Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

February 24, 2009

veggie bites

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 2:32 pm

I promised to share some recipes I created over the holidays so here is a unique appetizer that everyone at our solstice party loved. This delightful little morsel is simple to make, and should be eaten in one bite to experience the burst of all the flavors coming together. It is wheat free and can be dairy free, too. Substitute a non dairy cream cheese or sour cream for the cream cheese in the wasabi spread mixture.

2 cups cooked sushi rice – cook following instructions on pkg. When it is cooled add 2 Tbl. brown sugar, 1/2 Tb. rice vinegar, 1 Tbl. soy sauce or wheat free tamari, salt & pepper to taste.

Julienne (cut into very fine thin strips) 1 small carrot, 1/2 cucumber, 1 red radish

In a bowl mix together 1 Tbl. wasabi powder with a few drops of hot water to make a paste, then add 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbl. wheat free tamari (or soy sauce).

Cut a sheet of Nori into small squares, about 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″                            On each sheet put a dollop (about 1 Tbl.) of rice. Top rice with about 1 tsp. of wasabi mix. Decorate with carrots, cucumbers,radish.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and sprigs of curly parsley.  Have fun with these and be creative with putting them together. Enjoy!

December 11, 2008

Apple Spice Cake

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 8:56 pm

I made a big pot of applesauce a few days ago.  The MacIntosh apples were so sweet so it needed no sugar. Today is Sue Hesses  birthday and I adapted a favorite recipe for her birthday cake. Sue edited Coming Home To Cook and  did a brilliant job. It would be a very different book if it were not for her professionalism, patience, support and good humor!  So, a special cake for a special friend, with an Irish twist.  This is a small cake, easy and quick to make,  delicious and very light with all the flavors and smells of winter.

Preheat oven to 350 or 180. Grease and flour 2 8″ cake pans.

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour combined with 3/4 cup plain white flour              

1 tsp. baking soda   

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup soft unsalted butter

2 tsp. poteen (Irish moonshine) or 2tsp. rum

1 large egg

1cup plus 1 Tbl. unsweetened applesauce    (see this recipe under recipe section)                                                                                        

In a mixer combine flours, spices, salt and sugar. Cut up butter and add.  Separatley beat the  egg. Add the egg, liquor and  applesauce slowly to the batter. Mix for a few minutes until all ingredients are well blended. Pour into pans and bake for 35 minutes.


2 cups powdered (icing, confectioners) sugar

1/2 cup cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. poteen (or rum)

1 Tbl. cream (or milk)

In a mixer add all ingredients in order and blend until smooth.

When  the cake cools, remove from pans.  Ice the top of 1 cake, sprinkle with1/4 cup of chopped crystalized ginger, place the other cake on top and ice cake top and sides. Decorate with whole pecans.




November 4, 2008

Autumn Recipes

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 8:05 pm

These are the recipes I used for the cookery demo at Seed Savers Apple Harvest Day. Enjoy!

Stuffed Rainbow Chard – gluten free

  • 12 large chard leaves, washed and trimmed, take off  stem
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large courgette, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 Georgian chestnut squash, steamed
  • 4 large waxy potatoes, peeled, diced and steamd until tender
  • sprigs of fresh thyme, sage and oregano
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 3 apples, diced
  • 12 tomatoes
  • 4 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 cup grated hard goat cheese

Saute the onion, garlic and courgettes in olive oil. In a large bowl add them to the steamed potatoes, herbs,chopped basil and apples. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Georgian chestnut squash has a very thick skin but the “flesh” cooks very quickly, steaming until done takes about 15 minutes. It will fall out of the shell. (The shell would be beautiful for stuffing and displaying on a holiday table).  However, any squash can be used for this recipe. Steam until done, scoop out of shell and mash until creamy. For this recipe I left it plain for the demo and the possibility of various diets but you can add 3eggs and 1/2 cup light cream to make a mousse.

On a flat surface, lay out a leaf of rainbow chard. Spread a heaping spoonful of squash evenly, covering the leaf.  Towards the wide end of the leaf drop a dollop of the vegetable mixture and roll.

To make a tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes boil water in a saucepot. Drop in the tomatoes. When you see the skins beginning to pucker, (about a minute depending on size) take them out with a slotted spoon and drop in very cold water. The skins will peel off, then core and dice.  In a Tbl. of olive oil add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 diced shallot until soft. Add tomatoes and your herbs of choice.

Lay the sauce in the bottom of a rectangular baking pan and top with the stuffed leaves, covering with the grated cheese. Bake in a 180 degree oven for 40 minutes.


You can’t get any easier than this! This is a great snack or dessert for kids. Add your sweetener of choice. The sweeter the apples, the less sweetener needed.

Makes 3 cups:

  • 8 apples, peeled, cored and chopped.
  • 1/2 cup water.

Place apples in a heavy stock pot and add water. Simmer until apples break down. Mash with a fork or potato masher.

Experiment with ground cloves, fresh minced ginger, cinnamon or grated nutmeg for something extra special. Usie ground spices or place whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and chopped ginger in a cheesecloth and add to apples while they are cooking. While cooling, leave the bag in the sauce until cool then remove.

Honey Mustard Viniagrette

  • 1 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup spring water
  • 2 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. spicey Irish mustard
  • 1/2 Tbl. honey
  • herbs of choice: tarragon, fennel or dill are nice in this recipe.

Whip all ingredients together until creamy and smooth.

Apple Crisp or Crumble

  • 8 apples, peeled, cored and chopped.
  • 2 Tbl. plain flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Mix all of the above. Place in a buttered baking dish and top with this delicious crumb topping that can also be used to top a tart.  It’s on page 76 in Coming Home To Cook.
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup plain white flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 Tbl. cold, chopped butter

Mix all together, place over apples and bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes.

