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Local Heroes – Ireland

How to cook with lamb

This is a sponsored post to help promote the European #LambTryItLoveIt campaign to highlight the benefits of cooking with European lamb. For more recipe inspiration, follow @TryLamb on Facebook and Instagram

Although I’ve been cooking with lamb for a number of years, there’s still a lot I don’t know. For example, when it comes to the variety of cuts available, I usually have to give them a quick search on the internet to see what is best to use. The most well-known and frequently purchased cuts for local consumers at the moment are chops and racks, but there are so many other cuts that you can use for different types of cooking.

It can be intimidating to cook with a new cut of meat for the first time, so I went to meet with Garrett Lander, the World Champion butcher from Garrett’s Butchers in Limerick. He gave me a master class in the different cuts of lamb, how to cook them, and what flavours you can combine them with.

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Local Heroes: Blanco Niño Authentic Tortilleria

Blanco Nino

“Authentic Tortillas from Tipperary? Nah, that has to be a mistake!” Nope, rest assured, my local food hero of today, ‘Blanco Niño‘, is nothing short of sheer brilliance. The founder of the company, Phil,  had a very simple idea: open up Dublin’s first Taqueria. Unfortunately he was struggling to find real authentic corn tortillas in Europe, which is of course essential for making real good tacos.

Luckily for us here in Ireland though, Phil didn’t give up that easily and decided that he would just have to open a Tortilleria first. So off he went to Mexico to learn all about the history and process of making corn tortillas. Continue Reading…

The Old Convent – Clogheen

The Old Convent

Photo by Joleen Cronin

I rarely write about restaurants, as I’m more focused on making my own recipes of course, but for our birthday dinner me and my partner went up to The Old Convent in Clogheen, Tipperary, and it was just so fabulous that I simply had to share it with you all.

We had heard some really good things about the restaurant and had driven past it a few times already but hadn’t gotten a chance to go try it out yet, until now. What surprised me the most was that I read on their website that their menu changes daily, so you won’t actually know what you’ll be eating until the moment you arrive. We arrived very eager to find out what our menu would be and were absolutely delighted with the place right off the bat. The location is absolutely stunning, it’s set in a very small town near The Vee, a place we both love quite a lot and where we once nearly bought a house too. The building dates back to 1885, when it was constructed for the Sisters of Mercy, they subsequently sold the building in 1991. In 2005 then it was bought by the current owners, who had “a vision to create a space where guests could relax and rejuvenate, while enjoying great food and the beautiful Tipperary countryside.

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Local Heroes: Brady Family Ham

Brady Family

As you know, I’m passionate about Irish food, local producers and seasonal produce. So I was only delighted to be invited to Brady Family’s launch of their three new flavours of packaged ham: twice turf smoked, whiskey marmalade glazed and black pudding spiced. I was really impressed with everything I learned that day, from how it’s always been a family business to how they are still using the traditional ways of making their hams. They also naturally smoke their ham, rather than infusing it, they don’t add water to the product and they only source pork from Bord Bia approved farms. It’s a 100% Irish pork which means the product has to travel less far and their food miles are kept really low, which is only one of the benefits of choosing Irish products over imported versions.

For their new range Brady Family has teamed up with some other local producers, like New Ross-based Wexford Preserves and West Cork’s Spice O’Life. I love myself some good ham and use it in quite a few recipes, like of course ham and toast sandwiches, but also for some Belgian endive wrapped in ham and in some of my savoury pies. On the launch of the new hams I discovered a few other interesting ways of using ham in lunch meals so I’ll be writing up some new recipes with ham very soon for sure! Continue Reading…

Cork’s first Dessert Festival: June 26th – July 2nd

Cork Dessert Festival
Week of events planned across Cork for Festival Cork’s inaugural Dessert Festival!

Festival Cork are people after my own heart. First they organised the hugely popular Burger Festival, then the Whiskey Festival and now 2017 is set to get another smashing festival: Cork’s Dessert Festival! I was lucky enough to get to try out two venues during the Burger Festival: Electric and Yellow Sub and had a fantastic and delicious time! I missed out on the Whiskey festival unfortunately but there’s no way I’ll be missing the dessert festival and I’m already looking forward to finding out which venues will participate and what they’ll have to offer to all the sweet toothed people in Ireland. Continue Reading…

Cork’s Whiskey Festival 2017

Cork's Whiskey Festival 2017

Never a dull moment in Cork (or in Ireland in general). I’ve only just recovered from the Cork Burger Festival: January 30th – February 5th 2017 we had back at the end of January – beginning of February and where I enjoyed not one but two fantastic nights filled with mouthwatering burgers in Yellow Sub and Electric but now it’s time for the next festival: Cork’s Whiskey Festival 2017!

Celebrating Irish Whiskeys

As home of the best selling Irish whiskey in the world, it only seemed right that Cork had it’s very own Whiskey Festival.

To celebrate whiskeys from Ireland and across the world, the festival is working with some top producers such as Hyde, West Cork Distillers, St Patricks Distillery, Teelings Whiskey, Dingle Whiskey, Jack Ryan Whiskey, Knappogue Castle, Jameson, Single Pot Still, Bulleit Bourbon, Nikka and The Irishman Whiskey to ensure you get to experience the best whiskeys available in Cork. Continue Reading…

Electric Cork – Fishbar

Electric Cork - Fishbar

After the fantastic dinner I had at Electric’s Restaurant during Cork’s Burger Festival, I just had to go back to try their Fish Bar as well, after seeing a sneak peek of it already during my last visit. I had already seen the gorgeous views before, but I had no idea what to expect when it came down to the food, and I must say my partner and I were absolutely over the moon with what we ate that night!

But let’s start with the beginning: what and where can you find Electric’s Fish Bar? “This riverside bar, situated on the first floor of Electric has panoramic views of the Trinty Church and St Finbarr’s Cathedral, as well the River Lee which cascades on the weir below. Drop anchor & order the freshest fish, simply cooked, unadorned, letting the fish talk for itself, 1/2 dozen oysters, crab claws, fish stew, .. The FishBar at Electric brings a taste of the sea to the City. No reservation required, so drop by today. Continue Reading…