What’s your favourite recipe to cook at home?

That was the question put to some of the brightest stars on the Irish food scene, who came together to produce The Gathered Table: A Taste of Home in aid of Peter McVerry Trust, a national housing and homeless charity.

The 160-page cookbook features 55 recipes from farmers, food producers, chefs, shopkeepers, bakers, butchers and more. There is everything from Neven Maguire’s creamy chicken korma to Aoife Noonan’s raspberry and rose Victoria sponge. It also, however, shares stories from people who have been helped out of homelessness by the Peter McVerry Trust, which last year supported over 12,000 people across the country and gave over 900 people the key to their own home.

The Gathered Table: A Taste of Home (€30) is compiled by Gather & Gather, with all proceeds going to Peter McVerry Trust. For further information, visit ninebeanrowsbooks.com

Soy lemon chicken

Eva Pau's soy lemon chicken. \ The Gathered Table

Recipe by Eva Pau, Asia Market

Serves four

This recipe for soy lemon chicken isn’t what you would normally find in a typical Chinese restaurant – rather, it was inspired by the way my grandmother Nancy made it. It uses whole chicken thighs and lots of sliced lemon and has a beautiful sticky sauce. This dish is a firm favourite with my family at home.


800g chicken thighs, bone in and skin on

5 tbsp water

5 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 large lemon, sliced

2 medium-sized pieces of Chinese brown sugar, broken into pieces, or 3 tbsp brown sugar

Vegetable or sunflower oil, for cooking

To serve

Boiled jasmine rice

Fresh coriander leaves

1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced at an angle (optional)

Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

1. Put the chicken in a large sealable container. Pour in the water, light and dark soy sauce, cooking wine and sesame oil, then put the lemon slices and sugar on top. Put the lid on and shake it a few times to coat the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight is best.

2. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. While that’s heating up, use a small sharp knife to pierce the chicken thighs so that the sauce will infuse the meat. Add the chicken to the pan skin side down so that it gets brown and crisp. Cook for five minutes, then turn over and cook for five minutes more.

3. Add the lemon slices and sugar on top of the chicken, then pour in the marinade. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to reduce until it’s nice and sticky.

4. Serve the chicken on a bed of boiled jasmine rice and scatter over some fresh coriander leaves, green chilli, sliced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds (if using).

New York cheesecake

Recipe by Tara Gartlan, pastry chef

Serves eight to 10

This is my mum’s favourite thing in the whole world – she would eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My parents immigrated to New York as teenagers, where my mum discovered baked cheesecake, aka New York cheesecake. It was love at first bite. I make this cheesecake for every family gathering, Mother’s Day, mum’s birthday and Christmas Day. I often make it with gluten-free digestives and flour and sometimes make it without the fruit topping or I use a different fruit, but it remains the cake that brings me comfort.

For the base

250g digestive biscuits (I use gluten-free digestive biscuits)

60g salted butter

40g honey

For the cheesecake

700g full-fat cream cheese

225g caster sugar

2 medium eggs

1 egg yolk

350g cream (I weigh my cream – it’s a pastry chef thing)

40g plain flour, sifted (I use gluten-free plain flour)

2 tsp vanilla essence

For the topping

300g frozen raspberries, thawed

2 tbsp lime marmalade (I use Roe’s)

Zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½

150g fresh strawberries

1. Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor or with a rolling pin, then put in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and honey together, then mix into the biscuit crumb. Scrape into the base of a 20cm springform tin and pack down firmly, using the back of a spoon to level it out. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan).

3. Blend the cream cheese and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs, egg yolk, cream and vanilla. Blend again until smooth, ensuring the eggs are mixed in evenly. Fold in the sifted flour with a spatula or metal spoon.

4. Pour the cheesecake mix onto the biscuit base. Bake in the preheated oven for 70 minutes, until puffy and golden around the edges. It should still have a slight wobble in the centre.

5. Let the cheesecake cool for one hour at room temperature, then chill the cheesecake overnight or for a minimum of six hours.

6. The next day, go around the edge of the tin with a knife to loosen it, then release the cake from the tin.

7. To make the fruit topping, put half of the raspberries in a small saucepan with the marmalade and the lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil, then cook for five minutes, until the sauce becomes thick and glossy. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to get a smooth sauce, then put this in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool. Discard the pulp left in the sieve. Once the sauce is cool, use it to coat the remaining raspberries and the strawberries, then spoon the fruit on top of the cheesecake.

8. This will keep for up to five days in the fridge, but it’s best enjoyed the day after baking.