Showing posts with label Green Saffron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Green Saffron. Show all posts

Sunday, September 10, 2017

FEAST. On the Street. The Main Event

FEAST. On the Street

The Main Event
Family day out. Busy side-street.

From the outset of the rebranded FEAST, Saturday had been billed as The Main Event. And the crowds of people up and down Midleton’s Main Street and side streets and in the Farmer’s Market, demonstrated just that. And, once again, the weather played its part, the odd shower no deterrent at all to those strolling and snacking, and those eating a tad more seriously at the long outdoor table opposite the Restaurant Tent where some eleven restaurants were selling delicious small plates at a fiver each.
Ethiopian stall

But is wasn't just the restaurants. Lots of other food (Green Saffron were busy, as always) available as well under the mainly blue sky. Great too to see the local butchers, including Jim Crowley and Frank Murphy, on the street, bakers too and coffee makers. No shortage of sweet stuff as you made your way between the various hot-spots.
The Granary Crew

The Demo Marquee was a magnet as Bertha’s Revenge Gin, Patrick Ryan’s sourdough, and various chefs, including Ciaran Scully, Lilly Higgins, Kevin Aherne and Martin Shanahan kept the punters entertained. Down in the Distillery, you could enjoy a premium whiskey tasting and Carol Quinn’s talk on the  history of whiskey here for a tenner.

Opposite the restaurant area was where the long table was situated and just beyond there was a packed children's zone with music shows, puppet shows, and amusements. The siting of the table and the amusement space close together was great for parents and I saw more than a few taking turns at the table and then relieving the partner on child duty!

The regular Farmer’s Market was also buzzing. Maybe one day, all will be accommodated on Main Street but on Saturday the traders were doing well. Had a friendly word with the Lobsterman who I’d met in Rostellan the evening before. Baker Declan Ryan was, as ever, on duty at Arbutus stall while Noreen Conroy was as busy and as friendly as ever at Woodside Farm. Nearby, at the Courthouse, the friendly GIY folk were dishing out advice on what to grown, how to grow it and when.
Monkfish, chorizo, flatbread by Samphire (at Garryvoe Hotel)

New!
Back on Main Street, it was hard to make choices. Would have been a gargantuan feat to sample something from all eleven restaurants! And that would leave out all the others. Tough. I had heard on the Twitter that Farmgate’s Chowder was a thing of splendour but by then I had had my fill.

One of the highlights was the Monkfish and chorizo flatbread served by head chef Kevin at the Samphire (Garryvoe Hotel) stand. The crab beignet by Pier 26 went down well. Jack and his team at the Granary Cafe stand were busy and their massive baked Rooster (with Ballinrostig nettle and  cream cheese and Gubbeen chorizo) was quite a treat and I also got a few pastries here to bring home.
Garlic selection

Indeed, that bag for home filled rapidly. Included were the Mango, Peach and habanero chutney a new product from the Rebel Chilli lads, some garlic (including Avram, Lautrec, and Pink Marble) from West Cork Garlic, a bag of Honduran coffee beans from  Badger & Dodo and 30-day aged beef from Woodside. Happy out, as we headed west from F-EAST! Here’s to next year.
Busy butcher Jim Crowley
See other posts from FEAST 2017

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cinnamon Cottage. A Treasure Trove

Cinnamon Cottage
A Treasure Trove
Ali and Patrick are just over 12 months into their adventure at Cinnamon Cottage and the hard-working pair are doing just that, working hard. Much done, more to do, but you can see the difference. The deli has been expanded and the wine selection has been doubled.

And still the work goes on. Fun too. They’re enjoying the run-in to Halloween and you (and the kids, of course!) are invited to the Rochestown cottage for face-painting and balloon animals on the Saturday. And don't forget to get the brack, complete with all the bits and pieces, including that all important ring.

Ali and Patrick

After that it’s Christmas. More work, more fun. And speaking of Christmas, you can already buy your cake. If you don't want a big one, you can get a small one. A slice will suit some people fine and Ali and Patrick do that too. Lots of cakes here, most available by the slice, including the very popular Coconut and Raspberry cake and old favourites like the Victoria Sandwich! And Chocoholics will be in their element!

And they do salads to beat the band, eight to ten freshly made each day, all seasonal. At the moment, look out for the Roast Pumpkin and Butternut Squash with feta and chilli. And then there’s the winter coleslaw. 


