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.
Boxty potato pancakes are a traditionally Irish recipe and they come with a great little rhyme that we were taught when growing up: ‘Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan, if you can’t bake boxty, sure you’ll never get a man.’ The traditional recipe varies from region to region, but they all use grated raw potato. This is the version that my family makes and they are great with a full Irish breakfast, or I also serve them with pan-fried mackerel and a light salad.
Coq au Vin Blanc was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up. I have distinct memories of it steaming up the kitchen windows while we did our homework on the kitchen table. It's a wonderfully warming meal, perfect for cold evenings. Chicken joints such as thighs and legs are often far cheaper to buy than chicken breasts, and meat cooked on the bone always seems to have more flavour.
During my search for the perfect whoopee pie, I was sent this recipe by a reader of my blog, whose mother in law, Mrs Linda Daunt, has lived all her life in Maine, New England and is a fantastic cook. Mrs Daunt's special touch is to add buttermilk instead of regular milk, to give the pies a richer taste. The original recipe uses a marshmallow-type filling, but I prefer to stick with regular buttercream frostings.