ArchiveJune 2012

East Cork Food Scene

The weather is so extraordinarily unpredictable that it’s difficult to know what to cook – should we make a stew or a salad? When the sun shines there’s a desperation to maximise the opportunity so barbeques are being wheeled out and back into the garage with monotonous regularity.

Let’s face it, we so need something to cheer us up. The positive response of the Irish football supporters despite defeat in the European Championship shows that as a nation we seem to be hard-wired to look on the bright side and make the very best of every challenging situation, no matter what.

The number of new micro businesses starting up all over the country are an example of the determination and the creativity that bubbles to the surface when we are forced to think outside the box. There are a myriad of opportunities in Irish food from artisan to manufacturing level, from farmers markets, farm shops, pop up restaurants to truck food.

Foraging is all the rage – what a fun thing to do.

Dr Barbara Duff is doing sea shore foraging courses in Clonea Co Waterford (see Hot Tips)

Close to home here, Philip Dennhardt’ s Saturday Pizzas at the Ballymaloe Cookery School is a favourite weekend treat for parents and kids of all ages who look forward to tasting the wood fired Pizza of the Week with toppings that reflect the season on the farm and in the gardens. Of course there’s always a classic margarita, marinara and peperoni with  homemade tomato sauce and a perky chilli oil for those who like to liven up their pizza– open for just four hours every Saturday from 12:30 to 4:00pm.

The latest option on the fun East Cork dining scene is the ‘pop-up’ on Friday nights at the Café at the End of the Shop at Ballymaloe House. Dervilla O’Flynn takes over the kitchens and offers a short menu of little plates and a platter of hand carved Iberico at a fraction of the price of London restaurant.

The food comes as its ready, the atmosphere is easy and convivial, terrific wines and superb sherries by the glass – I love it.


Pizzetta Bianca with Red Onions and Thyme Leaves

(makes 12 pizzetta)

Easy Pizza Dough

1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast

300ml (10floz) tepid water

500g (18oz) strong white flour, (we use Italian 00)

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1 piece pizza dough

25g (1oz) grated block mozzarella

5g (¼ oz) grated Parmesan

½ thinly sliced red onion

enough thyme leaves to sprinkle over the top

thyme flowers if available

freshly ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil


Put the flour, salt and fast action yeast with the olive oil and the tepid water into a bowl and mix into a dough. Rest for 3 or 4 minutes then form the dough into a roll. Knead the dough on a floured work surface until smooth and springy – about 10 minutes. Put in a bowl and cover with oiled Clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.  Ideally it should double in size. Divide the dough into pieces. Roll each one into thin 20cm discs.

Top with chosen topping and cook.

If you want to use the dough later, arrange the balls of dough on a tray, cover with a damp cloth and keep in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Remember to take them out 30 minutes before you’re ready to use them so they can come back to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to the highest temperature 250C/ gas mark 9 or better still 275C. Pizza will benefit from being placed directly on to a hot baking sheet or pizza stone within the pre-heated oven. Our pizzas cook in 4 or 5 minutes but yours may take about 6 or 8 minutes. At 250C/gas mark 9, yours will take about 6 – 8 minutes.

Roll the pizza base into a 20cm round. Don’t fuss too much about getting your pizzetta bases totally round. In fact it’s much better if they are not; you’ll get some lovely bubbling and occasional charring at the edges.

Sprinkle the cheeses over the top, top with some thinly sliced onion rings and a sprinkle thyme leaves. Use less rather than more topping – if you use too much, the base won’t be crisp. It will take 4 – 8 minutes depending on your oven. Grind on some pepper, drizzle a little olive oil and scatter some thyme flowers over the top and enjoy immediately.

Broad Bean, Blue Cheese, Parsley and Lemon Pizza       


Makes 1


150g (5oz) pizza dough (see recipe)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of Maldon sea salt

150ml (5fl oz)

20 blanched broad beans

8 sugar cubed sized pieces of blue cheese

big handful of grated mozzarella


1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 lemon cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 250ºC/475ºF/gas mark 9.


Roll out pizza dough to 25.5 cm (10 inch) disc.  Sprinkle a little semolina all over the surface of the pizza paddle and put the pizza base on top.  Drizzle the olive oil over the base of the pizza and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Spread the fennel sauce over the pizza base.  Gently place the toppings over the fennel sauce so that they are evenly distributed.    Finally, sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top of the pizza.


Bake in the fully preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the base is crisp and the top is bubbly and golden. Scatter the chopped parsley over the pizza and serve immediately.


Place one wedge in the centre of the pizza for the guests to squeeze over the top to taste.


Fennell Sauce


5 bulbs of fennel, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 onions, thinly sliced

25ml (1fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

600ml (1 pint) water

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and sweat the onions and garlic together until soft.  Add the sliced fennel, olive oil, water and season with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 25 minutes or until soft.  Blend until smooth.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Store in a jar in the fridge.

 Sicilian Roast Chicken Salad


You might want to serve this salad with a bowl of homemade mayonnaise and some crispy greens – I particulary love Little Gem lettuce and rocket leaves.


Serves 6-8 people


1 x  1.5kg (3lb 5oz) freshly roasted organic chicken


12 waxy freshly cooked potatoes, new if in season

a little olive oil



150ml (6fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

25ml (1fl oz) red wine vinegar

25ml (1fl oz) Balsamic vinegar

zest of 1/2 lemon


4 tablespoons sultanas or raisins

4 tablespoons pinenuts

3 tablespoons capers


sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


a small fistfulof flat parsley sprigs


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/Gas Mark 4.


While the chicken is roasting, put the sultanas or raisins into a bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to plump up.  Spread the pine kernels on the base of a dry frying pan, stir over a gentle heat until toasted on all sides.  This will greatly enhance the flavour, allow to cool.


Peel and slice the potatoes while still warm. Whisk the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar together.  Add the finely grated lemon zest.  Spoon some of this dressing evenly over the warm potato salad and toss gently



When the roast chicken is cooked, cool.  Cut into chunky pieces (reserve the chicken carcass for stock).  Arrange the pieces over the top of the salad, don’t remove the crispy skin – it’s delicious.  Sprinkle the drained sultanas, toasted pinenuts and drained capers over the top.  Drizzle with a little more dressing.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and scatter with lots of flat parsley sprigs.  Serve at room temperature with a green salad and a bowl of homemade mayonnaise.



