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Archive for the ‘Mains’ Category

I first tasted this dish about 5 years ago when I moved back to Galway after spending a year studying in Scotland. The flatmates in my new house used to cook dinners together quite regularly, and this was one of the veggie favourites. I had never encountered halloumi cheese before then – a solid cheese that holds its shape when fried, it has an almost squeaky texture. It was all a bit foreign and exotic after a year of pizza suppers and battered Mars bars. Still, I loved it from the beginning, and on a cold evening this is a lovely comforting dinner. Pasta in a creamy sauce, anyone? We’re trying to bring more meat-free days into our week, and this is a delightful (if not particularly low calorie) option.

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This month’s Irish Foodies Cookalong had the theme of budget cooking and using leftovers.  As I am the eternal student (I’ll finish this year, I swear) I have some experience on the budget side of cooking. Cooking from scratch and using cheaper cuts of meat are great ways to save money, but it takes a bit of practice and experience to get used to flavouring food, and picking good combinations of ingredients. Reading countless recipe books has helped me alot in my day to day cooking, but I still have a long way to go! I plan to post more savoury items this year. The only reason I haven’t done this before must be pure laziness, as I cook from scratch almost every day! Another resolution for 2011!

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The wind is howling outside the office today, and the River Corrib is rising.  Any more rain and the water will be edging towards us! This is comfort food weather. I made this pie last night with some leftover roast chicken, and it was so….damn…..good. Really, I surprised myself. A fabulous way to use up leftover chicken, and any veggies you have lying around could be thrown in: I used some leeks and carrots, but peas and even broccoli would work well. The addition of cream is optional, but, hey, it’s Thursday! 😛
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I honestly can’t believe I haven’t posted a slow cooker recipe on here yet.  I love my slow cooker, and in the dark dreary winter months I couldn’t live without it! It’s only fabulous to come home on a cold dark evening to the warming smells of dinner wafting from the slow cooker. Curries, chillis, ragus, stews – the slow cooker turns the cheapest cut of meat into a tasty meal.

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Chicken & Chorizo Rice Bake

I found this recipe on week 6 of the boards.ie Cooking Club! Every week a delicious sweet or savoury recipe is posted by a boards.ie user to get us all into the kitchen and experimenting with new recipes! I’m (very) slowly making my way through the recipes (I made the Brownies from week 17 already – highly recommended sinfulness!) and I have so many on my ‘to-do’ list. Be sure to check it out!

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Yay! Another savoury post, though not particularly healthy or lacking in calories! This is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe (linky), adjusted to what I had on hand. Very tasty, especially the next day, and a nice change from making a fiddly roux if you’re not so inclined.  I’ll definitely make this again!

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Spinachy Tart

This is my first tart. And it’s a savoury tart. Wonders will never cease.

I’m not gonna lie, this is time-consuming. I made the pastry for the tart case from scratch, baked it, cooled it, made filling, filled it, and baked it. And it was really nice. Result!  But it is a bit posh for a regular day (or maybe I’m not posh enough). We had it as a main course for a light dinner after a whopping Sunday morning fry-up. It would make a good starter I think, with small slices served with some salad greens. For a posh dinner party.

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