Three beers from the US today, with nothing in common other than their importer and the fact that they’re canned.I’m not entirely sure what the deal is with Sierra Nevada Nooner. The name was previously used for a session IPA (reviewed here) but seems to have been re-applied subsequently to this pilsner, the style being “one of the original session beers” according to the blurb. Continue reading »
Munster Wine & Dine 2017 Launch at Club Brasserie
An amazing series of tapas style dishes, prepared by hosts Club Brasserie, heralded the start of the 2017 season for the Munster Wine and Dine Circle. Each dish was accompanied by news of an event already confirmed in the calendar for this local group, who love their food and drink and love also promoting local produce. Continue reading »
I love a regular Victoria Sponge but I’ve recently started to make buttermilk cake as an alternative. Buttermilk cake has a lighter texture than an all butter cake and just as simple to make. With the addition of this warm white chocolate ganache, the buttermilk cake becomes a serious treat. As the ganache is sweet, I’ve lowered the sugar in the cake mix. I also used this basic cake mix to make some banana cake last week. It was more bread-ish than cake-ish if you get what I mean. Continue reading »
Three Lesser-known Grapes
Petit Verdot, Pinotage, Cinsault
You won’t find any of this trio in the comfort zone of “international” grapes. And, aside from Pinotage, you’ll not often find them in a bottle on their own. But I have and I’m very glad I did.
Petit Verdot is highly valued in Bordeaux but generally only as a small contributor to the red blend there. It ripens late and is therefore well suited to the Languedoc where our delicious example comes from. Continue reading »
We only get a limited range of Magic Rock beers in Ireland. “Just what the brewery has available” the importer told me once. I was pleased when Common Grounds, the Magic Rock coffee porter, showed up, and I grabbed a can at the first opportunity.
It pours a deep dark brown, the head crackling up before fading away to almost nothing. It smells of… coffee, funnily enough. Freshly brewed dark-roast coffee to be specific, with just a hint of brown sugar on the side. Continue reading »
It’s been almost two years since I’ve written a blog post. Where did that time go? I have my excuses. With Shane and Shan relocating from China to Ireland, weekends have been dominated by spending time with Dermot, now aged 4, and his little brother Conan just 9 months old. It’s hard to find time to blog when two little ones are careering around the house, even if Dermot is a willing sous chef and loves to help his Nai Nai cook. Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
This is one for the men only. Ladies, while I like having you here and enjoy your company, this is an all male zone today. Now, before you start chaining yourselves to the oven door, this is for your benefit. I’m giving the lads a bit of advice about how to redeem themselves after they forget to do something important. So, girls, be off with you. Lads, read on…..
Admit it, you have forgotten the Valentine’s Day flowers. Continue reading »
Cork Indie Coffee Trail
A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan
So (seems to be the word to start with these days), you’re in Cork, looking for a cup of real coffee. You know there are some terrific indie cafés around the city. But do you know where they are? Where is ORSO? Where is Nectar Coffee? Continue reading »
Darwins – The Origin of the Steak
If you’re on the prowl in Dublin and looking for steak, then head to Darwins Restaurant in Aungier Street. While you’re waiting for your order, take a peak at those big guys on the wall, your ancestors, the origin of the species.
When that steak comes, you’ll straighten up immediately as the aromas waft up from that fillet. Continue reading »
Sorry, that should read “some more Belgians” because this is another cross-section of Belgian beers, as picked by my wife from Brussels off licences.De Poes has a pretty label, which is presumably why she picked it, but it’s very short on information. We know it’s 8% ABV and is flavoured with two unnamed sorts of hops and some equally anonymous spices. No style designation is given, but from the strength and the hazy yellow-orange colour I’m calling it a tripel. Continue reading »
Amsterdam can be so cold during the winter months. But it’s also a city that’s never quiet. Tourists and weekenders are always thronging the streets, especially in the middle of town. There are always new bars and restaurants to check out, so here are three of my latest finds for you to enjoy. Continue reading »
By then, we had reached the river again. And the sun came up in the east where the Liffey meets the sea and the black water began to come to life. The air was full of the smell of hops, sweet and heavy as treacle and seagulls circled in the sky over the brewery. A heron was standing on a rock in the river on one leg, like a ballerina. Everything very quiet. Dublin was dreaming for a moment…. All quiet and glittering in the morning sun.
And next thing, we heard the shots. Continue reading »
I was invited along to the launch of the revamped Milano restaurant on Haddington Road the other week. I went because, hey, free pizza, but I wasn’t expecting to get any blog content out of it. Chain pizza restaurants (UK readers will know Milano as Pizza Express) are not known for their diverse beer offerings, at least in these parts. Continue reading »
El Vino. Top Tapas.
And Much More.
Monkfish & Serrano
It was cold outside but that was soon forgotten as we joined the diners in the packed downstairs section of the El Vino restaurant at the Elysian in Cork last weekend. Mentioned the Elysian there as they also operate an El Vino in Douglas.
Great buzz downstairs. We were offered a table upstairs too but went with the happy noises. Upstairs would soon fill too. We were quickly seated and studying the menus. Continue reading »
Séan O’Rourke and his team very kindly invited me in to RTÉ Radio One this morning to chat about my love for cooking for my family, and my best friend the slow cooker. Continue reading »
Three Delightful Whites
We have been traveling all over to assemble this top notch trio of white wines for you. Maybe just a trio but they amount to quite an orchestra, maybe even capable of a symphony. The traveling has not been done by me personally but by the folks from Wine Mason, Mary Pawle and Le Caveau. They have bought well. So, let us doff the hats and say Chapeaux to the chaps and chapesses! Continue reading »
Keogh’s Farm are the only potato growers in the world who offer fresh potatoes and potato crisps from the same farm side by side in the same store!
“We sleep, eat, breathe potato crisps and potatoes!” says. Tom Keogh, managing director of Keogh’s Family Farm. The family have been growing potatoes in north county Dublin for over 200 years. The city of Dublin has grown around the farm over the years! Continue reading »
Who can hear the word ‘marmalade’ without tartan and bagpipes making an appearance in their brain? Och,sure isn’t marmalade as Scottish as wee Bonnie Prince Charlie… as shortbread… as Irn-Bru, and Whisky without the ‘e’ … isn’t it? Continue reading »
An addendum to Monday’s post about the recent Cask Ales & Strange Brews festival at Franciscan Well. Three beers from Black’s of Kinsale had been kept back in growlers for the competition judging, presumably having been on the bar earlier in the festival. I can find almost no mention of them anywhere online but felt I needed to throw in a description of them anyway. This blog is nothing if not completist. Continue reading »