On every cabinet, every shelf, there’s something delicious including a few surprises, jams and chutneys and porridge oats. And they have a selection of excellent cheeses, most of it coming via Sheridan’s. Six months back they started doing Kiddies Meals, with no added sugar, no added salt. Choose from a Mild Chicken Curry, Mac n Cheese, Cottage Pie.

You’ll see lots of local produce, beef from O’Connell’s, chicken from Sheehan’s, puddings and sausages and more from Kanturk’s Jack McCarthy, free range eggs and chickens from East Ferry, Shell fish from Dingle, Basil Pesto and Ravioli from Glanmire, popular stone-baked pizza bases made in Ireland by Pizza da Piero, Amodeo dressing from Tuscany Bistro in Limerick, Shine’s Wild Irish Tuna, Green Saffron spices, and the new Irish Tonic Water from Poacher’s in Co.Wexford! And that’s just a handful of what’s available in this treasure trove.

And they bake. Not just cakes but breads and buns. Check out those scones and croissants. In the deli counter, you’ll see artichokes, sun dried tomatoes etc. There’s readymade meals, fresh and frozen, including warming soups, chicken and beef dishes and more, and handy side dishes such as Wholegrain Mash with Gruyere cheese!


You’ll need a good wine to wash down all that food. And again, no shortage here. The Cottage have three main suppliers and that adds up to a big selection, including quite a few organic bottles, getting more and more popular, according to Patrick. I spotted a few favourites: the Pedra da Auga Albarino, the Walnut Blocks and the Gran Martinez Rioja Crianza. 
There is so much more in this lovely place, including Badger & Dodo Coffee; I’ve just barely scratched the surface here. It must be the most productive cottage in Ireland. Well done to Ali and Patrick and their staff on a great 12 months. There are eight regularly employed and, on busy days, that can rise to 15, most of them local.


The Cinnamon Cottage
Monastery Road
Rochestown
Co. Cork
Tel: 021 4894922
Facebook: @Cinnamoncottage
Twitter: @Cinnamoncottage
Web: http://cinnamoncottage.ie
Hours
 Mon - closed;
Tue-Fri: 9.30-6.30;
Sat: 9.30-5.30;
Sun: 10.00-4.00.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Spice of Delight at Isaac's

Spice Night at Isaac's
Taste Tingling Tuesday
DIY!
‘Taste Cork’ week hit the high-spots in Isaac’s on Tuesday night when Arun Kapil, founder of award-winning spice company Green Saffron, Chef Patron Canice Sharkey along with restaurant co-owners Michael and Catherine Ryan, hosted an exclusive sold-out spice pop-up at the Cork city institution in McCurtain Street. 


First though, there was a bit of consternation when we were given a DIY task, to construct our own ‘Nibble’. That soon turned to fun as we tapped an opening into the Puri shell, filled it with chickpea and potato mix and seasoned it with either Spiced Vodka and Tamarind ‘water or chilli relish. Or both.

Salmon
 That fun element set the tone for the convivial occasion as we introduced ourselves to our fellow diners and the food, part of a terrific five course meal designed by Arun, began to arrive. First up was a very impressive Amuse Bouche: Irish Salmon Tataki, with smoked aubergine caviar, ginger,mint and coriander. Smooth, cool and delicious, a foretaste of what was to come.

The starter was another gorgeous dish: Spiced crab cakes with a cucumber and turmeric pickle. I really enjoyed a few bites of the crab cake without the pickle but the latter certainly added to the sensory sensations.

Crab
Next up was the mains, a celebration of Canice’s passion for the finest Irish ingredients livened with Arun’s unique take on flavours and inimitable use of fresh spice, sourced by his cousin and team Green Saffron from family farms in India.

The main event was Rajput ‘split and grilled’ red leg partridge, almond, asafoetida pilau, plum and fennel fruit ‘lunji’, with onion and parsnip Pakoras. Another super dish, a lovely combination of textures and flavours, the partridge enhanced no end by the lunji (chutney) and the pakoras, all washed down - at least mine was - by a Carl Ehrhard Rüdesheim Riesling Kabinett Feinherb 2015, Rheingau (Germany).

Partridge
 Time then for a sweet finish: Chocolate ‘orange spice’ Mousse and crème fraiche. “I love desserts,” declared the ever enthusiastic Arun as he extended a big thank you to Rebecca of Taste Cork “who encouraged us” and as he led a big cheer for the kitchen team.

