Summer dinners-smoked salmon! 

Smoked salmon is one of my favourite foods. Frank Hederman from Belvelly smokehouse in Cork does the best smoked salmon. I love the flavour combinations of the smokiness of the fish with this light salad. A nice light dinner especially perfect for when your suffering badly after commuting in the London heatwave mixed with tube strikes 😦

  
Smoked salmon with dill,potato and cucumber salad

For 2 people

8 slices smoked salmon

500g baby potatoes

1 small cucumber

Handful fresh dill

2tblsp creme fraiche 

Olive oil, salt, lemon juice 

Place potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water. Return to the boil and cook until tender. Meanwhile slice the cucumber in half lenghtways and scoop out all of the water flesh and discard. Chop the cucumber lenghs into chunks. Chop the fresh dill quite finely. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and immediately toss the potatoes in olive oil and plenty of sea salt. Combine with the cucumbers and chopped dill and toss all together with a squeeze of lemon juice. 

To serve place the salad on a plate and drape the smoked salmon over the salad. Spoon a dollop of creme fraiche on top and serve with some summery salad leave.

  

All things elderflower…

Here is a recipe for elderflower cordial. It’s free to go out and pick your own elderflower and there are so many yummy things you can do with it. I love making it into cordial which can be used for refreshing summer drinks. Lovely with some lime juice and soda water over ice but also makes a lovely gin cocktail which I’ll include the recipe for at the bottom. 

 
3 generous bunches of elderflower (flowers and stalks cleaned gently in cold water)

2 lemons

1 orange

2 1/2 kg white sugar

1 1/2 litre of water

85g citric acid (can be purchased in chemists or Amazon) 

Begin by peeling the zest from the lemons and orange and slice into pinwheels. 

Make a simple sugar syrup by placing the sugar and water in a large saucepan and gently heating until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to the boil and remove from heat. 

Place the elderflowers, citric acid, zest and pinwheels in the sugar Syrup and stir everything together. Cover and allow to infuse for 24 hours.

Strain the syrup through muslin or a tea towel into sterilised containers. The cordial will last up to 6 weeks in the fridge.

  
 
Elderflower cocktail:

50ml gin

20ml lemon juice

20ml Elderflower cordial

3 fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices

Finish with soda water and ice 

(Omit the gin for a just as tasty non alcohol version) 

Dinerama

One of my favourite parts of London to explore is Shoreditch. Everytime I go I find some new quirky discovery and this time I stumbled across Dinerama. The people behind dinerama have already developed the cool concept of Street Feast in Dalston which is an on going foodie fest throughout the summer. 

Dinerama is like an outdoor street food food court made from all re furnished materials. It also has 5 different bars including a rooftop rum bar and a gin bar. Although I didn’t try any food (just the drink instead 🙂 ) it all looked SO good. We went when it was pretty quiet so Id love to go back in the evening when there’s a bit more of a crowd and atmosphere. Definitely one to visit throughout the summer.

   
         

  
 

Dinner for two in under ten…

This recipe of sea bass with chickpeas and cress is a quick and easy dinner recipe which can be made in under ten minutes (and for under ten euro). If you have good ingredients and good seasoning you don’t need any sauce to make a dish delicious….

What you need

2 sea bass fillets

1 can chickpeas

bunch of fresh mint

1 red deseeded chilli

1 lemon

bunch of cress leaves

olive oil and sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Season the fish with olive oil and salt. Strain the chickpeas and empty contents into a pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a simmer and allow them cook for 4 minutes and strain again.  Toss in olive oil and season with salt. Finely chop the mint leaves and chilli and finely zest the lemon.

Heat a little oil in a pan and once its piping hot add the sea bass skin side down. Press down using a fish slice so the skin doesn’t curl up. Cook for a minute or so and take a peek at the under side to see the colour of the skin. Once you have a golden colour remove the fillets to an oven tray and continue cooking in the oven for a further 3-4 minute until the flesh is no longer translucent.

Meanwhile dress the cress leaves with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Finish the chickpeas by adding the mint, chilli, lemon zest and some juice. Add more salt if necessary.

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Place both the leaves and chickpeas on a plate and finish with fish on top. Serve with thinly sliced lemon pinwheels. Enjoy, xxIMG_7804

A weekend in (food) pictures…..

There was a lot of eating and drinking done this weekend in London. And it wasn’t even a bank holiday over here. My family were here for the weekend so we ventured to a few of my favourite spots around London for food and drink throughout the weekend.

On Saturday we went to The Chiltern Firehouse for lunch. We arrived early so we could sit outside for a few drinks before lunch and although it was lashing rain it was so cosy sitting ouside by the open fire

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Ive been to the Chiltern once before for dinner and both times now the food has been so so good. We started with their famous crab donuts. I then had monkfish and a dessert of milk and honey. All so tasty! The service however was not the best but we didn’t let it take away from the good food.

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We also popped into La Fromagerie for coffee which I have mentioned in a previous blog post as one of my favourite places to buy cheese. We stocked up on some goods for a cheese and wine night on Saturday night which was perfect after such a big lunch. The guy serving us gave us the nicest cheese and threw in some freebies as he knew I worked at Spring and they supply some of our cheese.

