Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Saturday, Sunday, 11 - 1pm

Marian Finucane Saturday 9 November 2013

Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Live stimulating mix of news, interviews, reports and discussion.

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan joins Marian to talk about moving to the US, gun control and his new book - Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney


Doctors on Call

Doctors on Call

Marian is joined by three doctors to discuss the nation’s health. Dr Gavin Jennings, Dr Terry Deeny and Dr Ciara Kelly, are all part of a new RTE show – Doctors on Call – which is about getting Irish people to take control of their own health.

Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention

Tom Arnold, Chairman, Convention of the Constitution and incoming Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs joins Marian in studio.

Travel Trends - Joan Scales

Travel Trends - Joan Scales

Travel writer with the Irish Times Joan Scales joins Marian to talk about travel trends.

Jordan Bourke - Guilt Free Gourmet

Jordan Bourke - Guilt Free Gourmet

Chef Jordan Bourke joins Marian in studio.

For more information Click Here


Harissa Roast Chicken with Spiced Swede, Squash and Sweet Potato
I don’t think there is anything I could say about battery-farmed chickens that has not already been said by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I know the cost of organic and free-range meat can be prohibitive, however if we take a leaf out of Paul and Stella McCartneys ‘Meat Free Mondays’ campaign it becomes more achievable. The idea being that if we don’t eat meat 7 days a week, we can then afford to spend a little more money on better quality meat on the days we do choose to eat it. The resulting benefit to our health and the environment is just an added bonus.

Serves 6-8
1 Free range/organic chicken
1 Swede, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 Sweet Potatoes, chopped into chunks
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp of harissa paste (plus extra if desired)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Soya Yoghurt
1 lemon
Sea Salt

Preheat your oven to 240 C.
For the vegetables, in a dry pan gently toast the spices for a few minutes until they are warmed through and their flavours are released. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and pound to a powder. In a bowl toss the chopped swede, squash and sweet potato with all the spices, a teaspoon of sea salt and enough olive oil to coat them generously. Transfer to a baking tray, making sure to get all the oil and spices out of the bowl and onto the vegetables.

Mix together 3 tbsp of your harissa paste with the yoghurt. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper and then spread the harissa mixture all over the skin, pushing some underneath the skin as well. Add some more harissa paste if you want it more spicy. Prick the lemon all over with a sharp knife and place inside the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken directly on top the vegetables and place in the centre of the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 180°C and cook for 30 minutes until the chicken is beginning to brown. Then remove from the oven, lift the chicken onto a board and stir the vegetables well to make sure they're completely coated in all the juices. Return the chicken to the roasting tray, baste the breast with the juices and continue to roast for a further 40-50 mins until cooked all the way through, you can check by inserting a skewer into the leg, if the juices run clear it is cooked. If the skin looks like it is going to burn at any stage, cover with tin foil. You do want the skin to be nice and crispy though; so don’t cover it in anticipation of burning.

Once the chicken is cooked wrap the tray in tin foil for 15 minutes before serving, this allows the flesh to relax and become more tender.
On a large serving plate arrange the chicken on the centre with all the roast root vegetables around the sides or just leave it in the tray and serve directly onto the table. Serve with a big green salad.

Pear & Apple Pecan Crumble
400g Cooking apples - Lord Derby, Bramley or any other cooking apple will work
400g Pears
80g Coconut sugar (Available in health food stores
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp Water
60g Pecans – lightly roasted

30g Sunflower spread
30g Coconut butter
70g Rice flour
70g Rolled oats
60g Coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Ground cinnamon


Peel and core the apples and pears. Cut into large chunks and in a large saucepan or pan toss together with the lemon juice, water and sugar. Stew over a low-medium heat until they are half cooked. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Place in a medium sized pie or casserole dish with all the juices and mix in most of the pecans, leaving a few aside for the top. Leave to cool while you make the crumble topping.

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl rub the coconut butter and sunflower spread into the flour until you have fine breadcrumbs. Add in the rolled outs, sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup and mix together thoroughly. Sprinkle the crumble over the apple and bake for about 35 – 45 minutes, until the apple is tender and the juices bubbling. Sprinkle the remaining pecans over the top and serve immediately.


Red Pepper & Smoked Paprika Soup with Basil Oil and Vegetable Crisps
I can’t tell you how comforting this soup is. The sweet, smoked paprika and the gentle heat from the chili warm up even the most wind swept and bitterly cold Winter days. The root vegetable crisps work very well with it, adding a lovely and satisfying crunch. Try and get the Spanish brands of sweet/smoked paprika that come in little tins, as they have excellent flavour.
4 Red peppers – seeds removed and chopped
2 medium red onions, chopped ?
1 Sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes ?
300g Baby plum tomatoes – (as ripe, red and sweet as you can find)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped ?
2 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
700ml vegetable stock ?
2 tsps smoked paprika
Sea Salt?
Freshly ground pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8-10 Basil Leaves
Vegetable Crisps (you can buy these in good supermarkets. Any root vegetable will do, they are usually parsnip, sweet potato or beetroot)

Toss the baby plum tomatoes in a little olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven at 180 C for about 15 minutes, or until the skins have popped open and shriveled up a little.
In a heavy based saucepan, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil and sweat out the onions, chili and garlic over a low heat until the onions are soft. Add in 2 pinches of sea salt. Then add in the peppers and sweet potato. Cook over a low - medium heat for a further 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables have softened.
Add in the baby plum tomatoes and all the juices and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes until all the vegetables are completely soft.
Using a food processor or blender, liquidise the soup until completely smooth. Return to the pan and add in the paprika. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. It will need a little more salt and some pepper.
Chop the basil finely and mix together with 4 tbsp of Olive Oil. Ladle the soup into bowls, then with a teaspoon swirl some of the basil oil over the top and lightly place a few vegetable crisps in the middle of the soup. Serve immediately.


