Hi…

You know when you have a couple of favourite things you like doing, like photography, cooking, designing and even putting together websites.

Well…

Guess what, I’ve put them all together. Have a look around and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have building the site.

 

Most of the photography by Michael Furey (apart from the cool food stuff).

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recipes

Here are some of my latest recipes based on other people’s of course (thanks to Rick, Raymond, Marcus, BBC food et al) but changed to suit what’s generally available in our herbs and spices cupboard.
You can read more of the on my Recipes page
  • Lamb Tagine

    Ingredients

    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 tsp ground black pepper
    1½ tbsp paprika
    1½ tbsp ground ginger
    1 tbsp turmeric
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1kg Lamb, trimmed and cut into 5cm chunks
    2 large onions, grated
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp argan oil
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    570ml tomato juice
    2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
    115g dried apricots, cut in half
    55g dates, cut in half
    55g sultanas or raisins
    85g flaked almonds
    1 tsp saffron stamens, soaked in cold water
    600ml lamb stock
    1 tbsp clear honey
    2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
    2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

    Method

    Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
    Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
    Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of argan oil in a large casserole dish. Add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic for the final 3 minutes.
    In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides then add the browned meat to the casserole dish. De-glaze the frying pan with ¼ pint of tomato juice and add these juices to the pan.
    Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, dates, raisins or sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil, cover with a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.
    Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle over the chopped herbs. Serve.

  • Tomato Soup

    Ingredients

    2 carrots
    2 sticks of celery
    2 medium onions
    2 cloves of garlic
    olive oil
    2 organic chicken or vegetable stock cubes
    2 x 400 g tinned plum tomatoes
    6 large ripe tomatoes

    or – just 12 really, really large fresh tomatoes

    ½ a bunch of fresh basil

    Method

    Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Put a large pan on a medium heat and add a couple of lugs of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon.

    Cook for around 10 to 15 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.

    Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.5 litres of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the pan with your tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them. If you prefer just use 12 really really fresh tomatoes, particularly if they are homegrown. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.

    Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Using a hand blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Season again before dividing between your serving bowls.

  • Irish Stew

    Serves 6

    2 tbsp rapeseed oil

    1 kg lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm chunks

    2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

    3 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced

    1 bay leaf

    4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

    1 litre beef or lamb stock

    900g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm slices

    Good knob of butter

    Sea salt and ground black pepper

    Slices of white bread, to serve

    Place a large, flameproof casserole pot over a high heat, add one tablespoon of the oil and brown the lamb pieces in two batches. Remove and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add another tablespoon of oil and fry the onion, celery and carrot for four to six minutes, or until the onions have softened.

    Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius /gas 3.

    Return the meat to the pot, along with the bay leaf and stock. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and push the slices of potato down into and across the top of the stew. Dot with a little butter and give a final seasoning of sea salt and ground black pepper.

    Cover the pot and place in the oven to cook for about 1½ hours, or until the meat is tender, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the potatoes have coloured.

    You can serve the stew straight away or leave it covered overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop. Serve in deep bowls with slices of white bread to soak up the liquid.

  • Potato Croquettes

    MAKES 12 (SMALL) APPROXIMATELY

    500g potatoes
    150g Dublin Grated Cheese
    2-3 tbsp flour
    2 eggs, beaten
    50-60g fresh white breadcrumbs
    Salt and black pepper

    1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6.
    2. Place the potatoes on a baking tray and put in the oven and bake in their skins for an hour, until soft. They may take longer or shorter time, depending on size. Remove from the oven, cut in half and leave to cool for a while.
    3. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl and mash until smooth.
    4. Stir in the Dubliner Grated Cheese and season with salt and pepper.
    5. Mould the potato into small cylinder shapes. You can make them larger or smaller as you wish.
    6. Add the flour into a bowl dish and roll the croquettes in it, holding them carefully with your fingers and shaking off any excess.
    7. Next, roll them in the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.
    8. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until golden.
  • Fish Tagine

