Christmas, Cookery Classes, Cooking, radio, Recipes, Uncategorized

Festive Food on the Radio

I love Christmas. I love everything about it – I can’t wait to get my tree and decorations up, wrap presents, catch up with friends and of course plan all my festive food.

This year I started my Christmas demos with Neff in early November and whilst by now I wouldn’t mind if I never saw turkey and ham again I’m still planning and making lots of dishes and goodies to share with friends and family .

So when the lovely Sinead in Midlands 103 asked me to share some festive ideas on air I was happy to do so ( though I suspect one of the reasons that I keep being asked back is that I bring food 😉

As promised here are some of the recipes that I discussed on air with Will Faulkner earlier today

For starters, or to serve with drinks try sausage truffles or prawn shots :

Sausage Truffles

What you need:

  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp smoked jalapeno powder (or smoked paprika)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 lb sausage meat
  • 80g cheddar, grated
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 30 ml milk

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 200 C
  • Mix your dry ingredients together then add in sausage meat, cheese, butter and milk
  • Mix well and then using wet hands form into approx. 24 balls. Chill if you have time
  • Place on lined baking sheet and bake for 20 mins until golden.
  • Serve hot or cold with a cranberry dipping sauce (mix sour cream, cranberry sauce and a dash of mustard)

 Prawn Shots

What you need:

  • 12 large (raw) prawns, peeled but with tail on
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • Juice of 1 limes
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  •  Fresh mint, chopped

What you do:

  • Split the prawns lengthways (making sure to remove the black vein). Then place them on baking sheet/grill pan, drizzle with a little (chilli) oil. Cook under very hot grill for 3-4 mins
  • Mix all the other ingredients together and divide between 12 shot glasses. Then Top each glass with a prawn.
  • Or alternatively pour the dipping sauce into a dish and arrange the prawns around the side of the dish

You’ll find ideas on cooking the perfect turkey and a vegetarian roast elsewhere in my blog so I’m going to head straight to dessert, This year, inspired by a Tom Kerridge podcast, my favourite is a festive cheesecake:

Christmas Pudding Cheesecake Pots

What you need: 

  • 150g ginger nut biscuits
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 200g Christmas pudding
  • 30 ml Cointreau
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 250g cream cheese (the full fat version please!)
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 200 ml cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:

  • Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Mix the crushed biscuits and melted butter together and press into the base of each shot glass (this mix should make approx. 24 pots)
  • Blitz the Christmas pudding, brandy and orange zest to a puree
  • Whisk the cream cheese, mascarpone, cream and sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy.
  • Carefully fold the pudding purée into the cream cheese mix. Pipe or spoon onto the biscuit base
  • Leave to chill before serving.

By now you should be feeling rather full so we’ll move onto what to do with your leftovers.

Potato cakes always make a good addition to Stephen’s Day and will use up leftover mash and ham

Potato & Ham Cakes

What you need:

  • 400g mashed potatoes
  • 100g Leftover ham, chopped
  • 1 egg  
  • Bunch spring onions, chopped
  • pinch of chilli powder or dash of chilli sauce
  • seasoning

  What you do:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Shape into cakes
  • Shallow fry or bake cakes in oven (180 C) for 15- 20 mins until cakes start to crisp

And then when you’re looking for ideas to use up the leftover turkey why not try this Mexican inspired dish ….

Festive Picadillo

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin  
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 50g raisins
  • Jar Passata
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • Shredded Cooked Turkey

What to do:

  • Heat 1 tbsp. oil in an ovenproof casserole dish and sauté the onion until soft.
  • Stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another minute.
  • Then add in remaining ingredients – almonds, vinegar, raisins, passata & stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for about 20 mins.
  • Add in shredded turkey and allow to heat through
  • Serve in tortilla baskets or with rice and topped with sour cream

This has been a rather rushed post so I hope it all makes sense. Once again my new year’s resolution will be to be more organised!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Cooking & A Very Happy Christmas!

Yvonne xx

If you’d like to come along to one of my cookery classes or book me for a demo then please click here  for details. 
If you‘d like details of our catering options then please click here or contact me directly on 087 2488124
Baking, Bread, Chef, Cookery Classes, Cooking, entertaining, Food

Tear & Share Bread

You know the feeling when friends drop in unexpectedly and you hear yourself saying ‘you must stay for lunch/dinner’ all the while doing a frantic mental search of your fridge and thinking ‘what on earth can I serve’ ?

Well worry no more – with a few staples in your fridge and pantry you can rustle up this quick savoury bread in about 20 minutes. Throw a salad together while it’s cooking and Voilá! your friends will think you are a true Domestic God/Goddess
Continue reading “Tear & Share Bread”

Baking, Cakes, Cookbooks, Cookery Classes, Uncategorized

Farewell to Summer

What an amazing summer we’ve had – who knew outdoor living in Ireland could be so much fun! My barbeque was in constant use and I finally got to use all my garden furniture.

One of the bonuses of the sunshine is that my apple tree is laden down with fruit. Last time the harvest was this bountiful the Chief Taster and I carefully picked the fruit, wrapped them individually in paper and stored them in crates. This project did not have a successful outcome….. So I’m looking for ideas to use them up before the birds eat them. All suggestions welcome.

