Tuesday 20 March 2018

Chefs' top taster - renowned chefs share their favourite recipes


Jean-Christophe Novelli's Coq au vin avec chocolat
Jean-Christophe Novelli's Coq au vin avec chocolat
Sharon Hearne-Smith's Vietnamese pulled pork summer rolls
Roz Purcell's Peanut Butter brunettes

Taste of Dublin 2017 - running at the Iveagh Gardens this weekend - celebrates a wealth of world flavours. Here, some of the top chefs from the festival's stellar line-up share their favourite recipes from across the globe. For more, see tasteofdublin.ie


Serves 4


For the spiced couscous salad: 7oz/200g couscous

Approximately 14fl oz/400ml boiling water

3oz/75g sultanas/currants

1 small courgette, grated

1 small carrot, grated

16 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 stem spring onions/scallions, chopped

3oz/75g dried apricots, diced

2oz/50g chopped walnuts

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

½ tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp ground cumin

3 tbsp oil

2 tbsp mint, chopped

Salt and black pepper

For the blackened salmon:

2 level tsp Cajun spice

1 tbsp fresh mixed herbs (parsley, mint, thyme, oregano), chopped

1 tbsp oil

Zest of 1 lime

4 salmon fillets

2 whole chillies, chopped roughly (optional)

½ lemon, cut into wedges


Place the couscous into a large mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then fluff it up with a fork. Allow the couscous to cool down at this stage for approximately 20-30 minutes. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix well. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until needed.

In a small bowl, mix together the Cajun spice, chopped mixed herbs and the oil. Add in the lime zest and the salmon fillets and mix well. If time allows, leave the salmon to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper. Heat a large pan with a little oil and pan-fry the salmon, flesh side down, for 2-3 minutes to give the flesh a nice 'blackened' effect.

Remove the salmon from the pan and place on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle the tray with some roughly chopped chillies and lemon wedges and bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the salmon feels firm to the touch. Serve with the couscous.


Sharon Hearne-Smith's Vietnamese pulled pork summer rolls

You will need a mandolin or julienne vegetable peeler, or sharp knife.

Makes 10


For the filling:

100ml rice wine vinegar

2 tsp caster sugar

½ cucumber

50g glass or rice noodles

150g cooked pulled pork

1 medium carrot, peeled

2 spring onions, sliced

1 small red chilli, finely sliced, de-seeded if you prefer (optional)

Small handful each of fresh mint and coriander

Small handful of fresh Thai basil (optional)

100g beansprouts

10 x dried rice paper sheets (22cm round)

For the dipping sauce:

Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1 small red chilli, finely sliced, de-seeded if you prefer (optional)

2 tbsp fish sauce (check for gluten)

2 tsp clear honey

Juice of ½ lime

4 tbsp water


Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil. Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the vinegar and sugar in a small resealable food bag and shake until the sugar dissolves. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave the cucumber into thin ribbons. Add them to the liquid in the bag and leave to pickle for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Shred the ginger into matchsticks. Place it in a screw-cap jar, along with the sliced chilli (if using), fish sauce, honey, lime juice and 4 tbsp water. Screw the lid on tightly and shake. This can be made up to three days in advance and kept in the fridge.

Lay the noodles in a wide dish; pour enough just-boiled water to cover. Cover and leave to soak for 4-5 minutes for glass noodles, or 8-10 minutes for rice noodles (or according to the packet instructions), until tender, stirring halfway through.

Then continue preparing the filling ingredients. Tear or chop the pork into small pieces if necessary. Cut the carrot into matchsticks using a mandolin, julienne peeler or sharp knife. Make sure all the other ingredients are prepared and ready. Once tender, drain the noodles and rinse them in cold water. Also drain the cucumber.

To assemble the rolls, pour a few centimetres of warm water into a bowl wide enough for a rice paper sheet. Pop one sheet in to soak for 10-15 seconds until soft and pliable. Being careful not to tear it or stick it to itself, lift it out of the water and lay it out flat on a clean tea towel. Arrange a small amount of each prepared ingredient on top, including the beansprouts but not the coriander, layering them up in a straight line down the middle, stopping about 5cm from the edge closest to you. The rolls look nice when some ingredients poke out of the end, so don't worry if anything overhangs. Now pick up the edge closest to you and fold it up onto the filling. Fold in the left side of the paper over the filling and continue to roll from this direction for a neat roll.

Repeat to make 10, spacing them apart on the tray as you go. They can be quite sticky, so don't let them touch. These can be made up to two days ahead, depending on the freshness of your fillings. Layer them between non-stick baking paper if packing in a container and store in the fridge.

When ready to serve, arrange on a platter and scatter with coriander. Shake up the sauce, pour it into a small dipping bowl and serve on the side.


Jean-Christophe Novelli's Coq au vin avec chocolat

Serves 4-6


6 chicken legs, cut through the joint into 12 pieces, skin left on

100ml water

4 onions, quartered

8 shallots, halved lengthways

1 garlic bulb, sliced in half width-ways, unpeeled

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig rosemary

4 bay leaves

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp organic cocoa powder

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tsp cold water

Good-quality Loire Valley red wine (enough to cover)

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways

Cracked black pepper, to taste

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Basmati rice, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C (non-fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Seal the chicken pieces in a very hot, large non-stick sauté pan, with a lid, and brown them all over. Add about 100ml water to help speed up this process. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. Pour away the excess fat and juices from the pan.

In the same pan, on a moderate heat, add the onions, shallots and garlic, then cover. Cook slowly for a couple of minutes, then introduce the cumin seeds, thyme, rosemary, bay and smoked paprika.

Continue to sauté slowly. After about 10-15 minutes, the onions should be soft. At this point, add the cocoa powder and honey, stirring continuously - otherwise it will burn. Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the cornflour mixed with water. Combine thoroughly.

Add the wine, enough to cover everything in the pan. Then, with the lid on, bring to the boil and simmer. Once simmering, skim any impurities that have collected on the top of the sauce using a large spoon or ladle. Add the vanilla pod and taste. Season with cracked pepper.

Cover and place the pan into the preheated oven for 50 minutes with the lid on, followed by 15 minutes without the lid on. Just before serving, infuse the herbs with the olive oil and drizzle over the dish to lift the colours. Serve with plain boiled white basmati rice.


Serves 4


4 ears of fresh sweetcorn, shucked

On third cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup crumbled feta cheese, plus some for garnish

1 tsp chilli powder, plus some for garnish

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

½ tsp dried chilli flakes, for garnish

1 lime, cut into quarters


Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 or light the barbecue. Place the corn on the racks of the oven or barbecue and roast for 25 minutes, or until softened. On a large plate, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, feta cheese, chilli powder and coriander. Remove the corn from the oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes. Roll each ear of corn in the sour cream mixture. Place on a platter, sprinkle with extra feta, chilli powder, and chilli flakes, and serve with lime wedges.


Roz Purcell's Peanut Butter brunettes

Serves 9


400g crunchy peanut butter

150g coconut sugar

5 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla seeds or extract

200g dark chocolate broken into pieces


Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, coconut sugar, eggs, baking powder and vanilla using a fork mix until smooth. Stir in half of the chocolate chips. Pour the mix into a lined brownie tin (8in x 8in, lined or greased; the mix should be at least 4cm in height in the tin). Bake for 25 minutes; the brunettes should rise up and be lightly browned and firm on top.

Remove and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips, which should melt from the heat of the brunettes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing and having a bite! Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Irish Independent

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