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    Nevens Recipies - Fruity Bread and Butter Pudding.

    Back to basics:


    Fruity Bread and Butter Pudding


    An Irish country kitchen classic that should have a soft set texture with an exquisitely light spicing of nutmeg and vanilla, a few finely chopped prunes and sultanas and a wonderful buttery top.

    To make it even more delicious, try making it with day-old croissants or brioche.

    Serves 4–6

    4 eggs

    300ml (½ pint) milk

    150ml (¼ pint) cream

    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

    1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

    50g (2oz) caster sugar

    250g (9oz) sliced white bread (6 slices)

    75g (3oz) butter, softened, extra for greasing

    75g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried prunes, finely chopped

    75g (3oz) sultanas

    good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

    4 tbsp marmalade

    icing sugar, to dust pouring cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Lightly butter an ovenproof dish that’s about 25cm x 16cm (10in x 6in) and 2.5cm (1in) deep.

    Beat the eggs, milk and cream together in a large jug. Mix together the lemon rind and juice, vanilla seeds and sugar in a small bowl and then add to the egg mixture, beating lightly to

    Spread the slices of bread with the softened butter and cut off the crusts, then cut into triangles.

    Scatter half of the prunes and sultanas into the bottom of the buttered dish and arrange a layer of the bread triangles on top. Pour over half of the egg mixture, pressing the bread down gently, then repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients and sprinkle the nutmeg on top.

    Place the dish into a roasting tin and fill with warm water until it comes three-quarters of the way up the dish. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until just set.

    Meanwhile, sieve the marmalade and then heat it in a small pan. Brush the top of the cooked pudding with the marmalade to form a nice glaze when it comes out of the oven. Dust lightly with icing sugar.

    To serve, cut into slices while still warm and arrange on warmed serving plates with pouring cream or ice cream.


    Nevens Recepies - 'Left overs' Turkey/Chicken Satay & Vegetable Noodles

    Left overs Turkey/ Chicken Satay Vegetable Noodles
    This recipe is great to use up any leftover turkey from Christmas Day.

    It packs a powerful flavour punch and is just the ticket after the excesses of the festive season. Stir-frying is a traditional Chinese cooking technique that's very easy to master.

    This recipe is great to use up any leftover turkey from Christmas Day. It packs a powerful flavour

    punch and is just the ticket after the excesses of the festive season. Stir-frying is a traditional

    Chinese cooking technique that’s very easy to master. To check if the vegetables are cooked,

    pierce them with the tip of a knife – they should feel as soft as butter.

    Serves 4–6


    275g (10oz) fine egg noodles

    1 tbsp sunflower oil

    1 large red pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced

    225g (8oz) fine green beans, trimmed and halved

    175g (6oz) baby corn, halved lengthways

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    400g (14oz) can coconut milk

    350g (12oz) leftover cooked turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

    100g (4oz) crunchy peanut butter

    2 tbsp dark soy sauce

    2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

    1 tsp light muscovado sugar

    juice of ½ lime

    50g (2oz) cashew nuts, toasted and finely chopped

    handful fresh coriander leaves, to garnish


    Place the fine egg noodles in a pan of boiling water and cook for 3–4 minutes, until tender, or

    according to the packet instructions.


    Heat a wok until very hot. Add the oil and swirl it around the edges, then tip in the red pepper,

    green beans, baby corn and garlic and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until the vegetables are tender,

    sprinkling over 1 tablespoon of water if the mixture is getting too dry.


    Drain the noodles and add to the wok with the coconut milk, turkey, peanut butter, soy sauce,

    chilli sauce, sugar and lime juice. Stir-fry for another 2–3 minutes, until all the ingredients are

    piping hot.


    To serve, divide among warmed serving bowls and scatter over the cashew nuts and coriander.



    Neven's Recipies - Maple Glazed Ham



    A traditional ham is the perfect choice if you’ve got hordes of visitors to feed, so it’s especially good to have over the festive period. A certain crowd pleaser, it tastes equally good served hot or cold. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ham, bacon and gammon? Bacon is cured pork; gammon is a hind leg cut of bacon; and once gammon is cooked, it’s called ham. Any leftovers from this ham or a turkey can be used in countless other dishes, such as in a creamy filling for vol-au-vents, in risottos or just the ham is excellent for a spaghetti carbonara, so there’s no waste – even the bone will make a wonderful stock.


    Serves 10–12

    5.25kg (11lb) leg of gammon (on the bone and skin on)

    4 celery sticks, roughly chopped

    2 onions, sliced

    1 bunch of fresh thyme

    1 tbsp black peppercorns

    200ml (7fl oz) Irish whiskey

    200ml (7fl oz) maple syrup

    2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

    1 tbsp ground allspice

    1 tbsp whole cloves

    Pineapple salsa:

    1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm (½in) dice

    1 tbsp caster sugar

    1 small red onion, finely chopped

    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime

    ½ large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

    1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

    1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

    2 tsp freshly grated root ginger

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Although gammon is less salty nowadays, soaking is still a good idea. Place the gammon

    in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight is best, then drain.


