Archive for January, 2010

Sadly, Bang Café is no more…

Gravlax with Beetroot Purée

Sadly, Bang Café is no more, according to this article. Dublin has lost one of it’s best restaurants. I have some very fond memories of dining here.

Toasted Special review here.

Leek & Potato Soup with Truffle Oil

This is a thick and rich soup, perfect for winter. It also makes a great starter for a dinner party; just serve it in small portions as it is quite rich. The truffle oil makes this soup even more luxurious, but you can easily leave this out. You can also use less cream if you prefer a lighter soup.


  • 50g butter
  • 3 large leeks
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 3 large potatoes, cubed
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 200ml single cream
  • ½ tsp truffle oil (optional)
  • salt & pepper


  1. Remove the green portion of the leeks and wash thoroughly. Slice the white part of the leeks.
  2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the sliced leeks, along with the potatoes and celery. Add a good pinch of salt and cover the saucepan. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened completely.
  3. Add the chicken stock and whizz using a stick blender. Simmer gently for 5 minutes then stir through the truffle oil and cream. Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly-ground black pepper. Garnish with a drop of truffle oil or a blob of cream and some finely chopped chives.

Serves 4.

Chicken Tikka

Another Indian snack/starter, which I’m a little obsessed with of late. Chunks of chicken are marinated in yoghurt and spices, then roasted quickly in a hot oven. Not as good as those produced by the tandoor, but they taste great. Just like the Seekh Kebab,  you could add some red food colouring for that authentic Indian restaurant vibe but it’s not necessary.

Chicken Tikka


  • 2 large free-range chicken fillets
  • 8 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp of the following: ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ chilli powder
  • 2 red onions


  1. Cut the chicken into large pieces, about the size of a walnut, and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the yoghurt, lemon juice, salt and ground spices and mix well. Cut the red onions into quarters and add to the chicken. Mix again and leave to marinate for an hour.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Thread the chicken and onion pieces onto skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for an hour first.
  4. Place the skewers on a grill pan and roast for about 15 mins. You can also use a grill rack on a baking sheet.
  5. I like to serve these on naan bread with mango chutney and yoghurt.

Serves 2.

Christmas Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing

This is my new Christmas stuffing recipe, which I adapted from a recipe in GoodFood magazine. Mix sausage meat, herbs, breadcrumbs and chopped chestnuts, then form into patties. Wrap the patties in bacon and roast alongside your spuds. I like this method because the turkey/chicken does not take as long to cook, resulting in moister meat.


  • 200g good-quality sausage meat
  • 100g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 50g chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 apple
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 slices streaky bacon
  • 8 sage leaves


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sausagemeat, breadcrumbs, apple, herbs, chestnuts and egg.
  2. Remove the core and skin from the apple and grate into the mixing bowl.
  3. Season with black pepper and a little salt (remember that your sausagemeat will already be well seasoned). Mix well with your hands.
  4. Form into 8 patties and wrap each patty with a slice of streaky bacon, tucking a sage leaf under the bacon.
  5. Place on a baking sheet (or alongside your roast potatoes) and roast at 180°C for 45 minutes.

Serves 8.