One thing I’m going to do is stew and freeze a batch of them so I can make one of my favourite cakes over the coming months. It’s a Sophie Grigson recipe that can be adapted for almost all fruit and it’s so simple you have to try it .
Continue reading “Farewell to Summer”

Baking, Cakes, Cookery Classes, Cooking, Easter, Food, Recipes

Easter Chicks Chocolate Cake

bunnies and chocolate

Mention Easter and what comes to mind? Chocolate of course – in all shapes and forms – the more the better !

 

chicks on eggs

We have a traditional Easter Egg hunt here on Easter Sunday with competition to see who can find, and in some cases, eat the most eggs !

 

Thankfully the last few years have been dry so the Easter Bunny had plenty of choice when it came to hiding places in the garden.

Easter Egg Hunt CollageI even found a few ‘escapees’ a few days after !

After the hunt is over there there has to be coffee and cake – to help the adults recover. And what else could it be except chocolate cake?
Continue reading “Easter Chicks Chocolate Cake”

Cookbooks, Cookery Classes, Cooking, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Shopping

Asian Flavours

There’s been a lot of focus on Asian flavours in my kitchen lately – now that Spring has arrived I’m craving lighter, zingier food so I’m stocking up on citrus fruits, chillis and lots of fresh vegetables.

My two favourite Asian shops are the Asia Market in Ballymount and the Eurasia store in Fonthill – as those of you who come to my classes are well aware! Both are like Aladdin’s Caves full of wonderful  and exotic ingredients – and I have to admit a number of which I have no idea what to do with – I would love someone to take me on a tour and explain how to use these ingredients. I regularly buy something which necessitates a google search before I can use it ! (hints on using dried Japanese plums  welcome!)

Asian Shopping supplies

Continue reading “Asian Flavours”

Baking, Catering, Christmas, Cookery Classes, Cooking, Food, Recipes

Christmas at Hey Pesto!

I love Christmas – especially the build up and the anticipation, and of course the food!

It’s a busy time in the Hey Pesto! kitchen so my blog has been a little neglected so I thought I should do a quick update.

We’ve had great fun with our Christmas demos complete with chocolate cottage construction challenges which were great fun !

Chocolate cottage
Chocolate Challenges

By the way we have one more evening class on Tuesday 8th if you’re looking for inspiration for Festive Party Food!
Continue reading “Christmas at Hey Pesto!”

Cookery Classes, Cooking, family meals, Healthy Eating, Local food, Recipes

Tasty and Tempting ….

And not a takeaway in sight!

You know that feeling  – you’ve been out all day, you’re tired and hungry and you want dinner. NOW.

We’re not big takeaway fans here but I will admit I came very close to picking up the phone and ordering one last night.
Thankfully  I hesitated and did a quick audit of what we had on hand. The situation was much better than feared. Fresh haddock in the fridge, avocados and tomatoes in the vegetable basket , taco shells in the pantry.

The result –  fast fish tacos for supper – on the table in 10 minutes, Jamie Oliver would be proud of me!
Continue reading “Tasty and Tempting ….”

Cookbooks, Cookery Classes, Cooking, family meals, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegetarian

A paté to suit all tastes

Many Christmases ago a friend gave me a Rose Elliot vegetarian cookbook. It was in constant use for a few years with a mixed score of successes and failures. Some recipes like her vegetarian style chilli are still firm favourites. Others such as Hot Stuffed Avocados have been long sentenced to the ‘never to be attempted again pile’ 😉

A few years ago I was watching ‘Come Dine with Me’ (don’t judge me!) and was very taken by a vegetarian paté cooked by one of the contestants. On further research I discovered it was a Rose Elliot recipe which has made it the favourites pile and has been devoured by vegetarians and carnivores alike ! The original name of ‘lentil paté’ tends make people think of dark brown, unappetising sludge so I simplified it!

Why not try it the next time you’re entertaining?
Continue reading “A paté to suit all tastes”

Catering, Chef, Cookery Classes, Cooking, family meals, Food, Healthy Eating, Recipes

Who’s on wash-up?

Any caterer will tell you that one of the biggest tasks we face after any job is the wash up.  I have some (not so good!) memories of trying to wash plates out the back of a wedding marquee using hot water drained off the potatoes – I kid you not. I hasten to add this was not in Hey Pesto! – we prefer indoor sinks and dishwashers!

As regular readers will know I love to cook –  both in my catering kitchen and my house kitchen – and I have a tendency to use a lot of dishes and pots.  Unfortunately I don’t always have an assistant to wash up after me so my dishwasher is a very essential piece of kit.
Continue reading “Who’s on wash-up?”

Catering, Chef, Cookery Classes, Cooking, family meals

Comforting Curry

I know, I know – it’s been a while since my last blog but now that the weather has changed I’m likely to spend more time indoors and I promise to try and be a better blogger ….

Sometimes you just need comfort food and last night was one of those nights. There were chicken fillets in the fridge,some random vegetables left in the basket and there’s always coconut milk and curry paste in the pantry so it had to be Thai curry for dinner, the perfect dish for these Autumn evenings.

I promise it will be ready in 30 minutes – quicker than waiting for a takeaway to arrive so why not give it a try. Continue reading “Comforting Curry”