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Welcome to the food section of this site, we hope to share with you some of the things that we have cooked and made since we have been here and found to be successful. You will notice the very eclectic nature of this section, we use a great many herbs and spices and try to grow as many as we can ourselves but variety is, old cliché, the spice of life.
Where possible, we will indicate the origin of the recipe but we have many written on scraps of paper and do not really know where they came from never mind who the originator was.
If you have a knock your socks off recipe and want to share it here please contact us
Conversions (cups to ounces etc.)
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Grapes preferably seedless 2 per person (sounds mean but trust me)
Cream Cheese (the best you can get)
Allow the grapes and cheese to cool in a refrigerator for 2 hours
During the cooling time take all the husks off the Pistachio nuts and discard the husks
Put the nuts into a plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin in order to crush the nuts and set aside
When grapes and cheese have cooled cover each grape with cream cheese adding about half an inch or 12mm to the diameter of the grape
When all your grapes are done return to the fridge for 30 minutes
Remove from fridge and roll in the crushed pistachio until completely covered then return to fridge
Remove from fridge 5 to 10 minutes before serving
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10 oz self raising flour
2 tsps. Baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. Sugar
2 oz butter
½ cup currants
Mix together dry ingredients, then rub in butter and add fruit. Combine egg and milk and add to dry mixture, to form soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured board. Roll out and cut into ½ inch thick rounds. Bake in the oven at 4500 F/ 2300 C for 10 minutes
170g/6oz good butter; at room temperature
85g/3oz caster sugar
200g/7oz plain flour
60g/2oz ground rice
Extra caster sugar, for sprinkling
Blend the butter and sugar together with the fingertips of one hand, then gradually work in the flour and ground rice until you have a pliable soft dough. Press it gently into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, roll or press the dough until about ½ inch thick. Cut to desired size, crimp edges and prick with a fork.
In a preheated oven 150C/300F/gas 2, until it is light golden in colour (time will vary depending on size). As soon as you take it from oven, sprinkle it with caster sugar. Cool on the tray for a few minutes and then transfer it to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
8 oz (225G) plain flour
2 tsp (10ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
½ tsp (2.5ml) cinnamon
4oz (125g) chocolate chips
2oz (60g) walnuts
5oz (150mg) muscovite or soft, light brown sugar
4 fl oz (120 ml) vegetable oil ( not olive)
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla
4 tbsp (60ml) water
Pre-heat the oven to 180 c (350F) gas mark 4
Chop up walnuts
Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, walnuts and chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre and set aside.
Mix sugar and oil in a medium-size bowl. Add vanilla and water and mix well.
Gradually pour the wet mixture into the well in the centre of the dry mixture
Stir until well-mixed but be careful not to overwork
Spoon onto the biscuit trays (un-greased) and put them in the oven. After 5 minutes switch and rotate the trays. Bake for another 4 minutes.
Check cookies. If they are still soft, cook for another 2 minutes and check again - continue in this way until cookies are golden and a little softer than required - they harden as they cool
Take them out of the oven and leave to cool for two minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
½ lb (225g) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten, plus ¼ pint (150ml) milk or water
11/2 oz (35g) butter or margarine
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1lb (450g) apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
Mix thoroughly all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Place in a lined cake tin and cook for between 35 and 40 minutes in an oven Gas Mark 5 (190C or 375F) for about 35 minutes, until a skewer or knife stuck into the middle of it comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire tray and allow to cool.
225g unsalted butter, softened
100g castor sugar
200g plain flour - plus extra for dusting
100g ground almonds
½ jar of strawberry or raspberry jam
Beat together butter and sugar then slowly add flour, followed by ground almonds. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and knead until it is soft enough to shape and roll
Sprinkle a little plain flour over your work surface and roll out the pastry - it should be about 5mm thick
Using a cutter, about 6cm wide, dipped in a little flour to stop it sticking, cut out as many shapes as you can - lightly knead the dough trimmings together and repeat the process - keep going until you have about 24 shapes.
Cut a small shape (Christmas tree, circle) in the middle of half your biscuits.