September 21, 2008

stuffed cabbage with sea grass and goat cheese

Filed under: Recipes — admin @ 5:18 pm

For the Clare Banquet I used Greyhound cabbage. It gets it’s name because the shape is similar to a greyhounds head. It is softer and whiter than the typical green cabbage commonly grown here (like the one on the cover of Coming Home To Cook.)  Either is good for this recipe. Since I could only use ingredients grown  in Co. Clare I stewed or steamed all the vegetables, no sauteing as there is no oil.

Steam 6 large cabbage leaves, set aside to cool

Dice the following and mix together:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  •  3 leeks, chopped                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 cloves  2 cloves garlic, mined                                                                                                                                                   1 large courgette (zucchini) , chopped                                                                                                                          3 peeled carrots , chopped                                                                                                                                             2 stalks celery ,chopped                                                                                                                      10 runner beans (or any green bean) cut into 1/2 inch pieces                                                                                                                                                  In a heavy bottomed stock pot add all of the above veg to 2 cups of water or vegetable stock. Add sea salt, mix together and cook on low heat until vegetables begin to soften. Take off of the heat and set aside.                                                                                                                                                       Wash, dice and steam 6 waxy potatoes, set aside and cool.   When cooled, add to veg mixture.                                                                                                                                                                   Grate 2 cups of hard cheese – I used a mixture of Burren Gold with fennel and fenugreek.                                                                                                                                                     In a food processor put 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cream and 1 lb. of soft cheese. I used soft goat cheese but you can use farmers cheese or cream cheese, too.  Add sea salt and a mixture of chopped herbs, like thyme, oregano, dill andfennel.                                                                                                                    Here’s the fun part: I bought live sea grass from the winkle man in Kilrush. It was fresh when I bought it (2 weeks before I used it). The instructions were to watch it and when the shells opened, remove them.  They opened in 10 days and then it started drying out. On the day I used it, I soaked it in water, drained it and saved the water, which is a good thickener.   So, if you don’t live near a winkle man or can’t find sea grass (it’s seasonal) get dried sea weed and soak.                                                                                                                                                                           Boil 1 gallon of water . Immerse 12  ripe tomatoes.  The skins will begin to come off in less than a minute. Immerse immediately in a bowl of cold water and gently peel off skins.  In a stock pot cook the tomatoes, 2 cloves chopped garlic, a handful of chopped basil and sea salt. When the tomatoes are cooked down and soft, ,take off heat and puree in a food processor or blender.                               

Lay out the cabbage leaves , In the middle of the leaf spread a spoonful of soft goat cheese, top with a dollop of vegetable mixture.  Add a sprig of sea grass. Roll leaf  so that it folds together, keeping mixture tightly inside. Place in a casseroloe pan, that has been filled with  a 1/4 inch of tomato sauce.  Drizzle more sauce over leaves, top with grated hard cheee and bake for 30 minutes in a 180 (350) degree oven.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

August 28, 2008

Barry’s Cole Slaw

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 4:52 pm

Ihensmagine going into your garden and picking all the vegetables for your dinner. Well, that’s what I did at Tom Barry’s small holding outside of Ennistymon.  Tom and Dorothy generously loaded the boot of my car with all of these vegetables, floury and waxy potatoes and gorgeous cabbage. So, whether it’s all organic and fresh from your garden  or  fresh from your Green Grocer this salad is a burst of late summer flavors and colours.

Barry’s Cole Slaw: gluten free


2 cups peeled carrots

2 cups cabbage

1/2 large raw beetroot

peel and dice 1large cucumber

peel, core and dice 2 cups apples

chop 1 Tablespoon of curly parsley and 1 Tablespoon fennel leaves

Mix all together, sprinkle with a little salt and fresh black pepper. Add enough green goddess dressing to coat. Refrigerate and let the flavors come together. Optional: 1/2 cup currants……..1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts.

August 9, 2008

local fruit salsa

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 5:24 pm

This is a recipe that is similar to the one in Coming Home To Cook. I made this today at the Doolin Farmers Market Demo. As you see, most of the ingredients are local and seasonal. The fresher the better! I put an * next to the veggies from small West Clare Farmers. It is gluten and dairy free.

2 cups pineapple – chopped fine

1/2 cup sweet radish*

1/4 cup corgettes*

1/4 cup shallots*

2 Tbl. fresh garlic*

1/4 cup spring onions (scallions) *

1/2 cup tomatoes*

1/4 cup coriander*

1 Tbl. fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 Tbl. red pepper flakes

pinch of salt

Chop all of the veggies into small pieces. Add to the pineapple. Mix with the lime juice, pepper flakes and salt. Refrigerate and let the flavors absorb.

August 1, 2008

Be a Green Goddess

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 3:12 pm

Green Goddess Salad Dressing – gluten free

The markets are brimming with fresh green veggies of many kinds. Rocket is my favorite salad green. It’s tart and crisp and holds up to a thick dressing. I came up with this version of Green Goddess when a gardener friend gave me a handful of basil and I found just a little balsamic vinegar in the cupboard. It’s a little sweet with a bite of vinegar.

Makes 3 cups or 700ml.

In a blender combine until creamy:

1 cup chopped fresh basil or mint

1 1/2 Tbl. chopped red onion

2Tbl. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbl. low fat sour cream

1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

8 Tbl. plain yogurt

6 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbl. honey

Quick Conversion Chart: 1 Tbl. is 15 ml. 1/4 cup is 60 ml. 1 cup is 240 ml.

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