Homemade Lemonade 

When God gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, unless God gives you sugar and water then that lemonade is gonna taste like shit.

Zach Galifianakis

We’re at peak summer holidays now. If you’re running short on what to do with the kids then this is quick and easy way to pass the time. As I’ve said here before, with three little kids of different ages, it’s not long before you are clutching at straws picking what to do next. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Netflix but if I have to watch another episode of Paw Patrol or Mako Mermaids when the weather turns, I think I’ll crack up. 

The Ingredients:

5 lemons 

400g caster sugar 

1.3 litres of water 

Fresh rosemary and thyme (couple of sprigs)

Lemon slices for garnish

The Make:

Juice the lemons. Add the lemon juice, caster sugar and fresh herbs to a pot and gently heat. Allow this to cool. Strain the juice and add it to the water and chill in the fridge over night. If the kids can’t wait then serve it over ice and enjoy.

Fish Tacos

Al fresco doesn’t get much better this. We’ve been conditioned to eat a burger and bun while dining outside. You should try this fish taco to see what you’ve being missing. The flavours are refreshing and exciting, just the ticket for a dish amongst the trees. 

Ingredients:

400g boned salmon 

3 bird eye chillies

3 shavings of lemon skin 

1 spring onion 

1 piece of fresh ginger 

5 tbsp soy sauce 

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar 

2 tbsp honey 

1 avocado 

Fresh coriander

Baby spinach leaves 

Ice berg lettuce 

Salad cream 

Louisiana hot sauce 

Tomato tortilla wraps 

Lemon and lime wedges for garnish 

The Make:

Chop salmon into 1 inch pieces. Finely chop chillies and spring onion. Roughly chop ginger. Add salmon, chillies, spring onion, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and honey to a bowl. Mix to ensure fish is coated. Cover and set aside to marinate. The longer the better. Prepare wraps with a squirt of salad cream and a sprinkle of hot sauce. Layer up lettuce, spinach and coriander. Place sliced avocado on top. Now put marinated salmon on to skewers and BBQ or grill until done. Cut open a piece to ensure it’s cooked through. Place cooked salmon on top of avocado. Squeeze some lemon and lime over and wrap. 


Enjoy. 

Ice Cream Pie

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I like pie. Whats not to like? Easy to make and very satisfying. We are only a couple of days in to the summer holidays and the kids are already getting harder to keep stimulated. Enter the Ice Cream Pie. The kids had a lot of fun making this pie as it involves mixing a lot of ingredients into a sticky mess. I even fought to lick the spoon. I lost.

The Ingredients:

1 tub of vanilla ice cream

1 Cadburys Crunchie

1 Cadburys Caramel

1 pack Reeces peanut cupcakes

1 pack McVities Hob Nobs

1 cup brown sugar

50g unsalted butter

Caramel sauce:

200g caster sugar

140ml double cream

50g unsalted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 pinch of sea salt ( optional )

The Make:

Let ice cream soften up out of the fridge. Chop up chocolate into small pieces. We used a rolling pin and bashed them in to uneven pieces. Blitz up Hob Nobs in a food processor. Pulse in 1 cup of brown sugar and 50g of melted butter. Allow crumbs to come together into a dough. In a shallow pan press out the dough to make a base for your pie. We used a disposable foil tray. Place biscuit base into a 160C pre-heated oven for 5 min. Take out and allow to cool. Pour melted ice cream into a large bowl and mix in the chocolate pieces. Pour this mix into the biscuit base and place into the freezer to allow to set. For the caramel sauce, pour the caster sugar into a saucepan. Add in 2 tablespoons of water. On a high heat melt the sugar down until the colour changes to a light brown. Once the colour is right take it off the heat and carefully stir in the butter, cream and vanilla essence. Set aside and allow to cool. Do not let the kids make this. Hot sugar is incredible dangerous. Gently warm up the caramel sauce before serving.

Enjoy.

Rainbow trout salad

Rainbow trout is a delicious fish to eat. It has a delicate pink meat with a smooth texture, very pleasant to eat. It has a sweet flavour to it making it very easy to pair with other ingredients. This fish can be complimented by any means of cooking from a honey roasted fish or a peat smoked fish. In this case we have steamed it in a foil parcel. This method is our go to way of cooking fish because it is impossible to mess up. Some people feel intimidated by cooking fish. There is no need to using this technique. In your foil parcel you can put butter and some aromatics like lemon, lime, chillies or bay leaf. You can also add fresh herbs like dill and coriander. Accompanied by a fresh garden salad of spinach, kale, rocket and tomato all of which have picked from our garden and you have a happy little meal. 

