|Rory O'Connell, a regular at SeaFest|
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Thursday, January 4, 2018
SeaFest Rotation Gone by the Bord?
Millions Slip Through Cork Nets as Galway Gains
Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event in 2017, generating €6.3 million for the city.
The figures, details here, showed a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. The 2016 SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.
It has been confirmed that SeaFest 2018 will take place in Galway from 29th June to 1st July. It incorporates a series of marine-related business and research events, the annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit, as well as a maritime festival.
Run by the Marine Institute, with major partners BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mara) and Bord Bia, the initial Seafest was held in Ringaksiddy, County Cork, in 2015 when The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was Simon Coveney TD. Report on the Cork event here.
There was much more than fish demos in Ringaskiddy with linked events around the harbour including Captain Your Own Ship in the Simulator of the National Maritime College, the base for the event. There were SeaFest Science Talks, the BIM Beaufort Scale Hurricane Experience, Marine Recreation and Tourism and much more.
It was a two day event and the impression given then was that this festival would “tour” Ireland annually and “plans are in hand to bring it to Galway in 2016”. So Cork is not the only loser as the Festival now seems set for a permanent stay in Galway. Fishing places such as Killybegs (Ireland’s largest fishing port), Dingle, Kilmore Quay, Howth, Greenore, Castletownbere, Burtonport, Dunmore East and Greencastle, and Cork of course, will be wondering and, one suspects, waiting.
Read all about SeaFest and its success in Galway here.
Monday, November 13, 2017
Broth to Bowl by Drew Smith.
“You might find your definition of the word soup somewhat stretched in these pages but that is the way of my kitchen.”
So says author Drew Smith in the introduction to his new book, Broth to Bowl. The word soup is “stretched” here, in many delightful ways as he shows us how to master the art of great soup from six simple broths.
And, by the way, Drew is adamant: “a stock cube will not do”. “For soup to be nutritionally optimal and full of flavour, you must begin with a solid foundation – a good broth.”
“Soup is the heart and soul of the kitchen. Menus invite you to think that a soup is a single event, which it is if you are running a restaurant. But at home, probably the last thing you want is 75 bowls of cauliflower cheese soup.
What we want is evolution, so one recipe leads logically into the next and so on. Less work. One job = three or four or more, completely different meals, a vegetable tea becomes a chunky vegetable broth becomes a creamy soup. The same liquid can find its way into ragouts, stews, casseroles and all manner of sauces.”
|Ingredients I gathered for vegetable tea and vegetable broth|
If you are on a budget, this book is for you. “It may seem at first glance that we are using humble, cheap everyday ingredients, but for the most part these are what our bodies need and crave. We have become very wasteful as a society. We like our meat to be neat little red fillets.
But much, if not most, of the nutritional benefits of eating meat at all are to be found in and around the bones, the marrow, the collagen-rich elements like cheek and trotter. We buy breast of chicken and ignore the rest of the bird, despite knowing through history that a soup made from the carcass has always been given as a restorative. So too was beef tea.”
|Vegetable tea, the basis..|
Let us go through the section headings. We’ll start with Vegetable Tea. It is the first recipe you’ll see and that is the start, and also the basis, for many more, including Potassium Broth (“If you had to live on one simple recipe, then this might be a good choice”), Kale Vichyssoise, Laksa and Gazpacho (for when the temperature rises above 25 degrees!).
|... for the broth|
The red meats are next, beginning with the Basic Beef Bone Broth and that can be the basis for so much more. There's a Proper Borscht, a Rich Man’s Pho, a French Potée (a soup, broth and stew all in one), and the legendary Italian bollito misto.
There is a shortish, but no less interesting, chapter under Fish, including Fish Chowder, Jane Grigson’s Lobster Bisque, Dalston Bouillabaisse, and a magnificent Oyster Soup!
