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Catherine Celebrates Easter 2021

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Walnuts, Garlic and Thyme

30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 200ml boiling water for 20 minutes
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil  
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, diced 
1 tsp chopped thyme
300g risotto rice
200g selection of wild mushrooms, sliced
120ml medium dry white wine
800ml vegetable stock, heated to simmering

3 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Drain the porcini liquid into the heated vegetable stock and roughly chop the soaked porcini.  

To prepare the risotto, heat a large saucepan and add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter is foaming, add the onion and cook on a low heat for about 7 minutes until it softensbut does not brown. Add the garlic,

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A drizzle of truffle oil
4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced (you need 12 slices), to garnish  
2 tbsp roughly chopped walnuts, to garnish
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Parmesan shavings, to garnish 

thyme and mushrooms and cook on a high heat until the mushrooms have cooked through (about 4 minutes) then stir in the rice, and cook for a few minutes until the rice is shiny and opaque. Increase the heat, add the chopped porcini and pour in the wine, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring from time to time. Reduce the heat and add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring constantly until each ladleful is absorbed. The rice should be creamy but firm to the bite. (al dente)

Stir in grated parmesan and parsley and check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed. Separately, heat a frying pan with some butter and oil and, add the sliced chestnut mushrooms and fry on both slides. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Serve in bowls, spoon in the risotto, garnish with the fried chestnut mushrooms, sprinkle over the chopped walnuts. Finish with parmesan shavings and chopped parsley and serve immediately.  

Butterflied leg of lamb with chimichurri and a pistachio, carrot, grape and goats cheese salad

Serves 4 to 6

1.4kg leg of lamb, butterflied (ask your craft butcher to debone it for you)
For the dry rub
1 lemon, zest only
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp sea salt

For the chimichurri sauce
40g parsley, roughly chopped
40g coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
5 medium size mint leaves
3 medium garlic cloves
2 tsp fresh oregano
3 medium shallots, peeled and halved
½ medium red chilli
80ml rapeseed oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp caster sugar
½ to ¾ tsp sea salt

For the salad
1 tbsp oil
60g pistachios
1 tsp za’atar
60g rocket leaves
50g Lambs leaf lettuce 
head of red chicory
1 head frisee lettuce, washed and trimmed
3 small to medium carrots, peeled and ribboned with a peeler
120g seedless red grapes or green grapes, sliced in half
100g Local cheese, sliced
10 mint sprigs, for the salad
Rosemary sprigs, to garnish the lamb

For the dressing
2 medium shallots, very finely sliced
½ tsp salt
60ml lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped  
2 tsp za’atar
100ml rapeseed oil

To prepare the lamb, place all the ingredients for the rub together in a bowl, mix well.  Drizzle some oil on the lamb and massage the rub onto the lamb, cover and leave in the fridge for up to 6 hours if you wish. 

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.  Transfer the lamb into a roasting pan on a trivet of onions, garlic and carrots and roast for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and cook for a further 18 to 20 minutes if you prefer your lamb medium rare, add on a further 10 to 12 minutes longer if you like it more cooked. Alternatively, as a general guideline to test for doneness to your preference, allow for a core temperature whilst cooking of 55/59C for medium rare and 60/66C for medium. 67/71C for well done and note that the core temperature increases whilst the lamb is resting in a warm place.Set aside the meat, covered, to rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

To prepare the chimichurri, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse blend to give a lightly textured sauce. Check the seasoning, adding if needed. Spoon into a bowl to serve.

To prepare the dressing, place the shallots, lemon, honey and salt into a bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and za’atar.  Pour in the oil in a slow steady stream while whisking. Check the seasoning, adding salt, freshly ground black pepper and honey if needed. Set aside.  

To prepare the salad, heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the za’atar and the pistachios, toast lightly. Add a little salt if needed. Transfer to a bowl to cool.Place the salad leaves and carrot ribbons in a bowl, toss with some dressing. Transfer to a platter or shallow bowl. Add the grapes and sprinkle over the seasoned pistachio on top.   Spoon small amounts of the goat’s cheese all over the top. Serve the extra dressing separately. 

