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Tag: ginger (Page 1 of 6)

Take Me To Your Mackerel

I could justifiably have hung a sign on my door that read “Gone Fishin’.”

I was making a trek across the city to Donnybrook Fair and smoked mackerel would, I hoped, be my reward. I was on the trail of mackerel from Inish Turk Beg, a privately owned and faintly mysterious island off the coast of Mayo. A tasting of their newly available range of smoked fish earlier that week had left mackerel on my mind, and I was heading to the one place in the city that could provide me with that particular smoky fix.

Inish Turk Beg smoked mackerel

Inish Turk Beg smoked mackerel

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Spud Sunday: Michelin Spice

And so, for those of you who have been following along, my Project Food Blog odyssey has come to an end. The world, it seems, was not ready for boiled boxty. That, in my humble opinion, is their loss. Now, though, it’s high time I returned you to your regularly scheduled Spud programming where, this week, Spud goes Indian…

People who follow the recipe to the last word are the most boring people. Use your instincts. Chefs may have created combinations which (they think) are fantastic but you, you create your own fantastic.

I scribbled furiously. Those words just uttered by Atul Kochhar were words to cook by.

I had been waiting a long time for my date with the Michelin-starred Indian chef, but last weekend’s one day course with Atul at the Dublin Cookery School was worth every minute of that wait.

In truth, the menu for the day, which included naan bread, pulao rice, dal, lamb rogan josh, homestyle chicken curry and mango chutney, sounded like bog-standard Indian restaurant fare. And that may have seemed, to some at least, to be at odds with the chef’s Michelin stardom. But to think that was to miss the point. Absorb what the man had to say about spices and oils, about onions, garlic, ginger and lentils, and you could begin to make that Indian menu your own.

At the Atul Kochhar course

Clockwise from top left:
assorted spices; homestyle chicken curry; bombay aloo; fresh mango chutney;
Centre: the chef himself

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Happy Tummy, Happy Heart

“We need to tighten our belts.”

Just how often have we heard that one lately?

The fact is, however, that when it comes to our national diet, belt loosening is the order of the day. As a nation, it seems we’re getting a little chubby around the middle, with 60% of us overweight or obese according to this report. And Michael O’Shea, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) reckons that obesity levels in Ireland are rising at the rate of around 1% per year. Yikes.

Given that about one third of premature heart disease relates to poor diet and that about 10,000 Irish people die each year from heart disease and stroke, the IHF, whose mission it is to reduce cases of preventable heart disease, have a vested interest in what we eat. In fact, whatever it is we’re eating, they’d like us to eat less of it.

That, at least, is the focus of their Happy Heart Eat Out campaign, which runs for the month of June. Given that many of us are prone to dining out, they are encouraging us to show a little restraint when we do so. They have the help of 500+ restaurants and catering establishments, who will be offering healthier, right-sized options on their menus.

One such participant is Saba, the popular Thai and Vietnamese eatery in Dublin, which was the venue for the launch of the campaign. And the launch, well, that involved lunch…

Lunch at Saba

Lunch at Saba, clockwise from bottom left:
seared yellow fin tuna with wasabi coriander mayonnaise; steamed seabass fillets with Xao Shing wine sauce; hot and sour prawn soup; fruit platter with passion fruit and mango sorbet

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