One of my favourite quick-fix suppers, this is full of fresh flavours and has a nice hum of heat from the chilli flakes. Gnocchi is easy to make yourself, but you can now pick up packets of the fresh variety in most supermarkets. If you happen to have fresh peas growing in your garden, feel free to use them instead of frozen.
Hearty food like this meaty chilli makes me very happy inside; it’s full of great spices and filling ingredients, and best of all it feeds a crowd. Using finely chopped meat here rather than mince gives a really interesting texture to the chilli.
Angie looked after my dad when he was growing up, and when I first started going to school she used to walk me home and give me lunch, which was regularly Irish stew. Her Irish stew is legendary in the Skehan family, with my dad’s five siblings and my eleven cousins all having been brought up on it. Angie always knew how to feed an army of hungry mouths, so I hope this version of the recipe does hers justice!
The fantastic thing about this recipe is that all it takes is to marinate the salmon and pop in the oven when your guests arrive. Serve with noodles in a peanut butter dressing for a tasty main course!
Barmbrack is a traditional Irish fruit cake, which I used to get in my school lunchbox around Halloween every year. Traditionally, a ring is baked into the cake, and there would be great excitement every year as to who would get the slice with the ring in it. I always like to think it was Barmbrack that inspired the writers of Father Ted to come up with the episode where Mrs. Doyle bakes a jumper into a cake! This recipe makes a really beautiful, moist loaf, packed with flavour from the mixed spice and dried fruit, which has sat overnight in cold tea and whiskey to soak up all the goodness.
These little parcels certainly know how to make an entrance. When you serve them, make sure you get your guests to open the parcels themselves, to reveal the steaming mackerel inside. You can use this method with any fish; it’s nice served with a little rice.