If you’re looking for something special for your cheeseboard this Christmas, this is the year to give pride of place to one very special Irish cheese: the Comte-style Glebe Brethan Irish Artisan Cheese, made from the unpasteurised milk of a herd of Montbeliarde cows in Co Louth.
The cheese was a Winner of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Award in 2012 (http://www.irishfoodwritersguild.ie/2012-awards.html) and for good reason: it’s creamy yet complex, with a nutty character coming to the fore as the cheese matures. Continue reading »
This month, I decided that sharing was definitely caring. To be honest, after two weeks of holiday where I ate, drank and was very merry, I needed to share out the tasting duties. My lovely work colleagues rose to the challenge admirably and munched their way through many delicious things, so I wouldn't have to bring them home. They're so kind.
Read more ». Continue reading »
Legend has it that long ago, in the depths of Ireland, there was a farmer named Jack. Jack was notoriously mean and sneaky. Over the years he had peeved heaven and hell so much with his meanness and trickery that when he popped his clogs, he was refused admittance to both. To get rid of him, the Devil sent Jack away with a burning ember to light his way through eternal darkness. Jack hollowed out a turnip in which to carry the ember. Continue reading »
For the fourth year in a row, late September saw me at the Borefts beer festival, a two-day shindig held at the De Molen brewery in Bodegraven, South Holland, with beer from a hand-picked selection of brewers from all over Europe. It has always been a bit of a chimera, changing its shape to squeeze into different parts of the brewery, the pub and co-opted neighbouring buildings. Continue reading »
Quite some months after the fact, I reckoned that it was high time to bring to the ‘net my visit to the Prince Edward Distillery on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Continue reading »
Wholemeal Five Berry Muffins with a splash of blackcurrant liqueur. Photo: Ken McGuire/Any Given Food
I’ve made this recipe previously but going back through the bulging drafts box realise I never got around to publishing it the first time, so here goes…
Over the summer, I was sent two bottles of liqueur from Ruby Blue Liqueur in Northern Ireland.
Owned and produced by Hughes Craft Distillery, a small batch producer based in Co. Continue reading »
Kilkenny on Parade!
Food Festival to Savour.
Pascal, Colm and Caroline.
No doubt Kilkenny hosted many a scrap in its medieval days but a fight of a different kind was in progress on the Parade when we arrived on Saturday. Beer, led by Caroline Hennessy of Eight Degrees Brewing, and Wine, fronted by Colm McCan, award winning sommelier at Ballymaloe, were the protagonists.
A few low blows were struck but it was all good tasty fun. Continue reading »
Rory O’Connell of Ballymaloe Cookery School prepares to delve into some squid at Savour Kilkenny earlier today. Photo: Ken McGuire/Any Given Food
For a lover of all things food, there’s nothing quite like a day at the food market as part of Savour Kilkenny. Continue reading »
Two gentlemen in top-hats were standing in front of us, looking into my face and laughing.
‘Do you eat oysters, lad? Do you really? Most remarkable. And how do you eat them?’
I remember a strong hand dragging me into the brightly-lit eating-house. Within a minute a crowd gathers round and watches me with curiosity and amusement. I am sitting at a table and eating something slimy, salty, smelling of damp and mould. Continue reading »
You gotta love the innocence of kids … always number one in her eyes even if I had failed my exams.
Seven years ago, this week, the Chef and I, with two toddlers by our side, packed our bags, left our friends and (restaurant) life and family in Cincinnati, Ohio, behind us for greener pastures in Europe.
We spent a year living and working in Zurich, Switzerland. Continue reading »
The second annual Irish Whiskey Awards took place in Kilbeggan Distillery last night. I couldn’t be there which was unfortunate as I thoroughly enjoyed the first one.
The awards are organised by Ally Alpine of the Celtic Whiskey Shop and judged by the members of the shop’s Celtic Whiskey Club and the Irish Whiskey Society. Everything is tasted blind and I know the number of samples participants had to get through was huge so it seems comprehensive too. Continue reading »
Savour Kilkenny Food Festival 2014 opening at National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny. Photo: Ken McGuire/Any Given Food
The 8th annual Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food opened tonight at the National Craft Gallery. With my So Kilkenny hat on I was there to pick up some shots of the launch and check out the Food Art Competition which included some great head pieces made from milk cartons and other recycled food packaging. Continue reading »
If I was to name one recipe that is ideal food therapy, it’s this. There is something extremely relaxing about rolling the meat into little balls and plopping them into a boiling, rich, tomato sauce. I rely solely on the heat of the sauce to cook and infuse the balls with flavour and I love to serve the dish on a big platter with serving spoons, so that people can dig in at the table. Continue reading »
ONE OF THE BIGGEST myths around! The majority of today’s wines are at their peak shortly after release. Whites, especially, don’t take well to years of gathering dust in a drinks cabinet. It’s primarily high-end, traditional reds – classed Bordeaux, Barolo etc – that need extended ageing to show their best. Continue reading »
A Very Wine Weekend
Reds to the Fore
Straccali Chianti Classico, Riserva 2004, 13.5%, €24.40 Karwig Wines
This ruby red gem is 90% Sangiovese with intense aromas. Easy drinking and Very Highly Recommended. Fruity for sure but very well balanced indeed, excellent matching acidity. Sip it on its own or with food (stews, pastas, poultry and fred meats are all recommended). A very generous wine, elegant and palate friendly with a long finish. Continue reading »
OK, one last beer from the Germany trip and then we’re done. I’m giving it its own post as it was the only foreign beer I drank the whole time.Hop Back is from Tröeg’s in Pennsylvania so is sort-of German-ish. It’s a 6% ABV amber ale and was on draught in Tap House in Munich along with a couple of others from the brewery. Continue reading »
This is a great way of using a whole chicken in a new and exciting way. The blend of spices packs a fantastic flavour punch and is a nice change from the traditional roast chicken we are so used to. This is a real one pot wonder which results in delicious tender meat and even better leftovers! Continue reading »
The Club Brasserie
Good Food by the Lee
I could have been anywhere in France, the trees, their autumn colours highlighted by illuminated by the streetlights, swaying gently in the breeze, distorted reflections in the river, couples walking arm in arm on the pavement, good food on the table inside. But no, I wasn’t eating in a bistro alongside the Midi-Canal. And not in a restaurant by the River Vienne in Chinon. No, I was happily ensconced at a table in Cork’s delightful Club Brasserie. Continue reading »