    Weigh the gammon joint and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g

    (1lb) plus 20 minutes – a 5.25kg (11lb) joint should take about 4 hours. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum. Add the celery, onions, thyme and peppercorns and return to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer until completely tender, occasionally skimming off any scum that rises to the top. If you aren’t sure the gammon is properly cooked, check the bone end – it should come away freely from the gammon joint. Drain and leave until it’s cool enough to handle.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

    Carefully peel away the skin, leaving the layer of white fat intact. Using a sharp knife, score the fat diagonally to make a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. Place the whiskey in a pan with the maple syrup, redcurrant jelly, balsamic vinegar and ground allspice. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stud the ham with the cloves and place in a large roasting tin with a little water to prevent the bottom from catching and burning. Brush a layer of the syrup all over the ham, reserving the remainder. Cook for 1 hour, brushing over another layer of the glaze every 15 minutes, until it’s all gone. Remove the cooked ham from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, make the pineapple salsa. Mix the diced pineapple with the sugar. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat, add the pineapple and cook quickly for about 2 minutes to lightly caramelise it. Tip into a bowl and add the onion, lime rind and juice, chilli, herbs and ginger. Season to taste and set aside to allow the flavours to develop.

    To serve, carve slices from one side of the ham, cutting diagonally to achieve an even thickness.

    When you reach the bone, insert the knife at a flatter angle and slice across the top of

    the bone. Turn over the leg to carve slices from the other sides. Arrange on serving plates with spoonfuls of the pineapple salsa.



    Neven's Recepies - Christmas Turkey

    If you want to be sure that your turkey is cooked, invest in a meat thermometer and push it into the thickest part of one of the thighs. This will then clearly show you when the turkey is cooked, leaving no doubt in your mind. Ask your butcher for the giblets with your turkey, as they make excellent stock. I always soak mine in cold water overnight to remove any impurities. Place them in a pan with a chopped carrot and onion, 6 whole peppercorns, 2 bay leaves and a sprig of thyme. Pour in 1.2 litres (2 pints) of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer

    for 45 minutes. Strain and use as required.


    Serves 10–12

    6kg (13lb) oven-ready turkey, at room temperature(preferably free range)

    100g (4oz) butter, at room temperature

    1 tbsp plain flour

    3 tbsp ruby red port or red wine

    600ml (1 pint) turkey or chicken stock

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    small bunch of fresh herbs, to garnish (to include rosemary,sage and thyme)

    crispy roast potatoes to serve

    roasted root vegetables with sesame seeds ,to serve

    Brussels sprout crumble ,to serve

    Herb stuffing:

    75g (3oz) butter

    1 large onion, diced

    175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

    1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    1 tsp chopped fresh sage

    1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5).

    To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until softened but not coloured. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and tip in the cooked onion and the parsley, sage and thyme. Mix well to combine and season to taste.

    To stuff the turkey, start at the neck end, where you’ll find a flap of loose skin. Gently loosen this away from the breast and you’ll be able to make a triangular pocket. Pack the stuffing inside as far as you can go and make a neat round shape on the outside, then tuck the neck flap under the turkey and secure it with a small skewer.

    Smear the skin of the turkey all over with most of the butter and season generously. Turn the turkey breast side up and tie the tops of the drumsticks with string. Weigh the turkey to calculate the required cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes extra – a 6kg (13lb) turkey should take about 4 hours 40 minutes to cook.

    Lay a large sheet of foil lengthways over a large roasting tin, leaving enough at each end to wrap over the turkey, then lightly butter the foil. Repeat this with another sheet of foil, this time across the tin. Lightly butter the foil once again. Place the stuffed turkey breast side up in the centre of the foil, then wrap loosely to enclose, allowing air to circulate around the turkey.

    Place in the oven and cook according to your calculated cooking time, carefully unwrapping and basting every 40 minutes. For the final hour, fold back the foil and use it to cover the ends of the drumsticks to prevent them from burning. Baste well and return to the oven. The turkey should be a rich, dark brown colour. To be sure it’s cooked, insert a fine skewer into the thickest part of the thigh: the juices should run clear, but if they are still pink, return the turkey to the oven and check again every 15 minutes until you are happy that the turkey is cooked right the way through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warmed serving platter. Cover with foil and

    leave to rest in a warm place for at least 10 minutes, or up to 30 minutes is fine.

    Remove the foil from the roasting tin and pour any juices that collected in it into the tin. Place the tin directly on the hob over a gentle heat and skim off any excess fat from the cooking juices.

