Author Archives: tara


Chicken Fajitas recipe & TV3 clip

Chicken Fajitas

This is an all-time favourite at our cookery camp amongst the kids and I get kids who have done them before with me still asking to do them again. You can buy fajita packs if you don’t have time to make the spice mix, salsa and tortilla wraps but it’s much nicer if you make them yourself and kids usually love making the dough!

Watch the clip on TV3 here

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 12.12.19

Serves 4


2 chicken breast fillets

½ red pepper, slice lengthways

½ onion, sliced

Groundnut or rapeseed oil

Some cheddar cheese, grated

Sour cream

For the homemade tortilla wraps

250g plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

175ml water

For the spice mix:

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika


To make the tortilla wraps, put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix. Make a little well in the middle, add the oil and water, mix it all together and knead the resulting dough for about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for at least half an hour (or even overnight if you want).

Prepare the spice mix by combining all the ingredients, then set aside.

Make the tomato salsa by combining all the ingredients (see page XX), then set aside.

When you are ready to cook the tortillas, put the dough out on a floured worktop. Cut the dough into golfball-sized pieces and roll these out into circles, as thin as possible.

Heat a dry frying pan and place your tortilla wrap into it. When it starts to blister and bubble, carefully turn it over and cook the other side.

When all the tortillas are cooked, prepare the filling. Slice the chicken breast into about 6 pieces each. Place the chicken, pepper and onion in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the spice mix. Mix it through with a spoon.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the chicken and vegetables. Stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through. You can check this by taking a piece out of the pan and cutting it in half. If it is completely white on the inside, it is cooked.

Place a spoonful of the chicken, peppers and onions in the middle of a tortilla wrap and add a little cheese, salsa and a dollop of sour cream. Roll one side of the wrap over to the middle, then tuck in the end and roll the other side of the wrap over.



Seafood Rocks Recipes


It was an absolute pleasure to do a couple of cookery demonstrations at the wonderful Seafood Rocks  Festivalin Clogher Head again this year. The festival was all about seafood, music, family and sustainability in the nautical world.

A massive thanks to Patricia who works with me at the cookery school, assisting a demo with surprise recipes thrown in is no easy task!! Also thanks to Damien & David of Seafood Rocks for having me, Kenny Maguire for his professionalism and great kitchen and Zack Gallagher for keeping everything organised-it was a pleasure to work with you!

I centred my demos around seafood recipes of course and got some surprise seafood treats thrown into my demo at the last minute which was a challenge in terms of what I would cook but that’s exactly the type of challenge I love! It was like being given a mystery box of ingredients on stage! I have put the recipes I knew I was going to cook here but in terms of my last minute recipes, I cooked razor clams in the oven at 180C for 5 minutes, then added some chopped rosemary, chilli and garlic to them (as these were some ingredients I had to hand) when they started opening with a little olive oil. I cooked them for another 3/4 mins and squeezed a little lemon juice over. They were delicious if I say so myself but to be fair, I was very lucky with the beautiful product. I was also given a few full langoustines or Dublin Bay Prawns in their shell which I cut lengthways from the back of the head to the end of the tail, tossed on a griddle pan (great on a BBQ too) and finished with some butter, garlic, parsley and dried chilli flakes.

I was also very lucky to show case our local producers Ballymakenny Farm’s Long Stem Broccoli Drummond House Garlic Scapes & Elephant Garlic Oriel Sea Salt.

Finally, the fantastic makers of Bluebell Falls goat’s cheese had a stand in the food tent so I rustled up a roast garlic & rosemary crostini topped with their original soft goats cheese and a little drizzle of a beautiful aged balsamic vinegar that was also in the food tent.

Here are some videos:




Day 1 Demos:

Crab Tostadas

(Makes 10-12)


200g of crab meat

½ a  shallot, finely chopped

Some zest and juice of a lime

3 or 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tblsp of mayonnaise

Salt, to taste

To serve:

Some small salad leaves such as Endive or Little Gem, washed

Avocado, sliced

Lime wedges

Fresh Coriander leaves

Wheat wraps, cut into triangles and deep fried or baked until crisp.