A few broad beans or fresh peas, blanch them quickly in boiling salted water and add to the salad.




Serves 6



There have always been delicious ways of using up bread, particularly in the Asian, South American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. Sumac flakes give this Syrian bread salad a characteristic slightly sour taste. If you can’t get Sumac, the salad will still taste delicious but not so authentic.


2 stale pitta bread or 2-3 thick slices of stale sour dough or good country bread

a little bunch of rocket or purslane

2-3 teaspoons Sumac if available

1 mild sweet red pepper, optional

1/2 cucumber, coarsely chopped

4 ripe, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into quarters and then into half crosswise

3 spring onions, sliced at an angle

2-3 tablespoons  parsley, freshly chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves

2-3 tablespoons fresh mint



3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic crushed

salt and freshly ground pepper, maybe even a pinch of sugar or a dash of Balsamic vinegar


If the bread isn’t stale toast the bread until crisp. Cut into uneven sized pieces. Chop the rocket or purslane coarsely. Cut the sweet red pepper into or rounds or dice. Put both into a salad bowl with the tomato, cucumbers and spring onions, herbs and bread. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.


Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Spoon over the salad, toss gently, taste.

Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes, better still an hour before serving, so the bread soaks up lots of yummy dressing and juice.


Ottolenghi Radish and Broad Bean Salad


A simple lunch dish, with the Tahini sauce and bread, it makes a modest meal in itself, without them, a colourful salad – light refreshing and wholesome.



Serves 4


500g (1lb 2oz) shelled broad beans fresh or frozen

350g (12oz) small radishes

1/2 red onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

30g (1 1/4oz) preserved lemon, finely chopped

juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

200ml (7fl oz) Green tahini sauce

4 thick pita breads

salt and black pepper


Cook the broad beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 – 2 minutes, depending on size. Drain through a large colander and rinse in plenty of cold water to refresh them. Remove the beans from their skins by gently squeezing each one with your finger tips.


Cut the radishes into 6 wedges each and mix with the broad beans, onion, coriander, preserved lemon, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


To serve, pile a mound of salad in one corner of each serving plate, pour tahini sauce into a small bowl and stand it next to the salad. Set a pita bread next to them.



Salmon Pad Thai Noodle Salad


A yummy salad for the week.


Serves 6-8


375g (12oz) packet medium rice noodles

75g (3oz) peanuts, roasted and sprinkled with salt

4 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 large red or white onion, finely sliced

2 red chillies, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

300g (11oz) fresh salmon, ½ inch cubes

3 tablespoons fish sauce

juice of 2 limes

3 tablespoons spring onions, sliced at an angle

40g (2oz) fresh coriander leaves



Put the rice noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water, toss well and allow to soak for 5 minutes. Chop the roasted peanuts (10 minutes at 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6) coarsely.


Heat 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a wok, add the onion, chopped chilli, garlic and ginger. Cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, add the salmon and toss for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of spring onions cut at an angle and toss. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and noodles, toss well. Add half the coriander, taste and correct seasoning if necessary.


Serve immediately with the remainder of the coriander and peanuts scattered over the top.




Seashore Tours – often wondered whether you can eat the seaweed you find on the strand or how to identify the shellfish or sea urchins? Dr Barbara Duff a marine biologist is doing sea shore tours at Clonea Beach near Dungarvan in Co Waterford, she does an illustrated talk before- hand at Clonea Hotel – contact tel: 087 4149949 –

Mulberry Gardens in Donnybrook offers dinner just three nights a week, 3 courses, two choices on each course, reflecting the season and the best of Irish artisan produce. You’ll need to book well ahead despite the recession – that says it all – +353 (1) 2693300.

Pop-up Banquet – one night only – in aid of Midleton Hospital and The Laura Lynn Foundation at the Granary Foodstore, Midleton on Friday 6th July 2012. Outdoor drinks reception starts at 7.45pm followed by a seven course, no choice, tasting menu, using local Irish ingredients. Vegetarians will be catered for. The price is €50, bring your own wine. Contact Jack O’Sullivan 021 4613366 to book.

Perryville House – Kinsale

When life is a bit hectic it’s brilliant to get away for even one night, doesn’t have to be very far away just a change of scene so you can flop onto someone else’s sofa and have a ‘phew’ moment.

Bring along your passport so it feels exotic but ideally it should be within an hour’s driving distance so you can make the most of your short break.

We checked into Perryville House B&B in Kinsale recently – what a lovely spot that is right in the centre of Kinsale overlooking the harbour – an oasis of calm run by the Corcoran family. We arrived mid-afternoon and wandered into the little Garden Tea Room for afternoon tea – so stylish with a pretty vintage feel.

Hannah had a lovely selection of homemade cakes and they really were homemade – coffee cake, passion fruit cake, several types of scones, sultana, white chocolate and raspberry and her strawberry shortcakes and iced lemon curd cake were unbearably delicious. But we were in holiday mode so we started with little finger sandwiches, cucumber and mint, egg and chive, Umerra smoked chicken with mayonnaise and salad leaves, freshly made and delicious like they so seldom are. There were 10 or 12 types of Lov Organic tea to choose from and hand roasted Pónaire coffees from Limerick.

Kinsale is the prettiest town with lots of little winding streets with gaily coloured shops and a myriad of cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from.

We had a one year old grandchild with us, good humoured and smiley, but nonetheless we managed an early dinner at Fishy Fishy Restaurant and then an amble through the fun fair and a walk by the harbour.

Breakfast at Perryville was just what you hope a breakfast will be but so seldom is, freshly made bread, I particularly loved the spotted dog with fat sultanas and orange and Glenilen yoghurt, homemade granola, a citrus fruit salad and lots of fresh berries and a huge honeycomb from Hannah’s dad’s bees which I spread lavishly on toasted Arbutus bread.

The rashers and the sausages were well sourced by Barrett’s butchers in Kinsale and the eggs from Ruth Wright’s free range hens (she does all the baking).  The dining room was full and I think I wasn’t alone in eating far too much but it’s good to leave space for lunch in one of the many tempting cafes in Kinsale.