Earlier he told us how visiting Ireland, romance and a Ballymaloe cooking course, had set him on the spice route. His stunning spice blends, sauces and chutneys are from spices sourced by family members in Moradabad, India. That romance was with Olive, now his wife, and they started grinding those spices with coffee grinders which weren't quite up to the wear and tear. 


Chocolate
Then he started selling in local farmers markets and the rest is history. And more history to be made as this dynamic man plans to make Ireland the spice capital of the western world in the next decade. Watch this space but don’t miss the boat. Get your hands on his spices, now widely available, and liven up your food. Just don't overdo it as he and the Isaac’s team didn't overdo it on Tuesday night. One of the highlights of Taste Cork Week, one of the highlights of the year for me.


Check here for Green Saffron recipes

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nash 19. Special at Christmas, and All Year Round

Nash 19. Special at Christmas, and All Year Round
Sweet!

Mentioned some time back that Nash19 pay attention to detail, to the small things on and off the plate. Was reminded of that last Friday when in for lunch. Two of those small things stood out: their delicious crunchy brown bread and the scrumptious roast potatoes. Roast potatoes? Yes indeed. Some establishments around town serve up roast pops that you could use for a score of bowls.

It was very busy in the Prince's Street venue, even the gallery at the back was full. But service was still top class, as efficient and friendly as ever. That, and the food of course, makes Nash 19 a top restaurant all year round.
Hederman platter
Isn't it great to take a menu in your hand and say immediately: “I could eat everything there.” Well it could take you a week or two to work your way through it. So, on the day, you have to choose. You could perhaps take the Producer Plate as a shortcut and you wouldn't go wrong with that choice.

But, on Friday, I went for the Frank Hederman Smoked Fish Plate as my starter, various versions of his famous smoked mackerel and salmon. Swapped a few pieces for a couple of large spoonfuls of CL’s Soup (Red Lentil Dahl topped with Riata). It was a fair exchange. The fish was excellent, as we’ve come to expect, and the soup was terrific, the spices provided by Green Saffron, and, all the while, the brown bread was going down well. The white bread, moistened (should really say soaked!) with their excellent olive oil, was long gone.

St Tola
Time now for the mains. The Tim McCarthy Lamb Shanks had all been eaten but there was considerable consolation in the O’Connell Spiced Beef Rump with Christmas Casseroled Red Cabbage, a perfect combination enhanced by the perfectly cooked vegetables (including those spot-on roasties).

Ten out of ten for that and CL was also thrilled with her dish: St Tola Goats Cheese Warm Salad with Spiced Almonds, and Beets two-way, and also pickled plums, a terrific blend, well thought out and well dispatched. Two empty plates went back to the kitchen.

Souped-up with Green Saffron spice
But just one dessert came out. We were getting full so decided to share the Winter Berry Tart, hot, with cream and custard. Tart and sweet, a lovely warm finalé to a hugely satisfying meal, the earlier courses washed down with Heritage des Cedre Malbec (France 2011), rich, fruity and fresh, sending out a message that Cahors is not about to roll over to Argentina in the battle on for Malbec supremacy.

The meal overall illustrated that Nash 19 is sticking to its guns, supporting local producers all the way. Suppliers, in addition to those already mentioned, include: Little Milk Company Cheese, Ummera, Waterfall Salad Leaves, Horizon Farm, Crowe’s Meats, Lismore Food Company, Hans Sloane Chocolate, Kitty Colchester Rapeseed Oil, Llewellyn’s Cider Vinegar, Arbutus Bread, Sheridan Cheese Biscuits.

Spiced Beef

Christmas Opening Hours at Nash 19

Mon 15 Dec to Fri 19 Dec 7.30 am to 4pm
Saturday 20 Dec 8.30am to 4pm
Sunday 21 Dec 12 to 5pm
Mon 22 & Tue 23rd Dec 7.30am to 4pm
Christmas Eve 7.30am till 1.30pm
Opening after Christmas on January 2nd @ 7.30am

021-4270880







Friday, December 5, 2014

Ballymaloe Café & Shop. Pleasant Interlude in Shanagarry

Ballymaloe Café & Shop
Pleasant Interlude in Shanagarry
Plum tart. And left, Bacon (top), smoked Mackerel
Gortnamona, Cashel Blue, Rosscarbery Bacon, Frank Hederman, Tim O’s. All these local names appeared on the board in the Ballymaloe Cafe Wednesday at lunchtime. It instils confidence in customers (including me) and underlines Ballymaloe’s ongoing support for Irish producers. It also makes for an excellent lunch as we would soon find out.

