Two recipes today that will work for lunch, or brunch, can be ready in a few minutes, and will suit most tastes. I like Brady Family Ham from Co Kildare, good Irish Quality Assured Ham. You could try instead crispy bacon or prosciutto for a more adventurous taste. Or try using a mixture of ricotta and Parmesan spiked with shredded basil.
We eat fish as home about three times a week. The twins love fish. I have been buying online from Stefan at Gannet Fishmongers (eatmorefish.ie) for a while now. I am so impressed by how this business has grown and the quality they supply. This recipe will work with any firm-fleshed white fish, such as coley, whiting or haddock. This tomato salsa will keep well in the fridge and is delicious with grilled chicken or goat’s cheese.
I really enjoyed making Irish Seafood Trails and seeing firsthand how hard our fishing community work, often in unpredictable weather. Thank you for all the nice feedback on the series.
Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals is out now, published by Gill
Ham, cheese and tomato French toast. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy
Ham, cheese and tomato French toast
4 slices hand-carved cooked ham
8 thick slices white bread
125g (4½ oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
25g (1oz) freshly grated Parmesan
4 tbsp milk
butter, for cooking
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lightly dressed green salad, to serve
tomato relish, to serve1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).2 Arrange the ham on half of the slices of bread and divide the cheddar on top. Arrange the tomato slices on the cheddar and season to taste, then cover with the remaining slices of bread.3 Place the eggs, Parmesan and milk in a shallow dish and whisk to combine. Dip the sandwiches, one at a time, in the egg mixture for 30 seconds on each side.4 Melt a little butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the sandwiches in batches (this will depend on the size of your pan) and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly golden. Transfer to a grill rack set on a roasting tray and cook in the oven for another 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted in the centre and the French toast is golden brown.5 To serve, cut each ham, cheese and tomato French toast in half and arrange on serving plates with the salad and a dollop of tomato relish.
Crispy fish tacos with tomato salsa
2 x 350g (12oz) hake fillets, skinned and boned
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
8 soft flour tortillas
2 Little Gem lettuces, finely shredded
300ml (½ pint) sour cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges, to garnish
For the batter:
50g (2oz) plain flour
25g (1oz) cornflour
175ml (6fl oz) sparking water, well chilled
pinch of salt
For the tomato salsa:
4 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
pinch of caster sugar1 To make the tomato salsa, place the tomatoes in a bowl with the red onion, lime juice, coriander and sugar. Season to taste, then stir well to combine and set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to develop.2 To make the batter, place the flour, cornflour, sparkling water and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blend until smooth. Cut the hake fillets into 1cm (½in) strips and season generously.3 Pour the vegetable oil into a pan until it’s about one-third full and heat to 190°C (375°F), or until a small piece of white bread dropped into the oil browns and rises to the surface in 1 minute.4 Warm the tortillas in a low oven or in the microwave as per the packet instructions.5 Dip the strips of the fish into the batter, shaking off any excess, and then drop them into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on kitchen paper.6 To serve, put some lettuce down the centre of each warmed flour tortilla and spoon over the tomato salsa, then top with the crispy hake goujons and the sour cream. Add a squeeze of lime and then fold in the sides of the tortilla. Roll it up as tightly as you can to eat.