✴ G&Tea – a new take on a classic
THE IRISH POST FOOD MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 15, 2012 | www.irishpost.co.uk
seasonal recipes ✷ Lamb Stew with Lemon & Olives ✷ Pumpkin & Peanut Curry ✷ Mushroom Dumplings ✷ Blueberry Bread & Butter Pudding ✷ Gingerbread biscuits
THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR FOOD ENTHUSIASTS
IN THE KITCHEN WITH OUR IRISH CHEFS…
Eating out in Cardiff We head to the Welsh capital to review The Potted Pig
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Aoife Carrigy gives a taster of the surprisingly vibrant contemporary food scene in Ireland
Kitchen rookie Niall O’Sullivan gets a crash course in cooking at Richard Corrigan’s Mayfair restaurant
TROLLING around certain Dublin city streets these days, you could be forgiven for thinking that neither the news nor effects of Ireland’s boom-to-bust fall-out had reached these strips. South William Street, South Great George’s Street, Fade Street and the sidestreets connecting these arteries of hipster Dublin have become a vibrant hub in which the pace has picked up rather than slowed down in recent years. New restaurants pop up at an astonishing rate — some quite literally on a pop-up basis (such as Joe Macken’s Crackbird), most more long term, many owned and run by teams of experienced 30something chefs and front-of-house personalities. But far from being oblivious to our straightened times, this new generation of restaurateurs are taking advantage of them. The ongoing recession means landlords are offering more realistic lease terms for new tenants. Meanwhile customers are more discerning about where they’ll spend their money. Bad news for mediocre restaurants determined to offer the same old same old. Good news for the new brigade in tune with what we want to eat today — and, most importantly, how we want to eat it. Casual dining has come of age in Ireland. Exciting new formal restaurants such as The Greenhouse (showcasing Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen’s extraordinary imagination) are still joining the likes of Chapter One to offer best of Irish fine-dining, but there has been a shift of emphasis towards the social aspect of dining out. Where we used to meet for a pint, we’re now meeting for a bite. We want one or two courses instead of three — at least on those increasingly hard-to-fill midweek nights — or to share grazing platters. And rather than committing to a bottle of wine, we might opt for one of the new Irish craft beers or growing offer of wines by the glass. Savvy publicans are getting in on the act, and offering the kind of hearty home-style cooking served at L Mulligan Grocers, an exemplary gastropub in Dublin’s Stoneybatter. But most notably, the newest restaurants are meeting this demand for flexible eating. Fade Street Social and Damson Diner are the latest celebrated openings, follow the lead of the likes of Bite and 777. All offer casual dining in a buzzy atmosphere where you can pop in for a quick refuel and catch up — or stay all night and end up sampling cocktails at the bar till late. You might even catch a show while you’re there, as with Eden Bar & Grill’s nightly cabaret performances. Casual dining eateries are not just the new pub — they’re the new club too. And what’s on the menu? Modern Irish cooking today could be Fade Street Social’s fennel-poached Iberian pork or their bacon and cabbage burgers (with pork belly, smoked pudding, crispy cabbage and peppered bacon). Or it can involve anything from 777’s scallop ceviche with celery hearts and
Aoife Carrigy. four citrus broth to San Lorenzo’s rabbit tortellini with chanterelles, sage and summer truffles. No, they’re not traditional Irish dishes, but yes, we’re embracing them as our own.
AM no cook. Know that before you continue reading. So little can I cook that I regard it as culinary ‘flare’ when I stir my pesto pasta in a saucepan over a flame before serving it. The not-so-grand consequence of this selftaught ‘trick’ is that, like a stir-fry, it makes the sauce more sticky and less oily. That is the most that I can bring to the kitchen as far as nuance is concerned. If that is the highlight of my cooking experience, the low point came in my first year of university. Eager to impress, I tried — and failed — to cook my friend a birthday cake. Suffice it to say no sponge mixture needs 14 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. The result was a molten mess and a bill for a partially damaged oven. So, as I arrived at Richard Corrigan’s exclusive Mayfair restaurant for its British & Irish Masterclass on a cold winter morning, the main question was: Could this be the place where, finally, I learned how to cook? And more importantly, could I do this without ruining some top-quality produce? As eight of us — five men and three women — passed through the swinging kitchen doors, we were greeted by Head Chef and Portrush-native Chris McGowan. Having read the brief, which
carefully outlines the pride that Corrigan’s takes in its produce, he proceeded to tell us what the restaurant stands for with a tender tale of a visit with his family to the north Wales farm that provides the restaurant’s beef. “It is totally humbling to see the lives led by the people behind our produce,” he said. “The farmer was just amazed that someone wanted to come all the way from London to see what he did.” We were sold and ready to begin. “But before you begin, remember something,” Chris joked. “If you screw this up, you’re not eating lunch!” So, with a swig of midday champagne, we divided into teams and got to work. In what would prove to be a perfect warm-up, my group began with desert; apple and blackberry crumble soufflé. Under the guidance of our pastry chef, Kate and Susan made the mixture that became a delicious blackberry sorbet. I sent to a corner to peel apples and eat amaretto. Two minutes before that we had been asked which of us is the least experienced.” The rest of the masterclass would be a steep and valuable learning curve. On to the first course. Apparently you cannot buy dead lobsters because they accumulate bacteria quickly. So, to make our first course of native lobster ravioli, each of us
Head chef Chris McGowan.
Niall preparing a lobster.
