Today I have two more recipes from the Bord Bia Zoom Cookalong, the competition for children aged eight ot 14 that I have been enjoying so much. You can check out “Learn to Cook with Neven” on the Bord Bia website.

We have been getting a great response and I have cooked both of these recipes at home in the last week. Remember to look out for “Quality Assured” pork and chicken.

Pork mince is good value; full of flavour and a great ingredient. The kale adds nice colour, but if you don’t have it, you could use any green vegetable – spinach, peppers or peas are good.

The baked chicken and bacon rice is a beautiful, tasty one-pot dish.

It is nice and light and not as heavy as a winter casserole. You could bulk it up with peas or spinach, and you could spice it up with harissa or chillis.

Happy cooking,



Baked chicken & bacon rice. \ Photography: Claire Nash. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

Pork meatball & coconut curry with kale

Serves four

350g (12oz) jasmine rice

450g (1lb) lean minced pork

1 egg

50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish

6 tsp Thai red curry paste (preferably Thai Gold)

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

5cm (2in) fresh root ginger

1 red pepper

400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes (or use fresh)

160ml (5 ¼oz) tin coconut milk

250g (9oz) chopped kale

1 lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Rinse the rice until the water becomes clear. Place in a pan with 600ml of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Set aside.
  • 2 Put the minced pork into a large bowl with the egg, breadcrumbs, coriander and a teaspoon of the curry paste. Peel and crush in the garlic and season with salt and pepper, then mix to combine. Shape into 12 evenly-sized balls.
  • 3 Heat a large non-stick frying or sauté pan over a medium to high heat. Add half the oil and sauté the meatballs for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate.
  • 4 Peel and finely grate the ginger. Cut the top and bottom off the red pepper, then remove the core and dice.
  • 5 Add the rest of the oil to the frying pan over a medium heat and add the ginger, red pepper and the remaining 5 tsp of the curry paste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and continue to cook for three minutes.
  • 6 Stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • 7 Wilt the kale and then add the meatballs back into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the meatballs are completely tender. Just before serving, squeeze in the juice of half the lemon and arrange on plates with the rice. Scatter over the coriander leaves and garnish with lemon wedges to serve.
  • Baked chicken & bacon rice

    Serves four to six

    1 onion

    2 carrots

    1 celery stick

    2 tbsp rapeseed oil

    4-6 boneless corn-fed chicken fillets

    100g (4oz) diced bacon lardons

    1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

    500g (1lb 2oz) long grain rice

    750ml (1¼ pints) chicken stock (from a cube is fine)

    400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes

    5g (¼oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas mark 4. Cut the onion in half, then peel and finely chop. Peel and trim the carrots and celery and then cut into dice.
  • 2 Add the oil into a heavy-based casserole. Season the chicken fillets, then add to the casserole and cook for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Using a tongs, transfer to a plate.
  • 3 Add the onion and bacon to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots, celery and thyme and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the rice and then pour in the stock and tomatoes. Season and arrange the chicken on top.
  • 4 Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is tender and all the water has been absorbed by the rice.
  • 5 Strip the parsley off the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Scatter over the baked chicken and bacon rice, then leave to stand for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and gently fluff up the rice with a fork.
  • 6 Serve straight to the table.