Archive for the ‘Organic & Wild Foods’ Category

3 of the Best… Restaurant Association Awards 2014

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Wednesday the 16th of April The Restaurant Association of Ireland held their regional awards ceremony in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. Our Strawberry Tree Restaurant took home not just one award but three awards in the same night… Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Wine Experience and our head chef Tim took home the Best Chef award.

Irish Restaurant Awards

Best Hotel Restaurant: This category recognises a hotel restaurant that demonstrates the very best in a dining experience as evidenced by a high level of attentiveness, impeccable service and well-structured, balanced and appropriate menu creating the ultimate experience for the visitor.

Best Wine Experience: This Award goes to the restaurant offering a balanced and appropriate wine list, an interesting range of producers and which strives for excellence in the service of wine.

Best Chef: This Award goes to the Chef who most impresses in their approach, design and execution of dishes and who is clearly pushing at culinary boundaries in Ireland.

A massive thanks to all who voted, we very much appreciate it!

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The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Garlic Pesto

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Macreddin Logo

 It’s March and it’s the start of another year of Wild Foods. Wild Garlic is in huge supply and is available from now up until late April.

Check out our famous Strawberry Tree recipe below.

Wild Garlic Pesto

WHAT GOES IN

50g Fresh Wild Garlic Leaves

25g pine, cashew, hazel or chestnuts…your choice!

200ml Organic Olive Oil or better still Irish Organic Rapeseed Oil

40g grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano or really mature Coolea Farmhouse Cheese

Organic Black Pepper and Sea Salt

HOW IT GOES

Simple recipes are not always the easiest. It’s taken us years to get this just right. Any of the above Nuts, Oils or Cheeses will make a fabulous fresh spring tasting Pesto…we’re just not saying exactly which go into our Strawberry Tree Wild Garlic Pesto!

So, the easy way is to blitz the nuts and half the oil in a food processor and add in the grated cheese. Then add the wild garlic and blitz with the remaining oil to the right consistency. Then simply season, to your taste. As a fresh Oil Dressing, it’ll work, every time

HOW TO FINISH

Pour into sterilised Kilner Jars and keep in the fridge or a really cool, dark pantry. More so than with Basil Pesto, there is a reaction between the Wild Garlic, Oil and especially metal lids…hence the Kilner.

WHAT YOU GET

Is a serious Pesto; a deep dark green Pesto with attitude, a Pesto that will slap you in the face with the unmistakably strong taste of wild natural garlic and its lush woodland dwellings. What you also get is ‘bottled spring and summer’…to give as a present to your friends, if you are able!

If not, use it to impress as a dressing over salads, bake into your favourite bread dough, add to any pasta dish or mix with butter and slip under the skin of a chicken roast…the list goes on, just use your imagination and go Wild!

WILD GARLIC PESTO & LEAVES

WHERE TO FIND GARLIC

It’s a common plant all over the island and it thrives in mixed woodlands and other damp, shady places like country lanes and near streams. In the right place it will be widespread and easy to spot.

 HOW TO PICK

Do not dig up the bulbs and never strip a plant of all its leaves or remove all the flowers or plants in a small area. Pick mid-sized to larger leaves and flower heads that have blossomed. Baskets are ideal for gathering (particularly for the flowers) but if you plan to preserve the leaves choose roomy plastic bags. Pack loosely and do not press down or you may bruise the tender leaves and flowers.

Growing from a surprisingly small translucent bulb, broad, pointed, bright green leaves push up through the soil to gradually form a multi-leaved bunch and are followed by a single flower stalk bearing several small white blossoms. Most years the harvest begins in mid-March and continues until mid-April. This period may vary according to local conditions or a spring that arrives early or late. Usually you can harvest over a month.

Some people prefer the young milder leaves; others wait until the plant flowers, and the flavour is stronger, and gather leaves and flowers at the same time.

The flower of the Wild Garlic is highly identifiable and for the first time forager this is when this wild food should be harvested. Prior to this, it might be mistaken for the leaves of the Wild Lily of the Valley, and other wild plants.  Some of these are, of course not pleasant to eat or indeed poisonous.

