I know that the connection between Ireland and potatoes is almost a cliché, but potatoes have been a staple of the Irish diet for almost 400 years now and they are used in many and varied ways, including in cake recipes.
The following recipe is a modern Irish recipe for a classic baked potato that's filled with that other Irish staple, seafood. This is an example of the new Irish cuisine, a blend of traditional ingredients served in a new and contemporary way.
Jacket Potato with Seafood and Tomato ToppingServes: 4
Ingredients:4 large baking potatoes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
340g (12 oz) tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
5 tbsp white wine
450g (1 lb) mixed seafood
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
cornflour (cornstarch), to thicken
Method:For perfect jacket potatoes you need potatoes of even size (about 275g [10 oz] each is ideal). Scrub the potatoes clean and prick all over with the tines of a fork. Brush with a little butter or oil then sit on a baking tray and transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 6) and bake for about 60 to 75 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft when gently squeezed.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes then stir in the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Stir in the seafood and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until piping hot. Stir in the parsley (if the sauce is a little runny stir in a little cornflour mixed to a slurry with water).
When the potatoes are cooked, split them in half and mash the flesh lightly. Spoon the seafood mixture over the top and serve immediately.