Let’s start off the new year with a delicious feast. For a starter I like the parmesan risotto. You need to cook risotto for 20–25 minutes, low and slow, and I am using arborio rice. For chicken or turkey stock I recommend Carol’s Stock (based in Derry) for fresh, clean stock. A drop of white wine gives more nice flavour. This is an easy one-pan dish. You could add in peas or sweetcorn. One of the beautiful things about risotto is that it’s a blank canvas. It can be adorned with toppings with an array of crunchy and creamy textures.

The harissa turkey and butternut squash curry is a great one if you are having family and friends around. I know it is January, but the harissa and butternut squash is fantastic at any time of year. You could also use sweet potato or peppers in this dish. This is another great way of using up leftover turkey. There is harissa paste in the recipe. Simply Better do a lovely harissa powder, which is also really good. It is organic and produced in Athlone by Okho. Sometimes, the paste is not that easy to find.

This mincemeat tart is a lovely way to use any mincemeat left over from your Christmas mince pies. It is a beautiful, festive dessert. Your pastry can be made ahead, and also the almond filling. It is like a frangipane. Coole Swan is an excellent Irish Cream liqueur made in Co Cavan by husband and wife team Philip Brady and Mary Sadlier. The name was inspired by the Yeats poem The Wild Swans at Coole.

Happy Cooking,


Parmesan Risotto

Serves four

1.5 litres (2½ pints) chicken or turkey stock

2 tbsp olive oil

50g (2oz) butter, diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

350g (12oz) arborio rice

150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine

5 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Pour the stock into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Heat the oil and a knob of the butter in a separate large pan. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.

2 Increase the heat and add the rice. Cook for one minute, stirring continuously, until all the grains are evenly coated with the oil and butter and the rice is opaque.

3 Pour in the wine and allow it to reduce for 1-2 minutes, stirring gently. Reduce the heat to medium, then add a ladle of the warm stock and allow it to reduce, stirring until it has been completely absorbed into the rice.

4 Continue to add the simmering stock a ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Allow each addition of stock to be almost completely absorbed before adding the next ladle. Cook until the rice is al dente – just tender but with a slight bite. This should take 20-25 minutes.

5 Just before serving, stir in the remaining butter with the Parmesan and season to taste. Ladle into warmed bowls to serve.


Ham and petits pois with blue cheese

When you’re adding the last ladle of stock, tip in 225g (8oz) of leftover cooked diced ham with a couple of handfuls of frozen petits pois. Crumble some blue cheese on top and garnish with fresh thyme and finely grated lemon rind just before serving.


Use mascarpone instead of Parmesan and add any leftover seafood you’ve got to hand, such as prawns or shrimp, lobster, crab or smoked salmon. Finish with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Turkey and wild Mushrooms

Soak a packet of dried porcini mushrooms in hot water. Add the reconstituted mushrooms with the rice, using the soaking water instead of some of the stock. Fold in 225g (8oz) of cooked diced turkey along with some sautéed garlicky mushrooms.

\ Claire Nash

One-pot Harissa Turkey & Butternut Squash Curry

Serves 4–6

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tsp ground turmeric

4–6 tbsp harissa paste

250ml (9fl oz) Greek-style yoghurt

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of chopped plum tomatoes

300ml (½ pint) vegetable stock

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes

4–6 large handfuls of leftover turkey, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves

toasted flaked almonds, to garnish

fresh micro coriander sprigs, to garnish

Mediterranean wraps, to serve

tzatziki (shop-bought or homemade), to serve

1 Heat the oil in a large pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another minute or so.

2 Stir in the harissa paste to taste, then add the yoghurt one large spoonful at a time, stirring continuously. Add the tomatoes and stock, then stir in the butternut squash. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 25-35 minutes, until the butternut squash is tender.

3 Stir in the turkey and spinach leaves and allow to just warm through. Garnish with the flaked almonds and micro coriander sprigs and serve with the wraps and tzatziki.

\ Claire Nash

Mincemeat tart with Coole Swan Crème Anglaise

Serves 4-6

For the pastry:

175g plain flour

100g cold butter, cubed

50g golden caster sugar

1 egg yolk

1-2 tbsp cream, as needed

pinch of salt

100g homemade or shop-bought mincemeat

For the almond filling

100g soft butter

100g icing sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

100g ground almonds

25g plain flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 vanilla pod, seeds only (keep the vanilla skin for custard)

For the glaze:

75g apricot jam

1 tsp dark rum

Zest of 1 orange

½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the Coole Swan crème anglaise:

150ml cream

150ml milk

2 tbsp Coole Swan Irish Crème Liquer

1 vanilla pod, skin

2 large egg yolks

1 ½ tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp Cornflour

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Lightly butter a loose-bottom 9in fluted pastry tin.

2 Make the pastry: place the flour and cubes of cold butter in the bowl of a food processor and mix for 10 to 15 seconds (or rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs). Add the sugar, egg yolk and 1 tbsp cream.

3 Blend together, adding another tbsp of cream if necessary until it forms a dough. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but overnight is fine.

4 Roll out on a floured surface and line a loose-bottomed 9in fluted pastry tin.

5 Make the almond filling: cream the softened butter and icing sugar together until fluffy and gradually add the beaten eggs.

6 Add the ground almonds, flour, cinnamon, vanilla seeds and beat until combined together.

7 Spoon the mincemeat over the base of the pastry shell. Top with an even layer of the almond mixture.

8 Bake for 35-37 minutes, or until golden brown in colour and slightly firm on top.

9 Make the glaze: place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and mix together using a whisk until all has combined together. Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of the cooked tart.

10 Allow to cool a little before removing it from the fluted tin. Serve warm with Coole Swan crème anglaise

11 Make the Crème Anglaise: place the cream and milk in a pan with the Coole Swan and vanilla pod. Bring to scalding point (just before it comes to the boil). Remove from the heat

12 Place the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a bowl and beat until well combined.

13 Slowly pour in the infused cream mixture, stirring continuously to combine.

14 Pour the whole mixture into a clean pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes over a very low heat, stirring continuously until thickened

15 Remove from the heat and serve warm over the tart.

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