Fig Galette – Just passin’ through.

Fig GaletteThey say figs are good for the digestion. But, that’s not what I mean by the headline. No. This brief post is here to celebrate the very short Irish fig season. The figs are not Irish but we seem to get exposed to them for the briefest of spells each Autumn. So, just like the figs, this post is just passin’ through.  Continue reading

No ordinary Pork and Beaner – A pretty punchy stew.

Pork and bean stew (14 of 15)The expression ‘pork and beaner’ brings to mind a very grim time in modern history. Depression era USA had huge unemployment with transient populations doing what they could to keep body and soul together. Any of you young enough to wonder “What is the old git on about now?” should read some John Steinbeck to get an insight into that depressing world. Back then, a ‘Pork and Beaner” was a boxer, usually old, unskilled and destined for a painful bruising, who would fight for a plate of food. Often the staple, pork and beans. Continue reading

Cherry Cobbler – Food to heal your soul.

Cherry Cobbler (5 of 12)Heralding the end of the season, the price of cherries dropped suddenly a couple of weeks ago. Given that I had a virgin cherry stoner, purchased on the last French holiday, I thought it time to lay my hands on half a kilo of these delectable treats. The plan was to prepare a simple Cherry Cobbler. A quick trawl of the Internet, revealed thousands of recipe options. As is my way, I decided to meld a number of these into something approaching a reasonable concoction. Continue reading

Donegal V Portugal – International Gambas Pil Pil Test

Gambas Pil Pil Test (9 of 14)

I rarely have a swipe at my fellow bloggers. There are enough ignorant savages out there ready to have a go. So I really should not wade in. But, I do need to get this off my chest before we start. Some bloggers will sell their souls and prostrate themselves for a bit of unearned product. The mere mention of “free samples” gets them to forget their principles, their integrity and their independence.  Shame on them.  Continue reading

Modesty gets the elbow in my quest for glory!

Blog AwardsThough it goes against my natural instinct to boast (honestly, it does), I really have to shout a little bit about this one. On Saturday night, I went along to the Blog Awards Ireland 2014. I really hadn’t expected to win anything, though, secretly, I was wishing for, and trying to not think about, a win in the Best Food and Drink Blog category. Continue reading

Ireland’s greatest ingredients part 2 – Crab and Sea Spice Risotto. Cheese or no cheese?

Crab and sea spice risotto (2 of 3)I told you recently that the last thing the world needs is yet another risotto recipe. I lied. That was before eldest daughter returned, from a break on our wild Atlantic shore, bearing gifts. Gifts of Sea Spice! That and the Kerry crab catapults this otherwise ordinary dish into the extraordinary and onto my Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients list. “Sea Spice?” I can hear your busy little mind at work “What is Sea Spice?” I hear you ruminate.  Continue reading

Texas Pork Chili – Time I got me some snake skin boots?

Pork Chili

We Irish are all small little people. We wear greasy flat caps and are inclined to doff our forelocks to our betters. We are introverted and talk in such a thick accent that no civilised person can understand what we are saying. This leads to further introversion, perpetuating our inward looking approach to life.

The Texans, on the other hand, are all big people. They add to their grand stature by wearing snake-skin boots with Cuban heels and top off their suntanned heads with large multi-gallon hats. They speak in loud, booming voices and stride about in a powerful, overbearing fashion. We could not be any more different to each other.  Continue reading

Hot smoked dry brined mackerel – You CAN have too much of a good thing.

Hot smoked mackerel (1 of 11)Warning to the weak of stomach: This post contains some pretty gory bits. Read on at your own risk.

Somewhere around 25 years ago, I was out having a few pints with “the lads”. We were socialising in Goggins of Monkstown, our then favoured haunt. The conversation was wide-ranging and often great ideas would be tabled for decision or debate. One such notion was to hire a boat from Bulloch Harbour so we could catch a few mackerel. Everybody agreed that this was a worthy venture and a couple of nights later, three of us took the trip to Dalkey, negotiated with Joe and took out a small open boat, complete with Seagull motor and hand lines.

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Porcini Crusted Fillet Steak with Garlic and Chive Butter – Fine dining on the building site.

Fillet steak with porcini crust (15 of 16)In a café beside our office in Sandyford, they serve the scones on little wooden boards. I think they are called shingles in the building trade. Weatherproof, very trendy and they only need a wipe with a cloth between servings. When we have our coffee there, we have fun watching patrons scrabbling around on the floor to retrieve the mini jam jars that slide off the shingles like rain off a roof. The madness of using building materials in food presentation doesn’t stop there. No, we have grown used to the ‘trend’ for serving chips in buckets. With every shovel of the cement of fashion into the mixer of dining, we seem to move further and further into the building site. Continue reading

Cod with Asparagus, Lemon and Saffron, and Bloggers Block

Cod with asparagus (6 of 6)You know the feeling. The moment after you tell your better half that yes, her bum does look big in that. There are times where you really wish that you could rewind the clock a little bit. Reversing the car into that ‘hidden’ pole. Standing up in the kitchen and catching the corner of your head on the corner of a cupboard door. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a 30 second rewind.  Continue reading