Sweet Potato Shepherd’s pie

IMG_6411I was brought up on sweet potato, so it has been a staple in my diet from the beginning, I have to say it’s good to see it taking off in such a big way here  in Ireland. This one is so good and all I did was use what ever I had available in my kitchen. I’m actually so proud of how it came out and I hope you like it to where ever you are.

Serves  4

Ingredients

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp tandoori spice mix (optional)
1 tsp of The Caribbean Dub’s Hot pepper sauce ( optional)
400g turkey mince
1 cougette diced
1 small onion diced
1 large carrot diced
1 tsp cococnut oil
100g petit pois peas
1 large sweet potato peeled and diced.
450 grams of chicken stock

Method

First we do our prep. Preheat an oven at 175 c. Put the sweet potato in a pot of boiling waterseason with a little salt ( you could actually do this hours before).

In a pan add 3/4 tsp of oil add the turkey mince, cook until there is no pinkness and remove.

In the same pan add the all spices to the rest of the oil. Make sure to keep the heat on medium. Add the onion, carrots, petit pois and Courgette and sweat for a few minutes. If your pan is starting to dry out simply add water.

Add the stock and cook for another few minutes, take off the heat and place in a baking dish.

When the sweet potato is cooked drain off the water and mash the potato. Season with salt and pepper and spread the mashed potato over a the turkey mix.

Place in the oven and cook for 25/30 minutes.

For extra crispiness I place under the grill for 5 minutes then serve.

Hope you enjoy this one as it was all me!!

Thanks for reading TCDub xxx

Papaya, Pawpaw or Pupaw

IMG_4943For me growing up in the Caribbean gave me the opportunity to pick a lot of fruits that I am now forking out a fortune for. My mam had a Papaya  tree in the garden and that was among one of my favourite fruits. Me and my brothers would collect almonds ourselves. Weirdly I can’t remember what my favourite sweet would’ve been at that time but I can list about 10 fruits. I guess it’s a cultural thing. Even now I would eat a fresh mango over any sweet.

This was one of my favourite fruits growing up. It’s a tropical fruits and for a while there I actually thought that I didn’t like it as the quality we were getting in Tesco’s was so bad. It was half the size of the ones I remembered and it was what we would call force ripe in Montserrat (picked when the fruit was too young).

I found a little shop just off the Ilac I think the owner is Pakistani well his cricket banter points in that direction. They do the nicest Papayas so sweet. Why am I taking about this fruit.. Well it’s good for you!

The papaya is a melon like fruit with yellow-orange flesh enclosed in a thin skin that varies in color from green to orange to rose. You could actually cook the green papayas in soups and such but that’s another story. Papayas are a rich source of vitamin A and C. One half of a small papaya can provide 150% of the recommended daily dietary intake of Vitamin C. It is low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol free, and a good source of potassium, folate, and fibre.

So next time you having a fruit salad why not add a little something from the tropics.

See you tomorrow! Thanks for reading TCDud xxx

 

An Unlikely Duchess

20140704-181744-65864055.jpgI am a romantic. Plain and simple. I guess it’s programmed into me after reading so many Happily ever after stories. I don’t know , I can’t help it. I was obsessed with Carrie’s and Mr Big. My Ideal man is the rather dashing Mr Darcy.Maybe that’s why I’m as single as a bag of chips! Anyway to keep this post from sounding like an AD from Plenty of Fish, I think I should stay on point here. Nadine Millard I met you at my Godson’s birthday party last year and  I found you absolutely hilarious to say the least.You know why? Little did I know that a few months later I would be on a beach in Barbados reading a book that you’ve written. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

An unlikely Duchess is addictive to say the least.  It is a Regency romance drama (think Pride and Prejudice). Did I say this is Nadine’s very first novel. I couldn’t put it down.  Anyway back to the book I ‘ll give you a quick run down and try not to give too much away. Edward the Duke of Harttridge is coerced by his mother to accompany her to visit her late husband’s best friend and his wife  (The earl of Ranford)  in Ireland. Little did he know that his deceased father and the Earl of Ranford made an agreement that there first-born daughter (Caroline) and Son (Edward) should be betrothed to each other. Having quickly realised this, Edward objects strongly to this and prepares to return to London. He subsequently meets lady Rebecca the Earls the tomboy fouled mouth youngest daughter and this is where it gets interested.

