Category Archives: Jarred

Super Healthy Granola

Granola

Granola is something I have had a bit of a mixed history with. I started eating it religiously a few years back as my “Healthy Breakfast Alternative” but when I was in culinary school and making it I realised that the recipe called for quite a bit of sugar and honey and some other not so nice things. Looking into it a little more I saw that most granolas sold in stores are about as healthy as putting crushed cookies on top of your yoghurt in the morning.
This is the first time I have made this recipe and I really like it so far. I did away with all of the sugar and questionable ingredients and am just relying on the natural sweetness of the oats and the spices to bring this dish to flavour-town. It is still fairly adaptable, use whatever nuts and seeds you like or have around your kitchen. I find this combo is perfect for me but everyone has a different desire when it comes to breakfast.

1 Handful of Sunflower Seeds
1 Handful of Sesame Seeds
1 Handful of Walnuts
1 Handful of Hazelnuts
1 Handful of Pumpkin Seeds
1 Handful of Porridge Oats
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 Handful of Raisins

Granola Ingredients

-Preheat your oven to 180°.
-In a food processor or a blender, blitz the hazelnuts and the walnuts together to break them up a bit. Don’t make them too fine though or your Granola will have no texture.
-Mix together all of your ingredients except the Raisins in a large bowl, making sure that everything is well combined and coated with the spices.
-Pour out your nuts and seeds mix onto a large baking tray and lay them all as flat as possible.
-Place the baking try in your oven for five minutes at a time until the start to go a delicious golden brown. Don’t be tempted to leave them any longer than five minutes at a time. Nuts are notorious for turning on even the best chefs at a moment’s notice.
-When they are coloured to your liking, remove from the oven and lay out on a large flat surface to cool evenly.
-Add the raisins to the mix when everything is cool and store in airtight jars until needed.

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Fiery BBQ Sauce

Fiery BBQ Sauce
I made this sauce recently to have in the fridge for late night snacks after work. I have since then, eaten it on everything. It’s so handy to make up and keep and it instantly lifts anything it’s put on. Sandwiches, burgers, cheese, chicken, everything you can think of.

Give it a go and I promise it’ll become a standard item in your kitchen.

50g Butter
1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
4 Cloves of Garlic
4 Chillies
200g Ketchup
400ml Orange Juice
100ml Cider Vinegar
2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
3 tbs Tabasco Sauce

-Finely chop the red onion and red pepper. Deseed the chillies and crush the garlic.
-In a large, heavy based saucepan melt the butter on a medium heat with a tablespoon of sunflower oil.
-Fry the red onion, pepper, garlic and chillies in the butter for about ten minutes or until they start to brown.
-When they have browned off, add in the orange juice, ketchup, vinegar, chopped tomatoes and tabasco sauce.
-Using one of the empty tomato tins, add a tins worth of hot water to the pan aswel.
-Stir well and bring it back to the boil then lower to a simmer.
-Leave it to simmer for about two hours or until it has reduced to a thick saucy texture.
-Season with salt and pepper then taste for spice. If you want some more heat, add a little extra Tabasco.

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

When I tried these at first I wasn’t sure but after the initial test I couldn’t get enough of them. They are a Moroccan staple and can be found on every street corner. I use them in so many different things now. Zesting up couscous or folding through salads, they also work incredibly well in Tagines, finely diced and added a the end to give the whole dish a kick.
It is hard to give exact measurements for a recipe like this. It depends entirely on how many of these you want to make. How big your jars are. How big the lemons are. I will say that I made two, two litre jars, each jar housed about 6/7 small lemons. Also to save a little time and cash I cheated and used pre-juiced lemon juice but you can squeeze your own if you are so inclined.

10/15 lemons
2 Cinnamon Sticks
4 Bay Leaves
Sea Salt
Lemon Juice

-First sterilize your jars but placing them in a 100° oven for 20 minutes without their seals. Place the seals in some boiling water for ten minutes. When handling don’t touch anywhere near the rim of the jar with your hands, use tongs or a clean dish cloth.
-Cut a cross in the top of each lemon, cutting almost down to the base but leave a little bit attached.
-Using your hands (you can wear gloves if you like) force large bunches of salt down into the cuts and into contact with the flesh. You want at least a tablespoon of salt in each lemon.
-Force the salted lemons into the jar as tightly as they will go. The tighter the better. Don’t fill the jars more than 1cm below the rim.
-Once your jar is full add in one cinnamon stick broken in half and two bay leaves.

Preserved Lemons
-Next fill the jar with the lemon juice to 1cm below the rim.
-Seal the jar tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Your lemons should be ready to go after about four to five weeks.

 

Preserved Olives

Preserved Olives

          I made these recently, along with a whole host of other goodies, for my Mom as a present and she loved them! This is something I have been getting into a lot lately, making gifts, preserving things. It a lot of fun and a whole lot cheaper than just buying the things.

         They are also really adaptable. Theres not a lot of flavours that don’t transpose well into preserved olive form. For these ones I went with a little coriander seed, garlic and basil. If I was doing it again though i would probably steer clear of the softer herbs. The basil seemed to bruise a bit in the jar. I’m sure it still tastes fine but one could think it a mite unsightly.

          I got my olives from the Real Olive Company and they are amazing! Great value products in all of the markets around Dublin that you would care to show your face at.

1kg mixed un-stoned olives

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbs coriander seeds

1tbs fennel seeds

1 bunch of fresh basil

Good olive oil

-Sterilize a large glass jar (or jars) by placing it in boiling water for ten minutes then drying in a 100 degree oven.