Sausages n’ Mash with Red Onion Gravy

Serves 2
4 sausages – With the sausages being one of the 2 main ingredients in this dish it is worth getting them right. Be sure to read the ingredients as they are often bulked up with all sorts of things that have nothing to do with meat. The meat content should be at least 85%. For a wheat/gluten free version you can find excellent sausages without breadcrumbs and if you are vegetarian there are also plenty of great options available.

2 Tins of Butterbeans
6 Garlic cloves - chopped
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp fresh thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of half a lemon
Sea Salt
2 Red Onions, sliced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
2tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1tsp Agave syrup
1 tsp stock powder or half a cube dissolved in 300ml of water
2 tsp of whole grain mustard

Start off with the gravy. In a little oil gently sweat the onions, the rosemary and 2 cloves of the chopped garlic for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft. Add in the balsamic vinegar and agave and continue to cook on a slightly higher heat for another 15 minutes. You want the onions to caramelise a little, but be careful not to burn them. Add in the stock and the whole grain mustard, bring to the boil then turn the heat down and reduce the gravy a little. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Drain the butterbeans and warm in a pan with some olive oil, the rest of the garlic and thyme. This will only take a few minutes, you do not want to colour the garlic at all, just heat it through and release its flavour. Throw this all into a food processor, add in the Dijon mustard, a few glugs of olive oil, the lemon zest and a good pinch of sea salt. Blend until smooth, you will most likely need another bit of olive oil to get a smooth consistency. Add in more mustard, pepper and salt if it needs it as the butterbeans really soak up a lot of flavour.
Fry or grill the sausages, then dollop the butterbean mash onto the centre of a plate, nestle the sausages into the side of it and pour over as much of the onion gravy as you like. Serve with some more whole grain mustard.

Spanish Meatballs

Serves 6-8
250g minced beef
200g minced veal
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp finely grated nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 clove
4 Garlic cloves – finely chopped or crushed
6 Medjool dates – stoned and finely chopped
1 Red chili – deseeded and finely chopped
2 eggs - beaten
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt
Freshly Ground black pepper Tomato Sauce
2 Medium red onions – halved and sliced
4 Garlic cloves – finely chopped or crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Sweet paprika
100ml Red wine
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
3 tbsp maple syrup
6 sprigs of marjoram or oregano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt
Freshly Ground black pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Set a dry pan over a medium heat. Add in the coriander, cumin and clove and cook for a few minutes until they are warmed through and their flavour are released. Grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Place the beef, veal, spices, garlic, dates, chili and egg unto a food processor, season with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and process until smooth. Cover and rest in the fridge for half an hour. After this time, shape the mixture with your hands into 3-4cm meatballs and place in the fridge again while you make the tomato sauce.

In a large dry pan, heat through the cumin seeds like you did for the meatballs and then grind. Then in the same pan heat two tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until soft. If they are beginning to colour, turn down the heat a little and stir. Add in the garlic, a good pinch of salt and pepper, ground cumin, cinnamon and paprika and cook for another few minutes to release all the flavours, but be sure not to burn the garlic. Add in the wine and turn the heat up high and boil for a minute or two until the wine is almost entirely evaporated off. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and bay leaf, turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally add in the marjoram or oregano and maple syrup. Taste and adjust the seasoning, make sure you are completely happy with it before adding in the meatballs. Some tinned tomatoes can be quite bitter tasting, in which case you can add in another tablespoonful or two of maple syrup, so you have a well rounded taste.
Remove the meatballs from the fridge and add to the sauce. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until they are cooked through. If the sauce reduces down too much you can add in a little water.
Serve either in the pan with torn bread to mop up all the juices or on a bed of quinoa with the parsley scattered over.

Wild Mushroom & Leek Risotto
It’s also nice to think that a dish you might ordinarily associate with butter, cream and parmesan, can be just as enjoyable, and indulgent, when made with a few healthier alternatives. I use soya cream to give it that velvety smoothness. It has precisely the same consistency as normal cream, and the slight difference in taste is undetectable in the risotto when seasoned properly.

350g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
300g Mixed wild mushrooms
2 Leeks – chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic – finely chopped
900ml Vegetable stock (make your own by covering carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and a few peppercorns with water and simmering for half an hour)
Glass of dry white wine (if you are trying to avoid alcohol sugar, this cooks off during cooking)
200ml Soy Cream
Extra Virgin olive oil
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Sea salt
Black pepper – freshly ground
Serves 6-8

Have your stock in a saucepan just under boiling point and ready to add into the risotto.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil, add in the onion and leeks and cook gently over a low heat until they are completely soft and translucent. You do not want to colour them. Add in 5 cloves of the chopped garlic, turn up the heat and stir around for a minute. Then add in the rice, stirring frequently until the grains are completely covered in oil and begin to turn translucent also.
Pour in the glass of white wine (it should steam and bubble) and season with a pinch of salt. Then gradually add in the stock a ladleful at a time, adding another ladle each time the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. When the stock is finished, stir through the soya cream and some ground pepper, taste and if necessary season with more sea salt, then turn down the heat.

In a separate pan, warm a little olive oil over a medium/high heat. Add in the mushrooms and fry for a minute or two until the mushrooms have softened and coloured a little.
Add the mushrooms to the risotto. Make a quick parsley oil by combining the chopped parsley with the remaining clove of chopped garlic, a pinch of sea salt and enough olive oil to make a loose parsley oil. Plate up the risotto, drizzle over the parsley oil and serve immediately.



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In-depth interviews, human interest stories, consumer and lifestyle news as well as a lively panel discussion on issues of the week and newspaper reviews.

Saturday and Sunday from 11am-1pm



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Presenter: Marian Finucane


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