Showing posts with label Taste of the Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taste of the Week. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Taste of the Week. Cherries from the Apple Farm


Taste of the Week
Cherries from the Apple Farm


No need to say too much about our current Taste of the Week. The sweet delicious cherries grown on Con Traas’s Apple Farm are simply superb!

Easy to appreciate these juicy beauties. But not easy to grow. If that were the case, you’d find them in every farmers market. When grown in Ireland, cherries need protection for a number of reasons, and typically most growers use some form of simple tunnel to grow them in. 

The Apple Farm explains: This is because cherry flowers are susceptible to cold winds when flowering, and the cherries themselves are liable to crack and get diseases due to rainfall, and then if they survive all this, are a favourite food of many birds. A plastic tunnel can protect the trees and fruits from all these problems, meaning that instead of getting a good crop one year in five (or ten if you live in the wetter parts of Ireland), you can rely on a crop each year.

Thanks to Con and his team for making the extra effort. Put these cherries on your list if you’re anywhere near the Apple Farm, just a few minutes off the M8 on the N24 (Cahir-Clonmel Road)! Lots of other fruit available too, in season.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Taste of the Week. Harriet’s Lemon Curd at Roughty Fruit


Taste of the Week
Harriet’s Lemon Curd at Roughty Fruit

A good curd is hard to find. 

So when we got one, we made it Taste of the Week. Produced by young Harriet Kelleher from Macroom, you can get it at the Roughty Fruit in the English Market. Ingredients: butter, free-range eggs, sugar, lemons and, wait for it, passionfruit!

There are many ways of using this tarty mix, especially in baking, tarts and tartlets and so on. Over 100 of them here from BBC Food https://www.bbc.com/food/lemon_curd .

We noticed our local Mayfield café (and a good one it is), the Old Bank, using it with their pancakes so I tasked the OBC (the official blog chef) and she responded with a winner as usual! 


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Taste of the Week. Roaring Ruby Red Ale


Taste of the Week
Roaring Ruby Red Ale

I was eating out recently in Timoleague's Monk’s Lane where Gavin and Michelle have, since they started out a few years back, been strong supporters of local craft brewers. They have a very long list of beers, both in draught and in bottle.

I spotted the Roaring Ruby Red Ale by the West Cork Brewery from Baltimore in draught and noted the “dangerously drinkable” in the blurb.

I can vouch for that having sipped my way through a smooth pint of its delicious caramel and toffee flavours, a superb red ale almost crossing into stout territory. And our Taste of the Week is great with food.

The West Cork Brewery is based at Casey’s of Baltimore, Ireland’s first Brew-Hotel, and was launched in December 2014 by Dominic Casey, Henry Thornhill and brewer Kevin Waugh. They also produce the Sherkin Lass Ale and Stout x Southwest. Wouldn’t mind being down there now in that sun trap beer garden, sipping a pint of Roaring Ruby and the boats coming and going on the blue waters.

Check out three other top Irish beers all on the darker side here

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Taste of the Week. Wicklow Bán Brie


Taste of the Week
Wicklow Bán Brie

Encouraged by the immediate success of their multi-award winning Wicklow Blue, the Hempenstalls soon followed up with this equally delightful creamy brie cheese.

The family have been making cheese since 2005 and they credit the farm’s proximity to the Irish Sea with adding a distinctive flavour all of its own to these seductively addictive Wicklow Farmhouse cheeses. And this is distinctive. It is mild, creamy and buttery and our Taste of the Week.

Apples, berries, pears and many other juicy fruits are known to pair well with Brie. We came across another variation. We just happened to have some dried baby figs (from the Olive Stall in the English Market) in the house and they, along with a few grapes, made for a delicious plateful. If you want to make it even better, add a glass of that gorgeous Pom ‘O from Killahora Orchards.

Wicklow Farmhouse cheese is widely available. I got this piece at On the Pig’s Back in Cork’s English Market.

Curranstown House, 
Arklow, 
Co. Wicklow
Phone: +353 (0) 402 91713 
Mobile: +353 (0) 872515980 
Web: www.wicklowfarmhousecheese.ie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taste of the Week. Ballyhoura Mushrooms Risotto Mix

Taste of the Week
Ballyhoura Mushrooms Risotto Mix

Not all of you are lucky enough to be in a position to get your hands on Ballyhoura mushrooms at Farmers Markets (we got ours at Mahon). But did you know that they have quite a few mushroom products available to buy at various good food stores, including the new pantry in Bakestone at Cobh Cross? 