Carefully place the biscuits on a baking sheet (or two) making sure you keep them slightly apart.
Place in a preheated oven 140C, for fan assisted 120C or gas mark 1. Cook for 20-30 minutes until just golden
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Onto a full biscuit place a blob of jam and top with a “cut” biscuit, press lightly.
Don’t be mean with your jam - let it ooze out!!!
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750g boned rib of beef ( or lamb or pork)
3 small sweet turnips
5 small/medium carrots
2 medium onions
3 cloves of garlic
500ml brown stock
1 glass of red wine
3 bay leaves
small bunch of parsley (destalked)
Salt & pepper
Oil for frying
Trim the beef or other meat and cube to about 1 inch pieces.
Clean all the vegetables and roughly chop to ½ inch pieces
Peel and crush the garlic and add to the vegetables
Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a heavy based pan and when hot add all of the vegetable mixture, bay leaves, parsley and sweat the vegetables, stirring frequently for 5 - 10 minutes. Add a generous pinch of crushed black pepper, a pinch of salt, stir and remove from pan into casserole dish.
Return pan to heat and add a little oil, when hot add the meat (in batches, if necessary) and thoroughly brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place together with vegetables in casserole dish.
Return pan to heat and add the glass of red wine to deglaze the pan and then add this mixture to the meat and vegetables.
Add 500 ml of warmed brown stock to the casserole dish, then place lid on casserole dish and place in a preheated oven at 160C for 2¼ hours.
Remove from oven and serve with crusty French bread
NB. Time and temperature are for a fan assisted oven - adjust accordingly
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6 chicken breasts (approx 110g each)
2 apples (preferably Golden type)
4 Tablespoons butter (2 oz)
1/2 cup of cream
Makes 60 cocktail pieces
5 chicken breasts, skinned
For the Marinade:
1 medium onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 tsp soft dark brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
For the peanut sambal
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp chili powder
110g /4 oz crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
200ml/7fl oz cold water
Soft dark brown sugar and salt to taste
Cut each chicken breast into 12 cubes.
Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and add the chicken pieces. Refrigerate for at least 1hour.
Make the sambal: cook the onion in the oil in a saucepan over a very low heat. Add the chili powder and cook for 10 seconds.
Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice and water.
Return to the heat and stir until the sauce is thick and smooth. Season to taste with sugar and salt
Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
Skewer the chicken pieces on long bamboo sticks and grill for about 3 minutes each side.
Serve the peanut sambal as a dip.
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In most of the curry recipes here, you can substitute Chicken, Lamb or Beef. The exception being the Fish curry where another type of fish may be substituted but it may be unwise to attempt to substitute with meet.
The Garam Masala that we use is the one given below but there are many different mixtures that can and often are used in Indian cooking but we do like this one.
2 tbsp ground coriander seeds - 1 tsp ground cumin seeds - 1 tsp ground fenugreek - 1 tsp ground mustard seed - 2 tsp ground black pepper - 2 tsp poppy seeds
Method: Mix all of the ingredients together well and store in an airtight container for later use
500g Boneless Chicken (cut into small cubes) - 1½ Medium Onions (225g) - 10g Ginger (fresh) - 1 Medium Garlic Clove (fresh) - 3 Cherry Tomatoes - 1/4 Small Green Pepper - 11 tbsp Veg oil - 1/4 tsp Turmeric - 4 tsp (30g) of garam masala - 3 or 4 Green Cardamoms - 2 Bay Leaves (optional) - 80g Coconut Cream - 4-5 tsp White Sugar - 150 ml Fresh Single Cream - 2 knobs Butter or Ghee - Fresh Coriander.