Nadine paints hilarious picture of how these two enter an  unlikely romance. I couldn’t help but root for them. When your surrounded by Facebook,  Instagram,  Twitter,  etc. It’s nice to taken back to a time when to be alone with a boyo is a big no no. And every meeting is chaperoned so you can actually get to know each other. I liked this book and think its a perfect escape. Nadine a big to salute to you girl. You actually made a show of me laughing to myself on a plane while reading this. Great first effort and I’m hand on my heart looking forward to what happens with Caroline in the next book. Hurry up already!!

Thanks for Reading

TCDub xx

Paradise Lost

20140625-162018-58818267.jpgI remember waiting for a bus as a kid in Cork Hill, Montserrat and a Jehovah witness handing me a leaflet with a poem called Paradise Lost. I can’t remember the actual poem but the title always stayed with me.

Little did I know that it was going to play such a big role in my life. Montserrat the little island in the Caribbean was paradise to me. It’s that kind of place that my brothers and I used to go off fishing for crayfish in the river, picking mangoes, collecting almonds and literally acting like we were Huckleberry Finn. So many adventures. Life wasn’t easy but thankfully I had a vivid imagination that came from a love of books inherited from my mam. My Aunty Rose and Godmother Lola kept me grounded and faithful. And even as a child I learned to be happy with the things that mam couldn’t afford to buy us. The beach, the fruit trees, music,family, being outdoors, sunshine and of course laughter . Essential backdrops for mischief.

We moved to Ireland as I was turning 11 and I think if I’m honest it was a difficult adjustment to me. I was excited and lost and I think it’s only really the last 5 years that I’ve started really feeling comfortable in my own skin as such.

I remember seeing Donnycarney for the first time. May 7th 1995 we arrived and I had no concept of what a terraced house was so I thought the whole block was my house ha. It seemed like I was 10 going onto 7 as the kids around me seemed so street wise. One of my friends saw me for the first time skipping to school in the rain. I probably looked like a weirdo but hey she’s still one of my besties xx.

There’s only two times in my life when I’ve looked at the news and thought this can’t be true one is 9/11 and the other was two months after I arrived in Ireland. My whole family sitting down tears dripping down my face. Watching sky news like it was a movie, a mountain. smoke , wait; that looks like…. The caption reads volcano erupts in small Caribbean Island. My mother numb, everyone speaking at once. The phone calls. Has anybody died that we know. Phonecalls about ash. “Does this mean we can never return home”.

We’re lucky to have left when we did. Me thinking I don’t feel lucky. Only half of the Island gone. Only?It’s a modern-day Pompeii. Should this make me feel better? It’s crazy I had such a chip on my shoulder. Hi Santis I heard your from the Caribbean tell us about it my teacher said.? No! Classmate can you talk like Cool running? No! I’m nobody’s fucking clown. New memory’s are built as the years go by.

I returned to Montserrat everything is smaller. I wanted to show my boyfriend at the time everything. But I couldn’t. We weren’t allowed to enter. Danger zone. This is real. I can’t deal with it. I’m never coming back. It’s smaller, people I grew up with evacuated to America, other Caribbean islands, Uk. Scattered. Wtf.

Present day me
I’m a Montserration who grew up in Dublin. I’m blessed. My memories are sacred. The circle of life is a beautiful but rocky terrain. The innocence of my childhood, the move, the volcano has all helped to sculpt me into who I am today. It took 20 years for me to feel realise, if you can’t change it then learn to appreciate it.

Dedicated to..all the people who have died at the hands of the eruption. To my family and friends wherever you are I love you. To the 2nd generation of Caribbean Dubs Annalise, Elijah and Noah. To anyone who has relocated and have felt lost,confused and alien. Smile and somebody will smile back.

Thanks for reading TCDub xx

#Bringbackourgirls

20140507-154206.jpgMy baby sister is eleven years old,

She’s smart, opinionated. crazy, goofy.

A lover of hugs.

I remind her constantly that I love her.

She changes her mind every week about what she wants to be,

that’s alright and I tell her that.

My whole family try to keep her grounded.

Let her be young and innocent.

She has her whole life to be a grown up.

 

Now imagine this  more than 230 girls are kidnapped,

from their school.

From the ages of 12 to 15.

Taken to be sold .

Why? Well because they were at school of course.

God told the kidnappers to do this.

Their families helpless.

The world looks on. It’s sad but it’s so far away,

We all look on helpless.

