Paul Flynn: Three brilliantly versatile crowd pleasers

Turkish meat pizza, rich ‘Cheddar Collisons’ and a feast with fresh mackerel

Lahmacun. Photograph: Harry Weir

Lahmacun. Photograph: Harry Weir

 

I’m very excited today as I’ve just got hold of my new baby, by a very kind and fortuitous route. He’s 41in in length, the same in width and a stout 58in high. He gleams in the sunlight and if he could talk he’d sound like Tony Soprano.

Enough already, I’ll put you out of your misery, but not like Tony would. I am the new owner of my very own NYC hot dog cart and I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it. It already has a name, courtesy of a friend who is good at these things. Diamond Dogs it is. How cool is that? Some of you might be having visions of me all kitted out as Ziggy Stardust, doling out hotdogs on the Greenway, Rebel Rebel pumping through the air. Bowie sighted in Dungarvan. Stay tuned.

The recipes I’m sharing this week have no connection with each other, except that they are simple and could be used for different circumstances – all very versatile.

Lahmacun is a Turkish spice-laden meat pizza or flatbread, usually made with lamb, but I’m using beef as I haven’t featured it in a while and it is equally delicious. It is usually eaten rolled up, so the dough needs to be as thin as possible. I need to explore Turkish cuisine more – it’s one of the world’s most under-rated. Another thing for an ever-expanding bucket list.

These little pots are so rich I was tempted to call them “Cheddar Collisons”. They are totally delicious and perfect for a dinner party, when we can have those again. Buy good mature cheddar. I’m using one from The Little Milk Company – it’s lovely, and local to me. The spiced raisins are somewhat different and easy to make, but you could use a favouite chutney, if you like.

Fresh mackerel is in season now. This is an easy bake that can bring the best out of the fish, for a simple lunch or dinner. If you like, this can all be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

Recipe: Lahmacun

Lahmacun. Photograph: Harry Weir
Lahmacun. Photograph: Harry Weir

Recipe: Cheddar custard pots with spiced raisins

Cheddar custard pots with spiced raisins. Photograph: Harry Weir
Cheddar custard pots with spiced raisins. Photograph: Harry Weir

Recipe: Mackerel with new potatoes, sage and bacon

Mackerel with new potatoes, sage and bacon. Photograph: Harry Weir
Mackerel with new potatoes, sage and bacon. Photograph: Harry Weir
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