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

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Taste of the Week. Steam Cooked Chicken by the Chicken Inn

Taste of the Week. 

Steam Cooked Chicken fillet by the Chicken Inn

Our lettuce plants didn't get off to a great start this year but now they are flourishing with a second lot rapidly catching up. As a result, salads are regularly on the

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Taste of the Week. Choice of three

Taste of the Week. 

Choice of three.

Choose one, or all three!

I've been enjoying some superb Irish-made cheese in recent weeks. It is tough to pick one as Taste of the Week so I'll highlight all

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Taste of the Week. Wexford Strawberries

Taste of the Week

Wexford Strawberries

It's that time of year again when strawberries appear and the rush begins. You know they are in season when you see the roadside huts with the Wexford strawberry signs appear on roads many well outside the county.

I have been

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Taste of the Week. Carraig Beag cheese from Carrigaline

Taste of the Week. 

Carraig Beag cheese from Carrigaline

Mild and Silky from the O'Farrell family in Carrigaline.

Padraig O'Farrell is the man behind Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese these days. The O'Farrell cheese story began  over thirty years ago when Ann and Pat, Padraig’s parents, first produced their semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from their own herd, after Pat had undertaken a six-month cheese course at UCC. Now the family processes a variety of cheeses “based on our own unique recipe for both the national and international market. All of our cheese is handmade and available all year round”.

Made with pasteurised cow's milk, Carraig Beag is a full-fat semi-hard cheese and is suitable for vegetarians. This high-quality flavoursome cheese, silky and mild as claimed, is our Taste of the Week. Carrigaline cheese is widely available and we got this one in the local Dunnes Stores.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Taste of the Week. Knockanore Vintage Cheddar

Taste of the Week

Knockanore Vintage Cheddar

Not for the first time, Knockanore Vintage Cheddar is our Taste of the Week. As it matures on the farm in West Waterford, the cheddar becomes drier and more crumbly. It has the expected subtle and creamy tones but is stronger than the younger version with a delicious satisfying tang that cheese lovers crave.

Knockanore Cheddar is produced using raw milk on the Lonergan farm in Ballyneety, Co. Waterford. All of the milk used comes from their pedigree herd of Friesian cows that graze on the lush rolling hills of the countryside. It is produced using traditional cheddaring techniques which involve stacking the cheese curds on top of one another to produce a firm but slightly open textured cheese.

Eamonn and Patricia Lonergan began making cheese on their Knockanore farm in 1987. The cows graze on quality grass, they’re milked and the Lonergans use traditional methods to make a variety of delicious cheeses
right on the farm. This beauty is just one of them! Well worth seeking out.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Taste of the Week. Homemade Rosewater Marshmallows by Ballymaloe Cookery School

Taste of the Week

Homemade Rosewater Marshmallows 

by Ballymaloe Cookery School

Got to visit Midleton Farmers Market last Saturday morning to do a little shopping there and in the town. And it was at the Ballymaloe Cookery School stand that I found my taste of the week, these absolutely delicious Rosewater Marshmallows. The delicate flavour, well-known to fans of Hadji Beys Turkish Delight, is irresistible and makes for a gorgeous treat!

Rosewater is used to flavour many foods, including drinks, around the world, especially in Asian countries. Did you know that 90% of it comes from Iran where they hold a major Rosewater festival every spring? It is a by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume. 

So, it is used to enhance aromas and flavours.  Look out for this excellent example at Midleton Farmers Market every Saturday where it is well priced at four euro. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Taste of the Week Mella's Salted Caramel Fudge

Taste of the Week

Mella's Salted Caramel Fudge

(or any fudge by Mella!)

When it comes to fudge, West Cork's Mella is the one for me. I recently bought a pack of her Salted Caramel at The Pantry in Bakestone (Fota Retail Park) and it is our Taste of the Week. But I know from past experience that any other fudge by Mella, including her Vanilla, her Rum and Raisin or Dark Chocolate, would be just as welcome by the taste buds.

Mella is one of Ireland's Great Producers. Full 2022 list here!


This particular one, the deeply caramel flavoured fudge, is West Cork butter combined with Irish Atlantic Sea Salt. And, yes, like all her fudge, this just melts in the mouth - no effort required - and the top notch salt adds an extra note or two to the combination.  Another symphony from the fudge maestro!

