Month: April 2012

Opportunity of a Lifetime: 365 Meals in 365 Days in Richmond, Canada

Readers! I have just been shortlisted for the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to go to Richmond on the West Coast of Canada for a year, and write about the food there every day. I would be housed, paid and I would be in Canada, a country that I have visited several times, and will visit again next week – *waves at Montreal*. Rumoured to have some of the best Asian food outside of Asia, amongst many other lovely things, I would absolutely love it. Yes, I know, I have been very lucky. 1500 applied, and I am in the final 12. But, those Canucks have the edge on me, for I have little votes. So, please, take a minute and click VOTE on Facebook. That is all you have to do. You can vote once a day until May 1st when the competition closes. Then it is on to the final leg. Why? Well, did I mention that I would get to live in Richmond in Canada for a bit? And think of …

Waterford Festival of Food 2012: Angela Harnett; Brewer, Blogger & Baker Pop-Up and Farmer’s Market

I think I am only just recovering from an intense work hard / play hard week, recently at home in Ireland. Irish people know how to party, no surer thing, but we are also handy with a stove and we can make lots of delicious things like fine cheeses, great beer and lots more. Some fantastic food and drink was served up over the 3 day festival. Highlights were: Angela Hartnett at The Tannery: a really fun evening, and actually the first time I got to try Angela’s food. I loved the wild garlic suppli and parmesan fritters and the stellar desserts. Our Brewer, Blogger & Baker pop up, where three of us took over the local civic offices and converted it to a restaurant. No small feat. We fed and watered 80 people. There was live music, and both Eunice and I contributed to the menu using exclusively local ingredients (where possible). Claire of Dungarvan Brewing Company looked after the guests and made sure they had enough to drink, including a cocktail, her beerini. …

Come to Selfridge’s tomorrow: I will be cooking with Jack McCarthy!

Folks, it is short notice but I have been away – again. And I had no time to write as I was too busy eating bulls tail (rich and delicious, makes ox tail look wimpy), goose barnacles (look like a dinosaur foot and like it might hurt to eat but taste delicious, briney and delicate) and drinking sherry (Alfonso Oloroso, I salute you!). But I am back in London now and cooking in Selfridge’s tomorrow with one of my favourite butchers, Jack McCarthy, from 12 – 3. I have cooked with and written about his terrific black and white puddings several times. Tomorrow I will be serving up my black pudding croquettes with chipotle ketchup and puddings made from 3 bloods – pig, cow, lamb – while Jack will be curing bacon 4 ways (spiced, sweet, traditional and organic nitrate free). Come down and have a taste of Cork! It will be fun and definitely delicious. There will be lots of other Irish producers there too. Take a peek here http://www.jackmccarthy.ie

The Brewer, the Blogger & the Baker at the Waterford Festival of Food

It is only 2 days to our pop up at the Waterford Festival of Food: The Brewer, the Blogger & the Baker. We sold out in one day so the pressure is on! The menu is decided and the ingredients bought. We start cooking tomorrow.  Two full days of prep and cooking await us and then we take over the civic council offices for one night and cook up a storm. The cooks are local, the food (and beer) is local. We intend to do Waterford proud. The menu stays secret for now – you will have to come back to see what we had.Hope to see some of you on Saturday! If you couldn’t get tickets, Richard Corrigan is cooking at the Tannery and there is lots of other wonderful stuff happening too. More details: http://www.waterfordfestivaloffood.com/

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter

I went through a bit of a peanut butter phase recently. I am not sure why. I was gripped by a mania and wanted to roast / peel / shell all types of nuts and whizz them in my magimix, adjust the oil contents, play with salts, and see what I got. It was a lot of fun and made for great toast at breakfast. There was plain peanut butter which was a joy, pistachio and almond butter a disturbing green but really delicious and my favourite of all an oozing chocolate peanut butter. Getting this right was quite the task. I wanted chocolate in there but getting the consistency right was difficult. I wanted the butter to drip indecently off the end of my knife. I wanted it to taste of peanut and chocolate in equal measure and to have a flavour so big that it would bounce off my slice of toast. After several versions, I found out that the best result was not with chocolate but with a good cocoa powder, giving …

April Goings On: Comfort & Spice Published in the US & Canada, Cooking at Waterford Festival of Food, Recipe in Delicious Magazine and Interview in the Irish Examiner

