Kilmore Quay Mussels with Bacon and White Wine

From: Today

Serve with some crusty bread.

Grated Ruby or Golden Beetroot Salad with Goat's Cheese, Pomegranate and Honey

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

Many people believe that preparing and cooking beetroot is a long and wearisome process. Not the case here, where the beets are simply peeled in their raw state, grated and dressed and then ready to eat. I use an Irish goat's cheese such as St Tola or Ardsallagh in this salad. A few rocket leaves and/or mint leaves could also be added to this salad for a fresh green twist.

Caramel and Almond Thins

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

These thin, crisp and delicious biscuits have many different uses. The original recipe comes from Chez Panisse in Berkeley in California. I was lucky enough to spend a month in the kitchens there a few years ago. I tasted these biscuits there and have adjusted the recipe slightly to suit our measurements and ingredients in this part of the world. They can be served with tea and coffee. They are good with ice cream and sorbets. They are fine enough to be served as a petit four. I also serve them with a Blackberry and Apple Fool in the autumn and Mango Fool in winter. They are very handy as the slab of uncooked biscuit keeps in the freezer and you slice off thin sheets and cook them as needed.

Lamb and Black Pudding Burgers

From: Today

Serve with warm crusty bread buns, lettuce, tomato and a side of relish.

Cappuccino Cream Chocolate Cake

This might look like a very impressive cake that took ages to make, but it’s really only an assembly job. Perfect for a dinner party when you're tight on time!

Grilled Pork Burger with Fennel and Pistachios

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

These burgers are sweet and delicious. Belly or shoulder of pork is best here as you are generally guaranteed a decent amount of fat from those two cuts, and fat is essential for a good burger. If the meat you are using is too lean the burgers will be dry, hard and lacking in flavour. The other crucial point to remember for any kind of minced meat dish is that the mince needs to be really fresh, so minced on the same day you are going to cook and eat them. Minced meat deteriorates faster than any other prepared meat, hence freshness is paramount. Aromatic roast fennel seeds work beautifully here as they do with almost any cut of pork and the pistachio nuts add their own magical flavour and texture. I serve these with various different dishes. A plain mashed potato is good as is the courgette and marjoram mash. They also sit happily with a tomato stew or sauce. A Bramley apple sauce or the version with plums is also good. Cook the burgers fully: this is not the time for a rare burger.




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