Not surprisingly, Mella's Fudge is widely available including at her online shop here! And she also has a seasonal special: Christmas Spice with Orange. Must get one (or more) of those myself!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Taste of the Week. On the double: Raw honeycomb and Berliner Brot

Taste of the Week

On the double: Raw honeycomb and Berliner Brot

Just one little slice of Berliner Brot will bring you to sweet heaven.

Raw honeycomb is a real delicacy of nature and our joint Taste of the Week. It is also one of the most efficient ways of storing the honey and I picked up my current honeycomb from Galtee Honey at the recent Ballymaloe Craft Fair. It is delicious plus any superlative you’d like to add.

Aoife runs the Galtee Honey Farm, just off the R639 north east of Mitchelstown. The honey is 100% fresh floral honey from the Galtees. It is seasonal and you won't find too many more this year but no harm in trying!

The short "season" for Berliner Brot lasts from the first day of advent until these beautiful sweet snacks run out probably, unless you hide them away, before Christmas. Addicts (and that is what will happen to you!) have waited patiently the past 11 months for the comeback of the most delicious Christmas German biscuit. 

I got a little bagful from Ryes and Shine at the regular Saturday morning stall (10.00am to 12.00pm) at St Lukes Cross . Baker Angela says: This is my German family’s secret recipe. .. These biscuits are so heavenly delicious - they are a little soft, gooey on the inside, and are packed with cocoa and walnuts. 

Ryes and Shine (086/3565036) is a German microbakery in Cork, a member of  #realbreadireland, specialising in organic artisan sourdough breads, especially rye.

These "biscuits" are amazing. As Angela says: A perfect little gift - if not to someone else, then to yourself!

* By the way, in honour of the location and of the help she has received from Henchy's, Angela has produced a superb St Luke's loaf. Watch out for that also!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Taste of the Week. Salted Rye Cookies by Ryes and Shine

Taste of the Week. 

Salted Rye Cookies by Ryes and Shine

"Salty. Sweet. Buttery. Crunchy. Wholemeal. Rye. Heaven."

Circles of Contentment at St Luke's Cross

Our Taste of the Week comes from a modest stall just outside Henchy's in St Luke's, Cork City, alongside the old toll booth. Here, every Saturday morning between 10.00am and 12 noon approximately, Mayfield based Angela Nöthlings of Ryes and Shine, sells her range of sourdough breads and treats.

It took us a while to get around to her cookies. They are salted rye cookies made with organic wholemeal rye, sugar, organic sea salt, egg, butter (milk) and vanilla essence. They are absolutely out of this world, probably taste of the year. 

The texture is super, almost like the very best shortbread you've ever enjoyed in the centre with a little more crunch at the rim where you also notice the salt more. Flavours range from the sweetness of the sugar and butter to the tang of the salt. That pack of ten doesn't last that long - better get two packs while you're at it!

Angela tells us: All my bread is real bread, meaning it contains the ingredients flour-water-salt (and a fair amount of time and passion). No additives, conservatives or improvers. All loaves are naturally fermented and don’t contain commercial yeast. I use the best flours only, either organic and/or Irish grown and milled. Everything I sell is handmade by me in my HSE registered microbakery at home.

Check her out on Instagram at ryes.and.shine.cork

Latest from Angela:

Hello Cork cafe and restaurant owners and Cork chefs: Borodinsky is a 100% rye sourdough loaf made with organic rye, it contains molasses and coriander. Its flavour is strong, its crumb soft and light (for a 100% rye loaf). This bread goes really well with cheeses, meats like salami, smoked fish. It can carry off strong flavours effortlessly. The keeping quality of these loaves is amazing, they stay fresh about 3-5 days and actually improve in flavour over time - perfect for a food business! You cannot get a loaf like this from a supermarket or wholesale supplier. This is artisan sourdough at its best. It could help bring a very special touch to your menu. If you are interested in trying this bread or some of my other loaves, please get in touch 086-3565036

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Taste of the Week. Sage Condiments

Taste of the Week

Sage Condiments

Struck it lucky when I visited the Sage Stall on Midleton's busy street during the final day of the recent food festival FEAST. I ordered the Ballinrostig Burger (with Ballin halloumi, cauliflower pickle and beetroot relish). What a marvellous flavoursome combination! And I was immediately hooked by the condiments!

