From after dinner games to my favourite hangover meal – it was a great Q&A

Loved answering all your food related questions

Loved answering all your food related questions

On Friday we held a great question and answer session on twitter. We invited all our friends on social media between twitter and Facebook to send us questions and we think we got through them all in the hour time frame!

We promised we would post all the questions and answers from the Q&A so here we are keeping our promise. 31 questions in all! Excuse some of the shortened words but we were keeping within the 140 characters!

Oh and incase I forget we will be holding a Christmas special Q&A session on December 18. So that is a date in your diary!


Q- hi Neven – what’s the best way/utensil to get the flesh out of a pumpkin & what do you recommend making with it?

A – We peel skin using pot peeler. Remove seeds & dry out & then chop the flesh. V versatile veg. Del with coconut chili & ginger 4 soup

Q – Hi Neven, what’s your ‘Death Row Dinner’? Last meal ever w/ starter, main course, dessert & drink of choice! 

A – taster menu with scallops, turbot, irish lamb, chocolate & nice glass of bubbles, nice pinot gri – I know im greedy but its the last 1

Q – Thinking of doing food hampers as Xmas gifts, what would recommend to put in them?

A – Ham glaze, small pud, flavoured oil, choc truffles, a cranberry & fig chutney. Really anything that is hand made and made with love.

Q – what is the secret to the perfect pavlova ?

A – Eggwhites at room temp, clean bowl & whisk. Slowly add sugar, vanilla pod & finish with corn flour & white wine ving – Oven temp 100 or less

Q – Simple starter for xmas day that can have all prep done evening before?  Child friendly no fish! !! 

A – Simple curry chicken spring roll with mango salsa, keeps well and can b made ahead. We will be in touch with a recipe.

Q – What’s the best pan for pan frying a piece of fish

A  – In the cookery school we use a @MissHenckels non stick pan. A great investment & one of the best pans u could use.

Q – Hi Neven & all the gang. What food would you make for a Birthday party of a lady turning 100?

A – A nice piece of fish for this milestone. Hake with prawns spinach and mozzarella cheese and pesto. Soft, cooks quickly and v tasty!!

Q –  love making homemade bread,what advice can u give on letting it prove overnight so I can pop it in oven in the morning& have it fresh?

A – Store the bread in a deep container and cover with cling-film and keep in the fridge overnight. We often do this in @macneanhouse

Q – If you had just 4 ingredients and 20 minutes cooking time what family meal would you make? 

A – Penne pasta, smoked bacon, mascarpone and basil. Crispy bacon and finish with grated parmesan and black pepper from your larder!

Q – What 2 dishes would a 14 year old Neven have cooked in a home economics class?

A – I was the 1st boy in my school to do hom ec and I loved it. Cooked beef casserole and pineapple upside down cake. Great fun.

Q – when I make Tiramisu I always grate dark choc between layers, 1 of the VICTIMS said I should’nt, NEED your expert advice please.

A – There r so many variations of this recipe that I would love to shend u mine. Who doesn’t love extra chocolate? Tiramisu means pick me up

Q – Is it really necessary to brown meat before stewing? I find it is much more tender if u don’t but I need ur guidance 

A – Browning the meat is imp as it adds so much flavour to the meat & to the stew. Tossed in some seasoned flour & fry with rapeseed oil

Q – Any suggestions for a high protein meal for teenagers.

A – Cajun chicken melt with cheddar cheese and ciabatta – we will pass the recipe on! We love it here for staff supper @macneanhouse

Q – do u have a quick and easy way to make boxty. 

A – Equal quantities of mash & grated potato – shape these and steam/boil them. Wonderful with grilled bacon and poached egg.

Q – I really like your porridge…is it the full fat cream that makes it so good?

A – We use one part full fat cream, one part water and one part milk. Make the night before & serve with @Bsensationsnews honey & Irish Mist

Q – Do you use wild fruits etc in any recipes. Great abundance of blackberries, sloes, rose hips etc this year?

A – Blackberries are wonderful in a crumble with apple and walnuts. And also in a sauce for venison or duck.

Q – simple but delicious recipe 4 mulled wine never find a nice one

A – Red wine port, brown sugar, sliced orange, lemon, star anise, cinnamon stick & orange juice. Bring to the boil & simmer for 20 mins.

Q – Can you tell me how to make the best garlic potatoes…comfort food at its best!!

A – Half cream and half milk. Lots of crushed garlic, grated nutmeg and season. I like to use sliced rooster and sweet potatoes – delicious

Q – Lamb tagine. What should the essential spices be for aromatic spice with a touch of heat?

A – Hot paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, ground cinnamon and cumin and black pepper. Enjoy.

Q – Have you a healthy recipe for granola bars please?

A – I have a great recipe using porr oats, dried apricots and sultanas, mangos, dates, flaked almonds, sesame seeds, peanut butter & honey

Q – what would be your ideal hangover meal?

A – It is hard to beat the @macneanhouse full cooked breakfast with good strong coffee.

Q – Favourite soup for winter?

A – Chestnut and wild mushroom soup with smoked bacon. Lovely.

Q –  Is there a reason why food turns green/blue colour when I cook lemon and garlic together?

A – I think it is just a reaction between the citric acid and the garlic. It really should be fine to eat.

Q – ultimate one pot winter casserole/ dish for 10 pals? 

A – A lamb tagine is delicious but I have a speedy coq au vin in my new book which is also great.

Q – can cream or crème fraiche be substituted with natural FF yoghurt?? via

A – Yes, you can substitute the FF yog in but add it at the end so it does not curdle. But you can use zero fat creme fraiche too.

Q – what’s your favourite shellfish meal Neven?

A – The study of shellfish – which is one of our sig dishes. Lobster ravioli, seared scallop, prawn in kataifi and poached sea oyster.

Q – any suggestions for a light starter for Christmas dinner? Would like to try something different this year.

A – How about crispy Dublin Bay prawns in kataifi with sauce vierge & rocket salad. Easy to prepare & delicious to eat. My Christmas starter

Q.If you had to pick one product from all the amazing Irish produce available to you what would it be & why?

A – There are just too many brilliant products and producers. Could not pick one. Check out @BlasNahEireann – top Irish food awards

Q – Really love carrots and mash in @macneanhouse . Would love the recipe what do you put on the carrots

A – Sharon is one of our best customers! Carrots are steamed and finished with butter, honey, ginger and star anise. The mash is steamed and passed through a potato ricer, finished with butter, cream and milk. yum yum yum.

Q –  Rib Roast of Beef. rib eye or T bone roasted on the bone?

A – Rib roast on the bone wins for every time. Go to your local @CraftButchers

Q – Hi Neven, what’s your favourite after dinner party game when entertaining at home?

A – My after dinner party game is doing the dishes and playing hide and seek with the twins.



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