And what’s on the menu? Modern Irish cooking today could be Fade Street Social’s fennel-poached Iberian pork or their bacon and cabbage burgers (with pork belly, smoked pudding, crispy cabbage and peppered bacon)
Which is not to say that there isn’t a real engagement with traditional, native and local ingredients. Alongside a growing pride in our world-class meat, fish and dairy produce there’s an appetite for reconnecting with the land in new and exciting ways. In Damson Diner, you can wash down your American-style ribs or fennel bhaji and Asian slaw with cocktails featuring spirits infused in-house with wild foraged fruits and berries. In Co. Wicklow, the second annual Wild & Slow Festival saw some 4,000 Irish foodies attend two days of workshops on all things wild, local and edible. And over in Galway, one of the latest Irish restaurants to snag a Michelin star is the Noma-influenced Aniar Restaurant. Their daily-changing menu of local and wild produce hinges on the concept of terroir, wherein the growing environment of produce is celebrated as crucial to its flavour. Indeed, Galway has been enjoying a renaissance in its food culture, with the likes of Aniar, Kai and West Restaurant joining long-beloved locals such as Ard Bia Restaurant in championing the best of the west. Galway also hosts one of Ireland’s finest food festivals, in a country now boasting several dozen food festivals a year (see www.discoverireland.ie/Things-ToDo/Food-in-Ireland). They differ broadly in focus, size and style, but together they confirm that food is now well and truly part of the Irish identity — on a local as well as national level. The boomtimes taught us the pleasures of eating well, but these harder times have taught us how sharing those pleasures can bind, rebuild and support communities. ■ Freelance food writer Aoife Carrigy is Secretary of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, and co-author of the recently published Ard Bia Cookbook. You’ll find her blogging at www.holymackerel.ie
CHEF’S Q&A RICHARD CORRIGAN
What inspired you to set up the cookery masterclass? I love to interact with our guests. It’s one thing to have a quick chat after they’ve finished but quite another to get them in the kitchen for the day. I’m passionate about what we do and the cookery classes allow me to share that passion. You get to interact on a much more personal level. How would you describe the cookery masterclass? We always want them to be fun but informative — and they suit all levels, whether you’re a novice or a rather accomplished chef. Our focus is always on seasonal
produce. You won’t find strawberries in our kitchen in December. Students can expect to learn about the ingredients, where we source our produce and even information about the farmers — we take great pride in knowing where all our produce comes from. What do you hope that people gain from it? It’s a great day out — something a bit different — and we hope that all our guests come away with a new set of skills. Classes vary but students can expect to pick up skills such as bread baking, filleting fish, plucking and roasting game birds, perfecting the perfect
pudding and the secrets of a soufflé.
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at Corrigan’s would have to begin by doing the “humane thing” — knocking out the lobster’s nervous system. It is not for the squeamish. One must make a hammer-blow of an incision just below the base of the live lobster’s head. With a quick, but painless, twist of its twitching tail, we then began to extract and shred the meat for our pasta. While we reacted to the gruesome task with varying degrees of reluctance, the three of us were at least agreed on our rationalisation for doing it. “I eat meat. Something like this process happens to all meat before I eat it. Therefore I have no ground on which to abstain.” Perhaps the most fascinating lesson to be learned at the masterclass is that chefs waste nothing. To the untrained eye, lobster shell seems pretty much useless as far as cooking is concerned. But to Chris McGovern, it is a rich reserve bursting with flavour if used in the right way. With rolling pin in hand, we set about crushing the exoskeletal remains in an industrial-sized pot with brandy and star anise to make a base for the sauce. The same is true of the grouse, our main course and final task. “The key to a good meat dish is the stock,” Chris said. “So we roast the bones of the bird before cooking them to release all of the flavour.” But he had better things than that in mind for us. Into the fridge Chris went and from the veritable Pandora’s Box he produced three dead, fully feathered, grouses shot personally by Richard Corrigan three days before. So on we went with the processes of beheading, de-winging, plucking and gutting. In his introduction, Chris had said: “It would be very easy for us to have you in to watch us do everything, but that is not much fun. We want you to learn what it
is actually like back here in the kitchen.” If the lobster had not made that clear, the grouse did. It turns out that plucking is rather relaxing. In what must have resembled a knitting-circle, the three of us chatted and laughed around a bin for the feathers. Then, in a flashback to a time when I had harboured dreams of becoming a doctor, we made incisions and removed wishbones, gizzards, hearts and livers. And so the lesson was complete. The three hours had absolutely flown by. Ultimately, the masterclass teaches more about the muscular practises that make great food possible than about cooking itself. Thus, lobster ravioli and grouse will not be replacing pesto pasta in my life just yet. But I did manage to get through it without ruining any produce. Like many things, enjoying the masterclass is down to the people with whom you do it. We all sat down with our guests to the lunch that we had helped — if only marginally — to prepare. I would wager that there is a good chance that, having paid £250 for the masterclass, people are normally committed to getting the most out of the day. For us, that meant a further three hours of magnificent food, self-congratulation and wine.
This grouse is ready for the oven.
Niall and head chef Chris with their cooked grouse.
What to get the foodie in your life this Christmas Adnams Copper House Sloe Gin — The perfect treat for a winter evening, lovely on its own and scrumptious in a cocktail, prosecco, cava or champagne. £25.60 per bottle.
Sagaform Oak cheese grater — Made with beautiful oak wood, this interesting design is attractive and practical, presented in a lovely box and is a simple gift for any foodie. £5.50. www.suffolkfoodhall.co.uk
Seggiano Calabrian Fig Ball — transform your cheese board. Delicious with any cheese, cold meats or even warmed and served with ice-cream. £5.15. www.suffolkfoodhall.co.uk
Set of five Orla Kiely Multi Stem Cake Tins — Decorated with an assortment of Orla Kiely’s signature prints, these pretty nesting tins are ideal for storing cakes, biscuits, cheeses and more. £35. John Lewis Teapots Tea Towel — Silkscreen printed tea towel designed by Danny O’Sullivan for Arthouse Meath, a social enterprise celebrating the artistic talents of adults living with severe epilepsy and learning difficulties. £5.50. www.bouf.com
Pictures by Malcolm McNally
Once a month Corrigan’s Mayfair kitchen hosts a cookery class; an opportunity for novices and cooking enthusiasts to flex their culinary muscles. After a morning spent chopping, peeling, boiling and roasting you sit down, relax and enjoy the dishes you have created. The experience is £250 per person. Additional lunch guests at £90 per person. For more information: email@example.com or call 0207 758 4141.