A good means of positively identifying Wild Garlic is grinding the leaves between one’s fingers, which produces a pungent garlic-like smell. The leaves of Lily of the Valley come from a single purple stem, while the Wild Garlic leaves have individual green-coloured stems. Remember when our foraging if in doubt don’t…

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Go Wild in the Country – Sunday Business Post

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Ross Golden-Bannon’s Review breaks down the Annual Wild Foods dinner course by course in Sunday’s Business Post and he talks about the lack of Game on our dinner plates.

“The consumption of game in Ireland really isn’t where it should be, and we still have a journey to make from chicken breasts and prime steaks to value-driven parts of the animal which often have more flavour”

The Sunday Business Post - 15th December 2013

The Sunday Business Post – 15th December 2013

“The Wild & Slow dinner had a whole 12 months of preparation, but in fact, the likes of Evan Doyle have put in more than two decades of work on the culture of this feast and he deserves our support”

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Wild&Wicklow 2013 – Sat 16th of November

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Wild&Wicklow Banner

The Strawberry Tree Restaurant has been hosting its unique Wild Foods Dinner annually for over twenty years.

The Sugarloaf Club is delighted to announce that once more, Evan has agreed to close off The Strawberry Tree and that all Chefs and Crew will concentrate on The Sugarloaf’s Annual Wild Foods Dinner which will take place this November 16th 2013. This  is now Ireland’s largest Wild Foods Dinner. 

Commencing with a Wild Foods ‘Dinner Dissected’ Master Class in the afternoon and encompassing The Annual Wild Foods Dinner, reception, wine, bed and breakfast, special speakers and much more…there is really only one place to be on this very special Saturday in Ireland.

Just €165pps Book Now

For more information on the Wild&Wicklow 2013  Event and a Sample Menu please follow the below link

Wild&Wicklow 2013

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The 2013 Annual Cep Hunting Competition in Macreddin Village

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Macreddin Village Crew Compete Yet Again!

The Cep Harvest is out there for all of us here in Macreddin, to gather in Wicklow over the next few weeks

The prize…well, it’s a VIP’d Dinner for two in The Strawberry Tree including wine

Cep Competition - Oct 2013

Pawels bumper 2.7 kilo harvest!

Will Pawel win The 2013 Annual Cep Hunting Competition…Or maybe another crew member will put his 2.7 kilo harvest to the test!

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The Italian Connection – Macreddin Village Market

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Macreddin Village Market

(Ireland’s only free-to-stallholder Food Market)

Welcomes back

Armento Village

Our southern Italian Cousins

This Sunday, October 6th from 12pmArmento Market 2009Now, all we need is our Great Stallholders,

your Great Custom

and some of their Great Sunshine!

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Wild Crab Apple & Rose Hip Jelly

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The Strawberry Tree Restaurant – September/October Recipe

Harvest time is always precious, whether down on The Farm or along The Hedgerows, The ‘big reap’ really only gets to be ‘BIG’ on certain years when everything falls nicely into place.

There are so many parameters outside our human control; temperatures, humidity and sunshine are natural occurrences that we have to leave in the lap of the gods.

After 3 years of rain and the coldest start in April, the gods and Mother Nature really have smiled on us, at last!  The Farm reap 2013 has been just super but our Wild Foods Harvest has been bumper, the best since 2006.

None, more so than the Crab Apple…we have seen small boughs break this year with the weight of the fruits.

Here’s a recipe that marries two wild members of the Rosacea family together; The Wild Crab and The Wild Rosehip. We love recipes like this…one harvest, three results!

CRABAPPLE1

WHAT GOES IN

1.5 kg Wild Crab Apples, prepared

.5 kg Wild Rose Hips, prepared

Cinnamon or spices, to taste, if you wish

1kg sugar

Water, just enough to get the juices running

HOW IT GOES

Simmer rosehips in a pot for 2 hours, press through a sieve. Chop the apples bring to the boil and simmer separately until soft. Combine the rosehip pulp, crab apples and juice and strain liquid through muslin, without forcing, overnight.

HOW TO FINISH

First, take the clear liquid, place in a pot with sugar on a 50/50 basis (1 Lt. Liquid to 1 Kg sugar) stir and boil rapidly until setting point, 106 degrees. Skim and pour into sterilised jars, cover, and store in a cool dry place.

Second, twist the muslin and force the pulpy mixture through, pour into sterilised jars, cover, and store in a cool dry place.

Third, take the pulp, press through a sieve to remove cores and seeds. Spread this on a dehydrator tray or baking tray. Dehydrate or place on baking trays in as low an oven as possible, overnight or until dry.

 WHAT YOU GET

One set of ingredients, three results and no waste!

A clear Wild Rosehip and Wild Crab Apple Jelly: That works beautifully and simply toasted with a goat cheese, or as an old-fashioned ‘Fruit Butter’ accompaniment with a vintage cheese. Also works a treat with pork, turkey or chicken and makes a great accompaniment with a traditional meatloaf or as the sweet ingredient if you’re making your own muffins.

Also a Cloudy Wild Rosehip and Wild Crab Apple Cordial: Perfect as a chilled cordial with water for the kids instead of the mainstream stuff, just add your own ‘sugar syrup recipe’ to slightly sweeten. Also perfect for the adults as ‘a teaspoon of autumn’ with a glass of bubbly. Chill well after opening or if needed, freeze.

Finally, a Dried Wild Rosehip and Wild Crab Apple Leather: Cut into cubes or thin slices, you can use it with your Granola or Muesli in the morning; check it out in your bread or scone recipes.

Evan & Tim

CRAB APPLE

Photo’s: courtesy of Evan Doyle  

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Pickled Wild Marsh Samphire

Friday, August 9th, 2013

The Strawberry Tree Restaurant – August Recipe

Well, Wild Sea-Marsh Samphire and Wild Sea-Rock Samphire have become so popular recently…being highly identifiable, these plants are now the new fashion! Indeed, it seems that Marsh Samphire has now been domesticated farm-wise and is available in the shops!

However, you can’t beat the taste of The Wild and there are lots of emails and queries coming in to us here daily, as to where it is wise to pick this fabulous Wild Crop.

Here at The Strawberry Tree, we’ve been harvesting Wild Sea-Marsh Samphire for over 25 years…fresh is best but if you’re unsure about where you’ve harvested this fabulous plant, well then pickling is the safest and most traditional way to go.

Evan & Tim Pickled Wild Rock Samphire

 Pickled Wild Marsh Samphire

WHAT GOES IN

500g Wild Marsh Samphire

500ml Organic Red Wine Vinegar

300 g Organic Caster Sugar

Small Organic Onion – sliced finely

One Organic Celery stick – chopped finely

2 Organic Bay leaves

½ tsp Organic Pink peppercorns

½ tsp Organic Fennel Seeds

1tsp Organic Mustard Seeds

½ Organic Red Chilli – Chopped finely

The zest of one Lemon

HOW IT GOES

Twice wash the Wild Marsh Samphire and set aside in a large Container. In a large pot, place Sugar, Onion, Celery, Bay, Spices, Lemon Zest and pour over the Vinegar.  Put on the heat and stir until everything is mixed. Bring to boil and then simmer. Let cool a bit, then poor the Pickle over the Marsh Samphire in the large container.

HOW TO FINISH

Pack the warm Marsh Samphire Pickle into sterilised Kilner Jars, top up with the strained pickle, put the lids back on and it will keep up to 3 months.

WHAT YOU GET

Well of course, pickled Wild Samphire works well with all shellfish, but it is also perfect to keep for when ‘the flats’ start running after September. It is also a perfect treat with honky-heady Irish Blue Cheese or really well, matured Irish Hard Cheeses and finally it is a cool pickle that works really well with slow cooked winter Irish Hill Hogget.

Recipe: Evan Doyle, Tim Daly, The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, 2013  

Photo’s: courtesy of Evan Doyle  

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Winner of 1988 Chateau Talbot – Barbara Griffin

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

 Congratulations to Ms Barbara Griffin, winner of yet another bottle of our 1988 Chateau Talbot priced on the menu at €250. Our Strawberry Tree 25 year celebrations are continuing until the end of the week with 25% discount off dinner, €25 Organic Wines and the Strawberry Tree 25 year menu recreated.

Barbara Griffin Winner 1.

Barbara collecting her bottle of  1988 Chateau Talbot from James

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The Home of Irish Writing online – Mona Wise

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

“As I sit and type these words, I am scraping the plate and muffin wrapper from one of the recipes in Wild Food (The O’Brien Press) a book written by not one, but two of Ireland’s most exceptional food writer/chefs”.

Mona Wise talks Wild Food with Biddy White Lennon & Evan DoyleWild Food Book Cover (Shadow)

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