2015 Recipes

Recipes created for the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards 2015 by chef Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain Restaurant, Baggot Street, Dublin 2, showcasing the 2015 award winners.


Serves 4

for the sage gnocchi

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g parmesan
  • 50g olive oil
  • ½ bunch fresh sage
  • 250g mashed potato
  • 75g pasta flour
  • oil, for frying
  • for the garlic purée
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 500ml milk

for the nettle pesto cream

  • 500ml cream
  • 3 tbsp of Wild About Nettle Pesto

To make the gnocchi, blend the egg yolk, parmesan cheese, olive oil and sage in a food processor. Mix the potato mash and pasta flour together. Bring together the egg mix and potato mix and knead to form a smooth dough. Divide the dough into three and roll each piece into a long cylinder, roughly 2cm in diameter, cover and leave in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Cut into thick slices and poach in simmering water until the gnocchi float to the top of the water. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into iced water, then pat dry.

To make the garlic purée, peel the garlic cloves and place in cold water, bring to boil and strain. Repeat this process two more times, then place the garlic in the milk, simmer until the garlic is tender. Strain and blend in a food processor. Add a little more of the milk if the purée is too thick.

To make the nettle pesto cream, pour the cream into a small pan and reduce cream by half over a medium heat, remove and add Wild About Nettle Pesto and season.

To serve, heat a small frying pan, add a little oil and brown the gnocchi on both sides. Serve the gnocchi in a pool of nettle pesto cream and dot some garlic purée to the side.


Serves 4

  • Burren Smokehouse Salmon, Wild About Ginger Beets, Pickled Cucumber, Beetroot Purée
  • 400g Burren Smokehouse hot smoked salmon
  • 400g Burren Smokehouse seaweed-marinated smoked salmon

for the pickled cucumber

  • 500ml tarragon vinegar
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1kg cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 10g salt

for the beetroot purée

  • 4 large beetroots
  • 1 tsp grated fresh horseradish
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

To make the pickled cucumber, put the vinegar, sugar, star anise, turmeric, coriander, fennel and shallot in a heavy-based saucepan and simmer for about 45 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve.

Put the cucumber, red pepper and chilli into a bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. Rinse the cucumber in water and pat dry.

Add the cucumber to the pickle and cook for 30-40 minutes until it’s almost dry and has the consistency of jam (it should run off a spoon in a syrupy stream). Be careful, as, once the liquid starts to reach a syrupy consistency it will turn into hard caramel very quickly.

To make the beetroot purée, preheat the oven to 160°C. Wrap beets in tin foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until tender. Leave to cool and peel. Chop the beetroots and place in a saucepan, add vinegar, sugar and horseradish and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season, strain and blend in food processor until smooth, add some of the liquid back in if the purée is too thick.

To serve, thinly slice the marinated smoked salmon and hot smoked salmon. Place on a cold plate. Serve with Wild About Ginger Beets and pickled cucumber and beetroot purée.


Serves 4

for the terrine

  • 400g On The Pig’s Back duck terrine

for the candied walnuts

  • 12 whole walnuts
  • 200g sugar
  • sprinkle of sea salt

for the poached rhubarb

  • 500g sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3 sticks of rhubarb, cut into 5 pieces each

for the paté

  • 60cm sausage casing, from your local butcher
  • 1 tub On The Pig’s Back duck liver paté
  • 300g rhubarb liquor, from above
  • 10g balsamic vinegar
  • 3g agar agar

To make the candied walnuts, place walnuts and sugar in a pot and bring up to 108°C (using a thermometer). Strain on to a rubber mat or baking paper and allow to cool slightly. Deep fry the nuts at 180°C until shiny and caramel coloured. Place on a tray and sprinkle with salt.

To make the poached rhubarb, combine everything, except the rhubarb, in a pot and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes and add in the rhubarb. Simmer until tender. Remove rhubarb and keep the liquor. Choose eight of the nicest looking pieces of rhubarb for presentation on the plate.

