Anne Geaghan recommends some of her tried and tested family favourites
Home for Easter
It’s been a long wait this year but at least we can look for ward to Easter and hope the weather will still be good.
Life is so busy these days – checking our social media and replying to email takes up so much time – so it would be a treat to give the screen a break for a day or two and get together with family and friends over the weekend.
It is a good time to visit local shops – they serve us well every day and Easter is a time to buy special treats – perhaps some Irish products for Sunday brunch.
For those catering for the family at home, Harte’s Irish Meat Market in Harlesden North West London will not disappoint. A delicious product to serve with roast lamb is Mr Crumb Stuffing – available in Asda and Sainsbury’s. Try our easy recipe from Burren Smokehouse for Easter smoked salmon fishcakes – great for brunch or lunch later in the week. (See below).
A good plan is to have a supply of smaller Easter eggs on hand to reward those who help with the cooking – don’t leave it all to Mum or Dad. AGF Food and Wine in Cricklewood and Mukson’s in Finchley are among several local shops who stock Irish newspapers and groceries. Barry’s Tea always goes down well and there are often delicious new food ranges to sample.
Someone in your family might like some old-fashioned Irish family fun, in which case Shawn Cuddy will be performing at The Shamrock Club in Welwyn Garden City on Easter Saturday before heading to Leeds Irish Centre for the Showband Afternoon, which includes a 2-course carvery on Easter Sunday. Shawn will also be playing at the centre later in the evening.
The Easter celebrations continue at Leeds on Monday from 1pm with eggstravaganza – great family entertainment with Disco and Easter Bunny.
Whelan’s, in Neasden and Uxbridge will serve traditional Sunday Roasts from noon until 7.00 pm.
Ye Olde Crowne in Hayes will serve its Easter roast from midday to 7pm on Easter Sunday.
The Blackstairs Rebels from Wexford are in London for the weekend. You can catch them at Monaghan’s in Wood Green, London on Easter Saturday and the Mazenod Centre, Quex Road, for the Celtic Supporters & Harrow Bhoys Easter Sunday party from 7.30pm.
Frank Nelson’s fans can meet him at St Joseph’s in Hanwell, West London on Easter Sunday.
Those who are serious about their dancing, could check out the Clayton Crown Hotel in Cricklewood’s Ballroom of Romance on Easter Monday from 8.30pm Irish World Award winner Mary Rose will play Toolan’s in Finchley on Easter Sunday night.
The Duets, that popular duo from Mayo, are at St Joseph’s Highgate Hill, N19 on Easter Monday from 9pm.
For more recommendations on pubs, clubs, shows, music interviews, the best GAA coverage and all the news from Ireland – and the Irish communities in Britain – that matter then pick up the Irish World, which is thirty years old this month, every week.
EASTER SMOKED SALMON CAKES
When preparing a good brunch for friends and family, it is important to select easy recipes, and this is one of them.
Ready in 40 minutes, it can be quickly done and kept warm in the oven.
3 large eggs
4 cups / 12 oz / 340g potatoes
2 x 180g (14oz) Burren Hot smoked Irish Organic Salmon, flaked
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tblsp whole-grain mustard
2 + 1 tblsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 + 1 tsp dried), divided
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tblsp capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 200°F / 100°C. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add chopped onion, mustard, 2 tblsp fresh dill (or 1 teaspoons dried), breadcrumbs, pepper and salt, and stir.
Add flaked smoked salmon, then shred the potatoes into it. Stir everything to combine.
Heat 1 tblsp oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat until hot.
Fill a 1-cup measure (or a small ramequin) two-thirds full with the salmon mixture and firmly pack it down.
Unmold into the pan and pat to form a little patties. Cover and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently turn over and cook, covered, until crispy on the other side, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Transfer the cakes to a baking dish and keep them warm in the oven, covered in tinfoil to avoid drying out.
Wipe out the frying pan and, with the remaining 1 tblsp of oil, fry off the remaining salmon mixture.
Combine sour cream, capers, lemon juice and the remaining dill in a small bowl.
Serve the salmon cakes with the dill sauce.
Serve with hot toast, a rocket salad and a smile.
Irish whiskey is enjoying a global renaissance and one man is better placed than any of us to enjoy it: Colum Egan of The Old Bushmills Distillery