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Home cooking for the family? Donal Skehan's got you covered

Chef Donal Skehan is enjoying his return to Ireland and he has some recipes to shar from his new website and RTÉ show.

Donal Skehan

WE’VE ALL ADAPTED to changes big and small over the last few months and for myself and my family, returning home to Ireland from LA in April now seems like a distant memory as we settle back into family life back home.

The move reminded me that no matter where you are or what is going on in the world, family life keeps going.

Cooking meals for loved ones plays a big part in that and whether it’s a speedy supper, a Sunday roast, or simply taking some time out for date night with your partner when the kids have gone to bed, having good, healthy food on your table can make all the difference.

Since our return to Ireland, I’ve been revisiting some of my favourite recipes, especially those that are favourites from my childhood and those handed down through the generations.

donal family Donal with his wife Sofie and their two young sons Noah and Oliver. Source: Donal Skehan

I find after a busy day with my wife and the boys, the temptation to order a takeaway can creep in, so it helps to have a few handy recipes to hand. Below you’ll find a couple of those, the first is a really quick and tasty pasta dish, the second is one you can have fun with and make with the family.

The treats are a great snack for family walks. The recipes are from my new website, DonalsKitchen.com, where you can register and get some helpful recipes and shopping lists: 

Donal’s recipes

Roast Chicken Red Pesto Pasta Salad

Close Up(2)

Time – 20 Minutes

Serves – 4

Calories – 816 calories per serving 

Ingredients: 

1 kg rotisserie chicken

250g gigli pasta

150g Red Pesto 

½  x 400g Jar roasted red peppers drained and sliced (approx. 200g)

150g colourful cherry toms, thinly sliced

65g mozzarella Pearls, drained

Utensils: 

Large bowl

Cutting knife

Chopping board

Large pan

Colander

Stirring spoon

Small frying pan

Large plate

Method:

  1. Remove the meat from 1 rotisserie chicken and shred or slice into a large bowl.

  2. Drain ½ a 400g jar of roasted red peppers and slice 150g colourful cherry tomatoes.

  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the 250g pasta and cook for 10-11 minutes or until just ‘al dente’. Strain, allow to steam dry in the colander for a minute.

  4. Return the pasta to the pan and stir through the 150g red pesto to prevent sticking.

  5. Stir through the red peppers, cherry tomatoes, shredded chicken and half of the 125g mozzarella pearls.

  6. Decant the pasta onto a large plate and serve immediately.

Close Up

Peanut, Banana & Oat Bars  

Recipe Text

Time – 30 Minutes 

Makes – 16 Bars  

Calories – 291 per serving 

Ingredients: 

150g unsalted butter plus extra to grease

2 tbsp. runny honey

2 tbsp. maple syrup

125g caster sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

300g rolled oats

75g almond butter, or peanut butter

3 small ripe bananas (approx 300g) 

TO SERVE 

100g dark chocolate

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40g roasted peanuts

Dried banana chips might look nice on this too! 

Utensils: 

30 x 20 cm tray or bake tin

Parchment paper 

Saucepan 

Large bowl

Small bowl

Heatproof bowl

Cutting knife

Chopping board

Method: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C / gas mark 5. Grease and line a 30 x 20 cm tray bake tin with softened butter and baking parchment.

  2. Peel and mash 3 small ripe bananas and set aside.

  1. Into a saucepan, add 150g unsalted butter, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 125g caster sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract and 75g almond or peanut and melt together over a low heat.

  2. Add the hot mixture to a bowl with 300g rolled oats and the bananas and stir together. Give everything a good stir before tipping into the tin and baking in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden. Allow to cool.

  3. Put 100g dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, not letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Melt gently, stirring occasionally. 

  4. Use a dessertspoon to drizzle the molten chocolate over the flapjack, scatter with peanuts and allow to set. Cut into slices to serve. 

Donal Skehan’s new show, Donal’s Family Food in Minutes, starts on 21 October on RTÉ One, sponsored by SPAR. His new website with recipes and videos is DonalsKitchen.com.

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