150g dried pasta (the smaller the pieces the better)
2 cloves of garlic finely diced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
Juice of half a lime
Handful of grated parmesan
Begin by preparing the pasta as per the packaging. Then when you drain the pasta get your pan back onto a high heat and add the butter to the pan.
Once the butter has melted add the garlic and fry this for about one minute, then add the thyme and stir it in well. Finally, add the lime juice and stir for about thirty seconds before adding the pasta back in, mixing together well and serving with some grated parmesan.
You can also add some chopped salami, pepperoni or even chorizo at the same time as the garlic if you want some additional flavour.
2 foot-long bread sticks
Large handful grated cheese (strong cheddar or goats cheese)
30g butter, brought to room temperature
Teaspoon dried thyme
Teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste (or substitute with 10 twists of dried garlic grater).
Heat your oven to 180C.
Mix the butter, thyme, basil & garlic together. Make 1-inch thick slices into the bread, but do not go all the way through, just to the bottom crust. Spread the butter mix on both sides of each “slice” and then stuff the gaps with the grated cheese.
Cook for 10-15 mins, until any cheese on top of the bread has gone crispy.
I usually fashion a cooking tray out of foil for each bread stick, as this will catch any melted cheese that drips through and also means you can scrumple it up at the end, quickly tidying away any crumbs. To make the tray, pull off a large piece of foil and fold in half for strength. Fold about 1-inch of the long side over twice to form a “wall” and repeat on other long side. Place the bread stick on the foil and crease in the short ends to the correct size, ensuring that your sides stay upright. Don’t seal in the bread stick (unless you want soft garlic bread!).
Note: Use cheese with a strong flavour, this works a lot better than mild cheddar in this recipe. You can also adjust the amount of garlic to suit your taste.
2 large handfuls of ice cubes
300g fresh strawberries
100ml Malibu or white rum
100ml pineapple juice
Sprig of fresh mint
Boozie Smoothies (as the name suggests) are smoothies that contain alcohol and are great as a relaxing cool fresh drink on a summer’s evening or to go with a barbecue. What’s more they are really easy to make, so long as you have a blender that is strong enough to crush ice, if not they can be a bit physical 😉
First up you’re going to need to core the strawberries, once this has done load your blender, ice on the bottom then the banana, followed by the strawberries and finally the Malibu (coconut rum) or white rum and the pineapple juice.
Whizz it all together in the blender until the ice has been crushed and all the ingredients have been mixed together, then serve topped with a sprig of fresh mint.
If your blender won’t crush ice, then you will need to crush the ice separately and stir it into the rest once blended. The best way I’ve found to crush ice (apart from in the blender) is to place it in a plastic bag and wrap this up in a towel, then beat it with a rolling pin/baseball bat/cricket bat until it gets to the consistency that you require.
You can substitute pretty much any fresh fruit for the strawberries and you can substitute orange juice for the pineapple, I’ve made these with grape and kiwi, mango, passion fruit and because you are using the banana to “thicken” the smoothie you can use any citrus fruits you fancy as well.
Of course you can also leave out the alcohol so the under 18’s can enjoy these smoothies as well.
So experiment and have fun with them, just be careful not to have to much fun, remember always drink alcohol responsibly 😉
1 x pizza base
100ml Italian tomato sauce
2 x streaky bacon, chopped into strips
1 x cooked pork sausage, chopped
5 x slices of goats cheese
Small handful of freshly grated parmesan
Large pinch of dried oregano
This recipe is not really a breakfast pizza so much as an homage to the Irish Breakfast Roll, for those unfamiliar with the concept, think of taking a large fried breakfast and packing it into a larger bread roll with ketchup and/or brown sauce and eating it at any time of the day or night as a snack.
Unlike the original, this recipe tends to be a bit less heart attack in a roll, a bit more meal for two. Plus it’s a good way to hide the leftovers/evidence from a guilty pleasure breakfast that you know you shouldn’t have indulged in
Heat your oven to the maximum temperature with your pizza stone inside.
Once up to temperature, sprinkle the stone with cornmeal and place your pizza base on the centre of the stone. Quickly spread a generous amount of sauce up to roughly half an inch from the edge.
Next, sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the sauce. Then sprinkle the bacon and sausage pieces on top of the parmesan and place your goats cheese slices around the pizza.
Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown, sprinkle with oregano, slice and serve. Occasionally the goats cheese colours up in a really nice way that looks a lot like a miniature fried egg, this always gives me a little thrill when it happens and I claim it was by design and not accident 😉
6 x medium white onions sliced in half moons
This is another one of those recipes that’s not so much a recipe as a way of creating something supremely tasty from only three ingredients plus time and some heat.
Get a large pan or saucepan onto a high heat. Allow the pan to heat fully before adding a lug of olive oil, turning the heat down and adding all the chopped onions. Stir them well until the heat has gone down in the pan and they stop sizzling.
Next cover the pan of onions and leave over a very low heat for thirty to forty five minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has disappeared. Now add a glug of a good balsamic vinegar, stir this in and leave it for ten minutes until this too has disappeared and repeat this last step again, adding more Balsamic Vinegar, stir it in well and leave over a low heat until all the liquid has evaporated.
Now you’re ready to serve, hot over a freshly cooked burger or steak; or if you allow this to cool it can be stored in a refrigerated, sterilised glass jar for about a month, to be used cold on sandwiches or salads or reheated.