Enjoy.

Lemon Cauliflower 

Warning! These little spicy veggie bites will not last long once served. Hot from the oil with the aroma of fresh lemon and coriander, add a sprinkle of sea salt and you have a beautiful little delight. Don’t worry, I ate mine as a side with a lemon butter basted chicken. We haven’t gone full veggie here, there will always be room for meat.

The Ingredients:

1 head of Cauliflower

2 cups flour

1 egg

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Oil for frying

Fresh coriander and parsley for garnish

Lemon wedges to squeeze over top

The Make:

Chop cauliflower into bite size pieces. Boil cauliflower in water. Don’t let cauliflower get soggy, try and keep a firm bite to it. Once ready drain off water and place cauliflower immediately into a bowl of ice cold water to stop it cooking. Drain off water again and allow cauliflower to completely dry. In a large bowl add the flour, turmeric, cayenne, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir together. In a separate bowl whisk up one egg. Get a pot, large enough for deep frying, and add oil, about 2 inches deep. In batches, take a piece of cauliflower and first dip it into the seasoned flour then the egg and then the flour again. Repeat this process for all the cauliflower. Deep fry the battered cauliflower until golden. Serve with freshly chopped coriander and parsley. Squeeze over lemon juice before eating.

Enjoy.

Monkfish with Pernod and Dill sauce

The Ingredients:

1 fillet of monkfish

50g unsalted butter

2 tbsp flour

150ml milk

2 tbsp Pernod

Fresh Dill

Spinach, Rocket and Kale leaves

Maldon sea salt

Ground black pepper

Wedge of lime

The Make:

Pre heat oven to 160C. Take a large sheet of tinfoil and place two slices of butter in the centre. Place the monkfish fillet on top of the butter with a sprig of dill and a wedge of lime. Fold up the foil around the fish to make a parcel. Place foil parcel in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Melt 50g butter in a pot. Mix in the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly on a low heat. Add the Pernod gently making sure not to split the sauce. Stir. Add milk and stir until the sauce is as thick as custard. Stir in some chopped dill and a pinch of salt. Steam the green leaves in a pot with some butter and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper. Once soft, squeeze off the liquid and serve with slices of monkfish and dill sauce.

Enjoy.

Tequila Prawns

We are all about seafood at the moment. We generally eat pretty well in our house but we always seem to lack on eating enough seafood. Which is unusual because it is the first thing we order when we eat out at a restaurant. Part of the reason I feel, is the lack of trust I feel when I see fish for sale in a supermarket. Is the fish fresh? Where and how was it caught? And why does it seem so expensive for what you get?. We live very close to the Irish Sea and to one of the eastern seaboards finest ports ‘Clogherhead’. Seamus Dunne is a wholesale fishmonger who supplies most of the restaurants of Drogheda. His fish is sourced fresh and prepared at his premises right on the pier at Clogherhead. Seamus works with his son ‘Kenneth’ descaling and cutting up a wide variety of fish. This family run business is everything we believe in here at our house. These guys are hardworking men who strive to get the best out of their products. I was put in touch with Seamus by his other son ‘James’ who has become a beer making buddy of mine. We often compare notes on our recent brewing samples. Last week I made the short trip out to the pier to pick up some fresh fish. I brought the family so they could see exactly where the fish is prepared. The variety of fish alone was impressive. It beats the 3 varieties normally offered in supermarkets.  Watch this space for more fish recipes this week. We are armed with the finest. 

The Ingredients:

20 Prawns (peeled and butterflied)

1 pink onion 

3 large spring onions 

8 cherry tomatoes 

1 tbsp tomato purée 

Juice of 1 lime

100mls Tequila 

100g unsalted butter 

1 tsp paprika 

1 tsp honey 

Basmati rice 

Fresh coriander to serve 

The Make:

Finely chop onions and tomatoes. Soften onions in a deep frying pan with butter and paprika. Add in chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and simmer gently. Now pour in lime juice and sugar. Simmer. Add in prawns. When prawns are almost cooked pour in Tequila. Flambé the tequila carefully.

Once the prawns are cooked serve up dish with steamed rice and fresh coriander.
Enjoy.

Bang Bang Millionaire Square

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Recently we were asked by the fabulous Two Spots Coffee to make a special treat to compliment one of their latest varieties of coffee, a medium roast called “Bang Bang”. Two Spots are an Irish roasters who supply some of the freshest coffee as it’s roasted each week on site in Dublin. All of their coffee is named after famous Dublin characters. Bang Bang was a much loved Dublin character, a fan of cowboy films. He travelled the buses and trams of the city staging mock shoot-outs using a large church key.

We had the chance to meet up again with the guys at the opening of my ‘bother-in -law Alan’s’ class little delicatessen Skinny Batch where Two Spots coffee is being served fresh daily.

We have worked with Two Spots before on our Venison with garlic and black coffee sauce. This recipe is still one of our most frequently visited recipes. This time around it was time to make a sweet dish and here it is, a delicious version of a millionaire square. Be sure to drop in to Skinny Batch or order the coffee on-line at Two Spots Coffee to get the best out of this treat.

The Ingredients:

180g unsalted butter
8 tbsp golden syrup
2 large tbsp Bang Bang finely ground coffee
30g chocolate
300g digestive biscuits
300g carnation caramel
370g chocolate
1 tsp bang bang coffee granules
1 tbsp icing sugar

The Make:

Put the unsalted butter, golden syrup, bang bang coffee granules, 30g chocolate into a saucepan and melt at a medium heat. Blitz the digestive biscuits in food processor. Add the biscuits to the melted mixture and mix well. Spread out into a lined grease proof tray. Flatten out with the back of a spoon or tap tray to allow the mix to sit evenly. Now put it into the fridge to set for approx 10-15 mins. Melt 370g chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Remove the biscuit base tray from the fridge. Layer over the caramel on biscuit base, then layer over the melted chocolate and leave to set in the fridge for 2 hours. Sift together a tsp of bang bang coffee and a tbsp of icing sugar. Remove the bang bang coffee caramel tray from the fridge. Cut into slices and dust with coffee and icing sugar mixture.

Enjoy.

Deep fried Halloumi 


There’s a bit of a buzz about this middle eastern street food right now. Think back to when you didn’t see pulled pork everywhere, that’s what it’s like right now. Deep fried halloumi is going to turn up where you’re least to expect it. Halloumi cheese is often grilled and served with harrisa paste. As this sheep’s cheese has a high melting point it works well with heat. So deep frying it makes perfect sense. Halloumi is high in fat and protein and low in carbs, perfect for your low carb diet. Mozzarella sticks will seem so bland after you try these little beauts.


The Ingredients:

1 block of Halloumi

Olive oil for frying

The sauce:

Mayonnaise

Shiracha

Sesame oil

Lime juice

Garnish:

Maldon sea salt

Coriander

Sesame seeds

The Make:

Heat enough oil in a large pot for deep frying. Chop halloumi in to chip size pieces. Fry until golden. This won’t take long at all. So do it in small batches. Season fried halloumi with salt and sesame seeds. For the sauce mix 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise,  2 tablespoons of shiracha, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix well and serve with the deep fried halloumi  and garnish with chopped coriander.

Enjoy.

Sea Bass with Pretzel crust


The Ingredients:

2 sea bass fillets 

1 lemon 

1 whole garlic bulb 

250g unsalted butter 

Maldon sea salt 

300g Pretzel chips 

1 small brioche bun

1 tub of Philadelphia cream cheese 

2 tbsp Herbs de Provence

Parmigiana for grating

1 tin of mushy peas 

Pea shoots optional 

The Make:

Take a sheet of foil the size of a baking tray approximately 40 x 60 cm. Lay it flat and place two 25g slices of butter on top . Place sea bass on butter. Put two lemon wedges and half of a garlic bulb on top of sea bass. Fold over tin foil and make a parcel. Place parcel on a tray into a pre-heated oven at 180C and bake for 20 minutes. Add pretzels to a blender and blitz to a fine crumb. Add in 150g butter, brioche bun and blitz until mix comes together. Empty out mix onto a cling film covered pan. Using a rolling pin or flat glass, roll out pretzel crust to a 2cm thickness. Refrigerate crust until fish is nearly ready. Add tub of Philadelphia, herbs de provence, 100g butter and a grating of parmigiana to a pot and gradually bring to a heat on the hob until it makes a smooth sauce. Heat peas. Using a pizza slicer cut a rectangle of pretzel crust to fit the fillet of sea bass. Place crust on top of sea bass and grill until it browns. Serve up crusted sea bass with herb de provence sauce, peas and pea shoots. 

Enjoy.