Products include Cep Oil, Mushroom Vinegar, Mushroom Ketchup, Mushroom Soup Mix, even a Mushroom Unami Powder, and also this Risotto Mix, our Taste of the Week. Indeed, you can also purchase online.

The mix provides earthy woodland notes and intense mushroom flavour and is perfect for making a dish for two people. You’ll find the recipe on their site here. Well worth a try!

Our pic looks a bit on the dark side  and the reason is that we used black garlic cloves.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Taste of the Week. The Trilogy by Tullamore DEW


Taste of the Week
The Trilogy by Tullamore DEW

Three whiskeys were up for tasting at the end of our recent tour in DEW Tullamore. The first, their original, is light soft and sweet and doesn’t have the longest of finishes but its “straight-forward style” has helped make it their best seller.

The 12-year old, that means the youngest whiskey in the blend is 12 years old - has a touch of ruby from its time in the Sherry cask. It is softer, more mellow than the original and is “renowned for being very smooth and flavoursome”.

The 15-old Trilogy, with its black label, is similar in make-up to the 12-year old. It has been matured in Sherry and Bourbon casks before being finished off in rum casks. It is soft, with “tropical characteristics” and the finish is noticeably better, long and rich.

Even so, the 12-year old has quite a few supporters on the tour. But I go for the Trilogy and it comes home with me! My new Taste of the Week.

When you arrive in Tullamore for a tour and tasting, you’ll have to find parking as this attraction has none. The tour and tasting takes place at the refurbished DE Williams bonded warehouse (they have a new distillery on the outskirts of the town). We found the tour efficient rather than engaging. The Trilogy though is very engaging!

See also, from this trip:
National Stud and Japanese Gardens
More Photos of Visit to National Stud and Japanese Gardens
Mikey Ryan's Cashel

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Taste of the Week. Bandon Honey

Taste of the Week
Bandon Honey
Ruth Healy has long been an unofficial champion of local food and, in recent years, she’s actually an official food champion, a Failte Ireland Food Champion.


Failte say: Ruth Healy brings people together – shopkeepers, sellers, producers, restaurateurs, eaters – and she champions the food of West Cork by providing the link. A pivotal member of Slowfood West Cork, a founder of Bandon Farmers Market and Bandon Food Trail, the centre of all her activity is her ‘Culinary Store’ URRU.

Ruth’s shop in Bandon, URRU, is well stocked with the best of Irish, the best of local. So it was no surprise when I picked up a jar of honey, it was from Bandon and produced by Robert McCutcheon and his bees. Can’t get more local than that!

It is marked with the seal of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations and it is pretty good stuff, full of flavour with a great viscous texture, and is our Taste of the Week.



URRU
Culinary Store
McSwiney Quay
Bandon
Co. Cork

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Stonewell Seasonal Ciders. Taste of the Week. Taste of the Summer!


Stonewell Seasonal Ciders
Taste of the Week. 
Taste of the Summer!

Stonewell Apple & Cucumber Limited Edition Craft Cider 2017, 5.5%, 330ml bottle.



In 2016, Stonewell won the Supreme Champion Award at the Blas na hEireann Awards in Dingle with their Rós, an apple and rhubarb cider, and their current seasonal is this medium dry Apple and Cucumber.

First thing you notice is the huge difference in colours, the cucumber one looking more like a white wine (with hints of green), though with lots of bubbles. The cucumber comes through, gently, on the nose and on the palate. 

Flavours are probably lighter than the Rós but, if anything, are even more refreshing. A light and moreish flavour, as they say themselves, from this combination of Royal Gala apples and a subtle twist of cucumber.


Rós Apple and Rhubarb Limited Edition Craft Cider 2017, 5.5%, 330ml bottle

The Supreme Champion is an all local amalgam. The rhubarb juice is extracted from the produce of Robbie Fitzsimmon’s East Ferry Farm in Cork and blended with the “soft caressing” flavours of the apple juice.

This new batch has a gorgeous mid-gold (no pink!), with fountains of bubbles. Rhubarb comes through on the palate but its tartness is more than balanced by those soft caressing flavours of the apples. An engaging mix indeed from the small but highly innovative team at Nohoval and you can taste why it won a surprise overall gold at Blas.

Both ciders are vegan and coeliac friendly and each should go well with food. Thinking of a salad in the garden with a bottle of the Apple and Cucumber while the Rós should be ideal with the strawberries. Must set that one up while the sun is out!

