Catherine's Tastes Like Home Prawn and Scallop Skewers on a Warm Salad with a Chorizo Drizzle

Prawn and Scallop Skewers
Serves 4 as a main course or serves 8 as a starte

 For the drizzle -

  • 60g chorizo, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the skewers -

  • 16 large tiger prawns
  • 8 scallops
  • 24 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, sliced

 For the vegetables -

  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 75g baby spinach
  • 1 courgette, sliced into ribbons
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil for frying
Lemon slices, to garnish
Dill sprigs, to garnish
Spring onions, to garnish (optional)
8 metal skewers or 8 wooden, if using wooden soak them in water for at least an hour.

 To make the drizzle, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a little oil and the diced chorizo. Sauté until most of the oil is extracted and the chorizo is crispy, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and zest and the olive oil. Stir in the dill, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

 To prepare the vegetables, place the diced chorizo in a frying pan with some oil and heat until the oil is extracted and the chorizo crisp. Add the spring onions, yellow and red pepper slices and garlic. Sauté the peppers until just cooked, before pouring in the balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside

To assemble the skewers, thread the scallops, bay leaves, prawns and lemon slices onto the soaked skewers.

Heat a chargrill pan over a medium heat, add some oil followed by the skewers. Chargrill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until the prawns and scallops are cooked through, seasoning whilst they are in the pan.

To serve, arrange the courgette ribbons and baby spinach nicely on the serving plates, and scatter over the warm pepper / chorizo mix. Arrange the skewers on the top. Spoon the drizzle over, garnish with dill and lemon slices and serve immediately.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

In conjunction with International Stout Day I thought I'd  share one of my recipes with stout! It has a truly Irish dimension with the addition of the Guinness.

Makes 9 squares

For the slices:

  • 150g stoned dates
  • 120g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150ml Guinness
  • 120ml water
  • 75ml whiskey
  • 1 tsp bread soda
    (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 175g Demerara sugar
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 100g chopped walnuts

For the sauce:
75g butter
75ml Guinness
75ml double cream
2 tbsp runny honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a 21cm square brownie tin with parchment paper.
  2. Put the dates, apricots, Guinness, water, whiskey and bread soda in a saucepan. Place over a gentle heat until the dates soften and break down, stirring occasionally. This should take about 4–5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.
  4. Fold the flour, walnuts and the cooled date mixture into the egg mix and transfer to the prepared tin. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Cut into 9 squares.
  5. To make the sauce, place the butter, Guinness, cream and honey in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat until the honey has dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Serve warm drizzled over the slices.

This sauce is delicious with ice cream and it freezes well too.

Catherine's Tastes Like Home Baked Irish Coffee Cheese Cake with Cherry Sauce


Makes 1 x 23 cm )

For the base

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 150g butter, melted

For the filling

  • 300g soft cream cheese
  • 100g crème fraiche
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp espresso coffee
  • 3 tbsp Irish whiskey
    For the cherry sauce
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 350g jar pitted morello cherries (retaining juice too)
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 star anise

To finish

150g cherries with stems attached, to decorate
Small sprigs of lemon balm or mint, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. To prepare the tin, generously brush a 26cm loose base tart tin with melted butter.  

To make the base, place the biscuits in a food processor and crush until fine crumbs form.

Transfer the biscuit crumbs to a bowl, add the ginger then pour over the melted butter and mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated.
Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base and up the sides. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling, mix the cream cheese, crème fraiche, dark brown sugar, eggs, espresso coffee and whiskey together in a large jug.
Pour the mixture into the biscuit base and smooth evenly. Place in the oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until just set.
Carefully remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the tin.

 For the cherry sauce: Drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Mix the arrowroot and the water (or port) together in a small bowl. Add the reserved juice, sugar, arrowroot mix and star anise in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the cherries and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the star anise before serving.

 To decorate, arrange the cherries with stems attached as well as some sprigs of lemon balm or mint in a quarter moon shape on the one side and serve with the cherry sauce.  

Catherine's Siúcra Frankenstein Punch

This is such fun, watch the grapes, cranberries and blueberries bounce up and down in a very creepy manner!!

To frost the glasses -

4 tbsp Siucra granulated sugar
Shallow bowl of water

For the sugar syrup - 

  • 200g Siucra caster sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 10 pieces of fresh orange peel  
  • 100g blueberries
  • 20 green grapes
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 10 sprigs of mint
  • 3 small to medium apples, peeled, halved & carve a monster face on the curved side of the apple
  • 2 litres sparkling water

To frost the glass - dip the rim of the glasses into a shallow bowl of water and then into a plate of Siucra granulated sugar. Leave these to set/ dry for 10 minutes.

To make the sugar syrup - pour the Siucra caster sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat to low and add the orange pieces. Leave to simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes until a light syrup forms. Take off the heat and allow to cool, leaving the orange peel in the syrup.

To make the punch - once the syrup is cold, pour this into a large glass bowl, add the blueberries, grapes, cranberries, sprigs of mint and carved apples into the bowl / jug.
Give it a gently stir and then pour in the sparkling water.
You’ll need a ladle to stir into the glasses.  

Catherine's Siúcra Halloween Pumpkin Cakes


I don’t know about you but during term time it's just so busy with homework and after-school activities I don't ever got a chance to get the children involved in the kitchen so I love to get them on board during mid-term especially at Halloween!

Here I’d like to share with you my Siúcra recipes for Halloween, perfect for a Halloween party. I have a fruity drink and fun Mini Pumpkin Cakes.I hope you enjoy making them as much as I enjoyed creating them!


Halloween Pumpkin Mini Cakes

Makes 6

A delicious treat to surprise everyone! 

For the cake sponge

  • 100g Siucra rich dark sugar
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 70g dark chocolate, melted
  • 3 tbsp milk

 For the filling

  • 120g butter
  • 200g Siucra icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 orange, zest only

You will need a mini bundt baking tray
Siucra roll out icing, for the stems and leaves of the pumpkins
Orange colouring
Gold shimmer dust (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C /Fan160°C/Gas 4. Brush the mini bundt cake tray very generously with melted butter.

To make the cupcakes -  cream the Siucra rich dark sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.
Whisk in the eggs.
Fold in the flour, melted chocolate and milk to form a batter.
Spoon the mixture into the tray and bake for about 8 to 11 minutes until cooked i.e. when a skewer is inserted in and it comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely before sandwiching them together.

To make the butter cream -  cream the butter, Siucra icing sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and orange zest together until smooth and light.
To assemble, - when the cakes are cold, to form a “pumpkin”, sandwich the bases of two mini cakes together with buttercream.
Knead an orange colour paste into the Suicra ready roll out icing orange. Shape out 6 pumpkin stems and leaves to decorate the cakes.
Place on the “pumpkins” and dust with golden shimmer.

Fine foodCatherine FilvioGood living


Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford,
Co Wicklow, A67 X720
Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)404 44627
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