Recipes created for the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards 2022, showcasing the 2022 award winners.
Buttermilk Batch Bread
Sometimes the simple things are the best. This is a really easy, really good bread that doesn’t take too long to make. It’s great eaten fresh and also makes delicious toast.
MAKES 1 LOAF
- 575g strong white flour
- 12g salt
- 12g fresh yeast
- 202g water
- 202g buttermilk
Mix the flour and salt in a clean bowl.
Crumble the yeast into the flour, then add the water and buttermilk.
Bring the dough together with your hands or with a spatula. Turn the dough out on a clean surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel leave to prove for 90 minutes.
Turn the proved dough out and knock it back. Divide the dough into four equal portions, approximately 450g each. Shape each portion of dough into a rough round and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes. Once the dough has rested, roll each portion of dough into a tight round and place onto your baking tray in a 2×2 pattern, allowing each portion of dough to just touch each other.
Cover and allow to prove again for 60-90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 ̊C. Place a roasting tray into the base of the oven.
When ready to bake, place the loaves into the oven and pour water from a boiling kettle into the hot roasting tray; this should release a blast of steam. Bake the loaves for about 35-40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from baking tray and cool on a wire rack.
Recipe by Bread 41.
Barbecued Achill Mountain mutton chops
In Helen Calvey’s words: This recipe was given to us by a dear friend and customer Usha Faulkner. A lover of genuine food she appreciates the dedication and work that goes into producing our wonderful product. Usha has been a customer of ours for over ten years and regularly travels over from Great Britain to bring our mutton back home, where she only shares it with the very best of friends. Reared in India, she put herself through college in England to become a consultant with the NHS. She is an excellent cook, very passionate about her spices and this recipe is one of her favourites, having learned it from her mother.
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1½ tbsp tandoori masala
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 1 heaped tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp lemon juice, or vinegar
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 Achill Mountain mutton chops
- Butter, for brushing
- Thinly sliced red onions and lemon wedges, to serve
Combine the chilli powder, tandoori masala, yoghurt, garlic paste, lemon juice, garam masala and salt in a large bowl.
Mix well and tip in the lamb chops. Use your hands to coat the chops evenly in the mixture.
Let the meat marinade for a minimum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Cook on a charcoal barbecue, starting the chops on a hot area to sear the meat, then moving them to a cooler part of the barbecue to cook through. It will take 10-15 minutes on both sides for well cooked meat. Brush with a little butter to avoid the meat drying out.
Serve two chops per person with thinly sliced red onions and a wedge of lemon.
Recipe by Usha Faulkner via Helen Calvey of Calvey’s Achill Mountain Lamb.
Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese scones with Coolfin
Gráinne Mullins is a chef and the founder of Grá Chocolates; she knows a good product when she finds it, and she’s a fan of using Coolfin in her delicious cheese scones. The flavour and texture of Coolfin make it a wonderful cheese to cook with and these scones have been a big hit in the Kylemore farm shop, where Teresa Roche says that there’s much more demand for the cheese version than plain scones. And rightly so too –it’s not so easy to find a scone that uses cheese of this quality
- 360g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 80g salted butter, plus a little extra for the muffin tin
- 200g Coolfin from Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 230g buttermilk
- Abernethy butter and GranGrans Foods’ red onion marmalade, to serve
Heat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan). Butter a muffin tin, or line a baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment.
Sift the flour, baking powder and black pepper into a bowl, then sift again to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Add the butter to the bowl and combine with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the grated cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and rub together until evenly distributed. Try not to mix too much as the heat from your hands may start to melt the butter.
Mix together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in enough of the buttermilk mixture to give a fairly soft but firm dough. Do not pour in all the liquid at once; you may not need it all to get the right consistency.
Weigh the mixture into 120g pieces and roll into balls. Place them into the muffin tin. Alternatively, lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to approximately 2cm thick. Cut out the scones with a medium cutter (about 8cm) then place on the lined baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with a knob of butter and a spoon of delicious red onion marmalade.
