Favourite recipes for family holidays

Paul Flynn: Explore the local markets for ingredients to give your holiday dishes extra flavour

We’ve been going on holidays with my wife’s sister and family for 10 years now. She has four children the same age as our two and I’m great pals with her husband, so everyone is happy.

We always rent a house and being two families we get more bang for our buck, so luckily we always end up in pretty nice places. In the early days, I did a lot of cooking as taking a gaggle of smallies to a restaurant was never a great proposition.

I explored local markets, often taking the car for hours and returning later, laden with goodies and anticipation. They never missed me really, they just got hungry.

One year in Mallorca, this time on foot, I came across a local co-operative where smallholders brought their produce to be sold. A group of men gathered around a pump, all holding plastic drums in various sizes. One by one they hunched and pumped. Whoosh... whoosh. I edged closer, only to discover to my joy that it was the sound of flowing wine. I felt like Howard Carter the day he rummaged through the pyramids to find Tutankhamun’s tomb. A wine pump, two whites, two reds, €1.70 for the regular stuff and €2.20 for the premium.

I paid up for the good stuff and got five litres of each. Humping it home was no joke, but I was like a man whose family was stranded in the desert and I had discovered an oasis. I expected to be greeted with rapture. Instead there were withering accusations of cheapness and disinterest. They preferred their wine out of bottles, where I considered myself a man of the people, a Bacchalian Che Guevara. I spent the rest of the holiday working my way through the hooch just out of spite. I didn’t manage all the red, it was rough. I left it to the flies.

These recipes are our family holiday favourites. Feel free to chop and change, especially with the fish. Fillets of fish will work perfectly here, adjust the cooking times accordingly.

Recipe: Baked whole seabass on holiday ratatouille

Recipe: Chicken and fennel Lyonnaise, roasted garlic crème fraiche

Recipe: Tomato tonnato