And we stay with the sea as we turn the focus to Kombu. How about a Japanese Bonito Broth? Monkfish in dashi with ginger? A Tonkotsu Ramen?
|My chunky vegetable broth|
It is much the same pattern all the way through. Start simply and build from there. So, in the end, it may be more to accurate to say that soup (the food that is), is expanded, enhanced, deepened, in this well laid out, well illustrated, book, while happily admitting that soup (the word) is well and truly stretched.
* In addition to the recipes, there is advice on buying your produce and on the equipment you’ll need. And a list of various garnishes too.
- Drew Smith is the author of Oyster: A Gastronomic History with Recipes and translator of La Mère Brazier. The former editor of The Good Food Guide, he has been a restaurant writer for the Guardian and has won the Glenfiddich award three times.
* Broth to Bowl: Mastering the Art of Great Soup from Six Simple Broths by Drew Smith - Modern Books, published October 2017, Hardback, 4 colour with photographs, 160 pages, RRP: £20.
This is a sequence. It starts out as a light tea, becomes a soup and then transforms itself
again and again. You can drink this first-stage broth as an alternative to tea and coffee.
Once you get the hang of it, vary the spices, vegetables and herbs with the seasons.
Put 4 litres of water on to boil in a deep pot or saucepan while you deal with the vegetables. Peel and trim the carrots and cut into thirds. Peel and quarter the onions. Dice the leek. Quarter the potatoes – you can leave the skin on. As the water comes to the boil, drop the vegetables in and add the spices. Trim the top leaves off the parsley, save for arnish, and throw the stalks in the mix. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the vegetables, keeping only the liquid. Warm through, garnish with a few leaves of parsley and add a slurp of olive oil if you like. Serve in a mug or glass or take a thermos to work.
COOK’S TIP: There’s nothing wrong with the leftover vegetables. You can have them for dinner, dressed with a little meat broth. Or take out the potato and carrot, dice and mix with mayonnaise for a cold salad.
6 BLACK PEPPERCORNS
1 BAY LEAF
Bunch of fresh PARSLEY
SEA SALT to taste
OLIVE OIL to serve (optional)
MAKES 4 LITRES
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Turbot A Royal Star At Rachel’s
Turbot is sometimes called the King of the Sea and we had a taste of flatfish royalty in Rachel’s last Friday evening, both of us taking the fish special as our main course.
It is a truly wonderful fish and the team at Rachel's certainly did it justice. Served with a basil hollandaise sauce and creamed veg (mainly green), it was a delight. Side dishes of Irish potatoes and a most deliciously dressed salad added to the fish. Indeed, I'd have been quite happy with a plate of those smoky tasty spuds on their own.
A friend of mine from Castletownbere says Turbot (Tubard in Irish) is the finest fish we have around the coast. This large strong predator is highly prized, up there with lobster and Dover Sole. So it can be expensive; ours was priced at €32.00.
Not the most expensive I've enjoyed. That was in 2012 in Nerua in Bilbao (a world top 100 restaurant) and the price then was €35.00 but, served with with rosemary jus and pickled turnip, it was perfection on the plate and on the palate.
|Turbot, with Rosemary jus, in Bilbao|
Just last year, I had one of the least expensive Turbot dishes ever at the Electric Fish-bar. Pan-roasted Turbot fillets, with a parmesan and herb crust and a rocket pesto was just €15.00. The Electric effort was basic but positively exquisite, all the elements, not least that delicious complementary crust, playing a part.
So back to Rachel’s where there was a terrific buzz in the large comfortable split-level room, the design of which has been termed industrial chic. No live music at that early hour (we started at 6.30) but Myles Davis tunes were on the system there. A cool combination, even cooler with a glass of Vidal Sauvignon blanc from Marlborough (7.50).
|Crispy egg on top of this starter.|
Starters range from €7.00 to €12.50. But it is quality all the way. One pick was the Jamon Serrano Gran Reserva, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, Onion Confiture, Toasted Almonds and Crispy Egg. Quite a plateful in terms of both quantity and quality. No shortage of that expensive and exquisite ham and that crispy egg was a tasty bonus.
