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Sunday, December 6, 2015
Around the World without a Duck!
The Edible Atlas by Mina Holland
Mina Holland doesn’t like duck! The author of the Edible Atlas worked her way through 39 of the world's main cuisines, including two regions of China, without cooking duck once! I had been checking the index for another reason but no sign of duck at all.
I did find out why though when we came to cook her A-not-quite-Cassoulet, from the Lyon area (Rhone-Alpes). This is so called because the normal duck is missing. “Expensive+greasy+cute=duck just isn't my favourite meat to cook with.”
I bought this book about a year ago and hadn't seen it since. A bit unusual, as we usually like to use the books we buy. But this was first up on a shelf and then got hidden by an increasing bunch of cook books.
But, duck or no, we are making up for lost time and so substituted pork for the duck. That was combined with all the other cassoulet regulars - cannellini beans, bacon lardons, lots of garlic, bay leave too - in the fantastic flavoursome stew. The author loves this kind of dish: “This is the food I remember over Michelin-starred meals. It is usually delicious, very often gruesome and always real.”
She recommended washing it down with a bottle of local Syrah or Syrah/Grenache blend.
but I’m following a different wine river currently. I picked mine from Rioja, where the Ebro runs through, and the El Coto de Imaz Reserva (Karwig Wines) was chosen and did the matching job superbly.
Mina, editor of Guardian Cook, covers four regions in France in the book. The others are Provence, Loire Valley and Normandy. And it was in Normandy that we found our dessert: Apple Tart Normande, a dish “in which fruit, pastry and frangipane get jiggy”. Hard to resist that.
And the different parts do jel so well together, the fruit, the shortcrust pastry and the frangipane with the almonds and a shot of Longueville House Apple Brandy (well, we had that instead of the Calvados). A whole tart is a bit much for two but it lasts well in the fridge.
So, after that year lost on the shelf, the Edible Atlas is off to a great start in this house. “Fascinating, telling some fantastic stories about a broad range of cuisines … The food cries to be cooked,” said Yotam Ottolenghi.
We are looking forward to “visiting” Europe (no less than five regions in Italy alone), The Middle East for sugar and spice and all things nice, Asia (from India to Japan), Africa and the Melting Pots of the Americas (Louisiana among them, of course). Could be quite an delicious journey, even without the duck!
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Our Treat From Lettercollum Cookbook
First of many!
First of many!
Delighted to meet author Karen Austin at her book-signing in Waterstones last Saturday. Editor (and publisher) Roz Crowley was meeting and greeting and doing the introducing. Karen was hoping the new book, the Lettercollum Cookbook, would get people back into the kitchen and cooking for themselves, especially now that there is so much much great produce available in Ireland.
I did my best to assure Karen that her book, packed with easy to follow recipes, would not be left to gather dust on the shelf in our house and I told it would be dog-eared before long, all the while nibbling her much sought after chocolate and hazelnut cake. No point in putting that promise on the long finger - indeed, I already had my ingredients on the bag!
A few hours later, we began our first project, her Beetroot, Caramelised Goat’s Cheese and Pumpkin Seed Salad. Got a couple of rounds of the creamy St Tola cheese at On The Pig's Back while the beets came from Sandra and Joe Burns’ farm stall at Mahon Point farmers market.
Karen says: "If you are lucky enough to be able to get your hands on some golden beets or striped chioggia beets as well as the regular type, your salad will be all the more beautiful". Well, our beets weren’t quite as colourful as those in the photo* in the book but were delicious.
Just as we suspected, this turned out to be a gorgeous dish, a perfect combination of beets, honey, seeds, and cheese and the dressing was also outstanding. Well worth trying on your own. Now what will we do next?
* The fantastic photos in the book, widely available in bookshops nationwide and in the UK (including Waterstones and Bradley's), are by Arna Run Runarsdottir. Great too that it is printed in Ireland by KPS Colour Print.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
MOVEMBER INVITES MO BROS TO ‘BRING IT ON HOME’ AND COOK UP A STORM WITH A COOKBOOK TO INSPIRE MEN TO THROW A DINNER PARTY
In 2010 Movember challenged Mo Bros around the country to have confidence in the kitchen, take pride in the meals they prepared and to ‘Cook like a Man’. In 2011 they ventured to the countryside and showed Mo Bros how to hunt, forage and fish for their supper with ‘Cook From The Land’. This year, Mo Bro chefs share their wisdom and knowledge with ‘Bring It On Home’- a new cookbook that encourages their fellow Mo Bros & Mo Sistas to celebrate Movember and host a dinner party during the month of Movember.