500g Cooked Chicken Tikka | 2 Medium Onions (250g) | 2 Medium Garlic Cloves | 8-10g Ginger | 10 Finger Green Chillies (sliced in halves) | 5 cherry tomatoes | 1/2 Small Green Pepper | 11 tbsp Veg/Olive Oil | 1/2 tsp Turmeric | 6 tsp (40g) Garam Masala | 1 tsp (7g) Tikka Paste or powder | 3/4 tsp Chilli Powder | Fresh Coriander
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For the spiced monkfish
150g/5½oz monkfish tail, membrane removed
For the creamy curry
1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the spiced monkfish, drizzle the monkfish with olive oil. In a bowl, mix together the spices and chopped coriander and sprinkle over the fish. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan; add the spiced monkfish and fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the vegetable curry, heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan; add the onion and fry over a gentle heat for five minutes, or until softened. Add the spices and garlic and fry for one minute.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the cream, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and simmer for one minute.
To serve, spoon the vegetable curry into a serving dish and top with the spiced monkfish.
6 x sea bass fillets, about 140g/5oz each, skin on and scaled
about 3 tbsp veg oil
large knob of ginger , peeled and shredded into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves , thinly sliced
3 fat, fresh red chillies deseeded and thinly shredded
bunch spring onion , shredded long-ways
1 tbsp soy sauce
Season the fish with salt and pepper, then slash the skin 3 times. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, fry the fish, skin-side down, for 5 mins or until the skin is very crisp and golden. The fish will be almost cooked through. Turn over, cook for another 30 secs-1 min, then transfer to a serving plate and keep warm. You'll need to fry the fish in 2 batches.
Heat the remaining oil, then fry the ginger, garlic and chillies for about 2 mins until golden. Take off the heat and toss in the spring onions. Splash the fish with a little soy sauce and spoon over the contents of the pan.
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1 pound penne or spaghetti
1 pound green and golden courgettes, 5 to 6 inches in length
1 pound sugar snap peas
2 ounces butter
5 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 ounces fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
A few courgette blossoms if available
Top and tail the courgette and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices at an angle. String the sugar snap peas if necessary.
Bring 12 pints of water to the boil in a large deep saucepan, add 2 tablespoons salt, add the pasta, and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile shoot the sugar snap peas into 2 pints of boiling water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook uncovered for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp and al dente. Drain.
If you're adept at juggling you can also cook the courgettes while the pasta and sugar snaps are cooking.
Pop a pasta bowl into the oven to heat or better still put it sitting on top of the pasta saucepan.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan, toss in the courgettes, increase the heat, and continue to toss for 3 or 4 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, cover, and reduce heat to medium for another few minutes by which time the courgette should be tender but still al dente. Draw off the heat.
By now, if your timing is good, the pasta should be al dente, so drain it quickly.
Add the sugar snap peas, chopped parsley, and torn basil to the courgette. Pour in the steaming hot pasta, sprinkle on the freshly grated Parmesan and toss well.
Turn into the hot pasta bowl. Sprinkle a few zucchini blossoms and basil leaves over the top if available. Rush to the table. Serve on hot plates with extra Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.
Pickles & Chutneys
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75ml. red wine vinegar
70g. onions, sliced thickly
Combine all ingredients except raisins in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat then simmer 30 minutes.
Add raisins. Simmer an additional 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated and raisins are plump. Cool, cover and keep chilled for service.
Pickled Beetroot (spiced
600ml of cider
Add spices to
vinegar and gently boil for 15 mins.
Make spiced vinegar (For sweet pickled onions add 1 heaped tsp of sugar) and let go cold, put all together in jars and seal.
From: Sally Wise
Long, slow cooking is the secret to developing the flavour of this chutney. It is very good with roast beef, or served as part of a cheese platter.
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 medium to large onions, sliced finely
3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups cider vinegar
5 cups of dark malt vinegar
1 cup of sultanas
2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 heaped tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon grated green ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon mustard powder
the oil in a large heavy based pot. Add the onions and cook gently till
caramelised. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.
1 lb fresh tomatoes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin powder
2 oz butter
½ tsp chilli powder or one chopped green chilli
2 tbsp malt vinegar
1 dessertspoon sugar
1 medium onion
Melt butter in a large saucepan
Peel, finely chop and fry onion until brown
Remove the skin from the tomatoes. This is very easy if you allow them to soak in boiling water for a few minutes.