Much the same story with our other choice: Ballycotton Smoked Mackerel, Pickled beetroot, soft-boiled egg, peas and dill. A delicious mix of flavours and textures.
And since we were celebrating a birthday (a little bit late), we also had desserts from a list that includes a 3-cheese cheeseboard, all priced at €6.50.
Torta di Cappuccino, chocolate ice-cream, hazelnut crumb was my choice and quite good while CL, preferring something a little lighter, found the Apple jelly, crême Anglaise, butter shortbread, cinnamon apple snow tastily appropriate.
Service was friendly and excellent, a minor snag sorted in double-quick time. After the sweet ending, it was time to hit the streets and go in search of some more jazz tunes - easily found considering the weekend that was in it.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Variety is the spice of life at The Cornstore.
The ever-popular Cornstore specialise in great steaks, quality seafood, and fabulous cocktails. But within, and outside of, that, they produce a stunning variety, enough to keep the punters returning time and again. Last Wednesday night was cold and showery but that didn't stop the customers visiting the Cornstore.
The ever-popular Cornstore specialise in great steaks, quality seafood, and fabulous cocktails. But within, and outside of, that, they produce a stunning variety, enough to keep the punters returning time and again. Last Wednesday night was cold and showery but that didn't stop the customers visiting the Cornstore.
And with the ground floor full, there was quite a buzz about the place. Great place for groups of six or eight or more to dine but no shortage of couples either on the night. And, aside from the three “pillars” mentioned, you can get something to suit your palate (and your wallet) from a selection of menus: the Early Bird (two course for €25.00), a 3-course Gourmet menu for €35.00, and the A La Carte. And then they do lunch everyday, with brunch on Sundays.
And, of course, there are the specials. Not just one to two on a board. On Wednesday, for instance, there were two extra starters and four extra main courses. Indeed, it was from the specials that we choose most of our meal.
The staff here rarely stand still but at the same time, they are courteous, friendly and helpful. Great to be in out of the cold, studying those menus, the wine list (with lots of helpful hints), the cocktail list, the beer list, the whiskey lists. I could go on…
Our drinks, in the end, were a glass of a gorgeous Colleita de Martis Albarino (what a finish, and perfect for the fish) and one of a smooth El Bar Malbec from Argentinian with ”an alluring nose and blackberry flavours” that lived up to the blurb as it mixed with the Brazilian style steak, Tango and Samba.
My starter pick from the specials list (don’t worry about boards, it comes with the menus) was the Duck spring rolls with spicy sesame hoisin dipping sauce. A pair of tasty beauties, nice little salad too.
CL was enjoying her generous Goats cheese fritters, red pepper, black olives, tomato, fig purée ad balsamic reduction. The superb accompaniments enhanced the cheese no end.
And then for the South America touch. My Picanha steak had been Dry aged for 60 days and was served Surf & Turf style with a Prawn skewer, a shrimp & cod mash, Prawn skewers and a Béarnaise sauce. They recommend medium for this cut which you may see on a video here. The beef was perfect and I must admit I was really delighted with the mash!
The beef came from the specials as did CL’s pick: the Poached Roulade of Lemon Sole, stuffed with mussel mousse on potato confit, samphire and sauce Veronique. Again, the fish was perfect, tender and moist and the stuffing was outstanding.
I’m sure the desserts would have been special as well but our two courses had already filled us and soon we were waddling over to Patrick Street to catch the bus home, happy out!
The Cornstore are always ready and willing to take part in special events in the city and will be one of the restaurants on the Gourmet Trail (23rd Sep) during the Oyster Festival the weekend after this. You can check what they doing and even win two tickets for the Trail here.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Fish Out In Force at the Bayview.
Not the usual suspects!
For me, the humble mackerel was probably the highlight of Chef Ciaran Scully’s Seafood Evening at the spectacularly situated Bayview Hotel last Friday. But there were starring roles too in Ballycotton for less familiar fish, such as Megrim and Witch.
