Cook ahead, shop ahead, think ahead – those are the main points of Carmel Somers’ first cookbook. Somers is the chef/owner of the Good Things Café, an acclaimed restaurant and popular cookery school in Durrus, West Cork. Eat Good Things Every Day, however, is not in the least bit cheffy. It is all about simple family dishes, often lifted with an unexpected ingredient: an apple in a cabbage stir fry with pork belly, bananas fried to accompany a Cuban rice dish, raw rhubarb tossed in a salad with cucumber and mint.
When the weather gets tough, it’s time to get baking. Just made Carmel Somers’ Banana and Chocolate Cake from her Eat Good Things Every Day cookbook and it’s a winner.
In the last few years, The Cliff House Hotel has really put Ardmore on the map. A small seaside village in Co Waterford, Ardmore was one of those places we visited as children during our summer holidays along the coast in Youghal. We always loved the cliff walk and I remember the old hotel that we used to pass on our way there, remarkable only for the large garden alongside.
Peter Ward established the well-regarded Country Choice café and deli in Nenagh, Co Tipperary in the early 1980s. He talks to Caroline Hennessy for EveryMonday.ie about how he thinks the latest recession will affect Irish artisan food producers. More here.
When I lived in New Zealand, cooking was my way of getting to know the (then Boyfriend, now) Husband’s family and friends. Three of his sisters lived nearby in Christchurch and they, together with a boyfriend and various cousins, were regular visitors to our house. When I look back on the recipes that I gathered in those days, they rarely were for dining à deux; instead I cooked roasting tins full of Chicken with Garlic and Lemon, made overflowing pans of Beef and Chorizo Pie and baked large dishes of Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding.
This is the soup that I cooked at the Glenroe Ladies’ Club demonstration – it is something that I make regularly as it has a great flavour, doesn’t take long and is really good for freezing. The smoked paprika is fabulous with it, giving a real depth to the soup. Perfect for warming your hands while you sip it out of a large mug.
The suspense was growing. There is an element of hope in cooking an upsidedown cake at the best of time but cooking one for a demonstration in front of 35 members of the Glenroe Ladies’ Club was, perhaps, asking for trouble. Throw in anirregularly used gas oven – I live in a world of electricity, rarely cooking on gas – and a demonstrator who, while distracted, managed to turn the oven off instead of up (ahem) and you’re adding a whole new layer of problems to the mix!
As reported in The Avondhu, our local paper:The days are getting colder, nights are drawing in and it’s time for some warming homecooked meals. Fancy trying out a few new tastes and flavours? Have you ever wondered what to do with butternut squash or sweet potato? Wanted to try making a Moroccan Tagine but not been sure of what it involves?