Carrot & Courgette Cake with Rosemary & Orange Crème Fraiche

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

Carrot, courgette and cardamom are a wonderful combination of flavours. The cake itself is moist enough but for that extra special touch you can add the delicious rosemary & orange crème fraiche. If you want to go all out, you can make mini carrots and courgettes out of marzipan with a little orange and green food colouring and angelica root for the stalks. This cake will keep in the fridge for 3–5 days.

Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters with Raw Oysters and a Shallot Mignonette

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

This is a fantastic recipe to showcase fresh oysters, the shooters add a bit of fun to the dish and will ensure that your evening starts well!

Lamb Kebabs

From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef

These kebabs are an excellent dish to serve to the whole family or a gang of hungry teenagers. As everything gets cooked under the grill, there's the added bonus of very little washing up to do afterwards.

Oatmeal Cookies

From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef

These nutritious flapjacks keep very well in a tin. Children love their crunchy texture and they make an ideal addition to any lunchbox.

Oatmeal, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef

The inspiration for this recipe was given to me by Mary Flahavan. I like it so much that we now make it up in batches and keep them in Kilner jars in our rooms for guests - in case they're feeling a bit peckish after a long journey but don't want to ruin their dinner.

Blood Orange Jelly with Mint

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

I love when the blood oranges arrive. In this part of the world it is generally late January, just the time when we need a little cheering up. They have a wonderful flavour and the beautiful ruby coloured flesh and juice is just a joy. I use them in sweet and savoury situations and will be seen in this coldest of months trying to find a few brave shoots of watercress to pair them in what is one of my favourite savoury salads of the year. In this jelly I pair them with our regular oranges, also good at this time of year, to temper the sometimes sharp flavour of the sanguine variety. The jelly can be set in individual moulds, coffee cups or glasses. It can also be set in a large dish and served straight from that. If you want to turn out the jellies for a smart presentation, you need to brush your moulds with a non-scented oil such as sunflower to ensure they will slide out easily.

Crunchy Orange Butter Scones

From: Today

Teatime anytime!

Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Pudding with Chocolate Sauce

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

These puddings, soft and yielding, are delicious and, without doubt, made for chocolate lovers. The combination of ingredients is a classic one but with timeless appeal. The cooked puddings will sit happily in a warm oven for at least an hour before serving and, indeed, could be made ahead of time, allowed to cool and re-heated in a bain-marie in a warm oven. The prunes in the recipe can be replaced with cherries - a delicious variation - in which case I would soak them in Kirsch. Cognac can replace the slightly dryer Armagnac with the prunes. The pudding can be cooked in a large dish or in individual ramekins or even tea cups.

Summer Courgette, Potato, Olive Oil and Sweet Marjoram Mash

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

There are lots of green vegetables in the summer garden that are suitable for adding to a bowl of mashed potatoes. There are the obvious ones like cabbage, peas and green onions. Some perhaps more unexpected additions are broad bean leaves, pea leaves, chard leaves and stalks and what I am going to use in this recipe, green or yellow courgettes. Generally speaking, I prefer to use courgettes when they are very small, about 10cm, and crisp with a nutty flavour. Here they can be a bit bigger, say 15cm. If your courgettes are any bigger, half the courgettes and remove the watery seeds before cooking. The potatoes are cooked in the normal way for the mash recipes and the courgettes are coarsely chopped, sautéed with garlic, fennel and chilli in olive oil and added with chicken stock and marjoram to the potatoes. The result should be a green and yellow-flecked bowl of comforting potato softness with a little river of olive oil running through it.

Moroccan Harira Soup

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

Moroccan food is one of the great cuisines of the world and in the hands of the skilled and knowledgeable cook strikes a beautiful balance of sweetness, saltiness, sourness and heady aromatic flavours. In Morocco this soup is traditionally served to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. There are thousands of different recipes for the soup, with each household adding their own twist. I prefer to use lamb rather than beef and find a more balanced flavour is achieved. This is a purely personal preference - and I don't think there is a right or a wrong combination of ingredients. You may find the addition of the rice at the end of cooking to be an unusual choice, but it gives a velvety finish to the soup. Sometimes the rice is replaced with tiny bits of pasta, like orzo. This soup is substantial - I like to serve it with lots of fresh chopped coriander and a lemon wedge on the side. The warmer the weather, the more inclined I am to squeeze a little juice into the soup.




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