Archive for 'recipes'

Bia Blasta Buffet

Many thanks to everyone who came to our Bia Blasta Buffet this lunch time, we had an enormous response.  Also a very special thanks to Sinead Ni Ghealbhhain for all her hard work in putting it together.  We still have some of Sinead’s free recipe booklets left if anyone is interested.

Don’t forget we  have Issie from Issie’s Handmade Chocolate and Mic from Mic’s Chilli in store tomorrow (Saturday).  See you on the Square on Sunday at the GIY Dungarvan stand.

Chia Cookies

I had a great evening on Thursday talking to to a very lively group  from the  women’s circle at the Dungarvan Community Resource Centre.  It was particularly nice to see people tucking into Anne’s home made Chia Cookies.

Chia is the new wonder seed that nutritionist Patrick Holford was talking about on the Late Late Show a couple of weeks ago.  Its packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 oils & is well worth trying to work into your diet.

This recipe is enough to make about 36 cookies:

85g butter, diced plus extra for greasing
280g spelt flour
Pinch of salt
225g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp toasted Chia seeds

Preheat the oven to 160oc/325of/gas mk3 and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.

Sift the flour & salt together into a bowl.  Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  Stir in the caster sugar. Add the egg to the mixture along with the Chia seeds, and mix to form a soft dough.

Roll out the dough thinly on a floured surface & then cut into 36 rounds (or roll into a sausage & slice into rounds) . Transfer the rounds onto the baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes until lightly golden & crisp.  Transfer onto a wire rack to cool & then store in an airtight container.

Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday approaches and we have a tried and trusted pancake recipe for you.  You will need:
1 egg, beaten,
200g wheat or spelt flour,
A pinch of salt,
200ml milk,
A small amount of oil for frying.

Beat the egg, add the milk and whisk together.  Then whisk in the sifted flour and salt.  You now have a pancake batter – easy eh?

Lightly oil a frying pan and heat.  Once the pan is good & hot, spoon in just enough batter to coat the base of the pan.  The pancake will only take a couple of minutes to cook.  As the first side begins to cook, you should be able to slide the pancake around.  Once its moving freely, flip it over to cook the second side.  Serve with the traditional lemon juice & sugar, maple syrup or agave syrup.  Don’t worry of the first one doesn’t work – keep going there’s plenty of batter.

If you want a gluten free version, just replace the flour with Doves Gluten Free flour  and a teaspoon of gluten free baking powder.  Add an extra beaten egg and an extra splash of milk as the gluten free version benefits from being a slightly looser mixture.  Follow all other instructions as above.

If you don’t have time to make your own batter we have a lovely Hale & Hearty organic gluten free pancake mix in stock which works really well.

Special Egg Supper

The first egg from our new hens, even at less than 5cm long,  is a cause for celebration, and deserves to be served as the centrepiece of a dish. 

An egg this fresh just has to be poached, and given its tiny size I though some lentils might help to make a proper meal of it, so I’ve gone for some Balsamic Lentils which I would usually use to accompany sausages.

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 2 eggs
  • 200g puy lentils, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • Olive Oil for frying
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Heat the Olive Oil, add the onion, carrot and celery and fry until soft.  Add the  lentils and cover with water.  Cook for about 15 minutes until the lentils are soft but still retain their shape, adding more water during cooking if necessary. 

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil to poach the eggs.  When the water is boiling fast, break the eggs into it and keep them at a simmer for about 3 minutes.  The trick is to try and time this so they’re ready at the same time as the lentils.

Drain the Lentils.  Add a good slug of Balsamic Vinegar and pile into a mound on the plates. Remove the eggs from the pan and place on top of the lentils.

Summer Barley Salad

Barley is one of the world’s oldest grains, which is scandalously underused in Western European Cooking.  

Its texture and mildly nutty taste make it a great accompaniment to robust winter stews, but it also makes a nutritious summer salad.


1 cup Pearled Barley, rinsed
3 cups water

1/4 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion or shallot, finely diced
A big handful of fresh herbs, e.g. Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Mint, Parsley or a mixture.
Good Pinch Salt (preferably Maldon or Coarse Sea Salt)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Proper Pearled Barley has had the outer husks removed, with most of the germ and bran left intact, and is brownish in appearance.  Try to avoid the really highly polished Pearl Barley you get in supermarkets, as this has been refined to the point where only white starch is left. 

Rinse the Barley and place in a saucepan with the water.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer, covered, until the barley has swelled up and softened.  Cooking times can vary, but I find it should cook in 20-30 mins.  Add more water during cooking if the mix gets too dry.

While the Barley is cooking make a dressing with the herbs, oil and lemon.  The alternating sunshine and showers during the last couple of weeks has created a perfect growing environment for lots of garden herbs and they benefit from regular trimming, so use generous amounts of whatever you have.  Chop the herbs finely, then put them in a Pestle and Mortar with the Salt and bash them up.  Mix in the oil and leave them to infuse while getting on with the rest of the dish.

Once the Barley is cooked, drain off any excess liquid and put the Barley in a Bowl.  Add the lemon juice to the herb and oil mixture, pour it over the Barley and mix well.  Stir in the Cucumber, pepper and onion, season to taste and leave to cool.

This works well as a salad, or just add some diced feta cheese for a quick lunch.

Elderflower Cordial Recipe

It seems to be a great year for elderflowers – perhaps its the fantastic weather we’ve been enjoying down here in the sunny South East.  It seems a shame to let such a wonderful free ingredient go to waste, so Anne made a batch of elderflower cordial this week.

