Oatmeal is an important ingredient in the Irish store cupboard – we cook it with water or milk and call it porridge and eat it for breakfast. When pubs were the mainstay of social life, old men lined their stomachs with a bowl of porridge before a trip to the pub to have a few pints. In this recipe the raw oatmeal is used to coat the mackerel fillets to give a crunchy topping.

APPETISERS Cucumber and Mint Chilled Soup

There is something very posh about cold soups especially if they are made with cucumber – it’s overlooked as a vegetable and because it costs so little it ends up looking a bit tired in salads as if it is not worth doing more with it. This soup is deceptively simple – serve it with a dry chilled white like a Muscadet or with a cold craft lager.


This is a gentle fish soup with light flavours and a delicate texture. Serve it with Irish Soda Bread or…

BREAKFAST Spicy Halloumi

Halloumi is a cheese which takes on other flavours brilliantly. It can be served at breakfast too, with an egg and a fried tomato.


Simple soups make easy starters and quick lunches. This also makes a quick and easy meal if you serve it with bread and a green salad. It’s what they call a hearty soup!

APPETISERS Italian Caponata Recipe

Adapted from Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio’s Complete Italian Food. They suggest that you eat this Sicilian vegetable stew cold as an antipasto or warm tossed through pasta or served with roast meat or chicken. We’ve included a recipe for Caponata Bruschetta.

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