I learned at the master class that you shot the grouses we plucked and ate — where did you shoot them? And do you source the other ingredients yourself? I went up to East Allenheads with Pierre Koffman and Richard Vines, where we met up for one of the biggest shoots. It was absolutely stunning up there and I was in my element; the crack of guns and the thought of creating a delicious meal from a hard day’s work. I’d like to do more of this sort of thing — but I’ve got three restaurants to run so unfortunately these opportunities are few and far between. I was impressed by chef Chris McGowan’s impassioned story about visiting the North Wales farm from which you
get your beef. Why does sourcing matter so much to you? Sourcing our produce from the best suppliers means everything to me. From serving our guests the best quality and supporting our farmers and fisherman. I think it all comes down to my upbringing on a farm in rural Ireland. I know how tough it can be and I know how much time and effort these people put into their working lives. It’s essential to what we do — but I don’t think it’s a luxury — we can all do our bit. So many people think that meat just appears on supermarket shelves, on a polystyrene tray, wrapped in plastic. No appreciation of the living animal. You just opened up Bentley’s
Sea Grill at Harrods. How is that going? We launched Bentley’s Sea Grill at Harrods this summer and we’ve been taken aback by the instant success, it’s surpassed all expectations. There were a few things that needed to be ironed out — especially training a new team, which took longer than we thought it would. But I guess that’s because my expectations are sky high. We’re in Harrods, it’s got to be exceptional. With all the executive work that you are now required to do, do you still get time to do much cooking? I’m a chef through and through. I need to be in the kitchens, it’s where I’m happiest. Yes there’s a lot of stuff that goes on outside of the restaurants but that has to fit in around service.
Each board is unique and handcrafted in Blennerville, Tralee, County Kerry in the South West of Ireland. All the trees used for Ambri? Boards have fallen naturally or have had to come down for safety. They are are Irish harwoods and the majority vary from 60 to 120 years old although some of the boards are made from trees dating up to 180 years old. For each tree used in the making of Ambri? Boards a new tree is planted. We supply stands for all our boards to display in your kitchen. o The uniqueness and quality of these chopping and serving boards would make a great addition to any kitchen. o They would also make a great gift for weddings and special occasions as they can be engraved with a personal message. o We also supply beautiful hampers containing a selection of chopping boards of your choice with wine or other gifts.
Shop online at www.ambrichoppingboards.com firstname.lastname@example.org o 00 353 (0)87 981 7488
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Healthy eating Jennifer Irvine was raised on a self-sufficient farm on the west coast of Ireland. It was there that her love of food and eating well began. She is the founder of The Pure Package, www.purepackage.com. She shares her favourite winter recipe — Pumpkin & Peanut Curry
ECEMBER is traditionally a time of indulgence and feasting, which for many — if not most people means letting all healthy eating habits fly out the window, with steadfast resolutions to start over again in the New Year. However, there’s no reason why you can’t indulge and still stay healthy. The trick is to make wholesome food choices whenever possible and, crucially, to maintain energy levels in the morning and late afternoon with snacks which are as nutritious as possible. Abundant from late autumn all the way through winter, pumpkin is a great seasonal choice. It is incredibly popular in America where it graces family tables from Thanksgiving to Christmas, yet for some reason hasn’t been given the status it deserves on this side of the Atlantic. As is obvious from its wonderful orange colour, pumpkin is loaded with betacarotene — an antioxidant which helps protect against cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. It also helps to keep immune systems strong — just the ticket for cold winter months. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, a compound which is often lacking in many vegetarian diets, making it a great ingredient choice for non-meat eaters. Squashes — generally miniature varieties — often feature in Asian food, however I love using pumpkin in curries, not only because of the health benefits, but because of its great
texture: the smooth silky cubes melt in your mouth, providing a great contrast to the spiciness and zing of the curry sauce. Pumpkin matches wonderfully with peanuts, and so we’ve added a generous helping of proteinrich peanut-butter to the sauce: we’ve also added broccoli and sugar-snap peas, which provide a fantastic crunch — as well as extra vitamins! When preparing pumpkin, most of us just scoop out the seeds and throw them away — which is a terrible waste. They are an excellent source of iron, potassium and zinc — all of which can help to combat colds and flu — well as being high in protein. Because of this, a handful of pumpkin seeds makes a wonderful morning or afternoon snack, particularly if your energy and concentration levels are dipping. There are a number of easy changes we can make to our eating habits, which will not only improve our diet, but help us look and feel better too. At the Pure Package, we’re guided by a variety of principles which we rely on to help our clients to achieve their optimal energy and health levels. One of these is that we “eat the rainbow” — essentially that meals comprise as many different and naturally brightly-coloured foods as possible. As well as being a feast for the eyes, vibrantly-coloured foods also denote high levels of different nutrients. Essentially, the greater the variety of natural colour in our meals, the better our meals are for us!
Another important factor when decided what to eat is to ensure that our food is as full of natural flavour as possible, untainted by additives, sugars and salts. At the core of the Pure Package is our belief that food is meant to be enjoyed — and fresh, natural food bursting with flavour can only be enjoyed! This is why at the very heart of all of our recipes are highquality, natural ingredients, which you’ll not only relish yourself, but be proud to share with friends and family. Choosing foods which are in season as a base for your feasting makes perfect sense, as well as being readily available and generally good value, there seems to be a wonderful balance between seasonal ingredients and the season itself. So while in the spring and summer it seems obvious to eat delicate salads and crunchy vegetables, the year’s darker months call for something more robust and comforting. This recipe is the perfect combination of vibrancy, flavour, seasonal-eating, and healthiness, and is perfect whether you’re cooking for two or for 20 — making it a wonderful option for a large Christmas-time gathering. It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals, and has a wonderful contrast of textures. But best of all it doesn’t contain any turkey, gravy or roast potatoes — and so is great for livening up any palates which may have become a bit jaded after all of the traditional indulgence!
