Abalone comes to Abalone

Thu, Oct 30, 2008

It is no secret that Abalone restaurant in Dominick Street is one of my favourite restaurants, so I was very happy to accept an invitation from the chef proprietor, Alan Williams, to taste his first ever delivery of fresh abalone. What makes this fresh abalone really special is that it is 100 per cent Irish produced. It comes from Cape Clear, and if you are an avid watcher of RTE you may have seen a documentary showing how the owner Martin O’Mealoid was bringing his live abalone to the kitchens of two of the most famous eateries in London, The Dorchester and that coolest of cool sushi restaurant, Nobu.

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Blackberry and apple crumble with Coole Swan Anglaise

Thu, Oct 30, 2008

This delicious dessert from Coole Swan is the perfect pudding for winter evenings.

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Bits, bites, and bargains

Thu, Oct 23, 2008

This week is a collection of foodie comments and news that may be of interest.

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Pork and Bramley bake

Thu, Oct 23, 2008

This one-pot supper is perfect for families. The magical combination of pork and Bramley apples turns a simple supper into a real treat. Plus, using only one pot reduces the washing up, so everyone should be happy!

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Eating out — an alternative proposal

Thu, Oct 16, 2008

I was invited to a fundraising dinner in a friend’s house recently and, not knowing quite what to expect, was amazed to see how someone’s house could be transformed into a lovely dining environment. I believe that it could be a way for people to enjoy good food at much less than restaurant prices and a great way to meet people. My hypothesis is this — why are restaurants charging the prices they are? High rent, high rent, and high rent and this is why they need two and three sittings on a night. So what could be possible if you had no rent to pay? You could charge prices that lots of people who do not eat out would find very attractive. This could be done by a couple of people who can have a flair for cooking, have a spacious home, and like to entertain people.

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Chocolate meringues

Thu, Oct 16, 2008

This delicious meringue recipe comes from Clodagh McKenna, the face of Aga in Ireland.

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Falafel — really good fast food

Thu, Oct 09, 2008

You have possibly seen the falafel stall at our Galway markets; Oranmore, Moycullen, and Galway city. You will also see it at most music festivals and you may even see it on some TV and film sets. You may have seen it and passed by, wondering what exactly it is, and would I like it?

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Lentil sausage stew

Thu, Oct 09, 2008

This very easy recipe mixes traditional comfort food with heart-healthy lentils, the perfect combination for a warming dinner on winter evenings.

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Deli excellence — Olio & Farina

Thu, Oct 02, 2008

A really good deli should focus on certain food types and have staff that know the products inside and out. One of the problems that a consumer faces is that when confronted by shelves filled with jars, bottles, and things that are vaguely recognisable, is to try to make a decision. That is why you need expert help, someone who has tasted most of the items and who has a passion for food. I recall a visit to a fish shop where I asked the assistant what a particular fish tasted like and the answer was that she never ate fish!

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Stuffed peppers

Thu, Oct 02, 2008

These delicious stuffed, roast peppers are great comfort food for cold winter evenings. Recipe courtesy of Clodagh McKenna, Irish ambassador for Aga.

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Tomato and basil soup

Thu, Sep 25, 2008

This delicious, hearty soup is the perfect counterfoil to the cold days ahead.

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Sheridan’s launches new duck confit

Thu, Sep 25, 2008

Sheridan’s Cheesemongers has introduced a delicious new duck confit to its artisan range of foods. Expanding beyond its fantastic range of farmhouse and European cheeses, the duck confit is a welcome addition for fans of the quality Irish cheesemongers. Sheridan’s premier range also consists of a variety of wines, cured meats, pastas, and olive oils among other specialities for cooking and eating. Sheridan’s was awarded Food & Wine magazine’s Hall of Fame award alongside Richard Corrigan at the annual Food & Wine awards in August.

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Introducing Coole Desserts

Thu, Sep 18, 2008

A selection of signature sweets created exclusively for Coole Swan

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Gourmet dinner on a budget

Thu, Sep 18, 2008

A lot of people are complaining that they cannot afford to eat out as often as before, prices are too high, less money in the home budget, cost of babysitting, etc. The cost of eating out is indeed high and that is why I recommend that you take great care when planning a meal out.

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Hotel Meyrick - a fine dining gem in the heart of Galway

Thu, Sep 18, 2008

If you thought that a well cooked meal complete with great service and relaxing atmosphere was near to impossible to find in Galway these days, well look again, because there’s still a gem of a restaurant to be found at the Hotel Meyrick in Eyre Square.

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Get to know your grapes with The Twelve’s wine tasting package

Thu, Sep 11, 2008

Whether you’re winging it when it comes to wine, or a wannabe sommelier, a new wine tasting package from The Twelve in Barna will bring you up to speed on choosing and appreciating wines for all occasions.

To celebrate the hotel’s latest accolade — a prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence no less — The Twelve is offering a special wine package comprising a two night stay and a special wine tutorial with five course meal at the hotel’s award-winning West restaurant. If you want to pick up some handy tips on selecting the perfect wine to see you through dinner or you’re keen to build on your existing knowledge of a particular grape, there’s a lot to be learned at The Twelve. Bring a loved one or even make it a group event!

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Festival foods

Thu, Sep 11, 2008

For those who do not attend festivals such as the Electric Picnic, Mantua, Solas, etc, you may wonder what the standard of food at such a festival is like in 2008. Perhaps you have children who attend these outdoor festivals and worry that they will be eating lots of greasy burgers and dodgy frankfurters. Indeed my own memories of concerts are that you could smell the chip vans long before you saw the concert stage, and yes it is a miracle that more of us were not as sick as dogs (we probably were but nobody cared too much).

Well have no worries about today’s fans; they are spoiled for choice at most festivals. Gourmet coffee stalls, falafel sellers, and gourmet sausage rolls are commonplace, and at the recent Electric Picnic concert there was what can only be described as a feast of great food available. In fact I believe that Tom Doorley and the Bridgestone Guide were to be there and review the food on offer. There were venison burgers, ostrich burgers, impala burgers, whole roast pig, sushi, fresh bagels with caesar chicken salad, and lots more.

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Organic salmon and vegetable fritters with wild rocket and vegetable dressing

Thu, Sep 11, 2008

Wild salmon would be far better for this dish but due to the sustainability of wild salmon the organic salmon makes a good substitute.

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Philadelphia, here we come

Thu, Aug 07, 2008

If like most people your knowledge of what to do with cream cheese extends to spreading it on a cracker with a sprinkle of chives, a new website launched by Philadelphia cream cheese is worth a visit.

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Coffee — the uber-cool beverage

Thu, Aug 07, 2008

When I was a lad the really cool thing to drink was Irel coffee. This came in a bottle and was a sticky black treacle like substance which you mixed with sugar, hot water, and a lot of milk. Later came Nescafé powdered coffee in a tiny tin, not much bigger than a tin of shoe polish, and if you used more than a half teaspoon you were in mega trouble. As time marched on pubs started to serve food and we had Cona coffee machines, which were good if your cup was served directly after it was made, however it could be (and often was) two, three, or four hours old. I have several memories (some quite recent) of sending coffee back while complaining that it was burnt/old only to be served a new ‘fresh’ cup from the same disgusting brew. The ‘fresh cup’ was inevitably accompanied by a comment like, nobody else complained!

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