Our first call here though was to the shop, packed with foodstuffs, kitchen and dining kit, clothes, books, and craft. Here again, there is great local content, including spices by Green Saffron. Look out too for Jerpoint Glass and pottery by Nicholas Mosse.

We replaced a few items, including a battered biscuit tin and some jaded egg cups. Our eggs will now be served in miniature buckets, with handles if you please. The book selection is very local indeed, much of it by members of the Allen family but also including the new Fresh Spice by Arun of Green Saffron along with Giana Ferguson’s Gubbeen.
But the one we got this time was Rory O’Connell’s Master It. Quite a large book but with very few big words. I have been reading the opening pages and am struck by the simplicity of the language and instructions, all as clear as day. Maybe there’s hope for me yet in the kitchen. One of the advantage of having so many local authors on the shelf here is that most of the books are signed.

Bags filled and then it was time for lunch. The cafe is conveniently situated at the back of the shop. Studied that board and we each went for a sandwich. CL picked the Hederman’s Smoked Mackerel while my choice was the Rosscarbery Home Cured Bacon, each €10.50 and each accompanied by Ballymaloe’s own brown bread, salad and condiments.

We were very happy customers at this point, couldn't have asked for more. But we did! I dare you resist the line-up of cakes and pastries on the counter. We didn't and each of us picked the Plum, Blueberries and Almond Tart. Haven't come across this too often but this was superb. All in all a lovely meal, served with no fuss but with smiles and chat. A lovely interlude.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Taste of the Week

Today's Taste of the Week brings together two of Cork's best known food companies in a very flavoursome combination indeed, a lovely Chicken Korma.
The slow cooked chicken came from The Chicken Inn, stars of the English Market since 1955. And the magic sauce came in a jar from Midleton's Green Saffron, a relative youngster compared to Chicken Inn.
Arun is the face of Green Saffron and he is soon to publish a book. Will Chicken Inn's Tim Mulcahy follow suit? In the meantime, enjoy our Taste of the Week. So simple, so good.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ardmore. A Gem on the Waterford Coast.

Ardmore. A Gem on the Waterford Coast.
Breakfast at Cliff House
Ardmore is a gem on the Waterford coast. Fortunately, one the generous Deise folks don't mind sharing. Generations of people from neighbouring counties have made Ardmore their summer destination for its beaches, history, walks and the nearby mountains.


We headed there last Friday, the fabulous Cliff House Hotel above the village our final destination. But, as usual, we had a few stops and detours. First halt was in Youghal. It is not looking its best at the moment and hopefully the paint and brushes will be out and used before the season starts.
Ardmore

But there is no shortage of eating places here, well known like Aherne’s or newer and more casual such as Clancy’s. We were looking for a light lunch and Sage (not related to the restaurant of the same name in Midleton) had been recommended. It was bright and busy and I enjoyed my quiche and salad there. Details here.

Plan then was head to Helvic and work our way back through the Rinn gaeltacht. The fishing boats gathered in the harbour were a bit like some of the shops in Youghal, looking the worse for wear, but then the boats and the seaside towns (there are still sandbags in Youghal) have been through some horrendous weather in recent months and we are all hoping for better to come

Youghal

It was sunny and windy when we arrived in Helvick and now the rain made its appearance. So we wasted little time as we drove through Sean Phobal and so on, past the familiar beach at Ballyquin and on to Ardmore itself and up to the Cliff where a warm welcome awaited,a brolly held open even as we stepped from the car (a hint of the excellent service to come).


Soon we were installed in our room with a view and quickly made our way to the fabulous swimming pool, equipped with sauna and steam room and which also enjoys a great view over the bay.


Helvick

When the rain died down, we walked down to the town (to work up an appetite!) and made a loop back that took us past the famous round tower built in the 12th century. St Declan was here in the 5th century and his name is associated with some of the walks. Many (including a loop around the cliffs) start by the hotel and the staff there will give you all the information you need and indeed will provide a guide if necessary.