Don’t miss the Kinsale Arts Festival from Saturday 7th to Sunday 15th July


Radish and Anchovy Sandwich


A delicious open sandwich from Alice Water’s Vegetables book.



fresh baguette

unsalted butter


anchovy fillets



Choose a very fresh baguette.  Cut in half lengthwise and spread liberally with unsalted butter.  Wash and trim the radishes, leaving on their tender leaves.  Cut the radishes in half lengthwise and place them on the buttered baguette.  Garnish with anchovies fillets and ground black pepper.



Blue Cheese, Walnut and Candied Peel Sandwich


A delicious combination.


Serves 4 – makes 12-16 finger sandwiches


50g (2oz) butter

225g (8oz) blue cheese e.g. Cashel Blue, Crozier Blue, Bellingham Blue, Roquefort, Stilton….

50g (2oz) chopped fresh walnuts, fairly finely chopped

35g (1 1/2oz) candied orange and lemon peel, finely chopped

thin slices of white bread


Cream the butter, add the crumbled blue cheese, beat well.  Stir in the chopped walnuts and candied peel.


Spread on thin slices of lightly buttered good white bread, sandwich together.  Trim off the crusts, cut into fingers and serve.

Scones with White Chocolate and Raspberries


Makes 18-20 scones using a 7 1/2 cm (3inch) cutter


900g (2lb) plain white flour

175g (6oz) butter

3 free-range eggs

pinch of salt

50g (2oz) castor sugar

3 heaped teaspoons baking powder

100g (4 oz) raspberries

100g (4 oz) chopped white chocolate


450ml (15floz) approx. milk to mix



egg wash (see below)

granulated sugar for sprinkling on top of the scones


For crunchy tops

50g (2oz) granulated sugar for top of the scones


First preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F/gas mark 9.


Sieve the flour into a large wide bowl; add a pinch of salt, 3 heaped teaspoons of baking powder and the castor sugar.  Mix the dry ingredients with your hands, lift up to incorporate air and mix thoroughly.

Cut the butter into cubes, toss well in the flour and then with the tips of your fingers, rub in the butter until it resembles large flakes.   Make a well in the centre, then add the white chocolate and raspberries. Whisk the eggs with the milk; pour all at once into the centre. With the fingers of your ‘best hand’ outstretched and stiff, mix in a full circular movement from the centre to the outside of the bowl.  This takes just seconds and hey presto, the scone dough is made.


Sprinkle some flour on the work surface.   Turn out the dough onto the floured board.  Scrape the dough off your fingers and wash and dry your hands at this point.

Tidy around the edges, flip over and roll or pat gently into a round about 1 inch (2½ cm) thick.   Stamp into scones with a cutter or a knife.  Brush the tops with egg wash  (see below) and dip the tops only in granulated sugar.   Put onto a baking sheet.    Gently gather the extra pieces of dough together, flatten and repeat as above.

Bake in a preheated hot oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Cool on a wire rack.


Serve, split in half with home-made Raspberry jam and a blob of whipped cream.


Scones are best served freshly baked.


Egg Wash: Whisk 1 egg, thoroughly with about a dessertspoon of milk.  This is brushed over the scones to help them to brown in the oven.


Fluffy Sponge with Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote


Serves 8–10


3 organic eggs

225g (8oz) caster sugar

75ml (3fl oz) warm water

150g (5oz) plain white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


For the Filling

Green gooseberry and elderflower compote (see recipe in my column Irish Examiner Saturday 16th June, 2012.)


Sliced fresh strawberries, raspberries, loganberries and maybe frosted redcurrants or kumquats or homemade jam and softly whipped cream


2 x 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.


Separate the egg yolks from the whites. In a food mixer, whisk the yolks with the caster sugar for 2 minutes and then add in the warm water. Whisk until light and fluffy, this will take about 20-30 minutes. The mixture will have greatly increased in volume and should hold a figure of eight for a few seconds.


Gently fold the sieved flour and baking powder into the mousse in batches. Then whisk the egg whites until they hold a stiff peak. Fold them in very gently.


Divide the mixture between two greased and floured sandwich tins and bake for 20 minutes.


Remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.


When cool, sandwich the two together green gooseberry and elderflower compote or another filling of your choice and whipped cream.


Sprinkle a little caster sugar or icing sugar over the top before serving. Serve on a pretty plate with a doily.


Soda Bread with Sultanas and Fennel Seeds


Good for breakfast or school lunches, or as a snack at any time of the day – best eaten fresh.


Makes 1 loaf

450g (1lb) plain white flour, preferably unbleached

1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 level teaspoon salt

I tablespoon sugar

75g (3oz) sultanas (or more if you’d like)

zest of ½ an orange

1 -2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 organic egg

about 350 – 425ml (12-14fl oz) buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

In a large mixing bowl, sieve in the flour and bicarbonate of soda; then add the salt, sugar and sultanas, orange zest and fennel seeds. Mix well by lifting the flour and fruit up in to your hands and then letting them fall back into the bowl through your fingers. This adds more air and therefore more lightness to your finished bread. Now make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Break the egg into the base of a measuring jug and add the buttermilk to the 425ml (14fl oz) line (the egg is part of the liquid measurement). Pour most of this milk and egg mixture into the flour.

Using one hand with the fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle drawing in the flour mixture from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, but not too wet and sticky.

The trick with this bread like all soda breads is not to over mix the dough. Mix it as quickly and gently as possible, thus keeping it light and airy. When the dough all comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash and dry your hands. With floured fingers, roll the dough lightly for a few seconds – just enough to tidy it up. Then pat the dough into a round, about 6cm (2 1/2 inches) deep. Transfer to a baking tray dusted lightly with flour. Use a sharp knife to cut a deep cross on it, letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Prick with knife at the four triangles. Put into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Cook for 35-40 minutes. If you are in doubt about the bread being cooked, tap the bottom: if it is cooked it will sound hollow. This bread is cooked at a lower temperature than soda bread because the egg browns faster at a higher heat.


Serve freshly baked, cut into thick slices and smeared with butter and jam. Spotted Dog is also really good eaten with Cheddar cheese.