    Stir the flour into the tin’s residue. Cook on the hob for 1–2 minutes, stirring until golden. Pour in the port or red wine, stirring to combine, then gradually add the stock, stirring until smooth after each addition. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for about 10 minutes, until reduced and thickened to a gravy consistency, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

    To serve, garnish the turkey with the bunch of herbs in the cavity and bring to the table. Carve into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with some of the gravy, the roast potatoes, roasted root vegetables and Brussels sprout crumble.



    Neven's Recipie's - Mixed Fish Platter with Pickled Cucumber and Red Onion

    Mixed Fish Platter with Pickled Cucumber and Red Onion

    A lovely, easy starter with gorgeous flavours that’s just down to some clever shopping.

    Much of it can be made ahead of time, leaving you to enjoy your guests.

    Serves 4–6

    Pickled cucumber and red onion:

    4 tbsp rice wine vinegar,2 tbsp caster sugar
    1 baby cucumber, pared into thin strips with a vegetable peeler and then halved lengthways, 1 red onion, cut into fine wedges

    Smoked mackerel pâté:

    225g (8oz) smoked mackerel fillets
    73g (3oz) cream cheese,1 tbsp snipped fresh chives, extra to garnish

    1 tbsp creamed horseradish
    1 tsp prepared English mustard juice of ½ lemon dash of Tabasco

    Garlic stuffed mussels:

    450g (1lb) fresh mussels, 50g (2oz) butter
    2 garlic cloves, crushed, 50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
    1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, squeeze of fresh lemon juice

    Sizzling seafood:

    4 tbsp olive oil, knob of butter,1 red chilli, halved, seeded and cut into rings

    1 garlic clove, thinly sliced, 12 large raw Dublin Bay prawns, peeled
    and cleaned 12 crab claws, ½ lemon, pips removed, 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To serve:
    225g (8oz) slices organic smoked salmon
    8–12 slices MacNean wheaten bread lemon wedges, to garnish

    To make the pickled cucumber and red onion, place the vinegar in a serving bowl and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Add the cucumber strips and onion wedges and toss to coat. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for at least 10 minutes, or up to 8 hours in the fridge is fine.

    To make the mackerel pâté, remove the skin from the mackerel fillets and discard any bones, then break up the flesh into a bowl. Add the cream cheese, chives, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice and Tabasco. Mix thoroughly until well combined and season to taste, then transfer to a serving bowl. Chill until needed.



    Neven's Recipies - Chicken Liver Pâté with Onion Jam.

    Chicken Liver Pâté with Onion Jam

    I know how easy it is to buy pâté these days, but nothing tastes as good as homemade. This recipe can be prepared ahead and will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. I love the contrast between the sweet onion jam and the savoury pâté.

    Serves 6

    400g (14oz) fresh chicken livers, trimmed
    300ml (½ pint) milk
    225g (8oz) unsalted butter, 3 shallots, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, crushed, ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
    1 tbsp port, 1 tbsp Madeira, 4 eggs
    1 tbsp cream, toast triangles, to serve
    lightly dressed salad leaves, to serve.

    Onion jam:

    25g (1oz) butter
    2 red onions, thinly sliced
    50g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
    75ml (3fl oz) red win
    3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To make the pâté:

    Soak the chicken livers in a bowl with the milk overnight in the fridge. Thenext day, drain off the milk and rinse the livers under cold running water, then dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add 25g (1oz) of the butter. Tip in the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes, until softened. Pour over the port and Madeira and cook for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Melt

    75g (3oz) of the butter and set aside to cool a little.
    Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/gas mark 3). Line a 450g (1lb) loaf tin with clingfilm (or you could use a Pyrex dish).
    Purée the chicken livers in a food processor for about 3 minutes, until well blended. Add the shallot mixture and blend again for 30 seconds. Add the eggs, cream and melted butter through the feeder tube. Blend again briefly and then season generously.

    Pass the chicken liver mixture through a sieve and pour into the lined loaf tin or Pyrex dish.

    Cover tightly with tin foil and place in a roasting tin half filled with hot water (otherwise known as a bain marie). Place in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the pâté is set. Leave to cool and then put in the fridge for 1–2 hours to chill down, or overnight is best.

    Melt the remaining 100g (4oz) butter in a small pan and then pour it into a jug. Leave to cool a little and settle. Pour a layer over the set chicken liver pâté, leaving behind any milky white sediment. This will preserve the pâté.

    To make the onion jam, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the red onions, sugar, red wine, vinegar and soy sauce. Sauté for 5 minutes over a medium heat, tossing occasionally.

    Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of water, then reduce the temperature and cook gently for 25–30 minutes. The onions should make a soft, sticky, sweet and sour jam. Season to taste and leave to cool. Transfer to a bowl, then cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.

