Cooking Demo news & Low Fat Lemon Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Hi everyone, well it is coming into that time of year again and I am excited to be taking to the road around the country for my many festive Cookery Demonstrations. This week I enjoyed a fantastic Christmas themed demo in Joyces Wexford for Whirlpool Ireland. I use all Whirlpool state of the art ovens in the cookery school, and they really are amazing.

Cath demo November

Here is my upcoming schedule for cooking demonstrations and events and I really would love you pop along and chat to me if they are local to you.

November 19th – Thursday

Get into the Christmas Spirit with an evening of Cookery & Chat at the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore – in aid of Coolanarney National School Mulled Wine and Artisan and Craft Fair starts at 6.30pm followed by Cookery Demonstration by Catheirne Fulvio at 7.45pm

Friday 20th November –  Friday Food Forum in conjunction with the Irish Times Food Month

Send the Irish Times your queries and have your culinary conundrums answered by Catherine Fulvio as part of  The Irish Times food month on Friday between 1pm and 2pm

European Week for Waste reduction is 21-29 Nov – Cookery demos Wed 25th & Thurs 26th d)

In conjunction with European Week for Waste Reduction Catherine Fulvio is working hard with Laois and Westmeath County Council to create awareness around this important topic.  Catherine is an advocate of the Stop Food Waste programme in Ireland and will host two Cookery Demonstrations as follows:  The Killeshin Hotel, Dublin Road, Portlaoise on Wednesday 25th November and in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone on Thursday 26th November at 7pm sharp.

So they are the events and other happenings from me and Ballyknocken Cookery School, don’t forget we still have some spaces left on our Cracking Christmas and Head Chef Junior Chef classes this coming December so visit the site to see all the details.

I leave you with this simple healty recipe for your Sunday Roast and will check in with you all again next week.

Easy low-fat Lemon Rosemary Chicken

2 Skinless, boneless, chicken breasts split
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 c white wine
1 tbs butter or spray product
1 lemon
1 Tbs rosemary (fresh is best)


Grease frying pan use either butter or reduced fat sprays. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove chicken and place in casserole pan. Add garlic to frying pan and cook until you smell garlic then remove to casserole pan.

Add wine to deglaze the pan and add to casserole pan.

Slice lemon and top each piece of chicken with a slice of lemon and rosemary.

Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven for 45 min or until chicken is tender


Telling Porkies

Well it often seems like January is one of those non-descript months where all traces of holiday festivities vanish from our minds leaving us missing the fun and all that tasty food we had grown accustomed to for the magic month of December. So I am very excited to report I will be speaking on the John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1 tomorrow morning and promise to bring some food loving fun back into your first month of normality. The John Murray Show are running a fantastic competition all this week in association with Bord Bia and Quality Irish Pork inviting you to share with us the most outrageous ‘porkies’ you have ever told. I really hope to hear some brave confessions about some of the porkies you have told your boss, unsuspecting  partner or friends. I am really looking forward to the banter and I hope John is prepared because I intend to quiz him on one or two of his own !

I am also delighted Bord Bia are promoting Quality Irish Pork as I feel that people often forget that pork can be a fantastic everyday meal option. There are so many quick and versatile ways to cook pork; it’s a great and economical meal solution that will appeal to the whole family. I encourage people to visit the Bord Bia website for some excellent pork recipe ideas. I myself will be making a delicious winter dish for John bringing tasty pork to life  by cooking ‘ Pork Steak with Roasted Pepper’ and you can find this recipe at the following link to the Bord Bia website .

 John Murray show blog entry BB Pork Steak Roasted with Peppers (2)

Serves 5

Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 2 pork steaks/fillets, trimmed


  • 2 tablesp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and diced
  • 1 teasp. ground cumin
  • 1 teasp. smoked paprika
  • 1 teasp. fennel seeds
  • Juice of one lemon

Pepper Sauce

  • 2 tablesp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 2 yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 fresh plum tomatoes skinned, deseeded and chopped or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

To Serve:

  • Sauté potatoes
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

 To Cook

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Place the pork in a freezer bag, add the marinade and leave in the fridge for as long as you can – overnight is perfect.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180˚C (350˚F).

To make the pepper sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion, peppers, chilli, garlic, paprika, a little salt, black pepper and sugar. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the chopped tomatoes then pour the mixture into an oven proof baking dish.

Heat a little more oil in the same frying pan. Remove the pork from the marinade, reserve the marinade. Add the pork to the hot pan and seal on all side. Place the pork on top of the peppers. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of water, add the reserved marinade and simmer for a minute or two. Then pour this over the pork. Cover with foil and place in the pre heated oven and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Slice the pork and serve with the peppers and sauteed potatoes. Garnish with a little fresh parsley.

