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Thursday, March 17, 2016
Taste of the Week
Old Millbank Salmon Paté
Geraldine Bass is a regular at the local farmers markets here in Cork and her Old Millbank Salmon Paté is our Taste of the Week. You’ll certainly see her stall in Mahon Point (Thursdays) and Douglas (Saturdays).
The paté - you can get a nice little pot of it for four euro - comes two ways. The original is in a very tasty creamy paste, ideal for spreading on canapes or, if in a hurry, spooning! And now there is a variation. She adds little chunks of her salmon to it, giving an extra twist to the texture and the flavour (see photo above). Either way, it’s delicious.
Geraldine also sells her award winning smoked salmon to restaurants and delicatessens.
Old Mill Bank Smoke House, Willow Pond, Summer Park, Buttevant, Co. Cork.
It’s between Mallow and Buttevant, so sometimes you’ll see Mallow in the address.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
One Farmers Market. One RestaurantWeekend: Douglas, Les Gourmandises
I took the opportunity at the weekend to get to the Douglas Farmers Market and also to revisit Les Gourmandises in the city centre.
The farmers market has now moved from Dunnes Stores car park to a new spot in the centre of Douglas village, on the plaza by Marks & Spencers. It is a compact location and the reports are good. It is open on Saturdays, from 10.00am until 2.00pm.
|Old Millbank Salmon Pate - with some chunky bits added!|
Some excellent stalls here, including the Rocketman, Badger & Dodo coffee, Ballycurraginny Farm vegetables (not forgetting their gorgeous Joe’s Farm vegetable crisps), Arbutus Breads, O'Driscoll's Fish from Schull, Old Millbank Smoked Salmon, Woodside Farm, Brendan's Burritos, Sonny’s Broth, West Cork Pies, Green Field Farm, Ballycotton Free Range Farm, O’Leary’s Mountain Lamb, Cloud Confectionery, Dingle Cookie Company, Volcano Wood-fired Pizza, Mealagulla Orchards, Barry’s Nurseries, Clothilde Compotes, along with some others. Guest stalls too feature.
O’Driscoll’s, no matter where you find them (Midleton and the Coal Quay are among their venues), are always popular. We often go for the popular fish but this time the red gurnard caught our eye. So that was the main course for Saturday. And we got our starter across the way from Old Millbank. They had a nice tub of Salmon Pate (with one that included a few chunks of the salmon as well!).
|Red Gurnard at O'Driscoll's|
Lunch too came from Douglas, a pot of that delicious aromatic Chicken Broth by Sonny (we added some noodles). It is a Vietnamese broth and the proper title is Phỏ Gà and was a recent Taste of the Week. Check it out here, if you have a chance.
The other main purchase was some shoulder of pork from Woodside for Sunday's dinner, the order to cook it low and slow. We got an unsolicited recommendation from another customer who thought it was fantastic and told us his 93 year old mother is thrilled with it as it reminds her of the real taste from a long ways back.
Some low and slow cooking too in Les Gourmandises on Friday night. Slow cooked beef, braised carrots, baby onions, and smoked Gubbeen lardons, with a delicious red wine jus, was my superb main course, with a side plate of sauteed potatoes. CL’s choice was also excellent: Braised lamb shoulder with smoked potatoes, braised onion and Savoy Cabbage.
We had a fine choice for starters. We had eaten some of them before including the excellent Prawns in Filo pastry with Mango jelly and Mango creme fraiche and the Roasted on the Bone Quail with coconut, cumin, basmati and apricots.
My pick this time was the Carpaccio (named after the Venetian painter) of Spiced beef, tomato, pickled and shaved parmesan while CL took the Castletownbere Crab Salad, brioche croutons, peaches and piccalilli. Both good but, next time, we may go back to the brilliant prawns and the quail!
Desserts again had no shortage of choice, up to seven, including a selection plate for sharing. No sharing this time though! My pick was the Warm Chocolate Fondant with butterscotch centre and vanilla ice cream. Pretty good. CL was delighted with her Caramelised Apple Tart with Five Spice and cinnamon ice cream. All good. No tea or coffee though, not at €3.65 a cup!
|New location, in centre of Douglas|
There is a good selection of house wines, all Old World, and all at €29.50 a bottle or €8.50 a glass. Haven't seen that kind of uniformity anywhere else! My glass was a 2012 Portuguese blend of Tempranillo, Castelao and Syrah, called Pinta Negra Tinta, nice and smooth with dark fruits. CL sipped happily from an organic wine, Fontana Bodegas from Castille (Spain), a 100 percent Tempranillo (2014).
There are quite a number of possible menu variations and you can get to try the excellent food here for less than the €47.50 (the cost of our 3-course menu). There is also a Prix Fixe menu and here you may have three courses (from a more limited selection) for €32.50. Most nights, maybe not all night, you will get tapas to share, two main courses and a glass of wine each for €39.50 for two people. Stay up to date on all menus and special offers by checking their Facebook page here.
|Oh La La! Chocolat!|
Sunday, November 13, 2011
DOUGLAS FARMERS MARKET
November sunshine flooded the Douglas Farmers Market this Saturday morning as I strolled around among the thirty or so stalls. It was my first visit here and glad to see old familiar faces such as Woodside and Flynn's Kitchen but great too to meet up with the newcomers of the Ballyhoura Wild Mushroom stall (soon to have a permanent one!) and also La Dolce Vita.
Let’s start with the Italian. After all we owe Trap and company - big time! And of course the Italian cuisine is no punishment. Far from it. We got a few tastes before settling on a Bolognaise ragout and a couple of bunches of Tagliattelli.
That was the night's main course settled. Starter? It was just a few steps away at the Ballyhoura Wild Mushroom stand. Again a couple of tastings before purchasing a gorgeous soup. There was a good date on that so we kept exploring and settled on some chanterelles for the starter. They have quite a selection, including Shiitake and Oyster.
While we call regularly to Woodside and Flynn’s Kitchen , they too had something new, at least new to us. Enjoyed some of Woodside’s extra tasty gluten free honey sausages at lunch-time.
Iain Flynn makes some terrific jams but it was the first time I had spotted his mixed berry with black pepper and kirsch, a terrific match with the sourdough from Arbutus close by.
Room in the bag for ten rosy red apples, total cost just 2 euro, and then headed across the village to On the Pigs Back. What a beautiful sparkling clean shop with all the choices we’ve come to expect at the English Market and space too for a cuppa and a snack.