Buy local, fresh and fair. The more we pull together, the further we will go. Ní neart go cur le chéile. Always on the look-out for tasty food and drink from quality producers! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter: @corkbilly
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Looking for a lunch that will please both the stomach and the wallet? Stop under the waterfall and call to Greene’s in McCurtain Street.
That’s what I did last Sunday for a birthday treat. Well, it had been arranged well in advance as we had quite a group, mainly family.
The amazing set lunch menu comes in at €21.50 for two courses, €24.50 for three. And you are guaranteed a terrific meal, cooked and served up by top chef Bryan McCarthy and his colleagues in the kitchen and front of house. I know quite a few guests from last Sunday will be going back again.
There was a little cake at the end for yours truly but I can't guarantee you’ll get one of those!
I was in a fishy mood on Sunday so my starter was the Goatsbridge Trout and Crab, with cucumber, seaweed, squid ink, nasturtium and radish. The Curtins raise delicious trout on their long established Kilkenny farm and in Greene's kitchen the fish was in good hands and they produced a dish to delight. Other choices included Goat’s Cheese, Pork Belly, and the Chef’s Soup with seasonal Garnish.
Bryan’s trademark Braised Feather Blade Beef, enhanced with Mushroom, Carrot purée, black cabbage, pickled wild garlic stems, was a popular choice as was the Free Range English Market Chicken.
I continued with the fish theme, and enjoyed every tasty bit of the Hake Fillet with sea vegetables, seaweed, smoked sausage and dashi cream. Also on the mains menu and enjoyed by a few at my table was the Ballyhoura Mushroom Risotto with Coolea cheese, potato crisp, pepper dulse and kale.
Hake. Note the crispy skin!
Time then for the dessert, and another great choice. I didn't get to sample the Chocolate Pecan Cremeux Tart nor the Red Wine Organic Poached Pear. But I did steal a bit of CL’s lovely Rose Cottage Fruit Farm Blueberry Tart. Meanwhile, my own Woodruff Set Cream Pudding, with elderberry and pistachio, was sliding down smoothly.
Lots of chat then as the relaxing afternoon came to an end. But soon I was called back to my place as that cake, complete with candles, a modest two (but they added up correctly!), appeared. Just about managed to blow them out.
Chatting My Way Around the Midleton Farmers Market
Filling a few bags as well!
Immaculate King Oyster from Ballyhoura Mushrooms
Looks like quite a few of the traders from the Midleton Farmers Market are heading to the City Hall on Monday for the Cork Kerry Food Forum and Artisan Fair. The afternoon session, from 12.30pm on, is open to the public and you’ll have a chance to sample and buy the products.
In the morning, there might well be a question or two about rulebook regulation hampering the development of small producers. That was certainly a topic in Midleton on Saturday. There is agreement that regulation is needed but so too is common sense.
The difference between shopping at a market and elsewhere was heavily and pleasantly underlined for me on Saturday. So many stops, so many chats, even a recipe from one producer. Bought one of Frank Hederman’s smoked mackerel (I know lots of you love the fillets but you must try the whole fish smoked on the bone) and Frank himself gave us a few tips on making the best use of it.
Cobh's Just Foodstarted off at a corner of a stall in Midleton and it was great to see Deirdre Hilliard back in the market and supporting the stall-holders. She’ll be in the City Hall on Monday as will Jane Hegarty of Ardsallagh Goats. I was gossiping away to Jane as she handed out samples and one of them stopped me in full flow. It was a mature cheddar, four years old, delicious. She hasn't much left though and when its gone….
Deirdre’s nieces, Lilly and Roisin Higgins, were ”breakfasting” at the market but I don't think they got too much at all as their kids weren't inclined to leave any of the gorgeous pizza after them! Had a chat too with Lucy from Ballyhoura Mushrooms but forgot (too much gossip going on) to go back and buy some. Next time Lucy!
Mackerel, smoked on the bone.
Bumped into Colm and Aoife McCann from Ballymaloeand Peter Corr of Febvre Wine, and children. Colm is busy as usual lining up great wine events for Ballymaloe and has high hopes for the visit of the amazing Riedel Wine Glasses Show in November. That’s a long way off but there’ll be plenty of tastings and so on in between and we’ll let you know as soon as Colm has confirmed.
Also stopped to say hello to Noreen Conroy of Woodside Farm. They now have two stalls in the market, the second selling their delicious hot food.
We did manage to buy a few other bits and pieces, including (under instructions from Mr Hederman) some Ballycotton spuds from Willie, irresistible strawberries from Rose Cottage Farm and, of course, bread from Arbutus. Another chat (French themed!) here of course with Declan and Deirdre before we retreated back to the city with one of their delicious Almond and Saffron Rings in the bag. Half of it is gone already and I don't think it will last the day!
The tasty products of the Rose Cottage Fruit Farm may be found at quite a few local markets including Mahon Point and Midleton. Cherries and Blueberries are included in a wide variety and they also do drinks such as Apple Juice, also mixes such as Apple and Raspberry, and they have a full range of jams.
Enjoyed a bottle of their Apple Juice recently and can agree it is worth the three euro for the 75cl.