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 flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl
- Sieve the cooked potatoes 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)
This isn’t technically a recipe as it really just a matter of combining the ingredients. No cooking skills required and no need to stick rigidly to the quantities specified as any combination of these ingredients will result in a delicious end result. How good is that! And, as if that wasn’t enough, it’s made in minutes, i.e. real ‘fast food’. Halloumi is unlike any other cheese as it holds its shape and doesn’t melt when heated. It has a delicious salty flavour and it makes for a very quick, healthy and filling snack or lunch – it has a reasonable shelf life so it is great to have it on standby in the fridge for those days when you are starving or short of time or both (happens regularly to me). It goes very well also with fresh beetroot which you can get in vacuum packs and which is another great standby to have in the fridge as it lasts for weeks in the fridge.
Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a starter
Time to prepare: approx. 10/15 mins.
1 ripe avocado
1 fresh lime
Fresh coriander leaves chopped
Halloumi Cheese (1 packet)
To serve: Salad leaves & dressing
How to make it:
- Cut the tomatoes* into halves and then into quarters. Remove the seeds and chop the flesh into small pieces. *If you have time remove the skin by placing the tomatoes into boiling water for approx. 30 secs at which stage the skin will just peel off.
- Cut the avocado in half, remove the skin and the stone and cut the flesh into cubes.
- Place the tomato, avocado and coriander in a small bowl, add a good squeeze of lime and toss gently.
- Cut the halloumi into slices and heat a non-stick pan (no oil needed).
- Place the cheese slices onto the hot pan and fry until a nice golden colour on each side.
- Put the salad together by placing some dressed salad leaves on a plate.
- Place the avocado salsa in the centre and arrange the warm cheese slices around it.
- Bon appétit!
There are few things that bring a little whoop of joy to my heart as much as when those magic words “that was soooo nice” are uttered at the dinner table. It makes all the time and effort that goes into planning and preparing a meal worthwhile. This high praise was given to the dish that I am sharing with you this week. The amazing thing about this dish is that it is one of the healthiest, leanest dinners that I cook. 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!
This soup came about by accident when Mr ‘HForT’ came home with two punnets of mushrooms that were being sold for €1 – he does love a bargain! So mushroom soup had to be made. It is one of the easiest, tastiest and quickest soups you will ever make with just a few ingredients – a really simple recipe for anyone to try who hasn’t made soup before, or for children to make.
You will know by now that I am a great fan of soups – so handy to have in the fridge when people come in starving from school, college or work. My teenage daughter polished this off on several days this week when she came in from school. The trick is to leave the mushrooms for a few days before using them, they will be darker in colour and will have much more flavour. If you want to make the soup even tastier use some mixed exotic mushrooms sold in packs in most supermarkets. Also you can make the soup gluten free by substituting the plain flour with rice flour.
Continue reading →
These burgers are a revelation – delicious, healthy, good for you, low in fat, quick and easy to make. They also keep you feeling fuller for longer because chickpeas are full of protein and fibre and as if that wasn’t enough they also contain exceptional levels of iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium. The burgers take only minutes to make so they are the ultimate healthy ‘fast food’. Continue reading →
This simple recipe is an absolute winner – quick and easy, perfect for busy weekdays but also brilliant if you are having friends over because it is absolutely delicious and looks so good. Please believe me when I say that it is a really, really simple and healthy dish that anyone could make. In fact if you are having friends round for dinner you could cook this in the oven along with the Buttermilk Roast Chicken from my last post and provide a choice of main course (or give them both!). We celebrate New Year’s Eve (also my Dad’s birthday) every year by having my extended family for a big get-together and since I discovered this recipe it has been on the menu because it is stress-free and also very popular. Continue reading →
This ‘pizza’ is the fastest, easiest meal you could ever make and so tasty as well. I use tortilla wraps as pizza bases and they make a lovely thin and crispy crust. They are also a whole lot healthier (and cheaper) than frozen or takeaway pizzas. I made this twice this week, varying it by using different cheeses. I used Buffalo Mozzarella on the one in the picture but goat’s cheese or cheddar cheese work really well also. They are great when you need to make something quickly and for using up leftovers as you only need small quantities of the toppings (depending on how many you are making of course!). Children and teenagers love ‘dressing’ their own pizzas – in my house everyone has different tastes so they make their own. My son, for example doesn’t like cheese so he makes his pizza with lots of peppers, salami, pepperoni etc. My own favourite is goat’s cheese, caramelised onion jam / marmalade, asparagus and rocket. You need to use two tortilla wraps to make the base firm enough. Once you top it with the tomato purée you can be as creative as you like. They take approx. 10 mins in an oven heated to 160°C / 325°F.
Ingredients for 1 pizza
2 tortilla wraps (preferably wholemeal)
Tomato purée or passata
Mixed peppers, diced
Black olives, sliced
- Place two wraps on a baking tray
- Spread with tomato purée making sure the surface of the wrap is fully covered
- Scatter peppers, olives and torn mozzarella plus any other toppings on top
- Drizzle with a little olive oil
- Bake in the oven for 10 mins until the cheese is melted and bubbling
- Serve with rocket scattered across the top and a further drizzle of oil (optional)