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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Taste of the Week. Brown Soda Bread by Dooley’s

Taste of the Week
Brown Soda Bread by Dooley’s

Dooley’s Bakery and Café  is in Rathcormac, on the main street, neatly painted in a pale green, with an old bike outside. 

We knew the bread box at home was bare so we stopped there yesterday and, despite the temptations of the sweet things in the cabinet, bought one of their brown soda breads.

But what a soda bread! A little warmth when I took it out of the bag - it was fresh, great aromas too and above all terrific flavour and texture.


I know it costs almost twice as much as a supermarket effort but well worth it; this is the real thing and Taste of the Week.

Maybe I should have lingered a while, enjoyed a Badger & Dodo coffee with one of those pastries; maybe go all the way and buy a lotto ticket - it is also the Post Office!


Back at home, a few slices of the bread, slathered with some Apple & Blackberry Jam by ‘G’, was a nice reward for a long walk around nearby Corrin Hill (including a visit to summit). Simple pleasures!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Taste of the Week. Chicken Inn’s Chicken Stock

Taste of the Week
Chicken Inn’s Chicken Stock


If you’re passing the Chicken Inn in the English Market and see a line-up of tubs of chicken stock, grab one, or two, and you’ll have our Taste of the Week.

Tim Mulcahy’s stock is chock full of flavour and a great base. There are tons of recipes on the internet and you can adapt them as you please and depending what you have to hand, just as we did (above).


Noodles (pasta is an alternative) are a terrific accompaniment and you can throw in a selection of the following: pieces of left-over chicken, diced carrots, sweetcorn, celery, onions, and pak choi. If you’d prefer a precise recipe, then go to Google!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Taste of the Week. CakeFace Pastry

Taste of the Week

CakeFace Pastry
It was love at first sight in a crowded Kilkenny cafe on a Saturday morning. I had eyes only for The Jaffa Orange, one of many sweet sensations created in the shop by CakeFace Pastry in Irishtown under the shadow of the cathedral. Couldn't wait to get her home and demolish that dark choc and orange mousse, with an orange centre on a crunchy base. Was that dark one my Taste of the Week?

Maybe. Because once Jaffa was over, I turned my attentions to the blonde, the Cherries Dark Forrest, a Luxurious White Choc Mousse and Kirsch mousse on a sour cherry jelly and chocolate sponge. Taste of the Week?

And there are many more Tastes of the Week where this delicious duo come from: Raspberry velveteen, Rhubarb Rose, Passionate Tart. Neither you nor I can lose here. Of course, you may eat your choice in the cafe and the coffee is good too. 

16 Irishtown
Kilkenny City

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Taste of the Week. From the Bula Bus

Taste of the Week

From the Bula Bus
Smoked sausage and pickled cabbage

The Bula Bus is a restaurant, in a bus, a double decker. They cook downstairs, serve you upstairs. It is an old bus from Manchester that doesn't go anywhere anymore. It is parked up, permanently, in the backyard of Billy Byrnes pub in Kilkenny.

But they do have a stall at the local Farmers Market every Thursday and it was there that I got fed last week and found my Taste of the Week in their Czech style Smoked Sausage.

Six euro bought me street food at its best. A big choice of sauces and condiments and the large sausage was served with Californian style pickled cabbage, a faster version of Sauerkraut. 

The sun was shining as I sat down on a public seat nearby and tucked into my substantial and very tasty lunch. I could have been in California or Prague but Kilkenny’s Parade was cosmopolitan enough for me.

It is easy enough to catch the Bula Bus crew and their out of the ordinary food - they are open most days behind the pub. More info here.


A brief account of a 2014 visit to the bus: it was time for lunch so the group (about 14 strong) headed off to the Podge Meade’s Bula Bus, a former unit of the fleet in Manchester city but now parked up at the back of Billy Byrne’s pub. The kitchen is downstairs and the upper deck is laid out as a restaurant, serving wild and foraged street food. Venison, mushroom and rabbit (which I enjoyed) featured on the menu.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Taste of the Week. Cinnamon Cottage Ratatouille

Taste of the Week
Cinnamon Cottage Ratatouille
Irish diners used to have mixed opinions on Ratatouille, mainly because earlier versions weren’t much more than an anonymous mess on the plate. And then very few were eating aubergines and peppers in 1970s Ireland.

Irish Ratatouille and we Irish diners have come a long way since then and there are some terrific examples of the dish around nowadays, both in homes and in restaurants. One of the best I came across recently came from Cinnamon Cottage.

