Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Recipe: Dermie's Gooseberry Crumble With Summer Elderflower Raindrops...

A short Irish summer window welcomes two of Ireland's most greatest seasonal delights: Elderflower & Gooseberries. Sweet Elderflower heads bloom from the most beautiful white Elderflower trees dotted across the Irish countryside. Nearby you will find tough, furry, green gooseberries in the bushes of the Irish countryside. The perfect match for a delicious pudding, jam or many other exciting treats!

To mark the arrival of the Gooseberry seasaon, last Sunday I baked with some new season Kinsale gooseberries and taught my niece a very simple Summer Gooseberry Crumble With Elderflower Raindrops based on the following recipe:

Serves: 6

Shopping List:

- 450g Gooseberries.
- 6 Tbsp Elderflower Cordial (Summer Raindrops).
- 6 Tbsp Caster Sugar.

Crumble Topping:

- 100g Pure Irish Country Butter Nicely Chilled & Diced.
- 100g Plain Cream Flour.
- 50g Ground Almonds.
- 50g Caster Sugar.

The Magic:

- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees or Gas Mark 6.

- Top and tail the gooseberries; slice in half down the centre and place them in the pie dish. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and the drizzle of Elderflower cordial.

- Place the pie dish in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the gooseberries have softened.

- In the meantime, make the crumble by hand and not using a food processer for a nicer finish. Sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the almonds, sugar and rub in the butter until the mixture becomes a rough breadcrumb finish.

- Place the crumble in the freezer for ten minutes for a nicer finish.

- Allow the gooseberry mixture to cool before placing the crumble over them and baking in the oven for a further 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden delicious and the gooseberry mixture is piping over the edges.

- Allow to cool for ten minutes before serving with some softly whipped cream or a summer scoop of homemade vanilla icecream.

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This treat is perfect when sitting alongside the crackling wood of your chiminea on a mild summer evening.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Product of the week: Kilbeg Dairy...

It was with great excitement last month when I came across what is undoubtedly one of the very best artisan dairies in Ireland 'Kilbeg Dairies'. Kilbeg Dairy was founded in 2007, by farmers Jane and Kieran Cassidy, who had an idea to sell delicious cheesecakes locally using milk from their pedigree herd of Holsteins. From humble beginnings a very successful business has been created on an artisan farm located near Kells, County Meath. Such was the success of the cheesecakes that over the past five short years, Kilbeg Dairies have expanded their produce range to include: Crème Fraiche; Sour Cream; Greek Style Yoghurt; Natural Probiotic Yoghurt; Mascarpone Cheese and the fabulously delicious range of Moodie Yoghurt Smoothies.

It sure was not an easy path but the office wall of Kilbeg Dairies is testament to their hard work and outstanding high quality products dotted with many an award including: Great Taste Award Gold; Bridgestone Best in Ireland Award as well as being shortlisted for a Euro-torque Ireland award.

The Kilbeg range of products can be found throughout the country in convenience stores such as: Eurospar and in artisan specialists such as: Donnybrook Fair; Fallon & Byrne, and a select number of Farmer's Markets across the country. For more information on Kilbeg Dairies and to find a stockist near you, visit their website: Kilbeg Dairy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Event: Irish Examiner Food Festival 19th- 22nd July ...

Tastefest, the widely anticipated event of Cork's foodie calendar, returns to Cork's Fitzgerald's Park under the re-branded name 'Irish Examiner Food Festival'. The hugely popular event runs from Thursday the 19th to Sunday 22th of July. This year, the organisers of the event are expecting over 15,000 foodies to sample some of Cork's finest artisan produce and tastings from a variety of Cork's best restaurants including: Electric Bar and Grill; Hayfield Manor Cork; Greens restaurant; Amicus and Flemings restaurant. Cooking demonstrations will be held by two of Cork's most famous chefs; Rachel Allen and Darina Allen with the welcomed return of TV3 chef Andrew Rudd and food writer Paolo Tullio.

The newly revamped event sees a variety of changes including expanding the park area to include all of Fitzgerald's Park making room for a greater variety of artisan producers. Entry to the food fair has been reduced to a welcomed €12, with kids under 12 admitted free to sample the younger 'foodies section'. 

Ernest Cantillon organiser of the event explains "We strongly believe that the city needs an event such as this festival; it adds to the ever growing portfolio of events that Cork has to offer and encourages visitors to the city". Ernest is very keen on having as many artisan producers at the event as possible and is still accepting applications for exhibition stands at the food festival. This is an excellent opportunity for small artisan producers to sample their produce to a wide variety of foodies. 

The event will run from Thursday 17:00- 22:00; Friday 12:00- 16:00 & 17:00-22:00; Saturday 12:00- 16:00 & 17:00-22:00 and Sunday 12:00- 17:00. Tickets for the event are selling fast and can be purchased online here. Stay turned to Dermie's gasmarkseven blog and twitter for your chance to win free tickets to the event and a hamper of delicious goodies in the coming days.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recipe: Dermie's Refreshing Rosemary Lemonade...

Last week, I received a frantic email from a lovely follower of my blog with the subject line reading 'need some help Dermie!'. The email read 'I am planning a very important Sunday Lunch for my parents and my fiancés' parents and I was wondering if you could give me some tips on cooking Lamb. I love to cook and bake but I've never cooked lamb before... please help!'.

I replied with my tips and for that extra special Sunday lamb roast, I recommended this delightfully refreshing Rosemary Lemonade...


Makes 2 litres.

