Saturday, 30 April 2011

enigma-way to eternity

Sometimes a piece of music can make all the difference. It can soothe the mind and soften the heart.....

Friday, 22 April 2011

Wild Garlic time of year.......

Paddy Ryan, a fantastic, young and passionate chef at the castle picking wild garlic on the Island
Go wild with garlic I say.... If you get the chance to get out this Easter and walk in the country side look out for wild garlic, it is every where. You will smell it before you see it so grab a bunch and bring it home and use the wild garlic in salads or make a pesto or puree with it to go with Chicken , pasta, soup or even fish. The white flowers taste delicious, look wonderful in salads and will impress your dinner guests.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

William Butler Yeats once wrote.....

The Herring are not in the tides as they were of old;
My sorrow for many a creak gave the creel in the cart
That carried the take to Sligo town to be sold;
When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

So it seems that fish have been in short supply for a while, if Mr Yeats was writing poetry about it seventy years ago......

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Dungarvan my home town.......

It is a wonderful feeling knowing that you come from a very special place. Waterford has everything, beautiful coast line, mountains, rivers and some of the best food in Ireland.
I spent the morning in Dungarvan, my Mum's home town, doing a cook off against four local Chefs, all top people. We were on stage in the Town Hall and I was amazed at the amount of folk that were up early to watch us cook against the clock. But what struck me most was the buzz around the town and this is because of the fantastic food festival that is on this weekend.
As a man who is passionate about local food and local producers this is a real tonic, and in my opinion its the way to go. Bring back the good old days when we all knew what we were eating.
Tomorrow there is a farmers market in the town square and if I were you I would not miss it for the world. My good friend Ted Burner is cooking up a storm with his pig roast and there will be many more fantastic producers selling their beautiful food.
We should be proud to be from such a beautiful part of the world......

Monday, 11 April 2011

Soul Surfing

Sometimes there is more to life than Cooking, check this out.......

Pastry Chef's 'they are like hens teeth'

Spring is a time of change and the Castle kitchens are no different than anywhere else, so its time to say good bye to our Pastry Chef who has worked with the rest of the team for the past two years. Shannon Ni Neill hales from the northern counties and has brought a great sence of fun with her, she has put her mark on the menu and created some exciting new dishes that have gone down well with the guests.
I have always said that cooking is an art while pastry is a science and it is very hard to get a good pastry chef.
I wish her the best of luck in her new role in Bodega.....

Monday, 4 April 2011

Healthy Brown Bread..................

We recently had a group of Italian slow food students stay at the castle, they were on a gastro tour of Ireland so I set up a bread making workshop for them in the kitchen where I was joined by Brendan Walsh of M&D bakery who made blaas for the students and my Mum, Brigid Quinn who demonstrated a very old bread recipe that has been in our family for many generations.
This recipe is for the brown bread we make at the castle, it is delicious, healthy and well worth making.....

Wholemeal Brown Bread
makes one loaf

400g of howards one way brown flour (coarse) (kells flour is also fantastic to use)
55g plain white flour
1tablesp of bran
1tablesp of wheatgerm
1tablesp of pumpkin seeds
1tablesp of sunflower seeds
1tablesp of linseed
1 level teasp of bread soda, sieved
1 teasp of salt
1teasp of soft brown sugar
1 free range egg
2 tablesp of sunflower oil
400ml of buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 180c
Put all the dry ingredients including the sieved bread soda into a bowl and mix well, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid, mix well by hand, add more buttermilk if necessary, the mix should be soft and slightly sloppy. Pour into an oiled tin and bake for 60 minutes approx or until the bread in nice and crispy and sounds hollow when tapped

Saturday, 2 April 2011