This is a brilliant mix: aubergines, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and more. Fantastic textures and flavours, a dash of spice too, all combining to make a Ratatouille with attitude and our Taste of the Week.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Taste of the Week. Skelligs Chocolate

Taste of the Week
Skelligs Chocolate

The current Taste of the Week comes all the way from the beautiful St Finian’s Bay area of Ballinskelligs in County Kerry: ten delicious Irish handmade chocolates truffles. 

Just five flavours in the box but something gorgeous for every taste. Off to a promising start with the Citrus Delight, then Strawberry and Champagne. Are you getting the picture? And still to come are the Vanilla Ganache, the Hazelnut Praline and, perhaps my favourite, the Dark Irish Whiskey, all creamy, all made with love and each dispatched with love as well.

Great to see the County Kerry firm bounce back so well from the fire of 2010. Did you know they overlook the UNESCO World Heritage site Skellig Michael? Well they do and, better still, they'd love to see you come and visit. Think I’ll take that invitation up myself when I'm in the area in a month or two.


If you can't make it down there anytime soon, they have many stockists: check the list here.  I got mine in Bradley’s, North Main Street, Cork, and, of course, you may also buy from their online shop here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Taste of the Week. Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade

Taste of the Week
Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade
Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade came tops in the New Cheese Section at the Irish Cheese Awards in 2011. It is still going strong and our Taste of the Week. 


It is a soft goats cheese with cranberry: 100% handmade, 100% natural, 100% local and 100% delicious, even on its own.

Came across a striking way to use it during a meal in Jacques some time back when dessert was Medjool Date stuffed with Ardsallagh goats cheese, with Almonds and a full circle of Blood Orange. A gorgeous summer combination.

This small family run business in East Cork has grown steadily, and you can buy their products not only in local farmers markets, but also in national supermarket chains. I got mine at the Roughty Stall in Cork's English Market. Ardsallagh products can also be found on the menu of many well known restaurants across Ireland. 

The whole family contribute toward the smooth running of the farm and dairy. They use the ladle method, slowly and carefully, making a beautiful cheese that is easily digestible.

Ardsallagh Goats Products
Woodstock
Carrigtwohill
County Cork
021 4882336

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Taste of the Week. Bertha’s Revenge Gin

Taste of the Week
Bertha’s Revenge Gin

“Most important of all for us was the desire to produce a gin that other people would enjoy as much as we do.” So says Justin Green who, with Anthony Jackson, founded Bertha’s Revenge Milk Gin in 2015. The marvellous gin, which walked off the shelves of one leading Cork drinks store over Christmas, is our rich and smooth Taste of the Week. Any week!

The gin is named after Bertha, the oldest cow in the world, who died a few weeks short of her 49th birthday. The Whey spirit they use is made by Carbery in West Cork.

The producers - the tiny distillery is in Ballyvolane House - are so happy with the complexity and smoothness of this milk based gin that they really enjoy sipping it with a “splash of water”.

But they add “she works very well with a good quality tonic”. And she performs well also in a martini. Bertha, shaken with ice and a suggestion of vermouth, poured into a chilled glass with a simple zest garnish delivers “a gloriously smooth and precise cocktail experience”. Try it for yourself - stockists here - about 50 euro per bottle. You’ll also find it in various mixes in leading bars and restaurants.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Taste of the Week. Gubbeen Smoked Pork Ribs

Taste of the Week
Gubbeen Smoked Pork Ribs

Fingal Ferguson of Gubbeen Somekouse has become a well respected smoked meat producer; he has over 50 products and a fascination that grows each year with the arts and science of charcuterie. Here, you’ll find superb chorizo and salamis, smoked bacon and more, even that famous cheese is smoked.

Fifty products and growing. One of the latest, Gubbeen Smoked Pork Ribs, is truly mouth-watering and our Taste of the Week. Like all his products, this comes from quality ingredients to which time and care have been added. The result is a “marriage of traditional methods and modern flavours”.

This latest product, I got mine at Mahon Point Farmers Market, means you can have a barbecue anytime you like. The BBQ sauce ingredients include pimento, olive oil, harissa, garlic, herbs and spices and it all adds up to one of most flavoursome meals imaginable. It is ready to eat but we did heat ours up a bit and tucked in. The succulent meat more or less fell away from the bones but using your fingers and teeth (the traditional way) adds to the primal pleasure. Oohs and aahs all the way! And yes, the odd grunt too.

Gubbeen Farmhouse Products, Ltd.,
Gubbeen House,
Schull, Co. Cork.
Ireland.

