2 small ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of cider vinegar
3 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of capers, rinsed and chopped
½ red onion, very finely chopped
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 kg of mussels
Crunchy bread for four
Blitz the tomatoes, vinegar and oil with a soup-gun or in a blender until smooth. Stir in the capers, red onion and parsley. Season to taste and set aside.
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.
Heat a large pan on the stove and when hot add all of your clean, beardless mussels along with two tablespoons of water. Place a lid on the pan and leave over the high heat for two minutes giving them a good shake once or twice.
If any do not open discard them.
Scoop the mussels into four bowls and spoon the dressing over them. Serve with some nice crunchy bread.
2. Sweet Potato and Baked Eggs
600g of sweet potato, cut into bite-size chunks
1 red chilli, finely sliced
A bunch of rosemary removed from the stalk
A dash of olive oil
175mls of stock
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
300g of baby spinach, roughly chopped
150g of goats cheese
Toss the sweet potatoes, chilli and rosemary in the oil and seasoning and place into a large ovenproof dish. Cover with the stock and put into an oven heated to 180 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes until they begin to soften.
Stir the sweet potato chunks and then add the tomatoes. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until they too are softening.
Lay the spinach on top and cover with a lid or foil. Place back into the oven for 10 minutes until it is beginning to wilt.
Stir the contents of the dish and crack the eggs on top and sprinkle with the goats. Bake until the eggs are cooked to your liking and the cheese is turning golden.
Spoon the dish onto four plates to serve.
3. Pumpkin Curry with Rice
Basmati rice for four
2 cloves of garlic
The juice and zest of 1 lime
1 red chilli
2 sticks of lemongrass, the outer leaves removed, and Roughly chopped
3 tsp of ground turmeric
3 tbsp of sunflower oil
A handful of mint leaves
A handful of coriander leaves
1 large pumpkin, peeled, de seeded and cut into cubes
2 red onions, roughly sliced
4 tbsp of coconut milk
Put the rice on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.
Put the garlic, lime juice and zest, the chilli, lemongrass, turmeric, oil and herbs into a blender until smooth. Taste and season.
Rub half of the paste into the chunks of pumpkin, toss it with the red onion and place it into an ovenproof dish. Bake at 180 degrees until the pumpkin is soft.
Stir the rest of the paste into the dish of sweet potato with the coconut milk. You can add a little warm stock or water if you would like a runnier curry. Taste and season. Serve with the rice.
4. Spicy Greek Salad
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
½ red chilli
1 clove of garlic
A small handful of fresh oregano, removed from the stalk
1 very ripe tomato, chopped
12 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, thinly sliced into strips
½ yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1 small cucumber, cut into slices
A handful of mixed leaves
A handful of black olives, without stones
250g of feta, cut into four slabs
Blitz the oil, vinegar, chilli, garlic and oregano until you have a smooth paste. Season to taste
Toss the tomato, cherry tomatoes, onion, yellow pepper, cucumber, leaves and olives in the dressing, coating them all over. Taste and season again if necessary.
Divide the salad between four bowls and lay the feta on top of each. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and serve with crunchy bread.
5. Pork Meatballs Baked in a Tomato and Basil Sauce
A dash of olive oil
2 small onions, very finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of cinnamon powder
2 spring onions, very finely chopped
½ red chilli, very finely chopped
500g of minced pork
A handful of basil, finely chopped
150g of breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
Flour for dusting
Pasta for four, I like to use the orzo that is small grain like pasta
Sauté one of the onions on a low heat with a lid on the pan. Sauté until it is completely soft and transparent, add the garlic to the pan and continue frying for another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cinnamon. Allow to bubble over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Place the spring onion and red chilli into a bowl with the mince, basil and breadcrumbs. Season and add the egg. Combine everything completely.
Sprinkle the flour onto a large plate. Shape the meat balls into walnut size balls between your hands. Roll each one in the flour.
In the meantime put the pasta on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked through.
Using a pan that you can place into an oven. Heat some oil and fry the balls until they are golden on the outside pour the sauce over the meatballs and place the pan into an oven heated to 180 degrees. Bake until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with the pasta and some extra basil leaves sprinkled over.
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