Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Foodie Fund Raiser

Last night saw another hugely successful fund raising event for The Burrow National School in Sutton. Howth golf club was packed to the gills with (mostly) women dying to get a slice of Neven Maguire and his cooking.

The school's parents committee, (including my friend Orla Broderick) did a fantastic job organising the event and made sure everyone had a tipple of wine, a taster of Neven's food to nibble on and a jam packed goody bag to take home.

Neven performed a fantastic dem, really informative and hugely entertaining. He is hilarious, and being his 'glamorous assistant', I took a bit of flack (and gave back a little too of course!).

He cooked three courses; some bruschettas first (see recipes below), then a grilled rib eye steak with smoked paprika & red pepper butter and a garlic mash, followed by pear belle helene. All the recipes are from his new book 'Neven's Food From the Sun' (which Orla also worked on), due to hit the shops soon.


Serves 4-6

12 thick slices country bread, preferably sourdough

1 garlic clove, halved

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the grill or a griddle pan and use to toast the bread on both sides. Remove from the heat and immediately rub one side with a piece of garlic. Drizzle over the olive oil and cut the slices of bread in half if they are very large. Use immediately with a selection of the delicious toppings listed below. Arrange on large serving platters or trays to serve.


Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and sauté three thinly sliced red onions until softened. Stir in 225g (8oz) of finely chopped ready-to-eat dried figs, two crushed garlic cloves, a glass of red wine and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Simmer for about 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated, then stir in a teaspoon of caster sugar and a good pinch of chopped fresh thyme. Season to taste and leave to cool completely, then spread on to the bruschetta and arrange 450g (1lb) of thinly sliced goat’s cheese on top. Flash under the grill until the goat’s cheese has melted.


Place the contents of a 300g (11oz) drained jar of artichoke hearts in a food processor with a handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, 50g (2oz) of freshly grated Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice. Blitz to form a smooth paste and then with the motor running, slowly add three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil until well combined. Season to taste and spread thickly over the bruschetta.


To make a rough textured tapenade, simply mix 250g (9 oz) of chopped pitted black olives in a bowl with the juice of a lemon, three tablespoons of chopped capers, six chopped anchovy fillets, one crushed garlic clove and two tablespoons of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Season to taste and add enough extra-virgin olive oil to form a thickish paste. Spread 12 slices of Parma ham with some of the tapenade and then use to wrap 12 blanched asparagus spears. Spread the rest of the tapenade over the bruschetta and top with the Parma ham wrapped asparagus rolls.

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