Episode 5: Mary Coughlan's Recipes

Try Mary Coughlan's recipes for yourself, and let us know how you get on!

Starter: Smoked mackerel pate with pickled beetroot and cucumber salad


  1. First make the mackerel pate. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl but be careful not don’t over mix or you’ll loose the texture of the fish.
  2. Add a smear of the yoghurt to each serving plate and put two quenelles of the mackerel pate on each one. Add some beetroot and cucumber ribbons to each plate and scatter over the salad leaves. Add a light drizzle of the olive oil to each one and garnish with the crostini to serve.


For the pate:

  • 3 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned and pinboned
  • 3 tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • ½ handful fresh coriander, leaves stripped off and finely chopped

To serve:

  • about 3 tbsp thick Greek-strained yoghurt
  • 6 pickled baby beetroot, cut into wedges
  • 1 baby cucumber, cut into ribbons
  • 50g baby salad leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • wafer-thin crostini

Starter: Chargrilled aubergine with feta, salad and muhammara with baba ghanoush.


  1. To make the aubergine parcels, cut the aubergine into 12 even slices, discarding the ends. Brush lightly with oil. Heat a ridged griddle pan over a medium heat and chargrill the aubergine slices in batches until cooked through and tender.
  2. Put the feta in a bowl with the honey, chilli, coriander, pomegranate seeds and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix gently to combine.
  3. Combine all the ingredients then divide between the grilled aubergine slices and roll up to enclose the filling. Set aside until needed.
  4. To make the muhammara, place all the ingredients, apart from the walnuts, into a food processor and pulse until well combined but not fully smooth
  5. Now fold in the walnuts, mix well to combine. Season to taste and set aside at room temperature until needed.
  6. To make the baba ghanoush, prick the aubergine with a fork and char over an open flame until the outsides are burnt black and the aubergine flesh is completely cooked through. Split in half and scoop out the insides, leaving to drain in a sieve for about 45 minutes. Place the aubergine into a high powered food processor and add in the remaining ingredients. If too thick, simply feed with a little olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste and set aside at room temperature until needed.
  7. To serve, arrange two of the aubergine parcels on each plate with three spoonfuls each of the muhammara and baba ghanoush. Garnish with the salad leaves and add a light drizzle of the olive oil to each one to serve.


For the aubergine parcels:

  • 1 large aubergine, cut into 12 slices lengthwise
  • 120g feta cheese, diced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 70g pomegranate seeds
  • juice of 1 lime


For the muhammara:

  • 3 fire-roasted red bell peppers, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50g dried white breadcrumbs (panko)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 50g walnuts, chopped


For the baba ghanoush:

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Main: Syrian chicken with couscous & pomegranate


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together, rub well into the chicken pieces and leave for at least 1 hour over overnight is best covered with clingfilm in the fridge.
  2. Heat oven to 200C. Put the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and scatter over the sesame seeds. Roast for 30-30 minutes until cooked through and tender with nicely charred crispy, skin.
  3. To prepare the couscous, pour over the boiling water and cover with clingfilm. Set aside for 5 minutes then fluff up with a form and season with salt and a little of the olive oil.
  4. Divide the couscous among plates and scatter over the pomegranate seeds. Arrange two pieces of the Syrian chicken on top and add another sprinkling of the sesame seeds. Garnish with the coriander micro herbs to serve


For the chicken:

  • 1 2kg whole chicken, jointed into 8 pieces (preferably free-range)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, extra to garnish

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp ground sumac
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed or grated
  • 1/2-1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 salt


To garnish:

  • 50g pomegranate seeds
  • good handful fresh coriander micro herb

Main: Butternut squash & porcini mushroom risotto with Parmesan tuile


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the butternut squash in a small roasting tin
    and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
    and then roast for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Blend
    half of the roasted butternut squash in a blender to a puree and keep both
    types warm until needed.
  2. To make the Parmesan tuile, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium
    heat. Scatter over small mounds of the grated Parmesan over the base of the
    hot pan. Watch it melt (don’t overcook or it will taste bitter). When the cheese
    is bubbly and golden, take the pan off the heat and cool for up to 1 minute,
    then the wafer can be easily lifted with a palette knife. Set aside until needed.
  3. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave
    to soak for 20 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid. Finley chop the
  4. Meanwhile, make the risotto. Put the liquid from the mushrooms in a pan
    with the stock and bring to a simmer. Heat a little oil and a knob of butter in a
    shallow saucepan or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion,
    celery and garlic, the sauté for about 5 minutes until softened but not
  5. Stir the chopped dried mushrooms into the onion mixture and then cook for
    a minute or two, then stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine

    and allow to bubble down, stirring. Pour in a ladleful of the stock and continue to cook, stirring until all of the liquid has evaporated. Continue adding stock in this way until all the rice is  ‘al dente’ – just cooked but still with a little bite.