Place the roasted butterflied lamb on a platter, garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve with the chimichurri and the salad.  

Shortbread Easter Biscuits

Makes 36 to 40 depending on the size of the cutters
For the biscuits
220g plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
140g chilled butter, diced
60g caster sugar
½ tsp lemon extract
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with a fork
40ml cold water

For the icing
350g icing sugar
2 egg whites, whisked lightly
1 tsp lemon juice  
Yellow, green, pink colour paste or any pale colour you would like to use.

You will need Easter cookie cutter/s, 4 disposable piping bags or 4 fabric bags fitted with fine nozzles

To prepare the biscuits, place the plain flour and cornflour into a food processer, add the diced butter and blend until fine breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and lemon extract. Add the water to the egg yolk, mix lightly and then add to the flour mix. Then mix well to form a firm dough.Place on a floured surface and knead it together well. Wrap up in parchment and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.Roll the biscuit dough out to 3mm on a floured surface. Stamp out the biscuit shapes and place on the lined baking trays. Bake for 12-15 minutes but check them at 12 minutes. As all ovens vary slightly. Leave on the trays for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack. The biscuits must be completely cooled before icing them. 

To prepare the icing, place the icing sugar into a large bowl. Add ¾ of the egg white and whisk well and pour in the lemon juice.  The icing should be a thick, smooth and glossy paste. Add more egg white if needed.   Divide between into 3 additional bowls for the colour and keep 4 tbsp of white royal icing for the dots. Colour each bowl of icing and cover so it does not dry out. Spoon coloured icing and the plain white icing into each piping bag and using scissors make a very fine snip at the tip.  Pipe around the edge of the biscuits and then pipe in the centre of the biscuits with icing. (use a skewer or the tip of the piping bag to move the icing lightly into place). Leave to dry.  This will take 2 hours depending on the size. 

When dry, select your preferred colours and decorate the biscuits. Leave to dry completely then enjoy. 


Catherine with Freda Wolfe – Intelligent Teas & Clever Honey

Chef, bee keeper and herbalist, Freda Wolfe, combined her culinary talents and herbal medicine training to create a range of tasty therapeutic Intelligent Teas and her hard working bees give an annual seasonal small batch of Clever Honey. 

Inspired by the aroma’s, tastes and intelligent curative properties of hedgerow plants, Intelligent Teas are carefully crafted blends of loose leaf, organic and chemical free herbs

The single estate range are grown organically in Ireland, naturally dried and carefully blended by Freda into blends including ‘Digest,” “Revive“ and “ Elevate.” Freda makes no medicinal claims on any of her products, but for those who connect with plants and old wives tales, a hot cuppa can offer relief for many ailments. Intelligent stuff.

Images of Clever honey & intelligent teas

Wicklow Willow

Wicklow Willow is a small company based in Glendalough offering a broad range of Traditional Basketry products and services, from baskets and courses to playground installations and sculptures. They also provide professional heritage services to many Local Authorities and State Agencies. Aoife and Pat are a husband & wife team working hard to build their business in the beautiful valley of Glendalough. They have three little boys that help keep them busy when not weaving!

Glendalough, County Wicklow

Marta O’Kelly and Adrienn Eber – FLORAL ART

Established in 2014, Floral Art is co-owned by Marta O’Kelly and Adrienn Eber and is a hive of activity, full of flowers, colours, scents and creativity.

Adrienn and Marta are passionate about all things floral and they have grown their business to 3 stores, they’re now in Churchtown, Dublin 14 and in Knocklyon, Dublin 16 as well as their original store in Greystones. Floral Arts in Wicklow celebrates the power of the flower, through floral arrangements, event planning and evening classes, whether designing for individual clients, weddings or corporates, we translate your individual style into flowers and event décor. 

Unit 1A Meridian Point Greystones Co. Wicklow

Unit 5, 96/98 Upper Churchtown Road, D14 CR33

Unit 7, Knocklyon Shopping Centre, Idrone Avenue, D16, D16 HE29

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