RECIPE: Pumpkin & Peanut Curry Serves 4 Ingredients: 1/2 small pumpkin — peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-size pieces 320g broccoli, cut into small florets 120g brown basmati rice 1 tablespoon groundnut oil 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste 160g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
600ml coconut milk Juice of 2 limes 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce 250g sugar snap peas 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander Method: 1. Tip the pumpkin into a non-stick roasting tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. 2. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. 3. Cook the rice in a pan of boiling water for 20-25 minutes or according to the packet instructions until tender. Drain. 4. Meanwhile, heat the groundnut oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further 1 minute. 5. Add the curry paste and stir in the mushrooms, coating them in the paste. Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice and tamari and cook for 2 minutes. 6. Add the blanched broccoli, sugar snap peas and roasted pumpkin to the curry and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Check the seasoning and add more lime juice or tamari if needed. 7. Add the coriander to the curry and stir through just before you are about to serve.
La dolce vita Mal Rogers meets one of Ireland’s top chefs CATHERINE Fulvio is a busy woman these days. She splits her time between being a television chef, writing cookery books, teaching the art of cuisine, and running a four star farm guesthouse. It’s a heavy workload, but it seems to work very well for Catherine and family. “My passion, you see, is food. In fact, my passion is communicating my love of food and cookery, and passing on whatever expertise I might have. I just take absolute delight in doing this in my cookery classes and workshops, or on television, or through my books. I really enjoying showing off my skills — not for the sake of showing off, but to show people what can be done. I try to make my recipes, and my cooking, accessible,” she says.
INSPIRATION: Mary Berry Catherine believes that many recipes fall into the trap of being too flowery, too complex, too clever by half. “I might even have been guilty of that myself on occasion. People might have said to me, ‘That looks a really wonderful dish, but I could never do anything like that.’ So I gradually realised that you need to make it real for people. That way someone interested in cooking can gain confidence. Confidence is a big thing in the kitchen. You need to know what you’re doing alright, but you need to have the confidence to make bold steps.” Today, in both Britain and Ireland, we’re used to seeing top chefs on television. It can be
difficult to decide which instructions to follow — those delivered in the dulcet tones of Nigella Lawson or the high octane harangues of Gordon Ramsey. Catherine is in no doubt. “I really rate Jamie Oliver — he’s an entertainer as well as a great chef, and you need that to be able to communicate. Richard Corrigan I also hugely admire — he knows his Irish produce inside out, and is a fabulous chef. From the past, I’d say that Mary Berry was a big influence.” As well as her cooking classes and television appearances, Catherine also runs the Ballyknocken guesthouse — offering full board and accommodation. “I’m the third generation of Wicklow farmers to run the place, so I’ve always known a thing or two about preparing meals. “I got my grounding in cooking hanging onto my mother’s apron strings, preparing three meals a day for our guesthouse residents, making butter, helping milk the cows, harvesting the fruit and vegetables and baking for the local country market from a young age.” Ballyknocken remains a genuine 350-acre working sheep farm, today run by Catherine’s father and siblings. “As well as the farm and the guest house we have the cookery school on site — we run 20 courses every weekend. So it’s full on — but I totally love it.” The cookery school is the internationally acclaimed Ballyknocken Cookery School, by the way, which can teach you everything from Italian cooking to Irish one-pot wonders. Which brings us to neatly to the philosophical question — with the huge interest in food developing in Ireland over the last few decades, has a true form of Irish cuisine developed? Catherine is in no doubt. “I think we most certainly have. But it’s been a while in coming. I think we may have lost our way in the 1980s — for a variety of reasons. But I think we’re back on course. What we’ve always had in Ireland is a terrific climate — at least as regards food produce. Our dairy products, our meat, our fish are the equal, if not better, than anywhere in Europe.
To Serve: Transfer the rice and curry to serving plates and serve family style on the table. ■ Find more recipes like this in Jennifer’s book The Diet for Food Lovers.
Chef Catherine Fulvio with a monkfish at the launch of Taste of Dublin 2012.
And now we’ve also learnt how to prepare our produce, cook it and present it... And we do have one or two things that nobody else has. Our breads, like soda bread, are unique.” Catherine is also a very passionate advocate of Irish restaurants. “Our top restaurants today are astoundingly good. Not only do they serve the best of farm produce, foraged produce is very big too: various fungi, wild garlic, nettles, spruce tips, juniper berries. A dish of wild Irish venison cooked with fresh foraged produce could scarcely be bettered anywhere.” Catherine has absorbed many influences, not least from her husband Claudio, who comes from Sicily. “First and foremost,” she says. “I’m an Irish farmer’s daughter, and grew up with Irish cooking, Irish produce. But I’ve always been interested in food, and of course anyone who is interested in food has to be interested in Italian cuisine. So yes, I’ve taken a lot of influences from Claudio on board.” This interest and expertise in Italian cooking has been deployed by Catherine to the full in her latest book Eat Like an Italian. The recipes come from right across Italy from north to south, from pasta to pesto and from Ligurian dishes to Sicilian specialities. “I’m also very interested in North African Food and Asian foods,” says Catherine, “and feel we can incorporate some of their influences into our vernacular cuisine. What could be tastier than Irish salmon with Thai sauce and wasabi mashed potato?” What indeed. Catherine is famous for producing local recipes served with an imaginative twist; her recipe for a great chef is equally interesting. “A good chef,” she says, needs to be highly organised, pay huge attention to detail. Know their ingredients inside out, have an open-minded attitude, be a good communicator, and have an artistic eye for presentation.” It would seem that Catherine Fulvio ticks all those boxes, and in doing so has seriously upped the standard of cuisine in Ireland. ■ Catherine Fulvio’s latest book Eat Like an Italian (Recipes for the Good Life) is available in shops now. To stay at Ballyknocken visit www.ballyknocken.com
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CAN’T COOK, MUST READ
SLOW COOKING James Martin Quadrille £20 Slow Cooking is an irresistible collection of simple, delicious dishes over which you can take your time. James Martin shows how cooking slowly is the perfect way to draw out flavours and textures, enabling you to produce mouth-watering dishes with minimum effort. Every recipe includes an hour or more of cooking or marinating time and no lastminute preparation — so let your oven do the work while you get on with others things. RECIPES FROM THE ENGLISH MARKET Michelle Horgan Cork University Press €25 Cork’s English Market was established in 1788 and is famous throughout Ireland and beyond for its cornucopia of produce including
olives, fish, organic meats and poultry, fruit and vegetables and delicious breads, cakes and cheeses. Recipes from the English Market showcases this exciting melting pot of foodstuffs, ingredients and different food cultures. Check out Pat O’Connell’s recipe for O’Connell’s lemon sole fillets with Dublin Bay prawns. Today Pat’s stall probably ranks as the most famous fish stall in both Ireland and Britain since the visit of Queen Elizabeth II during her state visit in 2011. SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS Trine Hahnemann Quadrille £16.99 In Scandinavia the whole period of Christmas, from the first Sunday in Advent to New Year’s Day is marked by festivals and celebrated in traditional but beautifully contemporary style. In this glorious book, Trine Hahnemann provides a mix of 100 recipes to celebrate Christmas the Scandinavian way. CLODAGH’S KITCHEN DIARIES Clodagh McKenna Kyle Books £18.99 Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries takes
you through a cooking year month by month. Packed with advice on what to eat when and tips for preserving the harvest, her inspirational recipes include dinner party menus for special occasions; monthly soup, salad, sandwich and vegetable specials from her restaurant; and cakes for occasions such as Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas. MICHEL ROUX THE COLLECTION Quadrille £25 Quite simply, this is a collection of Michel Roux’s finest recipes — devised, refined and perfected during the course of his illustrious career. Recipes for all seasons and to suit all occasions are covered in the generous compendium, which contains over 250 recipes.