    Ingredients
    Serves 4-6
    600g salmon fillets, diced, two-inch cubes
    200g firm white fish, diced (cod, hake, monkfish)
    2 onions
    Olive oil
    2 tbsp tahini (30g, basically toasted sesame seeds crushed with olive oil to make a paste)
    Juice of 3 lemons
    4 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 big bunches parsley and coriander, chopped
    1 tsp nigella seeds
    2 tsp cumin seeds
    2 green peppers, diced and seeds removed
    1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
    Serves 4-6

    Method
    In a large saucepan, sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat until soft. Add the tahini, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and green peppers and cook for a further five minutes, until the peppers are just starting to soften. Add the lemon juice, diced fish and the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes over a gentle heat until the fish is opaque. Don’t overdo it though; remember that the fish will continue cooking once it’s off the heat. Gently spoon the chopped herbs through the fish before serving.

  • Indian Meatballs

    Ingredients
    450g/1lb lean beef mince
    1 tsp crushed garlic
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    ½ tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
    1 tsp garam masala
    1 free-range egg
    1 tsp rapeseed oil
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp finely chopped root ginger
    1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
    1 tsp tomato purée
    ½ tsp ground turmeric
    60-90ml/2-3fl oz water (optional)
    cooked brown basmati rice, to serve

    Method
    Mix the beef mince, garlic, half of the onion, pepper, garam masala and egg together in a bowl. Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into 24 balls.
    Preheat the grill to hot. Line the bottom of a grill tray with aluminium foil and place the meatballs on the grill tray. (This will allow the fat to drain off into the lined tray, saving on washing up.) Grill the meatballs under a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, or until nicely browned.
    Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan, and add the cumin seeds and the remaining onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened, then stir in the ginger.
    Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and turmeric and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
    Add the cooked meatballs, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 60-90ml/2-3fl oz water if the curry is a bit dry. Serve with rice.

  • Chicken Daube

    Ingredients
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 small onion, chopped finely
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
    1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    1 red chilli, finely chopped
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 medium tomato, chopped
    400ml canned chopped tomatoes
    1 tbsp coriander leaves, keep 1tbsp of stalks (chopped finely)
    150ml good quality white wine
    1 tsp sugar
    1 organic chicken stock cube
    2 medium-size potatoes, quartered
    50g chicken thighs, debones & skinned, cut into pieces

    Method
    Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and mix it all up. Add in the thyme, chilli, cinnamon stick and chopped fresh tomato and fry for another 2 minutes.

    Next, add in the canned tomatoes, chopped coriander stalks, white wine and sugar, then crumble a stock cube into the mixture. Give this a good stir, then let simmer for 5 minutes.

    Add in your potatoes and chicken pieces, then cover and simmer on a low heat for around 20-25 minutes. If the sauce dries out, add a little water to loosen it.

    Check that chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender then season to taste and discard the cinnamon stick. Take of the heat, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice.

     
     
     
     
  • Swedish Meatballs

    Ingredients

    Cream sauce
    2 tbsp oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 anchovy fillet, chopped
    200ml reduced veal stock
    200ml double cream
    1 tsp cornflour
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Meatballs
    ½ onion, finely chopped
    150ml double cream
    100ml milk
    1 tbsp salt
    1 tsp ground allspice
    100g fresh breadcrumbs
    250g beef mince
    250g pork mince
    4 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying, plus extra for greasing
    75g unsalted butter

    Method
    For the cream sauce, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add the anchovy and stock. Bring to the boil and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by a third. Add the cream and cook over a low heat for another 6-8 minutes.  Mix the cornflour with a little water to form a paste then stir it into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
    Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 6.
    Fry the onion in a little butter until soft then transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the cream, milk, salt, spices and breadcrumbs. Add the beef and pork mince and mix thoroughly by hand. Roll the mixture into small balls and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray.
    Add some water to a baking tin and place it in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Roast the meatballs for 10 minutes, or until firm. To finish the meatballs, heat the oil and remaining butter in a large frying pan and fry until browned (do this in batches if necessary; do not crowd the pan).

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