Stockists
Stockists for both ciders: Bradley’s Cork; 1601 Kinsale; Blackrock Cellar, Co. Dublin; Gibney’s of Malahide, Co. Dublin; No 21 Lismore, Co.Waterford; Paddy Blues, Gorey, Co. Wexford; Redmond’s of Ranelagh, Dublin; Lilac Wines, Dublin 3; Supervalu Kinsale and Clonakilty; Riney’s Bar, Sneem, Co.Kerry. Matson’s Wine Store, Grange and Bandon, Cork.

You may get the Apple and Cucumber at the following O’Brien’s Wines locations:
Ardkeen, Co. Waterford; Beacon, Dublin; City West, Dublin; Blanchardstown, Dublin; Douglas Court, Cork; Dun Laoghaire, Dublin; Glasnevin, Dublin; Malahide, Dublin; Naas, Kildare; Rathgar, Dublin; Rathmines, Dublin; Templeogue Village, Dublin.

Nohoval
Belgooly
Kinsale
Co. Cork.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Taste of the Week. Davidson’s Pork Steak Wellington


Taste of the Week
Davidson’s Pork Steak Wellington

Montenotte based butchers Davidson’s have been serving up some great meat in the area for the past four years or so. And it’s not just the locals saying that. Chris Davidson has led the team here to more than their fair share of awards in national competitions. And our Taste of the Week is one of them.

This delicious Pork Steak Wellington has been a national runner-up and they have a national champion in the equally delicious Crusted Rack of Lamb.

The Pork Steak is our Taste of the Week. Absolutely top notch meat and the stuffing, walnut and apple, is superb as well. Well worth checking this one out. By the way, it comes with full cooking instructions!

Davidson's Craft Butchers
7 St Christopher's Dr, Montenotte, Cork, T23 KV96
Open Monday-Friday· 8a.m.–6:30p.m.
Saturday: 8a.m. - 6.00p.m.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Taste of the Week. Ballymaloe CS Sour Cherry Amaretti


Taste of the Week
Ballymaloe CS Sour Cherry Amaretti

The humble apple may have lost us paradise. But it is simply regained. Just go to Midleton Farmers Market on Saturday and call to the Ballymaloe Cookery School Stall.

There are many palate pleasing delights here: banana bread, Tunisian orange cakes, homemade meringues, and Ashura (Turkish) cereal. 

But this is not quite what you’re searching for. Check in among the Chocolate Toffee Squares and those massive Gingerbread Cookies. What you need, and what I bought on my recent visit, was the their pack of Sour Cherry Amaretti.

Put one of these beauties in your mouth and just press gently with your teeth. Savour. Delight in that amazing texture and flavour. Paradise found, at least on the palate.

Our heavenly Taste of the Week is produced using cherries, egg whites, almonds, sugar, lemon, honey and lots of enthusiastic love.

Shanagarry
Co. Cork


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Taste of the Week. Maura’s Kitchen Spicy Beetroot Chutney


Taste of the Week
Maura’s Kitchen Spicy Beetroot Chutney

Found my current Taste of the Week during a pleasant visit to Killavullen Farmers Market last Saturday week. Stopped at Maura’s Kitchen Stand and spotted her Spicy Beetroot Chutney. 

It is great with cheese, particularly cheddar. And Maura herself says it really livens up what could otherwise be a rather mundane meat sandwich.

It is packed with beetroot and other ingredients include onion, eating apples, zest and juice of orange, yellow mustard, red wine vinegar, sugar and ginger. Recommended, well worth a try.

Maura also has some terrific jams here and, as with the beetroot, is quite generous with the fruit. Watch out for her Wild Plum and Raspberry jar in particular. And watch out for this lovely market which will be on again next Saturday.



Maura’s Kitchen, 
Derryvillane,
Glanworth,
Co. Cork


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Taste of the Week. Killahora Rare Apple Ice-Wine

Taste of the Week

Killahora Rare Apple Ice-Wine
Barry (left) and Dave
show their amazing ice wine.

This superb drink, particularly with its aromas and finish, speaks very much of the orchard, maybe even a touch of warm apple tart. Mostly, there is on the palate a well-balanced tension between the dry and the sweet, a sweetness that is not at all sticky. “A bittersweet symphony,” they say themselves. Not a bad summing up of our Taste of the Week.

There was a lot of love expressed for it on Twitter when it made its public debut recently. One enthusiast was so impressed that she cancelled her standing order for importing Canadian Ice Wine!

