Thursday 16 August 2018

Do the twist


Martin Shanahan's Mediterranean-style cod
Martin Shanahan's Mediterranean-style cod
Darina Allen's Brussels Sprouts with Thai Flavours
Catherine Fulvio's haddock with asparagus and prosciutto, from "Taste of Home - the Ballyknocken Cookbook". Credit: Harry Weir
Neven Maguire’s bacon chops with cider sauce and sautéed Savoy cabbage
Kevin Dundon’s Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Oatmeal Stuffing

Stuck in a cooking rut? Here, five of Ireland's top chefs reveal their mouth-watering recipes with a difference, using healthy ingredients that are good for us at any age!

Kevin Dundon’s Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Oatmeal Stuffing

Oats are a great - and healthy - alternative to breadcrumbs as a stuffing.

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1ƒ hours


1 large chicken

40g butter, softened

5 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

For the stuffing:

100g butter

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

150g pinhead or porridge oats

100g fresh white breadcrumbs

1 lemon, zest only

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh sage

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

To serve:

Green beans

Baby salad leaves


To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a saucepan set over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the oats, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Lightly season the stuffing with salt and pepper and allow to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Fill the cavity of the chicken with the cold stuffing and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the chicken on a roasting tray. Rub the chicken all over with the softened butter and mustard, then sprinkle over the rosemary and season generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1½ hours, until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Serve the succulent roast chicken with stuffing on the side, freshly cooked green beans and some lightly dressed baby salad leaves.

Kevin Dundon is a SuperValu Let's Get Ireland Cooking ambassador

Darina Allen's Brussels Sprouts with Thai Flavours

So you don't like sprouts? Well, try these - they are guaranteed to convert even the most ardent Brussels sprout haters.

Serves: 4-6


400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp Thai green curry paste

1 green chilli, pounded

175ml homemade chicken stock

450g Brussels sprouts, cut in half, blanched in boiling salted water and refreshed

2 kaffir lime leaves

½ tbsp palm sugar, or a little less of soft brown sugar

2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)

20 basil leaves, preferably Thai basil leaves

1 large red chilli, pounded

1 tablespoon Thai soy sauce (optional)

For the steamed rice:

510ml basmati rice

½-1 tsp salt


For the steamed rice, measure the rice in a measuring jug and wash gently in 2-3 changes of cold water. The final water should almost be clear. Drain the rice well in a sieve or fine strainer then tip it into a heavy-based saucepan. Add an equal volume of water and the salt. Stir to mix.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to the absolute minimum - use a heat diffuser mat, if available. Cover with a tight-fitting lid - no steam must escape, so use foil under the lid if necessary. Steam the rice for 15-20 minutes, remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes. The rice will now be dry and fluffy but will keep warm for up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a wok over a low heat. Pour 110ml of the coconut milk into the wok. Add the green curry paste and the green chilli and mix well. Then add the stock, the remainder of the coconut milk, halved sprouts, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and fish sauce, half the basil leaves and the red chilli. Stir constantly over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the sauce boils and foams up. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, otherwise the sauce may separate - it should be cooked in 10-12 minutes.

Add the remaining basil leaves, season to taste and add a dash of soy sauce if necessary.

Serve hot with the steamed rice.

'Grow, Cook and Nourish' by Darina Allen is out now (Kyle Books, €30)

Martin Shanahan's Mediterranean-style cod

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes


Rapeseed oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 courgettes, sliced

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Handful of stoned olives and sun-dried tomatoes

Salt and pepper

4 cod fillets

1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Heat a glug of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the courgettes, tinned tomatoes, olives and sun-dried tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let everything simmer together for 3 to 5 minutes, until the veg is softened.

Transfer to a baking dish or tray and put the cod on top. Cut half of the lemon into four slices and put these on top of the cod, then squeeze over the juice of the rest of the lemon to bring out the natural flavour of the fish. Add a final drizzle of rapeseed oil across the fish.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve straight to the table to let everyone help themselves.

Martin Shanahan is a SuperValu Let's Get Ireland Cooking ambassador

Neven Maguire's bacon chops with cider sauce & sautéed Savoy cabbage

For a satisfying winter supper, tuck into these delicious bacon chops - you'll find them now in all supermarkets and they're excellent value for money.

There are also now numerous excellent Irish artisan ciders available all around the country, which are redefining how we think about cider.

Look for ones that only use Irish-grown apples and without the routine addition of either sugar or water, such as Con's Irish Cider from his wonderful Apple Farm in Tipperary.

Serves: 4


4 x 175g (6oz) bacon chops

25g (1oz) demerara sugar

1 tbsp prepared English mustard

300ml (½ pint) dry Irish cider

1 tbsp softened butter

25g (1oz) plain flour

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Cooked jacket potatoes to serve (optional)

For the cabbage:

40g (1½ oz) butter

3 tbsp water

1 small Savoy cabbage, trimmed, halved, tough stalks removed and shredded into 1cm (½in) slices

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the bacon chops side by side in a suitable ovenproof dish. Mix the sugar and mustard with 2 tablespoons of the cider to make a smooth paste, then spread over the chops. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, or up to two days covered with cling film in the fridge is fine.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6) and bake the marinated chops for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan, then stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the remaining cider and cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then season with salt and pepper and stir in the thyme. Pour the cider sauce over the bacon chops and cook for another 15 minutes, until cooked through and tender.

About 5 minutes before the bacon chops are ready, prepare the cabbage. Place the butter and water in a large heavy-based pan with a lid set over a high heat. Once the butter has melted and everything is boiling, add the shredded cabbage all at once with a pinch of salt. Cover and give the pan a good shake, then cook over a high heat for 1ƒ minutes. Shake the pan again and cook for another 1ƒ minutes, then remove from the heat and season with pepper.

Arrange the bacon chops on warmed plates and spoon over the rest of the cider sauce.

Add the sautéed Savoy cabbage and a jacket potato, if liked.

Recipe by Neven Maguire of MacNean House & Restaurant and the Neven Maguire Cookery School, taken from 'Neven's Complete Family Cookbook' (Gill). Neven will demonstrate at Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food 2017 (October 27 to 30). For more, see

Catherine Fulvio's Tomato Haddock with Asparagus & Prosciutto

Serves: 4


For the tomato base:

Rapeseed oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

200ml passata

½ orange, zest only

2 tsp oregano, chopped

½ tsp celery seeds

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the roast tomatoes:

250g cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 tsp chopped rosemary

1 tbsp chopped chives

12 asparagus spears, trimmed

For the fish:

4 x 170g haddock or cod fillets

100g prosciutto di Parma

Sprigs of rosemary, to serve


Heat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/gas mark 5.

To make the tomato base, heat a little oil in a shallow casserole dish on the hob, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the passata, orange zest, oregano and celery seeds and simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the roast tomatoes, place the tomatoes on the vine on top of the sauce, drizzle over a little rapeseed oil, add the rosemary and chives, and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the asparagus to rapidly boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and then place in ice-cold water.

For the fish, place 3 spears of the blanched asparagus on each fillet and wrap with prosciutto di Parma. Place in the casserole dish around the cherry tomatoes and return to the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.

Nice served with garlic and rosemary roast potatoes and garnish with sprigs of rosemary.

Catherine Fulvio's Easy Entertaining Cookery Class will be held at Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in Ashford, Co Wicklow on Saturday, November 18. It costs €135pp and includes a full suite of recipes to take home, a light lunch and tasting plates. See

Irish Independent

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