Saturday 17 March 2018

Donal Skehan's what to eat now

Howth Seafood Chowder
Howth Seafood Chowder

Recipes, restaurant recommendations and more hidden gems from Donal's little black book.

Howth Seafood Chowder

Howth is famous throughout Ireland for its fish. This wonderfully creamy seafood chowder always reminds me of home and with a few slices of brown bread with Irish salted butter, I'm there in an instant.

Serves 6

You will need

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

50g pancetta, cut into cubes

2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1 bay leaf

300g potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 litre fish stock

Sea salt and ground black pepper

150g cod, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces

150g salmon, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces

250g undyed smoked haddock, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces

1kg mussels in their shells, cleaned

1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

160ml double cream

Smoked salmon, cut into strips, to garnish


Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until softened.

Add the pancetta and continue to fry until it colours, then stir in the thyme leaves, bay leaf and potatoes and cook gently for 2-3 minutes before adding the fish stock. Season well with sea salt and ground black pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender yet firm. Add the cod, salmon, smoked haddock and mussels and simmer gently for five minutes. Discard any mussels which haven't opened whilst cooking. Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir through the parsley and cream. Try not to stir too vigorously as the fish chunks will break up. Serve in warmed deep bowls with the strips of smoked salmon as a garnish on top.

Foods of Athenry

For the Lawless’s, the family behind The Foods of Athenry, moving from dairy farming to a fully fledged bakery had its difficulties, but with 38 taste awards in six years, their range of cakes, biscuits, granolas and bread mixes are hugely popular. The whole range is free from additives, preservatives and hydrogenated fats too.


The Great Irish Bake for Temple St

Wooden spoons and baking bowls at the ready... The Great Irish Bake for Temple Street is back again and this year it’s taking place on April 17. The Great Bake is one of the most important dates in Temple Street’s calendar as it raises vital funds for new equipment throughout the hospital. To date, the event has raised a phenomenal €500,000, but they still need your help. They want you to sign up to host a bake in your home, school or office. All the funds raised go to helping sick children in the hospital’s care. Whether it’s rice crispy buns or a three-tiered gateaux, every little helps, so get baking!


All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off

Whether you try my seafood chowder or have your own secret recipe, why not head along to Kinsale’s annual All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off on April 19 to see how it stands up to some  of the best in the country. Kinsale’s Food Circle wants to find  the best chowder recipe in Ireland, so a representative from each of the  32 counties will battle it out to be crowned the chowder champion!

Make sure to go hungry the winner is decided by public vote! Tickets €10.


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