    To serve, carefully remove the layer of butter that has preserved the pâté and then scoop out spoonfuls or cut into slices and arrange on plates with the onion jam, toast triangles and salad.


    Neven's Recipes - Ragu Sauce

    This dish is a perfect stand-by for converting into dishes such as moussaka, cannelloni, chilli con carne, lasagne, cottage pie and as a filling for pancakes and jacket potatoes.
    Serves 10
    Ragu Sauce
    1 tbsp rapeseed oil
    25g butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    2 carrots, finely chopped
    2 celery sticks, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    225g button mushrooms, sliced
    100g rindless pieces of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
    350g lean minced beef (quality assured)
    1 tbsp tomato puree
    Ragu Sauce
    400g cans chopped tomatoes
    300ml beef stock (low salt kallo)
    1tbsp chopped fresh basil
    freshly ground black pepper
    Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan with a lid until sizzling.
    Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms and bacon and sauté over a medium heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and everything is lightly browned, stirring frequently.
    Add the minced beef to the pan, reduce the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes until well browned, stirring to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
    Stir in the tomato puree, canned tomatoes and half of the stock and bring to the boil, stirring to combine.
    Reduce the heat under the pan, half cover with the lid and simmer very gently for about 2 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender, stirring occasionally and adding a little more of the remaining stock as it becomes absorbed.
    Add basil to the sauce and mix well to combine, then simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes until the bolognese sauce is well reduced and thickened, stirring frequently.
    Season with ground black pepper.
    Serve with pasta.


    Neven's Pork Meatballs in Corriander


    Pork Meatballs with Coriander and Coconut Milk



     Serves 6
    750g lean minced pork
    1 onion, very finely chopped
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    50g breadcrumbs
    1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    1 teasp. garam masala
    6cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    4 tablesp. fresh coriander, chopped
    Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
    1 tablesp rapeseed oil
    2 tablesp. curry paste
    200g fresh tomatoes, chopped
    200ml coconut milk
    1 tablesp. lemon juice



    Heat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 220°C (425°F).


    Put the mince, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, chilli, garam masala, half the ginger and half the coriander in a bowl. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Mix well then shape into small balls – approximately 4cm in diameter. Put the meatballs in a large roasting tin and drizzle over the oil. Toss gently. Place in the oven and cook until golden, about 15 minutes.


    While the meatballs are cooking make the sauce. Heat a frying pan and add the curry paste and remaining ginger. Cook for a minutes, stirring all the time. Then add the tomatoes and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.


    Pour the sauce over the meatballs, mix well. Return them to the oven and cook for another 20 minutes. Just before serving stir in the lemon juice and scatter over the remaining coriander and the almonds. Serve with steamed rice and lightly toasted almonds.





    Neven's Recipes - Aunty Maureens plum pudding

    8th November-
    Auntie Maureen's Plum Pudding

    Makes 2 x 1.2 litre (2 pint) puddings

    50g (2oz) plain flour

    ½ tsp ground mixed spice

    ½ tsp ground cloves

    ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

    225g (8oz) sultanas

    175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

    175g (6oz) butter, melted, extra for greasing

    175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar

    175g (6oz) raisins

    50g (2oz) currants

    50g (2oz) candied mixed peel

    50g (2oz) blanched almonds, chopped

    ½ apple, peeled, cored and diced

    ½ small carrot, grated

    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

    2 eggs, lightly beaten

    300ml (½ pint) stout

    fresh redcurrant sprigs, to decorate


    icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

    brandy and rum crème anglaise, to serve



    Sift together the flour, mixed spice, cloves and nutmeg. Add the sultanas, breadcrumbs,


    melted butter, sugar, raisins, currants, mixed peel, almonds, apple, carrot and the lemon


    rind and juice and mix until well combined. Gradually add the beaten eggs, stirring


    constantly, followed by the stout. Mix everything thoroughly and cover with a clean tea


    towel, then leave in a cool place overnight.




    Grease 2 x 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding bowls and fill with the fruit mixture. Cover with a


    double thickness of greaseproof paper and tin foil, then tie tightly under the rim with


    string. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 4 months.




    To cook, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/gas mark 2) and stand each pudding basin in


    a large cake tin three-quarters full of boiling water. Cook for 6–8 hours (or you can steam them for 6 hours in the usual way). Allow the puddings to cool, then re-cover with clean greaseproof paper. Again, store in a cool, dry place.




    On Christmas Day, re-cover with new greaseproof paper and foil. Steam for 2–3 hours,


    until completely cooked through and tender. Decorate with redcurrant sprigs and a light


    dusting of icing sugar, if liked.




    To serve, cut the plum pudding into slices and arrange on serving plates. Have a separate jug of the brandy and rum crème anglaise so that everyone can help themselves.


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