Pesto is one of the easiest pantry items to make and is the one where you will probably notice the biggest distance between the flavour of the store stuff and the real stuff. Most of the ingredients cost under a fiver all-together, the only expensive part is the pine nuts (Tesco do a small bag for €4 which is the perfect size). It’s definitely something I recommend you try your hand at, trust me, you’ll never go back.


A good bunch of nice and fresh Basil, (go good quality here, it will pay dividends),
4/5 cloves of garlic,
100g of Parmesan cheese,
Small bag of pine nuts,
Salt and pepper,
Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
-Take the basil leaves off the stalks, finely dice the stalks and add all of the basil to the food processor.
-Peel  the garlic and slice the parmesan roughly then add to the food processor.
-Turn it on and keep adding the olive oil until you get a thick put pasty consistency.
-Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour it carefully into your jars.



Green Curry Paste

Thai Green Curry Paste Thai Green Curry Paste[/caption]


Thai green curry is something I have always loved when we go to an Thai place for dinner, however my love for it pales in comparison to my lil’ sisters obsession. So when her birthday rolled around this year and she asked me to cook for her there seemed only one option. And here it is; my take on a classic Green Curry. This is a fair bit rougher and a bit stronger than your average curry but I guarantee it will blow your mind.


For serving this, marinade a few pieces of chicken/lamb/beef in about half a jar of the sauce for 2/3 hours. Chop up some veg and heat your wok. Stir-fry the veg and the meat together then add the other half of the jar of paste and a tin of coconut cream. Serve with fluffy basmati rice. Pure Joy.


6 scallions,
4/5 cloves of garlic,
1 large thumb sized lump of ginger,
One large bunch of coriander,
5 stalks of lemongrass,
6 lime leaves,
5/6 green chillies (depending on taste),
Juice and zest of two limes,
Salt and pepper,
Extra virgin olive oil,


-Peel the ginger, garlic and remove the outer layer on the scallions and lemongrass. Add to the food processor along with the coriander stalks, deseeded chillies and the lime leaves.
-Whiz for a minute then add the coriander leaves, lime juice and zest, salt and pepper and turn the processor on again.
-Add the oil bit by bit until you get a thick pasty consistency.
-Once it’s finished, pour the sauce into a jar (this recipe should make enough for two jars), Seal it and leave it in the fridge for some lazy night where you get that itch for a curry.




Red Onion Marmalade

Red Onion Marmalade
Red Onion Marmalade


One of my best mates got me a pretty cool collection of Kilner style jars for my birthday a few weeks ago, so I thought I would give a jarred recipe a go. This is an incredible accompaniment to any dish. Smothered over a bagel, a burger, a sandwich or it is especially good with some strong cheese on a cracker. It makes a fair amount so make sure you have a few clean jars at the ready. It should last a few months if it is sealed properly in the jars while it’s still hot.


About 2kg of red onions,
3 tbs olive oil,
1 ½ cups of sugar (this can be any combination of white, brown, demerara, muscovado or anything. But in general the darker the sugar the better.)
1 cup of balsamic vinegar,


-Peel the onions and slice them as thinly as you can.
-In a large stainless steel pot, heat the oil. Once it’s hot chuck in the onions and add a good pinch of salt to start bringing out the moisture from the onions.
-Cook on a medium heat until the onions start to brown and melt.  This should take about 30/40 mins and they should half in size.
-In another pot heat the sugar and balsamic vinegar until it starts to simmer. Add the onions and cook until the sauce starts to thicken.
-The only thing left to do is jar it up and then enjoy.

Stupidly Simple Couscous Salad

Feb '12 010


This salad again is really easy and if you are in the middle of making a big dinner can pretty much be whipped up in the time it takes them to get off the couch and to the table. It is a very basic recipe and can be adapted to whatever you have to hand, like if you don’t have coriander, use basil or any other herb you happen to have.
100g couscous,
2 Jarred roasted red peppers,
Handful of fresh coriander,
1 tin of sweetcorn,
1 red onion,
1 lemon,
Olive oil,
-Pour the couscous in a bowl and cover by about a centimeter with warm water.
-Chop up the peppers,  coriander and red onion. Make sure the onion is finely chopped because the last thing you want is someone getting the mouth knocked off them with a big chunk of onion.
-After about 5-10 mins the couscous should have absorbed all of the water, give it a bit of a mix up and then add all your chopped ingredients
-Give the bowl a generous lug of good olive oil, and then squeeze in the juice of the lemon.
-Give it another mix up and season to taste.
-If it is still a bit stiff add some more olive oil to loosen it up.


The day to day misadventures of a trainee Barbeque Chef living in London.