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Wednesday, 28th January 2015

Warming and comforting the perfect soup for this time of year.

ingredients (For 6 people)

- 2 medium Onions

- 1 kg Pumpkin (peeled and cut into cubes)

- 3 tablespoons Olive oil

- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

- 1 teaspoon Whole Cardomum

- 1 teaspoon whole Coriander

- 600ml (1 pt) Chicken or Vegetable Stock


First crush the cardomum pods using a pestle and mortar or a heavy bowl and a rolling pin. Bash the pods until they crack open, discard the hulls (which look like peanut shells and are as inedible) then tip the whole coriander in with the cardomum seeds and bash until coarsely ground.

Peel and slice the onions and sweat these in the olive oil with all the spices until they are soft.

Add the cubed pumpkin to the pot and continue sweating until these collapse. (4 to 5 mts) Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Liquidise this and then reheat and

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Wednesday, 21st January 2015

This is very good with firm fleshed Monkfish and the combination of bacon and spiced tomato works well.


- 4 x 175g (6oz.). Fillets of Monkfish

- 12 Rashers of streaky Bacon

Tomato Sauce:

- 1 small onion finely chopped

- 2 cloves of Garlic chopped

- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

- 1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar

- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder

- 1 teaspoon sugar

- 450g (1 lb.) Vine Tomatoes


Trim and skin the fillets of monkfish. Put the rashers out on a board and trim off the rinds and bones. Stretch these as thinly as possible using the back of a knife.

Wrap 2-3 rashers tightly around each fillet of monk. Heat the oven to 220 C. 440 F. Gas 9.

Cook the onions and garlic gently in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Chop the tomatoes roughly and add to the pan. Increase the heat and add the other sauce ingredients. Cook together until they become a

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Wednesday, 14th January 2015

This is a great sharp way of getting the best flavour from the humble chicken.


(For 4)

- 1 Large Chicken

- 1 Bunch (6) Scallions

- 2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil

- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar

- Zest and Juice of 1 large - Orange

- Zest and Juice of 1 Lime (or - Lemon)

- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

- 1 Tablespoon Honey

- 2 Thumbs Root Ginger Peeled and Grated.


Joint the chicken; remove the legs and divide into thigh and drumstick. Remove the breasts and wings in one piece and then and divide in two. (Alternatively you can buy appropriate chicken pieces). Put to one side.

Trim the scallions and chop them finely. Sweat these gently in a small pot in the oil on a gentle heat until soft. Add all the other ingredients (except the Chicken) to the pot and simmer together for 5 minutes.

Select an oven proof dish which will just fit the Chicken pieces. Pour the sauce ingredients

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Wednesday, 7th January 2015

Something completely different after Christmas

Ingredients (will serve 6)

- 800g (1lb 12 oz.) fresh tuna

- 3 tablespoons olive oil

- 2 onions, finely chopped

- 2 carrots, scrubbed and diced

- 2 stalks celery diced

- 1 large red pepper cut in strips

- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

- 1 glass white wine

- 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes or tomato passata

- 20 green olives, stoned & halved

- 450g (1 lb.) cooked firm potatoes in large chunks.

- Salt and black pepper

- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley


You will need a large pot for this.

Put the onions, carrots, celery, and pepper into the pot with the olive oil and cook them for five minutes until they start to colour.

Then add the white wine, the garlic and the tomatoes and cook together on a gentle heat until the vegetables are tender.

Cut the tuna into large chunks and add this, the cooked potatoes and the olives to the pot and continue

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Tuesday, 23rd December 2014

Here are two vegetables for serving with the turkey. The Brussel Sprouts are enjoyed even by people who claim to hate them.

Brussels sprouts with garlic & ginger

- 450g (1 lb) Brussels Sprouts

- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil

- 1 thumb sized piece Root Ginger

- 3 Cloves Garlic

- Black Pepper.

Trim over the sprouts and discard any discoloured leaves. Slice all the sprouts thinly. The slicer on a food processor can do this but it is easy enough by hand.

Put the oil into a heavy lidded pot. Peel and grate the ginger, and peel and finely chop the garlic. Put the sprouts, ginger and garlic onto the oil, season with lots of black pepper, put on a very low heat with the lid on and sweat for 10 to 15 minutes

Check these from time to make sure nothing is burning. They are ready when they have a little bite

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Wednesday, 10th December 2014

This is really my wife Síle's recipe as she always baked the cake while I was busy in the restaurant. Nowadays she lets me help.