Witch? This is a flounder, known in the UK as Torbay sole. It is caught in abundance around our coasts and about 95% is exported! Megrim, also common, has the sole flavour and a slightly softer texture. The other fish that featured in the six course menu (including a fishless dessert) were Dublin Bay Prawns and Octopus.
The prawns were first up. They were grilled, scented with Rosemary from the garden, shell oil and Atlantic sea-salt, and served with carrot, cappuccino of Bisque, and Leamlara Celery cress.
Then came the Seared filet of Mackerel with cucumber, pickled Mushroom, Wasabi cream, dried sea grass, Purslane and sea spinach. Chef Scully says the mackerel haven't arrived in force yet this season but he had some good plump ones here and created a terrific dish.
Time now for the Megrim soup. First came the garnish (Coolea cheese croute, saffron rouille, fennel and tomato) and then the soup was poured, a perfect match. Second time in a week that the soup came midway through a meal. No problem on either occasion!
And it was also the second time in a week that I had octopus. This was landed in Duncannon (Wexford) but, like all the other fish, was caught by a Ballycotton boat. The Char-grilled Octopus was glazed with apple syrup and served with sweetcorn purée, chorizo lime and oil, a delightful combination of flavours and textures.
Now it was the turn of the Witch fillet, with lemon and potato purée, brown shrimp, parsley, capers, nut brown butter, samphire. Quite a finalé to the fish dishes.
Dessert was Caramelised pineapple, coconut parfait and Mount Gay rum with mango jelly, pineapple sorbet, fizzy citrus syrup, Speculoos biscuit, pina colada foam. Delicious with plenty of fruit flavours to match with the Brumes de la Tour Blanche Sauternes, an intense wine with concentrated fruit, yet with a refreshing acidity.
The wines for the evening came from Eno Wine and their Commercial Director Donie O’Brien was on hand to give a brief rundown on each wine, starting with the amazing Pares Balta organic Cava.The family keep bee hives (to assist in pollination) and sheep flocks (to fertilise the vineyards in autumn). When presented with a Cava like this, it is hard to believe that it is still one of the lesser known sparkling wines in Ireland.
That is not the case though with Albarino, which has been gaining in popularity for “past 25 years” according to Donie. And he had a delicious example, the Etra Albarino, aromatic, full of fruit and again that acidity that means its goes well with food, especially food from the sea!
It is often compared to Sauvignon blanc and we soon had the chance to compare as the next wine was Domaine L’Aumonier, an organic wine from the Loire produced by Sophie and Thierry Chardon. A fruity and pleasant wine to taste on all occasions. It is aromatic, well balanced between freshness and intensity and the perfect match for the Octopus and its sauce.
Donie reckons that the Godello grape is becoming ever more popular in Ireland and may well follow Albarino on the way to even greater acceptance here. Certainly the one he had is a gem, a great match with the Witch dish. This was the Celdina from Galicia. Donie says it has the richness and weight of Chardonnay but with a bit more crispness. Beautiful aromas too and, while good with fish, has the wherewithal to “accompany chicken, turkey and pork dishes even when served with a sauce”.
After that it was the turn of the dessert and the Sauternes to bring the very pleasant event to a close.
The fish was finished for the night but I started the next day with more fish. I was staying in the lovely Garryvoe Hotel, a sister of the Bayview across the bay, and was delighted to see plaice on the breakfast menu. Ballycotton Bay is noted for its plaice and this reinforced that opinion. No wine though!
The next special food evening in the Bayview’s Capricho restaurant, “Ingenuity and the Bounty”, again seafood themed, is scheduled for Monday September 4th and is also part of FEAST. More info here.
Bookings: 021 4646 746.
Maria Coleman and Chef Ciaran Scully have been filling me in on future themed evenings. Our Portuguese Night – Isaac's Soiree (this date has moved from the 15th of September to the 6th of October) - will consist of a Portuguese tasting menu to include paired Portuguese wines. Keeping it simple there will be no choice! We will also have music on the night."
