I am sure most of you know this but it’s not been long since my husband and I moved to Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a beautiful city in an equally stunning region, surrounded by lush farmland, coastal havens of shellfish and deep blue Atlantic fishing grounds. It is probably the most Irish city in the world outside of Ireland. Yesterday I was driving through Cambridge (home of Harvard University) and cycling in the opposite direction was a guy wearing a Kerry jersey. I am no longer surprised when I hear Irish accents on public transport and half of the kids working in pubs and restaurants over the summer are here on J1 visa’s from Ireland. Continue reading
Yesterday, I turned 30. I was not particularly stressed about it nor am I a massive birthday person but I have spent some time lately thinking about where life has brought me in the last decade. It honestly has been wonderful! I have had adventures I could only imagine, received a wonderful education, had dream jobs and met my incredible husband! What more could one ask for……
Well I have had a long held dream, one that began to be a reality when I attended Ballymaloe last year. On my last birthday, I was sitting mid-term exams in the cookery school. This birthday was a bit different. Continue reading
Christmas is by far my favorite time of year. Everyone is smiling, cities are alight with the glow of decorations and time with family and friends is the most important thing. Not to mention the abundance of food flowing at every table. Traditions and familiarity are part of the story. There are few traditions in my family as set in stone is the food that graces or dining room. I thought it might be nice to inspire you with some of our traditions. Continue reading
I cant believe how fast time is passing! Last time we spoke, I was still knee deep in the madness that is the Ballymaloe 12 week certificate course and loving every minute. Well much has happened since then, let me fill you in! Continue reading
Fish is one of the big reasons I wanted to do the course here at Ballymaloe. My background is in fisheries management and marine science. It is strange but I have not often cooked with fish much at home. I will nearly always order seafood in a restaurant and I truly love eating nearly every fish type. I am so aware of how valuable fish is and fisheries has been a part of my livelihood for a relatively long time. My hesitance in cooking it is probably due in part to my lack of confidence in preparation as well as over exposure to fish! Continue reading
Cork loves an auld festival! There is rarely a weekend that goes by that there isnt some form of pop up event in or around the city and county. From the Irish Redhead Convention hosted in Crosshaven every year to the International Jazz Festival, Glow Cork Christmas Celebration and every little food festival in between. Continue reading
Hi Folks! I know there is no point in apologising for the horrendously long break in service but I am going to anyway! I’m so sorry! This past 6 months have been a total madhouse! I have started a new job, moved country back to Ireland and given up my lovely little house in Whitstable! We are living back home with the parents so cooking has been reduced service lately! On top of all this, our wedding day is now only 10 weeks away! Where has the time gone!! Continue reading
Ok so I know Im on a bit of a Cork theme, but Im trying to catch up with all the amazing foodie experiences I had last time I was home. This time however, it comes from my London kitchen!
Green Saffron is a small family run business that opened in the well known foodie town of Midleton about 5 years ago. The brought with them a wonderful range of pre-mixed spice blends that made indian cooking incredibly accessible to those of us who just didnt know where to begin. Its a fun and easy way to make an authentic, healthy and delicious indian meal, without having to invest in time and money into spice kits and blending from scratch. The best part is that you can now order online! Get on it people!
When I moved over I brought with me several packets of various mixes and always manage to pick up a few more when I go back. I certainly have my favorites….Rogan Josh, Korma and Jalfrezi are all great. They also do lovely seasonal mixes. In the summer, fresh fruity cordials appear while at Christmas, warm gingerbread and other traditional fare is on offer.
I regularly make a HUGE pot of one of these blends which makes 4 sizeable dinners for two of us. You can also vary the choice of meat. For the recipe below, I chose chicken but I usually make a lamb version. The best thing about this korma is there is no cream so it is far healthier than most versions! I really hope you guys try it!
Green Saffron Chicken Korma
Serves 6-8, Approx 4 PP per serving
- 500g onions, finely chopped
- 15g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1kg chicken breast
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 2 inches ginger
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 tbsp sweetener
- 1 tin low fat coconut milk
- 300ml low fat natural yoghurt
- 1 Packet Green Saffron Korma spices
- Melt the butter in a large casserole and add the oil. When melted, add the onions and sweat.
- Blitz the ginger and garlic in a food processer to make a paste then add them to the pan.
- Stir in the Green Saffron spices and stir well.
- Turn up the heat slightly and stir in tomatoes and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes to reduce.
- Stir in the coconut milk and reduce by half to thicken the sauce.
- Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the meat and yoghurt.
- Cook over a medium heat for approximately 30 minutes.
- Serve with fluffy white rice and naan breads, its also lovely with a little raita poured on top!
In Cork, there really is only one place for Hot Chocolate. O’Conaills chocolate started as a small company producing high quality chocolate products from their factory in Carraigaline, Co Cork. From there, they have expanded into a well know producer of the highest quality chocolate items including chocolate bars, truffles, fudge, baked good and for me, best of all, hot chocolates. For the past number of years they have had a hot chocolate shop on French Church Street in the city and last christmas they expanded this store and opened a new bakery and takeaway on Princes Street. It really is yummy and a mecca in Cork for hot choc!
When my other half went home a few months ago for a flying visit, it was one of the first places he visited. He sent me a picture that made me utterly jealous! Little did I know the reason for his visit was to bring me one of their homemade hot chocolate kit! When he brought it home, I was a very happy girl!
When a friend of ours was coming to visit, it was one of the top things on the shopping list I sent him! He kindly obliged with two lovely big bags of chocolate chips! Be warned the rest of you, there may be requests in the future!
Thats all for now, have a great week guys!
As you may have noticed, I have written a lot about Cork lately. I took a trip home in May and literally ate my way through my holiday! It was fantastic although I felt I needed a serious detox after all the food!
Breakfast has recently become my priority mealtime! When I was younger, I used to leave for school at 7am and so could not face eating at that hour of the morning. As I’ve gotten older and work has taken over, I have really noticed the affect a good hearty breakfast can have. I put a big effort in every morning, whether it be porridge, smoothies, poached eggs or even just a fruit salad, I always spend time on what I will have.
Weekend brekkie is special however! Brunch must be the best thing ever invented. Huge plates of yummy breakfast food that can still be eaten when one has only managed to get up at lunchtime! In Cork, every Saturday morning, this meant the Liberty Grill.
This fab american style restaurant opened a good five years ago now and brought its pancake piled plates to the people of Cork. Not a fry-up in sight, they have a varied brunch menu to suit any taste with a distinctly American theme.
When you are first seated, there is a pastry buffet table with all sorts of freshly baked croissants and scones, homemade jams and all of the local morning papers. This is a nice touch as you can help yourself to a scone and a paper while you wait for the main event. For me, this always means Eggs Benedict. It is truly one of their specialities.
On the plate in front of you, you get two slices of homemade sourdough toast topped with nice and crispy bacon and two perfectly poached eggs. I mean perfect, they have this lovely hard cooked white with a perfectly runny centre. All this is then smothered in the tastiest hollandaise sauce I have ever had! Heaven on a plate. They have a selection of other egg dishes including boiled and scrambled eggs on toast.
They also have a great selection of freshly squeezed juices, yoghurt, granola and fruit if any of these take your fancy!
It really is worth a trip there if you are anywhere near Cork, you will not be disappointed. My only problem is I have yet to find anywhere in London that even compares! Miss you Liberty Grill!!