Shopping List:

- 6 Sprigs of Fresh Irish Rosemary
- 6 Large Fresh Lemons
- 200g Graduated Sugar
- 250g Water
- Star Anise

The Magic:

1. Place the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat.
2. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until all the sugar is dissolved.
3. Once the sugar is dissolved, simmer the syrup and add in four sprigs of rosemary.
4. Allow to infuse for five minutes.
5. Place the pan off the stove and allow to cool with the rosemary intact for 4-6 hours.
6. Sieve the syrup removing all traces of rosemary, then add the juice of 5 lemons including the lemon bits.
7. Top with 1.5 litres - 2 litres of fresh water.
8. Serve in a lemonade bottle (I got mine for €1.99 in Meadows and Byrne).
9. Decorate with two sprigs of fresh rosemary and some lemon slices.
10.Place a few ice cubes in a glass with two star anise on top.
11. Pour the lemonade over the ice for a refreshing cool taste.


Top Tips: 

* If you are worried about the amount of sugar in this recipe, reduce the sugar content and replace with a spoonful or two of honey. I would recommend this if you are making the lemonade for kids.

* If using sparkling water, reduce the sugar content in this recipe as it becomes overpowering.

* The stock syrup can keep nicely in the fridge for up to a week, so double the stock syrup recipe and keep in the fridge to celebrate the sun coming out!


This Recipe Is Featured In: 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Recipe: Dermie's Orange Chocolate Puds...

Dermie's Orange Chocolate Puds are a combination of devilishly dark chocolate, orange and most importantly a good dash of Cointreau making it a tantalising rich pudding for two. Serve straight from the oven to get the rich orange aroma with a warm melted chocolate centre.

Shopping List:

- 100g Valrhona 70% Coca Chocolate
- 100g Unsalted Irish Butter
- 2 Organic Irish Eggs
- 40g Caster Sugar
- 25g Cream Flour
- 1 Tbsp Cointreau Orange Liqueur
- Half unwaxed orange

The Magic:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees/ Gas Mark 4.
2. Generously grease two ramekins and finely dust them with some coca powder.
3. Bring a wide saucepan of water to a fast boil, then simmer. Place a pyrex bowl over the simmering water and melt the butter and chocolate.
4. Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 8-10 minutes with an electric hand whisk until the texture is smooth and very silky more than doubling in size. You will be very temped to bang the whisk off the side of the bowl to ensure you are using all the mixture- do not do this as you will knock the air out.
5. Carefully place the egg mixture into the melted chocolate and butter.
6. Add the dash of Cointreau and the fine zest of half an orange and gently fold in the mixture. 
7. Very carefully fold in the sieved cream flour ensuring you are not knocking the air out.
8. Fill two large raminkins with the mixture filling to the 3/4 level mark.
9. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes checking regularly to ensure the top of the puds are just slightly cooked so that when you dip your spoon into the pud you will get a delicious melted chocolate centre.
10. Serve with a dusting of coca powder and some softly whipped fresh cream or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Product of the week: O' Donnell's Authentic Crisps...

Move over Mr. Tayto, there is a new crisp in town with very ambitious plans. Meet Mr. O' Donnell, Ed an ambitious and enthusiastic entrepreneur produces a line of gourmet, hand-cooked crisps made from his own 'Lady Rosetta' potatoes in Seskin Farm, Kilsheelan, Co Tipperary. Seskin Farm is situated in the valley between Sliabh na mBan and the river Suir with the Comeragh mountains beyond to the south. It is within The Golden Vale, an area renowned for rich soil, pasturage and beauty.

My two favourite O' Donnell crisp flavours are Mount Callan Cheese & Red Onion and Irish Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt which are made with locally sourced Mount Callan Cheese from Co. Claire. Mount Callan cheese is naturally matured on wood for nine to twelve months giving these crisps a unique and distinctive flavour. The Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt range are sourced locally with cider vinegar from the renowned 'The Apple Farm' in Tipperary known for their Karmijn de Sonnaville apples.

Of course, what first drew my attention to O' Donnell's crisps was the delicious authentic taste. However, Ed's eye for innovative marketing is certainly adding to the growing popularity of the product. Recently, Ed teamed up with Bulmers in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary marrying an ice cold Bulmers with a free packet of O' Donnell's crisps. Last weekend, the sun was out, the Bulmers was flowing and I enjoyed a great bag of O' Donnell's Cider Vinegar Crisps- the perfect match for Euro 2012.

O' Donnell's crisps are rapidly becoming widely available across Ireland including: Supervalu, Centra, Mace, Daybreak, Londis and other leading shops, cafés, forecourts and pubs. Since 2010, Ed has grown a very impressive brand and with London already calling who knows where O' Donnell's will be enjoyed next; New York perhaps?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Recipe: An Eton Mess

An Eton mess is a traditional English dessert made up using a mixture of fresh in-season strawberries, broken pieces of meringue and fresh softly whipped cream. The name derives from Eton College where it is traditionally served at the school during their annual cricket game.

When it comes to quick and easy desserts, this is definitely up there with being the easiest, simplest and tastiest. It is a firm favourite with kids and a sneaky way to introduce delicious fresh fruit into their diet. This is without doubt the simplest recipe I have posted but one which is a firm favourite in my house!

Serves 4

Shopping List:

- 300ml Glenisk Organic Cream
- 8 Meringue Nests
- 350g Wexford Strawberries (washed and hulled)
- Mint or Sweet Cicely to decorate


1. Crush the meringue nests into small chunks and set aside. In a large bowl, softly whip the cream.

2. Set aside 4 large strawberries, place the remainder in a food processor, purée the strawberries and fold through the cream mixture (if you don't have a food processor just crush them well with a fork in a bowl)

3. Spoon into 4 serving glasses, top with a whole strawberry in each and decorate with mint leaves.
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Photography: Jakub Walutek
Styling:  Dermie