 

More than 230 baby sisters, older sisters, daughters, girls.

GIRLS!!

Their world torn apart.

 

If that happened in my sister’s school,

Would anyone notice?

Stupid question. Right?

Imagine how helpless these parents feel?

When the government half heartedly searches for more than 230 girls.

How does this make you feel?

This is not normal! We shouldn’t be numb to this!

We can’t be numb to this. I’m not numb to this!

Are you?

Social media can be used so positively, the hash tag  #bringbackourgirls has been used over

1 million times and is still rapidly growing as people become more aware of the situation in  Nigeria. Increasing pressure on

not only the Nigerian government but governments all over the world to play an active  part in finding and bringing home the girls.

#Bringbackourgirls

Thanks for reading

TCDub

 

 

 

 

 

The Oar House

The Oar House

The Oar House

I’m an advocate of Howth, It’s one of my favourite places in  Dublin. Then again I love the sea, and I love seafood so it’s a no brainer why I find myself going back again and again. I’ve never had any problem with any of the restaurants although I usually stick to the restaurants that promote a more of a homely vibe. This leads me to The Oar House which is recognised as one of  Dublin’s finest seafood restaurant.

My first thought was….

Wow this place is busy. Now this is  3 o’clock on a grey miserable Monday afternoon. The type of day that if you had it off you would more than likely to be tucked cosily under a duvet or in a bar sipping on a hot whiskey or three. A lot of restaurants in the city centre aren’t this busy  on a Saturday night never mind a Monday afternoon. I have to say I love the fact that you can see directly into the kitchen via the fish counter.

To start…

I had the muscles in a garlic, cream and wine sauce while Ronan had the  chowder. The chowder was the right consistency of chunky fish pieces in a sauce of love sauce oh yes baby!! I loved my muscles and the portions just a perfect. The bonus was the thick homemade brown bread to mop up the sauce.

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To follow…

We both opted for the  trio of fished grill which were  sea bass, mullet and turbot. Oh boy I have to say  this was amazing. We order chips and a salad to accompany this but to be honest the fish spoke for itself, it was so fresh and with just the barest of seasoning. Being from the Caribbean where we are fans of marinating and seasoning, but this was perfect.

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My verdict…

The staff were lovely and friendly without being over the top I must say it was the best Monday afternoon I’ve had in  ages. The fish and chips looks to be a hit with the customer there and the portion sizes are man sized. If you need a seafood top up get yourself there.

Thanks for reading .

TCDub xxx

my table. (and what I love about food.)

So true…

southern belly

I want to say something about food.

Well, I want to say a lot of things.

And as always, I want to speak out of a place that recognizes my privilege. For one, to be able to sit in a comfy brown chair and write about it, and also, that I have the means to buy good ingredients, cook them, and feed myself and at times, others.

There is something to be said about sitting down at a table with plates with forks and maybe a few nice glasses. Maybe a cute napkin or some candles. Very similar to the picture at the top of this blog. It is a simple joy, that I can reproduce this from time to time. And really, it doesn’t take much.

But there’s something inside of me that gets excited when I know I am to be cooking for people I love and for…

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Ryan’s Parkgate st /F.X. Buckley

Here goes….anybody from Dublin North would know that Fx Buckley sausages are up there with Super Quinn’s … Controversial !! Seriously a bit of cheeky banter while buying meat is always up there in my books.

The last few weeks I’ve been having cravings for red meat, and whatever the body wants the body gets. Fx Buckley upstairs in Ryan’s of Parkgate St.
was a recommendation ( thanks Donal) and I have to say I was ashamed I was never in it before. We went for the value meal of course where you get 3 courses for €26 +€4.5 if you chose steak.

I wanted a simple feast so I started with the chicken wings, these were fleshy and on the right side of crispy the sauce was tangy but not over powering. Ok I’ll leave the chicken wings but I felt I have to live up to my cliché yes I am black and I know a good piece of chicken when I see it.

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Ronan had the muscles in a white wine and cream sauce. It was divine. I swear I want to visit the gym these bad boys go to because they were huge. All joking aside they were lovely.

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To follow..
We both order the rib eye, Ronan medium rare and mine rare .I’m so fussy about the way my steak is cooked but I have to say they cooked it to perfection. Mine came with baked potato in what tasted like Garlic butter and Ro’s came with chips. The steaks were huge and the quality was ridiculously high.

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We both had a glass of the Merlot to accompany our meal.

