1. Chicken wrapped in Bacon with sautéed Kale

4 chicken breasts
4 slices of brie style cheese, I use coleeney
4 smoked streaky rashers

potatoes for 4

a knob of butter

a bunch of chives, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

1 large handful of kale

Slice the chicken breasts through the centre so you make a pocket for the cheese. Place a slice of the cheese in the centre of each breast and season. Wrap a rasher around each one and secure with a cocktail stick.

Place the breasts into an oven proof dish and into your oven heated to 180 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Put the potatoes on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.

When the breasts are almost cooked melt the butter over a medium heat. Fry the garlic gently until it is starting to change colour then add the kale. Stir fry it until it has softened.

Toss the potatoes in a knob of butter, some seasoning and the chives. Serve the potatoes alongside the kale and chicken.

2. Salmon and ricotta frittata

A dash of olive oil

3 banana shallots, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

8 large eggs, lightly whisked

Zest of 1 small lemon

1 tbsp of milk

100g of smoked salmon, chopped, I used hot smoked from Burren Smokehouse

100g of ricotta cheese, crumbled

Rocket leaves for four

Vinaigrette dressing

A bunch of chives, chopped

Heat the oil over a low heat and sauté the shallots with a lid on the pan until they are completely translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until it is giving off an aroma. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk the egg with the lemon zest, milk and some seasoning. Stir in the shallots.

Heat another dash of oil in a pan that is big enough to hold all of the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the pan and allow to set around the edges. Pull the set part away from the pan and allow the space to fill with mixture from the centre.

Sprinkle with the salmon and ricotta and allow to cook until almost set. Place the pan under the hot grill to finish cooking 1-2 minutes.

Toss the rocket in the dressing and cut the frittata into four. Sprinkle with chives and serve with the salad

3. Rice and marinaded tofu

Basmati rice for four

4 tbsp of rapeseed oil

Zest and juice of 2 limes

1 tsp of chilli flakes

6 tbsp of light soya sauce

2 tbsp of honey

400g of firm tofu, cut into chunks

4 banana shallots, peeled and sliced

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

A handful of kale, shredded

Put the rice on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.

Mix the four tablespoons of rapeseed oil with the lime juice and zest, the chilli flakes, soya sauce and honey. Toss the tofu in the mixture and set aside for thirty minutes.

Put the rice on to cook in lightly salted water. Stir in the turmeric and bring to the boil. Drain when cooked.

Heat another dash of oil in a large pan or wok and stir fry the shallots and garlic. Add the tofu and stir fry until it is turning golden. Add the kale to the pan and the liquid that the tofu had been marinading in. Taste and season. Stir the rice into the pan and fry everything together.

4. Roast venison with sweet spiced carrots and mash

1. Chicken wrapped in Bacon with sautéed Kale

Potatoes for four

3 tbsp of milk

800g of venison loin

A dash of olive oil

Carrots for 4

½ tbsp of honey

½ tsp of chilli powder

A knob of butter

Venison is very good value this time of year and is a lean healthy alternative to other red meats. You can treat it almost the same way as beef. At present a loin of venison is almost half the price of the same size piece of beef in my local butcher.

Put the potatoes on to boil and drain when cooked. Mash them with the milk and season to taste.

Rub salt and cracked black pepper into the venison. Heat the oil in a pan and sear the venison on all sides for about two minutes. Set onto an oiled oven proof dish and place into an oven heated to 200 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes for rare, 25 for medium and adding another five minutes or so will make it more well done. For the last five minutes of cooking place a knob of butter onto the venison and leave it melt over the meat. Once it is removed from the oven set it aside to rest the meat for ten minutes.

While the meat is cooking boil the carrots. Once they are soft drain the water and toss them in the honey, chilli a small dash of oil and seasoning.

Slice the venison. It will be rarer in the centre and more well cooked on the outer edges, so people with different preferences will be kept happy. Serve with the carrots on the side with the mash. Pour any juices from the roasting dish over the meat.

5. Mustard roast vegetable salad with walnuts and dolcetto

1. Chicken wrapped in Bacon with sautéed Kale

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of honey

2 tsp of wholegrain mustard

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 large carrots, chopped into chunks

1 tbsp of cider vinegar

A handful of walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped

2 large handful of rocket

150g of a soft sweet blue cheese like dolcetto

Crunchy bread for four

Mix together the oil, honey and mustard. Toss the root vegetables in half of the mixture and season well. Place them on an oiled baking tray and roast in an oven heated to 180 degrees until they are soft and turning golden.

Mix the remaining honey mixture with the vinegar, taste and add a little more of any of the components if you wish. Season it.

Toss the leaves and nuts in the dressing and gently toss the warm vegetables through as well. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve straight away as the leaves will wilt. Some crunchy bread is nice on the side.

 


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