Add to the fried onions and cook for 15 minutes
Mash well together
Add the remaining ingredients
Cook for a further 10 minutes
This chutney can be stored. Increase ingredients proportionately for making larger quantities
Suggestion, try this on fresh beef or lamb burgers
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3 medium-sized apples
3 oz (65g) brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp apple juice or water
2oz (50g) whole meal flour
3oz(75g) rolled oats
20z (50g) margarine
Peel and core the apples. Cut into small chunks and tip them into greased, medium-sized, ovenproof dish.
Add 1oz (25g) of the sugar, plus the cinnamon, the apple juice and the clove. Mix well and set aside.
Sift the flour into a medium-sized glass bowl and add the oats and the remaining 2 oz (50g) sugar. Add the margarine and cut it into small pieces. Rub the margarine into the flour and oats until the mixture is dry and slightly lumpy.
Sprinkle the topping over the apple and cook in the oven at 190C (375F) Gas Mark 5, for 20 minutes, or until the topping is slightly browned and the apple mixture is bubbling around the sides of the dish
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving
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Rounded tablespoonful of rosemary leaves
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1oz butter (25g)
1oz plain flour
6 fl oz (175ml) milk
6 fl oz vegetable stock
2 tablespoonfuls crème fraiche
salt & freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onions over a very gentle heat for about 5 minutes – it's important not to let them colour, so keep an eye on them. While that's happening, bruise the rosemary leaves with a pestle and mortar to release their oil, then chop them very, very finely and add them to the onion. Then continue to cook as gently as possible for a further 15 minutes, again, without letting the onions colour too much. Next, using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the onions and their buttery juices till smooth, then gradually add the milk, a little at a time, still stirring, followed by the stock, bit by bit, whilst vigorously whisking with a balloon whisk.
Now taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper and let it barely simmer on the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Next, remove it from the heat, then liquidise or process half of it, then return it to the saucepan to join the other half. Then re-heat gently, add the crème fraîche and pour it into a warmed serving jug. This recipe makes about 1 pint (570 ml) sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp (heaped) tomato puree
500ml white stock
Good splash of sherry
Knob of butter
Oil for frying
Put oil in pan, when hot add garlic and stir for 1 min.
Add onion and stir for 1 min - cover and sweat for 2 min
Add tomato puree and stir well
Add white stock and boil uncovered for 20/25 min.
Add sherry and stir well - leave for 2 min. on simmer
Add butter stir well until butter melts.
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1 kg courgettes - any
size and colour
Wash the courgettes and chop them into chunks. Cut the potatoes into cubes (smaller than 1 inch).
Heat the oil gently in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic.
Gently cook for about 5 minutes, to soften.
Add the potatoes. Stir. Cook gently, covered, for about 15 minutes, until about half-cooked.
Add the courgettes and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
Add 1½ pints of water - just enough to cover the contents of the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Remove from the heat and liquidise the soup.
Add the Cheese & herbs.
Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Serve with fresh bread.
This recipe from Bon Appetit January 1998 is more akin to an oniony potato soup than the traditional French onion soup. If you want to make it truly vegetarian substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
2 tablespoons butter
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until very tender and pale golden, about 25 minutes. Add garlic and stir one minute. Add broth and potato and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potato is very tender, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Stir in cream, sherry, and thyme. Simmer about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Can be made 2 days ahead. Sprinkle with chives before serving.
4 medium beetroot (beet)
peeled & grated
Heat oil in a large
1 kg roughly chopped pumpkin flesh
1/2 kg marrow or peeled potato (both optional)
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 chicken stock cube
Freshly ground pepper
Take the pumpkin, (and marrow or potato if used,) add a little water in a big pan and bring to the boil reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until they have gone soft throughout.
In a frying pan heat the butter and gently fry the finely chopped onions until they go soft and lightly browned.
Combine the two mixtures and mash or liquidise in an electric blender adding the stock cube, parsley, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Place the combined mixture into a clean saucepan adding 1 litre of water on a low heat adding two tablespoons of yoghurt and stir well. Leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes and add more salt or pepper according to personal taste.