To prepare the paté, allow it to come up to room temperature. Combine the rhubarb liquor, vinegar and agar agar in a pot and bring to boil. Pour onto a small flat tray, moving the tray to make a sheet of gel. While this cools, use a rubber spatula to put the paté in a piping bag. Tie the sausage casing at one end and pipe pate in the open end. Hang it in the fridge to set. Remove casing from the paté and place on the gel, cutting to fit if necessary. Roll it tightly and carefully using a knife to cut it, leaving as little overlap as possible.

Slice the terrine into desired portion sizes about 30 minutes before use to allow it to come to room temperature. Serve a portion of the terrine alongside a slice of the rhubarb-coated paté and garnish with candied walnuts and poached rhubarb.


Serves 4

for the pickled apple

  • 50ml apple schnapps
  • 25ml water
  • 75g sugar
  • 75g white wine vinegar
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled

for the carrot purée

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 large carrots, 5 juiced and 5 finely sliced
  • 25g salted butter
  • salt and pepper

for the duck

  • 2 Skeaghanore duck breasts
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp star anise
  • 50g butter
  • 2 Skeaghanore confit duck legs

To make the pickled apple, combine all the ingredients, except the apple, in a pot and bring to the boil, then allow to cool. Using a melon baller, scoop out the apple flesh and pour pickle on top. Set aside for service.

To make the carrot purée, heat a saucepan, add the oil and sliced carrots and fry for two minutes, making sure not to burn. Add the carrot juice, reduce the heat and cover. Cook until carrots become almost mushy, then blend in a food processor with the butter for 3 minutes. pass through a fine sieve and season with salt and pepper.

To prepare the duck breasts, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (fan). Score the skin of the duck breasts with a sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan and place the duck breasts in, skin-side down. Fry for 6-7 minutes, then turn and add the thyme, star anise and butter. Allow this to melt, basting the duck with the juices. In a separate pan, sear the duck legs briefly on all sides, then transfer the duck legs and breasts to a roasting tin and finish in the oven for 5-6 minutes (for pink meat) or 10-12 minutes for well done meat.

To serve, slice the duck breast and divide the duck legs in two at the knuckle (to serve a half leg per person). Make a bed of carrot purée and place the duck leg on top. Drape the sliced breast over the leg and garnish with pickled apple.


Serves 4

  • 300ml Richmount Elderflower Cordial
  • 300ml water

Mix the cordial and water together and place in the freezer. When set, scrape the surface with a fork and place the scrapings into a glass.


Makes 14-16 (the extra will freeze well)

for the lemon curd ice cream

  • 500g milk
  • 500g cream
  • 3 vanilla pods
  • 30g honey
  • 180g egg yolk
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Crossogue Lemon Curd

for the crème anglaise

  • 300ml cream
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Crossogue Coffee Curd
  • splash coffee essence

for assembly

  • 100g feuilletine
  • 60g white chocolate
  • 300g cream, whipped

To make the lemon curd ice cream, heat the milk, cream, vanilla and honey in a pot. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Just before the milk and cream begin to boil, pour half of the milk mix over the eggs and whisk. Transfer all back into the pot and heat to 80°C. Then take off the heat and stir in the lemon curd. Churn and freeze.

To make the crème anglaise, bring the cream, milk and vanilla pod to the boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water until the mixture is pale and creamy. When the cream/vanilla mixture starts to boil, pour it slowly over the egg and sugar mixture, whisking all the time.

Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan the cream was heated in and continue cooking on a gentle heat until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pass the custard through a sieve. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the custard and discard the empty pod. Add the coffee essence and Crossogue Coffee Curd into the custard and mix to combine. Leave to cool.

Melt the white chocolate and mix with the feuilletine, roll out between two sheets of parchment and cut to the size of your moulds. Fold the whipped cream into the crème anglaise mix, pour into moulds and stick the feuilletine base to them. Transfer to the freezer to set.


for the mousse

  • 500g Irish goat’s cheese
  • 60g honey
  • Pinch salt
  • 200g cream

to serve

  • Crossogue Quince Chilly Jelly
  • Foods of Athenry wheaten crackers

To make the mousse, beat the goat’s cheese in a kitchen aid, heat the bowl a little with a blow torch to make it smooth. Pass the whipped goat’s cheese through a sieve. Add honey and salt. Whip the cream and fold into the goat’s cheese.

Serve with Foods of Athenry crackers and Crossogue Quince Chilly Jelly.