This chowder is a meal in itself – it is way more than just a soup. There is both eating and drinking in it.

We are lucky to be surrounded by clean good-quality water with plenty of fish, and I do think that these conditions mean that our crab tastes better than crab from anywhere else. You can buy crabmeat cooked and pasteurised. We get ours from Shellfish Ireland in Castletownbere. And for people with a shellfish allergy, you could use some smoked fish in this recipe, instead.

I do believe people are eating more fish and hake is very plentiful and popular. A great supplier that I am hugely impressed by is Gannet Fishmongers ( They will fillet, pinbone and deliver the fish to your door.

I like to have some cherry tomatoes on the vine on the tray with the hake. Drizzle on some oil. When the cherry tomatoes are cooked and soft it is a good indicator that the hake is also cooked.

The new Irish Seafood Trails, which I made last year, is now on RTÉ 1. I hope you like it, and a big thank you to Bord Bia for all of their support.

Happy cooking,


The award- winning Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals is out now, published by Gill


Crab and sweetcorn chowder. \ Photgraphy: Claire Nash. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

Crab and sweetcorn chowder

Serves four

25g butter

1 small onion, diced

1 small leek, diced

50g smoked streaky bacon, diced

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

300ml dry white wine

600ml fish or vegetable stock

2 large potatoes, diced

200g sweetcorn

2 tsp cornflour

300ml cream

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

400g cooked Irish crabmeat

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

wheaten bread, to serve

  • 1 Heat a heavy-based pan on medium. Melt the butter and add the onion, leek, bacon and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not coloured.
  • 2 Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble down, then pour in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • 3 Add the potatoes to the stock mixture and simmer for another 8-10 minutes, until tender.
  • 4 Add in the sweetcorn and stir through.
  • 5 Mix the cornflour in a small bowl with a little water, then stir it into the soup.
  • 6 Simmer for one minute, until thickened, then stir in the cream.
  • 7 Add the parsley and the cooked crabmeat, then season to taste.
  • 8 Allow to warm through, stirring occasionally.
  • 9 Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls to serve with the wheaten bread.
  • Herb- and nut-roasted hake

    Serves six

    150g wholemeal bread

    50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped

    3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    3 tbsp snipped chives

    finely grated rind of one lemon

    pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

    75g butter

    6 x 175g hake fillets, skin on with pin-bones removed

    1 egg yolk, beaten

    To serve:

    steamed tender stem broccoli

    buttery baby boiled potatoes

  • 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
  • 2 Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  • 3 Whizz the bread in a food processor to make crumbs. Mix in a bowl with the pecan nuts, herbs, lemon rind and nutmeg.
  • 4 Heat the butter in a saucepan until just melted, then stir into the breadcrumb mixture. Mix well and allow to cool.
  • 5 Place the hake on the lined baking sheet, skin side down, and rub the flesh with salt and pepper. Brush the top of the hake with the beaten egg yolk, then press the crumbs on top to stick.
  • 6 Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the fish is firm and the crumbs are crisp.
  • 7 Serve on warmed plates with the tender stem broccoli and buttered baby potatoes.