How do they make it? The juice of their rare apples (114 varieties growing here on south facing slopes) is concentrated using freezing temperatures and slowly thawed. The resulting beautiful deep and rich must is slowly fermented for a year and stopped before completion, leaving half of the apple sugars intact…nothing is added, so the abv is a low 10.8%.

I came across this a few months back as a matching drink for the superb cheese menu at SpitJack. Beautiful and rich, it was perfect with the cheeses that we had and with the Ardsallagh Ash Pyramid in particular. More recently, I got the same magnificent result with the St Tola Ash Log, the two premium products mutually enhancing.

And where is Killahora? You might well ask. If you are lucky enough to get a bottle of the Ice Wine you’ll see a corner of an ordnance survey map from 1837 showing an orchard here on these warm slopes close to the village of Glounthaune just east of Cork City. Well over a hundred types of rare apples growing here now and it is here too that the bittersweet cider Johnny Fall Down is produced.

Killahora
Glounthaune
Co.Cork
PHONE 021 486 8177

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Taste of the Week. Burren Smokehouse Oak Smoked Organic Irish Salmon with Honey and Dill


Taste of the Week
Burren Smokehouse Oak Smoked Organic Irish Salmon with Honey and Dill

Our Taste of the Week comes from the Burren Smokehouse via the Simply Better section of Dunnes Stores. You’ll find it difficult to find the Burren Smokehouse on the label (back). I really don't know why supermarkets don’t sell local products with the producer’s proper name highlighted on the front. Would make shopping a lot easier.

But, in this case, it is well worth it. Birgitta Curtin is the smokehouse owner and her smoking technique plus the addition of the dill and honey makes for a gorgeous rich texture and flavour, a flavour that is both deep and long.

You need very little else. Indeed, it's probably best to follow the simple serving suggestion on the back label: separate the slices of salmon 20 minutes before serving to allow it reach room temperature and then simply serve, with lemon wedges, on some fresh brown bread (preferably homemade, as was the case here, thanks to the official blog chef!).

If you want something a bit more complex, then get your hands on the current edition of Simply Better with Neven Maguire; he has a tempting recipe there for Eggs Benedict using Birgitta’s salmon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Taste of the Week. Claire’s Homemade Seville Marmalade


Taste of the Week
Claire’s Homemade Seville Marmalade


This is going to be short as I have very little information on Claire Trihy, the producer of our Taste of the Week, an outstanding Seville Orange Marmalade.

I was in Mahon Farmers Market the week before last and realised I was running out of marmalade when I saw this pot on a stand - can't even remember which stand! 

But I bought it straightaway. When I opened it up a few days later and tried it on some Arbutus sourdough, I just had to stop and savour the magnificent tangy flavour - lots of peel in here! It is one of the very best Seville marmalades I've ever come across and just had to make it Taste of the Week!

The small label attached to the jar gives the ingredients and little else. The address though is there: Whitfield, Butlerstown, Waterford. Might be easier to find the marmalade in Mahon next Thursday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Taste of the Week. Red Strand Coffee


Taste of the Week
Red Strand Coffee

I’ve been tending towards South America, especially Columbia, when I buy coffee nowadays and tending towards local roasters for a long time. So when I saw Columbia and a new local roaster in Bradley’s, I took a closer look and left with a bag of Red Strand’s Rio Magdalena Oporapa. 

The beans are grown at a height of between 1600 and 1650 metres in the Huila department of Columbia and roasted by Shane Kelleher in Clonakilty, West Cork. It has that recognisable Columbian profile of sweetness (Caramel) and acidity, rich and mild with a medium body. The label notes indicate Milk Chocolate, Caramel, and Orange and it is certainly a very drinkable, very satisfying coffee, now appearing in some local restaurants as well as local markets.

Shane was inspired by these markets and the producers around him to start the Red Strand Coffee Roastery. “My ethos is to only roast coffee I want to drink myself. Life's too short for bad coffee!”

If you would like to sample the coffee, please look for the Red Strand Coffee vans in Kinsale, Clonakilty, Bantry, Skibbereen and Schull markets. They’ll be serving up Lattes, Cappuccinos, Flat Whites, Mochas, Espressos, Americanos, Hot Chocolate, even tea!


