We ask IRISH EXPERTS for their favourite recipes for summer entertaining …
Imen Mc Donnell | Lens & Larder: “I personally love hosting a lobster or crab boil where I tip a pot filled with hot seafood, spicy sausages, new potatoes and cobs of sweetcorn straight onto my dining table covered in newsprint. Provide hammers and forks and a buttery citrus sauce at each place setting (and maybe safety goggles for fun) and just let everyone dig in. Serve Chilled Stonewell or Longueville House Cider, Pinot Blanc or an Irish craft lager in a bucket of ice nearby. For dessert, because I’m just back from Sicily, I’d make a granita with lemon or another zingy fruit.” www.lensandlarder.com
Julianne Brogan | BlackSheep Foods: “I have always loved the concept of feast not fuss; I adore providing a grazing table at events which is a feast for the eyes as well as the body, packed with nibbles for people to pick at and try. I would include a baked Lambay crab pot with sourdough crostini for dunking followed by a barbecued main, such as spatchcock chicken with tarragon and basil salsa verde, or halibut served with preserved lemon and parsley. As accompaniments, I like new baby potatoes with olive oil, capers and sea salt and some asparagus grilled on the barbecue and finished with a squeeze of lemon and a grating of parmesan. For pudding, my dark chocolate budino with cookie crumb and olive oil and sea salt goes down a treat, or alternatively roasted peaches with delicious ice cream and some pistachio crumb. I now provide a platter delivery service, the menu for which changes every few weeks and includes Lambay crab and homemade smoked haddock croquettes as well as summer salads and seasonal desserts such as strawberry pavlova and rhubarb custard pudding.” www.blacksheepfoods.ie
Catherine Fulvio | Ballyknocken Cookery School: “Summer entertaining at Ballyknocken tends to be informal, and I often serve cold buffets which can be prepared in advance. A homemade Italian antipasti board not only tastes good but doubles as an attractive centrepiece. As a main course, I suggest travelling to the other side of the world and serving a colourful and light one pot dish such as an Indian-style prawn curry with roast cashew and cucumber raita, a pear chutney, served with a shallot, turmeric and coriander rice with fresh bread or naan. My go-to pudding is a DIY dessert bar with platters of fresh fruit, basil syrup, lemon balm-infused cream, meringues, orange and ginger shortbreads, pretty glasses filled with chocolate mint mousse and perhaps some buttermilk pannacotta. Served on pretty cake stands and decorated with organic rose petals, it sounds a lot of work but it’s not really and everyone can build their own dessert plate. You can simplify by selecting fewer options.” www.ballyknocken.ie
Ruth Wassel | Triggerfish Cookshop: “Rory O’Connell does a lovely salad starter which I also recommend. The recipe involves courgette, Macroom mozzarella and candied lemon. People don’t expect to enjoy the courgettes so much. The lemons can be made in advance so it is easy to put together at the last minute. As for mains, barbecuing meat in the age of veganism seems all the more indulgent and gratifying, especially when you spend time marinating, applying dry rubs and yoghurts to tenderise the cuts. There is something timeless about kebabs grilled on skewers over hot coals; it’s social food everybody loves. One of my most popular desserts is my “Irish Mess” made with meringues, orange curd, orange segments, mint and whipped cream. You can cheat and buy the meringues and curd. At my classes, I teach how to segment an orange, produce flamboyant meringues and make the curd.” www.triggerfishcookshop.ie
Cliodhna Prendergast | Lens & Larder: “There are plenty of great products you can buy and present beautifully to save time and trouble: think charcuterie, cheeses, pâté or smoked mackerel. A big platter of Toonsbridge buffalo mozzarella with sliced tomatoes, olive oil, capers and basil takes minutes to prepare and is a perfect starter. Sheridans do great duck confit to which you could add to some flatbreads, grilled fresh vegetables, pickles and hummus for a main course that people can put together themselves. For afters, one-dish steamed pudding with fresh fruit and whipped cream on the side works wonders, or a lovely fruity rhubarb or berry fool already portioned into glasses is also very handy. Just serve it with a crispy biscuit or toasted bulgar wheat for a bit of crunch.”
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