One of my favourite things to do is to talk on the topic of food with my granny. Learning to cook armed only with cookbooks and a passion for art, with eight hungry mouths to feed and very little money, my granny developed some of the most resourceful cooking skills I know. I love that with barely anything in the house she can produce something incredibly elegant, such as soufflés, without thinking twice. This is a light and rather sophisticated cake that relies heavily on store-cupboard ingredients and is a perfect example of her skill in being able to produce something incredibly impressive out of everyday items.
There are a few vegetables I can grow without fail and thankfully one of them is the mighty beetroot, which roasts beautifully and is a great addition to this lentil salad. This dish makes a nice lunchtime dish and is excellent in lunchboxes.
This salad is a really bright and vibrant one for the summer months.
From: Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked
When my dad was growing up, my granddad took him and his brothers and sisters to Dublin Zoo on a cold winter's day. They had brought bags of bananas and monkey nuts to feed the monkeys and were throwing the food over the iced enclosure. One stray banana landed on the ice and suddenly the monkeys realised they could walk across the ice, leading them to charge my granddad and his kids, attacking them for the food. Hence the inspiration for this nutty baked Alaska...
Crispy crackling and tender pork belly meat paired with Chinese five-spice powder – a match made in heaven. For just the tiniest amount of work in the kitchen, using an inexpensive piece of meat, you get the most amazing results, which will feed a crowd. There are many different things you can do with pork belly as it’s quite versatile, but I like the simplicity of this method; it’s a nod to Asia, where this is an incredibly popular cut of meat.
People panic a little bit about the measurements for cocktails, but it really is a case of making them to taste and remembering simple rules like one part alcohol to three part mixer for each person. Then just add the flavours! Get your hands on some fresh summer mint for these babies – it's one of the easiest herbs to grow, so just pick up a plant in the garden centre and pop it in a pot for fresh mint all summer long!