So when Virginie, who was looking after the stall, suggested I consider some of the condiments by Chef Kevin Aherne, including the impressive cauliflower and beetroot above, she was pushing an open door. There were quite a few on offer and I came away with three: Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Cucumber Pickle with Ginger, and the Cauliflower Pickles.
We have been trying them out in burgers, in sandwiches, even in toasty sandwiches and they all work a treat, giving a super lift to everything. A worthy Taste of the Week here! Must check out the rest of the selection, now widely available including in Sage of course.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Taste of the Week. It's a Cork thing.

Taste of the Week

It's a Cork thing.

I wanted bagels on a Saturday morning! Not any old bagels but the Jerusalem Bagels (with their pomegranate molasses and sesame topping) by Bread & Roses of Ballincollig. Knew they'd be at their stall in the Coal Quay Farmers Market and headed down. On the way, I picked up a pack of coffee at Roughty Foodie in the English Market. A few more bits and pieces as well of course.

Back home, I unpacked the bagels. Pulled a jar of Paul's Honey from the cupboard and slathered it on to the bagels, nothing else whatsoever. Coffee, called the Morning Growler, by Cork Coffee Roasters, was ready. Put the three together and I had a very satisfactory Taste of the Week indeed.

Not all from Cork of course but that coffee is roasted locally by John Gowan down the Marina. The honey was bought at O'Keeffe's in St Lukes and is produced at sustainable apiaries in Cork city and county and packaged by beekeeper Paul Collins who operates in the northside of the city.


Bread and Roses here

Cork Coffee Roasters here

Paul's Honey 085 283 1540

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Taste of the Week. Cooleeney Farm Brie, Cashel Blue, Gourmet Haven, Warm Loganberry Jam

Taste of the Week

Cooleeney Farm Brie, Cashel Blue, Gourmet Haven, Warm Loganberry Jam

This week's Taste of the Week was improvised, more or less thrown together. 

"What will we have for lunch?" "What have we got?"

"Well, we have cheese and we have chutney."

So we got cracking. Rather, we got cutting, little pieces of the wedge of Cashel and of the Cooleeney Brie, a pair of top Tipperary cheeses, recently purchased at the local O'Keeffe's shop in St Luke's. The chutney, mainly apple influenced, was by Gourmet Haven, and had been bought in Lynch's Centra Crosshaven some time back.
So we started with those three along with a few slices of Arbutus sourdough (also from O'Keeffe's). Just perfect, a lovely Taste of the Week!

The blog chef had just made a few pots of loganberry jam. There was half a jar of it on the table, cooling. So I stuck a spoon in and added that to the cheese. Like magic, our new Taste of the Week got even better!

By the way those loganberries are amazing this year, their third. We have two plants growing on a south-facing wall and they produced close to 7 kgs between them. In fact, just one of the plants deserves most of the praise as it yielded at least six of those kilos. The other is a bit of a dud and it doesn't look like improving for next year!

Still we have plenty of all four ingredients left, so this Taste of the Week could run for a while!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Taste of the Week. Bertha Summer Cup

Taste of the Week

Bertha Summer Cup

Last one in my basket!

The Bertha here is, of course, the famous Bertha of Bertha's Revenge Gin produced in Castlelyons, Co. Cork. And with her brand new can, she's in her element, out in the countryside (or a suburban garden) with a host of summer "friends".

The famous gin is in the mix, along with carbonated water, natural flavourings and apple concentrate. A really refreshing drink with unmistakable notes of fresh mint and cool cucumber. Enjoy our current Taste of the Week al fresco with friends, four-legged or otherwise, and laughter.

Best enjoyed chilled and over ice if you have it but that may not be readily available if you're walking around the countryside with your new friend in a 250 ml ready-to-drink can. After all, they do encourage you to enjoy it "on the hoof". 

This summer cup, along with its companion can Bertha & Tonic, is produced in a tiny distillery by Ballyvolane Spirits

Bertha Summer Cup 5.2%, 250ml can

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Taste of the Week. Jack McCarthy's Ham and Outregious Lettuce

Taste of the Week

Jack McCarthy's Ham and Outregious Lettuce 

We doubled up for this Taste of the Week. Well more than just two elements, but Jack McCarthy's cooked ham via On the Pig's Back in Neighbourfood and the well named Outregious Lettuce from Brown Envelope Seeds (via the Roof Top Farm Shop) were the stars on the plate.