"Following that on the 20th October we will be having the Bayview Swing- this will be held on the 20th of October 2017. It will be a themed 1920’s event to ease into the Jazz weekend in Cork. A Black tie event/1920’s theme, Full four course dinner, Prosecco and oysters arrival reception, Live music."
"All event are €65 per person and we are doing a special over night to include the above at €110 per person sharing."
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Fenn’s Quay's Special
From breakfast ’til late at night Fenn’s Quay will feed you, and feed you well. Lots of menus here, including a set lunch and an Early Bird. That Early Bird is, unusually, available on Saturdays up to 6.30.
It is good value and has quite a few dishes from the A La Carte. As it happened, it was the A La Carte that we concentrated on last weekend. We noticed some dishes that are almost fixtures here, such as the O’Mahony's Feather-blade and the same O'Mahony’s Collar of Bacon.
|Beetroot cured salmon|
But there is no shortage of variety in Fenn’s Quay, once you factor in a packed specials board. And, conveniently, they also include a written list of the specials as well as the traditional blackboard.
We tend to make good use of the specials and we did so here as well, though neither of the starters featured on the board.
CL choose Cork Dry Gin and Beetroot cured salmon with buttermilk dillisk and cucumber pickle (€10.00), a very well judged combination, very tasty indeed.
|Braised lentils and beef tongue with pickled quail egg|
I was delighted with my Braised lentils and beef tongue with pickled quail egg (€10.00). The broth or jus - I used some of their well-made bread to mop it up - was full of the flavours from the tongue and the lentils and the quail was the first of my Easter eggs. Happy out!
We had been tempted by one of special starters, a Fish Platter with O’Connell’s smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, fish croquette and beer battered cod.
We would though have O’Connell's cod on the double as we agreed on the mains, the Fish of the Day special (19.00). Details are: Cod, spinach, cod skin and cod purée, served with roasted cauliflower florets and peas. All added up to an exquisite dish, the fish as fresh as could be and cooked perfectly and that cauliflower was excellent.
The dessert special was another winner: Bewley's Pannacotta with dark chocolate and brandy mousse (€6.50); had an idea this was going to be delicious (and it was!) and so we left the popular Mimi’s Cork Dry Gin and Tonic Dessert behind!
They have a short but well judged list of wines here, some available by the glass and most, if not all, by the carafe and bottle. And also they had a couple of specials on the board. Unusually, they also have a list of craft beers, Blacks and Mountain Man among them, but I went for a regular favourite the Stonewell Medium Cry Cider (€6.50). Food and presentation was top notch, service too and so it was a happy if overdue return to No. 5 Fenn’s Quay. Very Highly Recommended.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
|Hake (left), salmon, croquettes. Mackerel is hidden behind the salad.|
If in Cork, go catch your fish at Fenn’s Quay.
Once upon a time, Fenn’s Quay was actually that, a quay. As was nearby Cornmarket Street, as was Patrick Street (check the bend of the river!). Indeed, once upon a time, maybe in the 1970s, there was a proposal by a local businessman to concrete over the south channel of the River Lee and make a road of it. Glad to say that outrageous proposal - it got a lot of newspaper space - never off the ground.
Cork city centre still remains an island. And fish is everywhere, white, slippery, in the markets and stunningly fresh and tasty in many of the local restaurants. Kate Lawlor’s Fenn’s Quay restaurant is where we found some excellent dishes during a midweek lunch.
The fish platter, a regular feature, was an enticing option (€15.00). It was a perfect assemblage, a well judged mix of textures, flavours and colours, quality and quantity giving an elegant sufficiency on the black slate. In plain words: Fish croquettes, cured salmon, beer-battered hake, and smoked mackerel paté. Add in a perfect salad and you have a happy customer, singing a shanty on the way out the door.