Recipe by Gráinne Mullins of Grá Chocolates.
Raspberry kombucha granita with live yoghurt and raspberries
This is the simplest of recipes for a light, gut boosting dessert. Any of the All About Kombucha flavours would be perfect for granita. I paired the delicate raspberry flavour with a live yoghurt and fresh raspberries which makes a delicious, digestion-friendly dessert. The All About Kombucha is very low in sugar so I sweetened the yoghurt a little but this can be done entirely to taste. A rather lively dessert.
- 1 x 330ml bottle of All About Kombucha raspberry kombucha
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 4 tbsp thick live natural yoghurt, chilled
- 2 tbsp. fresh raspberries
Pour the kombucha into a shallow freezer proof dish, roughly 15x20x4cm. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour or longer until frozen.
Add the sugar to the yoghurt and mix through, then divide between two ramekins, or small glasses, suitable for serving. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Just before serving, remove the kombucha from the freezer and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes at room temperature.
Place the raspberries on top of the chilled yoghurt in each glass. Scrape the kombucha with a fork to make granita and share, fluffed up, between the two glasses, piling it gently on top of the raspberries.
Recipe by Cliodhna Prendergast.
Megrim on the bone with Aran seaweed butter
Not widely known in Ireland, megrim is a flatfish that has had many names: in Latin it is Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis; historically it’s been called fluke, sail fluke, whiff; the Irish name is scoilteán; a recent rebranding in the UK has seen it called Cornish sole. Most importantly, it is plentiful, sustainable – and can be delicious. Stefan cooks it simply, enhancing the flavour with good butter and a seaweed blend from Aran Island Seaweeds.
- 1 large megrim per serving, approximately 500-800g, or any other flat fish
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Aran Island Seaweeds seamix flakes
Chop off the fish head and trim the fins -or ask your fishmonger to do it for you.
Spread the flour on a large plate and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Dip the fish in the flour and coat on both sides.
Add the rapeseed oil and 1 tbsp of butter to a nonstick pan and heat on medium high until bubbling. Carefully place the fish in the pan, remembering to always start cooking a flat fish on the thicker, darker coloured side.
Cook for 4 minutes on medium high, then delicately flip the fish over and finish cooking for another 2-3 minutes, while regularly basting the top with the cooking juices.
Insert a knife in the thickest part of the fish to make sure it is cooked through, then remove from the pan.
Reduce the heat, add the rest of the butter and the seamix flakes. Allow mixture to bubble and then pour on top of the fish. Serve with steamed baby potatoes or rice.
Recipe by Stefan Griesbach.
Pork chops with cannellini beans
Carina likes to use Rock Farm Slane organic pork, apples, rosemary, sage and garlic cloves to make this simple dish and she credits chef and cookery teacher Tara Walker from the East Coast Cookery School “for showing me how to cook pork chops.” Tara says that “good quality pork will render a fair amount of fat when seared and this will mix with the deglazed wine to create an emulsion, which then will be flavoured with the herbs and mashed garlic.”
- 2 organic Rock Farm Slane pork chops, on the bone if possible
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Newgrange rapeseed oil
- 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans or butter beans
- 100ml white wine
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
- A bunch of fresh sage, chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 apples, preferably Bramley or cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- A sprinkling of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C.
Season meat on both sides and brush with oil. Rinse beans in a sieve or colander.
Heat a heavy bottomed, ovenproof frying pan until very hot. Brown eat on all sides and remove to a warmed plate. Add wine to deglaze the pan, then add the rosemary, sage and garlic. Tip beans into the pan and return the pork with any juices.
Squeeze lemon juice over the meat and leave the halves in the pan.
Place pan in the oven and cook for 3 minutes, then turn over, spoon the juices over the other side of the meat and return to the oven for a further 2 minutes.
