Monica's Apple Caramel Sponge

My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. First, you bake the appley, cinnamony sponge, then you pour the steaming, rich caramel sauce over and allow it to sink in. Heaven with cream or custard. There are 140 varieties of apples that are native to Ireland with wonderful names like 'Cavan Rose' and 'Irish Molly'. Any eating or cooking apple will work, so have fun experimenting with different types, not the same old same old!

Chow Down Chicken Noodles

This is a great takeawayish recipe, all the tastes and textures of a traditional Chinese, but with extra crunch and veggies. Use skinless boneless chicken thighs for really juicy tender chicken, much better than chicken fillets. You can make this a vegetarian main meal by swapping out the chicken for extra veggies like courgettes and extra peppers. The real ish ingredient is pale dry sherry, also called fino sherry. This is the closest Western equivelant to Chinese sxhaosing wine which is a traditional rice wine.

Brie, Nut and Ginger Wheel

Great for sharing between two for Valentine's Day or as an appetizer or dessert during a dinner party

Seafood Chowder Pies

Ireland is very fortunate to have such an abundance of fresh seafood - so important as part of a varied and healthy diet. I love to experiment with new recipes, but I still come back to old favourites like fish chowder. I fell in love with seafood chowder on a wet October weekend in Doolin when I moved to Ireland many years ago. I use this basic mixture in several different ways - delish over a baked potato too!

Oaty pancakes

I never reallly enjoyed porridge until I moved to Ireland, now I love it for breakfast with fruit and yoghurt. The Irish soil and climate produces highly nutritious, good quality oats. The grains fluff up really well and have a lovely texture, not boarding school gloop

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!

Exotic Fruit Salad With Aromatic Syrup

It can be tricky to find a dessert to finish off an Asian meal. Fresh exotic fruit is the ideal choice, but sometimes we want a little decadent touch. This delicious syrup is heavenly, my students go gaga over it. Make extra and keep in a clean screw top jar in the fridge for 2 weeks. Heat up and serve with vanilla ice cream - delish! The ish factor are the aromatic spices and lime juice used in the syrup.

Dark chocolate raspberry brownies

This recipe makes the most gooey, decadent chocolate brownies imaginable. A word to the lads: if you have annoyed your missus, a tray of these will go a long way to patching things up. With chocolate as the mortar. The frozen raspberries work brilliantly as they stay whole during the baking process, adding bursts of pink tartness in the slab of chocolatey goodness.

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.

Chicken Wholegrain Rolls

This is a great lunch box sandwich or picnic pleaser from Rozanne Stevens




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