Paul Flynn: Three great dishes for when we entertain again

Serve up these crowd pleasers family style as we need all the conviviality we can get these days

Steak with slow-roasted onions, Boursin and raisins. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Steak with slow-roasted onions, Boursin and raisins. Photograph: Patrick Browne

 

So we’re back, with a small new team, feeding our overnight guests at the Tannery restaurant and townhouse. I know we are luckier than a lot of restauranteurs who don’t have rooms to offer people.

I welcome a fresh perspective in the kitchen, keeping current is so important. It’s all too easy to get bored of one’s own ideas, especially when you’ve been knocking round a kitchen as long as I have. I greedily soak up something new at every opportunity.

I never quite got round to mastering the foam business though. It’s too technical for me. Any attempt always ended up with sauce in my hair or splattering the ceiling like a gory John Carpenter movie. That and the fact that my cooking veers more towards Fergus Henderson rather than Ferrari Adrià left me distinctly disinterested in this craze.

The dishes on these pages today are designed for entertaining on a bank holiday weekend. Hallelujah. I’ve missed having people at home. We’ve modified a shed into a funky outside space. The joys of country living really kick in when the music gets turned up. The sheep don’t complain.

Baked hake, orzo, roasted garlic cream, olive dressing. Photograph: Patrick Browne
Baked hake, orzo, roasted garlic cream, olive dressing. Photograph: Patrick Browne

I adore hake’s fleshy goodness and the roasted garlic cream takes it to another level without overpowering it. Orzo’s slippery subtlety is a perfect coupling. Anything rich, I balance with vibrancy, this time in the guise of this roasted pepper dressing. I am using a packet of multi-coloured mini peppers for a pop of colour and serving it family style as we need all the conviviality we can get these days.

Old-fashioned broccoli, crab and saffron butter. Photograph: Patrick Browne
Old-fashioned broccoli, crab and saffron butter. Photograph: Patrick Browne

I’ve been a bit obsessed with tenderstem broccoli for a few years now. I need a break. I also need to embrace the humble and maligned old-fashioned stuff. I leave the stems on as they provide solid and flavourful contrast. The crab butter is fancy because of the saffron, but it’s worth a pinch to elevate the crab for this elegant starter.

Steak with slow-roasted onions, Boursin and raisins. Photograph: Patrick Browne
Steak with slow-roasted onions, Boursin and raisins. Photograph: Patrick Browne

The steak plays second fiddle to the onions in this dish. I’ll never get to the stage where I eat no meat, but I’m certainly eating less of it. The onions are sweet and unctuous. The Boursin cheese and rocket leaves bring just the right amount of kick to liven up proceedings. Use goat’s cheese if you’re not a fan of Boursin.

Recipe: Baked hake, roasted garlic cream, roasted pepper and olive dressing

Recipe: Old-fashioned broccoli with pine nuts, crab and saffron butter

Recipe: Slow-roasted onions with steak, Boursin and rocket

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.