There are more Siren beers coming into Dublin than I can keep up with, a phenomenon which delights me. The importer is also the management of The Beer Market so that’s where I’ve encountered most of them, including…
Siren and Omnipollo Life’s a Peach, a 6.4% ABV IPA which tastes like the union of a marijuana bud and a pineapple: heavy and resinous in texture and flavour, but with a breezy tropical fruit zing bursting out of the oils. Continue reading »
It's new potato season and my default setting is steamed with heaps of butter and a bit of salt. But there's so many other ways to eat these tender tasty beauties. One of my favourites is Hasselback Potatoes which look so impressive but are incredibly simple. I can't believe I wrote that recipe 5 years ago so it's time to do something a little different. Continue reading »
Soil at Cloughjordan Community Farm (c) Oliver Moore
Soil part 1
Soil part 2
Pat Lalor, Jim Cronin and Klaus Laitenburger all spoke at the recent soil symposium in Galway.
I asked Pat Lalor about whether conventional farmers can learn anything about soil from their organic counterparts. Lalor, organic since 1999, was the first Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association, which he was instrumental in founding in 1993.
“I see very little relevance. Continue reading »
They called James, the brother of Jesus, “James the Just”…….. He himself owned nothing, not even the clothes he wore….. He drank no wine and ate no meat. He took no baths. No razor ever touched his face, nor did he smear himself with scented oils.
from Zealot (The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth) by Reza Aslan (p. 2013). Continue reading »
The poet, Paul Valéry, said that a poem is never finished, only abandoned. I have that same feeling about recipes. From time to time, I can’t resist making just a tiny edit or two to an old favourite, on the hunch that it will make the dish even better.
I have revisited the first dish I ever did on Alchemy in the Kitchen – Cherry Clafoutis – and I’ve made a few edits, one of which was the addition of chunks of white chocolate. Continue reading »
St Patrick’s Distillery Launch
At Coughlan’s (l to r): Andrew Desmond (Whazon), Cyril Walsh andBarry Fitzgerald (both St Patrick’s)
The team at St Patrick’s Distillery in Douglas could hardly have picked a better venue for their recent launch than Coughlan’s Bar in Douglas Street and will be hoping that some of the pub’s longevity will rub off on their new venture. Continue reading »
Lavelle’s in the Well
Lavelle’s is the new name in Sunday’s Well (Cork). The restaurant, with pub, long known as Annie’s, was taken over last January and the new name is just going up on the menus and sandwich board.
The huge blackboard, that used give me a crick in the neck, is also gone along with its very long menu. The replacement is the more usual paper menu, much shorter now but covering all the main bases as we found out on a recent visit.
They do have specials. Continue reading »
Travels with Tempranillo
Not just a Rioja resident
In La Rioja
For a long while, I associated Tempranillo primarily with La Rioja in Spain. But is also huge in neighbouring Ribero del Duero, a region that has come to prominence over the last 35 years or so. Indeed, Tempranillo (often blended) is grown across the north of Spain (with the exception of the Atlantic region of Riax Baixas). You’ll find it in Cigales, Navarra, Cariñena, and in Catalunya generally (including Penedes). Continue reading »
It’s been a while since my last Belgian beer. Thankfully the Brown Paper Bag Project is there to scratch that particular itch with Aul Bruin Bagger, one they brewed at their usual Belgian outpost, ’t Hofbrouwerijke. They’ve squeezed a lot into that title: yes it’s a Flemish oud bruin and there’s their own name, but also that of their near-neighbours animation studio Brown Bag Films, for whom it’s a 21st birthday beer. Continue reading »
Any excuse to visit Belfast, right? After a gap of 13 years, I was blown away by the quality of food when I went there…. Continue reading »
Summer Days in Dublin
Capital Food and Fun
View of Dublin Castle and surrounds from rooftop garden of Chester Beatty Library
Just back after a terrific trip to Dublin in the sunshine. And I enjoyed every minute (almost!) of the three sunshine filled days. On the fourth day, it rained and we met our one and only grumpy taxi-driver of the break, but we were then starting on our way home. Continue reading »
Soil quality is a hot topic this year, the UN International Year of the Soil.
Indeed Monday 6th saw a symposium on soil in Galway (part 1 of this article series), with speakers from the UK and Ireland addressing soil related issues.
In organic farming, building soil quality is a key practice, as organic farmers cannot reply some of the inputs at the disposal of conventional farmers.
While the global situation is stark, as outlined here last week, how relevant are these issues for Ireland? Continue reading »
Taste of the Week
from Woodside Farm
Low and slow was the advice from Martin Conroy of Woodside Farm as we put our Shoulder of Pork into the bag at Mahon Point Farmers Market the other day. Have you tasted his super pork in a bun at the markets? This guy knows what he is talking about and so we took serious heed of the cooking hints.
The pork went into the oven around lunch-time on Sunday and was perfect when dinner-time rolled around. Continue reading »
Potatoes in Sea-water!
The Gender of Crabs.
All at SeaFest in Ringaskiddy!
Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery.
Good for soup. Continue reading »
In an effort to save ourselves even more money on our grocery shop we’ve now started doing a 2-tier shopping trip. During the week we collect 2 x €10 discount vouchers for where ever we decide we’re going to do the shop. Next we fill the trolley, and with a little bit of know-how of the prices, we split it between us when it comes to the checkout. You might laugh!
To be serious about it though. Continue reading »
Pavlova is one of those desserts that can be whipped up in minutes, yet always tastes like you slaved over it all day. I love them for that very reason, plus eggs are available year round and you can vary the topping with fresh seasonal fruits. I feel like this summer is flying by so speedy desserts like this are just what I need. As the days has been so hot, I have been spending less time in the kitchen, and a lot more time in my hammock underneath a big shady pine tree. Continue reading »
Dinner of Delights
At Restaurant Forty One
The sun was out and so too was the red carpet as we arrived at Restaurant Forty One in St Stephen’s Green the weekend before last. Could it get any better, we wondered, as we sat down in one of the rooms in this splendid Georgian building. It could and it did, as course by course, Head Chef Graham Neville’s exquisite cuisine (no butter, no sugar!) took us on a delightful journey of delicious food, most of it based on local produce. Continue reading »
Panna cotta is a sweet Italian dessert that literally translates as ‘cooked cream.’ It couldn’t be easier to make and simply involves thickening sweetened cream with gelatin and leaving to set. The beauty of panna cotta is that you can then flavour it with vanilla, rum, coffee or any of your favourite additions. I love the look of using a real vanilla pod as you’re left with beautiful black flecks throughout the creamy panna cotta. Continue reading »