1.5 litres of water
450g raw cane sugar
12-13 heads of elderflowers
1 tsp citric acid (you should be able to get this in your local Pharmacy)
1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), sliced

Give the elderflowers a gentle shake to remove any bugs etc. Put all of the ingredients except the water into a large mixing bowl. Boil the water and pour it over the contents of the bowl. Stir gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. You may well detect a smell of cat pee at this point – don’t worry it will all be worth it.

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave undisturbed for 24 hours in a cool place.  Stir again, cover and leave for another day.  Finally, stir again and strain the liquid into sterilised glass or plastic containers.

To use, dilute roughly 1:5 with still or sparkling water. This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.  Better still,  make a big batch and freeze it in ice cube trays.

This cordial is really versatile – use it as a refreshing drink, drizzle it over ice cream or put it into salad dressings.  Also, make sure to add a splash if you are cooking Gooseberries (which are in season right now) – the two flavours really seem to go together.

Remember to leave enough elderflowers on the tree to turn into berries.  Not only will this provide a great food source for the birds later in the year, we also have a great recipe for elderberry cordial to use throughout the winter to keep coughs & colds at bay.

Veggie Sushi

We have been amazed by how many people come to us looking for the ingredients to make Sushi.  Food pedants look away now because this recipe is about as Japanese as I am.  Don’t be nervous about giving this a try – its much easier than you might think, great fun and really tasty.


250g sushi rice
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp Mirin (optional)
3-4 sheets of toasted Nori
2-3 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar

To Serve

Soy Sauce or Tamari
Wasabi (hot Japanese horseradish)
Sushi ginger

Suggested Fillings
Thin strips of cucumber, red/orange pepper, avocado, root ginger, scallions or cooked asparagus, grilled  courgette & toasted sesame seeds.


Rinse the rice in cold water & transfer into a saucepan (Do use proper Sushi rice as this will stick together well when you are rolling the sushi out later).  Add enough water to cover the rice by about 2cm.  Cover, bring to the boil & simmer for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Remove the lid, cover the pan with a clean tea towel and then replace the lid. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked rice into a large non metal bowl, adding the rice vinegar & Mirin (a Japanese Rice seasoning).  Put a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on a sushi mat or sheet of tin foil. Using wet fingers, put a handful of rice on the nori and spread it over the top leaving a strip of about 2cm uncovered on the edge nearest to you.  Using the back of your finger, press a shallow groove down the middle of the rice. Lay 1 or 2 strips of each of the filling ingredients in the groove and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Starting from the front edge, roll the mat or foil away from you so that the filling is enclosed in the nori.  You should end up with a tight tube with the nori on the outside and the rice & filling inside.  Place the tube join side down & using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, trim the ends and then cut the sushi roll into 1cm thick pieces.  Repeat with the remaining sheets of nori.  Serve chilled with soy sauce, pickled sushi ginger & wasabi – a hot Japanese horseradish.


Its sprouting season again and Mel, who works with us, has come up with this tasty sprouted seed & potato salad.  Mel uses a Vogel Biosnacky germinator & always has a good supply of fresh sprouts.  She’s always looking for lots of imaginative ways of using sprouts, particularly to get young daughter to eat them.


10 boiled new potatoes (sliced)
1 spoon of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of Lemon juice
A handful of spouted seeds (Mel used broccoli, alfalfa, cress & green lentils)
Salt & pepper
5 black olives (halved)
5 sun blush or sun dried tomatoes

Simply mix together the ingredients and enjoy!

Easy Spelt Bread Rolls

A customer of ours brought this recipe in for us to try.   We couldn’t believe just how simple these really tasty rolls are to make.  Just mix up the batter in the evening, leave it in the fridge overnight, and you can have hot, fresh, healthy spelt rolls for breakfast. 

Ingredients: (for approx 14 rolls)

500ml cold water
7g sachet easy bake yeast
1 tsp salt  (be generous – it will make a difference)
1 tsp honey
250g plain flour
400g wholegrain spelt flour

Put the water into a big mixing bowl.  Sprinkle in the yeast, add the salt and the honey, then mix in the flours.  Stir with a wooden spoon to make a soft dough.  Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. 

In the morning, use 2 spoons to lift out pieces of dough and place onto a greased and floured baking tray.  You want to use a generous dessertspoonful for each bread roll. 

Bake at Gas Mark 7/220C (200C for fan ovens) for 18 – 20 minutes.  Test that they are ready by tapping the base of the bun with the tip of your finger.  It will sound hollow if the bun is cooked.  Place on a wire rack, and serve as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.

Carrot, Orange & Saffron Soup

Anne attended a ‘Slow cooking’ course at the Tannery Cookery School in Dungarvan recently.  She came back not only enthused by some of the flavour combinations, but also with loads of tips and techniques to try out at home. 

One dish Paul Flynn demonstrated involved infusing saffron into orange juice.  There’s been a lot of interest in saffron’s benefits to eyesight recently, so this inspired Anne to try making a simple carrot and orange soup with saffron.

Ingredients  (approx 3 servings)
juice of 1 orange
Pinch saffron
Good splash of olive (or other) oil for frying
1 medium onion, diced
8oz (200g) carrots, chopped
1 pint (500ml) vegetable or chicken stock.

Put the juice of one orange into a small saucepan, add a pinch of saffron and leave to infuse on the hob over the lowest heat setting.  Meanwhile cook the onion in some oil until soft, add the carrots and heat through, then add the stock and the saffron-infused orange juice.  Cook until the carrot is soft, then whizz with a hand-blender until smooth. Season to taste and serve.

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