Maura Derrane is one of Ireland’s most recognizable TV faces. Her media career has spanned three decades and includes stints with TG4, RTÉ and TV3, as a Reporter and Crime Correspondent. She has presented Ireland AM and Feirm Factor.
Although she now lives with her family in Co. Waterford, Maura was born and brought up on the Aran Islands. Her Head Chef menu for The Restaurant is a reflection of her childhood food memories and the hints and tips she has picked up from chefs who guest on her TV show.
Cooking up an Atlantic storm, Maura served two starters, Fermented Potato Pancakes, Horseradish Aioli & Organic Smoked Salmon with the second starter was Beetroot Carpaccio, Island Goat Cheese, Hazelnut, Champagne Dressing.
Main courses; Salted Cod, Seaweed & Mussel Cream with Wild Garlic Mash. The second main option served on the night, Rump of Comeragh Lamb, Braised Shoulder Boulangère, Spring Vegetables, Lovage & Walnut Pesto. The lamb comes from County Waterford, which is where Maura now calls home.
Maura served two desserts, Lemon Set Cream, Rhubarb Jelly & Meringue. With the second option being a Warm Chocolate Pudding, Nut Clusters, Blood Orange Sorbet.
Guest Critic who joined Resident Critics, Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen to rate Maura’s menu out of 5 stars was John Brennan.
A menu reflecting a childhood growing up on the Aran islands, will Maura ride the high tide, or will her dream menu end up on the rocks at the Critics’ Table?
Fermented Potato pancakes, Horseradish Aioli & Organic Smoked Salmon
For the pancakes: ( makes 20- 3.5 inch cutter serve 3 per portion)
300g plain flour
200g dry mash potato (fermented if possible )
50ml boiling water
1 tsp salt
rapeseed oil, for frying
For the aioli:
1 egg yolk
200ml rapeseed oil
1 tsp water
4 roasted garlic cloves, minced
juice & zest of a lemon
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Horseradish
300g thinly sliced smoked salmon
fresh micro herb sprigs, to garnish (such as chervil, fennel, basil & red radish)
1 To make the pancakes,, mix the flour, potato and salt together, then add all the other ingredients. Knead for 2-3 minutes and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2 Once the potato mixture has rested, roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Cut out pancakes with a round cutter 7.5-10cm wide.
3 Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add a little oil and fry the pancakes in batches on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side. Arrange on plates and set aside until needed
4 For the aioli, whisk the egg, water, garlic and salt together. While whisking slowly add the oil until it emulsifies. Once you’ve added all the oil – Add the lemon juice and zest.
5 Assemble your pancakes aioli on the bottom, then the smoked salmon & garnish with some fresh herbs – chervil, fennel, basil & little red radish work well.
Beetroot Carpaccio, Island Goat Cheese, Hazelnut, Champagne Dressing
For the beetroots:
10 fresh large beetroot, washed
a little rapeseed oil
sprig of fresh thyme
dash of white balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
For the beetroot meringue:
93.75g beetroot juice
8.25g Sosa albumina powder
50g Sosa Dextrose powder
For the Champagne dressing:
10g cracked black pepper
100ml elderflower cordial
30ml champagne vinegar
200ml vegetable oil
squeeze of lemon juice
For the goat cheese:
200g soft goat cheese (preferably from Arran Island)
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
25g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
50g toasted skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50g watercress leaves or nice baby leaves
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 To prepare the beetroots, Spilt them in half from top to bottom. Place 5 halves in a large enough vac pac bag. Add the rapeseed oil, sprig of thyme, white balsamic vinegar, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Seal the bag on high and sous vide for 8-12 hours at 82C. Remove from the waterbath and chill. Once cooled, remove the skin and slice the beetroots thinly on a mandolin or meat slicer. Using a ring cutter, cut into perfect rounds about 6- cm in diameter.
2 For the beetroot meringue, whip the beetroot juice and albumin powder till it forms soft peaks With the mixer still going slowly add the sugar and continue whipping. Add the Dextrose powder and whip for 5 minutes. Spread out on a silicone mat and bake overnight at 90C. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Break into shards and place in an airtight container until needed.
3 To make the Champagne dressing, mix the vinegar, cordial and pepper together. Slowly add the oil. Finish with salt and lemon juice.
4 For the goat cheese, place the goat cheese into a bowl. Whip slightly to soften. Add the chives, orange zest and season with pepper. Roll into perfect round balls weighing about 15g each, you will need four per portion. Place in the freezer. Once frozen panée the balls in flour, egg wash and fine breadcrumbs. You might need to double panée them to ensure that once deep-fried none will leak out. Deep-fry the goat cheese to order.
