Celebrate St Patrick’s Day by making these delicious potato cakes which take just 10 minutes to make and are a great way to use up leftover cooked potatoes. They are as popular in this house as pancakes – delicious on their own or as part of a traditional Irish breakfast. This is what I call real fast food and I bet you have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now! The recipe that comes from a book that my mother had when she was in secondary school back in the 1950s called ‘All in the Cooking’. The pages are faded and falling out and unlike cookery books today there isn’t a single picture in it.
Makes 8 potato cakes Time: 5 mins preparation / 5-10 mins cooking
225g / 8oz cooked potatoes
15g / ½ oz butter (melted)
60g / 2oz plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Clarified butter* for cooking
How to make them
- Sieve the cooked potatoes into a bowl
- Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into the same bowl
- Add the melted butter
- Mix to a smooth dough
- Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a thickness of a ½ centimetre
- Cut into triangles (cut the circle of dough in half and then each semi-circle into triangles)
- Heat the clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan
- Add the potato cakes (4 at a time) and fry until golden on one side. turnover and fry gently on the other side.
- Add some more butter and repeat with the other 4 potato cakes.
*Clarified butter doesn’t burn which makes it much easier to cook with. Just melt some butter in the microwave and use the clear liquid (the whey will sink to the bottom and can be discarded)
Kickstart your day with this super breakfast, a perfect combination of goodness and taste which will keep you going right through until lunchtime. When my daughter was doing her Leaving Cert recently she often asked me to make this for her particularly on days where she had 2 exams. Now the exams are over and I have shown her how to make it she could not believe how simple it was. It is made the night before so the oats have time to steep in the milk, use a bowl if you are going to eat it at home the next morning or use a portable container to ‘grab & go’ if you want to bring it with you say going to work the next day. Traditional hot porridge is just not appealing during the Summer – this version is so much nicer. When I make it I don’t actually measure anything anymore and sometimes I use blueberries instead of raspberries or use a mixture of both. The ‘recipe’ (if you could call it that!)is adapted from one I saw originally in Derval O’Rourke’s book ‘The Fit Foodie’. Continue reading
I just love my breakfast, always have, it’s one meal I never ever skip. I love to vary my breakfasts too so in any week I could have poached eggs, bacon & mushrooms (usually after my morning swim), scrambled eggs (with spinach or smoked salmon), porridge with fruit. At the weekend though I look forward to something even tastier. If I happen to have a ripe avocado I will have smashed avocado on sourdough toast with a poached egg and / or chorizo or a real treat for me is this delicious granola with Greek yogurt and fruit. It is so easy to make (you don’t need any cooking skills whatsoever) – basically toss all the dry ingredients (nuts, seeds & desiccated coconut) with olive oil and honey and bake in the oven for 20/30 minutes. Continue reading
You know when you come home, hungry (in my case usually ‘hangry’!) and need food fast, well instead of dialling your local takeaway this is the perfect answer and will be on your table even faster. Tasty, quick, healthy and satisfying. I made this one with asparagus, bacon pieces and finished it with some rocket but once you have eggs in stock you can just use whatever ingredients you have e.g. chorizo, cheddar, parma ham, sausage etc etc. It is a great way to use up leftovers too.
Make sure you use a non-stick pan – I always keep one purely for omelettes, pancakes etc. Otherwise you may be scraping your dinner out of the pan!
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
250g or 1 bundle of asparagus tips
75g of bacon pieces
4 large eggs
50g parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp chopped chives
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the asparagus in a pan of simmering salted water or steam over boiling water
- Remove after 5 mins (they need to be tender and still bright green)
- Drain, run under a cold tap and cut into pieces (approx. 1 inch)
- Heat the frying pan and cook the bacon pieces for 3 to 4 minutes (no additional oil may be needed)
- Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add the asparagus, parmesan and chives, stirring well.
- Season with salt & pepper
- Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook gently for 3 minutes, drawing back the edges with a wooden spatula and tipping the runny egg over the edge to help it set.
- Cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes and then place under a pre-heated grill, cooking for 2 minutes or until the top is set and lightly golden.
- Remove and serve. Enjoy!
If you haven’t tried quinoa before I urge you to buy some this weekend and include it in your diet from now on. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fibre and is rich in minerals, B-vitamins and vitamin E. It cooks in 15 minutes and is also wheat-free, gluten-free and contains anti-inflammatory compounds. I am a big fan because it is so versatile, adds protein and substance to salads to make them more filling and satisfying (fuller for longer!) plus it’s a keeper i.e. cooked quinoa keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour in itself(same as pasta or rice) but has a nice nutty flavour and fluffy texture. This quick lunch was made from some left-over white quinoa to which I piled on some beautiful Irish organic smoked salmon and a soft boiled egg. This would also make a great breakfast. It was topped off with some of my homemade mayonnaise (see previous post) to which I added some chopped dill. You will also find another recipe using quinoa in a previous post – Butternut Squash & Quinoa salad.
Wondering what to have for a lazy breakfast this weekend ? Why not treat yourself and try these easy to make pancakes. These are a real favourite in our house for breakfast, lunch / brunch, we love them too with Bucks Fizz on Christmas morning every year. They are quick and much easier to make than the thin traditional pancakes and I bet that once you master these you may never bother with the thin more labour intensive pancakes. These are easy for kids to make too – not a bad rainy day activity? They are wonderfully versatile… you can serve them with crispy bacon & maple syrup, a squeeze of lemon & some sugar or your own favourite toppings e.g. golden syrup, chocolate spread, raspberry jam etc. You do need to have a reasonably good non-stick pan that you use only for making pancakes and / or omelettes. The recipe will make approx. 20 pancakes but the mixture will keep overnight in the fridge, if you don’t want to make them all at once or rather eat them all at once! One thing guaranteed is that whatever number you make, they will all be eaten! Continue reading