Tag Archives: Cork

Ballymaloe Literary Festival

Ballymaloe House
Ballymaloe House
Entering the Magical Big Shed
Entering the Magical Big Shed
Amazing Crepe and Galette Stall
Amazing Crepe and Galette Stall
Ballyhoura Mushrooms
Ballyhoura Mushrooms
Food Graffiti
Food Graffiti

What a great May Bank Holiday it has been, but what a busy one too. Despite having lots of plans last weekend, most of which were in West Cork, I took a detour on Saturday morning down to the Ballymaloe Literary Festival as I really didn’t want to miss it. I only had an hour as I had to be in Schull that afternoon, so I decided to make an hour’s pit stop for lunch. I unfortunately didn’t fit in any talks, which is a shame as I wanted to see Michelle Darmody’s talk on self-publishing among others, but it was still a great spot for an hours lunch.

Ballymaloe converted a big old shed of their’s into a space filled with farmer’s market style stalls, but it was obvious how high Ballymaloe set the standard for what the stalls should look like. Walking into The Big Shed was like walking into a foodie fairytale! All the stalls were dressed in ivy and flower garlands, there was a magical play area for kids, a book stall selling favourite cookbooks, and a graffiti artist spraying out images of much loved Irish food culture.

I ended up going for a savoury galette with smoked salmon, cream cheese, herbs and beautiful unusual dressings, but I also helped my Dad finish off his BBQ from Gubbeen smokehouse… obviously! I also stocked up on treats for the weekend: king oyster and shiitake mushrooms from Ballyhoura farm, Porcini dust and a delicious salad from the Rocket Man. It was such a beautiful sunny day, that I wished I could have stayed longer. Alas, next year I’ll keep a full day free to come down and enjoy the festival. It was visually stunning and the programme of events was world class. Trust Darina Allen to pull off the best food festival in Ireland, with world class chefs, speakers, demos and events while staying true to her ethos of supporting local and artisan Irish food producers!

Inside The Big Shed
Inside The Big Shed
Children's Play Area
Children’s Play Area
The Greedy Pig Stall
The Greedy Pig Stall
Rocket Man - The Best Salads in Cork
Rocket Man – The Best Salads in Cork
Gubbeen Smokehouse - My Favourite
Gubbeen Smokehouse – My Favourite
Gubbeen Smokehouse BBQ
Gubbeen Smokehouse BBQ
I Picked My Lunch Quickly When I Saw This
I Picked My Lunch Quickly When I Saw This
My Smoked Salmon Buckwheat Galette
My Smoked Salmon Buckwheat Galette
I Ended My Day With A Quick Shopping Trip
I Ended My Day With A Quick Shopping Trip

White Bean Cottage Pie

White Bean Cottage Pie
White Bean Cottage Pie
Seriously Delicious
Seriously Delicious
Garretstown Beach, Co.Cork
Garretstown Beach, Co.Cork

As part of my series of healthy recipes, I decided to make Cottage Pie (who doesn’t love Cottage Pie?), and give it a healthier twist. It’s such a comforting dish, it’s perfect on a cold evening to come home to. I added some extra veggies to mine, and I also substituted the mashed potato for mashed white beans. My dad makes a white bean mash to go with Sunday Roasts and it’s always my favourite thing on the table, so I decided to give it a lash on this Cottage Pie. Beans are so healthy and packed with protein, they’re a great food to add to your diet. Of course you can just substitute the white beans for cooked potatoes and cook the mash in the exact same way, its up to you, although the bean way is much quicker! Either way this recipe is really packed with flavour.

Chopping the vegetables really finely makes a big difference, if you have a mandolin this will be pretty quick and easy to do (watch your fingers!) Also it’s worth mentioning that the Knorr jelly stock cubes are the best. The beef ones add a really meaty, rich flavour that you don’t seem to get from the normal cubes.

This is a great comfort food and nice to come home to after a long day out. Last time I was home I went walking with my parent’s in Garretstown on the nicest grey day. A hot dish like this would be perfect to come home to after a long walk!

Nice Cloudy Day at Garretstown Beach, Cork
Nice Cloudy Day at Garretstown Beach, Cork
Garretstown Beach
Garretstown Beach
Sunday Walking at Garretstown Beach
Sunday Walking at Garretstown Beach

Ingredients:

Mash:

2 400g cans cannellini beans

1/2 cup milk- or more to reach right consistency (I used coconut milk)

1 tsp fennel seeds crushed

1/4 lemon juice (or more to taste)

Salt & pepper to season

Meat Base:

250g beef mince

2 onion very finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 sticks celery very finely chopped

1 carrot very finely chopped

1 pepper very finely chopped

350 ml beef stock

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp tomato relish (mine was homemade but Ballymaloe is the best in the shops)

salt and pepper

chilli flakes

1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan on a medium low heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and stir while they soften . Add mince meat after 5 mins.