Do you long to make your own homemade ice-cream? The exciting news is that Kitty Travers of La Grotta Ices Sorbets the UK’s ice-cream queen is coming to Ballymaloe Cookery School from Wednesday 25th to Thursday 26th July 2012. Kitty and Darina will teach you  the secrets of making mouthwateringly delicious ice creams and sorbets with fresh ingredients like white peach and tarragon… sweet chestnut… apple and blackberry… pear, bergamot… and fig, chocolate and hazelnut. Everything is natural and seasonal and the flavours are amazingly bright and intense. Kitty has worked in New York, Naples, Rome, Iceland and Russia to master her art. She only makes small batches and sells her ice creams and sorbets from the back of her Piaggio scooter at London’s Maltby Street. To book +353 21 4646785 or


EatGalway has been awarded Bord Bia’s Just Ask! Restaurant of the Month for June 2012.  This is the first time that the award goes not to a restaurant, but to a group of establishments, all based in Galway city, as a result of their dedication to sourcing ingredients locally – for a list of restaurants visit


Darina Allen will be giving a cookery demonstration in association with Euro-toques at the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway on Saturday, 7th July from 12.30 to 1.15pm. –    

Date for your diary – Kenmare Food Carnival Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2012.

Smoky chipotle peppers, artisan corn tortillas, and dried corn husks which you can use to make your own tamales are some of the food on offer on ‘My Mexican Shop’ a new website run by Lily Alan Foran which delivers authentic Mexican cuisine to Irish homes. For details on how to order see

Artisan Dairy Products

The artisan milk and handmade butter movement is really gathering momentum, it is still minute but boy is it causing a stir.

Many top restaurants are now featuring handmade butter proudly on their tables and at last a growing number of dairy farmers are putting milk back into glass bottles and selling organic milk and butter. I sense the same passion as in the artisan brewing movement and as with the brewers there’s a generosity of spirit and room for many more.

Tom and Sheila Butler have been making Cuinnéog Irish country butter and buttermilk In Shraheens, Balla, Co Mayo since 1990. They won a coveted Great Taste Award in 2011.

Alan and Valerie Kingston from Glenilen Farm in Drimoleague, West Cork are also trail blazers, adding value to their beautiful milk from their Friesian and Jersey cows in a myriad of ways, yoghurt, butter, traditional and clotted cream, strawberry smoothies, cheese cakes, lemon posset and of course freshly pasteurised milk in litre glass bottles.

At Mahon Point Farmers Market, devotees fill their bottles with chilled pasteurised milk or melt chocolate lollipops in hot milk – how fun and gorgeous is that! Using the milk from their herd of fifty five cows in 1997 started to make cheesecakes for the local country markets what started as a hobby continued to grow and has transformed their small farm into a hive of activity which now employs thirty four people.

Alan and Valerie Kingston truly know that it all starts with the quality of the milk so “we treat our cows kindly allowing them to roam, keeping them warm in Winter and never ever over milk them” – a simple but crucial factor in their success.

And like Cuinneog when Bord Bia wanted to give Queen Elizabeth a taste of our most delicious and best, Glenilen Farm milk, butter, cream and crème fraiche was on the menu.


Mark Kingston of Golden Bean uses Glenilen milk for his superb lattes and cappuccinos. The newest enterprise I’ve discovered is Ballymore Farm Organic Dairy near Ballymore in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains in County Kildare.  Aidan Harney and his wife Mary Davis are the energy and inspiration behind this enterprise. From the milk of their Jersey, Ayrshire and Friesian cows they produce raw organic milk, handmade butter, buttermilk, yoghurt and cream. The graphics reminiscent of Zingermans in Ann Arbor in Michigan or fun and catchy and once again the demand for their products is skyrocketing. At the recent Bord Bia Food promotion in Selfridges in London they were one of many artisan producers who sold out well before the end of the promotion. Contact   for stockists. Organic Mossfield Farm near Birr in Co Offaly have been selling pasteurised organic milk since November last and Ralph Haslam tells me that sales are building all the time.

This growing interest in handmade artisan food products gives farmers the opportunity to add value to their raw material and create much needed local employment.  Linking food with tourism is an obvious growth opportunity for Ireland’s farmers, fishermen, and artisan food producers. Restaurants and food businesses that feature local foods on their menu already experience an increase in business and benefit from the goodwill it generates when they support their local producers.

This was clearly illustrated in the recent Grant Thornston report commissioned by Good Food Ireland on opportunities to link food to tourism.

Sheridans Cheesemongers have experienced a 800% increase in demand for unpasteurised milk since they started to stock it in November 2010.



Yoghurt and Cardamom Cream with Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote


Serves 8-10


425ml (15 fl ozs) natural yoghurt

225ml (8 fl ozs) milk

150g (5 ozs) castor sugar

200ml (7 fl ozs) cream

1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, freshly ground – you’ll need about 8-10 green cardamom pods depending on size

3 rounded teaspoons powdered gelatine


Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote (see recipe)


Put the milk, sugar and cream into a stainless steel saucepan with the ground cardamom, stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and leave to sit to infuse while you dissolve the gelatine. Sponge the gelatine in a small bowl with 4 tablespoons of cold water. Put the bowl into a saucepan of simmering water until the gelatine has melted and is completely clear. Add a little of the infused milk mixture and stir well and then mix this into the rest. Beat the yoghurt lightly with a whisk until smooth and creamy, add into the cardamom mixture.


Pour into a well oiled ring mould or 8 individual moulds. Allow to set for several hours, preferably overnight.


To Serve

* To crush cardamom seeds, remove the seeds from 6 or 8 pods and crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar or between 2 sheets of silicone paper with the bottom of a saucepan.


Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote


When I’m driving through country lanes in late May or early June, suddenly I spy the elderflower coming into bloom.  Then I know its time to go and search on gooseberry bushes for the hard, green fruit, far too under-ripe at that stage to eat raw, but wonderful cooked in tarts or fools or in this delicious Compote.


Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with green gooseberries and by a happy arrangement of nature they are both in season at the same time.


