Monthly Archive: November 2008
Aer Lingus permitting, we’re off to Berlin for two nights early – very early – on Sunday morning. Ever since I was at the Prix Europa in 2006 I’ve been wanting to revisit the city, but with a little more leisure to appreciate it. This time round I’ve plans for lavish amounts of kaffe und kuchen and have been reading up on Berlin street food although I can’t say that descriptions of the traditional Currywurst are exactly appetising!
If you’re in Dublin on Thursday 4 December, check out the Greatfood.ie/Dublin Cookery School Christmas Food and Wine Fair from 6pm to 9pm at the Dublin Cookery School, which is just off Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock, Co Dublin.Dublin Cookery School owner Lynda Booth will host the evening, which includes a sushi demonstration from Seiya Nakano, an Australian wine tasting with the entertaining John McDonnell of Wine Australia Ireland and an opportunity to get your hands on some food-orientated Christmas presents at a special discount of 10%. Don’t miss the chance to pick up some of Greatfood.ie’s award-winning Wild Cranberry & Apple chutney – there’s every chance that you’ll have it eaten long before Christmas! Tickets are just €10 and they are available to buy in advance from www.greatfood2buy.com.
On the times that I’ve seen it – not having a television, I watch online from the RTÉ website – I’ve been enjoying Bake, Rachel Allen‘s new food show. As you may have noticed, I do very much enjoy baking and am always on the look out for new recipes. Her new book is crammed full of great things to try – I’ve already got lots of pages marked for revisiting – but only had a chance to try out one of the recipes so far. A jar of peanut butter in the house meant that Rachel’s Peanut Butter Blondies were crying out for a test run but I almost balked when I read that the recipe only made 12 small squares.
On a quick trip to Dublin today and enjoyed a brief visit to Carluccio’s Caffè on Dawson Street. Lots of gorgeous food to look at and buy – including some very presentable Christmas hampers and gifts in luxurious packaging – in the deli area at the front of their premises but we didn’t have time to linger. In search of some quick soup, we got Pasta e Fagioli, a sustaining bowl of borlotti beans and pasta in a rich broth, with a chunk of olive oil-soaked, salt-sprinkled foccacia. A cup of fresh mint tea (mint leaves in boiling water, sweeten as desired) finished off a simple and satisfying repast. Must go looking for that Pasta e Fagioli recipe in my new Carluccio’s Complete Italian Food cookbook…
If you need any excuse to get into the Christmas spirit, pick up a copy of Sarah Raven’s sparky and seasonal Complete Christmas. I’m already a fan of her comprehensive Garden Cookbook and this is very much in a similar vein, with a big emphasis on using the garden as a resource for creative decorations, food and homemade presents.
Next Wednesday, 19 November, if you’re around Cork you should head directly to Fenn’s Quay Restaurant, which is hosting a Bubble Brothers Cahors wine tasting dinner. Jean-Raymond Clarenc of Clos Triguedina will be there to talk guests through tastings of about six of his wines, matched with food from chef Kevin Crowley. And the price? A very reasonable €50 per person. You can call the restaurant directly (021 4279527) or check out the Bubble Brothers blog for more details. They’re also running a competition to win a free dinner and there’s more information on that here.
Nights are dark and cold and my cooking has changed to correspond with the changing of the season. Anything that can be put into a pot and forgotten about in the oven while I get some work done scores particularly highly on my dinner scale and last night’s dish got full marks for maximum flavour with minimum effort.