Hello there folks! I have a few things to update you on from the land of Eat Like a Girl and Comfort & Spice. It is really four posts in one – adopt the brace position folks! :) Comfort & Spice Published in the US & Canada by Lyons Press Most excitingly, and first out of the blocks, is that Comfort & Spice has been published in the US by Lyons Press. HUGE and exciting. It was published last week and it has been Americanified. No blood pudding, now blood sausage. Not one courgette to be seen, just lots of zucchini. No grams but a lorra lorra cups.  I do hope you like it. It has a different cover too! You can buy it in bookshops or from the following websites: Amazon Barnes and Noble Indie Bound Books-A-Million Powells Globe Pequot Pop Up Restaurant & Demo at the Waterford Festival of Food The Waterford Festival of Food is back. One of my favourite food festivals, and in my hometown, this year I am cooking at The Baker, The Brewer & …

BA2012 Olympics Pop Up with Simon Hulstone

Somethings I cannot resist. One is an invite to dine in a fake plane in Shoreditch with Simon Hulstone at the helm. Eh? I know. Simon Hulstone is a Michelin starred chef whom I first came across at the Bocuse D’Or last year. He is clearly very talented, he got to the last stage of the Bocuse D’Or which involved competing in an extremely intense two year long competition, all of which he did while running his restaurant Elephant in Torquay. Lots of chefs take the two years off and dedicate themselves to the competition. I followed the journey but have never tried his food. I really want to. Now, I still wasn’t going to get to try Simon’s food per se – certainly not like I would get in his restaurant – as this pop up is a showcase of food that British Airways will serve on their flights this summer to celebrate the Olympics. The menu was developed by Simon with Heston Blumenthal’s support. The event sold out in 3 hours. I wasn’t …

Scotching Eggs with the Egg Boss

Easter had almost passed me by. Normally I would be carving chocolate plans, dying eggs, pickling eggs, trying all the different eggs I could try. Last year I had turkey, goose, rhea, ostrich and many more. This year, nothing. Easter had crept up on me with stealth. So, I tweeted on Thursday morning that I was a little disorganised, only to receive a swift reply from a man calling himself the Egg Boss. Ostrich egg? From a man who scotches? Well, I was intrigued. I replied: And that is how I found myself on the bus to Camberwell on Good Friday morning. Now, maybe it is not too clever to arrange to meet a random stranger – even if he is the Egg Boss – in an industrial unit in a part of London that you don’t know at all. But, I had faith. He is a friend of The Rib Man you see, whom I have met and chat to all the time, and we were going to use his terrific and slightly crazy …

Recipe: Black Pudding Croquettes with Chipotle Ketchup

Black pudding. Well I love it and you know that already don’t you? I grew up on the stuff and in my long gone vegetarian years it was the thing I missed the most. Not bacon, black pudding. We would have it on toast by the open fire and mash it in so it was almost part of the bread. Half black pudding, half white pudding, all mashed into the toast with crispy bits from the pudding mingling with crispy bits of the toast and lots of mushy delicious bits, all in the roaring heat of the fire. With the rain lashing outside no doubt and the wind howling. That is what I loved and that is what I missed. Now I can have as much as I want and I often have too much, but with such a good thing it is difficult to be measured. Irish black pudding is different to the black pudding from anywhere else, it has oats and spices and a rich depth to it that is like Pavarotti in …

Lunch with Claudia Roden and her Recipe for Raisin & Sweet Wine Ice Cream

Claudia Roden has long been an inspiration for me. My first forays into Middle Eastern cuisine quickly led me to her door, and I devoured her books A Book of Middle Eastern Food  and Arabesque. I was obsessed with ful medames and was desperate to recreate it at home. When I became curious about Jewish cuisine I quickly purchased The Book of Jewish Food following which I discovered her other books (the full list on Amazon is here).  Discovering Claudia Roden felt like I had fallen down a culinary rabbit hole. So when I spied her at the OFM Awards last November, I was overcome with shyness and couldn’t say hello. I also didn’t want to be annoying and invasive. Later in the evening, Claudia came over to say hello and to congratulate me on my award. I was delighted and borderline dumbstruck: how lovely of her! I knew that Claudia had been working on a new book The Food of Spain for the past 5 years and that it would be out soon. It …