It’s summer at last in Ireland. Now as everyone knows this might not mean the sun is out everyday, but at least we’ll be guaranteed long busy days and lush evening sunsets.
Hungry families need to be fed whether you’re in Ireland or the USA and I, for one, love to bring sunshine to every meal. So I’ve packed this week’s meals full of local summer ingredients, easy cooking and delicious eating. And for all our lucky readers that have guaranteed sunshine every day, I would most definitely start the cooking process in the oven and finish ‘off’ the burgers, chicken and seafood skewers over the barbeque to get that authentic barbeque taste and smell.
This is a delicious meatless meal for Monday. Make the burgers ahead of time and keep refrigerated until ready to cook. A good firm cheese is required; Kerrygold Dubliner fits the bill nicely. If you have any Sunday leftover summer baby potatoes, why not serve the burgers with a warm potato salad?
Sadly it is very difficult to organize a barbeque in Ireland. Don’t get me wrong, many families use barbeques, but not often enough. Here’s a great way to have barbecue food without worrying about the weather. Cook the chicken in an oven and top with homemade barbecue sauce. The sauce can be used to top chops, sausages and steak, as well as chicken pieces, which are all suitable for the barbeque. Serve with my ever ready ‘Dip In Dip Out’ Salad, dressed with a few spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar and a spoonful of Irish honey or real maple syrup.
This dish takes the barbeque theme to another day; ever hopeful of having one, or failing that reverting to oven baking. In Ireland we always have to have alternatives! No matter what way these skewers are cooked, they are great. Shallots or red and white onions work well. I am hoping to get these from my friend who grows all her own vegetables nearby. Serve the skewers with locally grown baby potatoes and lashings of Irish butter and home grown mint.
Living near the sea, we are spoilt for seafood. Although I have only included three types of seafood in this recipe, more can be used. Check out what you can purchase locally if you live near the sea, and if you don’t, always check when your local fish supplier gets in fresh produce. Serve with sweet potato wedges.
Friday - Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad
Beetroot was traditionally grown in most homes in Ireland and I am delighted to see this vegetable back in vogue. I’m not talking pickled and bottled, but roasted, poached or even grated raw. The vibrant colour of the beetroot pairs well with the whiteness of the cheese and green leaf in this recipe. They say you eat with your eyes!
Ireland is blessed with many Goat Cheese artisan producers. Clonmore, St Tolas, Ardagh Castle and Bluebell Falls offer flavours from wild herbs, garlic, honey, nuts, to, yes, white chocolate and textures from firm to semi firm to soft and creamy. Anything goes as long as it’s Irish or artisan and local to you. Serve with slices of Irish Wheaten Bread and real butter.
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