October 13, 2018

Simple Fish Pie with Lemon Mash

Half of my family eat the fish. The other half just cannot get on board. Maybe a garlic butter drenched crab claw here and there, out of politeness, but otherwise an expected 'no'. Which means that consumption of fishy dinners is a little light in our house. Tinned fish, absolutely and 99% of the time while dining out, fish will be ordered. And on the rare occasion of a take away from the chipper, fish and chips is a must with buttered white slice pan! 

With a 50/50 eating rate, it is a little inconvenient to cook for dinner as it means that two have to be whipped up. A little strenuous for anyone and an absolute nightmare for the non-fish eater, who will have to come in very close contact with raw fish! 

So on those occasions when some have found somewhere better to be around dinner time, the fish can come out! 

Fish pie can be quite a personal thing. There are endless combinations between fish, filling and topping. Filling with one kind of fish, a mixture, a mix between fish and crustaceans, a pastry topping, or a pastry bottom and a mashed top. So many options-all lovely and waiting to be discovered. 

For me, this fish pie is uncomplicated and delicious. It gives me everything I want from a fish pie. It's unbelievably comforting, filling, bursting with flavor and not the least bit demanding in terms of preparation. And it is filled with frozen peas-which is a must! Frozen peas are one of my favorite convenience ingredients. I adore them and use them every week. 

October 07, 2018

Chicken Stuffed with Apple, Blue Cheese and Almonds

I feel like I missed most of Autumn. Having been in Colombia for three weeks and having had a number of Indian summers, it seems to have come and gone. But while the leaves are still crunching underfoot, this recipe celebrates the flavours of Autumn. 

A favourite time of year for many, myself included. I love an extra layer, a lazy weekend walk and most of all, the cooking that comes with the cooler months. 

This stuffed chicken screams autumal flavours-apple, cheese and almonds. Apple and cheese-a classic combo in both sweet and savory autumn recipes. With the addition of texture from toasted almonds that release all their hidden flavour when raw.   

While making these stuffed chicken breasts I cooked one with no stuffing for a non blue cheese lover in my house! No incision was made. Instead I rubbed the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and put on a separate baking sheet.

It went in the oven at the same time as the stuffed ones and roasted along them on a separate baking sheet-for no blue flavour cross over!

Roasting the chicken this way with no stuffing is a lovely, quick and easy mid week dinner. Everything on one tray in the oven. You could season the chicken in so many different ways. Here's three ideas:

September 13, 2018

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Last weekI left you as I was going to a beautiful food market here in Colombia. Meatproduce, grains and  eggs as far as the eye could see. Any food imagined or desired seemed to be here! A further delight was the sprawling flower market just outside. Both markets were amazing-so much so that we are
making the trek there again, bright and early today, for my birthday breakfast! We're going to feast on fish soup, arepas with cheese and savory yuca pastries filled with rice, egg and meat. After that, some shopping for fruits for the week. And then... a well deserved nap! 

While I'm napping, maybe you would think of making this banana bread? Everyone seems to like banana bread. I mean, what's not to like? It is a rich, moist banana cake, cut into thick bread- like slices. You have utter control over how thick you cut this bread. What a honour! 

It can be be baked entirely with some simple spices or studded decadently with chocolate chips or dried fruit and nuts. There are countless versions that can be made. Here is a Chocolate and Pecan version I made a some time ago. The addition of chocolate makes it a perfect companion to a steaming cup of coffee. Or any hot beverage really. 

September 07, 2018

Vegetarian Lasagne with Cauliflower White Sauce

Hola de Colombia! Hello from Colombia! I arrived here on Monday and it has been amazing. The food here is incredible. The fruits! Oh the fruits! I'm making a list of things I have eaten and when I return to Ireland, I will be trying to create some new recipes using the exciting ingredients I have tasted. A cookie called 'cucas' is at the top of the list. This is a big cookie the size of your handmade from panela -unrefined cane sugar. Gingerbread- like in texture without the kick of spice, this biscuit is soft, toothsome and really good for dipping in coffee!

The recipe today though does not come from Colombia. I made it before I left home last week. It is especially  made for Aedin and James, following their request on Instagram for a vegetarian lasagne and a recipe for something with cauliflower

In response, I thought why not use as many vegetables as possible? And then came the idea of a cauliflower white sauce. It works so so well and gives the lasagne a lovely rich creaminesswithout being too heavy. The cauliflower is cooked in water and blended with milk, seasoning and some of the cooking liquid.

