Winter warm-ups: Catherine Fulvio inspires with some mouth-watering recipes

By Anna Shelswell-White 31-01-2017

In our Jan/Feb issue of House and Home, Catherine Fulvio graces our pages and makes the transition from winter to spring effortless with a collection of recipes from her latest cookbook, A Taste of Home, The Ballyknocken Cookbook. Today, we're sharing just some of the featured recipes that are sure to warm you up on these chilly evenings. So, prop up your phone or tablet and bring some creativity to the kitchen, this week – Catherine has your starter, main course and dessert sorted.

Ham Croquettes with Leek and Paprika Sauce

"A firm favourite with my children, these have meat and veg in them so all boxes are ticked! It’s also quite a useful recipe for using up leftovers. The beauty of croquettes is that the filling can be changed to suit what’s in the fridge – I often add diced, sauteed chorizo or smoked salmon. Sometimes, I even make smaller ones to serve as canapes with drinks in summer in the herb garden."


100g good quality ham, diced into small pieces

350g warm mashed potato good handful young spinach, shredded

½ lemon, zest only

1 tbsp chopped chives

2 tsp chopped oregano

3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

3 tbsp sesame seeds

rapeseed oil, for frying


rapeseed oil, for frying

½ medium leek, finely sliced

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

½ tsp sweet paprika

4 tbsp crème fraîche

1 tsp chopped oregano

1 tbsp chopped parsley

100ml vegetable stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • To make the croquettes, place the ham, potato, spinach, lemon zest, chives and oregano in a medium-sized bowl and mix together. Divide into 12 portions to shape.
  • Spoon the seasoned flour out onto a clean plate. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow, wide bowl, and spread the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds out on a clean plate.
  • Dampen your hands with cold water and shape the ham-and-potato mixture into croquettes. Dip each one into the egg, roll in the breadcrumbs and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. Leave in the fridge for half an hour to set.
  • To make the sauce, heat some oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the leek and saute for five to six minutes until softened but not browned. Stir in the mustard, paprika, creme fraiche, oregano and parsley. Pour in the stock and simmer to thicken slightly, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • To cook the croquettes, heat some oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Carefully place the croquettes in the frying pan in batches and fry until golden and crispy and heated
  • To serve, place some wilted chard on a platter, arrange the croquettes on top and spoon over some of the sauce – serve the rest in a small ramekin on the side.

Beetroot and Jerusalem Artichoke with Bacon

Serves 4

"Both of these vegetables are no-fuss and easy to grow, which is my type of veg! In fact, the Jerusalem artichokes keep producing year on year – I don’t have to interfere at all. They are a bit fiddly to peel but so worth it. Their flavour is quite earthy, so I like to add some depth with smoked bacon or chorizo, or sun-dried tomatoes for a vegetarian option."


extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing

1 onion, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, diced

1 tsp chopped thyme

1 litre vegetable stock

4 cooked beetroot, chopped

2 tsp chopped dill

salt and freshly ground black pepper



extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing

50g smoked bacon lardons

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp chopped chives

20 medium Jerusalem

artichokes, peeled and diced

1 litre vegetable stock

50ml cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp chopped chives, to garnish

  • To make the beetroot soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and carrot and sauté for about 6 minutes until just soft.
  • Stir in the thyme, pour in the vegetable stock and add the beetroot. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrot has softened. Stir in the dill, then check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper as necessary.
  • Ladle the soup into a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the saucepan and add extra vegetable stock if too thick.
  • To make the Jerusalem artichoke soup, heat a little oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lardons and sauté until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Add the onion and sauté until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chives, Jerusalem artichokes and vegetable stock and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the artichokes are soft.
  • Return the crispy smoked bacon to the soup.
  • Add the cream and simmer for about 2 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Ladle the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Check the seasoning again and return to the saucepan – add some extra vegetable stock if too thick.
  • To serve, heat the soups, then pour each into a separate large jug. Pour both soups at the same time into warm soup bowls.
  • Using a fork, gently swirl the soups together. Sprinkle the chives into the centre of each bowl and serve immediately.

Italian-Style Tomato, Shallot and Rosemary Chicken Hotpot

Serves 4

"One-pot wonders are the solution to healthy, nutritious meals in our busy lives. This one is packed with vegetables and, because I’m using chicken thighs, it freezes very well also."


olive oil, for frying

8 deboned, skinless chicken thighs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 shallots, peeled and halved

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely diced

1 tsp chopped rosemary

2 tsp chopped oregano

400g tinned diced tomatoes

1 tsp honey

500ml chicken stock

12 black olives, pitted



4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tbsp melted butter mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp grated Parmesan

2 tsp chopped mixed rosemary and oregano

  • Heat a little oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sear until golden brown. Place on a clean plate and set aside.
  • Add the shallots and sauté for about 4 minutes, until golden, before adding the garlic and cooking for 1 minute. Then add the carrot, rosemary and oregano as well as the tomatoes, honey and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as required.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Return the chicken thighs to the casserole dish, stir well and add the olives.
  • For the topping, arrange the potato slices neatly over the top of the hotpot, starting from the outer edge and leaving a small space in the centre. Brush the potato slices with the melted butter and oil mix and sprinkle the Parmesan and chopped herbs on top.
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and golden.
  • Leave to settle for 5 minutes, then sprinkle a little salt over the top before serving.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Serves 8 to 10

"All I can say is that this is a proven favourite among our resident guests at Ballyknocken Farmhouse. Many have asked for the recipe, so here it is! (For a taller chocolate mousse, use a springform tin rather than a flan tin and simply increase the quantity of cream – anything up to 700ml will work nicely.)"


15 digestive biscuits, finely crushed

50g ground almonds

100g melted butter, plus extra for brushing


350g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids),

broken into small pieces

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp coffee essence (or

2 tsp coffee granules dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water)

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

500ml double cream

cocoa powder, to decorate

toasted flaked almonds, to decorate the sides

chocolate curls, to decorate

  • Brush a 20cm loose-based deep flan tin or springform tin with butter. Line the base with parchment paper.
  • To make the base, combine the biscuits and ground almonds and add enough melted butter to bind (the amount needed will depend on the size of the biscuits). Spoon the biscuit mix into the base and flatten. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
  • To make the filling, heat the chocolate, golden syrup, coffee essence and ground cinnamon in a medium saucepan over a very low heat. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft-peak stage. Fold the cooled chocolate mix into the whipped cream and pour over the biscuit base. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
  • To serve, unmould from the tin and slide onto a cake stand. Dust the top with cocoa powder. Carefully pat toasted flaked almonds onto the sides of the cake and dust the excess off the cake stand. When you’re ready to serve, place the chocolate curls in the centre of the cake.

Find Catherine Fulvio’s newest book, A Taste of Home The Ballyknocken Cookbook in all good book stores, or buy it online here.

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