Toying with the idea of cooking up a storm in the kitchen this weekend? If you are, here’s 10 recipes that might get you thinking, from main courses to desserts and treats, all collected from the web this past week. I’ve been enjoying a good start to year in the kitchen so far this year with something cooked every day. If I can keep it up, well, that’s another thing, but the recipes definitely help.
Are you planning on cooking up anything fancy in the kitchen this weekend?
It’s Sunday 18th March, which means it’s Mother’s Day / stay in bed because you’ve a wicked hangover day / Foodie Roundup day. Only one of the three applies to me directly (though I will be speaking to my mother later, as should everyone) so here’s ten blog posts from ten Irish food bloggers that you may have missed this past week, March 11th to 17th. Here’s also to shaking off the craft beers, cider and cheese from last night with a hearty breakfast to start Sunday off.
If you’ve got a new food blog and you would like to be included in the roundup (or at least make it to the reader so I know what you’re writing about), drop me a line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter here.
THIS WEEKEND in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, was all about the Town Of Books Festival and with herself broadcasting from their on Friday afternoon, we ended up spending Friday night and Saturday in Graigue to take in some food, theatre and all the book trail had to offer. Having spent Saturday morning strolling around the pop-up bookshops (and adding seven new books to the kitchen in the process), we picked Boats Bistro on the Tinnahinch side of Graigue for lunch.
We’d made two trips to the restaurant, which has been in the Bridgestone selection the past two years. On the first occasion we spotted the restaurant was full downstairs and started the trek back towards Coffee On High but spying a couple strolling out of the restaurant, managed to get the only free table downstairs (upstairs was being prepped for the evening servings).
It’s an airy and bright space with friendly staff and a pretty comprehensive lunch and dinner menu, with vegetarian options available for the non-seafood lover. Which is pretty much where I come in.
The vegetarian of the group loved the soup, Carrot & Coriander the flavour of the day served with two hunks of fresh bread for under a fiver. I think the phrase “I love chunky soup in a chunky bowl” may have been uttered over lunch. With soups, wraps, houmous, scallops, chicken and chorizo and fresh salmon with pesto among the lunchtime options, the winner for me was the Seafood Tapas Plate at a tenner even (pictured below).
The tastes across the plate are quite different, moving clockwise from the right we’ve got mussels in a chilli tomato sauce, prawns with an avocado sauce, crab crumble (possibly my favourite on the dish), and deep-fried calamari. As I’ve suggested though, I’m not a massive seafood lover. It’s taken me *years* to get around to ordering fish dishes off the menu. Having seen my folks tuck into bowls of mussels on holidays as a kid, it took me until my fourth year in college to try my hand at cooking and eating them but since moving back to Kilkenny I’ve been a bit more adventurous in the fish department. For someone who’s looking to do a bit of exploring in the same area, this is an ideal way to do it, all of the fish on the plate quite tasty.
Add in a coffee (you’ll spot the restaurant from the big Illy sign visible over the bridge) and the whole lunch experience was ours for under €20.
As more and more restaurants continue to list their suppliers, Boats Bistro does exactly the same, with a lot of their food sourced around the South East. The fish is sourced from the Duncannon Fish Company and Gone Fishing (Dunmore East. All beef on the menu is Irish and grass fed, chickens are farmed in Glin Valley and vegetables are sourced from Farrell’s in Kilkenny. Their cheeses are all available at the Cheese Stall from Carlow Farmer’s Market, ice-cream is also sourced in Kilkenny from Nigel & Carol Harper’s dairy herd and the wines come through Febvre wines, an Irish-owned wine importer.
There is a bit of a crossover with the dinner and lunch menu (pricing remains the same) but we’ve already decided that we’ll be back to try it out and see what their upstairs evening dining has to offer. There’s loads more you can find out about the restaurant, the owners, the building and more by visiting BoatsBistro.com.
When it comes to cooking at home, I do a lot of it. It’s something I love doing, something I very much enjoy and something I’ve got absolutely no problem with. Most weekend mornings I’ll be the one asking “what would you like for breakfast” or “fancy some pancakes” or “have you can any onions left, I’ve got a great idea for your lunch”… that kind of thing.
I won’t claim to be the most adventurous of men in the kitchen by any means but I’d be comfortable in putting together breakfasts, lunches, dinners, whether just for myself or for a large group.
That might not be the case in every household, however. So here’s one for you. If you’re a male reader and thinking you’d love to try your hand at putting together some staple dishes, try your hand at baking some bread, putting together some winter warming and family dinners, then Taste Works in Leighlinbridge (half way between Kilkenny and Carlow along the old road) may have a solution.
On Saturday 15th January they’re running a half day course called Men In The Kitchen. It starts at 10am, runs until 2pm and costs €65. The course is designed to get you cooking “food that most men would love to cook but are not sure how” such as
For €65 that’s not a bad offering at all and as their site suggests, may well be a great Christmas present for yourself or the man in your house. Taste Works is run by cookery teacher, designer and local food enthusiast Christine Jordan. Follow Taste Works on Twitter or check out Tasteworks.ie.
Yesterday I finally got the chance to delve into one of the new cook books, picking two recipes from Levi Roots Food for Friends. Most of the ingredients (in terms of vegetables and spices) I had in the press already with the minced lamb and sweet potato needed for the Shepherd’s Pie mix requiring a trip to Super Valu.
I started out looking for an option for lunch for two and chose the Roasted (Levi) Roots Soup which, on a glance at the ingredients looked like a safe gluten and dairy-free choice for herself.
Now, the only soup I’ve ever made has either come from a hot cup packet or one of those Avonmore cartons you could bang in the microwave so this was a whole new scenario for me. You can get the full list of ingredients after the jump (end of the post).
So I peeled the carrots, chopped the ginger, tomatoes, onions, added the spices, some sweet red peppers, sweet potato chunks and oiled and roast everything in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Once done, the veg were left to cool before making their way into the blender (which is finally seeing use after 12 months of sitting in the corner), joined with some more spices and a 400g tin of coconut milk. Once blended, I tipped everything back into a big pot with about 800ml of water, give or take, bringing the whole lot to the boil, then simmering gently, all the time stirring away. The result?
One hell of a tasty soup that would warm even the coldest man on a winter day. Testament to that was coming in out of the rain for the afternoon to find enough for five people still left in the pot today with myself and herself enjoying the soup as a *very* late lunch (ten to five late). Continue Reading