To finish …
I had the Berry crumble and it was worth sacrificing the old diet for I could taste it now oh Lordy. Ronan had the Ice cream I think the poor fella was defeated at this stage to be honest.

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The verdict..
The meal was simple food cooked perfectly. The portions are generous. Note: I would concentrate on the steaks. I’m slightly ashamed to say this I loved this so much I had to bring my friend and her fiancée here the very next week yes on Friday. Three days ago!! Quick note… People always say Irish meat is dearer than that of other countries and it is, But no matter where I’ve had a piece of steak nowhere compares to ours. Come on now the only advantage of having all that rain and greenery is so that the cows are grass-fed and the beef is extra tasty… Go Irish xxx TCDub

Da Mimmo

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I have a bumpy relationship with Italian food. Simply because I’ve had more bad meals than I care to remember. From doughy pizzas, over cooked pasta and reheated lasagne the list goes on and on. To me the nicest Italian meal are always the simplest. I mean the best, freshest ingredients cooked simply.

For a catch up with my grandad I settled on a midweek meal. I was in the mood for an Italian and Da Mimmo in North Strand was my chosen restaurant.

On entering the cosy restaurant We were guided to our seat by a bubbly Italian waitress.

To Start we ordered

Bruschetta and Garlic bread with mozzarella. Did I say the bread was homemade oh Lordy. It was Divine. Although to even contemplate eating the main we both had to stop short of finishing the starter.

Wine..

We were recommended the half bottle of Merlot which was perfect as I was driving .

To follow
I had the seafood tagliatelle and my grandad had chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce with roasted cubed potatoes.

My tagliatelle was just beautiful and when I read le Mare I didn’t expect the whole sea to be on my plate but there it was if was. The muscles, clams, prawns, shrimp and squid was the perfect accompaniment to one of the nicest pasta I have ever tasted.

The chicken was cooked perfectly and it felt the mushroom sauce was infused into it. I couldn’t fault it at all. The accompanying roasted potatoes (which I’ve tasted elsewhere ) were delicious and flavoursome .

To end..
I rarely have three courses at a restaurant and pudding is usually the course I leave out but they did have traditional Italian deserts such as Tiramisu, Panna cotta and Italian hot chocolate. I spied the Tiramisu being ate by another customer and it looked delicious.

I ended with an espresso and my grandad had an Americano.

My thoughts..
It was gems just like Di Mimmo that made me want to start blogging about Dublin in the first place. These affordable restaurant whose sole focus on quality invites you to get a genuine representation of their product. Tonight I fell in love with Italy it and it didn’t cost me the earth.

The portions as I was told are Italian sized. The pizzas look like they a worth a try seem to do a lot of take outs.

Note: I’d advise you to always book a table as this restaurant seats 20 max.

Www. Damimmo.ie

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ely bar & braserrie

20130825-173312.jpgEly first came to my attention at Taste of Dublin a few years ago, the girls could vouch that I couldn’t leave the place without their famed burger. So when The Dining Room had a groupon for a 3 course meal for 2 with a bottle of wine@ €69. It was a no brainer to purchase it.

This voucher was valid for Ely Bar and brasserie in the IFSC which is one of three Elys in Dublin.

From the minute we were guided to our seats downstairs in the vaulted dining room I felt welcomed and relax. Our waitress was hands on and helpful even when I was indecisive in regards to my main.

I had the scallops to start which were cooked to perfection and my partner had the Duck leg salad which was described as tasty and fresh.

To accompany our meal we decided on the red Domaine Les Deux Cols ‘Cuvée d’Alize’ Côte du Rhône 2012 France.

For main I had the pan-fried veal rib eye and my partner had the Turbot. I found my steak perfectly cooked and as for the Turbot it’s one of the nicest pieces of fish I have ever tasted. Absolutely outstanding.

To be honest I’m not a dessert person but as it was part of the meal we decided to share the chocolate fondant. Which was just the right consistency of oozy chocolate ( bring me back there now).

Because we were only having one desert the waitress kindly suggested that we have out expressos as part of the deal. I just thought this was just another example of perfectly trained staff. It’s the little things.

My thoughts… Overall I couldn’t fault this meal it is definitely one of the best cooked dinners I’ve ever had. I liked the fact that you’re getting an honest plate of food and would definitely come here again and pay full price.  For more info have a look at their website
http://www.elywinebar.ie