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


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.


“Gourmet gifts to make” Create your own foodie gift hampers – Today with Sean O’Rourke 22nd November 2013

Christmas is fast approaching so please read on below for some great ideas for creating your own foodie themed Christmas presents at home. Also I have included recipes for Hot Chocolate Stirrers and Tea and Cookies Gift Box.

Catherine x


Hamper Ideas – DIY popcorn kit? We all watch movies during the Christmas season so it is a great gift. Pour corn into a cellophane bag or even a homemade fabric bag and seal, add a jar of homemade salt caramel. A small jar of chilli and lime powder (which is just chilli powder and lime zest) and add a little wooden scoop with some cardboard boxes and there you have it.

Recipes in jars – These are very popular – use recipes like apricot and white chocolate muffins or flapjack or even hot chocolate mixes.  It is important to choose recipes that have a lot of dried ingredients in them like dried fruits, different flour. A good examples is  a DIY – rocky road jar.  You will need a large kilner jar -white chocolate, mini marshmallows, grated coconut, dried cranberries and some dried chopped apricots and pistachio nuts as well as biscuits like ginger or rich teas.  

Foodie Present  – an oven glove with equipment like meat thermometer, tongs, homemade jar of spicy meat seasoning and a salt and pepper grinder.    

Children’s Hamper – Children just love baking.  Brownies are a great bake for them.   Ensure that there is a recipe, pretty cupcake cases, a whisk, a chef’s hat, baking tray, wooden spoon and a jar with the ingredients layered, as well as sprinkles.  

Packaging – choose only 2 colours – like cream and gold and a few sparkly bits. Ensure that everything is labeled and that the ingredients are shown, eg nuts etc.  If you are including a recipe – make sure that it will work out for your friends.

Consider the amount of packaging that you are using because there is an enormous pile left on the 26th.  Recycle it and use eco friendly items: eg transform old Christmas cards into gift tags.


Hot Chocolate Stirrers

Makes 6 to 8 depending on the size of the ice tray

 Relax by the fire and enjoy a warm comforting drink, the concept of these is to warm a small mug of milk, add a little sugar, if necessary, and add the chocolate stirrer creating a delicious Christmas yummy drink.  

 120g dark chocolate drops

2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur or any of your favourite

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

30g mini white marshmallows 

 6 to 8 lolly sticks

Red ribbon, for decorating

Cellophane bags, for packaging


Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Add the liqueur and the ground cinnamon and mix well.

Carefully spoon into an ice cube tray and leave the chocolate to cool slightly.

Arrange the marshmallows on top of the chocolate and carefully insert the lolly sticks into the chocolate. Do not move until completely set. Check that they are standing straight from time to time. The setting time is at least 6 hours or overnight.

When complete gently twist the tray and the stirrers will “pop” out.

Tie a ribbon onto each chocolate stirrer and pack into the bags, seal and add a label.


Tea and Cookies Gift Box

Makes 1 box

 When purchasing the box just keep in mind the size and that  the tea bags and cookies have to fit comfortably into it.

 For the biscuit box

Makes about 24 biscuits

180g butter, softened

180g golden caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla bean paste

1 egg yolk

250g flour

125g dark chocolate drops

1 orange, juice and zest

 For the tea box

12 individually wrapped tea bags

 For the packaging

Corrugated cardboard

1 medium size box with lid

Cellophane wrap



To make the biscuits, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla bean paste. Stir in the egg yolk.

Fold in the flour, chocolate, orange juice and zest.

Shape the dough into a thin cylinder shape and wrap in cling film.

Place in the fridge for half an hour.

Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4. 

Slice the cookie dough into 1/2cm slices and place on the lined baking trays.

Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and baked.

Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

 To assemble the box.  Pile the biscuits into 2 towers and wrap each in the shape of a Christmas cracker so that it fits lengthways into the box. Tie ribbons on both end.  Divide the box into 3 sections with the corrugated cardboard, place the tea bags standing up in the centre and the biscuits on each side. Cover with a sheet of cellophane and place the lid on. Wrap a piece of ribbon around the box and tie a bow.