  6. Take the cooked risotto off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter with the butternut squash puree and Parmesan. Cover and leave to settle for a couple of minutes, then divide among warmed plates and scatter over the warm diced butternut squash. Garnish with the micro chervil leaves, if liked and add the Parmesan tuiles.



For the risotto:

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 50g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 75g butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 175ml dry white wine
  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Parmesan tuile:

  • about 100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To garnish:

  • micro chervil leaves (optional)

Dessert: Apple crumble tart with orange curd & plum pudding ice cream


  1. First make the ice cream, place the milk, skimmed milk powder, glucose syrup, lemon peel and vanilla pods into a pan. Place over a medium heat until it just comes to the boil. Take it off the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl until thick and creamy, then whisk in the hot milk until evenly combined.
  3. Pour the milk mixture back into a clean pan. The egg yolk will thicken the mixture but because there is not any cream present there is more of a risk that it might curdle so cook it over a low temperature, stirring constantly until the egg thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour the thickened custard into a bowl that is sitting over a bowl of ice. Then once cold, remove the lemon peel and vanilla pods. Crumble in the plum pudding until evenly combined.
  5. Leave in the fridge for at least four hours and then pour into cryo bowl and add in liquid nitrogen, bit by bit until the ice cream is at the right consistency. Alternatively place in an ice cream maker and mix until you have achieved a smooth creamy texture.
  6. To make the orange curd, put the orange rind and juice in a heatproof bowl with the sugar and butter. Sit the bowl on a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bowl is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir every now and then until the butter has melted.
  7. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolks and stir them into the orange mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined. Then leave to cook for 10-12 minutes until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, stirring occasionally to help prevent a skin forming.
  8. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and then use to line 6 x 8cm individual tart tins with loose bottoms. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.
  9. Preheat the oven to 190C. Arrange the lined tart tins with parchment and baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes until cooked through and lightly golden.
  10. Peel, core and dice the apple and then sprinkle with a little lemon juice to prevent them from going brown. Set aside until needed.
  11. Whisk together all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl until smooth. Fold in the diced apple and then divide among the pastry lined tart moulds.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes until the filling is just beginning to set.
  13. Meanwhile, make the crumble topping. Put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon and finely fold in the golden syrup until evenly combined.
  14. Remove the tarts from the oven and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden. Carefully remove each one from the tins.
  15. Smear a spoon of the orange curd on each serving plate and put a scoop of plum pudding ice cream on top. Place an apple crumble tart alongside to serve.


For the plum pudding ice cream:

  • 500ml milk
  • 25g skimmed milk powder
  • 50g glucose syrup
  • 1 piece of pared lemon peel
  • 4 vanilla pods
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 225g plum pudding


For the orange curd:

  • finely grated rind and juice of 4 unwaxed oranges
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk


For the apple crumble tart:

  • 250g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 2 Bramley cooking apples
  • ½ lemon


For the filling:

  • 250g creme fraiche
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • few drops of vanilla extract


For the crumble topping:

  • 40g plain flour
  • 30g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 10g golden syrup

Dessert: Eton mess with Kilmacanogue frozen raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 90C. For the meringues, whisk egg whites until soft peaks have formed and then gradually add in the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Finally fold in the lemon juice and cornflour.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and fill a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Pipe meringues into long strips and bake for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Gently crush together the raspberries with enough icing sugar to taste. Semi-whip the cream with enough icing sugar to taste. Break up six of the meringues into small chunks. Fold the crushed meringue with the raspberries into the cream to create a rippled effect.
  4. To serve, divide the raspberry coulis among Martini glasses and then crumble over the rest of the meringues. Cover with the Eton mess and then sprinkle the frozen raspberries on top. Serve at once.


For the meringues:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour

For the Eton mess:

  • 250g fresh raspberries
  • Icing sugar, to taste
  • 500mls double cream
  • 150mls raspberry coulis

To decorate:

  • 150g frozen raspberries (from Kilmacanogue if possible)