To begin with, a delicious chicken salad full of flavour. The sauce can be made ahead but serve it warm. If you don’t like hot spices you could use a sweet chilli sauce. This is a great starter, or full meal if you are busy, with lots of vegetables, a good Irish chicken and plenty of taste. For variety, you could make it with prawns.

Your fishmonger will prepare the fish for the spaghetti dish. Use a different pasta if you prefer. Fresh mussels are best for this sauce. So you will appreciate the fishmonger’s skills. This is a great family meal, and if you feel like a treat you could use lobster which is good value at the moment.

This peach tarte tatin is a modification of a classic French dessert served with apples. It is a nice light dessert with peaches or apricots, or you might try it with apples in the autumn. The orange and lemon give good flavour to the mascarpone. You could serve it with ice cream instead. And puff pastry is difficult to make, so buy a good all-butter, ready-to-roll one.

Happy cooking,


Aromatic chicken salad with satay dressing

Serves 4

Aromatic chicken salad with satay dressing. Styling: Janine Kennedy \ photos: Claire Nash

2 Little Gem lettuces

2 carrots, shredded into julienne

½ cucumber, halved, deseeded and cut into julienne

4 spring onions, trimmed and shredded

20g (¾oz) fresh coriander, leaves chopped

Handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly torn

Juice of 1 lime

1 rotisserie cooked chicken (about 600g (1lb 5oz) once removed from the bone)

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

For the satay dressing:

3 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp boiling water

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 To make the dressing, place the peanut butter in a bowl and whisk in the boiling water, then add the rest of the ingredients and continue to whisk until you have achieved a thick dressing. Set aside at room temperature until needed.

2 Separate the Little Gem lettuces into leaves, discarding any damaged outer leaves. Arrange on a large platter.

3 Place the carrots, cucumber and spring onions in a bowl, then add the coriander, mint and lime juice and toss until evenly combined. Add a small mound to each lettuce leaf.

4 Remove any skin from the chicken and finely shred the flesh.

5 Place on top of the crunchy vegetable mixture and drizzle the peanut dressing on top.

6 Sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds to serve.

Spaghetti with prawns, salmon and mussels

Serves 4

This is a simple white wine cream sauce for any pasta dish. You could also use a mixture of seafood if you want something on the table super quick, or if you really want to push the boat out, use lobster.

Wash the mussels in plenty of cold water and scrub the shells with a stiff brush, then use a knife to scrape off any barnacles that are sticking to them. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from the tightly closed shells. Discard any mussels that do not close when lightly tapped on the work surface.

Spaghetti with prawns, salmon and mussels.

900g (2lb) live mussels, well cleaned

2 tbsp dry white wine

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

600ml (1 pint) cream

500g (1lb 2oz) fresh egg spaghetti

200g (7oz) raw peeled tiger prawns

175g (6oz) fresh salmon fillets, skinned and cut into small cubes

1 tbsp shredded fresh basil

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

lemon wedges

To serve:

Crusty French baguette

1 Place the mussels in a pan with a lid and pour over the wine. Cover tightly and cook over a high heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until all the mussels have opened – discard any that do not.

2 Strain through a sieve, reserving the cooking liquor, and leaving behind any grit.

3 Reserve some mussels to garnish and remove the rest from their shells.

4 Pour the reserved mussel liquor back into the pan and add the garlic, chilli and cream.

5 Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, stir in the spaghetti and simmer for two minutes. Stir in the prawns and salmon and simmer gently for another two minutes.

6 Fold in the mussels, basil and parsley until well combined, then season with salt and pepper.

7 To serve, divide the spaghetti with the prawns, salmon and mussels between warmed bowls. Garnish with the reserved mussels and lemon wedges and serve with a separate bowl of crusty French baguette.

Peach tarte tatin with citrus mascarpone

Serves 4

3 ripe peaches

50g (2oz) butter

50g (2oz) caster sugar

2 tbsp cream

1 tbsp brandy

320g (11oz) packet ready-to-roll puff pastry, thawed if frozen

Citrus mascarpone

½ tsp finely grated orange rind

½ tsp finely grated lemon rind

100g (4oz) mascarpone cheese

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

1–2 tbsp sifted icing sugar

Peach tarte tatin with citrus mascarpone.

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7) and preheat the grill.

2 Place the peaches in a pan of boiling water for one minute, remove, then plunge into cold water and peel away the skins. Cut into halves and remove the stones, then cut into quarters.

3 Meanwhile, melt the butter with the sugar in a small pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for five to six minutes, beating continuously, until thickened and lightly golden. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for one minute, then stir in the cream, beating until smooth.

4 Spoon into a shallow 20cm (8in) sandwich tin. Arrange the peach quarters on top, cut side up and drizzle over the brandy.

5 Unroll the puff pastry on a clean work surface and cut out a 25cm (10in) round.

6 Place over the peaches, pushing the edges down the side of the tin; trim off any excess pastry.

7 Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

8 Meanwhile, to make the citrus mascarpone, beat the orange and lemon rind into the mascarpone and then stir in the orange juice. Add enough of the icing sugar to sweeten.

9 Preheat the grill to high (unless you have a kitchen blowtorch and can use that instead).

10 Loosen the puff pastry from the tin with a knife. Cool, then turn on to a heatproof dish and quickly gratinate the top under the grill or with a blowtorch until caramelised.

11 Serve cut into slices on warmed plates with quenelles of the citrus mascarpone.