Recipe: Frittata Chistorra

Frittata Chistorra
Frittata Chistorra

Ingredients;

1 Handful of fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme) finely chopped
2 x onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
1 x sweet pepper, finely sliced
Approx. 20cm Chistorra finely sliced (substitute other dried meat if unavailable)
4 x eggs
30g Pecorino cheese, grated
30g goat’s Gouda cheese, grated
30g Red Leicester cheese, sliced

Serves 2


Get your frying pan on to a medium high heat with a little olive oil. Add the onions and fry them gently for ten to fifteen minutes or until they begin to caramelise.

While you wait, beat your eggs well, trying to incorporate as much air as possible, add in the grated cheeses as well as the fresh herbs and beat some more.

Once the onions have started to caramelise add in the garlic and fry for about a minute before adding the celery and continuing to fry gently for about five minutes. At this point you want to add the sweet pepper and fry for about a minute more, before pouring the egg mix over and stirring well. You will need to be quick doing this as the egg will start to cook as soon as it hits the pan. I use a plastic whisk to keep everything moving as I add the eggs and try to make sure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed around the pan.

Now leave this mixture to cook in the pan until you see the eggs start to cook at the very edge of the pan. Now, quickly add the sliced Chistorra over the top of the frittata and crumble the Red Leicester cheese over as well.

Place under a preheated grill and continue to cook until the centre of the frittata has solidified and the cheese has just started to brown at the edges. Divide the Frittata into slices just like you would a pizza and serve with a small side salad.

Thinking about Meat

It’s a really strange thing I’ve noticed but most meat eaters don’t really think about the meat they eat terribly much, in fact from talking to vegetarians I know and have known over the years it is clear to me that they actually think more about the meat us meat eaters eat than most of us do.

For a lot of us the most we think about meat is will I have beef, lamb, chicken or pork for my lunch/dinner? Most of us make our way around the supermarket and pick up our nice pre-packaged cuts without ever wondering how long it is since this mooed/clucked/snorted etc. Really how many of us actually look closely at the cut before we put it in our trolley and take it home? How many of us even look at the label to see where it came from?

It’s a bit crazy especially when you come to realise that one of the key differences in the meals you eat at home and the meals you eat in a restaurant is the quality of the ingredients. Not all meat is created equal, just like some cuts taste better than others some animals just taste better. This is usually in my experience to do with the way they are reared and the way that they are butchered.

A well butchered cut of meat can make an impact as dramatic to a meal as the addition of seasoning and sometimes even more so. That’s why I’m constantly on the search for a better butcher. Every so often I try a new butcher and for a while I find good value or better cuts but then almost as soon as I get comfortable with a butcher, the quality or value or both just start to drop off, so I end up varying which butcher I use just to keep them on their toes.

The Market Butcher
The Market Butcher

When we visited Taste of Dublin, one of the many brochures that I picked up at the event was one for The Market Butcher it was only later I realised that their shop is just up the road from me, so I popped in one day and picked up some steaks for dinner, let’s just say that they were among the finest I have ever tasted.

Since then, I’ve been a regular customer and I’ve seen no difference in quality, every cut I’ve tried has been superb. It’s great for me because we are local but they do accept orders on-line and even offer free delivery for larger orders.

The range on offer is huge and the pricing is competitive with the supermarkets while giving much better quality and to top off, all their beef, chicken, lamb and pork is Irish. I haven’t tried the other more exotic options yet, so I haven’t asked about the origins but the staff have never been anything other than exceptionally helpful so I have no doubt they will be happy to answer any questions from customers.

Give them a try – I cannot recommend the fillet steak highly enough – I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Recipe: Rice Krispie Squares

Rice Krispie Squares
Rice Krispie Squares

Ingredients;

5 oz butter, chopped into chunks
5 Mars bars, chopped into roughly 1cm slices
5 mugs of Rice Krispies
500g Chocolate (mix of dark & milk)


Line a large baking tin with overlapping pieces of clingfilm, ensuring that all parts of the interior are covered.

Place the butter and sliced Mars bars in a large Pyrex (glass) bowl and place this into a suitably-sized saucepan (the bowl should not touch the bottom, and leave space for 2 inches of water). Bring the water to a strong simmer and melt the butter & Mars bars, stirring occasionally. Once it has all melted, stir continuously until the the melted butter is absorbed into the rest – be patient, it will “come together” eventually.

Lift the bowl off the saucepan and add in 5 mugfuls of Rice Krispies. Stir this well, but gently, until all the Rice Krispies are coated and no lumps of the melted mixture remain. Pour / spoon into your baking tin and gently smooth out until even.

Wash your Pyrex bowl, dry and place back on the saucepan of water. Break up the chocolate into the bowl and melt over simmering water. Once melted and smooth, pour over the Rice Krispies. It’s best to use a soft spatula so that you can scrape out as much of the chocolate as possible. Tip the baking tray back and forward until the base layer is evenly covered.

Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place to set (varies from 2 – 24 hours, dependent on season/temperature). Do NOT refrigerate as this will make the Rice Krispie layer go soggy.

Cut with a sharp knife and store in an air tight container (old biscuit tins are perfect), will keep for up to 7 days – but I bet they won’t last that long!

Food related stuff I’ve spotted on the Intertubes II

It’s such a catchy title, I’ve decided to keep it and what better to kick off this post than some food related music to accompany the reading. This is the first Tom Waits song I fell in love with and possibly the first I ever heard, so enjoy.

What a great way to get your fresh veg, I wonder do any Irish farms run a similar scheme? Seasonal fresh produce delivered to your door as often as you require for a fixed fee, sounds like a winning idea to me. But then what to do with it all, especially if you live alone…

Back in June Marian left a comment naming Lamb Tava as her favourite dish and after trying this recipe out, my views on lamb have changed dramatically, Om-Nyom-Tastic :)

Food Scares, how many more of these do we need to have before we finally get the message that factory farming of animals is unnatural and nature will always strike back at us?

And finally one from the “This sh1t has got to stop” files Burger King reach an amazing low as they release the 2520 Calorie “Pizza Burger” According to Burger King it’s meant to be shared. I wonder will they refuse to sell it to lone diners or do we need another “Supersize Me” to remind us of the dangers of eating this kind of junk?

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Stew

It’s National Gut week in the UK this week (23rd – 29th August). It’s an annual campaign that aims to help people understand the importance of good digestive health by providing free information and advice on how to achieve a healthy gut. Which seems like a good idea that we don’t have an equivalent to here in Ireland :(

Still at least we can read the UK website and documentation to get ourselves up to speed :)

Antony Worrall Thompson is one of the Ambassadors for the Campaign and has devised a number of recipes for those suffering from IBS, looking to watch their weight or who simply want to look after their inner health. The recipe that follows is one that he has kindly provided to help promote the cause. You can find out more about Gut Week here and I recommend having a read over this document for some quick tips to a healthier gut.


Moroccan Lamb Stew
Moroccan Lamb Stew

Ingredients;

450g lean leg of lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
11/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, roughly diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 tablespoon harissa or hot pepper paste
400g tin of chickpeas in water, drained and rinsed
350g trimmed and peeled pumpkin, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 pickled lemon, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped coriander

Serves 4


Coat the lamb in the black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the lamb and cook until it has browned all over. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and is slightly brown, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Add the tomatoes, harissa and 425ml water. Bring to a simmer,cover and cook over a medium heat for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours, topping up with water as necessary, until the lamb is almost tender.

Add the chickpeas and pumpkin and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Add the lemon, mint and coriander. Serve immediately.