Beef and Guinness Tagine

Nothing is more Irish than a beef and Guinness casserole, but in the spirit of ish I had to change it up a bit. Guinness is quite bitter, so to balance that I took a cue from Moroccan cuisine and added dried prunes to the recipe. They break down and add to the rich, darkly delicious sauce. Every tagine needs a bit of spice, so I chose the allspice berry for another layer of warm flavour. You can add more root vegetables like parsnips and turnips for extra veggie power.

Baked filled pumpkin

This is one of my favourite recipes- it looks really fun and the flavour combination is really moreish. I have had students get up in the middle of the night to eat the leftovers of this recipe!

Cardamom Fudge

All the ingredients, including the liquids are measured in grams. So just place a jug or bowl on your measuring scales and measure as normal. You will also need a sugar thermometer to tell when the fudge is ready. These are available online and in most good kitchen departments.

Monica's Magic Molten Chocolate Pudding

This is my mom's recipe and it is the easiest, most decadent chocolate pudding. It is like a giant chocolate fondant baked in a lasagne type dish. There are two parts to the recipe, a sponge batter and a sauce. These get made separately and then poured into the dish. They curdle and look strange, but during baking they separate and you get chocolate sponge on the top and a rich dark chocolate sauce underneath. Serve warm with cream or ice cream and fresh or frozen berries. Some of the solid ingredients are measured by volume in millilitres, so use your measuring spoons for small amounts and your measuring jug for larger quantitites.

Spiced Citrus Cake

This is a wonderfully light, fluffy cake due to the airy whisked egg whites folded in. Subtly scented with spices and lightly fragranced with citrus, this cake is perfect with a cup of tea. Or serve as a dessert with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit if you want a lighter finish to a meal. I've used vanilla bean paste here which is one of my Pantry Pals (I love the aroma and natural sweetness of real vanilla seeds). The solid ingredients in this cake are measured in millilitres, so use your measuring jug instead of weighing scales.

Wild Garlic Pesto

Stored properly, it may last up to a week.

Peach and Chilli Chutney

While the chutney is still hot, bottle it in warm, sterilised jars.

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

Friends coming over?

Ginger hoisin beef

This is the very first stir fry recipe I cooked in the wok that my dad bought me when I was 17. The wok is still going strong and so is this recipe. The ish factor is the sauce and the marinade. Hoisin sauce has a lovely sweet plummy taste and oyster sauce is deep and rich, perfect for beef. The pale dry sherry is the substitute for Chinese rice wine,and really enhances the aromatic heat of the ginger. Use extra veggies if preferred and serve with rice or noodles to mop up the sauce.

Jewelled Chinese 5 Spice Duck Salad

One of my favourite recipes for entertaining, this salad looks fabulous for Christmas with ruby red pomegranate jewels and juicy mango. The ish ingredient is Chinese 5 Spice which is an aromatic blend of spices that marries perfectly with luxurious duck breasts. Toasted sesame oil, another ish factor, and plenty of fresh lime, finishes off this very special sensational salad.


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