There's no bad time of the year for ice-cream. If there isn't a good range in the shops at the moment, Neven's advice is to go on, make your own!
Here's a great recipe from RTÉ One's cooking show, Neven's Christmas Special - the perfect tasty nibble while entertaining or having along with a few drinks.
The best way to remove redcurrants from their stems is to use a fork - simply hold the end of the stem and push through the prongs, dragging the fork down the stem. Not only does it save time, but it also doesn't damage the delicate fruit. I like the pieces of cinnamon in with the spiced redcurrants, but if this doesn't appeal, just use ground cinnamon.
This is actually very similar to the classic omelette Arnold Bennett. Properly cooked, it is absolutely delicious and I've no doubt your guests will savour every mouthful. If you are really short of time, substitute smoked mackerel fillets and flake as for the recipe, which will save you having to poach the fish.
This classic dish is so delicious, it's no wonder that it has stood the test of time. Use the best dry-aged steaks you can afford and make sure you give them plenty of time to rest before serving them to allow all the juices to settle.
This can be made up to 1 month in advance and kept in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.
Watch children's faces light up as you make these ice cream sundaes before their very eyes! The ice cream is so much better for them than anything you can buy, contains so little fat and has a really fresh flavour. If there are any adults around, they'll be guaranteed to enjoy it just as much. Try using raspberries, which work just as well.
This is a perfect tea for lots of hungry children, but it would also be a good weekend late breakfast, depending on your mood. It's the classic way that many crêpe stallholders cook crêpes to order late at night around the major tourist attractions in Paris. They are always very popular, often with long queues, and once you've tasted them it's easy to understand why.
Fishcakes are a great, easy way to introduce kids to fish. These are a favourite in our household. Feel free to add vegetables to the fishcakes: peas, carrots or sweetcorn would be good.
Chimichurri is a green sauce that is traditionally served with barbecued or grilled meat in Argentina. Rib-eye is my favourite cut of beef for a steak, as it has the perfect balance between flavour and value for money.
This is a great winter warmer that you can have on the table in no time at all.
This recipe would also be great done on the barbecue. It uses Israeli couscous, which is also known as ptitim or Jerusalem couscous. It is actually an Israeli pasta shaped like rice or little balls. I like to eat it hot or cold and it has the added advantage of retaining its shape and texture even when reheated, as it does not clump together.
The beauty of these parcels is that the main and side dishes cook alongside each other in the oven, leaving you with nothing to do except chat to your guests! They take very little time to prepare but can be made well in advance and then cooked to order, leaving no last-minute stress! Buy one large pork fillet and you'll have enough for this recipe.
This is a wonderful soup/stew to serve to someone who is feeling a bit under the weather. It might sound exotic, but pak choy is now grown very successfully by Irish farmers. Look for it in the supermarket and make sure you check the label to see where it was grown.
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.
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