With a range of established expertise, the book hosts chefs from across the country who share their skills, tips and favourite dinner menus with their fellow moustachioed brethren and inspire them to host their own Mo inspired dinner parties. With delicious recipes the cookbook teaches men ‘if it’s worth doing – it’s worth doing right’ and to cook amazing meals with dishes that are tailored to help make hosting a dinner party simple – so more time can be spent around the table celebrating Movember and having fun.
Chefs from Diep Le Shaker, Ukiyo, Brooklodge, The Damson Diner and The Fumbally are just some of the many Mo Bro chefs who have shared their knowledge with mouth-watering recipes in ‘Bring It On Home’. Make your dinner party memorable with a beef bourgignon, BBQ prawns with piri piri, herb crusted john dory and a simple cheese fondue and know that your guests will be blown away with your cooking prowess.
Not alone have we got the pretty pictures for you. We've also got the recipes right here
Movember, the month formerly known as November, is when brave and selfless men around the world grow a moustache, with the support of the women in their lives, to raise awareness and funds for men’s health - specifically prostate and testicular cancer. Donate at www.movember.com
Friday, March 30, 2012
Sheila’s Big Night
Sheila Kiely (top) admitted to being a little nervous before her big night but she had many friends on hand to help launch her new cookery book entitled “Gimme The Recipe” at The Mill in Blarney last evening.
Sheila, a working mother of six (two sets of twins), wasn’t looking forward to the speechmaking in particular but she flew through it, thanking the crew at publishers at Mercier Press and extending many thanks also to her friends in the Irish Food Bloggers Association, on Facebook and on Twitter.
And a big thank you also to Sally McKenna (right) of the Bridgestone Guides whose food writing course at Ballymaloe put Sheila on the writing path. Ideas for the recipes came from all quarters, from jogging colleagues, from pals in the Lakewood Tennis Club, from friends and neighbours. Gimme the recipe!
The book was officially launched by Sally who paid Sheila a huge tribute when she said “she was a woman I could learn from”. That goes for most of us. A working mother of six, feeding them all, jogging, tennis, writing and, believe it not, she also did the photography for the book.
The book, as you might expect, is well organised and easy to use, practical. She knows the ropes, the compromises that have to be made within families, how to juggle the food likes and dislikes of the various members.
There are recipes for all kinds of occasions. From the time when something quick and tasty is required to the more formal dinner parties, even a section to help you through the Christmas meals.
“I hope my approach is practical not preachy. I am all for healthy eating but, as with everything in life, we all need to spoil ourselves sometimes – there is room for guilt at my table.” My kind of woman. My kind of book!
Available in Waterstone's and Eason’s, we have it a few days now and we have tried two of the recipes so far and the Chicken Soup and the Fish Pie (even without the parsnip!) have come up trumps. Some done, much more to do!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The aim in Bandon’s URRU is to help you enjoy shopping for food and food related items. The formula is a successful one in this bright well laid out shop.
Called there last Saturday and enjoyed the visit, the browsing, the shopping, and the chat with Ruth and the coffee. Not to mention the gorgeous Patisserie Regale Dunmanway made giant Ginger Spice Cookie that accompanied the coffee.
Shopping for food is easy here as some of the great local names are suppliers: Glenilen, Jack McCarthy, Ummera, Arbutus, Green Saffron, Macroom Mills and many more, including the cheesemakers. Oh, and not forgetting Mella and her irresistible fudge. Ended up with quite a bagful, as usual.
There was a sale on in the kitchenware “department”, 50 per cent off on many items, and we got one or two bits and pieces. URRU also have a collection, an impressive one, of cookery books and also a good wine corner.
You won’t go short here. Vegetables? That department is now well covered too at the URRU Greengrocer which is more or less next door to this lovely not so little shop on McSwiney Quay. We had a look in there too. Lots of local vegetables and also enticing imports such as figs and hazelnuts.
A small place but a big reason to visit Bandon, which is so close to the city. Don’t by-pass. Stop for a coffee and a browse (and do bring a bag!)