Poached Leek and Cheddar Tart

As anyone who reads this blog will surely know I am a huge fan of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and one of the first recipes that I earmarked in his River Cottage Everyday book is Gill’s poached leek and Dorset Blue Vinny tart which, despite it’s use of blue cheese, sounded right up my street.  Whilst it may look like and sound like a quiche it really isn’t – it is lighter, creamier and softer, which I guess is down to fewer eggs.  I substituted the blue cheese for my favourite cheese of all, the humble cheddar, and it was delicious. I recommend using a really strong vintage cheddar as this is quite a creamy tart so it really needs that strong sharp flavour. The tart can be eaten warm or at room temperature and is so light and full of flavour and I will definitely be making this again, and again, and again. It makes a perfect summer lunch or dinner served with a green salad tossed with bacon lardons. [Read more…]

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Twiced-Baked Cheddar & Chive Souffle, Beetroot & Spinach Salad with Walnut Oil Dressing

When a vegetarian theme was selected for the Irish Foodies September Cookalong I instantly decided I would try to use some of our own produce and also cook something I hadn’t tried before.  We have some fabulous beetroot in the garden and a lot of eggs thanks to our lovely hens so I opted for a twice baked Cheddar and Chive Souffle with a roasted beetroot and spinach salad with walnut dressing.  The one thing that this cookalong did teach me was that I don’t really prepare a lot of meat-free meals – something I will definitely rectify. [Read more…]

Spaghetti Carbonara

This has to be the most simple, delicious and amazingly quick lunch or supper dish there is.  If you haven’t made carbonara at home I would love you to try it yourself – it is such a handy dish to know and I haven’t met a child yet that doesn’t love it.  I understand that cream is not an authentic or traditional ingredient in carbonara but I confess that I always use cream – not too much, just enough to give a silkier coating to the pasta.  I do recommend that you try to use a good brand of pasta if you can as it does make a difference –  I use De Cecco which is widely available. [Read more…]

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is one of our favourite desserts in this house.  My husband loves Rum & Raisin, my son prefers his plain and I like mine with rhubarb (as you can see from the pictures below!).  With this in mind I tend to keep a small jar of sultanas soaking in dark rum and when I find beautiful pink rhubarb I poach it or bake it and then freeze in batches that are very easy to defrost at short notice.  I definitely recommend purchasing a cooks blow torch – I think I purchased mine for around €20 in Superquinn.  If you do not have one then get your grill as hot as you can and place the ramekins under to carmelise the caster sugar. [Read more…]

Spinach & Potato Frittata

I love the frugality of frittata – some eggs, an onion and whatever you have left over or in the fridge can be amalgamated to produce a wonderful, tasty offering in very little time.  I served this frittata with a pea and feta salad. [Read more…]

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