Glen Frey did a great job with ‘The Heat Is On’. I find it hard to imagine that I could raise any enthusiasm for the opposite. Imagine a song called ‘The Heat Is Off’. I had received my instructions from Texas (more of that here) and I was going to cook a pretty tongue melting chili concoction for my invited family guests. They were going to enjoy one of the hottest dishes I have ever created. It was going to be hot and great. For sure, the heat was on! That was until I got an early morning call from my mother. Continue reading
There’s an old story about a farmer from Texas visiting Ireland. When he got to his three storey hotel, he tipped back his ten gallon hat and remarked that in Texas they had hotels that reached the sky. He went on a bus tour of Connemara and when he saw the mountains, he said that the mountains in Texas were at least ten times bigger. Just outside Lisdoonvarna, the tour bus broke down and the Texan had to walk into town. Continue reading
Don’t go running to build yourself and the cat an ark and don’t fall on your knees asking for forgiveness. If you feel the need to do either on impulse after reading my headline, perhaps you need to adjust your lifestyle somewhat. I’ll leave that up to you to decide. No, when I say “It’s Judgement Day” I am not predicting the end of days or anything awful like that. I am referring to my Creme Brûlée.
Cough, cough, splutter, cough…….. Wheeeze, cough, cough, wheeeeezzeeee. Yes. That was me every morning. I used to be a very heavy smoker. Not that I have ever been ‘very heavy’ in the weighing scales sense. Nor in the deep thinking department either. That would have made me a very heavy, smoker. In plain language, I used to smoke a lot. An awful lot… Continue reading
I can be a bit of a feckin’ ejit. That’s Irish colloquial for fool. My favourite seafood on the planet is halibut. I laid my hands on two beautiful filets of that fine flatfish. I had little or no ideas what to do and less ingredients in the fridge. So, I decided it was a good time for me to be ‘creative’. Continue reading
Do you guys think I’m doing this for my own amusement? I have to tell you I am not impressed. I spend the early part of the week cogitating “What would they like to see?” ”What would be good enough to share with them?” “I’ll need to buy another couple of plates, they are probably bored with these ones…” The thought process goes on. The angst builds until I finally settle on cooking something that I am convinced will win you over. The latter part of the week is spent ensuring I have the best and the freshest ingredients. Saturday, I check my camera gear. Tension in the household mounts. On Saturday evening or possibly Sunday, I take control of the kitchen and cook and photograph for you. Then I process the pictures and try to think of something to say. Continue reading
Reading around the internet about cooking reveals some interesting stuff. My latest bugbear is over-complication. I see some ‘brand name’ chefs obfuscating processes needlessly. I wonder why? Perhaps it’s to preserve some mystique around their ‘art’. Perhaps it’s that they just don’t know any better. Or, perhaps it’s for more commercial reasons?
There is an old saying about poor cooking: “Tastes like hospital food.” I suspect that this really doesn’t have currency nowadays. Generally speaking, the food served in Irish hospitals appears to be a pretty good mix of carbs, proteins and other goodness designed to keep the patients in reasonable health until they depart the hospital or the world. This was not always the case.
My late father was, amongst many other things, a pathologist. For some years, he operated from a lab in the basement of the Richmond Hospital in Dublin city centre. In my 20th year, I got an attack of acute appendicitis. This was back in the 70s when this meant being rushed to the hospital and having a large incision in the gut to remove the offending and offensive organ. Continue reading
I like a nice bit of leg. Lamb leg that is. Not that I don’t admire a nicely turned ankle. But, this is not the place to discuss such things. And, as a small aside, I had my own pins described recently as “I’ve seen better legs on a snooker table”. I will save you the need to pass comment here on all matters leg related except for the spring lamb. Continue reading
No, it’s not a new, fancy style of dressing for your summer salads. It’s not a gourmet delight and it’s not a high point in my culinary development. It breaks all the rules of physics in that there is three times more ingredients go into the dish than there are in the end result. Yes, it’s my Thrice Beaten Mayonnaise. Continue reading