Over the years, I’ve noticed that more people are enjoying seafood here in Ireland, so my first recipe, for a seafood lasagne, is something a little bit different and should go down well. Salmon is a nice oily fish with great flavour, but you could also use trout, and I recommend Goatsbridge trout (goatsbridgetrout.ie) which is raised in Jerpoint, Co Kilkenny.

The ricotta cheese gives a nice creamy feel to the sauce.

For mozzarella, I like Toonsbridge Dairy (you can order four mozzarella balls for €9 from toonsbridgedairy.com). I was delighted to meet the very talented Toby Simmonds from Toonsbridge while filming a while back.

You could make this lasagne in batches for freezing, or you could ask your fishmonger for a seafood pie mix and they might add in some nice smoked fish.

The second recipe is perfect for the warmer days – lemon sole tempura with cucumber salad and chips. Lemon sole is a soft, delicate fish that cooks quickly in the tempura batter, which keeps the fish nice, crispy and moist. You could also use plaice for this recipe. In the salad, the cucumber is nice and fresh and the gherkins give a lovely, strong flavour. You could also serve with a simple tomato salad.

Speedy Seafood Lasagne

Serves 6–8

2 x 250g cartons of ricotta cheese

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp snipped fresh chives

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 eggs

1 x 275g pouch of grated mozzarella

7–8 lasagne sheets

2 x 185g packets poached salmon darnes,

skinned and broken into chunks

250g cooked black tiger prawns

For the sauce:

50g butter, plus extra for greasing

50g plain flour

750ml milk

50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese,

plus a little extra sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

Sautéed fine French beans with garlic

1 Preheat the oven to 180°c (350°F/gas mark 4).

2 To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour and gradually add the milk, whisking continuously. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat and season to taste, then stir in the Parmesan.

3 Tip the ricotta into a large bowl and add the garlic, chives, parsley, eggs and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well to combine together.

4 Grease a 23cm x 33cm baking dish. Spread one-quarter of the sauce over the bottom of the dish, then cover with two or three of the lasagne sheets, breaking them up to fit as necessary. cover with one-third of the ricotta mixture and top with one-third of the seafood. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the sauce spread on top of a layer of lasagne sheets. Sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan.

5 Bake the lasagne for 30 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then cut into slices and arrange on plates with the sautéed French beans and garlic to serve. Once cool, portions can be covered in cling film and kept in the fridge or frozen.

Lemon Sole Tempura with Cucumber Salad and Chips

Serves 4

Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

900g potatoes, peeled and cut into skinny chips

600g lemon sole fillets,

skinned and cut into strips

For the batter:

50g plain flour and 50g cornflour

175ml iced sparkling water

2 ice cubes

For the cucumber salad:

1 large cucumber,

peeled and thinly sliced

2 large gherkins, thinly sliced

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill,

plus extra sprigs to garnish

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

Mayonnaise spiked with

lime rind and juice

Lemon wedges

Malt vinegar

1 Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/gas mark 2).

2 First, make the salad to allow the flavours to develop. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl with the gherkins, oil, vinegar and dill. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until needed.

3 Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or a deep-sided pan, making sure it’s only half full, to 160°C (325°F).

4 Put the chips in a bowl of cold water. Drain and dry them as much as possible in a clean tea towel before placing them into the fryer basket (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your basket), and lowering them into the hot oil. Fry for four minutes, until cooked through but not coloured. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

5 Increase the temperature of the oil to 190°C (375°F).

6 To make the batter, mix the flour and cornflour in a bowl, then whisk in the sparkling water and ice cubes. Season with salt. Dip the lemon sole into the batter, then quickly place in the hot oil and fry for 4–5 minutes, until crisp and golden brown (again, you will have to do this in batches). Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in the oven.

7 Tip the blanched chips back into the fry basket and carefully lower into the hot oil. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

8 To serve, divide the cucumber salad and the chips between small bowls and add to plates with a pile of the lemon sole tempura.

9 Garnish with the dill and add a dollop of the lime mayonnaise and lemon wedges for squeezing over. Put a bottle of malt vinegar on the table and enjoy.

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