Cheese and Vegetable Ciabatta Toasty
1 red pepper, de seeded and chopped
1 red onion, sliced
16 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
A dash of olive oil
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of cider vinegar
4 ciabatta rolls, sliced in two
8 spoons of tomato passata
8 slices of cheddar cheese, grated
1 ball of mozzarella, sliced
A large bunch of parsley, roughly
½ a cucumber, sliced
Salad leaves for 4
A handful of flaked almonds
Toss the pepper, red onion and cherry tomatoes in a small dash of oil and season. Stir through the vinegar and honey. Roast in the oven or under a grill until the peppers are just beginning to soften.
Grill your ciabatta lightly on both sides. Spread each piece with a layer of passata and then top with the roasted vegetables. Pour the tasty juices from the vegetables over the ciabatta as well
Top with the mozzarella and then the cheddar and place under a low grill until the cheese has melted.
Toss the parsley, almonds, cucumber and leaves in the dressing and serve on the side of your toasties.
Penne with Prawns and Courgette Slivers
Penne pasta for 4
A dash of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ red chilli, finely sliced
1 tin of tomatoes
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
A bunch of parsley, chopped
2 small courgettes, very thinly sliced
400g of raw prawns
A bunch of basil, chopped
Put your pasta on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when it is cooked but still retains some bite.
Heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic until it is about to change colour. Add the chilli, tin of tomatoes, parsley and cinnamon and leave to bubble away for five minutes. Taste and season. It may need a small pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are a little bitter.
Add the prawns and leave to bubble away until they are cooked through. Stir the very thinly sliced courgettes and basil leaves into the sauce. You barely want to cook the courgette. Serve with the pasta.
Creamy Seafood Stew
A dash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Zest of 2 lemons
200mls of white wine
300 mls of stock
200g of salmon, chopped into pieces
200g of prawns
200g of whiting, chopped into pieces
½ tbsp of corn flower
A small bunch of dill, chopped
2 tbsp of cream fraiche
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion until it is translucent. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and continue frying for a further five minute until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
Pour the contents of the pan into a large saucepan and add the lemon zest, white wine, most but not all of the stock and leave to bubble away on a low heat for about ten minutes. Mix the cornflour with the remaining stock to make a paste and stir this gently into the stew. Taste and season lightly.
In the meantime fry the fish pieces in the frying pan you used previously. They just need to gently brown on the outside. Add the fish as well as the prawns to the pot. Leave to bubble until they are all cooked through.
Add the creme fraiche and dill at the end and serve.
Marinated Tofu with Sweet and Sour Dressing
Noodles for 4
600g of firm tofu
4 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
a dash of sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ a red chilli, finely chopped
A large handful of spinach
A bunch of spring onions, sliced
A handful of sesame seeds
Put the noodles on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.
Stir the soy sauce, honey and vinegar together and marinade the tofu in the mixture for about 30 minutes or longer if you have time.
Heat the sesame oil and fry the chilli and garlic until the garlic is about to change colour. Remove from the pan and add the tofu. Fry until it is heated through.
Add the garlic back into the pan. Stir in the sauce that was used to marinade the tofu, the spinach and spring onions. Fry quickly for a minute or two and then place on top of the noodles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
Tuna Salad with Lemon Rice and Butter Dressing
Rice for 4
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp of dried thyme
2 tins of good quality tuna, drained and
2 handfuls of black olives, de stoned
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp of butter
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
½ tbsp of cider vinegar
1 tsp of honey
A bunch of dill, chopped
Put your rice into a saucepan, add the lemon juice and zest, thyme and then cover the rice completely with the stock. Place a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add more stock if needed as the rice cooks. Drain when cooked and set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan for a minute, add the garlic, cook gently until the butter turns a light brown colour. Remove from the hob and stir in the honey and vinegar. Season to taste.
Toss the olives, onion, dill and tuna gently in the dressing, serve with the lemon rice and drizzle any remaining dressing over the rice.
Michelle Darmody owns The Cake Cafe, The Daintree Building, Dublin 2, 01 4789394 www.thecakecafe.ie
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