Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

Saturday, Sunday, 11 - 1pm

Marian Finucane Saturday 3 February 2018

Marian Finucane

Marian Finucane

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



Former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage joined Marian in studio. 

Life in the Inner City of Dublin

Life in the Inner City of Dublin

Trina O'Connor, community activist and Paul McKeon joined Marian in studio to give us an insight on what life in inner city Dublin was like growing up in.  

Ireland Vs France

Ireland Vs France

Rugby Pundit, Brent Pope joined Marian in studio ahead of today's Ireland's rugby match, against France. 

French Cooking  - Nevin Maguire

French Cooking - Nevin Maguire

Speedy Soupe de Poissons 

Every French town along the coast has a version of this soup, but none of them can be made as fast as this one! All the flavour comes from the prawns and the result is good enough to grace any dinner party table. 

Serves 4 


2 tbsp olive oil  

2 shallots, finely chopped  

1 small carrot, finely chopped  

1 celery stick, finely chopped  

450g raw tiger prawns  (with the shell on)  

2 tbsp Cognac  

3 tbsp Pernod (anise liqueur)  

120ml (4fl oz) dry white wine  

1 heaped tbsp tomato purée  

300ml (½ pint) fish stock (chilled from a carton is fine)  

200ml (7fl oz) cream 


2 garlic cloves, peeled  

½ tsp sea salt flakes  

1 tsp hot paprika  

4 tbsp mayonnaise  (shop-bought or homemade)  

8 french bread croûtes  (or use shop-bought crostini)  

2 tbsp basil pesto (shop-bought  or homemade), to serve  

25g (1oz) Gruyère cheese, grated 

 sea salt and freshly ground  black pepper 


Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, carrot and celery and cook for a couple of minutes to soften. Tip in the prawns and sauté for another few minutes, until the shells have turned pink. Flambé with the Cognac and Pernod and then pour in the white wine and allow to bubble down. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and set aside until needed. 


Meanwhile, to make the rouille, crush the garlic with the salt and place in a small bowl. Whisk in the paprika, followed by the mayonnaise. Season with pepper and set aside until needed. 


Stir the tomato purée into the pan with the stock and bring  to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes,  until the vegetables are completely tender and the flavours have combined.  


Carefully transfer the soup to a blender. Blitz until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Whisk in the cream and correct the seasoning if necessary. Allow to warm through but not to boil. 


Meanwhile, peel the prawns. Ladle the soup into warmed shallow bowls and divide the prawns among them. Put a spoonful of the rouille on each croûte and then arrange 2 in each bowl. Add a  drizzle of basil pesto and a sprinkling of the Gruyère to each one to serve.  


Speedy Coq au vin 

Serves  4 

This coq au vin is made with chicken thighs, which have a more succulent flavour, but you could use chicken breasts if you prefer. I love it with the garlic mashed potatoes, but buttered noodles would also work well and take much less time to prepare. 


25g (1oz) plain flour  

450g (1lb) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, well trimmed  and quartered  

2 tbsp olive oil  

knob of butter  

175g (6oz) button onions or small shallots, halved  

175g (6oz) button mushrooms, trimmed  

100g (4oz) pancetta (streaky bacon lardons)  

450ml (3/4 pint) chicken stock (from a cube is fine)  

150ml (¼ pint) red wine  

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce  

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra leaves to garnish  

2 tbsp chopped fresh  flat-leaf parsley 

sea salt and freshly ground  black pepper  

garlic mashed potatoes, to serve  

steamed french beans, to serve 


Season the flour and toss the chicken pieces in it until lightly coated, shaking off any excess. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat and tip in the dusted chicken. Sauté for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown. Add the butter and toss until evenly coated, then add the onions or shallots, mushrooms and bacon and cook for another 3–4 minutes. 


Pour the stock into the pan with the wine and Worcestershire sauce, then add the thyme. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through and the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the parsley and season to taste. 


Place the garlic mashed potatoes on warmed plates and spoon over the coq au vin. Garnish with some thyme leaves and add some French green beans to serve. 




