There is no better evidence of the popularity of seasonal goods than this time of year when pumpkins are everywhere. And they are cheap, relative to if you want a pumpkin in the summer.
But you can have good value food all year round bought locally, from local sources, not just form large retailers. And in doing so give our economy that essential boost in the process.
Kevin Sheridan from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers brought us in breakfast, lunch and dinner sourced, as he says himself, from real people.
There are lots of porridge types and brands out there, the main thing is to pick a non processed type, I recommend cooking on the hob but lots of people successfully use the microwave; there are always instructions for both on the pack.
You can make porridge using only water or you can use a mix of milk and water.
There are an infinite number of foods that you can add to the cooked porridge to give extra flavour and nutrition, for sweetness instead of sugar try sweet fruits like mashed banana, stewed apple, pear or even a local honey. Other ideas are toasted seeds, dried fruits such as raisins, apricots and prunes, when in season fresh fruits such as raspberries and blueberries.
Kevin’s Pumpkin soup
Pumpkin Soup (serves 6 – 8)
I medium pumpkin or 2 butternut squash
2 large onions
4 cloves of garlic
Knob of butter and splash of olive oil
2 litres of vegetable and beef stock or chicken stock
2 teaspoons of marmite, optional!
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200c
Cut the pumpkin into large sections, removing the seeds and any stringy flesh. Place the pumpkin sections skin down on a baking tray and loosely cover with a sheet of tinfoil. Roast until the flesh is soft and allow to cool
When cool peel off the skin
Roughly chop the onion and garlic
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy bottom pot on a medium-low heat and cover with a lid. Cook until soft and golden
Add roast pumpkin flesh to the cooked onion, add the stock and marmite.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes
Blend and season to taste.
Serve with brown bread and butter
- 1kg potatoes,
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 2 thick rashers of smoked streaky bacon, diced 1.5”
- Rapeseed oil
- ½ glass white wine.
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 350g Durrus cheese, wipe the rind with a damp cloth, and dice the cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 5.
- Peel and dice the potatoes into ½ inch pieces. Boil for 3-5 mins. Drain.
- In a large heavy pan heat a good splash of rapeseed oil. Fry the potatoes lightly
- Add the diced bacon and onion. Cook until the bacon has begun to crisp.
- Add the white wine, stir and then add the cubed cheese
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Choose an ovenproof earthenware dish and rub it well with the halves of garlic and some rapeseed oil. Empty the contents of the pan into the dish and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until the cheese has melted and begun to crisp.
- You can also add some thick spinach, chard or asparagus along with the cheese.
Traditional Irish Brown Bread
Recipe provided by Maura Sheridan
250g plain white flour
200g wholemeal flour
1 level teaspoon bread soda
1 level teaspoon salt
2 large free range eggs
250ml Yoghurt (or Buttermilk)
I turn on the fan oven at 200 – 250C to preheat while I prepare the mixture.
First, prepare baking tray or ceramic pot- I use an old Le Creuset pot to bake the bread in. I line it with the wrappers from butter, but you can use greaspeproof paper.
Beat the eggs very well, add the yoghurt and beat again –leave aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flours , bread soda, salt). Make a well in the centre of the bowl.
Add most of the liquid and using your hand start mixing the flour in from the centre out with a light touch.
When the mixture comes together, form a round and place on a floured baking tray or in a heavy bottomed ceramic dish such as I use.
Place in the centre of the oven.
Note on temperatures and times: Ovens vary. I have mine at 200 – 250C for 10/15 minutes. Then turn down to 190/180C for the remainder of baking time - total baking time 1 hour.
To ensure that the bread is cooked, turn upside down, tap the bottom, and a hollow sound lets you know that it is done.
When cooked, wrap in a tea towel and leave to cool.