So please do tune to the John Murray Show  on RTE Radio 1 to join in the fun and brighten up those January blues.

Catherine x

A Christmas Bombe from Ballyknocken!

Almost everyone loves a skinny slice of Christmas Pudding but we are all searching for the ideal alternative dessert that will keep everyone happy, younger and older generation.  I think I might just have the perfect dessert – in the form of a Mince Pie Bombe – it’s basically ice cream, flavoured with traditional mince meat flavourings (though not the suet!) and frozen in a pudding mould – so it looks the part too.  I have to say, we include this in our Christmas Cookery Class here at Ballyknocken (“Christmas all wrapped up!”) and its a true winner

I mentioned the recipe on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on TodayFM recently so so many people asked me for the details, so being as it’s Christmas, I am happy to share – ha-ha

Merry Christmas

Catherine x

So exciting, getting ready for Christmas dinner!

So exciting, getting ready for Christmas dinner!

Christmas Mince Pie Bombe with Orange Salted Toffee Sauce

Serves 8 to 10 and makes about 300ml of sauce

For the bombe

200g mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants and sultanas)

80g soft brown dark sugar

3 tbsp orange juice

4 tbsp brandy

2 orange, zest and juice of 1

1200ml vanilla ice cream, softened

3 tbsp espresso coffee

1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Orange Salted Caramel Sauce

180g caster sugar

100ml water

200ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp sea salt

100g butter

1 orange, zest only

For the caramelise orange slices to decorate

1 orange, sliced

2 tbsp icing sugar

Bay leaves, to decorate

  1. Oil a 1.2 litre (2pint) pudding bowl and line with plastic wrap.
  2. Place the fruit, sugar, orange juice, brandy and orange juice and zest in a saucepan and gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool.  Beat the ice cream lightly and fold in the espresso and cinnamon. Spoon the mixture into the pudding bowl and freeze overnight. Allow 20 minutes for the ice cream to soften before serving.
  4. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.  To prepare the orange slices for decorating, line a baking tray with parchment, arrange the orange slices on the parchment and dust with icing sugar. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on them, turning after 10 minutes. Remove once golden and cool on a rack.
  5. To make the sauce, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat pan.  Bring to the boil and swirl around the pan – don’t stir while it is boiling! Boil until a light amber colour – this will take about 10 minutes or so.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the cream, be careful, it may bubble. Give it a whisk, then add the butter and sea salt as well as the orange zest. Whisk again until smooth.
  7. Cool it in the pan and pour into a jug for easy pouring. The sauce must be kept in the fridge and it will stay fresh up to 2 weeks.
  8. To serve, unmould the ice cream onto a serving platter and remove the plastic wrap. Arrange the orange slices and bay leaves on top and carefully pour over the sauce. Serve immediately.      

A Vegetarian Christmas!

Being vegetarian at Christmas is  great – there are so many delicious winter vegetables that will liven up even the most tired of palettes! How about a delicious seasonal salad of honey roasted parsnip, orange segments and rocket salad for starters?

Now onto the Main course and there are a few alternative like a scrumptious roasted Christmas vegetable galette  (that is a bit like a free form tart) or a pastry pizza. Individual red onion, mushroom and rosemary tatins or even a spinach, chestnut and parsnips en croute with marsala sauce. Or see my recipe below for a Roast Butternut Squash Tarte Tatin

Nut Loaf or Nut Roast may sound old-fashioned but it’s a winner and everyone loves it.

Most nut roast dishes involve a little bit of preparation but again it can be done ahead with the Bread Crumb or the brown and wild  Rice being prepared in advance on Christmas eve allowing you to assemble ingredient in your loaf tin ready for baking in the morning.  I am making one this Christmas and will let you know how it goes down I am using an old recipe with a few additions of my own.


  • Allow yourself time – it is not complicated but there are a number of different stages in the process
  • Keep it light with bread crumbs and loads of herbs – these seem to be the most popular option at the moment and I would suggest a wholemeal bread
  • Use a selection of nuts for nutritional value, variety and taste.

Delicious and moist this dish allows you to really explore this season’s fabulous winter ingredients with lots of earthy flavours – swiss chard and mushrooms.

Other seasonal vegetarian Christmas ingredients to include on the menu are sorrel (great for soup), walnuts (can be added to salads and pastas), fennel (perfect for roasting and souping) and of course lots of mushrooms for a lovely earthy flavour.

