Whether you love to cook, or just love to eat, there are plenty of great foodies on Twitter that you can follow. From celebrity types you would recognise from the television to professional chefs, bloggers, and restaurant critics, many food lovers are tapping into Twitter’s real-time network to offer up recipes, promote products, and recommend restaurants or otherwise. You can get an inside look at life in the kitchen, or just feast your eyes on other people’s lunches. Most of the food community in Ireland have embraced Twitter also. And yes, I myself engage in the occasional tweet (I know you are not supposed to talk to strangers on the internet, but this is different. Honest! ) as do a lot of other Irish food bloggers — there are about 600 of us, believe it or not
It was through Twitter that Goodall’s, the Irish herbs and spices people, launched a search to uncover what modern Irish cooking looks like today. The company invited food bloggers from across Ireland to submit their interpretation of a modern Irish recipe and the 50 best and most diverse recipes were chosen. And so, Goodall’s Modern Irish was born. “A modern Irish cookbook… 50 great recipes all inspired by traditional Irish cooking and ingredients, but updated to reflect the way we cook today. We wanted to start a conversation about what is modern Irish cooking today and who better to get that conversation going than Ireland’s food blogging community. These are tried and tested recipes from people who really care about Irish food – how it is cooked and where it comes from.”
Why I am I telling you so much about this book? Well, because I am in it (pages 14 and 24 to be exact ). Not one, but two of my recipes and photographs were picked to appear in the publication. The book is on sale from the Goodall's website (www.goodalls.ie ). You can download it for €2.99 or purchase a hard copy for €12 plus P&P. The profits will be split between Cork Penny Dinners and Dublin Food Bank, worthy causes both. It would make a great gift at Christmas for friends and family who love to cook, or a taste of home for the Irish living abroad. In addition to this, the book is absolutely brilliant, because I'm in it.
I got to meet some of my virtual Twitter chums at the launch a few weeks ago in the Merrion Hotel. Some I had met before, but lots of new faces too. It was huge fun to be a part of it, particularly as it is all for a good cause. Here is one of my recipes from my blog that made it into the book, a reworking of the breakfast roll, for your enjoyment. www.warmsnugfat.blogspot.com
Baked brunch baguette
This is a fabulous breakfast or brunch recipe, easily increased for larger numbers or appetites and also easily vegetarian-ised by the loss of the Parma. Featuring the ever useful egg, it is a kind of jumbo breakfast roll if breakfast rolls were glamorous. For those of you not familiar with this classic Irish meal solution, the breakfast roll is typically white bread slathered in 'spread' and filled with a traditional fry, designed to be eaten on the way to school or building site, single-handed. Rashers, sausages, and eggs usually feature heavily, maybe some white and black pudding, often mushrooms and hash browns, sometimes even beans, and all smothered in ketchup or brown sauce.
Since the breakfast roll is now in a catastrophic decline, in line with the fall of the construction industry, it is time for a radical makeover. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you… the baked brunch baguette.
2 demi baguettes, wholemeal or seeded
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 spring onions, finely sliced
25ml cream or crème fraîche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g hard cheese, grated (such as a strong Irish cheddar or gouda )
2 thin sliced bacon rashers or slices of Parma ham
Makes two filled baguettes
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut out a long oval section from the tops of the baguettes and scoop out the soft bread from the inside, being careful not to pierce the crust. Crack the eggs into a jug and beat together with the sliced spring onions, cream and seasoning. Mix in most of the grated cheese. Pour half of the mixture into each baguette, then place each baguette on to a slice of bacon or ham on a baking sheet. Fold the ham up over the middle of the bread roll and scatter the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until the egg mixture is puffed up and golden brown but sill runny in the centre and the bacon or ham is crispy. Allow to cool for about five minutes and serve.
Remember to whip up your egg mixture in a jug, as it makes it really easy to fill your hollowed out bread rolls. Be careful not to overcook these, you want crusty on the outside with a soft eggy, cheesy, yumminess oozing from the inside, overcooking will give you a dry and too firmly set inside, sad times.