Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Competition Closed: Win A 'Taste of Home' Hamper For A Friend Abroad This St. Patrick's Day

 Competition Closed

Ballymaloe Country Relish would like to surprise one lucky family member or friend who is spending this St. Patrick's Day away from home by sending them a Ballymaloe Country Relish 'Taste of Home' hamper. The lucky winner will receive a delicious hamper filled with a selection of the Ballymaloe Country Relish range and a copy of Rachel Allen's fantastic new book 'Rachel's Irish Family Food'.

In Rachel Allen's new book, Rachel shares with you a collection of family favourites with tried-and-tested Irish classics for you to enjoy with your Ballymaloe Country Relish hamper. Irish favourites from Rachel's traditional Brown Soda Bread recipe which is delicious with a dollop of Ballymaloe Country Relish topped with chicken, to Rachel's traditional fish pie which can be served with a generous helping of Ballymaloe Country Relish.

Competition Closed

 'Debbie' The Winning Entry:

This email is in regard to the Ballymaloe country Relish "Taste of Home" hamper competition. My name is Debbie O' Sullivan and I would like to nominate my sister Mairéad O' Sullivan, she is currently living in Charlotte in North Carolina, USA. 

What I will miss the most about her not being home this St. Patrick's Day is that we usually have a family fry in the morning after mass. In our house Ballymaloe Relish replaces ketchup - this year, like for the past few years, my sister will not be here to enjoy the breakfast. Usually at these times we skype her and she is always jealous of the fact we have an abundance of relish on the table! 

Every few months, I send her over the squidgy bottles of relish at a hefty postage price and she has informed me that she is running low from the amount we sent over at Christmas. Her love of relish is something that is always joked about, it has become more of an obsession at this stage. 

Usually people who have emigrated speak of their love of Taytos or Barry's tea, and how they miss it. In the case of my sister, it is the Ballymaloe relish that she misses most. I know it would make her happy to see this hamper arrive at her door on Patrick's day. As we eat it thousands of miles away at breakfast, it would make me and my family happy to know she is eating it as well :) 



Congratulations Debbie & thank you to everyone for entering!

Try some new season Irish Spring lamb served with Ballymaloe Mint Jelly this St. Patrick's Day. A full range of inspiring Ballymaloe Country Relish recipes can be found here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Competition Closed: Win A Lily O'Brien's Keepsake Gift Box & Signed Copy Bread Revolution Cookbook

Stylish, Scrumptious, Well Deserved Gifts from Lily O' Brien's are the perfect way to show Mum your love and appreciation this Mother's Day, Sunday 10th March. To show Mum your love, Lily O' Brien's are giving away a beautiful Keepsake Gift-box for your mum to one lucky reader. Each beautiful keep-sake box can be re-used to store memories long after all of the delicious chocolates inside have been enjoyed.

Each Keep-sake box contains:

- Keepsake Photo Box, 18 Chocolates

- Keepsake Ballotin Box, 16 Chocolates

- Little Bag of Chocolate, 16 Chocolates

- Lily O'Brien's Assorted Favourites - 8 Chocolates

Coupled with this prize, Patrick Ryan of Firehouse Bread School and BBC "The Big Bread Experiment" is giving away a signed copy of his Bread Revolution book to accompany the prize. Bread Revolution which has been nominated for the Gourmand World Cook book awards, contains recipes from traditional soda breads, to rich chocolate brioche buns and delicious Walnut, Honey and Blue Cheese loaves. A selection of these recipes are taught weekly at the Firehouse Bread School, Heir Island, Co. Cork.

Competition closed

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dublin Cookery School Three Month Certificate Course

Lynda Booth's Dublin Cookery School starts the next Three Month Certificate cookery course on Monday 8th April 2013. The stunning state-of-the-art facility is situated in Blackrock, Co Dublin, it is aimed at those looking to pursue a career in food and equally at those who are just passionate about food and are seeking an opportunity to immerse themselves in a full-time 12 week course. Field trips and pop-up restaurant nights are just some of the highlights featured throughout the 12 weeks.  

Dublin Cookery School offers an incredible experience of being taught by some of the best names in the culinary world with a line-up of guest chefs including: Atul Kochhar (Benares), Sunil Ghai (Ananda), John Wyer (formerly L'Ecrivain & Mulberry Garden), Stephen Gibson (Pichet) and Paul Flynn (The Tannery).

The three month intensive course provides an exciting and cutting-edge environment in which to learn, progress and challenge your cookery skills. The format has been carefully structured to provide variety and challenge and the opportunity for an intense focus on broadening food knowledge and skills. 

By the end of the course, students will leave with an extraordinary set of recipes, a confidence to improvise with a wide range of ingredients and, for those who wish, a skill level that will open up professional opportunities.

