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Basye/Wexler Adventure 2021



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Sara's Orzo Pasta Salad

Posted by Rachel Basye on March 1, 2021 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

-1.5 cups orzo

-2-3 cups shrimp

-1 shallot

-1/2 bell pepper (diced)

-1 medium cucumber (diced)

-1-2 cooked beets (diced)

-1/4 cup gorgonzola

-2tbsp olive oil

-1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

-paprika (shake)

-chili flakes

1. Boil water on stove with a little bit of salt. Add orzo and cook accorinding to directions. 

2. Cook shallot in pan with half the oil and chili flakes. Add pepper and salt to taste.

3. When shallots are browning, add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper. Take off heat. 

4. Combine oil and vinegar in a salad bowl with salt, pepper, and paprika. 

5. Add cucumbers and beets. Add orzo to bowl once drained, then sprinkle gorgonzola all over, so that it melts a little. Add shrimp and mix all together. 


Christina Tosi's Graham Cracker Toffee a la Sara

Posted by Rachel Basye on February 24, 2021 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers/shortbread/or some kind of cookie/cracker (I used Supervalu's Nice cookies)
  • 12 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa PB
  • 1/4 cup PB
  • 1/8 cup choco chips
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1. place parchment in an 8 by 8 baking pan. 
2. put a layer of graham crackers or cookies along the bottom. 
3. spread with the choco chips, coconut, and almonds. 
4. layer another layer of cookies to cover this in a cross hatch manner to the first layer.
5. Bring the butter and sugar to a boil, being sure the sugar dissolves. Allow to simmer for three minutes.
6. Take off heat and add both PB. 
7. Pour over pan of cookies and goodies. spread to even layer. 
8. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F. 
9. Allow to cool completely before slicing into 16 squares. 

Whole Grain Russian Pancakes

Posted by Rachel Basye on February 18, 2021 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (0)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 c porridge oats

1 cup buttermilk

2 free-range organic eggs, whisked

1 level teaspoon baking soda

scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter, for pan frying

Pour the buttermilk into a bowl and sprinkle the baking soda on top, leave for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk the egg, salt, and sugar into the buttermilk mixture. Slowly add the flour and oats to the batter by whisking all the time until mixture appears to have an even consistency, set aside. The batter should be thick and fall very reluctantly from the spoon.

Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. Brush the pan with the oil or melted butter. Fill the pan with 5 tablespoonfuls of batter, spaced evenly apart. Fry until a few bubbles appear on the surface and then start to pop (if the pan is too hot, turn down the heat). Then flip over and cook until golden brown on the other side.  Repeat frying process until all of the batter is used.

Serve with a bowl of sour cream, creme fraiche or plain yogurt, honey, jam, or brown sugar to sprinkle over the top.

Modified from Ballymaloe cooking class.

Irish Shepherd's Pie

Posted by Rachel Basye on February 7, 2021 at 3:00 AM Comments comments (0)

So it seemed to me (David) nothing would be more Irish than Shepherd's Pie (or more English or more Scottish). Now apparently one has to distinguish Shepherd's Pie (lamb) from Cumberland Pie (ground beef), and t(more cheese and bread crumbs). Anyway, here's the recipe: 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 pounds lean ground lamb
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ cups water, or as needed
  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 2 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ pound Irish cheese (such as Dubliner®;), shredded
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
  2. Place olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ground lamb; brown the meat, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes
  3. Stir in flour until incorporated, then mix in salt, black pepper, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup, and garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer; cook and stir until thick, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Remove lamb mixture from heat and stir in peas and carrots until combined.Spread lamb mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  6. Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pan.
  7. Mash butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, and Irish cheese into the potatoes. Mash until combined and potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  8. Whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl; stir into the mashed potato mixture.
  9. Top the lamb mixture in the baking dish with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.


Recipe from AllRecipes. I made the following adjustments and changes. I used Tarragon instead of Rosemary and replace cream cheese with fresh cream, fresh tomatoes instead of ketchup. I also used a lot more of the spices: paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. 

Smoky Monkfish and White Bean Stew

Posted by Rachel Basye on February 1, 2021 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Monkfish is a fish I'd never heard of before this trip. It's very strange looking, and incredibly delicious. A very firm white fish, it has a texture somewhat like lobster. It's very meaty and can be cooked like tenderloin or in filets. Recipes abound for Monkfish curries. I had cooked up some cannellini beans yesterday and the local store had just gotten in Monkfish when we were doing our big shop, so I searched for something with beans and the fish. This recipe came up. We made it last night, with the noted modifications. Sara and David baked a beautiful Seeded Irish Brown Bread to accompany it. Delicious!!

500g/1 lb 2 oz monkfish fillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, peeled and sliced (I used 1/2 a leek, 1/2 an onion and a shallot)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1½ teaspoons smoked paprika (I bought a packet of this in Kinsale and have been carrying it around--one of my favorite spices!)