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On Sunday evening myself and my sister went to Polpo which has just opened a new branch on Duke of York Square right by where I live (very happy about this). We ordered 3 small plates and some focaccia bread and it was the perfect amount. Each plate was so tasty. We had Fritto misto, ham hock and savoy cabbage and beef and ricotta meatballs. And of course some more wine just because we were on a roll 🙂

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Such a great weekend, xx

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Retro ice cream cake…

On top of a busy day in work today I had an order of an ice cream birthday cake for two seperate tables at two different times throughout service. This is a tricky one as your dealing with Italian meringue that has to go on last minute and be finished with the blow torch working fast so the ice cream doesn’t begin to melt. This one had three layers of alternating Genoise sponge with a layer of vanilla and a layer of strawberry ice cream.

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It’s quite a retro cake and fun to cut into it and see the layers. Luckily the first table left some behind so we all got to tuck in.IMG_7731

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Brunching…

It’s a Sunday and I’m not working so it means I can enjoy my favourite meal time…brunch 🙂 Eggs and avocado are so trendy at the moment and shoved in your face constantly on Instagram and the likes but there’s no denying they are a great combo. So I’m just about to add to all those other millions of avo and eggs post and tell you how I like to eat mine…

What you need for 2 people:

2 eggs

1ripe avocado

Good quality sour dough bread toasted

4 slices Serrano ham

Olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and a good quality chilli pesto

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add salt. Turn down the heat so the water remains at a simmer. To make things easier when poaching eggs I firstly crack the egg onto a small plate or bowl and slide the egg into the water off the plate

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Allow the eggs to simmer for around 4 mins before removing to a plate using a slotted spoon.

While the eggs are poaching place the flesh of the avocado in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. Using a fork smash the avocado and combine it with the seasoning. Drizzle two slices of toasted sour dough with olive oil and spread the avocado over each one.

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Place the Serrano ham on top followed by an egg on each slice and top with a dollop of good quality chilli pesto or a basil pesto if you prefer a milder flavour.

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Have a great Sunday, xx

Litfest memories…

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It was a dream to be back in the wonderful world of Ballymaloe last week for the Litfest. It was so good to catch up with people and eat some yummy food (and drink some drinks 🙂 ). Some highlights included listening to the amazing Alice Water’s speak of her journey in the food world which was so inspiring and a Q and A with the editors of Food and Wine mag and Bon appetite magazine. The atmosphere in the Big shed was unbelievable all weekend. The bar was packed and the food was flowing.Overall it was a fantastic weekend and so so well organised.

My talented photog Father (edmondmoriarty@me.com) took some amazing pics on his trip down over the weekend….

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Cork eats…

Been meaning to put a bit of work into the blog lately and start dividing up my posts into:

Recipes

London eats

Cork/Ireland eats

But to be honest I’m still quite new to this I still haven’t fully figured out the full workings of wordpress. I still have so much to discover in the world of blogging.

Anyway after an amazing and inspiring foodie weekend spent at home in cork I felt it fitting to do a post on one of cork’s many amazing places to eat!

One particular well known destination restaurant I love visiting when home is The Castle restaurant in Blackrock.

The grounds for this cafe/restaurant are ideal with amazing views of the castle and the water and on a nice day the outside courtyard is the perfect spot to enjoy the sun (pictured above).

The service and the food match the idealistic surroundings. The menu offers starters and mains but also some salads and sandwhiches for a more casual lunch. Today I chose the ceaser salad…

A simple (and probably not the most exciting) choice but it was a good ceaser salad which is suprisingly hard to find at times.

We also shared a scone which I loved to see were cut into triangles! This will sound geeky BUT this shows the restaurant are clever and are conscious of their waste. Most importantly it was a good scone!

This is also a lovely place to dine in the evenings. Always a nice atmosphere and great service and above all it’s definitely good value for a destination restaurant outside the city.

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Festival weekend ✌️

Im so excited to be traveling home this weekend to the lit fest in Ballymaloe. I haven’t been back to ballymaloe since completing the course in 2013 and am so excited to see some familiar faces. Am also looking forward to showing London work friends all the amazing-ness of Ballymaloe! The weekend is full of the best food, drink music and fun along with the chance to mingle with the absolute best of the who’s who in the food/wine and coffee world!

I am going to be working all weekend at the big shed which is the hub of the festival but along with that there will be lots of demos and talks between Ballymaloe house, the Grain store and the cookery school.

Below are some of my personal ‘must see’s’ over the weekend:

Fri- festival opening party, 7.30pm: The big shed

Sat- April Bloomfield demo, 9.30am: €97

Sat-Alice waters in conversation, 9.30am: the Grainstore

Sat-guest chef lunch, Honey and Co. Ballymaloe house dining room €65

Sun-April Bloomfield in conversation, 9.30 am €36

Sun- David Lebovitz-sold out 😦

Sun-The story of Chez Panisse, 17.30: The Grainstore €16