Day 56 – Corn on the Cob

Today was our last day of regular cooking. This Thursday I have my practical exam where I have to make a three course meal and one bread. Besides that and maybe a few more loaves of bread I am done in the kitchens here! Just when I was getting the hang of it. I made…

Day 55 – Lobster Vol Au Vent

This morning I was on salad duty. This is one of the more laborious duties – you start an hour early, pick lettuce in the glasshouse and fields, bring it to the kitchen, wash it, remove all the stalks and make dressing. It takes a long time, but I do eat salad every day so…

Day 51 – Sousing and Strawberries

Today I made : Soused mackerel. Sousing – cooking in vinegar – is a method of preservation. Very medieval Scandinavian. Not something I would order myself, but a good way to practise filleting fish, and I think the shiny silver skin is beautiful, like a slinky disco dress. Strawberry tart. I used Friday’s puff pastry…

Day 50 – Rib Rolling

Today I made : Tuna Steak with pipperonata and Kalamata olive tapenade. I am not usually a big fan of peppers but pipperonata – pepper, tomato and basil stew – is okay with me. I had concerns about cooking tuna because I have read so much about it being endangered but I was assured this was…

Day 46 – Oyster Shooters

Today I made : Ottolenghi pistachio and rosewater meringues. Like many Dublin girls my mother used to bring me on meringue pilgrimages to Avoca, so they are one of my all time favourite desserts.  This recipe was fun fun fun. I love the rough, rustic presentation. It really makes a difference when you make food…

Day 35 – Mussels

Today I made : Goan Mussels, steamed in a spiced chili coconut broth and garnished with lots of coriander, my all time favourite herb. Easy, quick, (almost) one pan and endlessly versatile. Can also be made with pollock, hake, salmon and shrimp. Mussels need to be alive when you cook them. If one is open…

Day 26 – Hatching

Today was productive. I made ginger bread and a plate of shellfish with fresh mayonnaise. In doing this I covered many techniques. Students have a technique list that needs to be finished by the end of the course. Some are covered by cooking the recipes assigned to you, others you need to make time for. Many are things you…

Day 19 – Focaccia, Flowers, Fried Cheese

(Ballymaloe is preparing for Litfest so there are flowers and visitors all over the place.)  Today’s bread was rosemary sea salt focaccia. For once I was allowed, even encouraged, to use the Kenwood mixer. Focaccia dough is very moist so doesn’t lend itself to hand kneading. This made it slightly less enjoyable to make – I…