Jack's ham is free range. The Kanturk butcher then delivers to On the Pig's Back in Douglas and there it is "cooked in our kitchen with onions, peppers, cloves and bay and finished off with a honey and whole-grain Dijon mustard". It is a lovely ham and can be enjoyed on its own.

Jack's Ham!

But we made up a salad with various leaves from the garden, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs. One of the lettuces was the Outregious, described by Brown Envelope as "an upright salad variety which forms a loose head. An outrage of red in the salad bed". And very nice on the plate and palate as well. It certainly grew well for us.

Lots of variety in our Taste of the Week!

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Taste of the Week. CorkBilly Cherry Brandy 2019

Taste of the Week

        CorkBilly Cherry Brandy 2019

This limited edition Cherry Brandy, of which I'm very fond, started life in August 2019 and three years later was named (with extreme bias) as Taste of the Week. 

The brandy was your basic Hennessy. The cherries were pretty basic too, from a supermarket as far as I can recall. They were nowhere near as good as those from the Apple Farm (I was too late for those) but they did the job well.

I was following the recipe in Booze by John Wright, No. 12 in the excellent River Cottage series of Handbooks. They advised not leaving the cherries there for too long  as "the almond flavour is extracted from the stone" and your cherry brandy "could taste inescapably like..disgusting, pink medicine.."

So forewarned, I separated the cherries and bottled the liquid just after the minimum two months on October 18th 2019. Then the Cherry Brandy was put away and patience reigned. I could have started drinking it after 12 months but it was just about two weeks back, (nearer to three years), that I started.

The result was excellent. Well worth a try. By the way that River Cottage Booze book has tons of recipes for similar infusions such as Blackberry Whiskey (mine is still unopened) and Raspberry Vodka (very easy to make and easier to drink!). Also some wine recipes including Strawberry and Elderberry. Some ales too!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Taste of the Week. Skelligs Milk Chocolate Rose & Pistachio Bar

Taste of the Week. 

Skelligs Milk Chocolate Rose & Pistachio Bar

You immediately think Turkish delight as this gorgeous bar begins to melt in your mouth. And you are correct as this is a delicious blend of the creaminess of milk chocolate and the irresistible aromas of rose, not forgetting the gentle crunch of the pistachio nuts.

"An exotic Turkish delight inspired seduction," according to the Kerry makers. Well we know they have poets and writers in the Kingdom who can get carried away by the magic of words. This time though, I have to agree and the little bar (€2.95 at Bradleys of Cork's North Main Street) is our Taste of the Week.

They will last ten months, I read on the packaging. Very unlikely, methinks, ten minutes more likely!

I see they also have a Gin & Tonic bar available, that could be next on my list! See the range of flavoured bars here.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Taste of the Week. Fermented Lemonade

Taste of the Week. 

Fermented Lemonade

Popular across cultures, fermenting food has made a comeback as a provider of 'good' bacteria that contributes to a healthy digestive system. BBC Good Food continues: Fermentation is an ancient technique for preserving food and drinks that has been practiced since long before the days of refrigeration.   

Read more here. Or visit the Midleton Farmers Market on a Saturday morning.

I visited Midleton Farmers Market recently and spotted some fermented drinks on the Ballymaloe Cookery School stall. I started asking questions and Aoife told me all about them. 

Most of you are probably familiar with sourdough where a starter is used to kickstart the fermentation. There were quite a few varieties of liquids on the BCS stall but I played it safe and bought the Lemonade one. Here a "ginger bug" is used to convert "sugar into friendly probiotic compounds". 

My little 250ml bottle is finished by now. I enjoyed a shot glass of it for a few mornings in a row. It is slightly sour, nothing major, and easy to swallow; indeed, it is similar to a very good quality lemonade. No miracles to report on the gut front but I'm open to trying more of our Taste of the Week and even some of those more far-out ones!

Not surprised that BCS is doing these drinks as fermentation guro Sandor Katz made a huge impression here during those marvellous Literary Fest years.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Taste of the Week. Tofu from Kilbrittain

Taste of the Week.

Tofu by OTOFU from Kilbrittain

I don't come across Tofu much but, with my curiosty engaged by a lovely small plate at Vikki's in Sunday's Well recently, I was well primed to buy when I saw Ronan and Méabh's Tofu on Neighbourfood a week later and that was how it ended up as our Taste of the Week

Siolra Foods tells us that their OTOFU organic tofus, are handmade in Kilbrittain, West Cork, using an age-old process and recipe. "Our tofu has a beany, fresh flavour with a firm texture and is for those who want to add more protein to their diet or for those who want to eat less meat like myself, my partner and our toddler. Our marinated options, Korean Chilli Tofu and Miso Sesame Tofu are great for an extra kick of flavour."