Serve hot with a tablespoon of yoghurt placed in the middle of each serving bowl and a sprig of parsley, lay on the yoghurt. Add just a tease of freshly ground pepper over the whole area and serve with fresh bread.
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2 lbs. of leeks (about 4-8 leeks depending on the size)
1 garlic clove
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for buttering the gratin dish
4 oz. Gruyère cheese
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
Salt, freshly ground pepper and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 200C
If you can't get hold of Reblochon, try using Crémier de Chaumes, Epoisses or even a mature Irish Ardrahan. Remove any tough rind. You can leave the bacon out if you want to make a vegetarian version. A plain green salad is a good foil for the richness. Also, this dish could be used as a supper.
unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2. With half the butter, grease a shallow baking dish, about 25 x 30cm.
Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bacon. Sauté for about 5 minutes until crisp and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Return the pan to the heat and add the mushrooms. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Season.
Toss the potato slices with salt and pepper. Arrange half in a layer in the dish. Sprinkle with the bacon and mushrooms. Top with half the cheese, season again (remember the bacon is salty already). Top with the remaining potatoes. Pour enough cream over the top to just cover the potatoes - you may not need it all. Dot with the remaining butter.
Bake for about 1¼ hours, or until the potatoes are tender. Dot with the remaining cheese, and return to the oven until brown and bubbling (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave for 10-15 minutes before serving
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Ingredients: for a standard size swiss roll tin.
4 oz. butter
2 oz. Caster Sugar
1 cup self raising flour
Blend all together into soft dough. Place in baking tray and press to spread over the tray. Use a fork to prick the dough. Cook in oven until golden brown. 180C or 350F or gas mark 4 approx 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4 oz. butter
2 oz sugar
2 tbls Golden syrup
1 small tin condensed milk
4 or 5 oz chocolate approx
Place butter & sugar and syrup in saucepan and allow the sugar to dissolve slowly, (without burning), stir continuously, then add the tin of condensed milk. Bring to the boil and continue roll boil till a soft dropping toffee consistency is reached. (Test a drop in very cold water)
Allow to cool slightly then pour over base. Set aside to set and cool to almost cold ( you need enough warmth to allow time to spread choc easily and evenly) whilst you melt enough chocolate to cover the top. Cover Allow to set then mark off into fingers or squares. When cold cut the squares and serve or store in an airtight container
Makes about 700g/1½ lbs
500g/1lb 2 oz granulated sugar
170ml/6 fl oz water
45ml/3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
Put all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer it until it reaches the soft ball stage (see note below), or measures 116C/240F on a sugar thermometer
Remove the pan from the heat and set it on a board. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and then beat it with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, until it becomes opaque. Pour it into a buttered 18x28cm / 7x11 in tin. Mark it into squares before it sets.
Note: To test for soft ball, drop a little of the mixture into a cup of cold water and let it cool for a few minutes. It should roll into a soft ball between your finger and thumb.
4 oz (125g) butter or margarine
4 oz (125g) soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
6 oz (175g) whole meal (T80) or white (T55)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
6 oz (175g) oats
8 tbsp raspberry jam, jelly or another jam, jelly
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add vanilla essence
Mix flour, bicarbonate of soda and oats, add to butter/sugar mixture. Mix well with fingers until consistency resembles breadcrumbs
Press half of the crumbs into a greased 13”x9” approx. (32cm x 32cm) baking tray
Spread with jam or jelly, and crumble the remaining mixture on top. Press very lightly
Bake at 400F (200C or gas 6) in a pre-heated oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
Allow to cool then cut into bars
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2 tablespoons olive
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and melt the butter on medium heat. When the butter foams, add the spring onion slices, and cook, stirring, until they turn golden.
Add the garlic and continue cooking until the onions turn light tan, then deglaze the pan with the sherry, stirring while the alcohol boils off. Add the stock or broth, bring to a boil and stir in the potatoes and the peas, and the cream.
Stir well, and cook until the peas turn bright green, and the sauce reduces until it coats the potatoes nicely. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in mint and spring onion tops.