Rachel Allen recently visited our Flagship Store Tallaght for an inclusive cooking event in partnership with Evoke.ie and KitchenAid. The lucky attendees got to try out tasty samples along with a glass of bubbly, all while learning some great recipes to take home!
We know you’re just as interested which is why we’re also giving you the chance to recreate some of the dishes Rachel put together on the day!
Pea and Coriander Soup
Of the Pea and Coriander soup Rachel said “We make this soup at the cookery school. It’s such a fast, great recipe and has to be one of my favourites.”
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 150g (5 ½ oz) onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red or chilli, deseeded and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 850ml (1 ½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock
- 450g (1 lb) peas (good frozen ones are fine)
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onion, garlic and chilli and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with a butter wrapper or grease proof paper, put on the lid and sweat over a low heat for 3 or 4 minutes or until the onions are cooked.
- Add the stock, turn up the heat to high and bring up to the boil.
- Add the peas and cook very rapidly, making sure to remove the lid as soon as it comes to the boil (this keeps the peas’ fresh green colour intact) for only 1 or 2 minutes or until the peas are cooked.
- Add the coriander and immediately liquidise.
- Check seasoning and serve.
Note: Like most soups, this freezes really well.
Note: Avoid prolonged boiling and simmering of this soup to retain the fresh green colour.
White Soda Scones
- 450g plain flour
- 1 level tsp bread soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 375 – 425ml buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 230’C (425’F), gas mark 8.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in most of the buttermilk (leaving about 60ml in the measuring jug). Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary. Do not knead the mixture or it will become heavy. The dough should be soft-ish, but not too wet and sticky.
- When it comes together, turn onto a floured work surface and bring together a little more. Pat the dough until it’s just 2-3cm thick, then using a sharp knife or a cutter, cut into scones.
- Brush the top of each scone with leftover buttermilk, or some beaten egg, and scatter with grated cheddar cheese, or seeds, such as sesame, poppy or sunflower.
- Place on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. When cooked, the scones will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base and be golden in colour. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
This harissa paste is delicious spread over the fat side of a lamb rack before it’s roasted in the oven.
- 4 red chillies, fresh or dried
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- Half teaspoon caraway seeds
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Half teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Place the dried chillies in a bowl and cover with boiling water, if you’re using dried chillies. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- While the chillies are soaking, place the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes. Allow to toast, they’ll turn a couple of shades darker and will just begin to smoke but you must keep a close eye on them and make sure to toss the pan every few seconds.
- Tip the spices out of the pan and crush well using a pestle and mortar.
- Once the chillies have softened, take them from the water (saving the water in case you need it) and discard the stalks and seeds.
- Blend the chillies with the crushed spices, the garlic and the salt, then pour in the olive oil to make a thick paste, adding some of the chilli soaking water if necessary.
Pomegranate and Coriander Cous Cous
- 400g cous cous
- The seeds from one pomegranate
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 500ml boiling chicken stock or water
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander or mint
- Place the couscous and pomegranate seeds in a bowl and mix in the olive oil and lemon juice.
- Pour in the boiling stock or water and season.
- Allow to sit in a warm place for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- To serve, stir in the chopped herbs .
Note: Toasted pistachios are also delicious added into the cous cous when serving.
Rack of lamb
- 1 rack of lamb
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
- Remove the papery skin if it is still attached, then score the fat in a criss-cross pattern with lines 1–2cm apart, trying not to cut into the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the weight of the lamb and how pink you like it to be.
- Leave in the oven, covered in foil, with the heat turned off, then cut between the chops and give each person 2–3 chops each.
Makes 450ml (16 fl oz).
- 250g (9 oz) tub of greek yoghurt
- ½ cucumber, deseeded and finely diced
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander or mint
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tomatoes (optional)
- Put the yoghurt into a bowl, add the cucumber, coriander and some salt and pepper to taste.
- Chopped tomatoes can also be added into this.
Note: You could also grate the whole cucumber for this, but first sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and let it drain sitting in a sieve over a bowl for 10 minutes to get rid of excess juices.
Rhubarb Crumble Cake
Serves 6 – 8.
Delicious served at a tea party or as a pudding/dessert with lightly whipped cream. Something I love to bake as soon as I see the rhubarb appear in the garden or in the shops.
For the crumble topping:
- 100g plain flour
- 50g butter, cubed
- 50g caster sugar
- 250g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 25g sugar
For the sponge base:
- 125g butter, softened and a little extra for greasing the tin
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- Icing sugar to dust
- 20cm round tin with a spring form/removable bottom
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Butter the sides of the tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- To make the crumble topping, sieve the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles find bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and set aside.
- Stew the rhubarb gently with the sugar (is there any water?) on a low heat in a saucepan with the lid on for about 6–8 minutes. Take off the heat, take the lid off and allow to cool.
- To make the sponge base, cream together the butter and caster sugar in a bowl of a food processor until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in the sieved flour and baking powder.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin, then spoon the stewed rhubarb on top, smoothing gently with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the rhubarb and bake in the preheated oven for 40–45 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly golden on top.
- Allow to cool in the tin before carefully transferring to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Photography: ©Fran Veale