5 Place the beet circles in the centre of the plate. Shake the dressing well and drizzle around the plate. Dress the leaves in a little of the dressing and place around the plate. Put the deep fried goat cheese on top of the beet circles. Sprinkle some of the toasted hazelnuts around and then finish with the beetroot meringue shards to serve.
Salted Cod, Seaweed & Mussel Cream with Wild Garlic Mash
For the salted cod:
1 medium-sized whole fresh cod
500g coarse sea salt
40g clarified butter
For the mussels:
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
½ small fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large glass white wine (pinot gris or pinot blanc – not fruity stay away from Sauvignon)
24 large fresh mussels, scrubbed clean
For the seaweed cream:
2 onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
3 celery sticks, finely diced
400ml white wine
500ml fish stock (use the liquor from the mussels)
1 litre cream
zest 3 lemons
1 tbsp salt
200g chopped pepper dulse
15g chopped fresh fennel
For the wild garlic mash:
1kg Rooster potatoes
rock salt, for cooking
75g butter, diced
1 bunch wild garlic leaves, finely shredded
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
wild garlic flowers, to garnish (optional)
1 Skin and pin bone the cod, then remove the belly and the lower tail. Cover the fish on both sides with salt for 40 minutes. Wash the fish in water to remove all the salt – be sure to remove all the salt. Roll in clingfilm into cylinder shapes, leave to set for 2 hours in the fridge.
2 Preheat the oven to 210C. Remove the cod from the fridge and cut into 4 x 180g portions. Brush with the clarified butter , then arrange on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes. The fish will appear translucent after cooking
3 For the mussels, in a wide based pot sweat off the onion, carrot, celery, fennel and garlic over a low heat for 6 minutes. Increase to a high heat, then add the mussels. Add the white wine and then cover with a lid. Steam for 2 minutes until just opened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down, then pass the liquid and keep for the sauce
Remove all the mussels from the shell and set aside until needed later
You will warm the mussels in the sauce later to serve
4 To make the seaweed cream, sweat the onion, celery and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and lemon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with the salt. Blend in thermomixer for 2 minutes. Add the pepper dulse and fennel when tepid to infuse.
5 For the wild garlic mash. Bake the potatoes on a bed of rock salt for about 1 ½ hours until tender, then cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Mash until smooth. Heat the milk and beat into the mashed potatoes with the scallions until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
6 To serve, place a large quenelle of wild garlic mash in the bottom of each warmed wide rimmed bowl and top with a piece of salted cod. Spoon over the mussel cream and garnish with the wild garlic flowers, if available.
Rump of Comeragh Lamb, Braised Shoulder Boulangere, Spring Vegetables, Walnut & Lovage Pesto
For the braised shoulder Boulangere:
2.5kg Desiree potatoes -, thinly sliced on a mandolin
250ml lamb stock (from cooking the shoulder)
250g mushroom marmalade (see separate recipe)
500g shredded lamb shoulder meat
For the lamb:
4 x 180g lamb rumps, trimmed
sprig of fresh thyme
butter, for basting
For the lovage pesto:
375g lovage leaves
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
75g walnut halves, chopped
375ml rapeseed oil
lemon juice, to taste
For the spring vegetables:
8 asparagus spears, trimmed
225g fresh podded peas
2 tsp clarified butter
1 tsp water
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
fresh pea shoots, to garnish
1 First make the braised shoulder Boulangere. The shoulder can be raised in chicken stock, mirepoix, thyme and rosemary and allowed to cool. Keep the stock for the Boulengere. Pick the shoulder meat and shred it. The leftover stack can be reduced for a jus to finish the plate.
2 Preheat the oven to 165C. Mix everything together and put in a half-gastro tray lined with parchment. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 1 hour or until the potato is cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Press the potato for at least 4 hours or overnight before cutting. Once pressed cut into portions and using a non-stick pan-fry each portion of potato in a little oil in order to serve.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C. Season the lamb rumps all over. Place a pan over a medium to high heat. Once hot place the lamb skin side down and allow the fat to render completely. Once a nice golden brown colour has been achieved turn the lamb and colour evenly all over. Add the butter and allow it to foam. Add the thyme and baste the lamb with the butter. Place the pan in the preheated oven and allow to cook for 7-8 minutes for a medium rare finish. If using a probe the lamb should read from 55-58C. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the lamb to rest in a warm place for 7-8 minutes.
4 For the lovage pesto, in a blender blitz all the ingredients together until the right consistency is reached and the walnuts have been broken down. Check the seasoning ad finish with the lemon juice. Store in a container until needed.
