More than 26,000 people flocked to the RDS recently for the Ideal Homes Show and I was thrilled to be back for another year with my cooking demos, showing just how easy it is to cook special meals using simple ingredients. I met so many great Irish producers – many of them family businesses – and I look forward to doing it all again in October.

This week, we start with a Mexican vibe with these crispy chicken tacos. They are a great grab-and-go meal, and they are also light and summery for this time of the year. Look out for Bord Bia Quality Assured chicken. I usually use Drinagh cheddar (available from the Dunnes Stores Simple Better range) in this recipe; it is a very good and versatile cheese. You could also coat the chicken breasts with a mix of panko crumbs, flour and eggs and grill them, or do them in the air fryer for a bit of crunch.

Both of these meals are really good for outdoor dining. Pork strips are always great in a stir fry. You could also use chicken, turkey or beef. Lots of supermarkets now have pre-prepared stir fry packs of green vegetables with ingredients like courgettes, spinach, broccoli and mangetout. They will save you a lot of time.

As for the ginger, I always freeze mine, grate it straight from the freezer, and put it back in again for the next time.

Happy cooking,


Crispy Chicken Tacos

Ingredients: serves 4

4 x 100g skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets

Olive oil, for brushing

2 tsp smoked paprika

8 corn tortillas

150g cheddar cheese, grated

400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

4 spring onions, finely chopped

2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

Good handful of fresh coriander leaves

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

Lime wedges

Soured cream


1 Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Brush the chicken fillets with the oil and sprinkle over the smoked paprika, then season to taste. Add to the heated pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 4–5 minutes on each side, until just tender and cooked through.

2 Remove from the heat and leave to rest for five minutes, then cut into thin slices.

3 Wipe out the pan and put it back on a medium heat. Brush a corn tortilla with oil and place in the pan, oiled side down. Place some of the cheese on one half of the tortilla and then add some of the chicken on top, followed by a scattering of kidney beans, spring onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Add a squeeze of lime juice and fold over to enclose the filling.

4 Cook the tortilla for 1-2 minutes on each side, until crisp and lightly golden.

5 Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and arrange on warmed plates to serve with the lime wedges and a separate small dish of soured cream.

Stir-fried ginger pork with aromatic green vegetables

Ingredients: Serves 4

2 tbsp dry sherry or rice wine

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp cornflour

1 tsp sesame oil

450g pork stir-fry strips

2 tbsp sunflower oil

120ml chicken stock

5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

275g mixed prepared greens

2 spring onions, finely shredded

1 long red chilli, cut into thin rings

Serve with steamed fragrant

Thai jasmine rice


1 Place one tablespoon of the sherry or rice wine and one tablespoon of the soy sauce in a shallow non-metallic dish and add the cornflour and sesame oil. Stir in the pork and set aside for five minutes.

2 Heat a wok until searing hot.

3 Add one tablespoon of the sunflower oil and swirl it up the sides of the wok. Tip in the pork and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until well sealed and lightly golden. Transfer to a plate.

4 Meanwhile, place the remaining tablespoon of sherry and soy sauce in a small pan with the chicken stock, then bring to a simmer.

Add the remaining tablespoon of sunflower oil to the wok.

5 Add the ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Tip in the greens and continue to stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, until heated through and any leaves are just beginning to wilt, splashing over a little water occasionally, to help the greens cook.

6 Return the pork to the wok, then stir in the hot stock mixture. Cook for a minute or so until bubbling, stirring all the time.

7 Spoon the steamed rice into large, warmed bowls and arrange the ginger pork and greens on top. Scatter over the spring onions and chilli to serve.

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