Pissaladière is hands down a summer favourite of mine! It shows off ingredients that are abundantly available, it’s so full of flavour, can be enjoyed warm or cold, travels easily & can be easily adapted to suit many palates. Originating from the Niçoise area of the south of France, today here in Ireland, its a delicious way of using up gluts of onions from the garden & makes a nice alternative to pizzas, quiche & (more…)

Rose Cottage Fruit Farm, Co. Laois

Strawberries, Blueberries & Raspberries ready to go! It seems to me that the majority of soft fruit sold in large supermarkets is grown & imported from Europe & often times, further afield. Luckily here in Laois between Abbeyleix & Mountrath, there is a family fruit farm growing the most delicious soft fruit, giving us customers the choice of choosing locally grown seasonal produce, which is why to me, the Phelan family are very definitely Food (more…)

Savour Kilkenny 2017

Kilkenny Castle in autumn I’ve begun to wonder if the organisers of Savour Kilkenny have a direct line to whoever is in charge of our weather, as I have come to associate perfectly crisp cool days & blue skies with this autumnal foodie feast! Though food may be the star of the show here, the location right in the the heart of Kilkenny city, with the castle and it’s park & gardens as the back (more…)

Granstown Free-Range Eggs, Co. Laois

Every summer on the way to our local agricultural show we pass a field dotted with red hens. These have not just escaped their garden run but are the providers for Matt & Avril Bergin’s Granstown Free-Range Eggs, just outside Ballacolla in Co. Laois. Matt & Avril supply a great quality & healthy product to the shops, cafés, restaurants & hotels around Laois, Kilkenny Tipperary & Offaly. So how does a free-range egg make it’s (more…)

Chocolate Polo Biscuits

My problem with chocolate polo biscuits is that I could eat the whole packet if it is left near enough to me.  Which is how my mother banned Chocolate Polo’s from her shopping list years ago and so it was up to me to come up with an alternative. This is what I came up with… What you will need Butter, 125g softened to room temperature Caster sugar, 125g Plain flour,125g Desiccated coconut, 75g Chocolate, (more…)

Cinnamon & Orange Custard Tart

With lots of vibrant oranges coming in from Spain & southern Europe at the moment I thought I would share this custard tart – my nod to winter in Portugal and the traditional pastel de nata! Though different from the individual custard tarts, my favourite way to enjoy this is while it is still slightly warm to enjoy the full aroma of the orange and cinnamon. This will serve 12 guests. What you need Pastry (more…)

Free-Range Pork Collar with Sherry & Bay

Having spent a morning with Trish Butler and her happy little piggies in Kilkenny, I was eager to taste the result of their free-range upbringing. This cut is from the neck of the pig and as you can see it is quite darker in colour than the conventionally produced pork you see on butchers counters and supermarket shelves. This is because the animals have been reared with the freedom to roam outdoors in fields, their natural (more…)

Abbeyleix Saturday Market, Co. Laois

L-R; Tony (Hartley’s seafood), Paddy Lalor (Eggs), Billy Gorman (Plants), John Malone (Firewood/Timber). The past two Saturday’s have been great days for ducks. Grey, overcast skies have been sprinkling intermittently gentle mists and heavier showers of rain which kept people hibernating indoors, or if pushed, running from one shop to another as quick as they could.The ground stayed wet all day with plenty of puddles forming and while I wouldn’t classify the temperature as being (more…)

Butler’s Family Farm, Co. Kilkenny

At the West Waterford Festival of Food last year, I met a lady selling free-range pork and chicken from Kilkenny. She left an impression on me to learn more about our local “food heroes” and to create this series. It must have been a combination of her willingness to explain the story of her product, her gentle nature, and knowing the hard work and obstacles she faces as a small producer that intrigued me and (more…)

Moscatel, Pear & Almond Roulade

Coming home from Portugal with a bottle of Moscatel from Setúbal, I wanted to make some dishes that reminded me of the pastelerias of the villages and towns I had just visited. This is my Irish hybrid version of the Azeitão rolls that caught my eye one evening. I actually prefer the cake just plain without the cream & fruit along with an espresso – and no butter means it is light in texture and (more…)