One list five meals: Asian Style Pizza

A dash of rapeseed oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped

½ red chilli

1 tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp of soy sauce

1 tsp of honey

2 pizza bases

12 slices of mild salami

100g halloumi cheese, very thinly sliced

A bunch of coriander, chopped

2 spring onions, very finely chopped

Heat the oil and sauté the garlic over a low heat until it is starting to change colour. Add the tomatoes, chilli and puree and stir well. Stir in the soya sauce and honey and allow to bubble away on a low heat for ten minutes without a lid.

Heat your oven as hot as it will go and leave the baking tray inside to heat up. I turn the tray upside down to make it easier to slide the bases onto.

Spread a large spoon of the tomato sauce over each of the bases. Lay the salami and cheese on top. Gently manoeuvre the pizza onto the hot, upside down baking tray and bake until the base is turning golden. Repeat with the other base.

Sprinkle with the coriander and spring onions before serving.

Vegetable Spiced Stew

A dash of rapeseed oil

1 onion, sliced

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1 tsp of cumin seeds, toasted

1 tsp of coriander seeds

1 large courgette, cut into chunks

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 tin of chickpeas, drained

A handful of raisins

400mls of stock

1 tbsp of natural yoghurt

A handful of walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

A bunch of coriander, chopped

Heat the oil and sauté the onion on a low heat until turning translucent. Add the spices and stir for a minute. Stir in the courgette, tomatoes and chickpeas. Taste and season.

Add the raisins and stock and allow to bubble away for fifteen minutes until the vegetables are cooked.

Serve with a spoon of yoghurt in each bowl and a sprinkling of walnuts and coriander.

Cobb Salad

A dash of rapeseed oil

4 streaky rashers, chopped

2 fillets of chicken, chopped into thin strips

75 mls of buttermilk

2 tbsp of mayonnaise

1 tbsp of cider vinegar

1 small head of romaine lettuce

2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped

1 avocado, de stoned and cubed

A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

150g of blue cheese, crumbled

Heat the oil and fry the bacon until it is beginning to brown and then add the chicken strips and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.

Whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise and vinegar and season to taste. You can add some crushed garlic if you like stronger tasting dressing.

Lay the lettuce leaves out onto four plates. Fill with a selection of chopped egg, avocado, cherry tomatoes, the chicken and bacon and the blue cheese. I like to serve the dressing on the side so people can add it to whichever ingredients they wish.

Baked Eggs

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 fillets of smoked mackerel, broken into pieces

1 red chilli, very finely chopped

Zest of two lemons

8 eggs

4 tbsp of cream

8 slices of bread

Mixed lettuce leaves for four

1½ tbsp of olive oil

½ tbsp of cider vinegar

Sprinkle the chopped tomato, chilli, lemon zest and mackerel over the base of four ramekins. Crack two eggs on top of the other ingredients and pour a tablespoon of cream over the eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place into an oven heated to 180 degrees for ten minutes until the eggs are set to your liking.

Toast the bread and butter it if you wish. Whisk the cider vinegar with the oil and seasoning and dress the leaves. Serve the salad and toast alongside the eggs.

Pan Fried Mussels with Vodka Tomato Sauce

Penne pasta for 4

A dash of olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, 4 lightly crushed but kept whole and two finely chopped

150mls of tomato passata

A bunch of thyme, removed from the stalk and chopped

150mls of cream

2 kg of mussels, washed and the beards removed

200mls of vodka

A handful of spinach, finely chopped

100g of grated parmesan

Put the penne on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked through, but still retaining a bite.

Heat the oil over a low heat and gently sauté the two chopped cloves of garlic until they are just starting to change colour.

Add the passata and the thyme to the pan and allow to bubble away over a very low heat.

Make sure the mussels are clean, remove any beards and grit that sometimes comes attached to the shells. If any are open you can tap them on a counter to see if the shells stay open.

Discard any that do not close.

Pour the vodka and the same amount of water into a saucepan with the four whole cloves of garlic.

Add the mussels and put a lid on the pot to steam them. Allow to steam until most of the mussels are open. If any do not open discard them.

Add four table spoons of the cooking liquid from the mussels into the tomato and stir in the cream and any seasoning needed.

Toss the pasta in the sauce as well as the mussels then sprinkle each bowl with some spinach and grated cheese.

Michelle Darmody owns The Cake Cafe, The Daintree Building, Dublin 2, 01 4789394


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