Cheese Telephone: 
00 353 (0)28 28231
Smokehouse Telephone: 
00 353 (0)28 27824

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Taste of the Week. Smoked Shiitake and Oyster Mushrooms

Taste of the Week
Smoked Shiitake and Oyster Mushrooms

Lucy and Mark of Ballyhoura Mushrooms have been serving us delicious stuff since they started out. Year after year it just got better. Soon Michelin star chefs wanted their mushrooms and now you can get them abroad, in prestigious outlets such as Fortnum and Mason.

Fortunately you can still get them at the farmers markets where they started off five years ago. And I spotted our Taste of the Week there in Mahon last Thursday, their delicious smoked Shiitake and Oyster. These beautiful mushrooms are always good from Ballyhoura, now they are at a whole new level of flavour.
Starting off. November 2011 in Douglas Farmers Market

They are a must try and I’m sure cooks and chefs all over the place will be striving to get their hands on them. We got just a few for a quick lunch, fried them up and served them on toasted Arbutus. As they say on Twitter: OMG. Amazing! Our simple lunch was all of that and I was thinking they would make a fantastic ingredient in a pasta dish. But I'll leave all that up to you chefs out there.

By the way, Mark and Lucy have an excellent website up and running here.  You may read all about their mushrooms (cultivated and foraged) and products (eg Cep Oil). There are a few recipes there as well. And, of course, you can order the likes of Porcini Dust and Wild Garlic Vinegar from their online shop. But don’t forget the farmers markets in Mahon and Midleton!


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Taste of the Week Gubbeen Farmhouse Cheese

Taste of the Week
Gubbeen Farmhouse Cheese

Gubbeen is one of the original Irish cheeses and one of the very best. It is made in West Cork from the milk of Tom and Giana Ferguson’s mixed herd of cows and is a firm rind washed cheese; the cheese itself is softer than the rind though it has a real bounce. 

It is widely available and I got my most recent wedge, our Taste of the Week, from the Cinnamon Cottage on the Rochestown Road in Cork.

The Fergusons make just one type of cheese and the variations are down to age and smoking. Well, what does it taste like? At the younger stage, it is milky, creamy even, and is mildly pungent. That changes as it gets more mature so the best thing is to try it at different stages, perhaps at a Gubbeen stall in a Farmers Market, and see which suits you best.

Much the same can be said about the smoked version, done in the Gubbeen smokehouse by son Fingal. Again, the youthful version is mild while the mature has a stronger flavour. Some people like the younger cheese, others prefer the mature. Over to you. You may well like both, as I do.

Read all about Gubbeen on their website here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Taste of the Week. Skeaghanore Hot Oak Smoked Chicken Crown

Taste of the Week
Skeaghanore Hot Oak Smoked Chicken Crown

Skeaghanore has long been associated with duck and now this new fabulous chicken product (not up on their website yet) is our Taste of the Week.

The smoking has been very nicely judged and the overall flavour is brilliant; texture is spot-on too, lovely and tender, even juicy. Eat it with a salad or with pasta. And, besides you get a lot of bang for your buck. It is a rich and succulent food and very good value as well.

Skeaghanore products are widely available and I got my smoked chicken in Bradley's, North Main Street, Cork.

Skeaghanore
Ballydehob
Co. Cork
Tel: 028 37428
Twitter: @SkeaghanoreDuck


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Taste of the Week. Loughbeg Farm Oat Bread

Taste of the Week
Loughbeg Farm Oat Bread
From Loughbeg Farm, west of Schull, comes a by now rather famous Oat Loaf, our Taste of the Week. Famous because it has filled a gap in the gluten free market and because Walter Ryan-Purcell, the man behind the venture, made a memorable appearance on Dragon’s Den last year, leaving with the support of not one but two of the dragons.

It started off on a very small scale with Walter and wife Josephine experimenting with the recipe in their farmhouse. But gradually they got it right and then Loughbeg benefited from the Supervalu Food Academy and now the loaf is widely available. 

The ingredients are milk, gluten free oatlets (41%), olive oil, bread soda, lemon juice and salt. I picked up a loaf in Bradley’s (early supporters of the venture) recently and enjoyed it very much indeed. The early versions were very crumbly but this holds very well together and is full of flavour with a gentle crunch. I like a slice with a good cover of butter but you can add any spread you like. Enjoy.

And when you do come across it, ask too about their delicious Oat Tea Brack (soaked in tea and cider!). 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Taste of the Week. Seymours Biscuits

Taste of the Week
Seymours Biscuits


So you like coffee? Well here is the perfect partner, Chocolate and Hazelnut biscuits from Seymours.

