I am a great fan of the barbecue and I love to eat outside when we get a spell of good weather. The first recipe today is for some very tasty beef burgers. I think it is well worth making your own burgers. If you haven’t already done so, this is a good recipe to start with.

Make sure to get Quality Assured beef, but this recipe will also work well with lamb or pork. You can make it without the breadcrumbs or with gluten-free breadcrumbs. The Dijon mustard is great for flavour, as is the sweet, sharp taste of the red onion marmalade. Wexford Home Preserves make a very good one.

Prawns are a lovely fresh summery dish and tiger prawns are the star of the show in our second recipe this week. Look out for Dublin Bay prawns, or ask your fishmonger for Wild Atlantic prawns.

The third recipe, which is a chicken satay, was often cooked by my mother, Vera. She loved it. I made a version of it at Bloom recently with Quality Assured pork fillets. You could also use turkey or beef. The dipping sauce is a great recipe to keep. Saba is very well known for superb Asian food and recently it has launched an extensive range of Thai products with Simply Better.

Happy Cooking,


Tangy barbecue beef burgers

Ingredients: Serves 4

75g fresh white breadcrumbs

2 tbsp buttermilk

500g minced beef

1 tbsp barbecue sauce

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

4 ciabatta or burger bread rolls, split in half

4 large slices of vintage cheddar cheese

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

12 Little Gem lettuce leaves

1 large ripe tomato, sliced

4 heaped tbsp red onion marmalade

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted sweet potato wedges, to serve


1 Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the buttermilk and leave to stand for five minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed.

2 Add the minced beef to the breadcrumb mixture with the barbecue sauce, thyme and seasoning. Mix well to combine. Then divide into four even portions and shape into patties. Put on a flat plate and chill until needed.

3 Heat the coals of the barbecue to medium-hot. Cook the beef burgers for 4–5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and lightly golden. Add the split rolls for the last minute or so to toast. Once the beef burgers are cooked, transfer them to a warm part of the barbecue to rest and lay a slice of the vintage cheddar cheese on each one so that it starts to melt.

4 Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard, then season to taste. Place the bottom of the toasted ciabatta rolls on warmed plates and add a good smear of the mustard mayonnaise to each one, then add a small pile of the lettuce leaves and a couple tomato slices.

5 Top each one with a beef burger topped with the melted vintage cheddar cheese and add a dollop of the red onion marmalade. Finally, cover with the roll top. Serve at once with the sweet potato wedges alongside.

Coconut spiced prawn skewers

Neven's coconut spiced prawn skewers. \ Philip Doyle

Ingredients: Serves 4

675g raw headless tiger prawns

1 lemongrass stalk

4 limes

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 x 160ml tin of coconut cream

6 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp palm or light brown sugar

For the dipping sauce:

1 baby cucumber

85ml rice wine or white wine vinegar

25g caster sugar

1 red bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts


1 Soak 12 x 15cm (6in) bamboo skewers in a shallow dish of cold water for at least 30 minutes. Peel the prawns, if necessary, leaving the last tail segment in place. Remove the tough outer leaves from the lemongrass stalk and finely chop the tender core. Finely grate the rind from one lime and squeeze out the juice. Cut the remaining three limes into small wedges.

2 Put the lemongrass, lime rind, lime juice, garlic, coconut milk, soy sauce and sugar into a non-metallic dish. Add the prawns, mix together well and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes or for up to two hours in the fridge.

3 To make the dipping sauce, cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut the remaining cucumber into very small dice and place in a bowl. Mix in the vinegar, sugar and chilli until the sugar has dissolved and spoon into small serving bowls. Sprinkle over the peanuts.

4 Thread four prawns onto each skewer in pairs together with two lime wedges. Pierce through the tail of a prawn, add a lime wedge and then skewer the head end of the prawn so that it wraps itself around the lime attractively, if you like. Repeat for the rest of the skewers.

5 Preheat a griddle pan until it’s smoking hot or light a barbecue. Cook the skewers for about one minute on each side over medium-hot coals, until just cooked through. If using a griddle pan, reduce the heat to medium as soon as you’ve put the skewers on to cook.

6 To serve, arrange the skewers on plates with the bowls of dipping sauce and garnish with the lime wedges.

Chicken Satay with Pickled Cucumber Salad

Neven's chicken satay with pickled cucumber salad. \ Philip Doyle

Ingredients: Serves 4

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp clear honey

2 tsp medium curry powder

450g skinless chicken fillets, cut into long strips

4 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced

For the dipping sauce:

2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

2 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp light muscovado sugar

Juice of 1/2 lime

120ml coconut milk

1/2 red chilli, seeded and finely diced

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat the barbecue or a griddle pan until smoking hot. Whisk together the soy sauce, honey and curry powder. Season with pepper and stir in the chicken pieces. Leave to marinate for two minutes.

2 Thread the chicken pieces on to 6 x 15cm (6in) bamboo skewers and arrange on the grill or griddle. Cook for 4-6 minutes until completely tender and cooked through, turning once or twice.

3 Meanwhile, prepare the pickled cucumber salad. Place the vinegar in a bowl and stir in the sugar and a good pinch of salt until dissolved. Tip in the cucumber, stirring to combine and set aside to allow the flavours to develop.

4 To make the dipping sauce. Place the peanut butter in a small pan and stir in the soy sauce, light muscovado sugar and lime juice. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk and heat gently until you have achieved a smooth sauce. Stir in the chilli and coriander, then leave to cool.

5 Arrange the chicken satay skewers on warmed plates. Divide the dipping sauce among individual dipping bowls and place to the side of the skewers. Add the pickled cucumber salad, leaving behind any excess liquid and serve at once.

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