Tasty homemade treats

Something I like to cook is a big bowl of mussels with garlic butter served with some nice homemade yeast bread or shop bought crusty bread.

Something I like to cook is a big bowl of mussels with garlic butter served with some nice homemade yeast bread or shop bought crusty bread.

If you want to be more adventurous with them well this week I am giving you a nice recipe for mussel chowder which I hope you will enjoy. If you just want to cook mussels on their own well go to my recipe for the chowder see how I cook the mussels for it and just serve them as they are with some garlic butter. Make sure all the shells are open after cooking, any that are not just discard.

Carrots at the moment I find very dull and lacking in taste and very few Irish Carrots on the market, so they need to be dressed up to make them a bit interesting.

At least 10 people have asked me in the last few days if I stock rice paper, I don’t but Helen Ging at the fantastic Kitchen Dresser does huge amounts of it in lovely colours. You could spend all day up there in that amazing shop, she has everything including Jam Pot Covers, we are so lucky.www.kitchendresser.ie at Gings, Kew-Lew Business Park.

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ROOT VEGETABLES WITH MARMALADE

3lb/1.4kg Mixed Vegetables, Carrot, Parsnip & Turnip, all cut to same size

4tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

1 Garlic Clove, chopped

tsp Ginger

1tsp Ground Cumin

tsp Ground Coriander

2tbsp Marmalade

2tsp Water

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Preheat the oven to 190. Take a large flat roasting tray and scatter the vegetables over it, season with salt & pepper and the chopped garlic and spices, drizzle over with the olive oil and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for about 30 minutes then take out and give a good stir around, mix the marmalade and water together in a bowl or in the marmalade jar (I find it a great way of using up bits of marmalade or apple jelly left in the bottom of jars) and drizzle over the vegetables, return to the oven for a further 15 to 20 minutes until cooked.

Serve in a warm dish with a sprinkle of parsley. This recipe makes 6 portions.

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MUSSEL CHOWDER

3tbsp Olive Oil

1lb/454g Diced Vegetables, Carrot, Leek & Celery, equal quantities of each

1lb/454g Potatoes, peeled and diced

4lb – 5lb/1.8kg – 2.3kg Mussels in the Shells, cleaned & scrubbed

8oz/227g Smoked Streaky Bacon, diced

2oz/56g Butter

1pt/850ml Milk

1pt/568ml White Wine + pt/284ml Water, mixed together

pt/284ml Cream

Salt & Black Pepper

Chopped Parsley or Coriander

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Heat the olive oil on a saucepan and fry off the smoked bacon until nice and crisp.

Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon then add in the butter (be careful not to let it burn), add in the diced vegetables and potatoes, cook for about 5 – 7 minutes until soft, try not to let them get brown.

Place the clean scrubbed mussels in a large saucepan and add in the wine, you can add in about pt/284ml of water also with the wine, put a lid on and cook the mussels until they are open, about 5 minutes.

Strain off the cooking liquid into a measuring jug, you need about 2pt/1ltr so you can add some water to bring it up to that measure, add into the saucepan with the vegetables and then add in the milk & cream along with the cooking liquid from the mussels, give a good stir and bring up to a boil, season with salt & pepper.

Remove about half of the mussels from the shells and add into the chowder along with the remaining mussels in the shell.

Serve straight away in warm soup plates, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley or coriander. Use some nice bread to soak up the juices. This recipe makes 8 portions.

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CHOCOLATE PANFORTE

15.5cm x 24cm sheet Rice Paper

pt/125ml Honey

4oz/112g Caster Sugar

5oz/140g Macadamias, toasted & halved

2oz/56g Hazelnuts, roasted

2oz/56g Blanched Almonds, toasted

2oz/56g Shelled Pistachios, toasted

3oz/84g Apricots, finely chopped

2tbsp Mixed Peel

2tbsp Dried Figs, finely chopped

2tbsp Sultanas

2oz Dark Chocolate, finely chopped

2tbsp Cocoa

3oz/85g Plain Flour

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Grease a cake tin measuring 15.5cm x 24cm, cover base with greaseproof paper extending it over both ends, grease the paper and cover with sheet of rice paper.

Add the honey and sugar into a heavy based saucepan over a low heat and heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to boil and stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Press mixture into the prepared tin and top with remaining sheet of rice paper.

Bake in a hot oven for 25 minutes.