Mix all of the ingredients for the crab apart from the lettuce in a bowl and taste for seasoning

When you are ready to serve, place the lettuce on the tostadas and top with the crab, then avocado and finally, the coriander. Serve with the lime wedges.

Pan fried Plaice with Drummond House Garlic Scapes, Samphire, Cannellini Beans & Lemon Thyme


2 fillets of Plaice (or other white fish such as turbot)

1 tblsp flour

Knob of butter

About 4 tblsp Olive Oil

Large handful of Garlic Scales

400g tin of Cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

1 lemon, zest & juice

A handful of fresh Lemon Thyme, leaves removed (use ordinary thyme if not available)

A handful of fresh Parsley, chopped

1-2 tblsp Soy sauce

About 10 good quality kalamata olives (buy with stone in & remove)


  1. Heat most of the oil in a pan over a very gentle heat
  2. Add the garlic, lemon thyme, lemon zest and chilli
  3. After about 2 minutes & keeping the pan on a very low heat, add the samphire, olives & cannellini beans
  4. In the meantime,  dry the fillets of Plaice with some kitchen towel and sprinkle lightly with the flour and some salt & pepper, shake gently to remove excess flour
  5. Heat a separate non stick frying pan until very hot. Add some oil and butter and quickly add the fillets of Turbot flesh side down when the butter is foaming
  6. Cook until the flesh has turned a nice golden brown and turn over. The fish will rise up in the middle quite quickly and you will know it is ready. It is important not to overcook the fish at this point.
  7. Remove to a warm plate to rest
  8. Add the Soy sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice & chopped parsley to the cannellini beans & garlic scales. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  9. Serve the fish over the cannellini beans & garlic scales

Crab Claws in a Garlic Cream Sauce

(Makes enough sauce about 12 claws)

My Dad made this starter in his restaurant for years.  This is pretty much the exact recipe from the late 1980s …… why mess with a classic.



Crab Claws, cooked

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Some parsley, finely chopped

A spritz of lemon juice

A glug of olive oil

100 ml whipping cream


Place a little oil into a frying pan and heat to medium. Place the chopped garlic in the pan with a little salt. Cook for a moment and then add the crab claws. Toss in the garlic and add the cream. Allow to bubble up for a few minutes until it is thickened. Avoid stirring. Place in small bowls or ramekins and add to platter. Serve immediately.


Individual Tiramisus

These are a bit of a cheat recipe as there are no egg whites involved as in an authentic Tiramisu.  The upside of this is that they are very quick to make and they make an ideal dessert for entertaining as they are made ahead of time and are ready to serve other than a flourish of grated chocolate and a little grated orange zest to be added at the last minute. You can leave out the liqueur altogether but this is what gives the dessert it’s “pick me up” element; the meaning of tiramisu in Italian. My personal favourite liqueur to use is Amaretto which came as a happy accident once!    

(Serves 4 – 6 )


20 boudoir fingers

300ml good strong coffee, freshly brewed

4 tablespoons caster sugar

400g mascarpone

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons of  Tia Maria, Brandy or Amaretto

Zest and juice of 1 orange

100g best-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)


Depending on the size you want, use four to six pretty cups, bowls or medium wine glasses and arrange your sponge fingers snugly in layers on top of each other (break them up to fit about 3 into each wine glass)

  1. Sweeten the coffee with 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar.
  2. Pour enough coffee over the sponge fingers to make sure they are all soaked.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mascarpone, vanilla, liqueur and orange juice until you a loose, shiny consistency.
  4. Dollop the mascarpone mixture over the coffee-soaked biscuits and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Grate over the chocolate and sprinkle lightly with a little finely grated orange zest and serve.


Day 2 Demos:

Chermoula Baked Hake with Lime Yoghurt Dressing and Ballymakenny Farm Long stem Broccoli

(Serves 4)


4 fillets of hake (or any other white fish)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp paprika

1 tblsp finely chopped preserved lemon skin


Olive oil

A handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped


For the yogurt dressing:

2 tblsp Greek Yogurt

Juice of ½ a lime

1 clove of garlic, minced



To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, ½ tsp salt and a good glug of olive oil.