You will actually find a good selection of vegetarian recipes in my cookbooks and on the cookery classes at Ballyknocken House & Cookery School as I love my vegetables and enjoy at least 2 to 3 or more meat-free days each week.


Here are my suggestions: 

For Starters:

Celeriac Soup with Lemon Gremolata (from my book The Weekend Chef)


Tomato and Mozzarella Layers with Basil

For Mains

Tian of Ballyknocken Vegetables

Served with either a delicious Lentil or Nut Loaf or a Vegetarian Wellington and Lemon Salt Roast potatoes

OR for an Italian twist and I’d be hard pushed to choose between my Oven baked Mushroom Risotto – seasonal and delicious or if you have the time to prepare Roast Pumpkin and Red Pepper Canneolloni is well worth the effort.  (Both recipes from EAT LIKE AN ITALIAN)

For dessert GM-CatherineFulvio-Facebook cover851x315

Now in my new book – BAKE LIKE AN ITALIAN there are so many fabulous treats for the special day as well as after. I would go for:

Panforte di Siena OR a Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

And Italian snowballs for coffee

AND for your Bambini bakes – get them to make chocolate swirl biscuits to keep for when unexpected guests arrive. 

A simple menu idea for your Christmas drinks party, all suitable for vegetarians

  • Pomegranate Sparklers – this is my favourite and will definitely be on offer in our house for the Christmas drinks night with friends and family.
  • Caprese Tartlets
  • Aubergine & Chick Pea Stack
  • Caponata & Olives

beetroot tarte tatin Roast Beetroot & Carrot Tarte Tatin

Roasted butternut, thyme and tomato tarte tatin

Serves 4 to 6

 You can use any roasted vegetables in this one.


30g butter

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp chopped thyme

½ large butternut squash (about 300g), sliced and lightly roasted

150g cherry tomatoes, washed and kept whole

6 small sprigs of thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

375g “ready to use” puff pastry

Egg wash (1 egg with a little water), to brush

7or 8 small sprigs of thyme, for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C/gas 4. Generously brush the sides of a 20cm, lined with parchment, spring form tin with a loose base or even a flan tin with a loose base with melted butter.

Place the tin carefully onto the pastry and cut a circle, leaving an extra 2cm edge all the way around. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions, sauté for 4 minutes until softened but not brown.  Add the garlic slices and cook for a further 1 minute.  Pour the sugar, red wine vinegar and thyme into a small bowl and stir well.

To assemble, arrange the cherry tomatoes and butternut squash slices onto the base of the tin with a few sprigs of thyme.  Using tongs lift the onions and garlic onto the tomatoes. Spoon the sugar and red wine mixture over the tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the pastry on top of the vegetables and carefully tuck in the edges of the pastry. Brush the top with egg wash.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked.

To serve loosen the tin, slide a plate over the top and turnover. Allow to cool slightly, sprinkle with thyme sprigs over the top and serve immediately.

Tip: Slice a few layers of Brussels sprouts and place them in between for a delicious tart.

Pistachio Orange Sauce for Vegetables

Served 4


A great sauce for steamed vegetables

Brussels sprouts, steamed

Asparagus, steamed

Courgette ribbons, steamed

Leek strips, sauted

Green beans, steamed

For the sauce

2 tbsp butter

4 tbsp pistachio

1 orange, juice and zest

Salt and Freshly ground black pepper

  1. To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, add the pistachio and toast.
  2. Whisk in the orange juice and zest. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange the cooked vegetables on a large platter and spoon over the sauce.  Serve immediately.


Catherine’s Christmas gifts on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

I had so much fun on the Ian Dempsey show on this morning and have been inundated with requests on unusual foodie gadgets and gifts, and of course for the recipe for amaretti  biscuits (see below).

Catherine and Ian

Catherine, her book and the fabulous Ian Dempsey on Friday’s Ian Dempsey Breakfast show, Todayfm.

For gift vouchers and signed copies of my cookbooks, please visit our website

Kitchen have some of the most unusual gadgets available for the foodie in your life.

How about an apple peeler and corer? or a retro popcorn maker or and egg skelter – you don’t realise you need one until you actually start to use it, then you can’t live without it.

Check out this website also for pizza stones, pasta makers, hamburger press and contigo mug

Apple peeler and corer

Apple peeler and corer

foodie gifts

Pictured, the Hario V60, Coffee maker from, Bake like an Italian, Homemade Amaretti biscuits and a garlic press, the contigo mug and the apple corer from


Makes 40

Here’s another confession: when I first made these, I didn’t share – am I mean? They taste amazing, I couldn’t help it. Suffice it to say that I absolutely adore these homemade amaretti. They are a little softer than the shop-bought version, thus making it easier to eat more! Making these biscuits is a doddle and they will keep for up to 10 days. They are a great treat to serve after dinner with coffee.

