I have two nice family dinners today, which will be enjoyable now that children are back into a school routine. Both are simple and tasty. There are a lot of spices in the fajita recipe, but you could use the cajun spice of a fajita mix that you will find in any supermarket.

This recipe would work well with beef, turkey or pork. You could put this in a wrap or serve with a baked potato or rice.

I am filming around the country at the moment for my next RTÉ series, and a few days ago, had the pleasure of visiting the environmentally friendly Grantstown Nursery in Ballygunner, on the outskirts of Waterford.

This is a well-established family business and it was great to meet David and Miriam Currid. They have a fantastic range of Irish-grown tomatoes and I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours there.

For the pork chops with an Asian twist, make sure you get Quality Assured Irish pork. This is a great one-tray dinner that cuts down on the washing up. You can add any vegetables you have to hand. I often serve this with rice instead of the potatoes.

Happy cooking,


Sizzling chicken fajitas with cherry tomato salsa

Serves four

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into strips
  • 8 soft flour tortillas (1 packet)
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

    sour cream, to serve

  • lime wedges, to serve

    For the cherry tomato salsa:

  • 400g (14oz) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 First, make the cherry tomato salsa. Place the cherry tomatoes in a bowl and add the onion and garlic. Drizzle over the olive oil and stir in the coriander, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to develop.

    2 To make the fajitas, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan, and gently fry the red onion and red pepper for six to eight minutes over a low heat until softened, stirring occasionally. You can sprinkle over a little water to help them steam-fry if you think they need it.

    3 Meanwhile, put another tablespoon of oil in a bowl with the spices and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken and mix until well combined.

    4 Transfer the cooked onion and red pepper mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Increase the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the chicken and sauté for six to eight minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden, tossing occasionally.

    5 Return the onion and pepper mixture to the pan and sauté for another two to three minutes, until well combined and heated through.

    6 Meanwhile, heat a frying or griddle pan. Add a soft flour tortilla and heat for 30 seconds, turning once, until soft and pliable. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and stack them up on a warmed plate.

    7 Transfer the spicy chicken mixture and cherry tomato salsa into bowls, and put on the centre of the table with the heated tortillas and separate bowls of spring onions, sour cream and lime wedges. Allow each person to assemble the fajitas themselves (so have plenty of napkins to hand!).

    Sweet soy roasted pork chops and mushrooms baked in foil

    Serves four to six

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 4–6 lean pork chops well trimmed
  • knob of butter
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 275g (10oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • good pinch of chopped fresh rosemary
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • creamy mashed potatoes, to serve
  • 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Fold a large piece of foil in half and place on a baking sheet.

    2 Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan and quickly sear the chops on both sides until golden brown. Place side by side on the folded foil.

    3 Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan, then add the butter.

    4 Once it has stopped foaming, stir in the onion and mushrooms, and sauté for a few minutes until tender. Season to taste, then scatter over the pork chops.

    5 Place the soy sauce in a small bowl and mix with the parsley, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic and rosemary, if using, then drizzle over the chops.

    6 Seal the edges of the foil together with a double fold, making sure that there will be plenty of room for expansion. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the parcel has puffed up and the pork chops are completely tender inside.

    7 To serve, open the parcel at the table for that special effect and serve the pork chops on warmed plates, spooning over all the lovely juices. Add some creamy mashed potatoes to each plate.

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