So, how much fish do you think you could scarf down in one day?
If I had been asked that question before attending the fish cookery course in Clodagh McKenna’s cookery school last month, I would probably have underestimated by a long shot.
While I was there, I managed several helpings of gorgeous Thai fish curry, sneaky pieces of fabulous Irish crab from the crab cakes, a glorious pesto-crusted fillet of sole, a more-ish pile of clam-filled spaghetti vongole, not to mention the fact that we were all sent home with the finished crab cakes, some creamy smoked haddock chowder and mackerel fillets with a lovely beetroot and horseradish relish. I feel full all over again just thinking about it.
Clockwise from top left:
Crab cakes; Spaghetti Vongole; Pistachio pesto crusted sole; Thai fish curry;
And yes, I was very full afterward.
“I’ve never had a good mushroom soup,” said Kev.
Bejaysus but it was quite the statement with which to launch into a lunchtime conversation at work.
It turns out that most of the people around the table had rather definite opinions on mushroom soup. While I would not, myself, have gone as far as to say that I had never had a good mushroom soup, I’ve certainly had my fair share of bad ones. Brian volunteered that he had once had a good mushroom soup from a packet, Dave that he once had a good mushroom soup experience, but it was somewhere exotic like Thailand. From the point of view of those seeking mushroom soup nirvana, it all sounded pretty grim, frankly. Except for the bit about being in Thailand. It also had the distinct whiff of a challenge, one that would more than likely find me whipping mushrooms and spuds into some kind of soupy frenzy.
Cue the return of Gorta’s Soup For Life campaign – where, for one week starting this coming Friday, April 8th, a range of restaurateurs in Dublin and Cork will be donating €1 per bowl of soup sold to fund Gorta’s work in Africa. The making of some decent mushroom soup seemed an appropriate way to follow on from my last year’s soupy contribution to their campaign.