I know…..Ive been a very bad blogger lately! I cant even begin to describe how crazy and busy the last few weeks have been, although that really is no excuse for neglecting you guys! Part of the craziness however, was a massively food filled trip to Cork! You all know what that means…..recipes and reviews on the way from that part of the world. And so it begins again! Todays post is more of a food inspiration than anything else. There is nothing I love more than having a big hearty lunch with friends and family. To be honest there is nothing easier than a selection of yummy cheeses, meats and salads that people can dig into and pair with some devine breads and crackers. The key with impressing everyone with this kind of meal is two-fold. 1. Providing enough variety so as to satisfy even the pickiest of visitors. As you can see by the picture, there is no limit to what you can include! 2. The other important factor is the quality of the componants for the meal. Using unique and well sourced ingredients can make all the difference.
For this particular lunch, I did exactly that. I bought some very good quality star ingredients to take centre stage and I used a few cheats that really surprised me! For the centrepiece of lunch, some devine wild salmon sourced from Mahon Point Farmers Market in Cork. The salmon was poached and simply flaked apart with a spoon of mayonnaise and some black pepper. We ate this on the most devine brown bread from the Cinnamon Cottage in Rochestown, where I also got a lovely sesame seed white loaf.
The other prime plate was essentially a meat and cheese plate. This is where the cheats come in! Most of this plate was actually bought from Aldi! Their specially selected range is fabulous quality and has a wide selection. I used parma ham, chorizo slices, milanese salami and classic crumbed ham. The cheese selection was also wonderful, we chose a Tipperary blue, Wensleydale with cranberry and a mature cheddar with garlic. My favourite part consisted in part of a beautiful gooey camembert style cheese from Mahon Point market. It was strong and rich and tasty on crackers!
All of these lovely morsels are tasty on their own but can be lit up by a great chutney. Enter Green Saffron curries…their new mango chutney is maybe my new favourite food!! So tasty you want to lick the knife! I also think a lunch needs cucumber pickle, a totally refreshing topping great in sandwiches and on cold meats and cheese! Dont forget the salads such as coleslaw, green salad, greek salad, couscous or potato salad. A touch of Vino and your good to go!
- 1 large cucumber, finely sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 175g sugar
- c. 200ml white wine or cider vinegar
- Stir onions and cucumber to combine well
- Mix vinegar, sugar and salt to dissolve
- Stir all ingredients in a bowl and transfer into a tight storage container such as a jar and leave overnight to marinate
- Provides many servings and will last 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge!