I am currently down in Schull, West Cork lazing around eating and drinking a few glasses of wine for the week. There is a pretty great posh fish and chip shop here on the pier called L’Escale where you get the days catch freshly served up to you. It’s yum. When we went we tried deep fried crab toes, monkfish and seafood lasagna and they were pretty tasty with a nice glass of white. Best of all you can sit out looking out over the pier as you eat.
I got into a bit of a fishy phase after this and got the notion to make moules mariniere that night. I bought my bag of mussels from town and went about making this really easy recipe. You should be able to get fresh mussels in any fish shop in any town. Mussels are actually pretty cheap and despite people having a mental block over cooking shellfish, this is quicker and easier than any piece of meat you might want to cook. I serve mine with tartar sauce to dip the chips into. The recipe was adapted from Trish Deseines book Nobody Does it Better, which I would highly recommend as a really easy guide to French cooking.
Ingredients (to serve two):
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
2 shallots (finely chopped)
1 handful of curley parsley (finely chopped)
1 ½ large glass white wine
3 rooster potatoes (other potatoes are fine if you can’t get these)
Sea Salt (I find Maldon sea salt flakes the best)
For tartar sauce:
4 tbsp mayonnaise
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp capers (chopped)
1 tsp vinegar (white wine vinegar preferable)
The chips take the longest so put them on first. Heat the oven to 200C and cut the potatoes into fingers. Pat dry with kitchen paper and then throw into a baking dish and coat with some sunflower oil and salt. These will take about 30mins in total- while these are cooking prep for the mussels.
Wash the mussels with a scrubbing brush removing all little “hairs” etc. With mussels there are only two rules. Firstly if there are any open mussels prior to cooking- throw them out. Only cook ones that are closed. Secondly, they should all open when cooked. If any remain closed after cooking- throw them out.
Once the chips are cooked through (soft) then turn up the heat to about 220C (checking and turning regularly) so they crisp up a bit as the mussels cook.
To make the tartar sauce to accompany the chips simply mix together the mayonnaise, capers, vinegar and juice of half a lemon.
In a large deep pot heat the butter and oil, add shallots and garlic and let sweat with lid on. Add parsley, wine and black pepper and bring to the boil.
Throw in the mussels and let cook for a 3-4 minutes. They are cooked when they are open. Turn mussels in pot once or twice when cooking.
Serve in bowls or deep plates and ladle over the juices. Serve with chips and tartar sauce on the side.
This recipe is taken from The Stuffed Olive cookbook and ever so slightly adapted. If you haven’t been to The Stuffed Olive in Bantry, Co.Cork, you should go. It is the most amazing deli that makes all kinds of savoury and sweet things. The best being the goats cheese tarts, the salads, and of course the cakes… and they make a lot of great cakes. We love stopping there to stock up on food when we head down to Schull!
These scones are really easy to make and take about 12 minutes to bake, but are really yum and impressive looking. You can vary the ingredients to whatever your taste substituting whatever berries you want and leaving out the cinnamon if it isn’t to your taste. They’re great at tea time, but we ate ours for breakfast!
Ingredients (to make 10-12 scones):
350g self-raising flour
75g butter (room temperature)
50g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
small pinch cinnamon
Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7
Grease baking tray with butter
Sieve flour into big bowl with salt
Add in sugar and rub the butter into the flour/sugar mix with your fingers
Whisk the egg and buttermilk together. Make a well/hole in the centre of the bowl of the flour mix and pour in the buttermilk/egg mixture.
Hold the bowl steady and mix with circular movements from the centre to outside of bowl- this should only take a minute.
Add in blueberries, orange zest and small pinch of cinnamon. Don’t go overboard on the cinnamon as this is only to enhance the taste- not overpower it. Mix together and don’t worry if some of the blueberries get squished- they burst as they cook anyway.
Put the dough out onto a floured surface and pat it into a slab about 2.5cm thick.
Stamp out scone shapes with an upside-down glass (or scone cutter if you have one)
Gather trimmings and repeat until you have used it all.
Brush the top of these scones with some beaten egg and sprinkle with some caster sugar and the flaked almonds.
Bake for around 12- 15 minute or until golden brown on top.
These are great straight from the oven with some butter, jam and whipped cream if you have it!
This is my very first blog post! I plan on uploading easy recipes in each post, usually influenced from great places I’ve eaten in Ireland and abroad, in homes and in restaurants. I will take these dishes I have tasted and try to recreate them in an easier way!I have decided to start off this blog with unapologetic photos of food porn from the English Market in Cork, one of my favourite places where I have enjoyed going almost every week since I was small! I find that whether you are passionate about food or not, you can’t help but wander around here for an hour buying things you didn’t plan to and end up at home happily tucking in to your purchases!My favourite stalls for indulgences are The Real Olive company, The Sandwich Stall, The Chocolate Shop (obviously) and O’Flynn Sausages. But you can get great ingredients for any recipes at SuperFruits, Kay O’Connells Fish Shop, Tom Durcan Meats and many more! This place is a must visit for anyone interested in food!