Last weekend was another wash out, very rainy and gloomy weather. However I still managed to fit a lot in, I got to check out Brother Hubbards for lunch (finally), pop into the Temple Bar Farmer’s Market, stumble across an Irish Dancing/Trad festival (which was very random), Go to the Dun Laoighre market just in time for the torrents of rain, and I also fitted in lots and lots of cooking.
I made a big batch of Chilli con Carne, and decided to make some Beef Nachos with it. They were the perfect weekend indulgence after trodding along in the cold and rain!
If you have any leftover bolognese from spaghetti during the week then this is the perfect way to use it up. This is really simple and quick, and really satisfying. Give it a go, and let me know what you think!
1 bowl of chilli mince, bolognese (whatever tomatoey beef mince you may have)
1 bag plain tortilla chips
1 ball of fresh mozzarella grated
1 tub of sour cream/creme fraiche
1 avocado chopped in to bits
1. Scatter the tortilla chips into an oven proof dish and scatter half the cheese on top. Pop into a oven pre-heated to 180C for about 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
2. Take out of the oven and evenly pour the beef (which should have been already heated) on top of the nachos. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and pop back into the oven for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
3. Dollop a few blobs of sour cream on top of the nachos and scatter the avocado over the top.
As part of my series of healthy recipes, I decided to make Cottage Pie (who doesn’t love Cottage Pie?), and give it a healthier twist. It’s such a comforting dish, it’s perfect on a cold evening to come home to. I added some extra veggies to mine, and I also substituted the mashed potato for mashed white beans. My dad makes a white bean mash to go with Sunday Roasts and it’s always my favourite thing on the table, so I decided to give it a lash on this Cottage Pie. Beans are so healthy and packed with protein, they’re a great food to add to your diet. Of course you can just substitute the white beans for cooked potatoes and cook the mash in the exact same way, its up to you, although the bean way is much quicker! Either way this recipe is really packed with flavour.
Chopping the vegetables really finely makes a big difference, if you have a mandolin this will be pretty quick and easy to do (watch your fingers!) Also it’s worth mentioning that the Knorr jelly stock cubes are the best. The beef ones add a really meaty, rich flavour that you don’t seem to get from the normal cubes.
This is a great comfort food and nice to come home to after a long day out. Last time I was home I went walking with my parent’s in Garretstown on the nicest grey day. A hot dish like this would be perfect to come home to after a long walk!
2 400g cans cannellini beans
1/2 cup milk- or more to reach right consistency (I used coconut milk)
1 tsp fennel seeds crushed
1/4 lemon juice (or more to taste)
Salt & pepper to season
250g beef mince
2 onion very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 sticks celery very finely chopped
1 carrot very finely chopped
1 pepper very finely chopped
350 ml beef stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato relish (mine was homemade but Ballymaloe is the best in the shops)
salt and pepper
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan on a medium low heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and stir while they soften . Add mince meat after 5 mins.
2. When mince is browned add the rest of the vegetables and reduce heat a little and stir for 5 mins.
3. Add stock, tomato puree, tomato relish, pinch chilli flakes and stir together, let the sauce reduce for about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste.
4. Add beans (or cooked potatoes) to a pot with milk and let heat. Mash with lemon juice , fennel and salt and pepper. Keeping adding milk until you get a nice soft consistency. Season to taste.
5. Put meat in the bottom of a casserole dish, layer the mash on top and pop into a hot oven. If you’re using bean mash, you only need to do this for a few minutes. If you’re using mashed potatoes leave in the oven for 20-30 minutes.