Serves 6-8


2 lbs (900g) green gooseberries

2 or 3 elderflower heads

1 pint (600ml/2 1/2 cups) cold water

1 lb (450g/2 cups) sugar


First top and tail the gooseberries.   Tie 2 or 3 elderflower heads in a little square of muslin, put in a stainless steel or enamelled saucepan, add the sugar and cover with cold water.  Bring slowly to the boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes.   Add the gooseberries and simmer just until the fruit bursts.  Allow to get cold.  Serve in a pretty bowl and decorate with fresh elderflowers.  Serve with elderflower cream (see below).


N.B.  The tart green gooseberries must actually burst otherwise the compote of fruit will be too bitter.



Lemon Posset with Rose Scented Geranium


Serves 4


400ml (14fl oz) double cream

100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar

5 leaves rose-scented geranium

2 fl oz (50 ml) lemon juice



tiny rose geranium leaves


Place the cream, sugar and rose geranium leaves in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, squeeze in the lemon juice, strain and allow to cool. Serve in small tall glasses each garnished with a tiny rose geranium leaf.


Bhapa Doi – Steamed Sweetened Yoghurt


So maybe this isn’t exactly a traditional recipe, but steamed puddings are certainly a forgotten skill and I ate the most sublime steamed yoghurt at Kempies restaurant in Calcutta. This isn’t exactly the same, but it is delicious also. I found it in The Calcutta Kitchen by Simon Parkes and Udit Sarkhel.


The sweetness of the condensed milk works wonderfully with the acidity of the plain yoghurt. This creamy, sliceable textured pudding is similar to a crème caramel – one of my favourites.

Serves 8


800g (1lb 12 oz) natural yoghurt

300g (10 1/2oz) sweetened condensed milk

seeds of 6 green cardamom pods

powdered in a mortar and pestle

8-10 saffron strands



Sliced pistachio nuts


Heat some water in a steamer. You could use a bamboo over a wok, but any multi-tiered steamer will work. If you do not have a steamer, upturn a small, metal, flat-bottomed bowl inside a larger pot with a fitting lid. Pour water into this and bring to a simmer. Put the item to be steamed into a suitable dish, cover with clingfilm, and place on the upturned bowl to steam.


Mix the natural yoghurt and other ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate some air but don’t overdo it or the whey will separate. Pour it into 8 small serving bowls. Cover with clingfilm and put in the steamer or on to the upturned bowl. Cover with the lid and steam on a steady simmer for 35-40 minutes.


Carefully remove the bowls and leave to cool. Remove the clingfilm and chill.

Serve chilled, sprinkle with the sliced pistachio nuts.


Crème Caramel with Caramel Shards


Serves 6



8oz (225g/1 cup) sugar

5 fl ozs (150ml) water


Caramel Sauce

2 1/2 fl ozs (60ml) water



1 pint (600ml) milk

4 eggs, preferably free range

2 ozs (50g) castor sugar

vanilla pod or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)


Caramel Shards (see recipe)


1 x 5 inch (12.5) charlotte mould or 6 x 3 inch (7.5cm) soufflé dishes


First infuse the milk. Put the cold milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla pod if using.  Bring to just under boiling point, cool. Whisk the eggs, castor sugar and vanilla extract (if used) until thoroughly mixed but not too fluffy. Whether you are using a vanilla pod or vanilla extract, the milk must be brought to just under boiling point first.


Allow to cool and infuse for 6-10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the caramel.  Put the sugar and water into a heavy bottomed saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Bring to the boil, remove the spoon and cook until the caramel becomes golden brown or what we call a “chestnut” colour.  Do not stir and do not shake the pan.  If sugar crystals form around the side of the pan, brush them down with cold water.  When the caramel is ready for lining the moulds, it must be used immediately or it will become hard and cold.  Coat the bottom of the charlotte mould or soufflé dishes with the hot caramel. Dilute the remainder of the caramel with the 2 1/2 fl ozs (60ml/generous 1/4 cup) of the water, return to the heat to dissolve and keep aside to serve around the caramel custard.


Pour the slightly cooled milk onto the egg mixture, whisking gently as you pour.  Strain and pour into the prepared moulds, filling them to the top.


Place the moulds in a bain-marie of simmering water, cover with a paper lid and bake in a moderate oven 150C/300F/regulo 2, for 35 minutes approx., for individual dishes, 1 hour approx. for a charlotte mould.  Test the custard by putting a skewer in the centre, it will come out clean when the custard is fully cooked.


Cool and turn out onto a round, flat dish or individual plates, put the remaining caramel around.  Serve with a little softly whipped cream.  Decorate with caramel shards (see recipe).



** Please remember to allow the milk to cool before whisking onto the egg yolks otherwise the eggs will curdle.


Caramel Shards


Boil sugar and water to the caramel stage – “chestnut” colour, cool slighty, spoon onto an oiled baking sheet or onto silicone paper.  When cold and crisp, use to decorate the crème caramels.  Bigger pieces may be splintered into shards.


Alternatively, put 4-6 ozs (110-150g/1/2 – 3/4 cup) sugar either granulated or castor into a low sided stainless steel saucepan. Stir continuously over a medium heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes. When it has almost reached the “chestnut” stage, turn off the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes.


Then spoon into shapes as above.




Artisan Charcuterie – Robbie Krawczyk whose food is delighting guests at the Chop House Restaurant in Lismore has another string to his bow. He’s carrying on the Polish charcuterie tradition he learned from his father Frank – enjoy this at the Chop House – look out for his cured meats at the Schull and Skibbereen Farmers Markets. Email Frank for the details of his ‘Pig Out’ charcuterie courses –  – +353 (0)28 28579


Debbie Shaw returns this year with her Feel Good Food for Summer Part 2 one day cookery course at Ballymaloe Cookery School on Saturday 23rd June from 9:30am to 5:00pm “Feel Good Food” courses are designed for anyone who would like to feel more energetic, youthful, healthy and happy. With simple delicious recipes that can be easily introduced into any daily cooking routine – 021 4646785

What could be nicer than having a flourishing herb garden outside your kitchen door? Susan Turner is teaching a Garden Workshop – Designing a Herb Garden at Ballymaloe Cookery School on Monday 18th June 2012 from 9:00am to 2:00pm – the price of €95.00 includes lunch – phone 0214646785 to book

New Farmers Market at Killruddery House, Bray, Co Wicklow on the first Saturday of every month from 10am to 4pm until September. Exciting list of stall holders including Riverview Farm Fresh Meats, Eat East, Bray based company Garden Produce, Malone’s Fruit Farm, George’s Patisserie, Hamburger Marys, Croi Scripts, Moonwave Nursery, Little Delights…


Stevie Parle – Dock Kitchen London

Stevie Parle burst onto the London food scene in 2009 with his restaurant Dock Kitchen. Hitherto he’d been living on a houseboat on the Thames, working at the River Café, Moro and Petersham Nurseries. He was one of the first to do pop-up dinners but when he found the a long canal side wharf warehouse – an ex Victorian goods yard with a massive terrace – on Kensel Rise, he put down deeper roots, it was just too perfect to abandon.