To make the yogurt dressing, place the yogurt in a bowl with the garlic, lime juice and mix. Season to taste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C
  2. Place the fish in a baking dish and pour over the chermoula
  3. Cover in tin foil and bake for 20-30 mins, depending on the thickness of your fish.
  4. To check it is cooked, gently open a piece of the fish with a knife and check the flesh is opaque
  5. Serve the fish in it’s sauce and drizzle the yogurt dressing over.
  6. Garnish with the parsley



Serves 6


200 grms bulghur, cooked according to pack but using chicken stock in place of water

A handful of broccoli, glanced until al dente

½ a red onion, finely chopped

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Bunch of mint, roughly chopped

Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped Salt & Pepper




  1. Fluff up bulghur with a fork and add herbs, broccoli & red onion.
  2. Sprinkle some lime juice over, season and mix
  3. Serve


Strawberry Orange Drizzle Cake

(Serves 10)


175g butter at room temperature

150g golden caster sugar

2 eggs

2tsp vanilla extract

250g self-raising flour

175g strawberries, de-stemmed and roughly chopped (can use frozen in the cake but fresh are best to garnish, don’t worry if you can’t get fresh)

80g granulated sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

To Serve

Whipped Cream and Strawberries halved


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 160˚C fan/gas mark 4.  Grease a standard 900g loaf tin and line with parchment paper.

Beat the butter and golden caster sugar in a mixing bowl for three minutes until the texture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until creamy.

Stir in the flour with a spatula until the mixture is just combined.

Spread one third of the batter into the tin, then scatter over one-third of the strawberries.

Carefully dot and spread half of the remaining batter on top, and scatter with half of the remaining strawberries.

Dot the rest of the batter over and spread with the back of a spoon.  Bake for one hour until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Poke the cake all over with a skewer.

Combine the remaining strawberries with the granulated sugar in a bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then mash roughly with the back of a fork. Stir in the orange juice.

Spoon the mixture over the cake and leave to set and cool in the tin.Remove from the tin and top with whipped cream and fresh strawberries to serve.



Easter Recipes on LMFM- Smoked Salmon Pate, Cucumber Pickle & Wholemeal Scones & Roast Leg of Lamb

Listen some nice ideas for Easter Sunday Lunch on LMFM here and see recipes below.

Happy Easter to all from Tara x


Smoked Salmon Pate

Serves 6


150 grms Smoked Salmon

80 grms Cream Cheese (light if possible)

80 grms Crème Fraiche

A small handful of Chives, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper


  1. Place the smoked salmon in a food processor
  2. Whizz up for a few seconds and add in the crème fraiche and mascarpone
  3. Place in a bowl and mix in lemon juice
  4. Taste and check for seasoning

I like to serve this in little individual bowls at the table with a small salad to garnish.

Cucumber Pickle

450g cucumber, thinly sliced unpeeled

1 small onion, thinly sliced

150g sugar

1 tbsp salt

110ml cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar

Mix the cucumber and onion in a large bowl. 2. Add the sugar, salt and vinegar, and mix well

to combine. Leave for one hour to enable the flavours to develop.

Wholemeal Scones


125g/4oz Coarse Wholemeal Flour and 125g/4oz Self Raising Flour

150ml/¼ pint milk (approx)

Pinch Salt

25g/1oz Caster Sugar

25g/1oz Margarine


  1. Sieve flour and salt into a bowl, stir in sugar, if used.
  2. Rub in margarine.
  3. Add sufficient milk to make a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured board and gently knead to remove any cracks.
  5. Roll out lightly to 1” in thickness. Cut into scones with a cutter dipped in flour.
  6. Place on a floured pre-heated baking sheet/tray, glaze if liked with beaten egg or


  1. Bake in a pre-heated oven 425°F/220°C/Gas 8 for 10 mins approx.
  2. Cool on a wire tray.

Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb

Serves 8-10


1 leg of lamb

3 Cloves Garlic, sliced

A couple of rosemary sprigs

1 carrot cut into chunks, no need to peel

1 onion quartered, no need to peel

1 stick of celery cut into chunks

A few drops of soy sauce

A few drops of Worcestershire sauce

Rapeseed oil

Salt & pepper

For the gravy:

A knob of butter

1 small onion, finely diced

A teaspoon of tomato puree

A tablespoon of flour

250 mls lamb stock

A dash of red wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C
  2. Placing the lamb on a board, use the sharp tip of a small knife to make

incisions about ½ a cm deep all around the lamb. Brush with a little rapeseed


  1. Poke the garlic and the rosemary into the holes.
  2. Season the lamb generously.
  3. Place the carrot, onion and celery into a roasting dish and add a little soy

sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a cup of water. Place the lamb on top and

place in the oven for 2 hours.

  1. For the gravy, make the roux by melting the butter in a saucepan and adding

the flour. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato puree and stir for

about 30 seconds

  1. Add the wine and allow to bubble up until almost evaporated
  2. Add the lamb stock and reduce to a simmer for at least 30mins, stirring every

now and then

  1. When the meat is done, remove the lamb to a warmed dish to rest (for at least

10 mins) and pour the juices from the roasting dish into the gravy.

  1. The gravy should now be rich and flavourful. Pour through a sieve for a

smoother finish (optional)

Sunday AM 7th January 2018

Healthy & Wholesome: Spelt Spaghetti “Puttanesca” and Fish Parcels on TV3

Healthy & Wholesome Recipes

Watch here

Spelt PastaFish Parcels


I suppose this is a cross between a pasta puttanesca (‘lady of the night’) and a pasta aglio, olio e peperoncino (garlic, oil and chilli pepper). Mini mozzarella balls are very useful for this recipe as well.  I’ve only added a handful of olives here, but if you love olives feel free to go mad!

Serves 2


100g spelt spaghetti

Olive oil

1 clove of garlic (thinly sliced)

2 anchovies (optional)

A large handful of Kalamata olives, stoned

1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes

A few cherry tomatoes, halved

1 buffalo mozzarella, sliced in half cm discs

2 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley or basil


Cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions until al dente.

Gently heat a good glug of oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic, anchovies (if using), olives, chilli flakes and cherry tomatoes. Cook until the garlic has softened a little and the anchovy has started to dissolve (2–3 minutes). Toss the spaghetti through it

Toss the slices of mozzarella through the cooked spaghetti and serve with the fresh herbs sprinkled over the top.

Fish Parcels and Oven-roasted Potato Wedges

These parcels are a very quick and easy way to cook fish and there is no washing up!! Use any type of fish you like with any combination of flavours, or you can also use thinned out chicken fillet instead of the fish. I like to use cod or haddock for this recipe but you can use any white fish you prefer.

Serves 2


For the fish:

2 x 150g fillets of cod/haddock (skinned)

4 mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, diced

1 pinch of herbes de provence for each piece of fish

A splash of white wine

For the wedges:

4 medium-sized Rooster potatoes

Salt and pepper, to season

3 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan 160˚C/gas mark 4.

Cut the potatoes into wedge-shaped pieces. Place on a baking tray, season and drizzle with the olive oil. Cook for 20–30 minutes until soft.

Cut out a rectangular piece of parchment or baking paper large enough to hold the fish and wrap it up. Place the fish in the centre and place the other ingredients you are using on top.

Wrap up tightly and ensure the steam cannot escape.

Place on a baking tray and put in oven for 15–20 minutes (this depends on the thickness of the fish you are using). Check the fish is cooked through before serving.

Serve the fish with all the juices, a portion of wedges and some vegetables of your choice.



Other suggestions to use with the fish:

Half a red onion, 8 cherry tomatoes, a pinch of dried oregano and 30g crumbled feta.

A handful of spinach, a clove of garlic and a small drop of cream, for each piece of fish.

A pinch of cumin, a slice of lime and a clove of garlic, thinly sliced, for each piece of fish.

1 teaspoon of harissa paste brushed over each piece of fish and a nice with a dollop of Greek yoghurt when serving.

A slice of orange, a pinch of smoked paprika, a slice of roast red pepper and a couple of Kalamata olives, for each piece of fish.