We go the extra mile by freshly roasting the hazelnuts beforehand, using Belgian chocolate chips, stone ground local oatmeal, fresh eggs and butter and a nice splash of bourbon vanilla to finish! Each biscuit is seriously wholesome and the flavours come to the fore when eaten with coffee for those well deserved relaxation moments.

Seymours Irish Biscuits is a family owned specialist bakery producing individually hand-cut biscuit products. Their bakery, in Bandon town,  is about 8km west of their dairy farm from where the fresh milk goes in to making the creamery butter for the biscuits, "imparting a genuine taste difference no other biscuit bakery can match".


That Chocolate and Hazelnut is our Taste of the Week. It is exquisite. But there are quite a few more where that comes from. You can taste the butter in the shortbread and, if you want something really special, try Social Circles. I got mine in Bradley's, Cork, but these treats are available in Ireland, Europe and the US. All the details here


2 Cloughmacsimon Business Park, Bandon, Co. Cork.

Contact Philip O'Connor 
Land line: +353 21 733 1129
Mobile:       +353 86 330 9378
 
e-mail:  info@seymours.ie


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Taste of the Week. Koko Chocolate

Taste of the Week
Koko Chocolate

Frank Keane, owner and producer at Koko of Kinsale, has a website but you won't get much info there. He is a man that prefers to chat rather than write, though he does "chat", sometimes cheeklily, on Facebook - find him @kokokinsale. 

Francis makes his handmade artisan chocolate in the heart of Kinsale. Also sells "Delicious coffee, teas and most importantly real hot chocolate and our signature chocolate shots". To find out a bit more about Koko, see the article I did about him about a year back.

To find out more about his chocolate, just call to his place on the Pier Road in the town and buy. Just like I did for this delicious Taste of the Week. As you can see, the embedded ingredients, the nuts, the raisins, the orange are all classic with chocolate and you may get this bar in milk or dark versions. I really enjoyed this one and the real treat was the pieces with the orange. Magnificent!
Koko on little break at present; will re-open Friday 13th Jan '17

Koko Chocolate
Pier Road
Kinsale
Co. Cork
Tel: 087 6110209
Email: kokokinsale@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Taste of the Week. Davidson’s Crusted Rack of Lamb

Taste of the Week
Davidson’s Crusted Rack of Lamb


The dog needed a walk and we needed something for Saturday’s dinner. The walk took us past Davidson’s, our local craft butchers. They are well known for their rack of lamb and that was how we came by our Taste of the Week.

The rack was crusted, the combination of Parmesan and walnut not that usual. It was a gem, the lamb tender and delicious and the crust a revelation, enhancing the meat with crunch and flavour. Oh, and there was a lovely wine to go with it: Ascheri Coste & Bricco Barolo, marked well down in O'Brien's Fine Wine Sale.

Davidson’s, the Craft Butchers’ National Champion Speciality Foods for 2016, are also very helpful and we were told how to cook it to get the best out of it: Oven roast for 40 minutes. It was a winner, a terrific Taste of the Week, set to be repeated!

Lamb with roasted veg (Carrot, butternut squash, parsnip), a winter warmer!


Davidson’s Craft Butchers
7 St Christopher’s Drive
Montenotte
Cork
Phone: 353 (0) 21 451 8184
Facebook: @davidsonscb
Twitter: @davidsonscb
Open: 8.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday

Monday, November 14, 2016

Taste of the Week. Cuban Black Bean Meal Soup

Taste of the Week
Cuban Black Bean Meal Soup


Looking for a warm pick-me-up these winter days? Then check out the Just Food Soups. The Cobh based company, run by founders Deirdre and Kevin Hilliard, uses fresh locally sourced produce and is a multi-award winner at Blas na hÉireann and Great Taste.

Deirdre started off sharing a market stall in Midleton in 2004. A few years later, she is one of a number of producers featured on a big advertising hoarding on the wall of the local SuperValu overlooking the market venue. Her soups and salads are widely available.

Some of the soups are highlighted here on the website and they include Winter Minestrone, Moroccan Chickpea, Spicy Lentil (one of the originals and a big favourite of mine), Carrot and Coriander, Tomato and Roast vegetable. 

Our Taste of the Week isn't up there yet but we thoroughly enjoyed the organic Cuban Black Bean Meal Soup on a recent chilly day and no doubt will be tucking into it again as the winter progresses. You can also use the soups to make up a full meal - that's why you see meal in the soup title. Loads of recipes and hints on their Facebook page (see below).

