With six school-going children in her house, Cork woman Shelia Kiely has plenty of experience in figuring out what food will keep a family happy.
She’s not short of, as she mentions in the dedication, testers, helpers – or critics. And children can be merciless. Any recipes that have survived their oh-so-cautious consideration are definitely worth checking out: dishes like Pork Chops in Creamy Honey and Mustard Sauce, Spaghetti with Pesto, Bacon and Broccoli or Moroccan Meatballs are sure to become family favourites.
From dinners to DIY takeaways, baking to dinner parties, there are options here to keep everyone happy. Leftovers get used up in a way that guarantees kids won’t recognise that the dish has already graced the dining table – beef stew becomes a Cornish Pasty, tired pasta gets revitalised into a quick baked dish.
Pizza comes in three guises: with a proper yeast base, a quick scone base and even the cheat’s option, using ready made pitta bread, looks appetising. There are even simple menus for confirmation/communion/christening gatherings, along with cookalong schedules for events like the Christmas dinner.
With lots of ideas, none of them too complex, Gimmie the Recipe is a handy book for anyone who’s despairingly wondered what to feed their families for dinner.
Must try: Salmon in Soy Sauce, Apple and Blueberry Loaf Cake, Chocolate Chip Squares
This review copy of Gimmie the Recipe by Shelia Kiely was sent to me by Mercier Press.
Butcher’s Sausage Hotpot
On Monday afternoon I read this recipe, realised that I had all the ingredients in the house and it was on the table for dinner that night. It is one of those dishes, however, that lives or dies by the quality of the sausages used. I had a pack of Bramley apple sausages from McCarthy’s of Kanturk and they were fantastic. Check out what your local butcher has on offer.
Salad potatoes – 1kg bag
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Decent butcher’s sausages – 400g
Red onion – 1, peeled and cut into 8 segments
Vegetable or chicken stock – 500mls (I used Marigold stock powder)
Frozen peas – 400g
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Slice the potatoes in half, cover with cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until partially cooked. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan that you can use in the oven and cook the sausages slowly on a medium heat, until well coloured. This can take from 10-15 minutes. At this stage, I cut the sausages into three so that they stretch a bit further. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the segments of red onion and fry for a few minutes.
Tip over the potatoes and spread into a roughly even layer. Mix the frozen peas with the stock, season with black pepper, then pour over the potatoes, sausages and onions. Bring to the boil, dot the potatoes generously with butter, and pop into the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and the stock has reduced.
Serve hot from the oven. Serves four.
Adapted from Gimmie the Recipe by Shelia Kiely.