Today With Sean O Rourke Wednesday 27 December 2017

Today with Sean O'Rourke

Today with Sean O'Rourke

The mid-morning current affairs magazine with the stories of the day, sharp analysis, sports coverage, in-depth features and consumer interest. Presented by Damien O'Reilly.

Death of Irish man in Perth, Austrailia

An Irish man by the name of Charles John McCarthy has died overnight as a result of injuries he sustained in an attack on Saturday night in Perth Australia. Brianna Shepard, reporter with ABC Perth joined Damien on the phone to fill us in.

I worked on Christmas Day

I worked on Christmas Day

Working on Christmas day may seem like a strange concept to you, however for many it's not a typical day of rest. From nurses to farmers, thousands of people across the country give up the festivities of the big day to ensure they get their important jobs done. 

Damien was joined by the following: 

Lorna Sixsmith, Dairy Farmer and author from Carlow 

Joanna Donnelly, Meteorologist with Met Éireann 

Mick Latimer, from the Night Cafe team in Merchant's Quay

Kate O'Halloran, Prenatal nurse in the Rotunda Hospital Dublin. 

Leftover Food after Christmas - Catherine Fulvio

Leftover Food after Christmas - Catherine Fulvio

If you’re waking up to a fridge full of leftovers and you don’t know what to do with them - never fear, Catherine Fulvio is here.


Melon and Ham Salad

Serves 4

This is extremely easy way to use up the leftover ham – no need to be accurate with the ingredients – just use what you have. I like to add the croutons on top just before serving so that they are not too soggy.  

50g rocket or any salad leaves, washed and trimmed

½ cucumber, sliced

8 to 10 thick slices cooked ham, diced

250g melon, peeled and diced

200g croutons


For the dressing

1 lemon, zest and juice

6 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

½ tsp sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp chopped parsley

  1. Pour the lemon and zest into a small bowl, add the olive oil, mustard, sugar and whisk very well. Check for seasoning.
  2. Place the rocket and salad leaves as well as the cucumber onto a serving platter and arrange the ham on top, followed by the melon.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
  4. Top with the croutons and chopped parsley and serve immediately.


Tip:  Instead of the mustard, add ½ a red chilli, very finely chopped, for a little zing!


Turkey, Ham and Pesto Risotto

Serves 4-6

This is a favourite in the Fulvio household.  If there is leftover cranberry sauce, I stir this into the risotto instead of the pesto.  It sounds a bit crazy, but it works


1 tbsp. olive oil, extra virgin

1 tbsp. butter

1 leek, finely sliced

1 large clove garlic

400g risotto rice

150ml white wine

1.2 l chicken stock, heated to simmering

4 chunky slices ham, cubed

150g cooked turkey, shredded

4 tbsp. of classic basil pesto

2 tbsp. parmesan, freshly grated

Fresh basil leaves for garnishing

Heat a large heavy saucepan and add 2 tbsp. oil and a knob of butter. When the butter is foaming, add the leek and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to soften.

Add the ham, garlic and rice, and cook for a few minutes until the rice is shiny and opaque. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until each ladleful is absorbed, adding the turkey with the last ladle.

The rice should be creamy but firm to the bite. Stir in the pesto.

Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and garnish with basil leaves. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


Ham Croquettes with Leek and Paprika Sauce

Christmas is a busy time here at Ballyknocken House & Cookery School.  Once we are have wrapped up our corporate Christmas parties and Christmas cooking classes in the cookery school it is time for friends and relatives to visit.  A firm favourite with my children, these have meat and veg in them so all boxes are ticked! It’s also quite a useful recipe for using up leftovers. The beauty of croquettes is that the filling can be changed to suit what’s in the fridge – I often add diced, sautéed chorizo or smoked salmon.   So for Christmas these are a winner turning leftover Christmas ham into finger food for visitors and the best thing is they are loved by all ages.


