A veritable feast today to get April off to a good start. The combination of prawns and chorizo is delicious.

You can use frozen prawns or get good fresh prawns from your fishmonger. Gubeen Smokehouse in west Cork has a very good chorizo. Simply Better has an excellent Spanish one also.

I use this dressing often. If is very good with grilled chicken, or with fish or meat.

Piri piri prawns with chorizo and fresh tuna niçoise. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

Tuna is often referred to as the “fillet steak of fish”. It is firm and meaty and fresh tuna is more and more readily available. The tuna is best cooked until medium-rare so that it remains moist.

You could use good-quality tinned tuna either. Shine’s Wild Irish Tuna from Killybegs, which is cooked and comes in olive oil, would be perfect.

This lemon posset is one of the easiest and most popular deserts in our cookery school.

Lemon posset with macerated berries. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

It is ideal at this time of the year as the berry season is beginning. Balsamic vinegar is delicious with berries.

Happy cooking,


Piri piri prawns with chorizo

Serves four to six

Piri piri prawns with chorizo. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

For the dressing:

2-3 Italian grilled peppers

½ tsp organic harissa spice

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp lemon luice

1 tsp caster sugar

150ml extra virgin olive oil or the reserved oil from the grilled peppers

Fresh basil

Seas salt & ground black pepper

For the prawns:

2 x 200g packets of wild Atlantic jumbo prawns, peeled and with tails still intact

200 g Spanish Chorizo Ibérico De Bellota, cut into 1 cm thick slices

2 tbsp olive oil

Bamboo skewers

  • 1 Make the dressing. In a mini chopper/blender mix all of the dressing ingredients together.
  • 2 Transfer to a kilner jar if not using immediately.
  • 3 For the prawns, using the peeled prawns place the tail on the skewer followed by a piece chorizo and then the top of the prawn. The chorizo should be nestled in the bend of the prawn. Repeat this process so that each bamboo skewer has two prawns and two pieces of chorizo.
  • 4 Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot (cook in batches if cooking large amount).
  • 5 Gently place the skewered prawns onto the heated gridle pan and drizzle over the olive oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes before turning over.
  • 6 Once turned over, smear a spoon of the prepared dressing over each of the skewers.
  • 7 Turn off the pan to prevent over cooking if needed and continue to turn over to finish cooking.
  • 8 To serve, place the skewers on a serving plate and serve a small dish of dressing alongside.
  • Fresh tuna niçoise

    Serves four to six

    Fresh tuna niçoise. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

    For the tapenade:

    100g (4oz) pitted black olives

    15g (½ oz) tinned anchovies, drained

    1 small garlic clove, crushed

    2 tbsp shredded fresh basil

    1 tbsp rinsed capers

    2 tsp olive oil

    ½ tsp lemon juice

    Salt & pepper

    For the dressing:

    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 tsp Dijon mustard

    1 tsp white wine vinegar

    Squeeze of lemon juice

    For the salad:

    300g (11oz) baby new potatoes

    4 eggs

    100g (4oz) green beans, trimmed

    2 heads of Little Gem lettuce, trimmed and leaves roughly torn

    24 baby plum cherry tomatoes, cut in half

    16 pitted black olives

    4 tsp rinsed capers

    For the tuna:

    4 x 100g (4oz) fresh tuna steaks, each about 2.5cm (1in) thick

    1 tbsp olive oil

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Sourdough toasts, to serve

  • 1 To make the tapenade, place all the ingredients in a mini food processor and season with salt and pepper, then pulse until roughly chopped. Place in a dish, cover and set aside until needed.
  • 2 To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a screwtopped jar and season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake really well until it’s nice and thick.
  • 3 Bring a medium pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until just tender. Drain and leave them to cool completely, then cut them all in half.
  • 4 Meanwhile, put the eggs in a small pan and just cover with boiling water. Place on a medium heat and bring to a simmer, then cook for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then peel off the shells and cut each egg into quarters lengthways.
  • 5 Plunge the green beans into a pan of boiling salted water and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes to blanch. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
  • 6 Heat a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan over a very high heat for 5 minutes. Brush the tuna with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, depending on how rare you want it. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes and then cut into slices.
  • 7 Put the cooked baby new potatoes in a large bowl with the green beans, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives and capers. Add 2 tbsp of the dressing and toss gently to coat.
  • 8 Arrange on plates or use one large platter.
  • Lemon posset with macerated berries

    Serves four

    Lemon posset with macerated berries. \ Photgraphy: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

    For the posset:

    600ml cream

    100g caster sugar

    juice and rind of 1 lemon

    1 large passion fruit

    1 vanilla pod, seeds only

    Shortbread, to serve

    For the macerated berries:

    225g mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)

    2 tbsp crème de cassis

    1 tsp balsamic vinegar

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    1 tbsp chopped basil/mint

  • 1 To make the posset, place 600ml of cream in a pan with the sugar, vanilla pod seeds, passion fruit seeds, lemon rind and juice. Bring to the boil. Pour into a jug
  • 2 Pour into 4-6 stemmed glasses/jars or shallow dishes, depending on their size. Chill for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
  • 3 To prepare the macerate berries, pour the crème de cassis, balsamic vinegar and vanilla extract over the mixed berries. Add in the basil/mint and cover with cling film and shake.
  • 4 Leave to infuse, overnight is best.
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