For a deep 8" Cake Tin

- 110g (4 oz.) Yellow Sultanas

- 110g (4 oz.) Stoned Raisins

- 225g (8 oz.) Glace Cherries

- 110g (4 oz.) Crystallized Pineapple

- 60g (2 oz) Crystallized Ginger

- 60g (2 oz.) Angelica

- 110g (4 oz.) Walnuts

- 60g (2 oz) Candied Citron Peel

- 60g (2 oz) Candied Orange Peel

- 60g (2 oz) Candied Lemon Peel

- Glass of Irish Whiskey

(this is 850g (30 oz) dried fruit and110g (4 oz.) nuts in total)

- 5 Eggs

- 280g (10 oz.) Butter

- Grated Rind and Juice of 1 Lemon

- 225g (8 oz). Caster Sugar

- 280g (10 oz.) Plain Flour

- Good pinch Salt

Note. You can use different dried fruits and nuts so long as the end weight is the same.


Butter the tin well and line it with two thicknesses of baking parchment deeper than the tin and

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Wednesday, 3rd December 2014

This is really Irish Stew with a French accent. I cook it here in the Languedoc to marry my two homes.


- 1kg (2 lbs) Leg Steaks of Lamb (or Gigot Chops)

- 90g (3 oz.) Streaky Bacon Rashers

- 175g (6 oz.) Peeled Shallots

- 280g (10 oz.) Vine Tomatoes

- 1 glass red or white wine

- 2 fat cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)

- 1kg (2 lbs.) Potatoes

- Olive oil, salt and black pepper

First season the chops or steaks and then fry in hot oil in a large pan until they are browned on both sides, put to one side.

Chop the bacon and fry in the same oil until crisp, spoon out with a slotted spoon and retain.

Slice the shallots and soften these gently in the same pan, with a lid on for about 5 minutes.

Then add the tomatoes, roughly chopped (or you could use tinned chopped tomatoes)

Toss the bacon back in

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Wednesday, 26th November 2014

Home made soup is the great comfort food and a spiced soup carries extra heat when the nights draw in


- 450g. (1 lbs.) Carrots

- 1 head Celery (or 450g.Celeriac)

- 2 lge. Potatoes

- 1 lge Onion

- 3 cloves Garlic

- 1 Thumb Root Ginger

- 1 tsp. Ground Cumin

- 60g (2 oz). Butter

- 500ml. (1pt.) Vegetable stock (or water)


Peel the carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic and chop roughly. Chop the celery (or peel and dice the celeriac). Peel the ginger and chop finely.

Have ready a saucepan with a solid base and a good fitting lid. Melt the butter in the saucepan and then put in all the vegetables, with the ginger and garlic, and sprinkle over the cumin. Set the heat at lowest possible and put on the lid of the saucepan. If the lid is not a good fit put a butter paper over the vegetables to hold in as much

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Wednesday, 19th November 2014

This is really like a fish moussaka but very tasty. You can vary what fish you use if you like. Feeds a generous 6!


Pie Filling:

- 450g (1 lb.) Salmon fillet

- 450g (1 lb.) Undyed Smoked Haddock

- 900g (2 lbs) Mussels

- 90g (3 oz.) Butter

- 90g (3 oz.) Flour

- 600ml (1 pt.) Milk

- 600ml (1 pt.) Water

Souffle topping;

- 90g(3 oz.) Butter

- 90g (3oz.) Flour.

- 110g (4 oz.) Mature Cheddar

- 4 Eggs

- 450ml (3/4 pt.) Milk


Pie Filling: Tip the mussels into a sink and rinse off any sand. Put them into a pan with a cup of water and put them on the heat, covered with a lid. Keep these on the heat until all the shells are open. Tip them into a large bowl and discard the shells and take off the beards (any pieces of weed or fibre which the mussels attach themselves to rocks). Put the mussels to one side and

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Wednesday, 12th November 2014

Great fish dish this. The Spaniards love Hake. It does go well with olives, maybe that is why.

- 4 X 8oz. Fillets of Hake

- 4 oz. Bread Crumbs

- 4 Tbs. Olive Oil

Olive Mayonnaise:

- 2 Large Egg Yolks

- 8 oz. Olive Oil

- 1 Clove Garlic

- 2 oz. Black Olives (stoned and roughly chopped)


Select thick fillets of Hake as they are best for this dish. Once you get them home carefully remove all bones with a tweezers or a small pliars.

Then make the crumb. Put the oil in a large pan with the bread crumbs. With the pan on medium heat cook the crumbs in the oil , stirring all the time, until they brown. This will take about 10 minutes.

Crush the garlic and mix with the yolks. Dribble in the oil beating all the time to make a mayonnaise. Stir in the chopped olives.

Set the oven to Gas

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Letters to the Editor

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    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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