Author Archives: tara

Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato & Basil Soup

This is a really simple and quick Spicy Tomato & Basil Soup. A little spice is great to warm you up but you can leave it out if you wish. We made this at one of our Kid’s Cookery Camps and all the children loved it!

Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato & Basil Soup


1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp tomato puree

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tin of tomatoes

250ml chicken stock

1 tsp sugar

Salt & Pepper

Fresh basil leaves, torn

A glug of oil

Optional: a dash of cream


Sweat off the onion with a little salt until softened and then add the garlic.

Add the tomato puree and chilli flakes and cook out for a few moments.

Pour the tin of tomatoes in with the sugar. Bring to the boil and add the stock.

Boil for 5-10 mins or until the flavour has developed. Blend until smooth and check for seasoning. Add a dash of cream if desired and the basil.

TV3 Christmas Cake Part1

DIY Traditional Christmas Cake Class,TV3’s Saturday AM- 3 parts

It’s always nice to get an early start on making your traditional Christmas Cake. This year, we are holding our first ever DIY Christmas Cake class where all you have to do is bring along your cake tin and bring home your cake, ready to bake.  We will have all your ingredients and equipment and we will help you along the way. You will come back to us 2 weeks later to learn how to ice and decorate it. It helps the flavour to mature and “feeding” it with the alcohol of your choice every week or so before icing it keeps it nice and moist. If you can’t make it to our class but would like to see how to do it, watch baking the cake here and  here. Making the homemade marzipan here and finally d12391331_1090732594279652_3354634679935576129_necorating it here and here


Lemon Polenta Cake Farmers Journal

Gluten Free Lemon & Mint Polenta Cakes in Irish Country Living Magazine

Lemon & Mint Polenta Cakes Farmers JournalThese are gorgeously moist cakes. I love making them in a variety of shapes and sizes which look gorgeous for a smart afternoon tea. They are lovely summery, light cakes and I have just simply garnished them with edible flowers from the garden.

(Makes approx. 10 depending on the size of your cake papers or tins)

This recipe can be made as a full cake in a 9” tin. Bake for an hour if  doing a whole cake.


230g butter

230g caster sugar

4 large eggs

140g polenta

200g ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is gluten free)

Zest and juice a lemon (saving 3 tablespoons for the icing)

A couple of sprigs of mint, chopped

For the Icing:

3 tablespoons lemon juice

100g icing sugar


Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

  1. Line up mini cake papers or mini loaf boxes on a baking tray
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly.
  4. Once the mixture is combined, add all the dry ingredients and the mint, zest and juice after you have measured off 3 tablespoons for the glaze.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the cake papers or mini loaf boxes, spread evenly, then cook for about 30mins (depending on the size of your cake papers) or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice until the lumps have disappeared.
  7. Drizzle the lemon glaze over the top of the cake and garnish with some mint flowers or leaves or any other edible flowers you have.

Lemon Polenta Cake Farmers Journal

Garlic Scape Tempura Recipe

Dan Kelly’s Cider Garlic Scape Tempura

Drummond House Garlic in Baltray, Co. Louth have started growing many different types of garlic. At the moment, garlic scapes are in season and you might be wondering how to use them in your cooking. Garlic scapes  only have  a short season of a few weeks in June. They are shoots that grow from the ground out of the garlic and are removed to allow the garlic itself to thrive. They are increasingly popular for their mild garlic flavour and tasty, sweet crunch. There are lots of dishes to try (more on that soon!) but here’s my suggestion; perfect with a cold glass of cider or crisp white wine on a sunny evening!

Garlic Scape Raw

I have done this dish after blanching the scapes briefly and from raw. My personal preference is for the crunch frying them from raw offers but if  you prefer it with less bite, throw them into a pot of boiling, salted water for about 2 mins. Drain & dry with kitchen paper before dipping them in the batter.


A few large handfuls of Garlic Scapes, washed and trimmed of their woody ends (both ends) and sliced into 3” length

250 mls chilled Dan Kelly’s cider.

125g Plain Flour


Blend the flour & beer together with a whisk and allow to sit for 1 hour

Heat a deep fat fryer to 180˚C

Dip the scapes into the batter and fry until they float on the surface and are a nice golden brown colour.

Drain on kitchen roll and season liberally with good quality sea salt flakes. Flakes are essential here!Garlic Scape Tempura Recipe



Quick & Healthy Salmon Chow Mein

After a fantastic Christmas full of indulgence, here’s a really healthy, tasty & quick meal that will help banish the January blues!


Healthy Salmon Chow Mein

(Serves 4)

For the sauce:

Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tsp tomato puree

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 lime for squeezing

For the noodles:

1 large red pepper, sliced

2 spring onions, sliced

A large handful of mangetout, washed

A large handful of beansprouts, washed

2 salmon fillets, sliced lengthways

2 nests of medium egg noodles

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

To Garnish: A few fresh Coriander leaves & Sesame Seeds, toasted.




  1. Put the garlic & ginger in a bowl and add the tomato puree, oyster sauce, soy sauce, 3 tbsp water and stir


  1. Boil a large pan of water on the hob. When the water is boiling, drop in the noodles, turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 mins. Drain in a colander or a large sieve in the sink


  1. With everything prepared, you can now start cooking. Heat the wok – it’s hot enough when it starts to smoke.


  1. Add the oil and lay the slices of salmon on the wok carefully, ensuring all the pieces of salmon are in contact with the pan.


  1. Use a spatula to gently keep moving the salmon around the wok until it is half cooked. Add the pepper and mange tout and stir-fry for a further min.


  1. Pour the sauce into the wok and allow to bubble.


  1. Add the noodles, beansprouts and spring onions, then toss into the sauce until it is well coated, stirring constantly until the beansprouts wilt. Add lime juice & check for seasoning. Adjust with soy sauce if necessary.


  1. Serve in bowls – an easy way is to use tongs


  1. Garnish with the coriander & sesame seeds.