Saturday 10 December 2016

Taste of the Wild Atlantic Way

Published 10/04/2016 | 02:30

Seaweed Pesto Chicken Pasta
Seaweed Pesto Chicken Pasta
Recipes and Stories from Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.
Black pudding and goats cheese frittata
Grilled prawns and smoked sausage salad

The flavours of the West coast come alive in these tasty offerings.

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DONEGAL: SEAWEED PESTO CHICKEN PASTA

Milled seaweed is easily tucked into this garlicky pesto recipe, infusing it with a subtle saline flavour that pairs well with the lush notes of basil and lemony parsley. Kelp, which is rich in vitamin A, calcium and amino acids, is used in this recipe, but any seaweed variety, such as bladderwrack or dulse, would work well too. Substitute hazelnuts for the almonds for an earthier flavour or walnuts  for a more delicate taste. The pesto will keep  in a covered container in the refrigerator  for up to one week and is also fantastic as a sandwich spread or to gussy up scrambled eggs.

SERVES 4

PREPARATION TIME: 30 MINUTES

Ingredients

For the seaweed pesto:

2 large bunches basil (including stems)

6 sprigs parsley (including stems)

150g almonds, toasted

4 cloves garlic

150g Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tbsp milled kelp

8 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the chicken pasta:

500g fusilli (or pasta of your choice)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

2 dried red chillies, rehydrated and finely chopped

2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bitesize pieces

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

To serve:

Almonds, roughly chopped and toasted

Milled kelp

Method

Combine the basil, parsley, almonds, garlic, Parmesan and kelp in a food processor and pulse while adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the pesto is slightly smooth but still retains a little chunkiness. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer until just cooked through, for about eight minutes.

Drain, return to the saucepan and cover to keep warm.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onion, chillies and chicken over a medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and the chicken is cooked through, for about nine minutes. Toss together the chicken, pesto and tomatoes with the pasta until well incorporated. Spoon into a bowl, garnish with chopped toasted almonds and sprinkle with kelp.

INISHMORE: BLACK PUDDING AND GOAT'S CHEESE FRITTATA

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A frittata is the perfect breakfast vehicle for all of your leftovers at the end of the week. If you happen to find some black pudding in your fridge, skip the traditional Irish breakfast and head straight for this lighter alternative.

Black pudding is a tender sausage containing pork, suet and dried pig's blood. Along the Wild Atlantic Way, food artisans are championing its virtues and longstanding legacy on the Irish breakfast table by creating their own unique versions of this beloved morning staple, experimenting with new flavours and ingredients.

In this recipe, it's fried for a few minutes to make it crispy and then paired with creamy goat's cheese, which fortifies it with tanginess.

MAKES 1 x 24CM FRITTATA

PREPARATION TIME: 35 MINUTES

Ingredients

15g butter

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

250g black pudding, crumbled into bitesize pieces

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

250g goat's cheese, crumbled

10 large eggs

3 tbsp milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Baby spinach, optional

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Melt the butter in a 24cm ovenproof frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat until nearly translucent. Add the black pudding and garlic and sauté until the meat darkens and begins to crisp up along the edges. Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley and goat's cheese. Allow to cool for a few minutes before adding the eggs so the eggs do not cook before reaching the oven.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the pan and stir very gently for just a few seconds to combine. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the edges of the frittata are puffed and golden brown and the eggs at the centre have set, for about 25 minutes.

Serve while still hot with your preferred condiments and a handful of baby spinach to add a few more greens to the start of your day.

CORK: GRILLED PRAWN AND SMOKED SAUSAGE SALAD WITH PICKLED LEMON CUCUMBERS

This is a lively summertime recipe featuring grilled prawns, smoky sausage, chickpeas and quickly pickled lemon cucumbers. The excellent chorizo from Gubbeen Smokehouse is the recommended sausage of choice, but any quality smoked sausage will do. Add a handful of spicy sunflower seeds for a little extra heat or omit the chilli altogether and toast up the seeds unadulterated.

SERVES 4

PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES

Ingredients

For the pickled lemon cucumbers:

1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced

Zest of 1 lemon

250ml water

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

50g caster sugar

For the grilled prawn and smoked

Sausage salad:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 large smoked sausages, such as chorizo or andouille

24 unshelled prawns

3 tbsp sunflower seeds

½ tsp red chilli powder, optional

400g chickpeas

4 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

Chives, coarsely roughly

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Place the cucumbers and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, bring the water, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers and cool to room temperature. Drain if ready to use or refrigerate in a covered container for up to one week.

Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan and fry the sausages until charred and cooked through. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice into bitesize pieces.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottom frying pan over a high heat to nearly smoking. Using tongs and working quickly, grill the prawns until pink and seared on both sides, for about one minute per side. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel, discarding the shell. De-vein if desired. Toss together the sunflower seeds and the red chilli powder and toast in a clean, dry pan until golden brown, for about one minute.

In a large bowl, toss together the cucumbers, sausage, prawns, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, parsley and olive oil until everything is well coated. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chives. Divide into four bowls and serve on a summer's day with an ice-cold beer.

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