The Daily Spud

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Category: Ingredients (page 2 of 45)

Tipp Top Traas

Even before cattle were here, apples were grown

Con Traas of The Apple Farm

Somehow, during the course of the dinner, I managed to make a note of the comment above by Con Traas.

The venue was Avoca’s Salt Café in Monkstown a few weeks back, and dinner, frankly, seems like too restrained a word for what was, in fact, a glorious celebration of people, of place and of produce, masterminded by the dynamic Tipperary Food Producers group, under the stewardship of meat meister, Pat Whelan. Course after course of Tipperary’s best – spiced lamb koftas from Sheepwalk Organic Farm, Crowe Farm pig’s cheek pastilla, Gortnamona goats cheese with Inch House black pudding, sirloin of beef à la Pat Whelan, Apple Farm apple crumble, a raft of Cooleeney cheeses, treats including the impossible-to-resist Holycross chocolate biscuit cake from the Tipperary Kitchen, wines supplied by Red Nose Wine – and chat after chat with the great and the good of Tipperary food, and the charming company, among others, of Cate from The Cookie Jar and Kate from O’Donnells Crisps. Tipperary food had come to Dublin and claimed its place on the menu with considerable aplomb.

Galtee Mountains

The Galtee Mountains, in the heartland of Tipperary

Glen of Aherlow Walking Trail

Walking Trail in Tipperary's Glen of Aherlow

By sheer coincidence – and very lucky happenstance – having been thus kindly treated by the Tipperary Food Producers on my home turf, the following weekend I made the proverbial trip to Tipp at the invitation of the Aherlow House Hotel. The hotel itself – comfortable, rather than swish – is crowned by its location in the Glen of Aherlow, with views across to the Galtee Mountains. The big draw, however, was that the trip would include a visit to The Apple Farm, home to the aforementioned Con Traas. It is an ancient and elemental thing that Con does in farming apples. It is also a difficult job – when 95% of the apples sold in Ireland are imported – to farm apples in Ireland these days and make it work. Con Traas does it, and does it with style.

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Project Po’Boy

Much planning on the part of Sharon and Bill had gone into the idea of a party which would bring New Orleans po’boys to the northside of Dublin. I was excited to say the least – that they were sandwiches which would feature deep-fried oysters was, frankly, all I, or anybody, needed to know.

As time went on, and with several expat Americans involved, the plan expanded to include root beer floats, and there was even talk of homemade tater tots. Throw in both chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and it would be a feast to do Uncle Sam proud.

And then, as timing would have it, invited parties started dropping like flies, and I thought, for just a moment, that po’boys might be no’boys.

Oyster Po Boy

Oyster po'boy, Irish-style

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Spud Sunday: Bloomin’ Spuds

Potato cooking demo at Bloom

'Nuff said, just head right this way

Yes indeed, another year has brought with it another Bloom in the Park.

I do think that Bord Bia‘s five-day long festival of gardens and food in the Phoenix Park just keeps getting better and better, though, granted, I might be marginally biased by the fact that this year’s event included a dedicated potato cookery stand (it being a well-established fact that, to make anything better, you just need to add spuds). Ray Moran from Harry’s Bar & Restaurant in Inishowen was on hand to demo a range of potato recipes – including fish cakes, potatoes with pesto and a potato, chorizo and butternut squash ‘risotto’ – all of which can be found in a booklet brought out by Bord Bia and Potato.ie as part of their grand plan to get spuds back onto the Irish dinner agenda (you can download the booklet here).

Ray Moran cooks potatoes at Bloom

Ray Moran gets to grips with some spuds at Bloom

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