Winning Recipes of the Irish Food Writers' Guild Food Awards 2009


Recipe created by Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain for the Irish Food Writers Guild Food Awards 2009.



For the base

200g Digestive biscuits

10g butter, melted

10g white chocolate, melted


For the topping

1 punnet fresh Derryvilla Farm blueberries

400g cream cheese

150g crème fraiche

2 eggs

300g melted white chocolate

1 springform 8” round cake tin



For the base

Preheat oven to 170°C/320°F/gas mark 4. Grease cake tin.

Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they form a fine crumb. Add melted butter and melted chocolate. Push mix down into cake tin.

Bake base for 1-2 minutes just to set. Remove from oven and leave to cool.


For the topping

Blend all ingredients, except chocolate, in food processor until smooth. Slowly pour in melted white chocolate. Spread topping over the base and return cheesecake to oven to bake for 15-20 mins until sides are set but middle still has a smooth wobble.

To serve

Plate a slice of cheesecake on a plate and serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of blueberry coulis and a sprinkle of fresh blueberries.




For the Derryvilla Farm Blueberry Tonic Granita

500ml Derryvilla Blueberry Tonic

50ml stock syrup

The juice of 1 lemon

For the Derryvilla Blueberry Jelly

1 gelatine leaf

2 punnets fresh blueberries

Stock syrup to taste

For the Stock Syrup

500ml water

200g sugar



For the Stock Syrup

Place the sugar and water in a pan. Stir without heating until the sugar has dissolved, then bring the mixture to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

For the Derryvilla Farm Blueberry Tonic Granita

Place the tonic in a container. Add the lemon juice and stock syrup to sweeten. Pour into containers and freeze overnight. Leave out at room temperature for a few minutes and then blitz into a chucky granita mixture.

For the Derryvilla Blueberry Jelly

Place the blueberries in a pot with some sugar to coat and a little water. Bring to the boil and then remove from heat. Blend and pass through a chinois.

When cool, add the stock syrup to taste.

Soak the gelatine in cold water while bringing some of the blueberry purée to the boil.

Whisk the dissolved gelatine into the hot mix and then add it back to the rest of the purée. Half fill shot glasses with blueberry jelly and chill to set.


To serve

Top the blueberry jelly shots with frozen granita and serve chilled.



Wholegrain Mustard and Whiskey cured Clare Island Organic Salmon with Dill

Clare Island Organic Salmon Fish Cake

Ballotine of Clare Island Organic Salmon


Recipe created by Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain for the Irish Food Writers Guild Food Awards 2009.


Serves 4-6



For the Wholegrain Mustard and Whiskey cured Clare Island Organic Salmon with Dill

2 x 150g fillets of Clare Island Organic Salmon (trimmed & pin bones removed)

15g sea salt

15g caster sugar

5 white peppercorns (finely crushed)

15g dill (coarsely chopped)

2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

1 teaspoon Irish whiskey

For the Clare Island Organic Salmon Fish Cake

100 g raw Clare Island Organic Salmon, deboned, skinned & sliced into small strips

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

1 tablespoon dill, chopped

1 tablespoon coriander, chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

200g mashed potato

½ red chilli, deseeded and finely diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

For the breadcrumb coating

1 egg, beaten

50 ml milk

120g seasoned plain flour

100g fresh white breadcrumbs

For the Ballotine of Clare Island Organic Salmon

1 large side of Clare Island Salmon, trimmed

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

½ bunch mint

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1 teaspoon lemon oil (available from good delis)

For the Avocado Cream

1 ripe Hass avocado (skinned, halved & stone retained)

2 tablespoons crème fraiche

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt & freshly ground white pepper



For the Wholegrain Mustard and Whiskey cured Clare Island Organic Salmon with Dill

Mix the sugar, salt, peppercorns and dill together. In a separate bowl mix the whiskey and mustard together. Smear the two salmon fillets with the mustard mixture. Spoon the salt, sugar, peppercorns and dill over it using the mustard mix to help it stick. Lay one salmon fillet on top of the other, to form a sandwich. Wrap cling film around them and secure, place a weight on top and refrigerate for 2-3 days.

It will exude a salty, sugary syrup. Before serving unwrap the salmon and rinse under cold water.

Using a long, straight edged knife slice off horizontal slices from the salmon.

For the Clare Island Organic Salmon Fish Cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Mix all the fish cake ingredients except the sunflower oil in a bowl, binding well and seasoning. Shape into six round cakes about 5 cm in diameter.

Beat the egg and milk together. Arrange three shallow dishes: the first with the seasoned flour, the second with the egg wash, the third with the breadcrumbs. Use one hand to dip each fish cake in flour before using the other to immerse the fish cake in the egg wash. Shake off the excess.

Finally, with the dry hand, dip the fish cake into the breadcrumbs and cover well.

Repeat the process.

Heat the sunflower oil in an ovenproof frying pan and cook the fish cakes for 1 minute each side, carefully turning with a fish slice.

Transfer to the oven and continue cooking for a further 10–12 minutes.

For the Ballotine of Clare Island Organic Salmon

Skin and trim the salmon to approx 4cm wide. Chop the herbs and sprinkle over both sides of salmon and season. Wrap the salmon in cling film and roll into a tight cylinder shape. Tie at both ends with string.

Poach in simmering water for 7 mins. If you have a temperature probe, bring the salmon to 35°C. Once cooked, remove and place in iced water, then hang in the fridge for 8 hours, having pierced the end of the cling wrap, allowing the excess water to run from the salmon while it hangs in the fridge.

For the avocado cream

Blend the crème fraiche, avocado and lemon juice together in a food processor. Season to taste, then transfer to a bowl and pop the avocado stone into the middle of the mixture (this prevents the avocado from going brown). Seal with cling film and refrigerate until needed.


To serve

Arrange one portion of wholegrain mustard & whiskey cured Clare Island Organic Salmon, fishcake and ballotine together on a plate. Finish with a spoon of caviar on the ballotine and a generous dollop of avocado cream on the plate.


Recipe created by Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain for the Irish Food Writers Guild Food Awards 2009.


Serves 6-8



280g Carrigbyrne St. Killian farmhouse cheese

50g celery, diced

50g apple, diced

200g spinach leaves, blanched

1 tablespoon fresh chive, chopped

200g puff pastry, cut into 10cm rounds

1 egg, beaten



Blanch the diced celery until tender and place in a bowl with the diced apple. Finely chop the chives and add to celery and apple mixture. Add the Carrigbyrne St Killian cheese and mix until soft. Place in the fridge to rest.

Lay out the spinach leaves and place one tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the centre of  the spinach leaves and wrap carefully. (The spinach keeps moisture from soaking into the pastry). Repeat the process with remaining spinach leaves and cheese mixture.

To assemble the Pithiviers

Roll out the pastry to ½ cm thickness and cut it into 10 cm circles, allowing one round per portion.  Place a spinach wrapped cheese bundle in the middle of each pastry round.

Brush the edges of each round with beaten egg. Place another round of pastry on top to form a lid and seal the edges by pinching the pastry together. Brush the top with the remaining egg.

Bake at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve the Pithiviers warm.


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Not the full Irish - Katy McGuinness explores the true origins of 'Irish' foods.

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