Salmon Fishcakes

Fishcakes are a useful, and delicious, way of using up leftovers. The quantities can be varied depending on what you have to hand. The ingredients below aren’t much more than one portion of leftover dinner, but it makes 10-12 fishcakes. Add a bit of salad and thats a light meal for 5 or 6 people :)


Ingredients

  • around ten smallish potatoes. I left the skins on as they were new potatoes
  • 1 salmon fillet, cooked
  • a cupful of cooked (or defrosted) frozen peas
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • a cupful of breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Makes 10-12 cakes

Directions

  1. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl - it doesn’t matter if they still have some lumps in them. Mash the peas in a separate bowl until crushed. Break up the salmon with a fork. Mix the potatoes, peas, salmon and egg together. Season to taste
  2. Shape into 10 or 12 cakes, depending on the size you want and the volume of ingredients you have
  3. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate. Dip each cake into the breadcrumbs so that they’re evenly coated all over. Set aside
  4. If you’re going to freeze them, do so at this stage. They can be cooked from frozen in the oven. Otherwise set them aside in the fridge for an hour (if you have time) to set. They’ll be easier to handle when cooking if they have been chilled
  5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook for approx 5 mins on each side until golden brown

Liz’s Rocky Road

Congratulations to Liz & Ruairí McGowan on their spectacular wedding yesterday! Ruairí has bagged himself not only a stunning bride but also the best Rocky Road maker around.

Here is the pimped-up Slane Castle version of the recipe, as made by Liz and us bridesmaid belles for the special occasion.

Enjoy the honeymoon guys xx


Ingredients

  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 300g 70+% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 150g rich tea biscuits
  • 2 Crunchies, roughly chopped
  • 2 packets of Maltesers, whole or halfed
  • 150g marshmallows (not the mini ones as they melt, and without sugar coating)
  • 2 tsp icing sugar, to dust (optional)

Makes 24 pieces

Directions

  1. Heat the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat. Remove from the heat
  2. Place the biscuits into a plastic freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin until some have turned to crumbs but there are still pieces of biscuit remaining
  3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, then add the marshmallows
  4. Tip the mixture into a 24cm/9in square baking tin and smooth the top with a wet spatula
  5. Refrigerate for about two hours or overnight
  6. To serve, cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar

Mini Egg Cake

Happy Easter everyone :)

(This recipe is from uktv.co.uk’s Easter collection. The original is here)

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Sponge

  • butter, for greasing
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk

To decorate

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 200g chocolate mini eggs (double that if you want to cover the sides too)

Directions

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease two 18cm sandwich tins and line the bases with greaseproof paper
  2. Using an electric whisk or a stand mixer, beat the caster sugar and butter together for five minutes, until pale and creamy. Slowly add the beaten eggs, adding a little of the flour as you go along, until all the eggs are incorporated. Add the rest of the flour, the cocoa powder and vanilla and stir well to combine. Stir in the buttermilk and then divide the cake mixture into the two prepared tins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Once cooked, take the sponges out of the oven. Leave to cool in the tins and then turn the sponges out onto a wire rack to cool completely
  3. For the buttercream: Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy and slowly add the icing sugar. Add the cocoa powder and milk and mix until smooth. Using a palette knife spread some of the buttercream over one of the cakes and place the other cake on top to form two layers. Spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides, evenly
  4. To decorate the cake, starting on the top of the cake, arrange the Mini eggs, working from the outside edge into the centre, and then around the sides of the cake until it is completely covered

Sourdough

This recipe takes at least a week to make, including the starter. But it’s simple and kind of exciting watching the various stages of the yeast developing.

Its important to use mineral water here as the chlorine, and other chemicals, in tap water may kill the yeast. It doesn’t have to be Evian or anything, Tesco Value will do.

Once you look after your starter well, you’ll have it for life! Store what you don’t use here in a plastic container in the fridge. Kept in the fridge it will need feeding once a week. To feed, discard (or ideally use) half of it. Top up with a cup each of flour and water. Take it out of the fridge a couple of days before you want to use, and leave it uncovered at room temperature, to bring it back up to it’s full strength

This recipe was adapted from Leiths Techniques Bible


Ingredients

For the starter

  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 225ml warm mineral water
  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 150ml warm mineral water

For the loaf

  • 170g starter
  • 55ml warm mineral water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 170g strong plain flour
  • 55g wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Makes 1 loaf

Directions

For the starter

  1. Place the wholemeal flour in a bowl and stir in the water. Leave to stand uncovered for 3 days at room temperature. It should thicken and begin to form small bubbles as the yeast develops
  2. On the third day, stir in the remaining flour, honey and water. Let stand for a further 3 days. If it does not bubble, or the mixture smells off, start again. Remove 170g of starter to make the bread. Feed the remaining starter with 100g of flour and 100ml mineral water and place in the refrigerator

For the loaf

  1. Place 170g of the starter in a large bowl and stir in the water and honey. Sift together the flours and add enough flour to make a soft dough
  2. Knead for 10 mins by hand, or 5 by machine with a dough hook. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size. This will take 12-24 hours
  3. Knock back and knead the dough again for 1 minute. Return to the oiled bowl, cover again with the clingfilm, and let rise until again doubled in bulk. This will take 3-8 hours
  4. Sprinkle the salk over the dough and knead for 1 minute. Cover the dough with clingfilm and let it rest for 10 minutes. If you have a proving basket, great, but presumably most people don’t. I lined a big sieve with a floured teatowel instead. The idea is to help the dough settle into a nice round shape, and dry it out a bit. Live it in your improvised basket for 3 hours
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225°C. Place a pizza stone or flat tray in the middle of the oven to heat
  6. When the dough has proved, remove the stone from the oven and sprinkle liberally with flour. Carefully turn the dough onto the stone and slash with a serrated knife into a X’s and O’s pattern
  7. Place the dough in the hottest part of the oven, and place a overproof container of water at the bottom to generate steam. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf is well browned, and sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. Let cool for 1 hour before slicing

Hummus

Perfect Hummus courtesy of Felicity Cloake (again!). To be honest, I’ve probably only cooked dried chickpeas a couple of times before. But I got myself a new pressure cooker recently so 40 mins is way more realistic than the 4 hours mentioned in the original recipe.
Definitely the best hummus I’ve made so far - I’m sure its delicious with tinned chickpeas also if you’re short on time
Also pictured below (on the right) is my Artichoke & Lemon dip


Ingredients

  • 200g dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Big pinch of cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Olive oil and paprika, to top

Directions

  1. Put the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with twice the volume of cold water. Stir in 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and leave to soak for 24 hours (apparently the bicarb helps to soften the chickpeas)
  2. Drain, rinse well and cook in a pressure cooker for approx 40 minutes (@12psi). Release pressure slowly and allow to cool in the water (Alternatively simmer for 1-4 hours until very tender)
  3. Once cool, drain well reserving the cooking liquid. Set aside a few whole chickpeas as a garnish. Mix the tahini with half the lemon juice and the crushed garlic – it should tighten up – then stir in enough cooled cooking liquid to make a loose paste. Add this, and the chickpeas, to a food processor and whizz to make a purée
  4. Add the cumin and a generous pinch of salt, then gradually tip in enough cooking water to give a soft paste – it should just hold its shape, but not be claggy. (You’ll need approx 6 tbsp). Taste, and add more lemon juice, garlic or salt according to taste
  5. Tip into a bowl, and when ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with the reserved chickpeas and sprinkle with a pinch of paprika