Seasons Greetings from
✁ RECIPE: Poached apples stuffed with Gorgonzola Serves 4 — 6 We automatically think of poached pears with cheese, but apples are a little more unusual and bring a whole new twist to a traditional combination. Keep the leftover poaching liquid for drizzling over desserts and ice cream. Ingredients 300ml red wine 200ml water 100ml Marsala 50g caster sugar 4 tbsp honey 1 lemon, zest and juice 2 rosemary sprigs 6 Golden Delicious apples, halved and cored Garden salad leaves
160g Gorgonzola, crumbled 3 tbsp roughly chopped walnuts Method 1. Combine the red wine, water, Marsala, sugar, honey, lemon zest and juice and rosemary in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 2. Add the apples and poach for about 15 minutes, then allow to cool in the poaching liquid. Remove and slice the apples in half. 3. Bring the poaching liquid to a simmer and reduce until it’s slightly more syrupy. 4. Place the salad leaves on a platter. Place the apples on the leaves and sprinkle with Gorgonzola and walnuts. Drizzle over a little of the syrupy poaching liquid.
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Partridge in a pear tree Serves 4 Ingredients Four partridges, plucked, drawn and singed One pear Two parsnips, peeled and chopped One shallot 20g dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids) 200ml full-bodied red wine 50ml port One tsp sherryvi negar 100ml whole milk Two tbsp butter Four leaves kale or cabbage, sliced Salt and pepper Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 7. Using a very sharp knife, remove the legs and the breasts from the partridges. Place what remains of the partridges the carcasses on an oven tray and put into the oven to roast for about 20 minutes or until the bones have browned and the juices are caramelising. Leave the oven on; you will need it again soon. 2. Chop the shallot finely. Melt a knob of butter in a medium-sized pot and sweat the chopped shallot. While the shallot is cooking, take the carcasses from the oven and chop them roughly. The reason for this is to fit them comfortably into the pot with the shallots. 3. When you have done so, add the red wine and the port and bring to the boil. Reduce the volume of the liquid in the pot by two-thirds. 4. Pass this reduced liquid through a sieve into a small pot and whisk in the chocolate and the vinegar, off the heat. This will be your sauce. Make sure it does not boil or the chocolate will coagulate and go grainy and lumpy. So, when keeping warm, use a very low and gentle heat. 5. Heat a heavy pan with a knob of butter. Peel the pear, core it and cut it into lengthways into four wedges. Put the wedges in the pan and
Chicken Liver Pate with Blackberry Chutney Serves 8 Ingredients Pate 250g (9oz) pack frozen chicken livers, defrosted 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 25g (1 oz) butter 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tbsp brandy 150ml (1/4 pint) chicken stock Little salt 1/2 tsp roughly crushed black peppercorns Chutney 2 tbsp olive oil 2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced 50g (2 oz) light muscovado sugar 3 tbsp cider vinegar 150g (5oz) blackberries To serve 1 ciabatta bread Handful watercress Method 1. To make the pate, add the
roast them until coloured and slightly softened. 6. Heat the milk in a medium pot and add the parsnips with a pinch of salt. Simmer until the parsnip is soft, then transfer the whole lot (parsnip, milk and all) to a blender and whizz with a little butter and seasoning until smooth. Keep warm. 7. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the kale or cabbage leaves and cook until just tender. Be careful they do not get overdone or the texture and the flavour will suffer. 8. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Fry the partridge legs for three minutes, then add the breasts to the pan and let them brown for a few moments. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for a further five minutes. If you want to keep the meat moist and this is really important with partridges you must be really careful not to overcook it. 9. Serve the partridge with the parsnip puree, the kale or cabbage, a wedge of the pan-roasted pear and a little chocolate sauce spooned over the top. Jennifer Irvine’s
Feta-Stuffed Butternut Squash Serves 4
Ingredients 2 butternut squashes (500g each) 2 tbsps groundnut oil 2 onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 280g sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped 4 tbsps pumpkin seeds 200g feta cheese, crumbled 2 tbsps chopped basil 520g fine green beans Method 1. Cut the squashes in half lengthways and scoop out the chicken livers to a sieve, rinse with cold water, drain well then tip out on to a chopping board. Roughly chop, discarding any central white cores.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened and just beginning to turn golden. Add the butter, heat until melted then mix in the garlic and chicken livers. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring until the livers are browned but still pink in the centre. 3. Add the brandy, heat until bubbling, then flame with a lit taper or long match. Stand well
Ten tasty seasonal seeds. Roast for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned. 2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add onions and sweat until soft (4-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes over a low heat. 3. Mix the sundried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta, basil and cooked onions together in a bowl. Remove the squashes from the oven and scoop out most of the flesh so there is space for the filling. Fill the squashes with the stuffing mixture and return to the oven for 10 minutes. 4. Steam the green beans over a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes until tender. Remove the squash from the oven and serve immediately with the beans. Catherine Fulvio’s