"Did you know that tofu has the same protein value as eating meat, fish or eggs - and we don't compromise on taste! The soybeans we use are organic, non-GMO and European grown."

By the way,  the dish at Vikki's was Roasted Aubergine  and this came with crispy tofu, baby onions, confit tomato and rocket salad. This expertly executed plateful was rich and satisfying.

The Siolra website  is very clear and concise. It introduces you to the couple behind the venture, gives the expanding lists of stockists and also quite a few recipes.

We went with a vegetable stir-fry (ingredients bought from our local butcher Davidsons) and paired that with our Tofu purchase. They have three choices at present on Neighbourfood and we picked the Miso Sesame Marinated Firm Organic one, a rectangular "slab" weighing 250 grams. We followed the cooking instructions on the label, rather than any of 1000s on the internet (confusing!), and added the Tofu to the stir-fry for what turned out to be a very enjoyable plateful. Well worth a try.

Chef Pat Kiely's Aubergine with tofu at Vikki's.

What is Tofu? I'll let Ronan and Méabh answer that one:  Tofu is a high protein, plant-based food made from soybeans.  It has been eaten for over 2000 years and we still make it using the same 3 ingredients they used back then - soybeans, water and nigari.  It comes in many forms including firm, silken, marinated, stinky and fried to name a few.  Our tofus are firm, meaning the tofu holds it's shape when cooked and has a good bite in it's texture.  We hope to launch a silken tofu soon, which as its name suggests, brings its own culinary delights. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Taste of the Week. Miena's Handmade Nougat

Taste of the Week
Miena's Handmade Nougat 

"Made in small batches with locally sourced fresh ingredients, I have developed a recipe different from those used in France and South Africa. The result is a unique and uncompromising soft Irish Nougat."  It is our Taste of the Week, not for the first time. Her kitchen by the way is certified gluten free.

There is a whole list of tempting nougat flavours coming from the lush countryside of the Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow these days. You may have different flavours:  Almonds and Pecan, Almonds and Passionfruit, Almonds and Pistachio, Almonds and Mixed Berries, Roasted Almonds,  Almonds with Rhubarb and Strawberry, plus various selection boxes and tins. Presents (Valentine maybe) sorted!

I got mine from Bakestone in the Fota Retail Park at Cobh Cross but these scrumptious prize-winning nougats are widely available, including in Dunnes Stores Simply Better and at Miena’s own online shop. For a list of stockists, please click here. Abroad, you can find them in Harrods and they also have clients in Belgium, Denmark and the US.
My treat from Bakestone was the top box here!

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Taste of the Week. Ardsallagh Goat's Cheese - Phantom Pyramid

Taste of the Week.

Ardsallagh Goat's Cheese - Phantom Pyramid

The Ardsallagh Goats Cheese Phantom Pyramid, inspired by the French 'Pyramide de Pouligny', is made with Pasteurised Milk in East Cork.  It is a most delicious semi-soft cheese with an irresistible creamy texture inside and lightly ash-ed on the outside which develops a white bloomy rind. It is our Taste of the Week, bought from On The Pigs Back via Neighbourfood.

It is very versatile indeed, so you won't have to confine yourself to the usual beetroot combinations but don't neglect them either as the two are a classic combination and available in many restaurants. You could, for a change, try an Oven Roasted Beetroot Salad with Candied Walnuts, and Rocket leaves with this cheese.

It can be the main piece of many a salad and you'll see it served with thinly sliced pears. We tried it with those very pleasing Medjool dates (chopped) and it worked a treat, especially with Marques De Poley Oloroso Montilla-Moriles (O'Briens Wine).

Here's another simple one: the cheese, tomatoes thinly sliced, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle this, or indeed similar salads, with the Big Red Kitchen's Spiced Plum & Port Jam (I got mine from Roughty Fruity in English Market but it is widely available).

And another: the cheese, chopped Medjools, some sliced grapes, and add as much as you like of the Ballymaloe Cranberry and Mór Wild Berry Gin Sauce. Delicious, especially so with a glass of Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2021 (at O'Briens Wine).