I always remember my first taste of ceviche. It was back in 1990 when I was doing the cookery course at Ballymaloe. Susie Noriega, one of our teachers, who is Peruvian, taught us how to make it. I immediately adored this incredibly fresh-tasting Latin American starter of raw fish simply marinated in citrus juice, with some chillies, tomatoes and peppers thrown in for good measure.

Fast forward twenty-odd years and ceviche has become almost commonplace on this side of the world, with it appearing on myriad restaurant menus and even whole restaurants serving nothing but the dish itself.

I love mixing and matching the different fruit and vegetables in a ceviche, from avocado and sweetcorn to watermelon with cucumber. This is raw food at its best.

  • 300g (11oz) very fresh filleted fish (round or flat fish will work), very thinly sliced
  • 75ml (3fl oz) lime juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, stone removed, peeled and flesh chopped into 1cm (½in) dice
  • 100g (3½oz) fresh tomatoes, chopped into 1cm (½in) dice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

  1. Place the fish in a bowl, add the lime juice, olive oil, cumin and salt and leave to sit for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to serve, mix all the remaining ingredients together and combine with the fish, then serve.
Published: November 2017

Festive Fruity Steamed Pudding

A very jolly Christmas pudding; this one is seriously citrussy with the addition of orange liqueur and lots of marmalade. Feel free to chop and change the dried fruit; dates or sultanas would work well, too.

For the fruit topping
  • 100g (3½oz) orange marmalade
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) orange liqueur, such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec
  • 50g (2oz) dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 50g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped

For the pudding
  • 200g (7oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g (9oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75ml (3fl oz) buttermilk

  • 1.7 litre (3 pint) pudding basin and kitchen string

  1. To start, place the marmalade, liqueur, cranberries and apricots in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes slightly stickier, then set aside to cool.
  2. Next, make the pudding batter. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well between each addition.
  3. Sift in the flour, mixed spice, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix into the batter until just incorporated. Next, add the buttermilk and mix together to make a dropping consistency.
  4. Lightly butter the pudding basin. Pour the fruit mix into the base of the prepared pudding basin and spoon in the sponge batter.
  5. Cut out a sheet of baking parchment at least 8cm (3in) larger than the top of the basin, fold a crease in the middle (this allows the paper to expand as the pudding cooks) and tie the sheet over the lip of the bowl with heatproof string.
  6. Place the pudding in a saucepan not much larger than the basin and carefully pour in enough hot water to come three-quarters of the way up the basin. Cover and boil for approximately 1½ hours until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean and it feels spongy to the touch. Keep the water topped up in the saucepan during cooking.
  7. Carefully remove the basin from the pan and turn out onto a warmed serving plate, allowing the fruit to fall down the sides. Serve with lightly whipped cream
Published: November 2017