He needed a more permanent home to develop his exotic yet simple cooking that has more to do with the cooking of the grandmothers of the globe than the overworked fussy food of the average London kitchen.

Stevie travels a lot and has worked in New York, Tokyo, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and it shows in his menu. He is totally passionate about the honest quality of multi ethnic ingredients.  To be a really good cook or chef you need to be slightly greedy and endlessly curious. Some chefs become obsessed with the water baths, liquid nitrogen, dry ice and distillers which are becoming everyday tools in some modern restaurant kitchens.

For Stevie, a collection of pestles and mortars, some ancient cooking vessels and a charcoal fire are miles more exciting than the gadgets and gizmos to which many chefs seem to aspire to these days.

His food inspired by ingredients and dishes he’s eaten all over the world, always simple, always exotic has struck a chord in London the most multicultural of cities. The acerbic restaurant critic AA Gill described Stevie’s food as ‘faultless’. The Observer Food Monthly awarded him UK Young Chef of the Year 2010; he’s also the food columnist for the Saturday Telegraph. His first book My Kitchen – Real Food from Near and Far was nominated for the André Simon and Guild of Food Writers for Best First Cookbook 2010.

At just 16 years old Stevie was one of the youngest ever students to complete the 12 Week Certificate Course at Ballymaloe Cookery School; am I proud of him or what?

His new book Stevie Parle’s Dock Kitchen Cookbook – Real Home Cooking from Around the World is published by Quadrille Press. Here are a few recipes from the book.

Dock Kitchen  Iranian Pistachio, Cucumber and Grapes Soup


I had a soup a little like this at the house of my friend, the photographer Jason Lowe. I recreated it a year or so later, so it may or may not be similar to the original… I often serve it with melon, or cherries in the summer, some blended in, some on the top. It’s a pretty magical soup. You are going to slowly build the flavours by adding different things to the blender and tasting as you go. It’s complex in taste: gentle acidity balances rich nuts, while the perfume of rose water competes with garlic and herbs.

Serves 6

75g blanched almonds

75g fresh green pistachios or 3 tbsp unsweetened pistachio purée

1 garlic clove, green sprout removed

1 cucumber, roughly chopped

100g sweet red grapes

leaves from 1 small bunch of mint

a few sprigs of dill

1 tbsp rose water

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt

a few strands of saffron, to serve


Start with the almonds, pistachios and garlic, blending until completely fine in a food processor or blender. Now blend a little more, adding a few spoonfuls of water. Once the mixture starts to smell of marzipan you can start to add the other ingredients.

Tip in the cucumber and half the grapes, most of the mint leaves and dill. Add a little rose water – be careful as bottles can vary in strength – a squeeze of lemon and enough water to make a thin soup.

Season with salt and taste, you should be able to detect all the ingredients individually, but none too strongly. Add more of anything you think you want to taste a little more; trust your instincts. Serve with ice cubes if it is hot, the remaining grapes, sliced, the remaining herbs, and the strands of saffron.


Chicken Livers with Seven Spice and Pomegranate Molasses

250 g chicken livers, cleaned any sinew removed

sea salt

olive oil

1 teaspoon Lebanese Seven Spice (see recipe)

knob of unsalted butter

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon yoghurt

1 batch of grilled yeasted flat bread

Heat a wide pan, season the chicken livers with salt, and then splash some olive oil into the pan followed by the livers. Fry without touching them for a minute until browned on one side, then turn them all over and sprinkle with the seven spice. Add the butter followed by the pomegranate molasses. Add the spoonful of yoghurt, but only half stir it in before serving with the warm bread.

Lebanese Seven Spice

We vary this, sometimes adding fenugreek instead of cumin. It’s an incredibly useful spice for Middle Eastern cooking. Used almost like pepper, you can season a lamb chop with it, or add it to vegetables or any pilaf. It has a high quantity of nutmeg and cloves, which gives it a brilliantly intense fragrance.

150g coriander seeds

130g cumin seeds

120g allspice berries

150g cinnamon sticks

40g cloves

180g black peppercorns

40g whole nutmeg

In both cases, grind all the whole spices separately in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, then mix together. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Grilled Yeasted Flatbread

We make this bread every day, generally cooking it in the tandoor oven, though it works well on a griddle pan.

Makes about 6

1 tablespoon dried yeast

about 650ml warm water

1.2kg strong white flour

2 teaspoon fine salt

Soak the yeast in about 10ml of the warm water, mixing to a smooth liquid. Add the yeasty water and the remaining water to the flour and salt and mix until all the liquid is incorporated but the mixture is lumpy. Let sit for 10 minutes.  Now knead for five to 10 minutes. Prove, covered in Clingfilm, for one hour. Shape into four balls and prove on a tray or work surface covered in a damp cloth. Preheat the oven to the hottest setting or heat a cast iron griddle pan on the hob. Roll the balls into large flatbreads, the same size as the tray or griddle. Griddle or bake for three to five minutes.

Dock Kitchen Grilled Skirt Steak with Anchovy Cauliflower Cheese


Skirt steak is an excellent, cheap cut. It must be well hung, or it will be tough. Skirt has a coarse grain and must be cooked rare; well-done it is inedibly chewy. I cooked this when Jay Rayner reviewed Dock Kitchen in the early days, he said the addition of anchovy to the cauliflower cheese was the prosaic made gloriously elegiac. I was lucky to add the anchovies. Without, the excellent review may have read rather differently. This is super-simple as I just enrich crème fraîche rather than making béchamel.