Seashore
Ballybrassil
Cobh
Co. Cork
Phone: 353 (0)21 481 5516

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Taste of the Week. Creeny Irish Sheep Cheese

Taste of the Week
Creeny Irish Sheep Cheese


I bought this cheese at the Donegal Food Festival from the cheesemaker herself Silke Cropp of Corleggy Cheese in County Cavan. She told me it was six months old and made from raw sheep’s milk. It is rare enough as it is made only for four months each year.

At two months this is a mild cheese but as it matures (up to 12 months) it becomes a very sharp cheese indeed. I sampled a wee bit of the six month old cylinder and thought it was amazing, not a million miles away from a Pecorino, with a distinctive piquant pepperiness. It is indeed, salty, sharp and funky (as the Americans say).

It also has a distinctive rind but one that you may eat as Silke emphasised that it is formed naturally in the brine. “Creeny is always very slightly salty, the reason is that the sheep graze the grass to the very earth, full of salts and minerals from all the rich rain.”

Sheep milk is the richest milk of the three main milks and high butter fat and protein content makes for the rich luxurious taste. Like goat milk, sheep milk products are suitable for people with cow’s milk allergies.

It is my Taste of the Week. Use it as you would a Pecorino. It is suitable for grating and cooking and good for fondues, omelettes, sauces, salads, soups, pastas and pizzas and for sprinkling over savoury dishes. Go on, give it a try.

Corleggy
Belturbet
Co. Cavan
+353 (0) 499522930
Twitter: @CorleggyCheese






Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Taste of the Week. Torc's Raspberry & Vanilla Sour

Taste of the Week
Torc Brewing Raspberry & Vanilla Sour, 4%, Bradley’s of North Main Street exclusive.

What is a sour beer? Don’t want to overcomplicate this and put you off. Think of a very dry cider or that gripping Basque wine Txakoli and you won't be a million miles away. Just be aware that in sours, as in ales and lagers, you’ll have quite a range. So you’ll have to try for yourself and this is a good one to start with.

I couldn't find an entry for sour in Slainte (The complete guide to Irish craft beer and cider).Perhaps they weren't any Irish sours when the book was published two years ago. Now there are quite a few. Yellow Belly and Eight Degrees had examples at the recent beer fest in the Cork City Hall. Perhaps the most high profile recent example for me was the Rodenbach at the Franciscan Well October Beer fest. By the way, people looking for cider at the festival, were offered this and there was a great reaction to it.

And this limited edition Torc is the newest Irish on the sour scene. While waiting for the revised edition of Slainte, I checked Wikipedia. Sour beer, they say, is beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart, or sour taste. The most common styles are Belgian lambics, gueuze and Flanders Red Ale, gose too.

This sour, by Killarney based Torc, is a collaboration with Bradley’s and is brewed with fresh raspberries and vanilla pods. The fruit, of course, is there to give a balance plus flavour.


The beer is tart, no doubt, yet not that mouth-puckering tart. It is refreshingly fruity, yet not overly so. I must admit I was well into the conversation with this well balanced cloudy beer before coming round to the idea that we could be friends! Well worth a try for yourself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Taste of the Week. Hederman’s Hot Smoked Salmon

Taste of the Week
Hederman’s Hot Smoked Salmon

Just one look and I was hooked. Frank Hederman’s side of smoked salmon lay temptingly on the bare boards of his market table in Midleton. The gorgeous rich shades of red/orange, from the smoke and the added Kashmiri chillies, were enhanced by the autumn sun. There was no need to even taste a sample. Knowing that it had come from an old authentic smokehouse a few miles away and knowing how carefully Frank sources and handles his fish, I bought a piece.

And there was no putting it in the fridge when I got home. No, this was to be used within hours. It can, of course, be refrigerated and later served at room temperature or gently re-heated. If you want to slice, that is best done straight from the fridge. It is flakier than cold smoked and indeed is easy to flake for your plate.

You’ll find while flaking that every second piece is going into your mouth. Maybe I should have bought more? In any event it is absolutely delicious and succulent and our Taste of the Week. Aside from Midleton, you may also buy it in his shop in the English Market and of course he has it for sale online as well.

The salmon is farmed organically on the west coast of Ireland. It is Kiln-smoked by the master smoker over a live beech wood fire in Cobh and sprinkled with mildly hot Kashmiri Chillies. The chillies are more a condiment than a spice in this case. Enjoy

Frank Hederman
Belvelly Smoke House
Belvelly
Great Island
Cobh
Co Cork
Ireland
Phone: +353 (0) 21 481 1089