Lamb Stew with Lemon and Olives Seves 4-6 Ingredients 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1.2kg shoulder of lamb, trimmed and diced into 3cm pieces 3 tbsp flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 celery stalks, diced 1 onion, chopped 2 tsp chopped rosemary salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 400g tinned chopped tomatoes 200ml white wine 200ml chicken stock 1 tsp caster sugar 12 green olives, pitted zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 1 tbsp chopped parsley Method 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. 2. Heat the oil in a large casserole over a high heat. Toss the lamb in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, then brown the lamb in batches and set aside on a plate. 3. Add the celery, onion, rosemary and some salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, followed by the tomatoes, wine, back until the flames subside, then stir in the stock, salt and peppercorns. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until some of the stock has evaporated. Allow to cool then blitz in a food processor or liquidiser until smooth. Spoon into a dish, cover and transfer to the fridge when cool enough. Chill for 3 hours or overnight. 4. To make the chutney, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and fry for 10 minutes, stirring until softened. Stir in the sugar and fry for 5-10 more minutes, stirring more frequently until the onions are caramelised. 5. Mix in the vinegar, blackberries and a little salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes until the blackberries are just cooked through. Take off the heat, spoon into a clip jar, cover and leave to cool. 6. To serve, slice and toast the bread, cut each slice in half again then spread with the chilled pate, a leaf or two of watercress and a generous teaspoonful of the chutney. Arrange on a large plate and serve with drinks.
stock and sugar. Return the meat to the casserole. 4. Cover the casserole and place in the oven for about 2 hours, stirring from time to time. 5. Stir in the olives and lemon juice. Check for seasoning and sprinkle over the lemon zest and parsley. Catherine Fulvio’s
Seafood Stew Serves 4 Ingredients extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 fennel bulb, chopped 1 garlic clove, chopped 1 red chilli, finely sliced 1 tbsp tomato purée 125ml white wine 400ml vegetable stock 450g monkfish, diced 400g squid, cleaned and diced 12 mussels, debearded and scrubbed well 12 prawns salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp chopped parsley bruschetta, to serve Method 1. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the fennel, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 56 minutes, stirring from time to time. 2. Stir in the tomato purée, add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. 3. Stir in the diced monkfish, squid and mussels and cook for about 3 minutes, until the fish is firm to the touch and the mussels have opened (discard any that remain closed). Add the prawns and
simmer for a further 1-2 minutes. Season to taste. 4. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve with bruschetta. Jackie Kearney’s (MasterChef 2011 Finalist)
Pot Sticker Dumplings stuffed with Chestnut Mushrooms CHEF’S NOTE: These popular dumplings can be found all over Asia. The filling utilises local and seasonal ingredients, mushrooms and spring cabbage. The nutty earthiness of chestnut mushrooms works really well with the ginger spicing.
Serves 4-6 Ingredients For the dumplings 1 packet of round dumpling wrappers (can be found at most Chinese supermarkets, or you can make your own dough, 30 minutes in advance) 20g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped 1 tbsp groundnut oil (or rapeseed) 170g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped 80g dark leaf spring cabbage, finely chopped Light soy sauce, 1-2 tsp to taste 11/2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry 1/4 tsp sea salt Pinch of white pepper and sugar 11/2 tsp sesame oil For the chilli sambal (this will keep for several weeks in the fridge or you can buy readymade sambal) 2-5 large red chillies (tops removed) 1 bulb of garlic (peeled cloves) Salt and sugar to taste Method 1. For the dumpling filling, gently fry the ginger and shallot in a little groundnut oil until translucent. 2. Add the finely chopped mushrooms and cabbage to the shallots and ginger. Cook on a medium high heat for a few minutes, before adding soy, rice wine, salt, white pepper, sugar and sesame seed oil. Sauté for a further minute or two, mixing well. Taste to check seasoning and set aside. 3. To make the dipping sauce, fry the garlic cloves and chilli together in deep hot oil until nicely browned. Drain and cool the mixture on kitchen paper before blitzing with a hand blender until smooth. Add sugar and salt to taste. The sambal should taste spicy, slightly sweet and salty. 4. Dust the work surface with a little flour. Lay out several dumpling wrappers, put a teaspoon of the stuffing mixture into the centre, fold in half and seal the
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recipes Blueberry bread and butter pudding Serves 4 Ingredients 8 slices white bread 4 tbsp lemon curd 150g (5oz) blueberries 3 eggs 150ml (1/4 pint) milk 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream 50g (2oz) caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling 25g (1oz) butter, melted Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Spread half the bread slices with lemon curd then cover with the remaining slices. Trim off the crusts then cut each sandwich into 8 cubes. Add to a buttered shallow ovenproof dish that is about 1.2 litre (2 pints) and scatter with the blueberries. 2. Whisk the eggs, milk and cream with the sugar then pour over the bread and leave to soak for 20 minutes. 3. Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle with a little extra sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread is golden and the custard just set. Scoop into bowls and serve warm with a drizzle of cream.
edges with a series of pinches (like a little Cornish Pasty). Repeat to make about 15-20 dumplings. 5. To cook the dumplings, heat the groundnut oil in a frying pan, add half the dumplings and fry the bottom side for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of water to the pan and immediately cover with the lid. Steam for 4-5 minutes before removing the lid and continue to fry for a further minute, then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. 6. To serve, place the dumplings on a plate with the bottom side up and serve with a small bowl or spoonful of sambal, and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.