Remove from oven and let meat rest for at least 10 minutes. Before serving, mash the garlic with a fork in the pan to help it mix through the remaining juices.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add apple slices, sprinkle with a little brown sugar, and fry until beginning to brown.
Plate the beans with pork chops on top, cooked sliced apples on the side and the juices spooned over the meat. Serve with a locally sourced mixed salad or mixed orientals, all available at the Rock Farm Slane weekly farmer’s market.
Recipe by Tara Walker, with additions from Carina Conyngham of Rock Farm Slane.
Auntie Monica’s Crowd Charming Fried Rice
In Ellie Kisyombe’s words: Please allow me to introduce you to my Auntie Monica, Mrs Chitawo, who took care of me after I lost both my parents. I like to say that she had magic in her hands. She had many rice recipes for breakfast, savoury and dessert. She charmed the crowds by cooking up a storm at weddings, funerals, birthdays, Christmases and even presidential dinners. I believe that at least half of the citizens of Malawi’s capital city have been served one of her dishes. I hope you enjoy this recipe that Auntie Monica would make from time to time, and always with love. It is one of her best!
MAKES 2½ CUPS
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1½ cups water
- ½ cinnamon stick or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup caramelised onions
- A pinch of salt
Get a nice clean round pan, place it on the fire (medium heat for cookers) and add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add garlic and turn it for a few minutes until golden brown.
Toss the jasmine rice in the garlic oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Once the rice is fully incorporated into the fried garlic and olive oil, add the water and cinnamon stick. Place a lid on the pan.
Once the water starts boiling the rice tends to get sticky so remember to gently stir -but make sure you don’t overdo it to avoid creating a risotto. After three to five minutes of stirring let it cook for at least ten more minutes, or until the water dries out.
Add the caramelised onion and use a fork or a wooden spoon to toss it around, so the onions settle well into the rice. Let it simmer for two to three minutes. By that time the rice will be ready to serve.
Now you can eat! You can enjoy this rice with anything: meat, fish, beans and any vegetables. The rice itself is vegan and can be eaten on its own.
Recipe by Ellie Kisyombe of Our Table.
Sally’s smoked pollock with beet tartare
West Cork-based chef Caitlin Ruth likes to use nice, fresh raw beets for this recipe, and not to use the vac-packed, pre-cooked kind. There are two ways to cook them: baking whole or simmering whole, with the former being preferable. To bake the beets, scrub them, sprinkle with sea salt, wrap in tin foil and bake at 180 ̊C until very soft when pierced with a knife. To boil, cover with salted water and simmer until soft when pierced. If Sally’s smoked pollock is not available, her smoked haddock makes an admirable substitute.
SERVES 6 AS A STARTER
- 600g roasted or boiled beetroot
- 3 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 gherkins, very finely chopped
- Big handful of fresh dill and/or chives, finely chopped, a few reserved for garnish
- 40g small capers, rinsed and roughly chopped, a few reserved whole for garnish
- Juice of 1½ medium lemons
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 180ml best quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard or prepared horseradish
- 3 tbsp warm water
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 150g Sally Barnes’ smoked pollock
Begin by slipping the skins off of the beetroot, and use a sharp knife to chop the beetroot finely into equal, beautiful little cubes. This is the most time consuming part, so it’s worth spending some time getting the cubes as small as you can.
Put the chopped beets into a small bowl, stir in the shallots, gherkins, herbs and most of the capers, and set aside.
Make the dressing: put the lemon juice and zest, the olive oil, Dijon mustard and warm water into a jar and shake well. Season to taste. Pour three-quarters of the dressing over the beetroot mix, stir well and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
To serve: Slice the smoked pollock as thinly as you possible can. Divide the dressed beetroot mixture between six big starter plates and drape the smoked fish over the little piles of beetroot. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the pollock, sprinkle with reserved capers and chopped herbs.Serve with buttered sourdough.
Note: to serve as a lunch, put a soft boiled, halved egg on each plate.
Recipe by Caitlin Ruth.