Gnocchi. Not gn-yucky

“Pan-fried mascarpone gnocchi with dreamy basil pesto”

I’m a divil for anything with ‘made easy’ or similar suggestions in the title.  Most recently I’ve been taping Lorraine’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food. (taping, ha! I’ll have to explain why we use that word to my kids instead of ‘data capturing’ or somesuch)  Anyway, it means I can fast forward through meaty cooking.

I find Lorraine’s efforts really are speedily recreated, as opposed to one particularly pukka chef’s half hour meals that would give you coronary failure in the attempt to beat the clock. So, quick cheesy gnocchi – what’s not to love? Continue reading

We’re having a corn moment

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Sometimes we go and play with my cousins and when we’re there we have a barbecue. Everyone eats outside but we don’t do it in my house because mammy won’t eat sausages and burgers and chicken but my uncle Jamie and my uncle Paul make her veggies on sticks and she likes that. I think we should get an outside Hot Hot Hot Dangerous Don’t Touch oven so that mammy and daddy could make my dinnertime and play wiv me in the garden too kicking a ball and picking up eughhh slugs.

I like more than sausages and chicken too I like espeshully garlic bread and yellow sweetcorn. I often eat it with my dinner in lots of little bits on my plate but when I saw my cousins Daisy and Clare eat it all stuck together on a round thing I thought that was a very good idea. Mammy tried to give me a small one but I shouted til I got a big one same as them. Even though mammy and daddy don’t make outdoors food mammy still managed to make me stuck together corn for my lunch. I was working very hard in the garden earlier so I needed yummy food not asgusting food and this was it.

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– Dom

Sweetcorn Fritters. Inspired by Gino, made by Mark.

Last night Mark made the speediest dinner ever using this basic recipe.  He’d been inspired while watching Gino D’Acampo in a hospital waiting room and I’ve found a link to the broadcast since (you can’t watch outside the UK but the recipe is there).  I was in another room with needles stuck in my boob at the time so obviously I’d have preferred to have been watching cheesy lunchtime tv.  And safe to say, I think it was fair enough that he was on dinner duty after that little ordeal.

If you look at those 2 recipes linked above, they’re basically the same and I reckon you could do this with grated carrot or grated courgette – any vegetable that softens up nicely and has a bit of sweetness.  Maybe add some chopped spring onion, and some more herbs or spices.

Him & I ate these with some leftover curry, but Dominic just ate about 4 of these tasty sweetcorn fritters on their own.  They’re very moreish.  They’d be nice with a side salad and with the natural yogurt, garam masala & mint dip that I’ve written about before.

I reckon these are the perfect baby led weaning food.  Easy to hold onto, they can be eaten hot or cold and can be cut into strips either.  They’d be a great party food, and go nicely with a bottle of beer!  So, definitely a crowd pleaser!

Here’s the recipe:

Sweetcorn fritters:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml milk
  • 200g sweetcorn (used frozen)
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and seasoning into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add a medium egg and gradually beat in 150ml milk to form a smooth batter.
  2. Cook the frozen sweetcorn then add to the batter mix.  Season to taste – I’d like to try this with maybe some chopped scallions, or a small bit of paprika.
  3. Heat some veg oil in a frying pan – we tend to use rapeseed oil. Fry spoonfuls of mixture for about 2 mins each side until golden and crisp on each side.
  4. Eat til they’re all gone!

And lo! It appeared and it was good.

And lo! It appeared and it was good.

Early on in my 2nd pregnancy, I rang my husband one afternoon.  When you go to creche to get Dominic, says I, can you pop into the electrical shop nearby and get us a toasted sandwich maker.  Not a George Foreman, nothing fancy, a good old 80’s style toasted sandwich maker. He laughed disbelievingly, pointing out our small kitchen and would it not just gather dust in the cupboard.  My rebuttal I’m sure contained the well known fact that I was carrying his child and if I required a toasted sandwich maker be procured in the next 2 hours, then goddammit, one had better appear.
On the way home from work that evening, I bought a white sliced pan, a rare treat in our house.  We proceeded to have dinwiches.  It’s dinner!  It’s sandwiches! It’s dinwiches!  How much was it anyhow says I, munching my way through my second round of sticky melted cheddar encased in golden Dairygold-covered toasty goodness.  €13.99 says he.  I spluttered, sure it’s paid for itself you wouldn’t get us 4 rounds of toasties in the pub for that.  He agreed if it were to retire to a lonely spot in a cupboard that very evening forever more it would not have cost us anything.  But it hasn’t dear reader, oh it hasn’t.

Following in his parents footsteps

For a while it remained an adult indulgence, cheese and ham for hubby, cheese and molten hot tomato for me. Since Dominic has come on board with the whole notion of sandwiches, we have now introduced him to the world of delight that is the toasted sambo.  He’ll have to wait 15.5 years to see how amazing they are with a pint of stout though…

Jill