1 tablespoon tomato purée (I used 1/4 can of whole tomatoes, chopped up)

400g/14 oz tinned cannellini, butter or haricot beans, drained (I used 2 1/2 cups of freshly cooked cannellini beans)

1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced (I used 1/2 of a green bell pepper and a stalk of celery)

850ml/1½ pints/3½ cups fish stock (I used water)

1 bay leaf (we didn't have this, so I used some lemon and dill)

Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley (I used fresh basil)

Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cut the monkfish into equal-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onions and gently sauté for 5–6 minutes, until they are softened and starting to colour. Stir in the garlic, paprika and tomato purée, and continue to cook for a further 1–2 minutes.

3. Add the beans, red pepper, stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir the monkfish into the stew, return to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, and season to taste.

4. Divide between bowls and serve hot (ideally with some homemade Irish Brown Bread)

Recipe extracted from The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt, via Food and Wine.



Nuela's Egg Muffins

Posted by Rachel Basye on January 19, 2021 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Nuela, our delightful neighbor in Kinsale and I (Sara), got to know each other by sharing treats. I would bake something and take her and her husband, John, some, then she would bring something to us. When she brought these, we were so taken by them, I immediately asked for the recipe! Nuela and John have a son and daughter in law in Connecticut. They haven't been able to visit them for some time due to Covid. We hope they are reunited soon.


-5 eggs

-any veggies around (chopped) ex. sweet corn, mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, etc.

-a little bit of milk

-some shredded cheese (optional)

-2 pieces of bacon or thick ham, cooked and chopped up

-salt and pepper

Set oven for 250 F

1. Crack the eggs into a jug/bowl and whisk.

2. Add the milk. Then, add all other add ins - cheese, veggies, bacon...

3. Season as desired.

4. Pour into silicon baking muffin sheet, which needs no oil. Nuela said she gets her silocon baking muffin tin from her kids in America. If you don't have one, you can use a regular muffin tin, but then you do need to butter or oil it before filling.

5. Bake until the centers are cooked through and the egg is no longer raw.

Serve warm or room temperature the next day!!

Rachel's Split Pea Soup

Posted by Rachel Basye on January 10, 2021 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

- 1 chopped leak, 1 chopped parsnip, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped onion

- 2 cloves garlic

- 1 cup peas

- 3 pieces bacon or thick ham

1. Put these in a baking pan and roast for 45 minutes. 

2. While roasting, cook 3 pieces of Irish bacon (very little fat) in a stock pot. If using fatty bacon, drain before adding veggies.

2. Move roasted veggies to the stock pot/dutch oven and add 1 cup of split peas. 

3. Cover with water and simmer until peas are cooked. 

Add bouquett garni spice. Also, salt and pepper to taste. 

Best served with good bread. (We used our homemade brown bread)

Riff on BBC's Oat Biscuit

Posted by Rachel Basye on December 25, 2020 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

- 75 grams wholewheat flour

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 75 g porridge oats

- 50 g brown sugar

- 75 g butter

- 1 tbsp of honey

- 2 tbsp of milk

- 1/4 cup dried fruit

- 1/4 chopped dark chocolate

Set oven to 180 C.

1. Mix together flour, baking powder, oats, and sugar. 

2. Melt butter with honey and milk in microwave or saucepan.

3. Pour butter over flour mixture and stir to combine. Add dried fruit and chocolate, mixing until throroughly distributed.

4. Place balls of dough on baking sheet a little bit apart and press slightly down. 

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 

Makes about 15 smaller cookies. 

Irish PB Chocolate Chip Tea Biscuits

Posted by Rachel Basye on December 21, 2020 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

- 140 g Irish butter (softenend)

- 140 g crunchy peanut butter

- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

- 1/4 cup white sugar

- 1 egg

- a dash of salt

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 cup flour

- 45 g chopped dark chocolate

Heat oven at Mark 150

1. Put the butter in a bowl and smash with an Irish potato masher until consistency is smoother.

2. Add PB and all sugar and continue to mash until the mixture is combined. Next, add the egg. Mash

3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. When mixed, add the PB mixture and work to combine with a spoon or fork. 

4. Finally, add in chocolate pieces and combine until thoroughly mixed. 

5. Place balls of dough about 1.5 inches apart on baking sheet and then press a fork both ways along the top to form a hashtag sign.

6. Bake for 12 minutes. 

Recipe makes 25 cookies

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Posted by Rachel Basye on December 17, 2020 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

- three roasted chicken thighs (with saved juices)

- roasted leeks 

- 2 potatoes

- 2 carrots

- 3/4 cup broccoli

- 3/4 cup cauliflower

- 1 cup mushrooms

- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, dried parsley, salt, and pepper

1. remove meat from chicken thighs and simmer 6 cups of water with the bones and skins with all spices.

2. Once brothy, drain out bones and skins.

3. Add juices, carrots, broccoli, califlower, and potatoes. Simmer for a few minutes.

4. Add chicken and mushrooms (season as needed).

5. Simmer for 20 minutes. 

6. Serve!! Best with fresh bread with some Irish Brie melted on top!!