Serves 4

sea salt

1 cauliflower

250ml crème fraîche

3 egg yolks

100g pecorino (or another hard tangy cheese), grated

8 salted anchovy fillets

4 skirt steaks (total weight 1kg)

freshly ground black pepper

lemon juice (optional)

extra virgin olive oil (optional)



Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Preheat a griddle pan, or light your barbecue.

Boil a pan of well-salted water. Break the cauliflower into florets and boil until just soft (about five minutes). Drain and put the cauliflower into a medium baking tray that can accommodate it all in one tight layer.

Mix the crème fraîche with the egg yolks and cheese and dollop this on top of the cauliflower. Lay the anchovies over the top and bake in the oven until well browned.

Season the steaks well with salt and pepper and grill on the very hot griddle pan or barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side. It should be nicely charred but still bright red within. Let them rest for a couple of minutes.
I often squeeze over a lemon and pour on a little oil.


Dock Kitchen Pear Hazelnut and Rosemary Tart


This is Stevie Parle’s variation of a classic almond tart. Sometimes they fill the tart with quarters of quince that we have slowly boiled in sugar syrup. Be careful to buy really good fresh hazelnuts preferably from Piedmont, the rind of the hazelnuts can often be rancid so taste before you buy!


Serves 12-14



350g (12oz) plain flour, sifted

100g (3 1/2oz) icing sugar, sifted

225g (8oz) unsalted butter

pinch of salt

3 egg yolks



200g (7oz) blanched hazelnuts, toasted

100g (3 1/2oz) blanched almonds

250g (9oz) unsalted butter

250g (9oz) caster sugar

3 eggs

4 large pears (perhaps comice)

1 teaspoon Demerara sugar

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

75ml (3fl oz) eau de vie, grappa or marc

2 sprigs of rosemary


In a food processor, pulse-blend the flour, icing sugar, butter and salt until coarse crumbs form. Add the egg yolks and pulse until the mixture begins to come together, turn it out and quickly knead a little to bind. Shape into two rounds, wrap in cling film and chill for a couple of hours.


Coarsely grind the nuts and remove from the machine. Blend the butter and caster sugar together, return the nuts followed by the eggs, then blend until well mixed. Peel the pears, halve them and remove the core. In a bowl, mix the pears with the brown sugar, vanilla seeds scraped from the pod and the eau de vie.


Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.


Grate the pastry into a 32cm (11 1/2 inch) tart tin and push into the sides and roughly down into the base (you might only use half the pastry but you can freeze the rest). Freeze for 10 minutes or so, then bake for 15 minutes until pale brown and firm to the touch. Cool for a few minutes, then spread the nut mixture into the shell. Push the pears in, then push the sprigs of rosemary in around the pears. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until browned, delicious looking and not too soft.

Darina’s Book of the Week

Food Rules by Catherine Shanahan MD – most doctors, by their own admission have little or no training in nutrition, many of our health problems are actually caused by the food we eat yet our food should be our medicine. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Dr Shanahan adds to this growing food revolution the voice of an experienced physician and scientist. Full of straightforward and memorable advice – well worth reading. Published by Big Books Bedford, NH.


Pam Mulhaire serves Afternoon Tea in the drawing room every day at her 17th Century Victorian Country House, Knockeven in Rushbrook, Cobh. With all the little extras for a special occasion or simply an indulgent treat – smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and watercress and cucumber sandwiches and lots more little dainties including her freshly baked scones with cream and jam. Booking essential – 021-48117788

The Irish Artisans continue to win awards and put ‘Ireland the Food Island’ up in lights. Willie and Avril Allshire of Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd are the latest producers – as well as Colette Twomey of Clonakilty and Jerry and James O’Leary in Millstreet, Co Cork – to be intronised  (sworn in) to La Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duché d’Alençon. Alençon – makes them members of an exclusive white pudding fraternity – where they swear to uphold local traditions and quality. They also won a bronze medal from le Confrerie des Chevalirs du Goute-Boudin for their black pudding in March.

Trevor Sargent’s Kitchen Garden

The Greens got trounced in the last elections for a variety of reasons; some, no fault of their own, others thoroughly justified. However, for those of us who are interested in food as its potential for our own health and the health of the nation, one person always stood out, former Minister for Food and Horticulture – Trevor Sargent. Fortunately many of his initiatives have continued including the country wide schools Agri Aware programme, called Incredible Edibles.

Well, as you can imagine, Trevor has not been idle since his enforced redundancy. Among other things he has been working hard in his small garden in Balbriggan in Co Dublin, determined to prove that given a small amount of time and a reasonable effort one can go a long way towards feeding oneself and one’s family and even have surplus from time to time to sell or share with neighbours and friends.

Trevor sells the surplus from his 20 x 40ft plot at the local Farmers Market. By trial and error he has become truly expert at growing in small space. His clever design, honed over the years, includes space for paths and a patio, a pond, roses, a garden shed, a wood store, various compost containers and a teeny weeny lawn. He’s been recording and sharing his 30 years growing experiences in his blog Trevor’s Kitchen Garden and his recently published book of the same name. Taking us week by week through the year, Trevor relates what tasks can be done in the garden, from sowing and harvesting to pruning and tidying. He shares nuggets of hard-earned wisdom about crop rotation, dealing with slugs and pests, enriching your soil with the best possible compost, building your garden shed and garden design.

More than a gardening book, Trevor’s Kitchen Garden is steeped in the history and heritage attached to our natural world and is an inspiration to those with an interest in growing their own food and becoming more self-sufficient.

As far as I’m concerned everyone and I mean everyone should learn the skills and have the joy of growing some food themselves, doesn’t matter whether you are in a high-rise apartment, in a house boat or a country village – as long as there is light, water and a seed tray and soil, you can grow – greens, radishes, cress, or if all else fails, bean sprouts and boy do they taste good because you grew them yourself. Even though we are fortunate enough have land and greenhouse to grow in, we also grow in everything from bean cans, old gutters, distressed baskets, vegetable crates, fish boxes, old Wellington boots…At this time of the year radishes will be ready to harvest in 12 – 14 days, get the children involved, they will eat them too. I adore early Summer, we’ve just been enjoying the first of our new potatoes and broad beans and fresh spring onions and we give thanks to the good Lord for the good earth and the seasons.