Fenn's Quay hadn't been too busy when I arrived - on the early side - but when I looked up after finishing that mega-platter - I noticed it was getting close to full. It is a popular spot, just off Patrick Street and conveniently close to the Courthouse area. No doubt briefs are studied (and discussed) here, after the menu is perused of course!
CL too had made an excellent catch: Baked Hake with roast cauliflower, leek, carrot and mash (choice of salad also), all for 16 euro. Hake has become an established favourite in local restaurants - just a decade ago it was seriously under-utilised here but a successful Bord Bia campaign, improved the siutuation. The piece in Fenn’s Quay was white, moist, impeccably cooked and deliciously delicate. Vegetables could have been a touch softer.
Now, before I go any further, I'd better make clear that Fenn’s Quay is not a fish restaurant. One of the highlights on the Specials Board was a Featherblade of Beef dish, another speciality here. Lots of choice, both at lunch and in the evening.
We had started with their French Onion Soup with Gubbeen Crouton (€4.50), a magical little bowl of the stuff. The soup and the Gubbeen were a match made in heaven but there was also a little dark magic added back in the kitchen, much more back-bone to this than you get in your regular French Onion soup. Highly recommended, especially on a winter’s day.
Indeed, day or night, winter or summer, fish or otherwise, Fenn’s Quay is very highly recommended indeed. But do watch out for those fish specials!
By the way, they will be open on the 13th and 20th of December (both Sundays), serving both brunch and early dinner.
No 5 Fenn’s Quay
Sheares Street, Cork
Opening hours: 8.00am to 10.00pm, MOn-Sat
Tel: +353 21 427 9527
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Taste of the WeekFocus on Fish
If you’re a regular here you’ll know that we usually have a Taste of the Week, just one at a time. But, shortly after the marvellous Seafest at Ringaskiddy, we are still on a fish trend and have quite a few tasty bits.
Let’s start with Kilmore Quay Seafood. They had a string of products at SeaFest including fish burgers, even fish sausages. The one that impressed us though was the pack of Haddock Goujons, Hand cut fresh fillets of Haddock tossed in breadcrumbs with a Lemon and Pepper seasoning. (Available Frozen and Chilled).
Quite often, when you buy goujons in a store or order them in a restaurant, you have more breadcrumbs than fish and sometimes have to poke around to find the flesh. Not the case here. The fish is almost bursting out of the crumb and very tasty fish it is too.
|Catch 'em young, at Seafest!|
We got Smoked Rainbow Trout and Barbecued Rainbow Trout from Goatsbridge Trout Farm. One of the advantages of visiting the Goatsbridge website is that you’ll find a load of recipes there. Mag and Ger Kirwan are the people behind the farm (which you can visit). And another handy product that you can keep in stock is their Tinned Trout. And there's much more, including the much sought after Trout Caviar!
Last but not least we can recommend the products of the renowned Woodcock Smokery in West Cork. “All of our products are from fresh, wild fish caught by sustainable methods. We use no artificial chemicals or dyes, only traditional smoking methods over native hardwoods.” Fish smoked by Sally Barnes and daughter Joleine include Haddock, Pollock, Mackerel (our purchase), Tuna, and Salmon. And the good news is that they run a Mail order service.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Their catch to your plate
|Hake with oregano and garlic|
When I was growing up in the fifties and sixties, Catholics abstained from meat on Fridays. Fish was the preferred alternative. Preferred is hardly the right word as the bony little white fish dished up religiously was regarded, not as food, but as a danger, a nuisance (all those bones) and a penance. Fish, wrongly, got a bad name in this island, a bad name from which it is now almost totally recovered.
Indeed, over much of the past week, the week after Seafest in Ringaskiddy, we’ve had fish just about everyday. And on some of those days, the fish has been supplied by Keohane’s of Bantry. It is a family business and dad Michael (The Cod Father) has been fishing the Atlantic waters for thirty years.
