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Wednesday, 27th July 2016

Crumble has become very popular here in France over the last few years and my French guests love this one particularly. It is worth while searching out some fresh Apricots for this.


- 12 Apricots

- 90g (3 oz.) Sugar

- 60g (2 oz.) Slivered Almonds


- 124g (4 oz.) Flour

- 90g (3 oz.) Sugar

- 125g (4 oz.) Ground Almonds

- 175g (6 oz.) Butter


Halve and slice the apricots and

discard the stones. Put the sliced apricots in the bottom of an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the sugar.

Mix together the flour, sugar and the ground almonds and rub in the butter or whizz together in a food processor. Spread this mixture evenly over the peaches and sprinkle the slivered almonds on the top.

Bake this at Gas 6 200C 400F for 20 minutes then turn down the oven to 180C 350F Gas 4 and cook for another twenty minutes.

Serve warm or hot

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Wednesday, 20th July 2016

The bacon keeps the pork moist during the cooking.

You can vary the stuffing, dried fruits add sweetness and nuts add texture.

ingredients (for 4)

- 1 large Pork Steak (700g/1lb. 8oz.)

- 2 Med Onion

- 110g (4 oz. Dried Apricots)

- 1 teaspoon Chopped Thyme

- 1 teaspoon Chopped Sage

- 110g (4 oz.Butter)

- 225g (8oz.)Fresh Breadcrumbs

- 10 Streaky Rashers


First make the stuffing. Chop the onion and add to the pan with half the butter. Cook on a gentle heat until the onion is soft. Chop the apricots and add them with the remaining butter and the herbs and the breadcrumbs to the pan and stir together well. Take off the heat and let cool.

Trim all fat and membrane from the pork steak. With a sharp knife cut it along the length but not all the way through. Flatten the pork along this cut and then cut again half way between the cut and

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Wednesday, 13th July 2016

This is the fish dish of the Languedoc and particularly

good served in the seaside restaurants here.

This is the fish dish of the Languedoc and particularly good served in the seaside restaurants here.

ingredients (for 4)

- 1 Kilo Monkfish

- 1 Leek washed peeled & sliced

- 1/2 Bulb Fennel, sliced

- 4 Cloves garlic, peeled & sliced

- Sprig Thyme,

- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

- 12 slices of French Bread

- 250 ml White Wine


- 3 Fat Cloves Garlic

- 2 Egg yolks

- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

- 250 ml. Olive Oil

- 250 ml Sunflower oil


First make the Aioli. Grate or mash the garlic with a little salt. Put into a bowl with the egg yolks and mustard. Dribble in both oils in slowly as for mayonnaise.

Heat the oven to 180 C. Now skin and fillet the monkfish and cut each fillet into even pieces - about 3 or 4 pieces per person, reserve the skin and bones.

Sweat the leek fennel and

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Wednesday, 6th July 2016

Quick and easy but very tasty, the ground almonds flavour the sauce and the toasted almonds give a nice crunch.

ingredients (for 2)

- 2 Chicken Breasts

- 60g (2 oz.) Butter

- 120g (4 oz.) Mushrooms

- 60g (2 oz.) Ground Almonds

- 60g (2 oz.) Sliced Almonds

- 1 Lemon

- Salt and Pepper

- 120ml (4 oz.) White Wine (or water)

- 120ml (4 oz.). Crème Fraiche


Spread the sliced almonds on a tin tray and put into a hot oven. Leave for 2 minutes and check - they want to brown but not blacken.

Slice the mushrooms and fry in half the butter until soft. Remove from the pan and put to one side.

Cut the Chicken breasts into slices. Melt the butter in a pan. When it foams toss in the chicken. Stir and fry these on the pan until gently browned on the outside. Sprinkle over the ground almonds and continue stirring and frying until the

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Thursday, 30th June 2016

Nothing too exotic about this. Just a delicious variation on everyone’s favourite: Spag Bol.

ingredients (for 6)

- 700g (1lb 8oz.) Minced Beef

- 1 tsp chopped fresh Thyme

- 1 tsp chopped fresh Basil

- 1tsp chopped fresh Parsley

- 3 cloves garlic

- Salt and Black Pepper

- 4 Rashers Streaky Bacon

- 3 Medium Onions

- 2 Med Carrots

- 2 Med Courgettes

- 2 Green Peppers

- 350g (12oz.) Tomato Passata (crushed tomatoes)

- or 350g (12oz.) Chopped Tinned Tomatoes

- 2 tablespoons Tomato Puree

- Salt and black pepper

- 300ml(Half Pint) Water

- 500g (1lb.2oz.) Tagliatelle


First make the meatballs. Mix the chopped herbs, the salt and pepper and the crushed 3 cloves of garlic with the minced beef, kneading well together by hand. Make this mixture into small walnut sized balls. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy pan and brown these all over on a high heat. Drain and discard the fat.

