Traditionally, this was the day for ladies to enjoy a break, while family help out with the daily chores.
Today’s recipes keep this in mind, with afternoon treats to spoil the person you love. You won’t need to turn the kitchen upside down to prepare them, and they are delightfully simple to serve.
First is a light take on crab rolls — I’ve given this a modern twist with pearls of boiled egg prepared using a fine sieve. This helps add richness, complementing the freshness of the cucumber ribbons.
My second recipe is also easy to make, but looks impressive, with the Filo pastry giving a crunchy texture.
I used ham, goat’s cheese and red onion marmalade, but use your favourite fillings: brie, chorizo, black pudding, a cheesy bechamel with mushroom and chicken — the possibilities are endless.
Just avoid anything too wet, and if using meats, ensure they are cooked before adding.
Why not delight your loved ones with these recipes and something bubbly, to say thank you for all their hard work? Happy cooking, Kevin
Ingredients (serves 4): ■ 2 eggs
■ 100g fresh crabmeat
■ 2 tsp red onion relish
■ 1 tbsp mayonnaise
■ 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
■ ½ lemon, juice and zest
■ slices brown bread
■ ½ cucumber,
■ sliced into ribbons using a peeler
■ Salt and pepper Method: 1. In a small saucepan, bring some water to the boil. Add the eggs and hard boil for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool under cold water.
2. Peel the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks.
3. Using a fine sieve, press the egg whites through to create a fine texture. Repeat the same process with the egg yolks in a second container. Set aside.
4. In a bowl, combine the fresh crabmeat, red onion relish, mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice and zest, most of the cooked egg yolk and season.
5. Using a pastry cutter or a glass, cut the bread into four discs of about 4-5 cm diameter.
6. Place the bread on a serving platter, then using the pastry cutter as a mould, divide the mixture between the four discs.
7. Sprinkle some egg white over the top, decorate with ribbons of fresh cucumber, and add a final sprinkle of the leftover egg yolk.
8. Season with a crack of black pepper and serve within a few hours.
Top tip: For an afternoon treat, this recipe is delicious served on bread discs cut with a round pastry cutter.
But for a more substantial lunch, the crab mixture can be served on a full slice of sourdough or soft bread rolls. If preparing ahead of time, store in the fridge.
■ 100g butter, melted
■ 200g goat’s cheese
■ 100g ham, diced
■ 100g red onion marmalade
■ 50g salad leaves, to serve
■ Salt and black pepper Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and drizzle with a little butter.
2. Place the pastry onto a clean, cold work surface and cut into 15cm squares.
3. Brush the pastry with melted butter, layering four squares for each parcel.
4. Place a dollop of goat’s cheese in the centre with some diced ham and red onion marmalade.
5. Wrap the pastry around the filling to create parcels.
6. Brush with more butter and season with salt and black pepper.
7. Place on the baking tray and dab with extra butter if required.
8. Bake for 8-15 minutes depending on the size, or until crispy and golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and serve with salad leaves.
Top tip: These parcels can be made in advance and refrigerated. Place them on parchment paper to help prevent the parcels from bursting when transferred onto the baking tray.
TOP TIP:RELISH THE OPPORTUNITY TO SAMPLE THIS IRISH BRAND’S JAM-PACKED PRESERVES
THE Birds and the Teas is a small Wicklow company making tasty chutneys, relishes and jams.
I often meet founders Olive and Pat Germaine at food fairs around Ireland.
Olive’s enthusiasm for food is fantastic and every time I meet them, they introduce me to another great new product like their ‘Colonel Mustard’ savoury mustard (€5).
Other must-try flavours include ‘Spice of Life’ Irish apple chutney and ‘Sweetie’ sweet pickle relish, both €5, and available for delivery nationwide from thebirdsandtheteas.ie.