My Fridays for the last several months have entailed heading to TV3 shortly after lunch, then meeting, eating, laughing and eventually presenting The Seven O’Clock Show until 8pm.
Yes, that’s the show presented by Lucy Kennedy and Martin King and yes, I know I’m obviously neither of those people. I spend a lot of time explaining this. For some reason (that’s never actually been shared with me) the delightful duo don’t do Fridays, so I make up part of the B-team once a week.
If you’re not a viewer, it’s a light entertainment chat-show, with cheery guests, soft furnishings, knowledgeable contributors and… a kitchen. Every day a different chef joins the crew to conjure up some culinary treat while the chat is going on.
Now, I’ve never been one of those people who cooks what’s on the telly and truthfully I’ve never known anyone who does, but according to the people in-the-know about these things, food bits on TV are HUGELY popular. I mean, HUGE-er than my significant mass. Maybe even HUGE-er than Martin and Lucy combined! So yeah, pretty popular.
In June, I was on as a guest and Lynda Booth was preparing a seafood linguine. Not familiar with the show at this stage, I had no idea that the chef made everything during the live broadcast and by the end of the show we (and by that, I mean I) would all be horsing into it. And let me tell you: it was absolutely gorgeous.
Have you ever eaten in a restaurant and had something so nice you spend the next few days or weeks thinking about how good it was until eventually you just go back and have it again? Yeah? Well imagine how shit it is that you didn’t have it in a restaurant and you can’t exactly show up at TV3 studios and ask them to whip you up a delicious pasta dish during the 5.30 news.
So, I did what anyone with internet would do. I went online and I got the recipe. I swapped out the mussels for prawns in mine, and it was beautiful. And so a wonderful thing started: I’ve started cooking really nice things for myself off the TV3 website. From home-made pizza to cantonese chicken, proper carbonara or citrus chilli beef, this stuff is the business. And it has a secret ingredient.
Since I’ve started working on the show, I’ve learned that these recipes are not like those you’d get in a cookbook: in fact, they’re way better! That’s because the nature of a live TV show means that the recipe needs to be quick and simple, because there’s not a lot of time for faffing around – in most of the cooking segments, the chefs only get around eight minutes. So, before they turn up, some of the best chefs in Ireland put a recipe together that they can whip up in eight minutes (it takes me a half hour, but still) and they put it online after.
If you’re interested, this list of everything they’ve done on the show is perfect if you’re not into cooking but just fancy something nicer than chops and beans.
My latest adventure (today’s dinner) was chilli cod and red peppers. The recipe has hake in it but you can use whatever you like.