Cava celebrates first year in business

Thu, Jun 18, 2009

Open now for more than a year, Cava, the stylish Spanish restaurant and tapas bar on Dominick Street has established itself as one of Galway’s finest eateries. With relaxed yet formal dining, Cava offers an opportunity to experience the culinary depth of Spanish cooking without having to hop on a plane.

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Get dating with It’s Just Lunch

Thu, Jun 18, 2009

It’s Just Lunch, the dating agency for busy professionals, is in its second year of operation in Ireland and has enjoyed some great success. Many of the company’s clients are celebrating anniversaries at this time and franchise owner Anne-Marie Cussen couldn’t be happier.

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Free range meat direct to your door

Thu, Jun 11, 2009

Brendan and Derek Allen are the inspiration behind Castlemine Free Range. They are the latest generation to be involved in the family farm in Four-Mile-House, Co Roscommon. The Allen brothers saw an opportunity to move away from the more intensive farming methods to more traditional, slow growing style of farming. Their farming philosophy is simply that slowly grown equals greater taste.

They produce beef, lamb, rare breed pigs, and poultry and are familiar faces at the farmers’ market in Moycullen. They also have just launched an extensive meat box scheme and have put together a number of set beef and lamb boxes which vary in size, contents, and price. If you prefer to choose your own contents they will also put together a meat box based solely on your requirements. All meat boxes are delivered direct to your door and they offer free delivery in Galway and surrounding areas. As well as once off deliveries, a regular delivery of their high quality produce can be arranged. More details are available by calling Brendan on (090) 6629886 or by visiting www.castleminefarm.ie

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Bits and bites of foodie news

Thu, Jun 04, 2009

This week, I want to cover several smaller bits of news and suggestions for places to visit. I recently found a great place to buy free range eggs and the method of payment is definitely a novel one. Just outside the front door of his house, ‘The Egg Man’ has a crate of fresh newly laid eggs each day. You open the box, select your quantity of eggs (which are wonderfully ungraded, so you can choose massive ones if available), you then calculate the cost at €1.50 per half dozen and put the money in the letterbox. It is called an “honesty box”, and does not give change! The yolks are deep reddish/gold and they taste great, they are also wonderful for cooking. If you want to call to him, take the road across from the water tower in Clarinbridge, drive past Walsh’s Crane Hire and after about one mile on the right hand side you will see a sign outside a bungalow ‘Free Range Eggs’. The Egg Man has also launched a delivery service and guarantees 20 per cent cheaper than retail prices. Call (087) 7682464.

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Currying favour

Thu, Jun 04, 2009

Curry is one of the most traditional English dishes dating back to the East India Trading Company. Curry may be delicious when made well, but Indian food it is not. Now the spices and their combinations used in curry are indeed very much Indian, but in India they tend to be fresh and far more fragrant than what we see in Ireland. The name curry originated from the word kari, which means spiced sauce. Curry powder was a British invention which allowed the spice combinations of the Indians to become far more user friendly, also transporting a powder is a lot simpler than moving complex varieties of foods across continents.

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Delicious chicken

Thu, Jun 04, 2009

Enjoy some al fresco dining with these delicious chicken recipes from Bord Bia, perfect for a barbecue or a sunny weekend lunch.

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Delicious chicken 2

Thu, Jun 04, 2009

The absolutely best way is to roast a whole chicken with lots of garlic cloves, a few sprigs of rosemary, lemon wedges stuffed into the cavity, and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the juices run clear. An hour or two later, take the meat off the bone and make the salad. If you haven’t time to roast a chicken then you can just grill a few chicken breasts, slice them up, and make the salad.

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The journey to Abalone

Thu, May 28, 2009

Alan Willliams was born in the heart of the traditional music area that is Doolin/Lisdoonvarna in County Clare. He is one of five children and grew up on a farm. One of his early influences was his grandmother, who regularly cooked his favourite meal of bacon and cabbage. They had five gardens, they killed their own pigs, and were self sufficient in many respects. This seems to be a common thread with good chefs, honest home grown food from an early age.

From the age of 12 Williams started working summer holidays in the local hotel, scrubbing pots and preparing vegetables. While there he knew that he would always be a chef. When he left secondary school he did a three months cookery course in Portumna and found that he was being taught all the things he had learned back in those summer holidays in the hotel kitchen in Lisdoonvarna. After his stint in Portumna he worked in Park House Restaurant and a place I well remember called The European Table in Middle Street. Williams reckoned he had missed out on formal cookery school so was delighted when he was accepted into a two year professional cookery course in GMIT. This lasted about 12 months as he was working at the same time and did not like any of those parts of the course that did not involve actual cooking. The practicalities of cooking is what appeals to Williams, not all the paperwork and study.

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Connemara lamb pie to be launched at Conamara Bog Week

Thu, May 28, 2009

Conamara Bog Week, the annual festival which takes place in Letterfrack, will this year celebrate its 25th birthday.