4 egg whites

350g caster sugar

350g ground almonds

11/2 tbsp amaretto

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line 1 large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. In a large, spotlessly clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently mix in the sugar, almonds and amaretto. Using a teaspoon, place small amounts of the mixture (about 2cm) onto the baking tray.
  3. Bake for 12–15 minutes, until a pale golden brown. Leave to set on the baking tray, as they are quite fragile at this stage although they will set as they cool.

Tip: Keep them very small, as they tend to spread in the oven.

Amaretti Biscuits

Amaretti Biscuits

Dinner with the Mafia

A murder mystery party…great fun!

Includes everything you need to host a mob-themed dinner part for up to 8 guests.

It includes: 8 dinner invitations, 8 place cards, 4 menus, a booklet, CD of mob music, Mafia trivia, character profiles and shopping list.

Travel back to Scarpato’s restaurant, Coney Island 1931, all for only €22.00!!

Available from

Edible (and drinkable) Christmas Treats

Homemade Ballyknocken Almond Liquer

Homemade Ballyknocken Almond Liquer

cooking pic_1

They always say ‘it’s the thought that counts’ when gifting and there’s nothing more thoughtful than a homemade gift. Here are two of my favourite Italian influenced Edible and Drinkable gifts… and surprise, surprise one of them contains chocolate!

Buon natale


Ballyknocken house and cookery school

ps. Checkout for our cookery school gift vouchers and signed copies of my book.

Almond Liqueur (similar to Amaretto)

Makes 1 ½ litres

400g sugar

375ml boiling water

500ml vodka

500ml brandy

2 tbsp almond extract

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a large pot.  Boil uncovered for 2 minutes, remove from the heat, and let cool for 30 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and pour into bottles.  Store at room temperature for at least 1 week before taking a tipple.


Makes 16 brownies

180g dark chocolate

150g butter

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

50g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

30g plain chocolate, chopped into small chunks

To decorate

Icing sugar glaze (icing sugar and a drop of water) or melted dark or white chocolate

And further decorate with any of the following: chocolate flakes; hundreds & thousands; Christmas cake decorations; oven dried orange slice segments dipped in chocolate; chopped nuts; chopped pistachios; toasted flaked almonds; pecans dipped in melted chocolate; mixed peel; edible flowers; strawberries dipped in chocolate… just a few ideas

Preheat the oven to 180°/Gas 4. Line a brownie tray with baking parchment.

Break the 180g of dark chocolate into squares and place in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Melt the butter in a saucepan and pout the hot butter over the chocolate, stirring until all of the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs. Stir the beaten eggs into the melted chocolate mixture, mixing well. In a separate mixing bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Slowly fold in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the 30g of chocolate chunks. Transfer the mixture into the baking tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it is just firm to the touch in the centre. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, turn out and cool on a wire rack. Slice into 16 squares.

Decorate each square with melted chocolate or an icing sugar glaze and then make then even prettier with some of the decorations as suggested above.

Christmas All Wrapped Up

Halloween is over only a few days and now it is all about Christmas!

Here at Ballyknocken House & Cookery School we have Christmas all wrapped up…

Our Christmas Best Seller is a half day cookery class plus a signed copy of my latest cookbook,  “Bake Like an Italian”, for €145 plus P&P, order online before November 30th and receive free package & postage within Ireland!

Now I’m just spoiling you all, here is an example of some of the lovely Christmas recipes from ‘Bake Like An Italian’ and what you can learn here at Ballyknocken Cookery School, My Italian Snowballs !!

Christmas Cookery



These little biscuits are usually made with almonds, but I have made mine here with pecans.

These are really delicate and are a good gift to take to a dinner party during the festive season

– if you have any left after tasting them! They look so classy when they are gift wrapped in an

elegant Christmas box.

250g plain flour

220g pecans, finely chopped

200g butter, softened

60g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

icing sugar, for dusting

1 Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 140°C/gas 3. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

2 Place the flour, pecans, butter, sugar and vanilla paste into a mixing bowl and beat

together until combined. Roll the dough into 3cm balls and place on the lined trays. Bake

for 18–20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

3 Sift the icing sugar into a shallow bowl. Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave for

5 minutes before rolling in the icing sugar while still warm. Dust again when cool.

  • Mix a little edible golden shimmer powder into the icing sugar to catch a glimmer from the twinkle lights.