100g good quality ham, diced into small pieces (or leftover Christmas Ham is perfect too)

350g warm mashed potato good handful young spinach, shredded

½ lemon, zest only

1 tbsp chopped chives

2 tsp chopped oregano

3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

3 tbsp sesame seeds rapeseed oil, for frying


rapeseed oil, for frying

½ medium leek, finely sliced

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

½ tsp sweet paprika

4 tbsp crème fraiche

1 tsp chopped oregano

1 tbsp chopped parsley

100ml vegetable stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the croquettes, place the ham, potato, spinach, lemon zest, chives and oregano in a medium-sized bowl and mix together. Divide into 12 portions to shape.

Spoon the seasoned flour out onto a clean plate. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow, wide bowl, and spread the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds out on a clean plate.

Dampen your hands with cold water and shape the ham-and-potato mixture into croquettes. Dip each one into the egg, roll in the breadcrumbs and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. Leave in the fridge for half an hour to set.

To make the sauce, heat some oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the leek and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until softened but not browned. Stir in the mustard, paprika, crème fraîche, oregano and parsley. Pour in the stock and simmer to thicken slightly, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To cook the croquettes, heat some oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Carefully place the croquettes in the frying pan in batches and fry until golden and crispy and heated through.

To serve, place some wilted chard on a platter, arrange the croquettes on top and spoon over some of the sauce – serve the rest in a small ramekin on the side.


Chocolate Torte with Orange and Cranberries

Serves 8 to 10

I always seem to have a few cranberries left, no matter how accurate I am when purchasing.  You can also use up the leftover chocolates (if there are any left!!). Serve the torte with orange cream or crème fraiche if you have some left but it is equally good just with an espresso.   

170g cranberries

1 orange, zest and juice

3 tbsp caster sugar

300g dark chocolate or left over chocolates

180g butter

100g ground almonds

6 eggs, separated

200g golden caster sugar

Cocoa for decorating


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4.  Butter and line a 25cm spring form tin. Line the outside with a sheet of foil.   
  2. Place the cranberries, orange juice and zest and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes until that are just cooked but still whole.   Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie (large bowl over a pan of hot water).  Stir in the ground almonds and the egg yolks.
  4. In the meantime, whisk the egg whites until soft peak and slowly add the caster sugar  until the mixture is stiff. Fold the egg whites and sugar mixture into the chocolate almond mix.
  5. Carefully fold in MOST of the cranberries and orange, checking that the mixture is not too stiff OR adding too much liquid.
  6. Pour into the spring form tin. Sit the tin into a baking tray or roasting pan, to form a bain-marie. Place the tin with the cake in the centre oven rack and pour in enough water to come about 1/2 inch up the sides of the baking tray. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes.  The torte should still "wobble" slightly. Cool in the tin.
  7. Once cooled, gently remove from the tin.  Place on a cake stand and dust with cocoa.


Tip: I love to use the golden caster sugar but if you can’t find this, the regular one will do.   You could even add ¼ tsp cinnamon to the sugar.




Coping After Christmas

Coping After Christmas

This time of year can be tough on our mental health and it’s common to experience the January Blues.

Dr. Harry Barry, GP and mental health specialist and Enda Murphy, psychotherapist joined Damien on this topic. 

Crime Stories of the Year

Crime Stories of the Year

Nicola Tallant from the Sunday World and Ralph Reigel from recapped on some of the crime stories from 2017 with Damien.  



Travel journalist Fionn Davenport gets to cross the world in the name of work but this time he’s stayed close to home. Fionn spoke to Damien about his recent trip to Munster Vales. 

Death of Irish man in Perth, Ausstrailia

Death of Irish man in Perth, Ausstrailia

An Irish man by the name of Charles John McCarthy has died overnight as a result of injuries he sustained in an attack on Saturday night in Perth Austrailia. Brianna Shepard, reporter with ABC Perth joined Damien on the phone to fill us in. 

Life after Loss

Life after Loss

Christmas can be a difficult time for many, especially for people and families who have lost someone or are grieving. This Friday, our reporter Brian O’Connell has a special programme, Life After Loss, at 4pm here on RTE Radio 1 looking at the subject of grief. Brian spoke to Damien further on this topic. 



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Presenter: Sean O'Rourke


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