After the white sauce, I moved on to thinking about the vegetable ragu. I thought hard for a few days about what vegetables to use. I knew I wanted to make a ragu that had lots of flavor, a great texture and good body so that it would be filling and super comforting without being  heavy.

August 31, 2018

Chilli Lime Wings with Avocado Dipping Sauce

I'm going to Colombia on Monday for three weeks and I have nothing ready! Anyone else like this when getting ready for a trip? I am finding countless other things to do... making lots of dates to see friends for coffee, drinks, dinner. 

I don't like to pack over the course of a week. I prefer to start getting things ready 1-2 days before leaving. And usually, I just give myself the day before. 

When I think about packing, I think of a long drawn out, stressful affair that inevitably ends with the 'repack'. Which is so strange because that is not how I pack at all! It usually takes me an hour and if it is not in the suitcase- I think I can always get it where I'm going. Hopefully!

SO... as I'm not currently packing, I've been keeping busy cooking. There will recipes to post during September!  If you follow me on I on Instagram you will know I asked for some post suggestions. Thanks to all who replied. Some of these will be coming up soon!

August 24, 2018

Roasted Garlic Bread Swirls

When you type roasted garlic bread swirls into Google you get about 2, 700, 00 results but when you type just garlic bread you get over 30, 800, 000 results. What I'm trying to say is that, give the people what they want, right? Garlic+bread=popular. And without sounding desperate I WANT TO BE POPULAR! But a little bit off to the side with the not so 'on trend' people. Hence the type of garlic I used...but read on for my confession on it.

I made these roasted garlic bread swirls a couple of days ago. It was a beautiful day outside. The windows were open, people were knocking around the house and spaghetti bolognese being made for dinner. These swirls were the necessary extra carb element of our dinner. There was salad somewhere too.

The garlic I used for this recipe is called pearl garlic-it looks like a little pearl onion with a purple streaked skin. It is less intense than regular garlic you buy but definitely more flavourful than the garlic that has been sitting at home for a little too long!

It also looks different on the inside. A head, or bulb, of garlic opens up into a number of cloves and these little pearl garlics are solid all the way through-no cloves or one big clove?

August 17, 2018

Zucchini Boats

Do I address the fact that it has been three years since I last posted to my blog? Act as if there has been no blatant abandonment on my end? Act like a sibling who borrows your clothing? 

My absence comes from living a life and working a job that took up every minute of my time! For the past four years, I've been living and working in New York and if anyone knows New York, you live to work and you work to live. Anytime you have off, you take for yourself-sleeping, eating and drinking, hanging with friends, taking train rides out of the city, and drinking beer in the many bars in your neighbourhood. Or, if you're like me, finding that one bar in your neighbourhood, close to your friends and home so you can always walk home after a night out! 

When I first moved to New York, I really tried to blog recipes but I became totally enamoured with the city and meeting new people. I wanted to spend my days off exploring the city, trying new foods, absorbing all New York had to offer. Also, I didn't have all my blogging gear and I wasn't at all happy with the photos I was taking. I didn't want to post something that I wasn't in love with. If you know me, when it comes to something I'm interested in, I can be quite a perfectionist!

After my first year, I moved apartment. There was no window in the kitchen. So, for the three years I lived there, blogging wasn't  a possibility for me. I couldn't take good photos in a windowless kitchen without natural light and I wasn't going to post something I didn't believe looked good. I loved that apartment and so as I settled into my new home and got busier at work, blogging took a back seat in my life.

But I'm back! And back to Ireland with all my blogging gear and a kitchen with multiple windows!  And I can tell you that I have eaten some AH-MAZ-ING food the last four years. You could say that my three year break from blogging was all in the name of recipe research for future blog posts!

I didn't realise until writing this recipe this morning, that the last recipe I posted was on August 17th 2015. Exactly three years ago. To. The. Date. Three years exactly! Wow. This was not planned. The world works in mysterious ways! 

I'm getting back into it with a light easy recipe that is great for the family, uses lots of vegetables and can easily be halved, doubled or customised to suit your taste buds. Zucchini Boats were something I ate when I was working. I worked long days -and having this vegetable- rich dish waiting for me when I got home, made up for the lunch I sometimes missed.

I hope you like it and thanks to all those that still use the blog and have reached out over the last few years to see if I'd be coming back to Holly's Pantry. This one is for you! 

Holly, x