For this recipe you will need to cut all the vegetables into julienne pieces, that is

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Wednesday, 22nd June 2016

A dish for a special lunch, the spices are delicious and not hot but aromatic. A real taste of Africa.


- 1 Leg of Lamb

- 12 Cardomum Pod

- 2 tsps Coriander Seeds

- 2 tsps. Ground Cumin

- 2 tsps Paprika

- 4 Cloves Garlic

- 2 tablespoons Olive oil

You will need a pestle and mortar (or a wooden bowl and the end of a rolling pin)


Put the cardomum in the bowl and crush until all the black seeds are free of the pods. Discard the pods. Add the coriander to the bowl and crush these together until they are a coarse powder. Add the cumin and the paprika and the garlic cloves and continue bashing until you get a rough paste. Then work in the olive oil. You should have a soft spreadable paste, if it is stiff add a little water.

Set the oven to Gas 2, 150C, 300F.

Prick the lamb

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Wednesday, 15th June 2016


- 280g (10oz.) Hazelnuts

- 110g (4 oz. ) Breadcrumbs

- 4 Medium Eggs

- 3 Tablespoons Madeira, - Marsala or sweet sherry

- 225g (8 oz.) Sugar

- Pinch Salt

- 225g (8oz.) Unsalted Butter.


Melt the butter and let it cool before using.

Spread the Hazelnuts out on a baking tray and roast them in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Take them out, spread on a tea towel and rub them in the tea towel between your hands to remove as much of the skins as possible. Any that remain on the nuts are OK. Grind these nuts in a food processor, pulsing on and off the grind them finely without oiling. Lay these in a large bowl and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.

Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until stiff with the pinch of salt. Add the 110g (4 oz.) of the sugar and continue beating until they get glossy. Beat the

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Wednesday, 8th June 2016

The French love to cook fish this way which they call "en papillotte".

It does preserve the flavours and moisture of the fish in the best way.

ingredients (for 4)

- 4 X 225g (8 oz.) Fillets of Hake

- 3 Carrots

- 3 Scallions

- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil (or Olive Oil)

- 1 Thumb of root Ginger

- 2 Plump Cloves Garlic

- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce


Set the oven to Gas 6, 200C, 400F.

Bone and skin the Hake and if they are long thin fillets cut in two and put on top of each other to make a thicker piece.

Peel the carrots, cut as thinly as you can and again cut down until they are matchstick sized pieces. Cut the scallions into similar sized pieces and peel and similarly slice the ginger and garlic.

Put the oil into a pan and stir fry vegetables, the ginger, and the garlic together for a few minutes until

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Wednesday, 11th May 2016

(Sauce of Scallops, Bacon, Whiskey and Cream)

Irish Atlantic Brill is superb and worth the price when you compare it to the Brill in the Mediterranean so take advantage. The sauce was concieved in desperation when myself and another Irish chef had to make up a scallop dish for the European Parliament in Brussels, we called the invention after her.

ingredients (for 4)

- 1 kg. (2 lbs.) Brill fillets

- 225g (8 oz.) Scallops

- 110g (4 oz.) Streaky Rashers

- 1 glass dry white wine

- 30g (1 oz.) Butter

- 30g (1 oz.) Flour

- 1 large measure Irish Whiskey

- 225ml.(8 oz.) Cream.


Chop the rashers and fry until crisp, drain off their fat and put to one side. Trim the Scallops and cut each one in four. Poach these gently in the white wine plus an equal glass of water. Take out of the cooking liquid and reserve both. This should only take about

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Wednesday, 4th May 2016

I cooked pigs cheeks for the first time just a few months ago, they are easily available here in France.

They are very good indeed. You may have to beg the butcher in Ireland but they used to be available in Cork when I was a boy so he should be able to source them. They are worth it.

ingredients (for 4)

- 8 Pigs Cheeks

- 8 Rashers Streaky Bacon

- Tablespoon flour

- 4 Sticks Celery, chopped

- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

- 2 Onions, peeled and chopped

- 8 Cloves garlic, peeled

- Bunch Thyme

- 3 Bayleaves

- 1/2 Bottle Red wine

- 250 cl Stock

- Salt and pepper.


Chop the bacon roughly and cook in a casserole until the fat runs and they start to colour. Put these to one side.

Fry the cheeks in the bacon fat until they are brown all over, add in the vegetables and the whole garlic cloves and let them take some colour. Stir in

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Letters to the Editor

  • Waiting can be bad for your He...

    When the latest statistic that waiting times for patients had risen to their highest level yet, there can't have been too many people that were surprised.There are now over 700.000 people on waiting lists with over 50.000 of them children. That so many people are waiting for treatment in one of the most developed economies in the world is truly frightening. Of course you can take into account the underfunding of the health sector during the economic downturn but it still wouldn't fully explain why so ma …

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