Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Finally I got around to taking part in the Irish Foodies Cookalong, below is my entry for the Food for Romance.  I decided to make Poached & Smoked Salmon Creme Fraiche served with Crostini -perfect starter for any romantic night in….

Poached & Smoked Salmon Creme Fraiche & Crostini


2 x Poached salmon darnes 

100g Smoked Salmon

1 tbsp chopped dill

1 tbsp chopped chives

3 tbsp creme fraiche

1 tsp horseradish


1. Poach the 2 salmon darnes, put a pot of water on the hob & bring to the boil, remove from the heat, add the salmon & leave the water to cool – the salmon should be perfectly poached.

2. Dice up the smoked salmon, chop dill & chives.

3. Mix poached & smoke salmon & herbs in a bowl, add the creme fraiche & horseradish. Season.

4. Serve lightly chilled with crostini.

Hope this brings romance!

Vick xx

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I think anyone living in Ireland the past few months should get a medal for the winter olympics, between cars sliding down hills, people struggling through feet of snow and then in January all of a sudden the temperatures change by 20 degrees from -10 below to +10 degrees!! Its crazy weather & no wonder so many people have been struck down with bugs & flu.

It really is time for hot soups & hearty dinners  if not just to cheer you up, but also heat you up. The below recipe is loosely based on the Spanish Patatas Bravas & Meatballs tapas, obviously mine has meatballs in tomato sauce with served with potato wedges!! The Meatballs were formly Clonakilty Ispini sausages which were left over in the fridge!

Sausage Meatballs with spicy Tomato sauce & potato wedges


some left over good quality sausages

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp smoked paprika


Firstly cut skin of sausages & squeeze out the sausage meat. Then roll into small sausage balls, gently fry in a pan to brown slightly. Next gently fry onion & garlic, then add the tomatoes bring to boil, then turn down to simmer, add the chilli flakes, remove from the pan. Next paprika, also sugar to taste, then add back in the sausage balls & leave to cook for 15-20mins.

Serve as tapas or with Potato Wedges.

 Happy & healthy 2011,

Vick xx


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Sincere aplogoies for the lack of blog posts recently, its been a busy month but thats no excuse!

Firstly I was down at Ballymaloe Chef Factor Party, it was so much fun, met my idol Darina, she’ s amazing really & truly inspirational. We stayed in Ballymaloe house which was beautiful, the night was great fun with lots of laughs and amazing food, there was little shot glasses of soup, pea & bacon, thai chicken & bloody mary tomato then the site of a pig on a spit welcomed us with a roaring fire on such a cold evening(just before the start of the first snow fall), followed by a fantastic cheese board, with one of my favourite Mossfield Organic Cheese & also sticky toffee pudding. Cully & Sully do it in style it was also great to meet other foodies.

Last week I went to the Cookbook club dinner in Ely, where the host chef was Domini Kemp  with her new “itsa cookbook”, I had the Crabcakes with lemon & caper salsa, Blackened Salmon with spiced aubergine which had amazing flavours & then to follow the Mini Molten Chocolate Cake. Oh and there were amazing Evil Cheese Puffs as appetizers which were fantastic. I would definitely recommend this book & if you’re looking for a christmas present for non-foodies & foodies alike its a great book.

In between which I was at the Tannery Christmas Baking Course, where we made mincemeat, mince pies, christmas cake & yummy cranberry amaretti which i have made since  & eaten them all myself, but these would be a great gift to give to friends over Christmas or have with a glass of mulled wine or cup of tea.

Finally, I have been baking Christmas cake, mince pies, making Jamie Oliver’s “get-ahead” gravy, which I can’t wait to have on Christmas day. On the Christmas RTE guide, Catherine Fulvio’s recipe mushroom & pancetta stuffing balls sound amazing. www.rte.ie/food/2010/1122/roastpheasant.html

 While in the Sunday Times Gizzi Erskine’s recipe for Lucsa’s Creamed Savoy Cabbage with Nutmeg sounds like a great alternative for those of us who aren’t big fans of the traditional Brussel sprout.

Happy Christmas & Best Wishes in 2011.

Vick xxx

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Cully & Sully Cheffactor

So i’ve been under ground the last week or two – apologies, but here’s what i’ve been working on….

My entry for Cully & Sully Cheffactor check it out on www.cheffactor.ie

what do you think? Voting starts Oct 25th – Nov 25th – so PLEASE vote for me.

It’s an absolute dream opportunity Vick xx

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I went to do my grocery shopping this evening not knowing what to have for dinner… decisions, decisions… I then decided that I might try to make creamed sweetcorn which I tasted in Dillingers Restaurant a few months back, then decided that maybe stuffed chicken would be nice.


2 Chicken Breasts


Basil Pesto

Sundried tomatoes

Parma Ham

Frozen Sweetcorn

Vegetable Stock


Knob Butter


Mixed some basil pesto with a little handful of breadcrumbs, and sundried tomatoes

Stuff the chicken breast , then wrap the chicken breast in parma ham.

Roast in pre-heated oven at 180C for about 30 mins

In the meantime, boil some stock & water & add approx two handfuls of frozen sweetcorn.

When corn is cooked, drain well

Add a knob of butter to the corn & a drop of cream, then whiz with a hand blender. Season with Salt & Pepper.

Then enjoy with a glass of Pinot Grigot!!

Enjoy Vick xx

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Seeing as we are looking to get a late summer, I reckon the Barbies will be back in action & coals buring late into the night over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed this nice weather will stay a little longer & we can enjoy long evening drinking processco & strawberries, eating BBQ burgers, roast courgettes & peppers…. yummy!

Here’s some burgers & homemade wedges that I rustled up (luv my cute little Ikea rice bowl – so handy for dips or side dishes)


Vick x

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What better way to use up those lovely small courgette, than simply enjoy the flavours of the courgette enhanced with bacon & parmesan in a Courgette Carbonara. This is a lovely light summer dish, creamy yet not too much sauce. The recipe I used was one of Jamie Olivers from Jamie at Home cookbook, this is a great book, broken up into seasons, with insights in growing veg, varieties, growing tips &  recipes. I really like this book, as it has great reciepes, from smashed peas & broadbeans on toast to butternut squash muffins, its defo one of my favourite Jamie books, it is a toss up between Jamie at Home & Jamie’s Dinners!! The winner hasn’t passed the post yet…


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