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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Three men and their birds....

Christmas would not be Christmas without a bird of some sort so with this in mind I caught the ferry to Co Wexford last night with Paddy Ryan, one of the chefs at the Castle. We were on our way to the Hook Head to dispatch two home grown Turkeys rared by a great friend of mine.
In the pitch dark armed with a bottle of Paddy's slow gin we tackled the two birds one by one, plucked them bare and got them ready for the oven.
Sean Dillon, a true gentleman watched over us with halk eyes and made sure we were doing the job properly.
The whole job took no more than a hour and these fine birds will be enjoyed by many on Christmas day. Old school you could say .....
Happy Christmas to all......



Wednesday, 14 December 2011

This knocks the stuffing out of stuffing.......

This is going to be my only Christmas recipe this year, every Tom, Dick and Harry are creating recipes for the masses so I guess you all have enough of it, at least I do.
This time of year is about Peace and Love and not the quantity of food you waste after all the festivities are over, so please support the local producers when ordering your food for December 25. Take pride in cooking and eating it that's what it is all about..
So here is a very simple recipe for stuffing you can use with duck, goose, turkey or pork. It is delicious and simple to make..

Enough for one duck
35g of butter
70g of finely chopped onion
1 tblsp of chopped sage
1 tblsp of chopped tarragon
1tsp of chopped thyme
20g chopped chestnuts
20g chopped apricot
100g of soft white breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a heavy pan, sweat the onion over a low heat for five minutes or until the onion has gone translucent, add in the sage, chopped chestnuts, apricots and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A night full of game at the Castle.....

It all started off with a rabbit croquette, followed by a quail pie, washed down with a clear pheasant broth. Then out came the wild brill with caper stem puree and loin of Irish red deer with red cabbage jelly trotting after it. All followed by a rich tempting dark chocolate torte and beetroot, delicious......










Monday, 5 December 2011

Hot buttered Lobster with a hint of garlic and orange

If you get fed up of the traditional dry turkey and ham this Christmas, get yourself a few lobsters from your fishmonger or a day boat fisherman and try this one out, fantastic is all i can say..

This is the ultimate dish, simple to prepare, not to many ingredients and a serious taste of more from the food. The secret of this dish is to get your lobster straight from the sea and cook it as quick as possible.
Serves 4
1.8 kg live lobster
Court bouillon
120g of good Irish butter
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 orange, freshly squeezed

Cook the lobster in the Court bouillon, as soon as it has cooled enough to handle, split them in half and take out all the meat from the claws, body and tail. Cut the meat into chunks.
Heat the lobster shell, melt the butter with the garlic, when it foams add the lobster meat and orange juice and warm through. Spoon the meat into the warmed shell and pour the rest of the melted butter into a ramekin. Eat at once…