Pastry 1/2 cup of Rice Flour 1/4 cup of Chick Pea Flour (gram) 1/4 cup of Corn Flour 4 tbsp of Coconut Palm Sugar 1/2 cup of Vegan Butter (Vitagquell) 1 tbsp Xantham Gum Pinch of Himalayan Salt 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Essence Method 1. Preheat the oven to 170oC. 2. For the pastry; cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence together in a bowl. 3. In a separate bowl mix together both flours, xantham gum and salt. 4. Now combine the content of both bowls and mix together with your fingers to form dough. Knead for a minute and then roll into a ball and wrap in cling film, leave this in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. For the filling; combine all the ingredients and put them in the food processor or blender, pulse the ingredients until it is a rough consistency. 6. Lay out your muffin tray and line with a little of the vegan butter. 7. Roll the pastry on a rice-floured surface until 3mm thick. Then using a cutter, stamp out rounds and re-roll the trimmings to get 14. Use the cut-outs to line the base of the tins. 8. Dollop 1 tbsp of mincemeat on each pastry cut out (don’t overfill as it will bubble out in the oven) then with a star shaped cutter cut out 14 stars (or any shapes you would like!) and place over the top of the mincemeat pushing the edges of the stars down to the bottom pastry rim. 9. Put the mince pies into the oven, after 15 minutes take the mince pies out of the oven and leave to cool. 10. Once cool dust the mince pies with rice flour. Steve Smith’s
Gingerbread Biscuits Makes 18 -24 biscuits (depending on size) Ingredients 450 g plain flour 1tsp Bicarbonate soda 140 g ground almonds 2 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cloves pinch ground nutmeg 1 tsp ground cinnamon 450 g honey (slightly warmed) 140 g butter (melted) Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. 2. Firstly, mix all of the dry ingredients together. 3. Set up a mixing machine with the dough hook attachment and put the dry ingredients in the mixer. 4. Mix the honey and melted butter together, then slowly pour into the mixer on a slow speed. Be careful not to over mix — as soon as a dough is formed, the mix is ready. 5. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour. 6. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to approx 1/2 cm in thickness. 7. Choose your favourite shaped cutter, and cut out your biscuits. 8. Place onto a baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 10 minutes. CHEFS TIP: Every oven is slightly different so check the biscuits after 7 minutes. 9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 10. Decorate with coloured icing. At The Devonshire Arms we’ve strung them with ribbon and used them to decorate our tree! Courtesy of The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa, North Yorkshire, BD23 6AJ
This tart uses Clonakilty Black Pudding to create a beautiful, light and elegant tart perfect for a dinner party starter. Make mini versions for the perfect canapé for any festive event.
Ingredients For the pastry: 225g Plain Flour 100g Butter Pinch Salt 2-3 tbsp water 280g Clonakilty Black Pudding 300g Soft Goat’s cheese 200g Beetroot Cherry Tomatoes, Rocket and Mixed Herbs to serve Method 1. Rub flour, butter and salt together to form a breadcrumb consistency, add water to form ball and refrigerate for at least one hour.
2. Roll out pastry, and line a 20cm fluted tin, blind bake at 180°C for 20 minutes. 3. Quarter the beetroot and roast in a hot oven 200°C for 20 minutes until tender and caramelised. 4. Slice the Clonakilty Black Pudding and lightly fry or grill until warmed through. 5. Spread the soft goats’ cheese over the base of the tart and arrange the Clonakilty Black Pudding and roasted beetroot over it. 6. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, rocket and fresh herbs, drizzle with some of the beetroot juices.
The TheClonakilty Clonakilty Story Clonakilty ClonakiltyBlack BlackPudding Pudding is one of Ireland’s Ireland’s favourite favouritefoods. foods.First Firstmanufactured manufactured ininthe the1880's, 1880's,Clonakilty Clonakilty Black Black Pudding is still still made madetoday todayusing usingthe thesame same traditional traditionalmethods methods and and aa secret spice recipe. recipe. Clonakilty ClonakiltyBlack BlackPudding Pudding has developed from from being beingaabreakfast breakfaststaple stapletotobecome become widely widelyused usedby bychefs chefs and and families families in a variety variety of of menu menuoptions. options. Available Availablein inthe theUK UK on on aa large large scale during during 2012, 2012, the themarket marketand andconsumer consumerhas has quickly quicklywelcomed welcomed the the Irish Irish favourite. This Thisisisfar farfrom fromour our humble humble beginnings in in our our butcher butchershop shopin inClonakilty, Clonakilty,West West Cork, Cork,Ireland Irelandand and we we are are overjoyed overjoyed with the the positive positivereception receptionwe wehave have received. received.Having Having always always held held strong values values to to the the core coreof ofour ourbusiness, business,we we believe believein inquality, quality, taste taste and and the importance importance of of our our customers customersand andcommunity community who whohave havestayed stayedloyal loyal to to us us down through through the the generations. generations.
Honestly Healthy Mince Pies Serves 6-8 Ingredients Mince Pie Filling 1/2 cup of Dried Blueberry 1/2 cup of Dried Sugar Free Cranberry 1 cup of Sultanas 1 Orange Rind and half its juice 1 Lemon Rind 1/4 tsp of Grated Nutmeg 1 tsp of Cinnamon 3 tbsp of Agave
Clonakilty Black Pudding, Goats’ Cheese and Roast Beetroot tart
Where Where to to Buy Buy
Steve Smith, Head Chef, The Burlington at The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa.