2. When mince is browned add the rest of the vegetables and reduce heat a little and stir for 5 mins.

3. Add stock, tomato puree, tomato relish, pinch chilli flakes and stir together, let the sauce reduce for about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste.

4. Add beans (or cooked potatoes) to a pot with milk and let heat. Mash with lemon juice , fennel and salt and pepper.  Keeping adding milk until you get a nice soft consistency. Season to taste.

5. Put meat in the bottom of a casserole dish, layer the mash on top and pop into a hot oven. If you’re using bean mash, you only need to do this for a few minutes. If you’re using mashed potatoes leave in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Lightly Fry Onion and Garlic
Lightly Fry Onion and Garlic
Add Mince and Brown It
Add Mince and Brown It
Very Finely Slice Veggies
Very Finely Slice Veggies
Add Remaining Vegetables
Add Remaining Vegetables
Add Stock, Puree, Relish and Reduce
Add Stock, Puree, Relish and Reduce
Heat Beans with Milk, Fennel and Lemon
Heat Beans with Milk, Fennel and Lemon
Mash The Beans
Mash The Beans
Ready to Serve
Ready to Serve
Healthy Cottage Pie
Healthy Cottage Pie
Seriously Delicious
Seriously Delicious

Pistachio Shortbread & Hot Chocolate

O'Conaill's Chocolate Shop, Cork
O’Conaill’s Chocolate Shop, Cork
O'Conaill's Sweet Treats
O’Conaill’s Sweet Treats

Sometimes you just need a sweet treat and a couch night, and this recipe combo is just the ticket! I stumbled across this recipe in the Sunday Times as a teenager and have been making it every now and then since. My Dad is a bit of shortbread fiend. Shortbread and a cup of tea (Barry’s of course!) and he is happy, so that was why I made it originally but I have loved it ever since. This recipe is much nicer than the shop bought stuff and it lasts about 5-7 days in an airtight container.

The last time I made it, I decided to be very indulgent and make a hot chocolate from O’Conaill Chocolates in Cork to go with it. O’Conaill Chocolates is amazing, I started going there in school with a friend before our French grinds and it quickly became a weekly ritual! Not only is their handmade chocolate melted down with fresh creamy milk to make their famous hot chocolate, you can also add praline, orange oil, white chocolate… the list is endless and it really is like nothing you’ve ever tried before! You can also buy beautiful chocolate fudge, tiffin, brownies, cakes and more recently chocolate cake pops! It is soooo worth a visit if you are in Cork. My sister gifted me with a hot chocolate set from there, but if you aren’t from Cork you can do the same with any good quality chocolate.

It’s a delicious but heavy combo, so not recommended after a big meal!

Plate of Amazing Shortbread
Plate of Amazing Shortbread
O'Conaill Hot Chocolate
O’Conaill Hot Chocolate

 

Pistachio Shortbread Ingredients:

90g caster sugar

240g butter softened

360g plain flour

¼ tsp sea salt

75g pistachios chopped (you can use a hand blender for a few seconds to chop- this will make some nuts powdery but some chunky which gives a nice texture & taste throughout)

  1. Preheat oven to 165C.
  2. Cream up sugar & butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in flour and salt
  4. Add in nuts until just combined.
  5. Remove dough from from bowl and shape in to two rectangular logs.
  6. Chill for 30mins.
  7. Brush cold logs with a few drops of water, sprinkle with caster sugar and then slice the logs in to 1cm biscuits & place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  8. Leave space between biscuits to bake evenly.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (they should remain pale in colour)
  10. Let cool on wire rack.

 

Hot Chocolate Ingredients:

One glass of milk

One heaped teaspoon cocoa (I used from O’Conaill’s kit)

Two tablespoons of O’Conaill’s chocolate drops (mine were a mix of white, milk & dark chocolate- any good quality chocolate chopped up would work well though)

  1. Mix cocoa with 2 tbsp milk in a saucepan until it forms a paste. Stir in rest of milk, and turn on the hob to a medium heat. Add in chocolate until melted. Enjoy!
Cream Butter and Sugar
Cream Butter and Sugar
Add Pistachios
Add Pistachios
Start Shaping your Dough
Start Shaping your Dough
Chill the Dough
Chill the Dough
Slice up Biscuits
Slice up Biscuits
Happy with my Shortbread
Happy with my Shortbread
Add Chocolate Drops to Cocoa Milk
Add Chocolate Drops to Cocoa Milk

 

Munchie Time
Munchie Time