French Onion Soup 


If you have heatproof serving bowls, fill them with the piping hot soup and float the cheese croûtes on top and then grill until the cheese is bubbling and melted. I’ve used Gruyère cheese, which is traditional, but really any Irish cheese would work well, even Cheddar, or use a mixture of both. Serves 4–6 


50g (2oz) butter  

675g (1 ½lb) onions, thinly sliced  

1 tbsp caster sugar 25g (1oz) plain flour  

1 litre (1 ¾ pints) beef stock  

1 tbsp cider vinegar 


Gruyère croûtes:  

8–12 thin slices baguette  

100g (4oz) Gruyère cheese, grated  

50g (2oz) crème fraîche  

1 tsp snipped fresh chives, extra to garnish  

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 


Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onions and sugar. Cook the onions over a very low heat for 40–50 minutes, until well softened and golden brown, stirring occasionally so that the onions don’t stick as they caramelise.  


Stir the flour into the onions and cook over a very low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Gradually pour in the stock and add the vinegar, stirring to prevent any lumps from forming. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the onions are meltingly tender and the soup has thickened, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.  


Preheat the grill to high. Arrange the baguette slices on the grill rack and toast on both sides. Mix the Gruyère with the crème fraîche and chives. Season to taste and spread over the slices of toasted baguette. Place under the grill for another 1–2 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and melted.  


To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and arrange the bubbling Gruyère croûtes on top. Sprinkle over the chives to serve. 




Quick Cassoulet 


Serves 4 

This is an excellent shortcut version of the classic rich, slow-cooked casserole from the south of France. It’s a brilliant way of using up the leftovers from a festive duck or goose Christmas feast that literally takes no time at all to prepare. I like it with plenty of sourdough bread to mop up all the delicious juices and perhaps a nice fresh green salad – what more could you want? 


3 tbsp duck or goose fat  

250g (9oz) raw chorizo sausages, cut into bite-sized chunks  

2 x 400g (14oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed  

350g (12oz) leftover cooked duck or goose meat, chopped into  bite-sized pieces  

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped  

3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh  flat-leaf parsley  

1 tsp soft thyme leaves  

300ml (½ pint) leftover duck  or goose gravy  

50g (2oz) fresh white  breadcrumbs  

sea salt and freshly ground  black pepper  

sourdough bread, to serve  

lightly dressed green salad,  to serve 



Preheat the oven to 225°C (425°F/gas mark 7). Grease a 1 litre (1 3/4 pint) oval gratin dish that is about 18cm (9in) x 15cm (6in) and 5cm (2in) deep with a little duck or goose fat.  


Put the chorizo into a large bowl with the beans, duck or goose meat, garlic, parsley and thyme. Mix to combine and then tip into the dish, drizzle over the gravy and scatter the breadcrumbs on top.  


Melt the rest of the duck or goose fat in a small pan or in the microwave and drizzle over the breadcrumbs to keep them moist. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Serve straight to the table with separate bowls of bread and salad so that everyone can help themselves. 


Tuna Niçoise 


I recently came across Shines of Killybegs Irish-caught tuna, which is sold in jars and tins, packed in olive oil. It’s now readily available in some supermarkets thanks to a joint initiative with Bord Bia that helps to get small artisan producers to a larger market. It is just super stuff and absolutely the best preserved tuna I’ve ever tasted. It’s all albacore tuna, which is one of the smaller species of tuna, reaching sizes somewhere between skipjack and yellowfin, which tend to arrive off the Irish coast in the late summer. Albacore tuna is one of the most soughtafter fish around the world, so it’s wonderful to see it under an Irish?brand. 



12 small waxy potatoes (such as Nicola)  

4 eggs, at room temperature  

100g (4oz) extra-fine French beans, trimmed  

4 Little Gem lettuce hearts, quartered lengthways and separated into ?leaves  

4 ripe plum tomatoes, roughly chopped  

½ small red onion, thinly sliced  

6 anchovy fillets, drained and cut lengthways into thin strips  

250g (9oz) Shines Irish-caught tuna in olive oil, drained  

16 pitted black olives in brine, drained  

8 fresh basil leaves, torn  



4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil  

1 tbsp lemon juice  

1 tsp Dijon mustard  

pinch of caster sugar  

sea salt and freshly ground black?pepper 


1 Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water, cover and simmer for 15–18 minutes, until just tender. Drain and leave to cool completely, then cut lengthways into quarters.  


2 Place the eggs in a small pan and just cover with boiling water, then cook for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then remove the shells and cut each egg into quarters.  


3 Plunge the French beans in a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for a minute or so, then drain and refresh under cold running water.  


