Monthly Archive: October 2008


Leon: Ingredients and Recipes

Leon's Indian Parsnip SoupWorking my way through Leon: Ingredients and Recipes, Allegra McEvedy’s fantastic cookbook from the London-based restaurant chain at the moment. As there was a big bunch of lovely dirty parsnips sitting around from the last Mallow Farmers’ Market – like carrots, they always keep better when they still have some soil on them, even in my newly warm kitchen (the Husband recently got the stove working, just in time for winter) – I couldn’t resist trying out her recipe for Indian Parsnip Soup. I followed it (almost) to the letter, even down to adding a drizzle of honey, a scattering of sumac (finally getting a use for that packet hanging around in the spice box) to each serving, with a wedge of lemon on the side to accentuate the flavours and it was, without a doubt, superb. Review to follow, when I get through the rest of the book, but you can read some of her writing and recipes in this series of extracts from the book on the Guardian website.Extract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part OneExtract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part TwoExtract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part ThreeExtract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part Four


Warm Chickpea Salad with Parmesan

Warm Chickpea Salad with ParmesanOne of my major perks, on days I work from home, is having the opportunity to make myself something really good for lunch. If those days also happen to feature me making chicken stock or reconstituting a big bag of dried pulses – these things happen in the kitchen without me having to think about them – there’s more of a treat in store. A couple of scoops of chicken stock get siphoned off to make a gutsy noodle broth, infused with slivers of ginger, garlic and chilli and eaten with relish. Freshly cooked butter beans can easily find themselves tossed with a sundried tomato dressing and some of the left-over roast pumpkin from last night’s dinner.

Slow Food Dublin: Winter Roast 0

Slow Food Dublin: Winter Roast

If you’re around Dublin on Sunday 14 December, Slow Food Dublin are planning a pre-Christmas, open air roast at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar with chestnut-stuffed roast pig on a spit, mulled wine, hot cider and live music. They will also have a number of stalls from food producers around the square and are looking for any new producers in the Dublin area to contact them if interested in participating. More information below. - mussels 2

Kilmackillogue mussels

Kilmackillogue musselsTuesday was not a nice day. As I drove down to Kilmackillogue pier in Kerry in the morning, the rain rarely stopped beating against the windscreen as the wipers battled to give me a view of the road. It was not the perfect day to go out on a boat yet that’s exactly where I was heading, off harvesting mussels with Paul Kelly, who is a part-time mussel farmer as well as being a gold and silversmith. On a brief stop in Kenmare – Jam was calling for morning tea – I took a moment to admire Paul’s rings, which combine gold, silver and both precious and semi- precious stones, in the window of his shop, before hitting the wet road again for the extra half-hour drive to Kilmackillogue.


Cornucopia at Home by Eleanor Heffernan and the Cornucopia team

Cornucopia at HomeDuring my first couple of years in Dublin, I worked on Great Denmark Street, just off the top of O’Connell Street. At that stage, there weren’t many lunch-friendly places around the northside so, if catching up with friends for lunch, the usual thing was to meet outside Trinity (cue Caroline legging it down O’Connell Street, over O’Connell Bridge and up Westmoreland Street at the rate of knots at 12.55pm) and go from there. One of my favourite places to go with the Tax Advisor – if we could grab a seat – was Cornucopia on Wicklow Street. We would fill up on warming winter soups, my favourite Spanakopita or hearty quiches, always with a big debate over which salads to choose. After a feed there, the Tax Consultant used to be terribly impressed at the fact that he didn’t get hungry all afternoon long.


National Irish Food Awards/Blas na hÉireann winners

National Irish Food Awards/Blas na hÉireannAny excuse is a good one to visit Dingle and when it involves a Food Festival and an invitation to participate in the judging of the inaugural National Irish Food Awards, also known as Blas na hÉireann, how could anyone resist? Certainly not me and Saturday found my tastebuds at the ready to sample some of the enormous variety of foods entered into a series of blind tastings. Without the context of packaging and placement, it was a real opportunity to see what was out there on the Irish market. And it wasn’t all, ahem, work. I also got to meet fellow bloggers Val and Ollie, catch up with my former teacher Rory O’Connell, wander around the variety of food stalls scattered around the town, eat a first class meal at seafood restaurant Out of The Blue have several afternoon affogatos and sample a variety of the Mexican flavours on offer at Murphy’s Ice Cream (the Guacamole was a very surprising hit.)