If you want to know more or want to take a tour of the school visit their website here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Recipe: Dark Espresso Chocolate Mousse & Pistachio Shortbread

When it comes to a romantic evening for two or a safe-keep for a dinner party, it is always good to have a recipe for an indulgent chocolate mousse. The addition of a little hint of espresso completely transforms this dessert but there is absolutely no problem leaving the espresso out. When serving this for family or friends, I make some crumbly pistachio topped shortbread which is the perfect accompaniment to this deep dark indulgent chocolate espresso mousse.

Shopping List:

For The Mousse:
(Serves 4)

- 200g Dark Chocolate (Callebaut, Valrhona, Lindt or Lily O' Briens)
- 1/4 (Quarter) Tsp Instant Espresso Powder
- 1/2 (Half) Tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Vanilla Pod (Split, Seeds Removed)
- 4 Organic Egg Whites
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 200ml Double Cream

For The Pistachio Shortbread:
(Makes 15-20)

- 200g Cream Flour
- 100g Country Butter (Cubed)
- 50g Icing Sugar
- 30g Pistachio Nuts (Roughly Chopped)


1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water ensuring the bowl does not touch the water; add in the espresso powder, sea salt and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool. While cooling, whip the cream to soft peaks with the vanilla seeds and store in the fridge.

2. In a sparkling clean bowl, slowly whisk the egg whites before adding the sugar in stages to form soft peaks. Take a quarter of the egg white mixture out and stir into the cooled chocolate mixture.

3. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites ensuring not to knock too much air out. Gently fold in the cream leaving a swirl style effect to the mousse. Set in the fridge for 4-6 hours. 

4. Take the mousse out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving. Serve with delicious short bread pistachio biscuits.

Pistachio Shortbread

1. Sift the flour with the icing sugar into a large wide bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture comes together (alternatively, place everything into a food processor and mix).

2. When the mixture comes together form into a disc shape, cover in a single layer of cling film and place in the fridge for 20 mins to firm.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper before rolling the mixture in between two layers of cling film to a width of a €1 coin.

4. Shape with a biscuit cutter, sprinkle pistachio nuts on top with a sprinkle of sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking tray before moving to an airtight container until ready to serve.

If you like this recipe, you may like Dermie's Double Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies.

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Fancy a chat about this recipe? Email Dermie
Photography: Jakub Walutek Photography
Styling by Dermie

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate Chilli Con Carne

If you really want to taste the very best chilli con carne, try using really good quality Irish stewing beef which completely transforms this classic one pot wonder.

Before serving, I add a few squares of dark chocolate on top which melt into the chilli con carne leaving a deep, dark and delicious taste. There is no problem using good quality canned tomatoes in this recipe, I use Biona and add two tablespoons of sugar to each can to bring out the flavour of the canned tomatoes.

Serves 6

Shopping List

- 2 Tsp Olive Oil
- 2 Medium Onions (Diced)
- 2 Medium Carrots (Diced)
- 4 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)
- 2 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Freshly Toasted & Ground)
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 2 Tsp Chilli Flakes
- 800g Irish Stewing Beef 
- 2 Tins Biona Chopped Organic Tinned Tomatoes (800g)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tin Biona Red Kidney Beans (400g)
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

To Serve:

- 8 Squares of 72% Dark Chocolate (Valrhona or Lily O' Brien's Chocolate)
- Glenisk Crème Fraîche
- Fresh Coriander Leaves 
- 1 Lime



1. Heat the oil over a gentle heat in a large pan and soften the onions, carrots and garlic with some seasoning for about 8-10 mins. Stir in the freshly ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano and the chilli flakes for a further minute.

2. Brown the meat in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once browned add in the Ballymaloe Relish ensuring all the meat is covered nicely in the relish and fry for a further minute. 

3. Add in the canned tomatoes, bay leaves and bring to the boil. Once boiled, turn down to simmer and cover for at least an hour or until the meat is nice and tender. If the sauce begins to dry out too much before the hour, don't worry just add in some beef stock. The sauce should be quite thick and have reduced down considerably in texture.

4. After an hour, remove the bay leaves, add in the red kidney beans and cook for a further 15 mins. During this time you may wish to make your rice (I recommend Tilda with a nice squeeze of lime in the water. Bring the water to a fast boil before placing the rice into the pan. A general ratio of thumb is 1 cup of rice : 2 cups of water). Taste and adjust for seasoning.

5. Plate up the chill con carne onto warm plates and top with a square or two of dark chocolate per serving. Serve with some Glenisk Crème fraîche and coriander leaves. These fresh coriander leaves add a great colourful dimension and an added delicious taste to the dish.

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Photography: Jakub Walutek
Styling by Dermie
Fancy a chat about this recipe? Email Dermie