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Lisa Murrin
food envy

'I make this spaghetti at least twice a week': 5 crowd-pleasing dishes from a Dublin cook

Culinary Arts graduate Lisa Murrin favours low-prep dinners over fancy fare – here’s what she’s made recently.

EACH WEEK, WE ask a home cook about the dishes they’ve been whipping up of late. The kind of food you don’t need a recipe for, from quick snacks to empty-the-fridge dinners.

This week, Culinary Arts graduate Lisa Murrin (@the_health_balance) shared five flavour-filled dishes that are a hit with her entire family. 

“These dishes appear on our menu at home once every two weeks or so,” says Lisa.

They are quick, easy, can be adapted to whatever you have in the fridge and are suitable for little people, as I have three boys under three.

From steak tagliata to a mouth-watering pasta dish, below are five of Lisa’s favourite meals to make:

1. Lettuce cups with black rice, roast cod, avocado and mango salsa with sesame and soy dressing: I absolutely love Asian cuisine and this is a take on a dish I had when I was in Thailand. You can use monkfish, prawns or almost any white fish. I would recommend using regular white rice for ease as the black rice is definitely a little trickier to get right. You can substitute the salsa for whatever you like, onion, cucumber or tomato. Also toasting the sesame seeds on a pan for a couple of minutes adds another depth of flavour to the dressing.

image1 Lisa Murrin Lisa Murrin

2. Brown rice spaghetti with roast vegetables, olives, capers, chorizo, toasted pine nuts and pesto: I cook pasta two to three times a week in different variations based on what I have to use in the fridge. You can add almost anything to pasta and it will work. For this dish, I pan fry the capers so they are crispy and I use the oil from the sun dried tomato jar for more flavour. A good quality cheese definitely makes a difference when cooking pasta. Keep an eye on the pine nuts when toasting them, they go from nicely toasted to cremated in seconds!

image2 Lisa Murrin Lisa Murrin

3. Steak tagliata with homemade chips: This is one of my absolute favourite dishes. Get a nice piece of steak, pan fry for a couple of minutes each side and leave it to rest before slicing. Pop it on top of some nice peppery rocket, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and a really good quality thickened balsamic vinegar. My go to is the Lilliput Stores brand. I always do this dish with home made chips. I mix the sliced potato with chopped fresh parsley and garlic salt before baking until crisp. This dish has little or no preparation and little fuss, but is a massive crowd pleaser.

image3 Lisa Murrin Lisa Murrin

4.  Meat sung: Meat sung is typically done with pork but I tend to use turkey. Fry it off with mixed pepper, onion, corn, toasted cashew nuts and brown rice. This is great hot or cold so I typically make a big batch and the rest can be eaten the next day for lunch.

image4 Lisa Murrin Lisa Murrin

5. Steak pitta with halloumi, rocket, sauteed onion and peppers with mustard mayonnaise: Sometimes I am just not in the mood for ‘dinner’ at dinner time so I always turn to some sort of sandwich, wrap or pitta. Substitute the meat for chicken if beef is not your thing, or switch the mustard mayo for a pesto mayo if you prefer. A fried egg on top finishes it off nicely.

image5 Lisa Murrin Lisa Murrin

More: ‘The oven does almost all the work’: 5 recent must-try meals from a Donegal foodie

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