Visit Visitwww.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie or or Find Findus uson onFacebook Facebook
8 | December 15, 2012
The Irish Post
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More than pot luck in the Potted Pig
Mal Rogers eats out in the centre of Cardiff
The Potted Pig 27 High Street, Cardiff CF10 1PU Tel: 029 2022 4817 www.thepottedpig.com Prices… Starters: £5-£7 Mains: £10-£27 Sunday lunch: Two courses for £15
HE crab,” said our waiter Simon regretfully, “ran out on Friday.” This dolorous statement briefly conjured up an organised crustacean breakout, with much scuttling towards the door. But no, it’s just that crab and chips at the Potted Pig is such a popular dish, you need to be lucky. My companion had been very excited at the prospect, and her consequent demeanour would best be described as glum. But not for long. We were surveying the menus in a reception area furnished with huge, comfortable leather sofas — so relaxing that you hoped the aforesaid Simon might just serve us dinner on our laps. The surroundings were equally relaxed — the Potted Pig is decked out in industrial chic style, all stripped plaster, wooden floors, exposed brickwork, fine art on the wall. I did notice, however, that the wine cellar was guarded by a heavy caged door with massive lock. “Dodgy staff, do you reckon? Simon seems OK...” I remarked to Companion.
“No. It used to be a bank vault, that’s all.” I returned thoughtfully to my gin and tonic. Now I don’t often review a gin and tonic on the grounds, that, well, it’s a gin and tonic. But I was offered around a choice of 20 gins — from your standard Bombay and London to the Scottish Hendricks, served with cucumber rather the lime of all things. What I wasn’t expecting was to be given a choice of tonic waters. I eventually opted for a Penderyn gin and a Fentiman’s tonic water (“putting the fizz back into tonic water”). And very good it was — delivering the gin a very satisfactory tonicky flavour. But you’ll be wanting to hear about the potted pig. The eponymous dish, served as a starter is composed of pork rillettes, cooked in their own fat with added spices and herbs until tender enough to be shredded. It kind of looks like a tuna melt — but is a lot tastier. We also had cod cheeks paired with fresh clams on toast — for me a dish that didn’t quite work; certainly in comparison to the pork rillettes. In keeping with the porcine theme of the night Companion went for the slow
roast Hereford pork belly with baked carrots, rainbow chard and gravy. It seemed an astonishingly huge portion for the price (just £13). Underneath a perfect layer of crispy crackling, the meat was tender, succulent, and packed with slow-cooked flavour. Of course, if pork is to your liking you could go the whole, ahem, hog and order a suckling pig — which is duly brought to the table sizzlingly aromatic
with an apple in its mouth. You need to order in advance, and have a group of at least some half dozen hungry people. In general, The Potted Pig is dedicated to meat, ranging from all kinds of offal to huge sides of beef. However they do have a vegetarian alternative — and I don’t mean the
maitre d’ saying, “You can clear off.” The Potted Pig’s butternut squash and sage comes with mozzarella and cheese and aubergine salad; the menu also includes roasted root vegetable salad with mint dressing. On another occasion I might just try one of those. For my main course, I opted for the Madgett’s Farm free range roast chicken with potato cake, pea puree plus lemon mustard greens. Again, this was a baronial portion for only £12, a heroically satisfying combination of Welsh ingredients, Welsh cooking, and a French twist. Pudding, regrettably, was a bit of a stretch even for an avowed trencherman like myself, so I could only look wistfully at the chocolate and orange tart, the lemon posset, the custard tart. The Potted Pig has to be one of Cardiff ’s finest culinary experiences — and for its standard, surely one of the least expensive. As our waiter Simon put it: “We want to make The Potted Pig relaxed, chilled, affordable.” So far, the restaurant has entirely delivered on that aspiration. ■ The Potted Pig is in the centre of Cardiff, about 100 yards from the Millennium Stadium should you be in town for a rugby international.
MOVE OVER MULLED WINE... G&Tea 120 Calories Best served long with lots of ice Ingredients: 50ml Martin Miller’s Gin 10ml Crème de peche (peach liqueur) 15ml Fresh lemon juice 10ml Agave syrup 75ml Lemon verbena All ingredients are easy to source (lemon verbena can be found in good tea shops). Brew the lemon verbena as for tea and let it cool before mixing. Hot tea will melt the ice and water down the taste. Method: Build in Collins glass with ice and stir. Garnish: Stir the drink once more and garnish with cucumber slices.
Created by Oskar Kinberg, co-founder of Dabbous bar and restaurant (39 Whitfield Street, London W1)
Charlotte Knight, Founder of gourmet dips brand G’NOSH puts together her top tips for hosting a stress-free Christmas party CHECKLIST Invitees — and if needed seating plans Menu — make a shopping list, you’ll be grateful later Housework — write a list and get it done to avoid last-second dashes with the feather duster Music playlist — to get the party started Drinks — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic Décor — table decorations, flowers THE FOOD The key to any good party is the food. ■ Make simple bruschetta with sun-dried tomato and basil dip, topped with vegetables such as roasted bell peppers, add a little grated mozzarella and place under the grill for a couple of moments until the cheese is nicely melted. ■ Marinate some good quality lamb or beef fillet cut into cubes in some
Christmas flavours — spices such as star anise, cloves and cinnamon overnight — then casserole on the morning of the event in half a bottle of red wine, some
consommé and seasoning for up to three hours. Serve in ramekins with a little creamy mashed potato underneath — mini Christmas Pots. ■ Why not use the festive poultry favourite of turkey to create a basic white risotto dish. ■ Serve an elegant and minimalistic Scandinavian style smorgasbord comprising of smoked salmon, pickled herring, dips and some good quality rye bread. This can be served on a wooden chopping board for an authentic take. ■ Desserts are important to complete your feast and as it’s the season of overindulging why not offer a lighter, refreshing sweet such as a sorbet. DRINKS ■ Make festively fabulous Gingerbread & Apple Martinis by combining a ginger liqueur, some vanilla flavoured vodka, and
half a glass full of apple flavoured cider with a tablespoon full of honey, the juice of 1one lemon and the zest of one clementine. ■ Make up a mocktail tailored for younger guests or those driving such as a refreshing and classic Shirley Temple which is ginger ale, grenadine and maraschino cherries. ■ Complete your evening with the classic Christmas egg nog, which can be made by heating two pints of semi-skimmed milk, six free-range, organic eggs, and a whole, split vanilla pod in a pan without letting it come to the boil. This mixture is ready once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This traditional drink can be served warm or once cooled add some cocoa and freshly ground cinnamon for a Christmassy touch. For the adults serve over a single measure of brandy.