1 tbsp of lemon juice and the zest of 2
1 tsp of whole grain mustard
1 tbsp of cider vinegar
3 tbsp of good olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, 1 crushed the other two halved
1 red onion, finely diced
4 thick slices of crunchy bread
2 tins of butter beans, drained
2 tins of tuna in oil, drained and flaked
A small handful of capers
2 large handfuls of rocket leaves
Whisk the juice, mustard, vinegar, oil and the crushed garlic together and season well. Stir in the onion and set aside.
Rub the garlic vigorously into both slices of bread, sprinkle with seasoning and drizzle with a little olive oil. Toast the bread.
Toss the beans, tuna, capers and rocket in the dressing. Serve the bread on the side.
2. Coconut baked fish with garlic pak choi
Basmati or jasmine rice for four
4 fillets of sea bass
4 tbsp of coconut milk
2 small sticks of lemon grass, beaten and sliced
A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 bunches of pak choi, leaves pulled apart
A dash of sesame oil
1 tbsp of light soy sauce
Put the rice on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.
Place each fillet of fish in the centre of a square of large parchment, bunch up the parchment on all sides. Pour the coconut milk over the fish and sprinkle on the lemon grass, ginger and half of the garlic. Bunch the paper so that the fish is almost covered over.
Place the parcels into an oven heated to 180 degrees and bake for 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
After 15 minutes of the parcels being in the oven heat the oil in a large pan or wok and fry the garlic until it is just starting to change colour. Add the pak choi and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the soy sauce.
3. Corn cakes with lemon creme fraiche
1 small carrot, chopped into small cubes
1 stick of celery, cut into small cubes
a dash of rapeseed oil
2 tins of sweetcorn kernels, about 200g per can, drained
1 red chilli, finely chopped
100g of spelt flour, regular flour will also do
2 eggs, lightly beaten
a large bunch of coriander, chopped
80 mls of milk
1 large avocado, peeled, de stoned and sliced
1 tbs of creme fraiche
the zest of 2 lemons
Stir fry the carrot pieces and celery for about two minutes until they are beginning to soften.
Stir the corn, chilli, flour, eggs, half the coriander and the milk together with the carrot mixture and some seasoning. Set aside to rest for ten minutes.
Heat a little more oil in the pan and spoon an eight of the mixture into the pan and fry until golden. Then flip it over and do the same on the other side. Set aside on kitchen paper and repeat until you have eight pancakes.
Stir the lemon zest through the creme fraiche and season.
Serve two of the cakes per person with slices of avocado and a spoon of the creme fraiche on top. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander and serve.
4. Roasted chicken and vegetables tossed with cous cous
4 chicken legs on the bone
4 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
2 courgettes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
A dash of olive oil
Cous cous for four
Juice of 2 oranges
A handful of golden raisins
A bunch of coriander, chopped
2 tbsp of natural yogurt
2 tbsp of tomato passata
Toss the legs, garlic, courgettes, chilli and onion in oil and seasoning. Place all the vegetables in an oven proof dish and place the chicken legs on top.
Bake the dish for 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Soak the cous cous and raisins in a bowl with boiling water and add the orange juice and seasoning and stir. Cover the bowl and set aside to allow the liquid to soak in. Pour off any excess liquid when the cous cous is soft. Fluff up with a fork.
Pull the chicken meat from the bones. Keep all of the nice juices that have formed. Toss the chicken pieces and all of the vegetables through the cous cous making sure to use all of the juices.
Sprinkle each portion with coriander and spoon on some yogurt and passata before serving. If you like a kick you could use Harissa paste instead of the passata.
5. Sardines on toast
2 bunches of cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
2 tbsp of olive oil
½ a tbsp of lemon juice and 2 slices of lemon
A bunch of parsley, chopped
A bunch of chives, chopped
4 slices of crunchy bread
3 tins of good sardines
2 large handfuls of rocket leaves
Some days all I want is a quick easy dinner, especially after a long day working on my feet. This is one of my go-to quick dinners. I like to get really nice Portuguese sardines, the ones that are preserved in oil rather than brine. This dish has been on the menu in The Cake Café since we opened and it is a firm favorite.
Toss the tomatoes and garlic in a little oil and seasoning and place into an oven heated to 200 degrees for twenty minutes until they are soft.
Set the tomatoes aside and use the garlic and juices for the dressing. Add the lemon juice to these, the rest of the oil and the herbs. Blitz to make a dressing and season.
Toast the bread and drizzle with a little oil. Place the sardines on top, sprinkle with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Toss the rocket leaves in the dressing, with the tomatoes and serve beside the sardines on toast.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved