Roast Lamb with Tapenade and Spring Onions

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roast lamb5

I’m proud to be a lambassador again this year, discovering how tasty, easy and fun lamb is. The campaign shows what a modern, convenient, versatile and tasty meat lamb is. I’m sharing one recipe with you today but there are loads more at www.tastyeasylamb.ie to show just how cooking with lamb can be a fun and creative experience.

The first recipe I’ve chosen is the Roast lamb with tapenade and Spring Onions, mainly because I seem to be stuck in a ‘roast leg of lamb on a Sunday’ rut and thought it would be fun to roast a different joint midweek. My butcher, I went to O’Farrells in Midleton, gave me plenty of options for joints that I could roast. There were some with a bone in for more flavour and others with no bone so that slicing it up would be super easy.

I used new season spring onions for this and they were delicious. Along with sun ripened cherry tomatoes this is one easy dinner to rustle up. I served it with some hot buttered orzo one night and made it a few days later and served it with potato wedges. It’s got that special Sunday roast feel to it but with none of the hassle. The salty tapenade is delicious with the lamb, definitely a combination I’ll repeat again.

This is a sponsored post promoting how undeniably delicious lamb is to cook and eat! See #tastyeasylamb on Twitter and Instagram for more recipes or visit www.tastyeasylamb.ie

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Roast Lamb with Tapenade and Spring Onions

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

Ingredients for 4 people:

A small lamb joint (750 to 800 g)

A knob of butter

salt and pepper

120 g black olive tapenade

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs

400 g cherry tomatoes

3 bunches of spring onions or baby leeks

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 sprigs of rosemary

  • Take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hour in advance.
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F.
  • Melt a little butter in a large frying pan. Then brown the lamb on all sides. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place in a large oven dish and cook for 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Take the dish out of the oven, spread half the tapenade over the joint then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Surround the joint with the cherry tomatoes and onions/leeks. Mix the olive oil with the rest of the tapenade and spread over the vegetables. Add the sprigs of rosemary and place back in the oven for 20 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, cover the dish with tin foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice the meat and serve with steamed vegetables and roast potatoes 
Tip: You can also use two racks of lamb for this recipe (around 400 g per piece). In that case, the first time they go in the oven they will only need cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.

roast lamb3 roast lamb4

 

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Edible Flowers and how much I love them!

paleo cake

I’m a big fan of edible flowers. They make everything look more beautiful and give a sense of nature to a dish, celebrating the seasons and adding a touch of Mother Nature’s magic.  I’m so delighted to see so many edible flowers popping up everywhere in the garden. Whilst some flowers are more for decoration than eating there are others that actually add to the flavour too. My favourites are peppery nasturtium petals, little chive blossoms, wild garlic and three cornered leek flowers. For cakes I love all types of primrose, primula and pansy. Apple blossoms are incredibly pretty too. They make even the healthiest breakfast feel like a treat! My borage is finally flowering and destined for eye catching ice cubes to jazz up my gin & tonics.

bumblebee farm flowers

Recently I discovered Bumblebee Flower Farm in West Cork. Their website is beautiful and I love spotting their gorgeous creations on my Instagram and Twitter feed. Instagram is just the perfect place to find a small family run business like this with such a passion for what they do. Recently I’ve spotted them making amazing floral headpieces too, if you’re looking for a wedding florist look no further! They have the most amazing edible flower selection, they sent me a few boxes a few months ago and I had great fun putting them on absolutely everything!! I put some pansies on the rhubarb frangipan I made on The Today Show on RTE. The allium flowers went on a roast vegetable dish, the camelias went on my favourite Paleo chocolate cake, the recipe is from Elanas Pantry. I fill and frost it with an avocado chocolate mousse from my second book, Dream Deli. I made a raspberry and rosewater chia jam for it too. Incredible.

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I bought loads of edible flower seeds from Sarah Ravens website and they’re doing great or Irish Seed Savers have some lovely edible ones like Sweet William and Marigold too.

Here’s a list of edible flowers and there are photos too so you can easily identify them.

There are so many fun and creative ways to use edible flowers, my favourite has to be using them to decorate cakes instead of using sugary fondant or multicoloured sprinkles. There’s nothing prettier than a few locally grown blossoms. Get in touch on Instagram or Twitter and let me know how you use edible flowers!

Lilly x

PS. This post isn’t sponsored or anything, it’s just a few links to people and things that I love!

roast veg allium flowers

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St. Patrick’s Day Multicoloured Bagels ( recipe & tutorial )

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

Making your own bagels is great fun but making your own multicoloured bagels is just mind blowing! What better time to dye that dough than this week in honour of St.Patrick.  Get kneading and your family and friends could be lucky enough to share in the delicious results.  These tricolour beauties are not just pretty they’re chewy and crusty, with a soft yeasty interior. You’ll never look back. Paired with some cold dill cream cheese and organic Irish Smoked Salmon these make a suitably festive brunch come St.Patricks day. Perfect fuel for all the family before the big parade. I’m not one for going overboard on food colouring but had to make an exception for these! This recipe ( from my first book Make Bake Love ) makes a huge amount of bagels but they do freeze well, just don’t forget to slice them in half. These would make a really nice gift over the weekend for friends and family too. Enjoy!
Lilly x

1 mixer

St. Patrick’s Day Bagels

Makes about 21

Make the dough recipe below x 3

For 1 batch of dough you’ll need:

300ml warm water

½ tsp salt

1 sachet (7g) fast action yeast

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

580g (1lb 4oz) strong bread flour

Food colouring in orange or green (I had no orange so mixed red & yellow)

Mix the water, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. You can add the food colouring now too. Add a little at first and see what results you get. You can always add more to the dough as you knead it.

Add the flour and oil. Mix until a dough forms. Add more food colouring as necessary.

Knead for 10 minutes. Repeat three times so you have one ball of plain dough, one orange and one green. Leave each dough rest for half an hour in a large bowl covered with cling film.

Green Regular & Orange Bagel dough

3 orange dough

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

Roll each ball of dough out into a large rectangle about 16″ long and 10″ wide. Layer the rectangles on top of one another. Use a sharp knife to slice down vertically, 1 1/2 ” strips of dough. Cut each length of dough in three then twist each length into a spiral bagel shape. It’s quite easy to do but complicated to explain! Make sure you seal the ends tightly. Place the bagels on an oiled tray and cover with a clean cloth. Leave to rest for half an hour.

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ieSt.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Gently drop each bagel into the water, turn every minute or so.

After 3 minutes of boiling carefully place each bagel on a rack to dry slightly.

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

Place the boiled bagels on a greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, turn over and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a rack. Serve lightly toasted with dill cream cheese and smoked salmon.

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ie

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Roast Mussels with Chorizo, Tomato & Basil

ingredients

mussels

I’ve teamed up with Bord Bia again this year for their #FlexYourMussels campaign. It’s a great excuse for me to recipe test lots of gorgeous mussels dishes and this one was by far our favourite.

I devised this recipe, as usual, from picking up some delicious key ingredients. The queue at the fish stall at my local Farmers’ Market is always the longest and starts early but it’s easy to see why. The fish is so incredibly fresh. I got a huge bag of mussels last weekend for about four euro so picked up some chorizo and crusty bread to have with it. I usually steam mussels and love delicious Moules Mariniere with white wine and garlic. I had been describing to the kids how the shells open so we decided to oven roast them and watch through the glass as each shell sprang open in the heat. To say these went down a treat would be an understatement! I’m going to cook them like this from now on. I didn’t use any oil and just relied on the juices from the chorizo and mussels to create a spicy salty sauce. It was so gorgeous with sweet liquorice basil leaves wilted in amongst the burst tomatoes.

These mighty little shellfish are packed full of nutrients being a great source of quality protein and provide several vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, some B group vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. They are also low in fat but I balanced that out nicely with the chorizo! I was delighted to see the kids eating them so eagerly. The entire dish took twenty minutes to make and that included scrubbing the shells and cooking time. I did have plenty of insistent help though!! I’m going to throw in some crushed fennel seeds next time I make this and top it with flat leaf parsley. It would have been delicious drizzled with pesto too.

For tips, videos and recipe inspiration, check out www.bordbia.ie/fish

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out of oven

Roast Mussels with Chorizo, Tomatoes & Basil

Serves 2-4

800g of mussels, washed and de-bearded

2 large handfuls cherry tomatoes

150g chorizo, sliced into coins and cut into quarters

Crusty baguette or sourdough bread

Large bunch of basil leaves, roughly torn

Preheat the oven to 250°C

Wash and debeard the mussels. Tap each one on the sink if it is open, if it doesn’t close then discard it. Dry any excess water from the shells with kitchen towel and place the mussels on a baking tray. Add the tomatoes and chopped up chorizo.

Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are almost bursting and the mussel shells are open.

Discard any mussels that have not opened. Transfer the mussels, chorizo and tomatoes into a wide serving dish. Spoon over the gorgeous chorizo juices, make sure you pour it into the mussel shells too. Scatter with plenty of torn basil and serve right away with the crusty bread.

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Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets using leftover roast chicken

Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

If you shudder at the thought of what goes into some shop bought chicken nuggets then this recipe is for you! Simply use leftovers from a plump free range roast chicken and these nuggets will be on the table in no time. They’re a big hit with kids and freeze really well too!

Lilly x

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Makes 12-15

1 small onion

225g cooked chicken, brown and white meat

1 tbsp marjoram

1/2 tsp rosemary

1 egg

1 tbsp mayonnaise

50g parmesan, grated

80g breadcrumbs

To serve: Chips, baked potatoes or salad

 

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Brush a baking tray with oil. Place the onion, chicken and herbs into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz briefly chopped up but still rough in texture. Next add the egg, mayonnaise and parmesan. Blitz till just combined. You don’t want a paste but rather a uniform mix that comes together. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into little balls then flatten slightly, coat in the breadcrumbs and place on the tray. Bake for ten minutes then turn over and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until golden. Serve right away with chips, salad or baked potatoes.

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Our Wedding Day!

us

Are you ready to finally see photos from our wedding?! I know. I’ve become one of those people that says ‘Pop in for a cup of tea!’ then presents you with four huge albums weighed down with photos of the food, the flowers, the children, and even the family dog got her photo taken on the day. The amazingly talented Brid O’Donovan took our photos way back in August and I’m finally sharing some here on the website. The time has just flown and it’s been such a busy year, but a truly fantastic year. There are so many people I need to thank and acknowledge. For me the food was the most important element. I knew Eunice Power would do an incredible job creating a Middle Eastern Feast for us! She’s so talented and I can’t recommend her and her amazing team enough. Our stunning flowers were from Hanako and we celebrated it all at Cuskinny Court in Cobh. It was the perfect relaxed location for us. Caitriona and Eric are brilliant and basically let myself and Colm take over the house and do what we wanted. There was even a room for the kids to just relax and play. We put up so many handmade decorations with apples and vegetables everywhere and they decorated the place beautifully too, we really felt at home there on the day. So an amazing crack team all came together for a really relaxed and joyous day. Thanks to everyone involved for so much work, we will never forget it!

Lilly x

Photography: Brid O’Donovan. We didn’t even see her for the whole day yet she captured everything beautifully. How?! And we had the photos quicker than you can say “Honeymoons over guys!” Thank you Brid!x

Flowers: Hanako. I gave her such a vague description of what I wanted and she just knew exactly what to do

Food: Eunice Power. There is nothing Eunice and her team didn’t think of. They are fantastic and I’ll get Eunice to do all my weddings. Wiiiiiiink!

Cheese: On the Pigs Back (Assembled by Eunice)

Hair: Debbie at DKH in Cobh. I do love Debbie and she is the best.

Make Up: Rosie Higgins. My little sister is an incredible make up artist! SO handy!

Dress: Phase EIght

Venue: Cuskinny Court, Cobh, Co.Cork. A fantastic private house that can be made into anything!

Music: Alan Carney and Caitriona Anderson from Cookie and the Vaudevilles provided incredible music at the ceremony. Ikarumba from West Cork (who I first saw at Mahon Farmers Market!) played all afternoon at the reception and my amazing cousin Jeffrey Higgins DJ’d that night.

Thanks to my amazing sister Ettie for bringing so many beautiful handmade sweets, zaatar and sumac back from Jordan. It was her entire baggage allowance!

Here’s to a fantastic 2017 and all that it may bring x

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Tasty, Easy Lamb Tagliata

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I love lamb. Whenever I cook it it’s usually in the form of a big Sunday roast with all the trimmings, a leg of lamb with plenty of leftovers to make a shepherds pie. I always make mint sauce to go with it, so delicious! I buy minced lamb regularly and make Greek meatballs full of herbs and lemon zest, the kids love them on skewers. I’m not familiar with cooking lamb fillets so was looking forward to trying this recipe from http://www.tastyeasylamb.ie . Bord Bia have just launched their new lamb campaign (or lambpaign!) showing how tasty, easy and fun lamb can be. The website provides all the information you’ll need on cooking lamb, helpful tips and hints and of course a fantastic selection of delicious recipes. I’ve made this dish three times since I first came across the recipe and it’s a big hit with everyone, so incredibly quick and easy to make. Dinner is literally on the table in fifteen minutes. I serve it with couscous or flat breads. I’ve used spinach leaves here but any salad leaves will do. I’ve even massaged some kale leaves with lemon juice and olive oil then added a few finely shredded mint leaves and it’s tasted amazing. I’m going to try the lamb cutlets with chimichurri sauce next and then the Greek salad with lentils and lamb. They’re lovely summery dishes that are quick and easy to make and a little bit different from the usual dinners I tend to make midweek.

Lilly x

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Lamb Tagliata with Spinach

Serves 4

4 x lamb fillets

125g parmesan cheese

200g baby spinach leaves

2-3tbsp olive oil

Balsamic Cream

Salt & Pepper

Take the lamb out of the fridge 30 minutes in advance.

Using a peeler, cut the cheese into shavings.

Divide the spinach between 4 plates or spread out on a large dish.

Pre-heat a barbecue or frying pan on a high heat. Brush the lamb fillets with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and place on the barbecue or in the pan.

Grill them for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat and continue to cook depending on your preference and the thickness of the cut. Remove from the barbecue or pan and leave to rest for 2 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil over the spinach. Slice the meat and place on top, drizzling the balsamic cream over the top in a zigzag pattern. Top with the cheese shavings.

Serve immediately with bread or crisp baby potatoes fried with coarse salt and herbs.

Tip: You can add a few toasted pine nuts to the spinach.

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#FlexYourMussels with Moules Marinières

Moules Mariniere

Moules Mariniere

Eating mussels reminds me of being on holidays in France where we sat for hours one summers evening eating a huge pot of Moules Marinières in Bordeaux. There’s something so enticing about lifting the lid and smelling those garlic and white wine aromas wafting from the pot. I’ve been cooking them at home ever since, sometimes steaming them with cider, grilling them with garlic butter or adding them to a seafood stew. Mussels are the ultimate healthy fast food and something I love to cook. Bord Bia now have a whole range of delicious recipes using mussels on their website here and have just launched a great competition that gives you a chance to #flexyourmussels by posting a photo of a mussel dish that you’ve cooked at home and using the hashtag #flexyourmussels to be in with a chance to win one of three €100 One4All vouchers. I’ll select the winners by Monday 4th July so good luck!

I can’t wait to see loads of creative mussels recipes and get even more inspiration! In the mean time here’s the perfect recipe for the traditional Moules Marinières. It couldn’t be simpler and is surprisingly quick to make. Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread to hand for mopping up all of the delicious sauce at the end of the pot!

Moules Marinières

Serves 2 as a starter, one as a main course.

Time: 10 minutes

1kg mussels, prepared

A knob of butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

60mls white wine

Chopped parsley, to serve

Set a large saucepan over a medium heat.  Melt the butter.  Add the chopped shallot and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. They should soften but not brown.  Add the wine and mussels, turn the heat up to high and cover tightly with a lid.  Allow the mussels to cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to ensure they cook evenly. Discard any that have not opened.

Remove the pan from the heat to stop the mussels cooking any further. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, then spoon them into warmed bowls and pour over the pan juices.

Serve with lots of crusty bread.

Nutritional Analysis per serving:
Energy: 424kcal
Protein: 20g
Carbohydrate: 47g
Fat: 15g
Iron: 6.47mg
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
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Easy Rawnola Recipe (no dehydrator needed!)

rawnola

Rawnola is basically a mixture of delicious seeds,nuts, dried fruits and anything else you want to add.  It’s like blitzed up muesli. I’ve used oats like a traditional granola, so it’s packed full of slow release energy as well as having all of that goodness from the seeds and nuts. The dates help to hold it all together and give a natural sweetness. I’ve added a little cinnamon which balances out that sweetness and is barely obvious so if you want a more warm cinnamon spice taste just add another teaspoon. I put everything in the food processor and blitz it till it starts to clump together then you can add a little extra coconut flakes for texture.

I only had hemp seeds so milled them down in the Nutribullet. That means the hemp powder is really fresh, much nicer than the ready milled stuff.

This is a great breakfast to have with your choice of milk, yogurt, fresh fruit or you can scatter it over a smoothie bowl. I keep mine in the fridge so its stays extra fresh, it’s so delicious with coconut milk and raspberries! Sprinkle over a teaspoon of cacao nibs and this is serious dessert territory!

Lilly x

Hemp and Coconut Rawnola

Makes 1 big mason jar

1/4 cup ground hemp seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

2 cups dates, pitted

1 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups oats

1 tsp cinnamon

Place everything in a food processor and blitz till the mixture starts to clump together. Leave some texture or fold in some extra shredded coconut once done.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve with yogurt, milk, fruit or as a topping for smoothies.

