Prompted, perhaps, by the fact that the TV series Dallas had just recently returned to our small screens, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that I had been invited to visit an oil business run by someone with the initials J.R. It would, I fancied, involve intrigue, plenty of back-stabbing and the inevitable Oil Baron’s Ball. Or not, as the case may be.
The river Boyne and its lushly green valley. No Texas oil rigs here.
It is lucky for me that potatoes in general, and chips in particular, are such versatile creatures. Week after week, they keep me, and this Spud Sunday slot, alive with potatoey possibilities.
A side of chips: methinks every blog post should have some.
These came courtesy of Dublin's Cliff Town House.
It is also lucky for me that, through this blog, I have had the opportunity to experience all kinds of food made by all kinds of people – and not always involving spuds either. A case in point is the invitation that came my way the other day to visit the Cliff Town House – the Dublin outpost of Ardmore’s wonderful Cliff House Hotel – for a masterclass on fish with head chef Seán Smith, followed by a sampling of their new menu, one which has a decidely seafood slant. Safe, nay, smug in the knowledge that, where there was fish, there would also be chips, I packed my bloggy bag and headed along.
I don’t suppose it’s down to my influence necessarily, but a friend, the other day, did remark on how it seemed that everyone was now jumping on the potato bandwagon. You could certainly be forgiven for thinking as much based on coverage this week alone, where, hot on the heels of my own newspaper piece last week, we had Irish chef (and new dad) Neven Maguire featuring potatoes in general, and Tayto crisps in particular, on this week’s episode of his Home Chef series on RTE televison. And then, in his latest series on Channel 4, Heston Blumenthal, too, turned his gloriously scientific attention, this week, to the potato (you may be able to catch said episode of How To Cook Like Heston for a limited time here on Channel 4’s 4OD service). Triple cooked chips and Heston’s mashed spud perfection were followed by the lesser known delights of smoked potato doughnuts and potato milk jam – the latter a recipe that was right up there with the spud shake in the unusual (and, for some, challenging) spud recipes league. In other words, it had my name written all over it.