blood oranges in season now

In Season Now – January

We are half-way through January already, the first of the snowdrops are up and I’m looking forward to Spring, the daffodils and brighter days. This month I’m aiming to eat more greens in general, spinach (the easiest), kale and Cavolo Nero ( picture below of it growing in my father’s veg patch ) which is…

festive gifts for foodies , river cafe cook book

Festive Ideas for Foodies

Victorinox Chef’s Knives I find these indispensable in the kitchen and use them every day. I first came across these knives when I worked at the River Cafe in London, the head chef had one knife only, a small chopping knife in this range. They come in a large range for different purposes in a…

Chicken Soup

Just the thing if you recovering from the flu, as I have been these last few weeks. This is my mother’s recipe, it is a lovely chicken broth with lots of vegetables, it does require a fair amount of chopping but should last a few days. Try and look out for local leeks and soup…

chicken soup

Chicken Soup

Just the thing for a cold winter’s day . I don’t often make chicken soup but while recovering from the flu recently it was the only thing I really felt like eating. This is my mother’s recipe, she served it in the traditional Irish way with a big pan of boiled potatoes ( she favours…

Classic Christmas Cake

My Classic Christmas Cake recipe makes 1 x 7” square cake or an 8” round cake. Before you start line the tin bottom and sides with greasproof paper and wrap a layer of brown paper round the outside of the tin. This helps protect it while in the oven for a long time. Ingredients 12oz…

Braised Cavolo Nero

With an Italian heritage cavolo nero has very distinctive long, dark green leaves. If you don’t have any to hand, this recipe works just as well with savoy cabbage, chard or kale. Ingredients 1kg Cavolo Nero leaves 1 clove garlic finely chopped Pinch dried red chilli Extra virgin olive oil Method Bring a large pan…

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients Serves 6-8   1 large head broccoli 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 11/2- 2 litres vegetable or chicken stock 1 large onion, chopped Knob of butter 1 tablespoon olive oil Handful of parsley Salt and black pepper This heartsome broccoli soup recipe from Wee Buns Cookery School is…

Pear and Almond Tart Recipe

Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas Mark 4. Ingredients Sweet Pastry 8oz/225g plain flour 4oz/110g butter, cold, diced Pinch salt 1 teaspoon icing sugar 1 egg + 1- 3 tablespoons cold water     Tart 4-5 ripe Comice pears 200g soft butter 200g ground almonds 200g caster sugar 1 ½ eggs beaten Method Sweet…

Pear & Cinnamon Scones

Pears are abundant in October. These are pears from my mother’s garden. One easy and delicious recipe is Pear & Cinnamon Scones. Ingredients Makes 10 – 12 small scones 350g Soda bread flour or self raising flour 60g Butter at room temperature 70g soft brown or caster sugar 2 small eggs 150 – 300ml buttermilk…

Irish Tea Cake

This classic Irish Tea Cake is simple to make and will keep well for a couple of weeks, if it lasts that long! Ingredients 6oz ( 170g ) raisins 6oz ( 170g ) sultanas 4 oz ( 110g ) currants 2oz ( 55g ) glace cherries ( washed and roughly chopped ) 8oz ( 225g…

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

A real family favourite, this delicious raspberry ripple ice cream can be made all year round with fresh or frozen raspberries. For the best flavour use organic milk and free range eggs. Ingredients Serves 6 350ml whole milk 250ml double cream 1 vanilla pod 6 egg yolks 100g caster sugar Raspberry puree 350g Raspberries (fresh…

Armagh the Bramley Apple County

County Armagh also known as the Orchard County is where I grew up and was reluctant to leave – even if only 5 minutes drive away – I now live in Tyrone. My grandfather who lived two fields down from us – as children we took the direct route through the three hedges and two…

Biscotti

This is my favourite Biscotti recipe. This classic Italian biscuit is perfect served after dinner with a black coffee or tea, or a glass of dessert wine. Ingredients 425g plain flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 335 g caster sugar pinch salt 100g hazelnuts ( blanched ) 100g almonds ( blanched…

Apple and Cinnamon Crumble

This classic apple and cinnamon crumble recipe has been given an autumnal twist by adding hazelnuts to the mix. This gives the crumble a lovely texture. Serve with cream, ice cream or custard. IngredientsMethod Serves 6 1 kg (5-6 medium) Bramley apples 75g soft brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon   Crumble 175g self-raising flour, sifted…