Two ways to cook... mince

Swedish meatballs, without the need to visit a homewares shop, and a tasty starter of spiced mince in lettuce cups

The key is to use the freshest, crisp leaves of the Baby Gem. Serve this on a large platter in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

The key is to use the freshest, crisp leaves of the Baby Gem. Serve this on a large platter in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

 

GARY’S WAY... SPICED BEEF LETTUCE CUPS, CHERRY PEPPER AIOLI

I’ll never forget the first time I rocked these wee boys out at a dinner party. It was ladies’ day at last year’s Galway races and during the after party in the g hotel, I’d enough espresso martinis on board to come up with the bright idea of hosting a dinner party at our house the following night. No one declined the invitation, and in the cold light of day the following morning, the fear set in. As it turns out, for all the dinner parties my wife Netty and I have hosted, this was the one that guests came away from talking about the appetiser.My neighbour and buddy Jonathon loved them so much that I’ve had to put them together for him once or twice since.

The key is to use the freshest, crisp leaves of the Baby Gem. Serve this on a large platter in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in. Red cherry peppers (sometimes called peppadew) and jalapeños can be found in jars in most supermarkets.

Gary O’Hanlon’s spiced minced beef lettuce cups, cherry pepper aioli

VANESSA’S WAY... SWEDISH MEATBALLS

Meatballs did not feature in my mother’s cooking repertoire. I was probably in my 30s when I first started to taste and enjoy them, in a rich Italian-style tomato sauce.

By the time Ikea hit our shores and we had all mastered pictogram assembly instructions, it was time for our taste buds to be seduced by the Swedish version. Once I had heard the hype about Swedish meatballs, I went about finding a recipe that I could make myself.

Now, this easy peasy recipe is a mainstay in my family’s comfort food, freezer-friendly repertoire. They bring out the child in us all.

Vanessa Greenwood’s Swedish meatballs

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