Son Michael runs the family fishmongers while daughter Anne Marie runs the Fish Kitchen Restaurant in Bantry, a highly recommended place to call, great fish dishes and lots of local craft beer. Check it out here
Keohane's process the fish at their Kinsale Road facility. I know we should all try to eat fresh fish from the market or the fishmonger but we are not always near them. You’ll find it hard to get fish in many rural areas and even in the cities large areas, Mayfield for instance, have no fishmonger. Then if you are working, you may not have time to go nor time to prepare.
Keohane’s can come to your rescue here. Their Microwavable fish comes in a vacuum pack (some for one person, some for two), usually with a garnish of herbs; take the container, pop it into the microwave and, in a few minutes, you have a tasty dish (with no strange additives in it ) in front of you.
I tried three of their offerings. First up was the Cod Fillet with Ginger, Chilli and Lime. Lovely inviting aromas as it came to the table and it tasted great as well. Next, not the same day, came Hake Fillet with Garlic and Herbs, another winner. Finally, there were Two Cod Fillets with a Green Pesto Sauce, another excellent dish. My favourite was the first one while the official blog cook plumped for the third.
|Above: Quick lunch via the microwave - |
Cod fillet with Ginger, Chilli and Lime.
From the pack below!
But all three were top notch and, don't worry, these three are just the tip of the iceberg. Keohane’s have quite a range, not just the microwavable, which also includes a tempting Mediterranean Seasoned Mackerel Fillets with cracked Black-pepper Butter. Virtually every fish you can think of is included in the Fresh Fillet range and then they have a seasonal range which currently includes Hot and Spicy Prawn Skewers!
So quite a bit of fishing to be done there. Their facility is on the Kinsale Road and the products are available in the on-site shop and also in Tesco.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Irish Fish - Two Ways
Hederman and Goatsbridge
Enjoyed an Irish fish dinner at the weekend, starting with smoked mackerel from Hederman’s and then a main course of fresh trout from Goatsbridge in Kilkenny.
If you want to buy Irish, you have to keep your eyes open and read the labels. That, surprisingly enough, applies to fish as well, not that too many of them will have labels!
Take Sea-bass as an example, a species that is protected here. According to the fishmonger.ie website, we import wild Sea-bass from France and farmed version from Greece and Turkey. In all, in 2012, we imported (according to BIM figures) some €203 million worth of fish, a staggering 75,000 tonnes (mainly from Norway).
No problem buying Irish fish at your local market stalls but be careful in the supermarket, especially at the fresh fish counter. The Goatsbridge trout is not always sold under that name but the tag on the counter does say Irish farmed trout.
Cobh’s Frank Hederman is renowned for smoking fish. Not just mackerel but also salmon and do watch out as well for his mussels. If using mackerel in your main course, go for the whole fish but as a starter, the fillets (which come plain or coated with chives or chili) are fine. We used the chive one and bought it at the English Market. By the way, the salad and the baby beets both came from Derek’s Green Field Farm stall at the Mahon Point Farmers Market.
Over then to the local Dunne’s Stores for the trout and that was eventually served with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes. The potatoes and carrots were also bought at Mahon, from the Burns farm stall. And if you do call to Sandra and Joe, be sure and get some of their fabulous Vegetable Crisps.
The vegetables, for the trout, were done using Edward Hayden's Prepare-Ahead Vegetable method, detailed in his book Food to Love (pub. 2011). Basically, the veg are cooked separately, then cooled off, and kept in the fridge; take them out close to dinner-time and cook them all together, not forgetting to blanch and refresh! Got that book in the library the other day and it is proving very handy indeed.
Speaking of local, the raspberries for the delicious soufflé came from the back wall. Thankfully, the considerate blackbirds left just enough for us! Very satisfactory meal overall, especially suited to this time of year. Both the trout and mackerel are top notch products and I'd urge you to try them. Each is highly recommended.
Find out all about Frank Hederman and his smokehouse here.
All the details on Kilkenny's Goatsbridge Trout available here.
Both have online shopping.