4 Arrange the lettuce leaves on plates or one large platter and add the potatoes, French beans, tomatoes, red onion and anchovies. Scatter over the tuna, then add the quartered eggs, olives and torn basil.  


5 To make the dressing, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and sugar in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper or shake together in a screw-topped jar. Drizzle over the salad to serve. 


Peach tarte tatin with  Citrus mascarpone 

Serves 4 


This is a very impressive dessert to get done in such a short time, but it’s definitely achievable by using the ready-to-roll puff pastry. Look out for the all-butter version, which more supermarkets are now stocking. 


3 ripe peaches  

50g (2oz) butter  

50g (2oz) caster sugar  

2 tbsp cream  

1 tbsp brandy  

320g (11oz) packet ready-to-roll puff pastry, thawed if frozen 


Citrus MasCarPone:  

½ tsp finely grated orange rind  

½ tsp finely grated lemon rind  

100g (4oz) mascarpone cheese  

2 tbsp fresh orange juice  

1–2 tbsp sifted icing sugar 



Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7) and preheat the grill.  


Place the peaches in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute, remove, then plunge into cold water and peel away the skins. Cut into halves and remove the stones, then cut into quarters. 


Meanwhile, melt the butter with the sugar in a small pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5–6 minutes, beating continuously, until thickened and lightly golden. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 1 minute, then stir in the cream, beating until smooth. Spoon into a shallow 20cm (8in) sandwich tin. Arrange the peach quarters on top, cut side up, and drizzle over the brandy. 


Unroll the puff pastry on a clean work surface and cut out a 25cm (10in) round. Place over the peaches, pushing the edges down the side of the tin; trim off any excess pastry. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown.  


Meanwhile, to make the citrus mascarpone, beat the orange and lemon rind into the mascarpone and then stir in the orange juice. Add enough of the icing sugar to sweeten. 


Preheat the grill to high (unless you have a kitchen blowtorch and can use that instead). Loosen the puff pastry from the tin with a knife. Cool, then turn onto a heatproof dish and quickly gratinate the top under the grill or with a blowtorch until caramelised. Serve cut into slices on warmed plates with quenelles of the citrus mascarpone. 



Spiced Poached Pears  with Crème Fraîche and  Toasted Almonds 


This delightful dessert will revive even the most jaded palate. The pears improve with keeping, making this an excellent dessert for entertaining. Choose fruit that is perfectly ripe but still quite firm so the flesh doesn’t go mushy while you are preparing them 



300ml (½  pint) clear apple juice  

juice and finely grated rind of 2 limes  

2 whole star anise  

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half  

½  vanilla pod, split in half  

2 tbsp honey  

4 firm, ripe pears  

2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds  

100g (4oz) crème fraîche 




Place the apple juice in a deep-sided pan with a lid (the pan needs to be just large enough to hold the pears in an upright position). Add the lime juice and rind, star anise, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and honey. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes to allow the ?avours to infuse.  


Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stalks attached. Add them to the pan, standing them in an upright position. Cover with the lid and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes, until the pears are tender, basting them from time to time with the liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the syrup. The cooking time will depend on the ripeness of the pears.  


Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a dish and set aside. Reduce the cooking juices by half to a more syrupy consistency. This will take 8–12 minutes. Strain into a jug and leave to cool. 


To serve, carefully cut each pear in half so that you don’t spoil their beautiful shape. Place the pear halves on a serving platter and drizzle over the spiced syrup. Scatter over the toasted ?aked almonds and serve with a separate bowl of crème fraîche. 


Summer Fruit SaBayon 

Serves 4 

I first remember making this classic French dessert in college and I can still taste how delicious it was. It’s a wonderful showcase for the best fruit that summer can offer, so choose wisely and create a beautiful pattern of fruit on each plate – your guests will be well impressed! 


3 egg yolks, beaten  

50g (2oz) caster sugar  

finely grated rind of ½ lemon juice of 1 lemon  

150ml (¼ pint) peach schnapps or dry white wine  

4 tbsp cream  

450g (1lb) mixed summer fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries, stoned cherries, grapes and  apricot slices 


Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and beat until well combined. Add the lemon rind and juice along with the peach schnapps or wine, then set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water). 


Whisk for 10–12 minutes, until the sabayon is smooth and has thickened, then gradually stir in the cream. Whisk for another minute until well combined. 


Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Arrange the mixed summer fruits on shallow ovenproof plates or dishes, then pour over the sabayon and place under the grill for 6–8 minutes, until bubbling and golden.  


French omelette with mushrooms and bacon 



Omelettes are so quick to make that it’s just not worth cooking a large one for two. Don’t be tempted to over-beat the omelette, as it will spoil the texture. A combination of wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster and chanterelle, which most supermarkets are now stocking, would make this into a very special breakfast. 


2 tsp sunflower or rapeseed oil  

1 large flat mushroom, sliced into small pieces  

1 smoked streaky bacon rasher, rind removed and chopped  

2 eggs  

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley  

knob of unsalted butter  

50g (2oz) Gruyère or Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (optional)  

sea salt and freshly ground black?pepper  

crusty French bread, to serve 



1 Preheat the grill to medium and heat a non-stick frying pan with a base that’s about 20cm (8in) in diameter over a medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and tip in the mushrooms and bacon. Season to taste, then sauté for 2–3 minutes, until tender. Tip into a bowl and set aside.  


2 Wipe out the frying pan and return it to the hob. Break the eggs into a bowl and add the parsley, then season and lightly beat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining teaspoon of oil and the butter, swirling it around so that the base and sides get?coated.  


3 While the butter is still foaming, pour in the egg mixture, tilting the pan from side to side. Stir gently with a fork or wooden spatula, drawing the mixture from the sides to the centre as it sets. When the eggs have almost set, scatter over the cheese, if using, and place under the grill for 1–2 minutes, until the omelette has set and the cheese has melted.  


4 Scatter the reserved mushrooms and bacon over the grilled omelette and tilt the pan away from you slightly. Use a palette knife to fold over a third of the omelette to the centre, then fold over the opposite third. Slide onto a warmed plate, allowing it to flip over so that the folded sides are underneath. Serve at once with some crusty bread. 

Smoked bacon and egg croissants with red pepper relish 


These filled croissants are always a winner at breakfast and are an excellent way of using up day-old croissants. However, they also freeze very well and I often keep some tucked away for those unplanned mornings when we’ve been out late and something substantial is in order… 



8 rindless smoked streaky bacon?rashers  

4 butter croissants  

2 tbsp rapeseed oil  

4 eggs  



2 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely ?chopped  

1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped (from a jar or tin)  

2 spring onions, finely chopped  

2 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped  

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar  

large pinch of caster sugar  

good pinch of dried chilli flakes  

sea salt and freshly ground black?pepper 



1 To make the roasted red pepper relish, place the tomatoes, red pepper, spring onions, basil, vinegar, sugar and chilli flakes in a saucepan and cook for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened. Season to taste and leave to ?cool.  


2 Preheat the grill to medium. Arrange the bacon on a grill rack and cook for 5–6 minutes, until crisp, turning once. Slice the croissants, then open them out and place the slices of crispy bacon inside.  


3 Heat a large frying pan and add the oil, swirling to coat the base evenly. Break in the eggs and cook for 2 minutes (or longer if you prefer your eggs less runny), gently spooning the excess oil over the yolks to help them cook. Using a fish slice, carefully lift the eggs and put into the croissants, then top each one with a spoonful of the roasted red pepper relish to serve. 


Ham, Cheese and Egg Crêpes with Griddled Asparagus 


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. 


24 asparagus spears 

8 eggs 

450 g swiss cheese, such as gruyère or emmental (thinly sliced) 

8 slices of cooked ham 

1 tblsp olive oil 


100 g plain flour 

1 egg 

300 ml milk 

sunflower oil (for frying) 

sea salt 

black pepper (freshly ground) 


Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg and whisk well with a balloon whisk. 

Gradually beat in the milk, drawing in the flour from the sides to make a smooth batter. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, trim the asparagus spears and blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1–2 minutes, until almost tender but still with a slight bite. 

Drain and refresh under cold running water to prevent them from cooking any further and set aside until needed. 

Heat a little oil in an 18cm (7in) heavy-based pancake or frying pan. Pour in just enough batter to thinly coat the base of the pan. 

Cook over a moderately high heat for about 1 minute, until golden brown. Turn or toss the crêpe and break in an egg, then gently whisk to spread it evenly all over the crêpe. 

Season to taste. 




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