Two To Try: Easy Side Dish Recipes That Will Make Weeknight Dinners A Thousand Times Better

Perfect for warmer days.

Never settle for frozen chips again! 

Cheese is delicious at any time of year but the National Dairy Council has created a selection of tasty, lighter recipes to be enjoyed inside or out for brighter days.

The taste and versatility of European cheese lends itself so well to your favourite dishes, from delicious cheese potato dumplings to halloumi cheese which could be enjoyed as a tasty treat with a drink or as a starter at dinner. Give them a try and find more recipes here.

CHEDDAR CHEESE POTATO DUMPLINGS WITH SAGE BUTTER

These delicious light as air dumplings make a great starter or light lunch with a green salad.

INGREDIENTS:

For the potato dumplings:

  • 1 kg russet potatoes
  • 250g Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese
  • 320g plain flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 100g Kerrygold salted butter
  • 2 tbsps fresh sage, finely chopped

METHOD:

1. For the potato dumplings: cook the potatoes, whole and unpeeled, in very little water. Once cooked, peel and mash them well or put through a potato ricer.

2. Mix in the flour, grated aged cheddar cheese and egg yolks into the potatoes, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until well combined. Shape into three or four balls.

3. Dust the surface with more flour if necessary. Using your fingertips, roll the dough into a sausage about 2cm in diameter. Cut the dough into 2.5 cm pieces, then roll the dumplings against the front of a fork to create ridges. (This will help hold the sauce once cooked.)

4. For the sauce add all ingredients to a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the potato dumplings. When they have risen to the surface of the water they are cooked, so remove quickly and drain.

6. For the sage butter, place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted add the sage and cook until it is slightly crispy.

7. Tip the potato dumplings into a frying pan and mix them gently in sage butter sauce. Transfer to serving plates and serve.

To read the full recipe courtesy of Clodagh McKenna in collaboration with The National Dairy Council, click here. 

HALLOUMI FRIES

Delicious, unusual and surprisingly tasty as a starter or a canapé with drinks.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 250g Macroom Buffalo Halloumi cheese
  • 3 tbsps plain flour
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac, plus more for the yoghurt
  • 50ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Mint or coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or pul biber flakes
  • Handful pomegranate arils/seeds

METHOD:

1. Start by heating your oil in a small saucepan. You need about 5cm of oil in the pan, enough to completely submerge the cheese. It needs to come to 180°C or test it by dropping in a piece of bread which should sizzle and turn golden brown quickly, but not burn.

2. Next prepare the halloumi. Slice the block of cheese and cut into ‘chips’ approx 1cm thick. If your cheese is very crumbly you might want to cut it a bit thicker to hold the pieces together.

3. Mix the flour, smoked paprika and sumac together. These chips need to be well coated so roll them in the flour mixture and make sure they are completely covered. Pat some of the seasoning on if you like as you will lose some in the oil while you are frying it.

4. Mix the yogurt with a pinch of sumac and set aside. In another small bowl mix together the pomegranate molasses, honey and lime juice. Taste to make sure it is not too tart, add a little more honey if you would like it to be sweeter. You can make a dip by swirling the pomegranate mix through the yogurt if you like or keep them separate and drizzle them over the fries.

5. When the oil is hot enough, gently lower in a few fries. Don’t put too many in together as the temperature of the oil will drop and your fries won’t crisp up as much as you want. Use a tongs to keep the fries separate in the oil as you don’t want them sticking together. When the fries are a nice golden brown colour remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper while you fry up the remaining cheese.

6. Serve the halloumi fries immediately with a dip to the side or drizzle over the yoghurt and pomegranate dressings. Scatter the Aleppo pepper, pomegranate seeds and coriander or mint leaves over the top.

To read the full recipe, courtesy of Donna Hennessy in collaboration with The National Dairy Council, click here.

The National Dairy Council has joined up with the European Milk Forum to launch Cheese Your Way, an EU-funded multi-country campaign involving Denmark, France and Ireland. This three-year programme runs from 2019-2021 with the aim of promoting and creating awareness of the taste, quality, versatility and convenience of cheese in everyday life.

Cheese is a concentrated source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins B12 and K2, and is low in lactose. This pan-European campaign is being implemented to educate Irish consumers on the importance of including cheese in their everyday diets in a variety of traditional and contemporary ways. For more recipes visit cheeseyourway.ie

Main image by Dora Kazmierak

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