-Lightly crush some of the seeds in a pestle and mortar.

-Peel the garlic but leave the cloves whole.

-In the still hot jar, pile in the garlic, seeds and herbs.

-Fill with olives

-Pour over the olive oil until the level is 1cm from the top and covering all of the olives.

-Close the jar while it is still hot. This will ensure a strong seal.

-Leave it to settle for about a week or two and then enjoy the spoils of your effort.

 

Walnut Pesto

Walnut Pesto

           I have done a few Pesto recipes on here over the last while but they never get boring. I suppose it’s because pesto is such a wonderfully simple and delightful thing. Incredibly easy and quick to make, if you have a bit of fresh basil around it will always be on hand to throw together and help you out of a tight culinary spot. Which, worryingly, I am finding myself in with increasing regularity.

 

          This is not quite a traditional pesto. I have swapped out pine nuts for walnuts and olive oil for rapeseed oil. I’d like to say it was for some interesting and new-fangled culinary reasoning but it’s mainly because they were what I have in the house. Pesto can adapt very easily to what you have. It is fuss free and delicious with anything from pasta to salads to boiled potatoes to finger food or even spooned over soup.

 

 

You can do this in a food processor if you have one. Just throw all of the ingredients in together and blend, slowly adding the oil bit by bit.

 

 

 

1 bunch of Basil (inc stalks)

75 g walnuts

75g Parmesan (grated)

Zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves of garlic

Rapeseed oil

 

-Roughly chop up the basil.

-In a pestle and mortar, grind up the garlic cloves with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

-When they have been ground to a fine paste, add in the Basil.

-Keep working the basil until you have a delightfully green mixture.

-Next add in the walnuts.

-Begin to break them up, leaving some textured while some ground to a fine powder.

-Add in the lemon zest and grated parmesan.

-Mix everything together well.

-Now slowly start to add in the oil little by little. Keep mixing it at you pour so the oil gets distributed evenly.

-You want to end up with a thick liquid consistency. Something that could be easily spooned.

-Thats it. Just jar it up and leave it in your fridge for anytime you want to make a quick supper a little more interesting.

 

Enjoy.

My Favourite Mushroom BBQ Sauce

Mushroom BBQ Sauce

 

           So I had a BBQ a few weeks ago (More on that later) so I thought I would have a go at making a BBQ sauce for it as the crap you get in supermarkets can be, well, crap.

           So I wanted something spicy and earthy so I started by frying off some spices with some finely diced mushrooms. Then got in with some chopped tomatoes and puree. Some sugar and some vinegar to give it that kind of sweet and sour thing. Bit of soy sauce for seasoning and boom! Got myself a big jar of Awesome BBQ sauce for the rest of the summer.

Good times lie ahead Lads 😉

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 or 3 handfuls of mushrooms

1 tin of tomatoes

1 tin of tomato puree

2 tbs soy sauce

3 tbs sugar

2 tbs vinegar

-Take a mediums sized non-stick saucepan and get it onto a low/medium heat.

-Put the fennel, coriander, cumin, paprika, black pepper and chilli flakes into a pestle and mortar and crush them up really well.

-Put them into your warm pan without any oil. This will toast the spices and release a hell of a lot more flavour then cooking them normally. This, along with crushing them in the pestle, will give you some serious deliciousness factor. (If that is a thing?)

-While they are on, finely chop your mushrooms. Nothing showy, just get them into really small pieces, less than 1cm square.

-After a few minutes (three mins is usually perfect for me) add in a little olive oil and your mushrooms to fry off.

-Cook them until they are really dark and start to fall apart. This will give you the best base for your sauce.

-Now go in with the tomatoes, puree, vinegar and sugar.

-Mix it well through and allow to come to the boil for about 5 minutes or so.

-It should start tasting amazing but the final touch is the soy sauce, this will darken it up a little, season it nice and delicately and really bring the whole thing together.

-Now all you have to do is leave it for another 4/5 minutes.

-Fill one big disinfected jar or loads of little ones with your sauce and leave it to cool before you put it in the fridge.

-Then you can enjoy it at whatever time you like on whatever you like, from hotdogs to bacon sandwiches, to a roast or chips or a burger. The world is your BBQ flavoured oyster my friend.

 

Asian Style Infused Olive Oil

Asian Infused Oil

 

            Infusing my own olive oil is something I have wanted to try out for a long time. I love making my own special ingredients and this seemed to go right along with it. There seem to be a lot of different theories and recipes around about how best to do this so I just thought I would do what seems natural and see what happens.

Here is the combination I used. I went with a kindof Asian theme as that is usually what I have most of in my kitchen. I am also going to try a mediterranean style one as soon as I can get to a decent market.

1 Bottle of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Red chillies

4 Cloves of garlic

1 tsp Coriander seeds

1 Stalk of Lemongrass

5/6 Dried Kaffir lime leaves

-Preheat your oven to a low heat, about 150 degrees Celsius. Lay out all of your ingredients (except the oil) on a baking tray and heat for about half an hour.

-This is to remove all of the water to prevent any possibility of spoilage.

-Next pour out about a cup full of the oil from the bottle.

-Once your ingredients are dry, take them out of the oven and carefully pop them into the bottle. Try not to break them up too much as you put them in.

-Once they are all nice and comfy in the bottle, top it up with the oil you put aside.

-Seal it tightly and put it in a cool dark place for about a month. After that use to your hearts content on anything from salads, to meat, to fish or even just with a bit of chunky bread. Enjoy,