Happy National Potato Day & Glenealy, County Champions?? ;)

Hi Everybody,

There would be something wrong with us all here at Ballyknocken if we didn’t highlight and celebrate National Potato Day, wouldn’t there!! A dish we serve here on a weekly basis is our trademark Supreme of Wicklow Chicken with Shallot, Thyme & Bulmer’s Irish Cider Sauce with Ballyknocken Herby Green Rooster Mash and Roast Seasonal Vegetables with Honey & Rosemary, so what can a girl do only ensure that she has it for her lunch to celebrate! Don’t let it be said I am anything if not patriotic!

photo (17) ….hungry again even looking at the picture!!

But look I’m far from greedy and of course I will have to share the recipe of one of my favourite Sicilian Potato Bakes so you can celebrate as well!!

I cannot let this day pass without giving a shout out to our very own Glenealy Hurling team; not only have they made it to their 5th in a row County Hurling Final, they could also be bringing home the cup for the 5th year in a row! What an accomplishment for our little village. I am only exhausted thinking of all the training, dedication, hard work and commitment these men have given over the years! Congratulations guys and best of luck in the final from all of us here at Ballyknocken House & Cookery School. For all the mammies feeding hungry budding sportsmen and women I have shared a very simple recipe from my cookbook ‘The Weekend Chef’ Beef It Up Pitas ideal for all those hungry appetites for all the games at the weekend!

All recipes below, so keep on reading!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Catherine x

Potato & Tomato Bake

Serves 6

1kg Potatoes, Peeled

100ml Milk

3 Garlic cloves, sliced

1tsp Fennel Seeds, lightly crushed

½ tsp saffron

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

120ml vegetable stock

4tbsp white breadcrumbs

4tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Drain, then slice thinly once they’re cool enough to handle.  Pre-heat the oven to 1800C.  Butter a square 20cm baking tin (or lasagne dish).  Mix the milk, garlic, fennel seeds, saffron, salt and pepper in a bowl

Start by layering the potatoes in the bottom of the tin. Drizzle a little of the milk and saffron mixture over.  Cover with a layer of tomatoes, then a layer of potatoes and so on.  Finally, pour over the stock.  Mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan and sprinkle over, then drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil.

Bake for about 1 ½ hours. Using the back of a spatula, keep pressing the potatoes down from time to time.  When the potatoes are tender and the surface is crisp and golden brown, the gratin is ready for serving.

‘Beef It Up’ Pitas

BEEFITUPpitas (Small)

These pitas will certainly fill the gap in the hunger department. Thinly sliced pork fillet is also very tasty in the pitas, served with a mustard dressing and sautéed leeks. Serves 4

for the salad:

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cucumber, peeled and sliced into ribbons

juice of 1 lemon (retain a little to drizzle over

the avocado)

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

for the pitas:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

300g beef sirloin

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ripe avocado, peeled, stone removed and sliced,

and drizzled with a little lemon juice

4 pita breads, warmed and sliced open

50g rocket or your favourite salad leaves

sour cream, to serve

1 To prepare the salad, place the tomatoes and cucumber ribbons in a bowl. Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together and pour a little over the salad.

2 To prepare the pitas, mix the oil, cumin and rosemary together and brush over the beef. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes. 3 Heat a large heavy-based frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil over a high heat. Using a pair of tongs, place the beef into the pan and sear on all sides, then cook for 3–4 minutes, depending on how you like your steak (2–3 minutes for medium rare or 4–5 minutes for well done). Sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the beef from the pan, cover and rest for 5 minutes, then slice into strips about 2cm wide.

4 Spoon some of the avocado into the pitas, then slide the steak in and pack with the cucumber salad, rocket leaves and the remaining avocado. Serve with sour cream.


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