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Brunch Recipes from my chat with Dave Fanning on 2FM earlier today…

Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Morning! Here are the recipes that I was talking about this morning on 2FM with Dave Fanning. You can listen back here, it’s about 35mins in. Gorgeous brunch recipes that taste amazing and will make you feel great too. Most of them are from my second cookbook, Dream Deli.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Lilly x

Chocolate chip smoothie

Serves 1

This feels like you’re drinking a chocolate ice cream milk shake but really it’s a green smoothie in disguise. Kids love it too. Add a tsp of linseed, chia or sunflower seeds for even more texture and health benefits!

1 banana, sliced & frozen

1 large handful of kale or spinach leaves

400ml water

1-2 tbsp cocoa or raw cacao powder

3 brazil nuts

1 tbsp cacao nibs

Blitz the banana, kale, water and cocoa powder till smooth. I use a nutribullet for this.

Add a few brazil nuts and 1 tbsp cacao nibs and blitz briefly so there are crunchy cacao chips and nut in the smoothie. Serve straight away.

Crepes with Berries

Crepes with Berries

Perfect Crêpes

300g plain flour

1 tsp sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

480ml milk

1 tbsp butter, melted

sunflower oil

Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl, then make a well in the centre.

Whisk the eggs and milk together with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Slowly pour into the well in the dry ingredients, whisking all the time to ensure a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter. Cover and place in the fridge to rest for 20–30 minutes.

Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and coat lightly with sunflower oil. Pour in enough batter to form a thin coat on the base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, or until the crêpe comes away from the side of the pan. Flip over and cook until golden on the other side.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Stack the crêpes on a plate with a little greaseproof paper or icing sugar between each one. Cover with tin foil till ready to serve.

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

Serves 6

Who doesn’t want a chocolatey breakfast? Kids especially love this granola as it turns the milk chocolatey with much less sugar than store bought cereals.

300g porridge oats

150g desiccated coconut

50g cocoa powder

100ml honey

pinch of sea salt

120g almond flakes, toasted

Preheat the oven to 100°C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix the oats and coconut in a large bowl. Sieve over the cocoa and stir. Add the honey and sea salt and mix until it forms a dry crumble.

Spread it out on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 1 hour, or until dry and crumbly. Keep turning so it bakes evenly. Leave to cool before folding in the toasted flaked almonds. Store in an airtight container.

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

This is a really nice little breakfast or have it before you tuck into a fry at the weekend. It’s basically overnight oats, you can pack little jam jars of this stuff to bring to work, it’s perfectly portable and will keep you going till lunch.

1 orange

1 grapefruit

1 lime

200g porridge oats

50g raisins

1 large eating apple, grated

50ml yoghurt

2 tbsp honey

Juice the citrus fruit – there should be approximately 300ml juice in total. Place the juice, oats and raisins into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Cover with cling film and leave to soak in the fridge for half an hour, or ideally overnight.

Stir the grated apple, yoghurt and honey through just before serving.

Welsh Rarebit

Serves 4

2 tsp Dijon mustard

60ml stout (I like Eight Degrees Knockmealdown Porter)

60g butter

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste

350g mature farmhouse cheese, grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

4 slices of bread

Mix the mustard and a little stout to make a paste in a small pan. Add the remaining stout, the butter and the Worcestershire sauce. Gently heat until the butter melts. Stir in the cheese to melt, but don’t let the mixture boil. Stir until smooth, then taste for seasoning. Remove from the heat and keep slightly warm while you toast the bread.

Heat the grill and toast the bread on both sides. Beat the eggs and yolk into the cheese sauce. Once smooth, spoon it generously onto the toast and grill until bubbling and golden.

Weekend Waffles

Makes about 10 waffles

300g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

60g Demerara sugar

2 eggs

500ml milk

100g butter, melted, plus extra for cooking

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl and then stir through the sugar.

Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug and add the melted butter. Make a hollow in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until just combined and there are no large lumps of flour.

Brush the plates of a preheated electric waffle iron with melted butter. Carefully ladle on the batter, keeping in mind that it will spread to the edges once the iron is closed. Lower the lid and cook until the waffles are fluffy and golden. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Options:

Fried bacon and maple syrup

Chantilly cream and fleur de sel caramel sauce

Strawberries and cream

Raspberries and lightly whipped cream that has been muddled with fresh mint leaves

Grilled pineapple slices flambéed in rum and a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Slices of banana and a drizzle of honey

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