Recipes for summer entertaining

Donegal Table, by award-winning chef Brian McDermott, is the perfect partner for dinner hosts this summer season.

There is nothing we love to do more than entertaining family and friends while feasting on delicious food when the sun is shining, and Brian McDermott’s latest recipe collection enables us to add a North West flavour to our party dishes.

Donegal Table, the second cookbook by one of the most sought-after chefs on the Irish food-festival circuit, fuses the beauty of his beloved home country and the quality of its local produce, to create mouth-watering healthy recipes that can be indulged under the summer sun.

With easy to follow steps to create these beautiful and nutritional dishes in the heart of our own homes, hosting a get-together has never been so easy, tasty or affordable.


Serves 12

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 300g black pudding
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 40g butter
  • 6 leaves of fresh sage

Ingredients for the crumb:

  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 50g flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 litre vegetable oil, for frying
  • Apple chutney, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

2. To make the black pudding filling, simply place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Then shape into round, bite-size shapes.

3. Next, mix the breadcrumbs and porridge oats together. Roll each dipper in the flour and then the beaten egg. Then finely coat them in the breadcrumb and porridge-oat mix.

4. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or deep pot to 170°C/325°F. Fry the puddings until golden in colour. Place on a tray and cook in the oven for 5 minutes.

5. Serve with some apple chutney for dipping.

Brian’s Tip: Try with white pudding or minced raw pork instead of black pudding.



Serves 4

Ingredients for the kebabs:

  • 600g monkfish tails
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 wooden skewers
  • 1 lemon, sliced, to serve
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped, to serve

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 50 ml rapeseed oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the couscous:

  • 240g couscous
  • 500ml boiling water
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Cut the monkfish into nugget-size pieces. Cut the pepper into large 2.5 cm pieces and cut the courgette into large rounds. Cut the onion in half and each half into 3 wedges. Thread the cut vegetables and monkfish onto the skewers.

2. Using a pestle and mortar, grind all the marinade ingredients together. Reserve a small amount for serving, then spread the rest over the skewered fish and vegetables.

3. Grill or barbecue the kebabs. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a bowl and add the boiling water. Stir with a fork and add the chopped basil leaves. Cover tightly with cling film and set aside until all the water has been absorbed.

5. Serve the kebabs with the couscous, a slice of lemon, a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and the reserved marinade.

Brian’s Tip: Why not try a few fresh prawns on your kebabs as well?


Serves 4

Ingredients for the burgers:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • 50g Cheddar cheese, grated

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 75g mayonnaise
  • 4 gherkins
  • 12 capers
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

To serve:

  • 100g Malin Head crab meat
  • 8 mini brioche buns
  • 8 slices of tomato


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

2. For the burgers, fry the diced onion in the oil. Place the minced beef in a bowl, then add the cooked onion, egg, nutmeg and breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheese and combine to form eight evenly shaped mini burgers. Set aside.

3. To make the tartare dressing, put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz.

4. Mix the dressing with the crab meat.

5. Fry the mini burgers in a pan for 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven to cook through in the centre.

6. Toast the brioche buns.

7. To serve, place a mini burger on each brioche-bun base. Add a slice of tomato and a spoonful of the crab-meat mix and then put the other half of the bun on top.

Brian’s Tip: Replace the crab with freshly grilled prawns.