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Meat-free dishes for the New Year

The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes

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Easy Cheesy Potato Gratin

Easy Cheesy Potato Gratin

Roasted Celeriac with Garlic

Roasted Celeriac with Garlic

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Easy Cheesy Potato Gratin

H APPY New Year to you all. I hope you have had a fantastic Christmas. The New Year is a time when we are all bursting with motivation and promises to eat healthier, get fitter and be more prudent when it comes to waste and recycling. My recipes this week are nice and easy meat-free dishes to help us ease into the year with vegetarian inspiration. Starting with a classic, my creamy potato gratin is the perfect dish to prepare for Nollaig na mBan — or women’s Little Christmas — on January 6! It’s a creamy, garlicky, layered potato dream. You can use any kind of potatoes for this dish but I prefer Maris Piper, which keep their shape once cooked. You can also replace some of the cream with milk. If you are looking for an alternative to cream to follow a vegan diet, search for my Boulangère Potato recipe on my website. It is just as tasty using vegetable stock and caramelised onion. Next is a recipe for an unpeeled whole celeriac baked in the oven like a baked potato. We all have tried, and sometimes had to endure, celeriac mash. Here, the celeriac’s flavour is concentrated while baking. A lot of roots can be cooked in this way but celeriac is my ultimate vegetable to go for. Once baked, the celeriac can be sliced, then sautéed in foaming garlic and herb butter to enhance its fragrance. Delicious with a chickpea or quinoa salad, ribeye or roast chicken. So this week, try these bold, delicious meat-free dishes to celebrate the start of the new year and, of course, the ladies in our lives! Happy cooking, Kevin

EASY CHEESY POTATO GRATIN

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
■ 6-8 potatoes
■ 500ml cream
■ 200ml milk
■ 1 bulb of garlic, crushed
■ Salt and pepper
■ 100g Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
2. Peel and cut the potatoes into thin slices. Use a mandolin if you have one; it makes it really easy.
3. Over a medium heat, in a large pan, bring to the boil the cream, milk and crushed garlic. Add the sliced potatoes to the saucepan and continue to simmer for a further 3-4 minutes to part-cook the potato. Remove from the heat.
4. Using a slotted spoon, lift and transfer the slices of potatoes and garlic into a ceramic dish, sprinkling some cheese of your choice in between each layer.
5. Pour over the warm, creamy mixture until it fully covers the potatoes. Press the pototoes down slightly with the spoon to ensure there are no gaps.
6. Cover loosely with tin foil and place in the preheated oven for at least an hour, until the potatoes are softened and the creamy sauce has been absorbed.
7. When nearly cooked, remove from the oven, and add a drop of fresh cream over the gratin to ensure it is moist.
8. Once almost ready to serve, remove the tin foil and place in the oven again for 10 minutes until it is bubbling and has a nice colour on top.
9. Season with salt and pepper and serve while still warm.

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Roasted Celeriac with Garlic

Roasted Celeriac with Garlic

Roasted Celeriac with Garlic

ROASTED CELERIAC WITH GARLIC

Ingredients (serves 2):
■ 1 medium celeriac
■ 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed with a knife
■ 3 tbsp sage
■ 3 tbsp rosemary
■ 2 tbsp butter
■ Salt and pepper


Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
2. Prick the celeriac skin all around with a knife or fork. Place a large piece of tin foil on a baking tray and place the celeriac on top.
3. Tuck the garlic cloves, herbs and butter around the celeriac, season well and wrap tightly in the foil.
4. Roast for 60-90 minutes, depending on the size of the celeriac. Check about two-thirds of the way in to see if it is cooking through.
5. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
6. If serving straight away, cut into
wedges and serve.
7. If you are preparing the celeriac the day before, let it cool down whole. The next day, cut into wedges and simply warm up in a large pan with some butter.

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TOP TIP: THE SECRET TO MAKING SIMPLE STAPLES AND SALADS SING WITH FLAVOUR

If you are trying a go vegetarian or vegan for the month of January. You will need to add flavour to salads of chickpeas, pasta and quinoas. So, stock up on wild about chutneys, dressing and syrup.

One of my favourite over the Christmas period was their cinnamon syrup drizzle over pancakes, apple tart, cocktail and mocktails and their GINGER BEETS chutney on a slice of bread with stuffing, combined with salad leaves or serve as a side with the baked celeriac.

Such a variety of flavour to keep simple staple to delicious dinners. Try order online or through SuperValu stores. www.wildabout.ie/

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