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Galway cookbook tantalises the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover

Thu, May 28, 2009

Take 10 very talented local chefs, add one Euro-toques organisation, mix in a dollop of creativity and generously sprinkle with passion, to create one very tasty and impressive pocket-sized recipe publication entitled The Galway Ingredient. The book is crammed full of mouth-watering recipes, each one carefully designed with delicious local produce in mind. Teagasc sponsored the book, which marks the milestone that is The Volvo Ocean Race Stopover. At the forefront of this project are chefs Gerry Galvin, editor and former owner of the renowned Drimcong House Restaurant, and Michael O’Meara, responsible for photography and owner of Oscars Bistro. The remaining, equally artistic, chefs are all Galway locals. The delectable recipes chosen for the book are a testament to the hundreds of prestigious awards with which the group have collectively been accredited with. “ Each of the contributors to The Galway Ingredient have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that the end result is something that, not only they, but that Galway can be proud of, and I believe they have surpassed all expectations” said Gerry Galvin. “Teagasc was our perfect partner for the project, which has enabled us to present food of the locality at its freshest and best,” added Galvin. Gerry Scully, programme manager of Teagasc, also expressed his pleasure on, working with Euro-toques International, describing the organisation as “undisputed leaders in the promotion of best quality food and safeguarding culinary heritage”. The Galway Ingredient is available at the Galway Tourist Office and on all Fáilte Ireland promotional stands in the Volvo Ocean Race Tented Village. For more information on Euro-toques, Galway, visit www.eurotoquesirl.org

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Eating in season

Thu, Apr 30, 2009

Eating only what is in season has many advantages, some quite obvious and some not so. The obvious advantage is that it is sourced locally and perhaps direct from the producer. This allows you to enquire whether chemicals were used in its production; it may even allow you to taste it first. Very importantly, it means your money is being spent locally. There are several Galway restaurants focusing on sourcing the very best local produce and they are the ones that deserve your support; they will usually list the producers in the menu and it shows a dedication to quality.

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Chef’s Corner

Thu, Apr 30, 2009

Cooking experience: Scotty, originally from Columbus, Ohio, started off as a dishwasher in a steakhouse and went on to work in five star French restaurants and hotels in the US and in Europe. He met his wife Jenny Silke in chef school in Boston and followed her to Galway 20 years ago, together they set up a deli in Munster Avenue at the back of a fruit and veg shop which belonged to Jenny’s father. Following from the deli’s success they set up Scotty’s Casual Gourmet in Middle Street. They then moved to a restaurant at Glasan near GMIT before setting up Scotty’s Steakhouse. “This steakhouse is the culmination of a lot of dreams. We cook to order using quality ingredients in an impeccably clean environment and with friendly service,” says Scotty.

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Steak — restaurant style

Thu, Apr 30, 2009

You want to cook the finest, juiciest, and best tasting steak of all time. Steak being so simple to cook in a funny way leads it to a great steak being difficult to perfect. The English and French approach the seasoning of the meat in completely different ways. In France the meat is seasoned when raw; this allows a better penetration of the salt into the meat, which will increase flavour. The English argue that the meat should be seared and then seasoned as not to draw out any excess moisture, leaving the meat more on the juicy side and with a better caramelised surface. I follow both rules, seasoning one side when raw and the other (the side I will be presenting the meat) seared.

The single most important part of cooking a steak is getting the best possible beef. In my case that’s prime Irish grass fed Hereford society heifer beef. Aberdeen Angus is also good, as is Wadakin. Good quality beef should be bright red (not dull, as this poor colouration is caused mainly by oxidation) and slightly firm to the touch with a pleasant sweet smell. Good fat distribution, or marbling, is also important. Now that you have you beef right, onto the cooking.

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Allotments, the bargain of the recession

Thu, Apr 23, 2009

There was a time when allotments were a common feature in towns and cities, especially in the UK where it formed a strategic part of Britain’s recovery after World War II. If you take the train through the countryside in the UK you will still see some extremely well tended plots that have been there for many years. Home gardening and allotments were also an extremely important factor in the USA where, in 1945, 20 million members of the public produced 45 per cent of the nation’s vegetable requirements. Recently Michelle Obama put on her wellies and, along with a group of children, opened an organic plot in the grounds of the White House.

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Fish pie

Thu, Apr 23, 2009

There are few better ways to enjoy fresh seafood than a well made fish pie. A creamy wine sauce flavoured with leek and parsley mixed with whatever fish is available and best. Rich mashed potato finished with real butter and cream and topped with local Galway cheese baked till golden fish pie is really one of the great Irish foods.

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Great food, great value at The Living Room

Thu, Apr 23, 2009

The whole country may be reeling from cost savings and cutbacks but there is no need to tighten your belt at the Living Room Bar and Restaurant, where prices have been slashed so lunch can now be enjoyed for less than €10.

The menu saver options include The Living Room’s famous brunch which costs just €8.95 and includes free tea/coffee and toast. This new value for money range has no compromise on the quality or service. The extensive range of delicious main courses will ensure you always get change back out of a tenner.

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A chat with Kevin Dunne, head chef at The White Gables restaurant, Moycullen

Thu, Apr 16, 2009

This week is the first in a series of interviews with several head chefs of Galway’s restaurants. There are very few well known chefs in Ireland, but very often the person responsible for all the creativity in the kitchen is a behind the scenes person. So to find out a little more, Kevin and I chatted for a couple of hours over a coffee.

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Chicken leg with pistachio and apricot

Thu, Apr 16, 2009

The chicken is probably the most intensively reared animal in modern agriculture. Chicken produces a highly versatile meat which up until the early 20th century was considered a luxury food.

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Heneghans opens new premises at The Bridge Mills

Thu, Apr 16, 2009

Twenty years ago, in April 1989, Frank and Ellen Heneghan opened their first cafe in The Bridge Mills. They painstakingly restored the derelict corn mill that had functioned until the 1970s.

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Making the case for a picnic

Thu, Apr 09, 2009

Every Galwegian is looking forward to the last section of the motorway from Galway to Athlone opening. This will mean that you can hop in your car and be at the Liffey Valley Centre in approximately two hours.

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E-paper

Read this weeks E-paper. Past editions also available from within this weeks digital copy.

 

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