5 Blanch the asparagus spears and peas in rapidly boiling salted water and chill in iced water. When needed bring back the vegetables in a butter and water emulsion. Season and keep warm.
6 To serve, Place the Boulangere on the plate. Slice the rested lamb into 2 or 3 slices. Make sure you slice against the grain or else the meat will be tough. Drizzle the pesto on the plate and place the lampoon top. Add a spoonful of reduced lamb cooking stock. Add 2 spears of asparagus and a spoonful of peas making sure they are hot and nicely seasoned. Add little more pesto if needed. Garnish with some picked pea shoots and serve.
2kg onions, sliced
500g button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic – pureed
2 bay leaves
1 Sweat the onions, garlic and bay leaves until completely caramelised. Add the sliced button mushroom and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and use as required.
Lemon Set Cream, Rhubarb Jelly & Meringue
For the cream:
380g cream 120g sugar 50g lemon juice 12 rose petals 6 cardamon pods (cracked)
For the jelly:
200g rhubarb, trimmed and roughly chopped 75g caster sugar I tbsp honey 2 gelatine leaves ( soaked in water for 30 minutes )
For the meringue:
4 egg whites 100g sugar 1 tsp vanilla
fresh micro fennel or chervil, to garnish
1 Bring the cream to the boil- turn off the heat. Add the sugar, lemon juice and rose petals.
Bring back to the boil. Pass through a strainer. Set in a glass in a low sized glass. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight is best.
2 Place the rhubarb, honey & sugar in a heatproof bowl. Cover with clingfilm and place over a pot of boiling water for 40 minutes. This will extract all the juice from the fruit. Add the gelatine and whisk until dissolved. Leave to cool slightly (room temperature ) & pour equal quantities over the set custard. Leave to set for 3 hours.
3 Preheat the oven to 110C to cook the meringues. Whip the egg whites on a high speed. Slowly add the sugar until the eggs are white and fluffy. Fold in the vanilla. Spread very thinly on a baking sheet on a baking tray. Place in the oven for 2 hours. Remove leave to cool and break into shards. Assemble on top of the jelly
4 Your dessert is now ready to serve. Garnish with a little fennel or chervil for a touch of aniseed that works well.
Warm Chocolate Pudding, Nut Clusters, Blood Orange Sorbet
For the nut clusters:
250g toasted nuts, roughly chopped (pecans, skinned hazelnuts, whole skinned almonds)
25g egg white
75g caster sugar
For the blood orange sorbet:
1kg blood orange puree
250g Caster sugar
40g Glucose syrup
3 gelatine leaves
For the chocolate pudding:
200g pain chocolate, broken into pieces or drops (70%)
200g butter, cut into cubes
55g melted butter, for greasing
1 tbsp Cointreau
zest 1/2 orange
110g brown sugar
6 large eggs
60g egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
50g plain flour, sifted
300ml warm chocolate sauce
Icing sugar, for dusting
1 Preheat the oven to 160C to make the nut clusters. Mix the nuts thoroughly with the sugar and egg white. Place on a tray lined with a silicone mat and bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
2 To make the sorbet, bring the water, sugar and glucose to the boil until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the gelatine and the orange puree and pass through a chinois. Allow to cool completely and then churn in an ice cream machine in accordance with the machines instructions, until churned and frozen. Place in the freezer until needed.
3 Preheat the oven to 210C to make the chocolate puddings. Grease your 4 x individual moulds heavily with the melted butter. Place the chocolate, butter and Cointreau into a heatproof bowl and then place over a pot of barely simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. Allow the ingredients to melt slowly. It will take about 5-6 minutes.
4 Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla essence together until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the egg mix. Combine completely Sift the flour into the mix and lightly fold until thoroughly mixed. Spoon or pipe into moulds and tap to flatten out and even out the mix.
5 To order cook the pudding for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out onto serving plate. The centre should still be nice and runny.
6 Remove the chocolate puddings from the oven. Allow to stand for 90 seconds.
Turn out onto serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Sprinkle with some of the clusters and place a little pile of the clusters on the plate to sit the sorbet on. Drizzle each one with a little of the warm chocolate sauce. Add the sorbet and serve.
Warm Chocolate Sauce
Makes about 400ml
25g caster sugar
175g plain chocolate, finely chopped (at least 70% cocoa solids)
1 Place the cream in a pan with the sugar and butter and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes until thickened and beginning to become syrupy, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from catching. Remove from heat and leave to cool a little.
2 Meanwhile, place the chocolate for the sauce in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until melted. Whisk into the sauce until smooth and well combined. This is ready to serve warm or transfer to a bowl and leave to cool completely, then cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed. Use warm or cold as required.