We have a limited edition of 5 books available for €50, of which all funds will be donated to Movember Charity. Back in July, 20 chefs/cooks from around the country including our own Mo Bro Evan, came together on their hairy journey to produce this cook book to raise vital funds and awareness of men’s health. The crew of Macreddin watched and inevitably laughed at Evan as his facial fluff eventually turned into a moustache. So if you want to get your hands on one of these very limited books (NOT AVAILABLE IN SHOPS ) then call 0402-36444 with your donation of €50 and we’ll pop your cook book in the post to you.
Archive for the ‘Organic & Wild Foods’ Category
Next weekend, November 10th & 11th, go wild in Macreddin Village at Wild&Slow2012, a unique festival presented by Slow Food Ireland, celebrating all that is good about Irish foods – fresh, local, traditional & wild – in a WinterFest Style Market, that will run from afternoon into crisp dark evening.
This is the second year that Wild&Slow will be held in Macreddin Village, and the market will feature more than 30 wild foods stalls. There are also 17 Wild Foods Workshops taking place over the two days, covering everything from Photo-stalking in Wicklow National Park to Mixing Cocktails with foraged wild ingredients, and presented by Irish food champions and icons such as Darina Allen, Derry Clarke, Ross Lewis, Sally McKenna, Ed Hick, and our own Evan Doyle and Tim Daly.
The ‘Big Harvest’ Farm Menu 2012 will appear as a unique Seven Course Tasting Menu in The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, from October 17th until October 31st.
So, if you choose to dine in The Strawberry Tree in the last two weeks of October you can choose from one of the following menus.
There is no difference with pricing, with both menus at €65 or included if you select one of our Strawberry Tree Dinner, Bed & Breakfast options, just that we want to give you a wonderful choice for Dinner at this special time of year.
- Choose The Strawberry Tree Harvest Seven Course Tasting Menu and we’ll be delighted to greet you in the Waterside at 7.00pm
- Choose The Strawberry Tree Daily Four Course Menu and we’ll be just as proud to serve all our producers foods any time after 8.00pm
Remember, The Big Harvest menu is only making a fleeting appearance in The Strawberry Tree, and will be gone on October 31st , so book now on 0402 36444 or email email@example.com or log on to http://www.brooklodge.com/reservations/ and book a Strawberry Tree Dinner, Bed & Breakfast package on any night between October 19th & 31st, and mention “Big Harvest Menu” in the Special Requests Box.
Presented by Slow Food Ireland and celebrating all that is good about Irish foods – fresh, local, traditional & wild - in a WinterFest Style Market, that will run from afternoon into crisp dark evening.
Picture yourself wandering down a frosty winter street in a rural and picturesque Irish village, your breath hanging foggily in the air, and your hands warmed by blazing wood-burning braziers and a cup of spiced, mulled wine. Imagine the feeling of a unique European Winter-Fest style market, here in Ireland. So now, visualise rows of wooden stalls lining both sides of the street, with hundreds of homemade foods on display. This is the culmination of Wild&Slow 2012, an exciting national event, which is designed to showcase and celebrate the best of wild foods that the Garden of Ireland has to offer.
In addition to the fantastic Wild Foods that will be on sale from the stallholders, there will be Wild Workshops, Tastings, Talks and Demonstrations…something to spark the interest of all.
The Wild&Slow Festival promises to be a great weekend, and if you want to really spoil yourself, why not stay a night or two? B&B is available in the BrookLodge on Saturday November 10th from €70 pps and on Sun, Nov 11th from €60 pps. There will be a unique Wild Foods Dinner on the Saturday night at a cost of €65 per person including wine, and dinner will be available on the Sunday night in either The Strawberry Tree or La Taverna Armento. Bookings can be made online at BrookLodge Reservations. If you’re interested in becoming a member of Slow Food Ireland, you can get details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our latest addition to the Village is a bee-keeping enterprise, which will provide honey to our kitchens, and for brekkie, and also for sale in The Store Rooms. Our beekeeper Sarah will manage and take care of the beehive, which is situated in our walled organic herb garden.
We like this time of year, there are welcome breaks in between the Big Annual Wild Food Harvests. The Wild Garlic has just, been reaped, and The Pantry is packed to the brim with our dark, glossy green pesto.
Now, we find ourselves just waiting for the bee’s to finish cross-pollinating The Elder Flower for the next large Wild Food Harvest, indeed it is virtually upon us. Room has been set aside in The Pantry for Elder Flower wine, champagne, cordial etc and our famous Elder Flower Fritters will do a ‘Ta Dah’ on The Strawberry Tree menu over the next few weeks.
However, this lull provides us with the opportunity to get out foraging along The Long Field for the sheer pleasure of it! All the Wild Greens are up, Wild Wood Sorrel, Penny Wort, Dandelion, Sheep Sorrel, Primrose Leaf as well as the Wild Flowers…The Wild Garlic Flower, Gorse Flower, early Herb Robert and our favourite, The Primrose.
Down on The Farm, the baby greens are not up yet. As with all farmers, Alan and Mark are very careful about when they go to plant their crops. The overall temperature of the soil and much more besides, results in the Farmer choosing the optimum time to sow.
Nature is reckless, though when it comes to Wild Foods. They are already starting to burst into full growth, it happens whenever She wants and with the hardier nature of wild greens…they arrive much sooner than the Farm Harvest.
So, Wild Greens and Wild Flowers are making welcome cameos all over The Strawberry Tree menu, whether as simple raw adornment with our Starters or Main Courses or as wild sauces, wild soups etc and The Wild Flowers have started to slip into our Dessert recipes too.
