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Niall McKenna: Must-have freezer staples

Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes are two staples that I always keep in the freezer at home and come in really handy. The first recipe is a delicious, salty seaweed butter. Switching your normal butter out for this seaweed blend when cooking is a great way to bring your home cooked meals up to restaurant quality standard. Smothering your new potatoes, scallops, grilled prawns or fresh white fish in this easy to prepare seaweed butter will elevate your dish and bring it to life.

The second recipe I tend to make in large batches is my famous chocolate chip cookie dough. Let’s face it, there is nothing more comforting than the smell of fresh cookies consuming your home on a cold, wet day. When baking cookies, I suggest making extra and keeping a second roll in the fridge. Believe me, you’ll appreciate it on those days that you want something sweet to enjoy with a nice, hot cup of tea. With schools off for mid-term break this week, baking cookies is also a great and simple activity to keep children entertained.

For more information, or to book an experience at the brand-new Waterman Cookery School, visit www.cookinbelfast.co.uk.

Seaweed Butter

50g of butter

2 teaspoons of dill

20g of dulse

2 button shallots

1 lemon, juiced

10g of capers

2 cloves of garlic

Garnish

5g of dill

5g of chervil

5g of shiso

Method

Take 10g of butter in a warm pan. When the butter has melted, add in the finely chopped shallots and chopped garlic to sweat for three mins. In a bowl place the capers, half of the lemon juice, finely chopped dulse, dill and cooled shallots and garlic. Mix these with the remaining butter which should be at room temperature. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and place in fridge.

 

Choc Chip Cookies

160g of unsalted butter

85g of caster sugar

80g of soft brown sugar

2 eggs

400g of plain flour

½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ teaspoon of salt

200g of dark chocolate, chopped

Method

Using a food mixer, cream the butter and sugar together and add one egg at a time to the mix.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt and fold it into the mix.

Next add in the chopped chocolate and keep mixing until it holds or is pliable.

Place a sheet of cling film on your work surface and roll the mixture into a cylinder shape. The cylinder shape can be made small by continuing to roll the mixture. Place rolled cookie mix into freezer until firm.

Once firm take cookie mix out of cling film and cut evenly to into cookie shapes. Place the cookie dough on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C.

Once cooked, leave to cool slightly and enjoy whilst warm.

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