Red Strand Coffee
Cois Fern, Fernhill
Clonakilty, Ireland
Tel: 087 656 6800

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Taste of the Week. Tender Stem Broccoli, Dockland Style

Taste of the Week
Tender Stem Broccoli Dockland Style
Not often we make a restaurant dish our Taste of the Week but this moreish  “Bite” from the newly opened Dockland is a worthy exception. Very impressed when I bit into this one on a recent visit to Beth and Harold’s makeover of what was previously their Club Brasserie.

Starters here range from small bites, all around the fiver, all the way to bigger ones at eleven and thirteen euro. The full description for this one is Chargrilled Tender Stem Broccoli Caesar Salad, toasted hazelnut and Parmesan Crumble. Terrific tastes, fresh flavours and crunchy textures. A bite of delight, all for a fiver and Taste of the Week.

See full review of visit here.

Dockland
City Quarter
Lapps Quay
Cork
T: 353 (0)21 427 3987


See full post on Dockland visit here

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Taste of the Week. Carrigaline Dillisk Cheese


Taste of the Week
Carrigaline Dillisk Cheese

I’ve long been an admirer of the cheese made by the O’Farrell family at the Carrigaline Cheese Company and I’m wondering now why I took so long to make their Dillisk Seaweed Cheese my Taste of the Week as they have been producing it for over five years. 

The Dillisk seaweed from the Atlantic combines with the milk from the local limestone soil to give the cheese a “must taste” combination. The creamy milk and the subtle tang of the ocean combine superbly.

Sometimes, when an extra like this is added to cheese, you can hardly see it, barely taste it. But here the Dillisk is easily seen, generous bits of it throughout the disc of cheese. Well worth a try.

Carrigaline cheeses are widely available and you can see the list of stockists here 

The Rock
Carrigaline
County Cork
Tel: (021) 437 2856

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Taste of the Week. Cantabrian Anchovies from the Real Olive Co.


The Deli's on the right!

Taste of the Week
Anchovies from the Real Olive Co.

If ever you are lucky enough to be in Getaria, on the Basque coast between San Sebastian and Bilbao, be sure and call to the Salanort deli and get your hands on the local anchovies. I thought that was my only way of getting these beauties but I found out the other day, they are much closer to home and are my Taste of the Week.

All you have to do is to call to the Real Olive Stall in the English Market and get yourself a few tins of the Cantabrian anchovies caught off Getaria and other nearby towns, in particular the can marked Cantara. The little fish are caught and the treated in a traditional way and are of the very finest quality.
Anchovies with grilled onions at Nerua in Bilbao's Guggenheim

What is so different about these anchovies? Well for a start, they are cold water as distinct from the anchovies of the warmer Med. But, maybe because of that, they have a fantastic flavour, pleasant and mild (not as salty as those from the Med) and texture is almost creamy. By the way, they have some delicious sardines at the Real Olive as well - I like the ones in the spicy tomato sauce but there is quite a choice and I'm told that those in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are amazing!
This is the tin you want!


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Taste of the Week. Skellig Milk Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Taste of the Week
Skellig Milk Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Wasn't expecting too much from this pack but, with Skellig Chocolates involved, I should have known better. It is a delightful delicious combination and our current Taste of the Week.

By the way, the chocolate is the main ingredient here at 83%, smothering the marshmallow at 17%. You bite in through the chocolate cover on the irregular sized treats and find the soft tasty marshmallow in the middle. It is quality all the way from the gorgeous chocolate to the soft yielding marshmallow, a terrific flavoursome packet. 

They go well together as I found out when I visited last year and enjoyed a hot chocolate in their cafe, a café with a splendid view out to the magic islands, the hot chocolate topped with a generous helping of marshmallow!



The Glen
Ballinskelligs
County Kerry

066 9479119

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Taste of the Week. Gubbeen Marinated Pork Ribs

Taste of the Week
Gubbeen Marinated Pork Ribs



The Gubbeen stall at the Thursday Mahon Point Farmers Market is always worth a call. Recently, we got a wheel of their delicious cheese, an Irish classic. Fingal Ferguson’s smokehouse and charcuterie in general is always there in abundance and we spotted these ribs there, now our Taste of the Week.
We got enough for three, maybe four, for a tenner. And advice on how to cook them: low and slow, with a tray of water underneath to keep them moist during the process.

The Blog Chef followed the instructions, added a simple salad, and it proved to be a delicious flavoursome main course. Thank you Fingal and company!

And, of course, we had some of the cheese later on.


Gubbeen
Gubbeen House,
Schull, Co. Cork.
Ireland.
Cheese Telephone:
00 353 (0)28 28231
Smokehouse Telephone:
00 353 (0)28 27824