurants are on stilts like a long wooden pier. We went for dinner there after diving and had squid which had just come in from a fishing boat 20 minutes before we ordered it… Amazing! This prawn soup would be a typical dish on the restaurant menus here also.

Tom Yam Ghoong Soup
Tom Yam Ghoong Soup

Ingredients:

100g fresh prawns

1/3 cup mushrooms halved

1/3 cup tomato sliced

2 red chillies, lightly crushed

5 sliced galangal (if you can’t find this in your local asian shop, just leave it out)

1 stem lemongrass crushed

2-3 bulbs shallots crushed

2-3 kaffir lime leaves/bergamot torn

1 coriander roots crushed (use the leaves as a garnish on top)

2-3 tsp fish sauce

2-3 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp red chilli paste

2 tbsp cows milk

3 cups fish/chicken stock

 

1. Boil the stock over a medium heat

2. Add herbs (lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, shallot & chillies) until fragrant.

3. Add vegetables (tomato & mushroom) and cook until soft

4. Add fresh prawns and cook until done add salt

5. Turn off the heat and seasoning with lime juice, fish sauce, chilli paste and milk. Garnish with coriander leaves

 

Sliced Herbs
Sliced Herbs
Get Started
Get Started
Throw in Herbs
Throw in Herbs
Add Veggies
Add Veggies

 

Add Prawns
Add Prawns
Tom Yam Ghoong Soup
Tom Yam Ghoong Soup
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat

 

Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup

My Inedible Pumpkin
My Inedible Pumpkin

 

This recipe is delicious and very like the soup my Mum used to have waiting for us after school each day. It’s a great one to throw your leftover pumpkin from Halloween in to.

 

We had a massive Halloween party in my house last week & I was exited to use my leftover pumkin. However my pumpkin wasn’t the best so I didn’t have any leftovers, but you could definitely add yours in with a little extra stock for some seriously tasty soup!

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 onion chopped

3 carrots chopped

1-2 sweet potato chopped

Leftover pumpkin if you have it

2 sticks celery chopped

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 litre veg or chicken stock

 

1. Get a big pot and heat a little oil. Drop in garlic and onion and let soften for a few minutes. Add carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, celery and stock.

2. Add in chopped tomatoes and let cook for 30-40 minutes on a medium heat.

3. Season, blend with and electric hand blender (be careful to avoid hot splashes!)

4. Serve with brown bread and butter.

Add Veg to Pot
Add Veg to Pot
Let Bubble Away
Let Bubble Away

 

Ready
Ready
Yum Yum
Yum Yum

 

Trout Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

 

Trout Salad
Trout Salad

This is yummy, and very quick and easy to make for lunch, dinner or whenever you feel like it. I actually made it with leftover trout from dinner the night before and had it for a picnic during a trip to Glendalough, Co.Wicklow. After intending on going on an hour stroll and ending up taking a wrong trail and doing a 3.5 hour 380 meter incline hike up the mountains, we were pretty glad for our salad to keep us going!

 

Hills of Glendalough
Hills of Glendalough

Ingredients (serves 2):

 

Trout (about 1 fillet per person)

Mixed leaves including rocket

Half a cucumber

Handful cherry tomatoes

Lemon

Pepper & Salt

 

Dressing:

Olive Oil

Dijon Mustard

Honey

 

  1. Lay sliced lemon on baking tray and lay trout on top, season with salt & pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Bake at 190C for about 15-20minutes.
  2. Wash salads leaves. Chop cucumber into small chunks and quarter the tomatoes.
  3. Mix together 2tbsp oil with 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp honey. Stir until combined. Adapt to your taste- if you like it sweeter add more honey, if you like it sharper add more mustard.
  4. Take out trout when cooked properly and flake into bits. Mix salad leaves and vegetables in a serving bowl, drop the flaked trout on top, pour dressing over.
Honey Mustard Dressing
Honey Mustard Dressing

Note: I actually cooked my trout the night before so the trout was cold in the salad, if you would rather it cold also prepare the trout an hour or so before and let cool before adding to salad. Chopped avocado would be a nice addition too if you had one.

Eating My Salad
Eating My Salad
Glendalough
Glendalough
Wild Heather Covered Hills
Wild Heather Covered Hills
Hilly Glendalough
Hilly Glendalough

French Onion Soup

Gwen's Cafe, Schull, West Cork
Gwen’s Cafe, Schull, West Cork
Gwen's French Onion Soup... Heaven!
Gwen’s French Onion Soup… Heaven!
Gwen's Cafe, Schull, West Cork
Gwen’s Cafe, Schull, West Cork

Down in Schull, West Cork there is the most amazing French café called Gwens. If you have ever seen the film Chocolat you have a pretty good picture of what this place is like. Gwens started off as a chocolate shop on the main street of Schull selling amazing little homemade chocolates, cakes and ice-cream. They since moved into the famous Courtyard building where they have expanded to serving breakfast, lunch and also wine in the wine bar they have since opened. Everything here is amazing and so authentically French. When you go here, especially at the weekends it is buzzing with people coming in for their sweet fix, often a coffee and an almond croissant or a chocolate scone. I am incapable of passing this place without popping in for a few of their chocolates!

The last time that I was here I had the most amazing French Onion soup. It was so comforting, tasty and actually quite filling. I decided to try to re-create it and my recipe below is for a more traditional dark French onion soup, to copy Gwen’s as pictured above try using white wine instead of red. This dish is definitely worth a go!

Gwen's Chocolates
Gwen’s Chocolates
Gwen's Patisserie
Gwen’s Patisserie

Ingredients (serves 2):

50g butter

4 medium/large onions (sliced)

1 cloves garlic crushed

50ml red wine (or white if you want it like Gwens)

One beef stock cube in 500ml boiling water (the jelly stock cubes are best)

Sprig thyme

1 fresh bay leaves (or 3 dried bay leaves)

1 baguette (I already had a ciabatta in the cupboard so used this instead)

100g sliced Comte or Gruyere cheese (I used Gubbeen as I had it already)

  1. Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot. Gently sweat the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes. Make sure they don’t go brown. Put on a lid to let the onions sweat. You want them very soft (almost translucent) and slightly carmelised.
  2. Mix the stock cube with the water , add the wine, thyme and bay leaves and throw in to the pot. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or so with the lid on. Stirring every few minutes.
  3. Traditional French onion soup has the little toasted bits of bread placed on top of the soup with cheese on top and put under the grill for a few mins to melt. (I had a ciabatta already so I used this and made a cheese toasty-which is why mine looks so less glamorous than Gwens… it still tasted amazing though!)
  4. When your cheesy bread is melted, remove and serve on the side with your soup.

    My French Onion Soup
    My French Onion Soup
My Frenchie Soup
My Frenchie Soup