Your excursions from Ardmore needn't be confined to the coast. You may head for the nearby mountains. Mahon Falls is one of the attractions up there. If you want to do some shopping, then Cork and Waterford are each about an hour away while the lively towns of Lismore (for its castle and heritage centre) and Dungarvan are much closer.
Lismore

The Cliff House has some fantastic facilities though the outdoor dining areas were out of bounds last weekend! Do take time to explore. You will find quite a few books in your room but there are many more in the spacious and comfortable library which has one of the best views because of its height. The hotel is also unusual in that when you enter from the parking area, you are already on the fifth floor!


We enjoyed a memorable dinner there that Friday (details here). It was dark at that stage so we weren't able to take in the view but we did get it in the morning at breakfast, a very enjoyable breakfast I might add. In between, there was a call to the bar. An extensive menu of drinks here, as you'd expect, and delighted to see a terrific selection of Irish craft beers (and cider) on the list.
View from Cliff House room

Saturday was quite a decent day and we headed east to Portlaw (Waterford) and Turkstown (Kilkenny) to visit relations. Indeed, we visited Kilkenny, Waterford and then Tipperary in quick succession as we made our way home via Clonmel, Cahir and the M8. Only problem: what would we eat for dinner? The answer was in the freezer, the second portion of a curry made with Green Saffron’s Tikka cook-in sauce. Not quite Michelin! But just perfect.  

Looking towards Ardmore from Cliff House library






Monday, November 18, 2013

Barnabrow House - a special place for lunch


Barnabrow House - a special place
Many of you will know that Barnabrow House is a special place for weddings. But did you know you can also enjoy a very special Sunday lunch there? The quality of Stuart Bowes’s cooking is well known and the value is amazing, two courses (plus tea and coffee) for €20.00, three courses (plus tea and coffee) for €25.00.


Take a stroll through the grounds before or after your meal and see the poultry, the donkeys and the goats. You will also spot the walled garden from which much of produce comes as you make your way to the church like Trinity Rooms Restaurant, beautifully decorated and furnished and also quite large. Here you see that local producers such as Green Saffron, O’Connell’s and Caherbeg appear on the tempting menu.
We were there on Sunday and the place was full. And soon we were to see why. Not the longest of menus but still you need time to make up your mind. Eventually, I picked the Gulfstream oak smoked salmon with marinated roast beetroot, omega seeds and wasabi Chantilly. This is the same salmon that Bowes use on his famous Barnabrow Benedict for breakfast and it is gorgeous, enhanced by the accompaniments.
Caherbeg Pork taster.
Our other starter was Confit Duck Terrine, plum chutney, hazelnut chutney and crisp bread. Add in a slice of duck breast and it was another top class treat. Other starters on the day included Gnocchi, roast garden veg, tomato, sugo parmesan and Soup (Roast tomato , almonds and herb oil).
Could have eaten any of the main courses on offer. Did get a taster of their fabulous baked Caherbeg free range pork, colcannon potato, parsnip, carrot and Madeira juice. What a winner, the perfect match between the parsnip and the pork a particular highlight.

But it was highlights all around here. My main course of Roast Sirloin of O'Connell’s beef, cavalo nero, caramelised onions and Szechuan pepper sauce was incredible, so tender and full of flavours, all playing off one another, no element in the plate wasted, a perfect alchemy.
Vegetables, with scattering of almonds to the left!
Must say a word about the vegetables, a bowl of perfectly done (no bother to anyone whose teeth aren’t what they were!) roast potatoes and creamed cauliflowers and broccoli. And our other main course was another flawless culinary joy: Pan Seared fillet of Sea Bass, with soft potato puree, cauliflower and parmesan risotto, smoked paprika.


Could we be tempted by dessert? Well, with the kitchen in this kind of from, the answer had to be in the affirmative. CL picked the spiced apple crumble with Chantilly cream, a seasonal delight, the spices by neighbours Green Saffron, the apples from Barnabrow’s own orchard!

For me, it was the Milk Chocolate Mousse with spiced oranges and shortbread, a delectable pairing, another piece of magic from the kitchen.

White chocolate and orange.

Service, as you might expect, is quietly excellent, courtesy and efficiency combined. As I said at the start, it is a rather special place thanks to the efforts of owner Geraldine Kidd, her Head Chef and their staff. Very highly recommended for your Sunday lunch.