Eat, drink and be merry


PERFECT PARTNERS Brown bread and a zingy crab salad make for a healthy, substantial lunch. Pic: istock

The Cabots

Recently I went with Penny and Louis on a fabulous holiday to Kildare, where we stayed with my gorgeous uncle Johnny and auntie Marie. We met up with my lovely cousins and their children and had three days of hijinks.
My aunt Marie is one of the best cooks I know, though on this holiday we didn’t do much cooking as we were too busy gallivanting. We went on walks and visited heritage sites like Castletown House, Cartron House and Connolly’s Folly. We went for memorable meals, adults at one table, kids at their own table, totally ignoring the grown-ups. Yay!
In Michelangelo’s in Celbridge we enjoyed excellent Italian food. Even better was the craic with the staff. My relatives have been going there for decades and are friends with the owners. The boss came out at one stage and sang a line of ‘O Sole Mio’ for Marie. This is why people go to restaurants, it’s not just about what’s on the table!

Marie’s Stout Brown Bread with Crab Salad
We might not have done much cooking, but I did not leave Kildare without a new recipe for a delicious stout brown bread Marie makes. It contains flaxseed, a good source of fibre and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
You can tweak the recipe a bit, Marie sometimes adds chopped nuts or other seeds. Or you could add a handful of chopped herbs to the dough. It is lovely just on its own with lashings of butter. Add a slice of smoked salmon and it’s a lunch. It also works very well as an open sandwich with a zingy crab salad.

What you need:

  • 200ml stout
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 30g honey
  • 350g coarse wholemeal flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • One and a half teaspoons of bread soda
  • 30g porridge oats
  • 20g milled flaxseed
  • Butter for greasing

What you do:
Preheat your oven to 1700c. Grease a 900g loaf tin. In a large jug, mix together the stout, buttermilk, egg and honey. In a large bowl combine the wholemeal flour, sieved white flour, bread soda, oats and flaxseed. Mix well then add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir till combined. Place the mixture in the greased tin then spread the dough evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle a few oats on the top. Pop in the oven for approximately one hour. Take the bread out, remove it from the tin then return to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire wrack.

Crab Salad
What you need:

  • 100g cooked and prepared crabmeat
  • One finely chopped shallot
  • One finely chopped red chilli (or to taste)
  • 10g chopped coriander
  • 5g chopped parsley
  • A couple of spoons of mayonnaise
  • A squeeze of lime
  • Salt and pepper

What you do:
Mix all the ingredients together. Use as much mayo (Up Mayo!) as it takes to bind the mixture together and a restrained squeeze of lime as you don’t want to make the mix too wet. Spread the crab paste onto slices of the brown bread and serve with a green salad. This will do two people for lunch.

— Sandra

The Cabot family live and work in Lanmore, outside Westport. Fresh, seasonal foods are their passion, from country markets to growing, making and selling. They love cooking and eating at the kitchen table, while Redmond and Sandra are kept on their toes with children Penny and Louis. Here they share their favourite recipes.