This crab, avocado and mango salad is a great starter for a dinner party. Crab and mango are a delicious sweet juicy combination. We are lucky to have such clean water around our coasts and so much superb seafood.
In the restaurant we get beautiful crab from Mullaghmore. Avocado needs some flavour added and Simply Better have some great Wexford Home Preserves. The lemon and lime add more flavour and slow down the oxidisation which blackens the avocado. This salad would also be delicious with prawns, lobster or smoked salmon.
We have made this chicken and chorizo at the cookery school recently and it has proved to be a popular one pot wonder. The chorizo adds lovely flavour. Instead of artichokes you could use peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. I love this meal with chicken, but you could make an all fish dish using prawns or monkfish.
What better way to finish this delicious meal than with this banoffee, a classic combination of caramel sauce, bananas and ice cream. Spice O’ Life in Dunmanway make a delicious custard, and for a toffee sauce I like What’s For Pudding which is produced in Kilmessan Co Meath.
1 x 300g (11oz) jar of artichoke hearts preserved in olive oil
4 chicken breast fillets, skin on
100g (4oz) raw chorizo sausage, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g (12oz) long-grain rice
150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine
600ml (1 pint) chicken stock
200g (7oz) baby spinach leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Drain the oil from the jar of artichokes. Add one tablespoon of this oil to a casserole dish with a lid, then place on the hob over a medium to high heat.
2. Season the chicken breasts and add them to the dish, skin side down. Cook for two to three minutes, until lightly browned. Turn over and cook for another minute or so, until sealed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Add another tablespoon of the drained artichoke oil to the dish, then tip in the chorizo, onion and garlic. Sauté for two to three minutes, until the onion has softened but not coloured.
4. Add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the chorizo has begun to release its oil and all the rice grains are well coated. Pour the wine into the casserole dish, stirring to combine, then add the stock and fold in the artichokes.
5. Arrange the chicken on top, pushing the breasts down into the rice. Cover and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken and rice are cooked through and tender.
6. Remove the chicken breasts and stir in the spinach until it has just wilted. Return the chicken breasts to the dish, then scatter over the parsley and place directly on the table to serve.
50ml (2fl oz) low-fat mayonnaise
1 large, ripe avocado
2 tbsp tomato relish
1 tsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp clear honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
9 cherry tomatoes, quartered (preferably vine-ripened)
225g (8oz) fresh white crabmeat, well picked over
2 Little Gem lettuces, trimmed and shredded
1 small, firm, ripe mango, peeled and cut into thin strips
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh micro coriander, to garnish
1. Set aside four teaspoons of the mayonnaise in a bowl to use as a garnish. Place two tablespoons of the remaining mayonnaise in a liquidizer or mini food processor. Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the flesh, then add to the food processor with 1 tablespoon of the tomato relish and the chopped coriander and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and chill until needed.
2. Mix the reserved mayonnaise to use as a garnish with the remaining tablespoon of the tomato relish, the lemon juice and lemon rind. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and chill until needed.
3. Mix together the rapeseed oil, honey and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and season to taste. Fold in the cherry tomatoes, cover with cling film and set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to develop. Using two forks, shred the crabmeat, discarding any pieces of shell.
4. To serve, spoon some of the avocado mayonnaise into the bottom of six glasses or onto six salad plates. Put a layer of the lettuce leaves on top, then scatter over the mango, followed by the marinated tomatoes.
5. Spoon over the crabmeat in an even layer and garnish with the tomato mayonnaise and micro coriander. Serve chilled.
6 ripe bananas
600ml (1 pint) ready-made chilled custard
50g (2oz) pecan nuts
6 tbsp dulce de leche or toffee sauce
2 crunchy oat biscuits
50g (2oz) milk chocolate, finely grated
1. Peel and slice four of the bananas and arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper that will fit into your freezer. Freeze for 1 hour or until frozen.
2. Remove the bananas from the freezer and put into a food processor with the custard. Blitz to blend, then pour into one litre (1¾ pints) plastic container. Put in the freezer with the serving glasses for at least 4 hours or overnight is fine too.
3. Toast the nuts in a frying pan for four to five minutes, tossing occasionally. Tip out onto a cutting board and roughly chop. Heat the dulce de leche or toffee sauce in a small pan until it’s runny. Peel and thinly slice the remaining two bananas.
4. Remove the glasses from the freezer. Add a layer of the sliced banana and crumble in the biscuits. Top with a couple scoops of the banana ice cream, drizzle over the dulce de leche and scatter over the grated chocolate and pecans to serve.