Radish Leaf Soup


When you grow radishes don’t throw away the fresh leaves they are delicious in salad and this yummy soup.


Serves 4


11/2 ozs (45g) butter

5 ozs (140g) peeled and chopped potatoes

4 ozs (110g) peeled and chopped onion

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pint (900ml) water or homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 pint (300ml) creamy milk

5 ozs (150g) radish leaves, chopped


Melt the butter in heavy bottomed saucepan, when it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss them until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes.


When the vegetables are almost soft but not coloured add the stock and milk, bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes and onions are fully cooked. Add the radish leaves and boil with the lid off for 4-5 minutes approx. until the radish leaves are cooked. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh green colour. Puree the soup in a liquidiser or food processor. Taste and correct seasoning.


Radish, Cucumber and Mint Salad


This is a delicious little salad as well as a wonderful way to use up a glut of radishes. Serve it alone or with pan-grilled lamb chops or a crispy-skinned organic chicken thigh.


Serves 6


1 fresh cucumber

18–24 radishes, trimmed and quartered

18 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

a handful of fresh mint leaves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon honey


Slit the cucumber lengthways. Scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or a pointed teaspoon (we feed them to the hens). Cut each side lengthways again, and then into 5mm (1⁄4in) slices at an angle. Add the radishes and tomatoes to the cucumber with the mint leaves. Whisk the oil and vinegar together with the honey and season with a few flakes of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle over the vegetables and toss gently.


Broad Beans on Grilled Bread

Serves 2 as a first course

Serves 4 with an aperitif 


Gillian Hegarty who spent many years with Rose Gray at the River Café first made this for me, it’s now become one of my favourite ways to serve young broad beans, I sometimes serve this as a nibble with an aperitif but it also makes a wonderful first course.



4 slices of really good bread white bread cut 1/3 inch thick (we use Arbutus Biggie from Declan Ryan’s Artisan Bakery)

1 clove garlic peeled

extra virgin olive oil


1 peeled clove of garlic

4oz (110g) of really fresh small raw broad beans, weighed when shelled

sea salt

a squeeze of lemon juice

6 – 8 fresh mint leaves

6 – 8 fresh basil leaves

a generous tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


A rough stone pestle and mortar


First make the topping. Pound the peeled clove of garlic with a little sea salt in the pestle and mortar. Add the broad beans and continue to pound to a coarse puree. Add the mint and basil leaves, continue until they are incorporated. Finally add the parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. Taste and correct the seasoning. Heat a pan grill on a high flame until very hot. Char grill the bread on both sides. Rub each side with a cut clove of garlic, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Spread some of the broad bean topping over the hot grilled bread and serve immediately.


New Potatoes in Seawater


If perchance you live close to the sea, use sea water gives a brilliant flavour to new potatoes and green vegetables – no need to use extra salt


Serves 4-5


2 lbs (900g) new potatoes eg, Home Guard, British Queens, Colleen

2 pints (1.2 litres) water

a sprig of mint


Bring the water to the boil.  Scrub the potatoes.  Add salt and a sprig of mint to the water, and then add the potatoes.  Cover the saucepan, bring back to the boil and cook for 15-25 minutes depending on size.


Drain and serve immediately in a hot serving dish.



It’s vitally important for flavour to add salt to the water when cooking potatoes.


Stevie Parle’s Elderflower and Buttermilk Pudding with Loganberries


If you don’t have loganberries then raspberries will do.


Serves 8


4 sheets of leaf gelatine

350ml (12fl oz) buttermilk

50g (2oz) caster sugar, plus 4 tablespoons more

250ml  (9fl oz)double cream

100ml (3 ½ fl oz)good-quality elderflower cordial

200g (7oz) loganberries or raspberries

100ml (3 ½ fl oz) eau de vie or grappa


Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes until soft, then squeeze the excess water from the soft leaves. Bring 100ml (3 ½ floz) of the buttermilk to the boil with the 50g (2oz) sugar. When the sugar has dissolved , remove from the heart and stir in the gelatine until dissolved. Leave to cool, then whisk into the crea, with the rest of the buttermilk and the elderflower cordial. Pour into a ceramic tray or small moulds and leave to set in the fridge for two to three hours or overnight.

Stir the loganberries with the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar and the eau de vie, Spoon out the buttermilk pudding and serve with the boozy loganberries.


Darina’s Book of the Week

Virgin to Veteran: How to Get Cooking with Confidence – Sam Stern’s latest book is a contemporary master class with lots of nifty tips to help budding cooks develop their cooking technique and build a recipe repertoire. A lovely collection of tempting recipes for every budget, mood and lifestyle. Published by Quadrille Books.


Lots of new artisan foods coming on stream…

Woodside Farm’s growing fan base will be delighted to hear of Noreen and Martin Conroy’s latest accolade – “La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin”, or “The Brotherhood of the Knights of the Blackpudding” has awarded Woodside Farm a Silver Medal for “le boudin a griller” or “cooked blood pudding” using fresh blood. Look out for it at the Midleton Farmers Market every Saturday Tel: 087 2767206.

New Artisan Food Products from Co Kilkenny – Mags and Gerard Kirwan from Goatsbridge Farm in Thomastown have added trout caviar to their fresh and smoked trout. It’s causing quite a stir among chefs both here in Ireland and in the UK – it’s seasonal so contact  086-8188340

Highbank Orchard SyrupJulie Calder-Potts has not looked back since she won the title of Best Food Innovation of the year in 2010. It’s “Ireland’s answer to maple syrup” delicious drizzled over pannacotta, yoghurt, breakfast porridge, in salad dressing…Tel: 056 772 9918


Greenhouse: Eamon O’Reilly of No 1 Pico has teamed up with Finnish chef Michel Viljanen to open the Greenhouse Restaurant beside the Mansion House on Dawson Sreet in Dublin. It is flavour of the month at the moment and deservedly so – I had lunch there recently – €30.00 for two courses, €35.00 for three, fantastically good value for this standard of cooking but a friend asked why do they have lamb from the Pyrenees on the menu?  Tel:+353 (0)1 676 7015


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