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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Southern Spice Coming To A Food Near You
Rebel Chilli On The March
Just enjoyed a great week on the food front. Just about everything I’ve had on the plate has been enhanced by a touch of Rebel Chilli. Started in 2009, Rebel Chilli was the brainchild of Ken Moore. Having lost his job during the "Great Recession", his passion for hot sauce spurred him to experiment with recipes at his local farmers market in Cork.
To do is to dare is the motto of the Spurs football club and the Moores (Ken has been joined by younger brother Paul) did and dared and now Rebel Chilli is a household name in these parts. Speaking of dare, have your tried their Chillionaire, their hottest sauce? Mind how you pronounce it and also how you use it!
I’ve started at a milder level, with two samples, Red Sweet Chilli (left) and the Jalapeño and Raspberry jelly, and got on very well with both, even if I have a slight preference for the jelly. My first use of the jelly was with pork steak and I was delighted with the delicious and immediate enhancement and went on to use it with other meats.
The Jalapeno and Raspberry is certainly different and has a unique flavour thanks to the combination of the two main flavours. It has a sweetness which is balanced by the heat from the jalapeños. This pepper jelly is great with cooked meats like chicken, steak, burgers and lamb. It is wonderful with some cheese, especially melted brie! A bit of this in a sandwich is so good that you need to taste it to believe it.
The Red Sweet Chilli is also very versatile and was a success with most of my try-outs, including cheese. This has a medium heat with a lovely strong and fresh flavour from the lemongrass and ginger. It’s great over seafood, chicken, pastas and salads. It’s also great to add to sandwiches, wraps and to use as a marinade or a dip. Add a splash to a curry or stir fry for a burst of flavour. This sauce won Gold at Blas na hEireann last October so it’s quite popular.
I was speaking this week to the owner of one of the shops that sell Rebel Chilli products and was told that the Green Chilli is his favourite, especially with fish and chicken. You can check out all the products, with their new packaging, here. The products are available from Bandon to Belfast, from Sligo to Dublin. Check out the full list of stockists .
It is not easy going for the Moores. Paul, for instance, is also in his final year at college. But he is looking ahead: “We are a growing food brand and are taking our first steps into the larger retailers like Supervalu at the moment which will allow us to grow even quicker. All the support we get from new and existing customers and people like yourself is very much needed and appreciated!”
Keep up to date with Rebel Chilli on their Facebook Page.
48 Halldene Grove,
+ 353 (87) 2451925
Friday, September 5, 2014
Club BrasserieAll Things Nice. Even Spice.
It’s a Thursday evening and Club Brasserie on Lapps Quay is abuzz. Following a warm welcome from Beth Haughton, we are soon at our table, the menus and water there almost as soon as we sit under a row of chandeliers in the large attractive room, the two long walls lined with of mirrors.
We are ready for action and start to study the menu and also the blackboard which has an impressive list of specials. And I start with one of those: the crispy chicken wings with Harissa aioli (€7.50). This is one of the many Gluten Free dishes available here (they have separate friers) and it is superb and you can have it with a Cashel Blue dipping sauce at lunch-time.
CL picks the Superfood Salad, another special, packed with char-grilled chicken, pomegranate, quinoa, roasted beetroot, carrots, sweet potato, toasted seed and a lemon and herb dressing (€9.00). Super indeed. Just as well she picked the starter portion. Had she chosen the larger size, I reckon she'd have ran all the way home.
At this stage we were sipping our Sangiovese (Chianti style), one of three reds available by the carafe. The list is not massively long and is mainly European based. Some lovely wines are included and I spotted a Hugel Riesling in the whites and a Chateau Ksara from Lebanon among the reds. You may have your wine by the glass, by carafe, and some by the bottle. Besides, they also have a fully licenced bar with beers on draught.
We could have had anything from a Classic Burger to a Sirloin Steak on the mains. This is a French style restaurant and so CL picked the Crispy Duck Confit (19.00), a great choice and one of the best examples we've come across in recent years. It was served with rustic potatoes, green beans, delightful creamy rosemary flageolet beans and a red wine sauce.
I did well too with my East Cork Rack of Lamb (22.00), marinated with garlic, rosemary and olive oil with an aubergine, cherry tomato and basil compote, mint butter sauce and those lovely rustic potatoes. Absolutely superb.
|Starters (top) and desserts.|
Both main courses were cooked to a “T” and very well presented, so well done to Howard Lynch, Beth’s partner in crime and the busy chef here. And there was no let-up with the desserts, each excellent, mine an exquisite Eton Mess with a strawberry Daiquiri sauce while CL took her time, enjoying every lush spoonful of her Creme Brulee served with poached berries.
Club Brasserie also do a Prix Fixe menu (Monday to Thursday 5-10pm and also on Friday and Saturday between 5 and 6.30pm) and it includes that lovely Confit! Some tempting dishes too at lunch-time including the Club Hot Dog (with Toulouse Sausage) and also a Spicy Moroccan Lamb with couscous. And just a reminder that up to 80 per cent of the dishes here are Gluten Free.
Speaking of spicy reminds me that the riverside restaurant holds occasional Spice Nights. The Spice Club is a unique dining experience serving delicious curries, yummy cocktails and some fantastic music for a fun filled night! With dishes ranging from the subtle to the intense, it's ideal for those with a very mild and delicate palate to those who prefer even more spice! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details of Spice Nights and other occasional fun events.
Service is excellent here, prompt, efficient and friendly.
(021) 427 3987
Thursday, August 28, 2014
East Meets West.
And spices up the cheddar!
And spices up the cheddar!
East meets West in Kerry and the results are good, very good. From a mountain village in the Philippines to a coastal village in North Kerry comes Leah. She met husband Billy in London and together in Littor Strand they’ve put their respective food experiences and traditions in the mix and now you can sample some very interesting products indeed.
Billy’s grandfather William T. Sweeney founded Shannon Vale Creamery in the 1900’s; his father, Rory (Bill), was the General Manager of Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory in Rathmore, Co. Kerry before taking over as General Manager of Rattoo Creamery.
So dairying and cheese was very much part of Billy’s background and it is not so surprising that cheese is one of the products now produced by Leah’s Gourmet Foods. But cheese with a twist, as Leah has added a touch from the Phillipines, a spicy one!
Leah’s Gourmet Cheese sees the traditional Irish Farm Cheddar get an “injection” of red chillies, garlic and ginger. The initial attack could take you by surprise but you do get used to it quickly.
Many of us Irish look for a cool way to counter the heat of the spices and I’ve got one. Had tried a few relishes, including a Mango (a pretty good match). But the best pairing I came across was with a beautiful jar of red currant jelly made by Toni’s Homemade and bought at Bandon Market. A perfect match between Cork and Kerry.
Next time, we’ll tell you all about Leah’s Black and White puddings. They also do other products including Irish organic smoked salmon and a lovely line of boards and slates.
Just seen that Leah’s Gourmet Foods have been chosen as an "InterTradeIreland Business Ambassador" and have been invited to The Mansion House & Áras an Uachtaráin to meet President Michael D. Higgins, Minister Richard Bruton along with many other TDs & senators, VIPs and leaders of the business community in Ireland.
“We're so looking forward to this event at the beginning of October and so we'll have to dust down the tuxedo's and fancy gowns to get ourselves ready to meet with the great and the good of Ireland's business world!”
Part 2 next week!
Part 2 next week!