However, it is our simple Wild Green Salad, which we love best! This is an annual ‘show off’ moment. A ‘Menu Course’ that deserves a better name than just ‘A Middle’…this is a Course that makes a statement to our guests.
All The Wild Leaves, Wild Garlic flowers and Gorse flowers simply tossed in Kitty Colchesters Organic Rapeseed Oil, and topped with The Prima Donna of the Irish Spring, The Wild Primrose Flower. Its mild peppery and lettucy flavour needs no dressing. Just sprinkled and placed over the top and letting them shine, is enough for us!
Here are two of our Strawberry Tree recipes, where we show off the Wild Primrose.
A FRESH WILD LEAF AND PRIMROSE RECIPE
The Strawberry Tree Wild Leaf Salad
WHAT GOES IN
1 Handful Wild Wood Sorrel
1 Handful Wild Penny Wort
1 Handful Wild Dandelion Leaf
1 Handful Wild Sheep Sorrel
.5 Handful Wild Primrose leaf
.5 Handful Wild Garlic Leaf
Quarter cup, Happy Heart, Irish Organic Rapeseed Oil
HOW IT GOES
Simply toss these spring leaves with the rapeseed oil, no need to add seasoning; the lemony peppery taste of the sorrel and pennyworth combined with the pungent flavour of the wild garlic is enough to carry off this salad. Both The Primrose and The Dandelion are really easy for anyone to harvest, if your not sure about the Wild Greens, supplement your salad with some indoor-grown baby greens from your Green Grocer.
HOW TO FINISH
Finish to impress, toss in Wild Garlic flowers, Gorse Flowers, there’s lots out there! Finally, top off with lots of Wild Primrose Flowers.
A PRESERVED WILD PRIMROSE RECIPE
The Strawberry Tree Wild Primrose Flower Jelly
WHAT GOES IN
100 Wild Primrose petals
100 Scented early Garden Rose Petals
400 mls Water
2tsp Rose Water
Juice 2 Lemons
HOW IT GOES
Put half of wild primrose flowers and all rose petals into a bowl. Sprinkle over half the sugar and crush into flowers, leave over night in the fridge. Pour over boiling water and infuse for a second night.
Strain, combine with lemon juice and remaining sugar, heat gently in a pan to dissolve sugar. Bring to rapid boil until setting point (3-5 minutes or 106 degrees). Remove. As it cools, stir in the rose water. Pour into sterilised Kilner Jars. Just before setting, fold in the remaining fresh primrose flowers, seal.
HOW TO FINISH
Finish with roast baby lamb either in the jus/gravy, finish as an accompaniment to a fresh goats cheese, with any white chocolate dessert or a light sweet mousse or blancmange.
WHAT YOU GET
Is a fabulous tinted jelly, great on its own, but perfect as a gift to your friends or family
With recipes including Elderflower Champagne and Wine, the attached Wild Elderflower template includes everything you need to know about what it looks like, where to find it and pick it, and how to prepare and preserve it.
It’s March and it’s the start of another year of Wild Foods. Free and abundant, Wild Garlic is back from now until about Mid-April, and below are two very simple recipes.
A Wild Garlic, Leek and Potato Bake
WHAT GOES IN
125ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Small Carton of Cream
40 leaves Fresh Wild Garlic, torn
175g Real Ham, chopped
85g Cheddar, grated
800g Old Potatoes peeled, sliced thinly
2 Leeks, sliced thinly
HOW IT GOES
Pour the stock, cream and milk into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Butter an over large gratin dish . Layer the potatoes, leeks and ham together in the dish, and spread out in even layers with the torn Wild Garlic leaves. Season and sprinkle with the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
Remove the foil and bake for another 35-45 minutes, spooning stock over occasionally, until the potatoes are tender.
HOW TO FINISH
Well, finish as the perfect accompaniment to a real Sunday Roast Chicken, or as the first touch of spring to the last of the Winter Spuds or a great TV snack, when you have the munchies…
Wild Garlic Pesto (A PRESERVED WILD GARLIC RECIPE)
WHAT GOES IN
50g wild garlic
25g cashew, pine, hazel or chestnuts
200ml olive oil or rapeseed oil
40g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Season to taste.
HOW IT GOES
Blitz the nuts and half the oil in a food processor and add in the grated cheese. Add the wild garlic and blitz with the remaining oil to the right consistency. Season. Pour into a sterilised Kilner Jars and keep in the fridge.
HOW TO FINISH
As an addictive yummy for breads, over soups, in roast chicken, on pasta, with baby lamb and more… no imagination needed here!
For a Beginners Guide to the Where, When and How of Wild Garlic, download this file: Wild Foods – Garlic
The Bridgestone Guides 2011 Megabytes Awards
In John McKenna’s final blog of 2011, he announced his Megabytes Awards and we were thrilled to be included.
Inspiration of the Year: The Taste Council Summer School, Brook Lodge, Macreddin
Some events are important because they create a new language with which we can dicuss the things that matter. The first Taste Council Summer School, orchestrated by Evan Doyle and held at Macreddin’s Brook Lodge Hotel, was just such an event and its three sessions, on Middle Farm Agriculture, Education and Food, and Brand Ireland, have given Irish food a new lexicon within which we can frame the debate of the future and our food. The evening feast, with all the food coming from Wicklow (save for David Llewellyn’s Dublin wines), was one of the greatest events in Irish culinary history.