NOT long after I first arrived in Ireland, almost two decades ago now, I was asked to teach an autumn adult evening cookery course in a local secondary school in West Cork.
Knob of butter
Splash of oil
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and halved lengthways
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste
400 mls coconut milk
100g multicoloured baby tomatoes, halved
4 portions of filleted and skinless white fish (haddock, whiting or cod)
300g raw peeled prawns, defrosted if frozen
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Good squeeze lime juice Melt the butter with oil in a pan and add spring onions, garlic and ginger. Cook over gentle heat, till just beginning to soften.
- Stir in curry paste and cook for a further minute.
- Add coconut milk and bring to bubbling.
- Add tomatoes, fish and prawns. Cover the pan and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
- Cook for about 6 minutes depending on thickness of fish, or until the fish is just opaque and the prawns are cooked through and pink. Season and add lime juice.
- Serve immediately, with boiled rice.
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 apples, cored and sliced
Maple syrup for drizzling
175g plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
175g caster sugar
175g butter, in cubes
3 medium fresh free range eggs, beaten
Splash of milk
2 apples, cored and sliced in wedges
2 tbsp runny honey
Sifted icing sugar for dusting
- Melt butter in a pan and add sugar. Stir to melt and caramelise.
- Add apple slices and toss in the caramel mix.
- Remove from heat and leave till cool enough to handle.
- Arrange in a twirl pattern in the base of a 20cm shallow cake tin, lined with well buttered baking parchment.
- Drizzle apples with maple syrup.
- Sift flour with baking powder and reserve.
- Beat sugar with butter till light, pale and fluffy.
- Gradually add the eggs, bit by bit, with alternate spoons of flour mix.
- When all the egg is added, tip in the remaining flour and whisk in.
- Add enough milk to make a very soft dropping consistency.
- Spoon the sponge mix over the apples evenly, levelling the surface. Give a little tap to knock out the air bubbles.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven Gas 5 375F 190C or 180C for fan assisted, for about 30 minutes or until the sponge is just set. Cover the top with parchment or foil if it is getting too brown.
- Test sponge by piercing with a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is ready.
- Cool slightly in the tin before turning out.
- To turn out, loosen the cake around the edges of the tin with the point of a sharp knife.
- Place a plate over the top of the cake.
- Hold the plate and tin and invert the cake so the plate is on the bottom.
- Carefully lift off the cake tin. If any apples stick in the base, simply lift them out and popthem back on top of the cake.
- Drizzle with extra maple syrup and serve warm, with cream or ice