Mexican food has come a long way in Ireland in recent years and Irish foodies have finally come to realise that it does not include Tex-Mex dishes such as Burritos, Chille Con Carne and Fajitas.
Sourcing ingredients for cooking authentic Mexican food here has always been difficult which led to the setting up of MyMexicanShop.ie by blogger Lily Ramirez-Foran a few years ago, partly in response to readers of Lily's blog on Mexican cooking (amexicancook.ie).
Portia Preston finally gets a table at Belfast's hottest hot spot, Howard Street. It was worth the wait.
Here's the thing about Howard St: you can hardly get a table in this restaurant. When we finally did manage to get a reservation for four people, after weeks of trying, for 5pm on a freezing January Friday, the restaurant is already buzzing with cool people looking forward to great food.
Pigs make you do strange things.
It's a cold, cold January morning, and fifteen people are standing on a freezing cold concrete floor in a cold abattoir a few miles outside of Kanturk, in north County Cork.
The art (or craft) of being a successful publican is hard won, very few can actually take a space and fill it with the people, staff and atmosphere to make that space worthy of being described as a “great pub’. 20% of pubs in Ireland today are leased for less than three years, the pub trade is a constantly revolving door through which newcomers frequently enter and exit.
For our marmalade here in Gregans we-
- use navel oranges instead of the traditional seville, they give a less bitter flavour
- wash the oranges very well if not using organic
- finely grate the zest of the oranges with a microplane and boil it 3 times in water
- for every 10 oranges being used, peel 9, thinly slice all and remove pips
- add same weight in jam sugar and a muslin spicebag with crushed cardamom, cinnamon, clove & used vanilla pod
- cook on low heat stirring until sugar is fully dissolved, then medium heat until ready
Mark the date in your diary, food lovers: on January 24, Real Bread Ireland, a new network of artisan bakers will come together with aim of helping consumers "to identify real bread, to educate, inform and promote real bread and encourage more people to get back into baking."
The bakers behind the initiative are nothing less than Ireland's baking aristocracy – Patrick Ryan from Firehouse Bakery; Joe Fitzmaurice from Riot Rye; Declan Ryan from Arbutus Bakery; Josephine Plettenburg from Spelt Bakers; Kemal Scarpello from Slow Food Co; and Thibault Peigne from Tartine Bakery.
The writer Bethany Econopouly hit the loaf on the head when she wrote recently that, “It's time we seriously reconsider bread and what we allow to be called by that name.”
Go girl! So, what is bread, real bread?
It is flour, water, yeast, salt, and time. Five ingredients, and the fifth is as important as the first four.