On Ireland and Irish Food….

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

Seared Scallops and Corn Risotto

We all know at this stage about my obsession with corn and all the sweetness it can bring to a meal. It is the height of corn season in New England and those beautiful cobs are overflowing from baskets at every market. Last weekend, in the search for a new way to use it up, I gave this corn risotto a go. It was delicious as it was but when we had visitors planned for this week, I decided to up the ante. Enter scallops! Continue reading

Seared Tuna

Seared Tuna with Fresh Mango Salsa

I cant begin to count the number of times I have heard the phrase “I don’t like tuna” and I totally understand! When most people grow up on soggy tuna sandwiches made with that tinned stuff in brine, I can see why people have a negative view of this majestic fish – what a shame! Fresh tuna steaks are something special, beautiful meaty flesh that can be a great carrier for strong flavour. Continue reading

Exploring Boston

They say moving house, getting married and changing jobs are among the top five most stressful life events an adult can go through. Well we certainly don’t do things by halves in our house. In less than nine months, we have gotten married, left jobs in Ireland and the UK, I returned to study and now we have moved across the Atlantic to Boston, Massachusetts. Sometimes I ask myself are we insane! Continue reading

Fish on Friday

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

New England Honeymoon

Anyone who knows me personally will tell you New England and me go hand in hand, which makes it so funny that I had never been there – until now.  I have always wanted to spend time in New England and have always loved everything that people associate with that part of the world: Seafood, Boats, Stripes, Seaside cottages. I have always found myself inspired by these things; our home, our wedding and our lives are surrounded by elements of New England. We are just back from our wonderful Honeymoon exploring the delights of Cape Cod and beyond and it was worth the wait! We rented a cottage on the beach for one week and then did some travelling to Nantucket and Newport, other pretty parts of New England. Continue reading

Eating Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

There are so many reasons I love being home in Cork. We all know that I extoll the virtues of Irish food ad nauseum, but a significant role is played by the stunning countryside and coastline on which my daily life plays out. I think, growing up in a place makes you almost immune, or at least complacent, to the positive attributes a place can have. It wasn’t until I left here that I began to see what so many people across the world appreciate and long for. We really are blessed with our lot here in Ireland (despite the rain!) The Wild Atlantic Way is a relatively new initiative that sims to encourage and increase in tourism along Irelands west coast and to help showcase everything that it has to offer. Continue reading

Scallops with Chorizo and Lemon Courgettes

Scallops are one of my favourite foods and for me are the ultimate fast food. Granted they are not cheap, but I had the fortune last Saturday of stumbling into the fish shop as they were about to close and scoring some scallops at a greatly reduced price! Fabulous. The next question for me was what to do with these amazing creatures. Something simple yet special was needed. Nigella came to my resuce with this little number. Chorizo and scallops may sound like a strange pairing but it worked fabulously. I love courgette and anything lemony (though my other half would not share my lemon enthusiasm!) so this quick and tasty side dish worked well with the heady paprika flavours of Chorizo. You could serve the scallops with some spaghetti drizzled in a little olive oil with some chilli flakes but we had plenty with just this. Please try this one, it really is so easy! Continue reading

Paella – Summer in a dish

Ok, so I know it hardly seems like Summer is on its way, but whatever the weather, colourful dishes full of flavour make me feel like it is finally Summer time! When we visited Barcelona, flavour and colour were in abundance in everything we ate and no more so than in the wonderful dish that is Paella. We hunted down a restaurant in a little backstreet of the El Ravel neighbourhood which is touted as having some of the best paella in the city. I have to admit it was pretty amazing, even if we couldnt finish it! The name of the restaurant is Pollo Rico and it is on Calle San Pau, just off the Ramblas.

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