Sunday, 17 July 2011

Its the simple things in life that make it work.......

I have been working in kitchen's for the past twenty years and have come across many young talented chefs, their passion, belief in what they are doing and their eagerness to learn sets them apart from the rest and in most cases catapults them to the top of their profession.
I have also learned that if you keep things simple in a kitchen, not try to invent the wheel but to use the best ingredients available is the key to good food. Unfortunately this knowledge takes time to amass and requires a lot of hard work to master. This job is a profession and in some cases a vocation, we work long hard hours for the pleasure of others so bear this in mind the next time you go out for dinner.
So this leads me on to last Sunday when I had the pleasure of eating in the Chop House, Lismore, Co Waterford where I had one of the best lunches I have eaten in a long time. Devilled lamb’s kidneys to start (pink, cooked to perfection) and Roast saddle back pig for main course (their own pigs) and sticky meringue with strawberries to finish. My ever youthful companion had home cured and smoked organic salmon to start, Roast McGrath’s beef for main course and a zingy lemon tart for dessert. This was simple food but what makes it stand out in my mind is that the ingredients were the best, it was cooked simply and without fuss by a young, talented up and coming Chef Robbie Krawczyk.
I guess my motto is “ Life is simple we should keep it that way”

Friday, 15 July 2011

Penne pasta with Irish smoked salmon, black pepper and parmesan cheese

Sometimes I am surprised at how easy a dish comes together and tastes like it took ages to cook, well here is a simple pasta dish I came up with in the confines of a small camper van with a two ring cooker. All I had was some good smoked salmon, parmesan cheese, black pepper and a tiny bit of cream. This my friends is easy but tastes of more.......
Boil the pasta al dente, strain when cooked and slice the smoked salmon into thin strips, pour the cream into the empty pasta pot, reduce it a little, add the salmon, black pepper, pasta and a good handfull of grated parmesan cheese, stir and serve at once. A little squeeze of lemon will help things along if you like.... Try it you will be going back for more......

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Piggy on a summers day........

My new dish is spit roast Piggy served in a Waterford Blaa with Tom Cleary's lettuce and some home made apple mayo...... What a way to go for a party, and that is exactly what I did on Sunday morning, got the pig on the spit just before 6am and cooked slowly over real wood for six hours and it was beautiful, tender, sweet, juicy and the crackling was to die for.
Piggy, Piggy all the way I say...........

Monday, 4 July 2011

Old School bacon belly and the mighty spud, tall ship style......

What a weekend, the city of Waterford came alive with the quay's going back in time to the sight of tall Ships of yesteryear. A fantastic event to host and the people of Waterford sensed a great deal of history and pride with over fifty tall ships docked on the river Suir.
And Quinn was asked to do a cooking demo on the Wylde Swan, a herring hunter from Holland. So with history in mind i cooked belly of bacon and colcannon for the ships crew and trainees.
Simple and delicious to do with old school flavours....
1 belly of bacon, (go for gubeen smoked belly if you can get it)
1 kg of British Queens new potatoes
1 head of cabbage
1/2 lb of good Irish butter
1 onion sliced and swetted off in butter
bunch of spring onions
First Boil the bacon for 45 minutes in a large pot, wash and boil the spuds until soft. Drain the belly and put it on a roasting tray. Roast it for 20 minutes in a hot oven.
To make the colcannon, mash the spuds up with the butter, and onions, cook the cabbage in the bacon water for five minutes, drain and stir into the potato with the chopped spring onion, check for seasoning and serve with a thick slice of smoked belly