Archive for February, 2013

Salt Crust Baked Wild Sea Bream

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

February and we’re looking forward to the lighter cooking of Spring and Summer in The Strawberry Tree. However, lots of requests about Salt Crust Baking that we touched upon in last months Turf Roast recipe… so here you go!

This is our take using wild Winter Sea Bream. When Sea Bream re-appears on our menu in July we treat like a summer fish…think of Dorada in a beach restaurant in Spain, Dourada in the Algarve, Daurade on the Riviera and you get the picture. Sea bream is such a fabulous fish. In the Winter months though we like to use this recipe. Salt Crusting Baking is as old as the hills.


4kg Organic Sea Salt

8 Egg Whites

4 Wild Line Caught Black Sea Bream about 400-500gms on the bone, head on.

4 Lemon, Sliced Thinly

2 Fennel Bulb, Sliced Thinly

200 ml Irish Organic Rape Seed Oil


In a large bowl mix together the sea salt and egg whites, and put to one side. With the sea bream, take some of the sliced lemon and fennel, and stuff inside the cavity of the fish.

In two roasting dishes line the bottom with half of the sea salt mixture, place the rest of the fennel and lemon on the top, then place two of the sea bream over in each tray. Drizzle with the organic rape seed oil and cover with the rest of the sea salt mixture and pack down.

Preheat oven to 220° and roast for 30 minutes.


When cooked set aside for 10 minutes, crack open the salt with a rolling pin and carefully lift out your sea bream, take of the bone and serve.


Well the salt crust works really well with whole fish at keeping the natural moistures inside. Bream, because of its size works best, with this method. What you also get is the drama of breaking the crust in front of your friends!

Evan Doyle, Tim Daly, The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, 2013. Photos, courtesy Steve Ryan

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Evan’s Wild Food Book…

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Published by O’Brien Press, Wild Food is a wonderful collaboration between Evan Doyle: The BrookLodge Hotel at Macreddin Village and Biddy White Lennon: food journalist and writer.

The BrookLodge is home to The Strawberry Tree Restaurant. Its Kitchens, have been harvesting and presenting wild foods daily on its menu since 1988 and this year celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. The Strawberry Tree also hosts Irelands only walk in Wild-Food Pantry for its Guests, but more importantly for its Chefs!

This is the first time, that Evan Doyle has put together the knowledge and the recipes gathered from over a quarter of a century of using these wild foods.

Wild Food is a fantastic new guide to foraging which reveals the secrets of how to identify, pick, preserve and cook the most common wild foods that grow in our hedgerows and woodlands and on our hillsides and seashores. Packed with helpful tips and advice on gathering, preparing and cooking foraged foods, this combined field guide and cookbook was inspired by the growing interest in wild food and foraging in Ireland today and is the perfect introduction to harvesting nature’s bounty.


*Where to look, what it looks like, how to pick

*A guide to foraging through the seasons: nettle, dillisk, carrageen, garlic, sea beet, samphire, St George’s mushrooms, sorrel, hawthorn, elderflower, sea lettuce, strawberries, chanterelles, bilberries, field mushrooms, blackberries, damsons, ceps, elderberries, hazelnuts, rose hips, sloes and more

*How to prepare and preserve your foraged finds

* Over 60 delicious recipe ideas, including dozens of unpublished recipes from The Strawberry Tree at The BrookLodge Hotel

* Traditional uses for common wild foods

*  Great gift ideas for family & friends and lots more

We can arrange for one to be sent to you by post, just give us a call at BrookLodge on 0402-36444 and we can pop one in the post to you.

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Mum’s the word…

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Mum’s the word this Mother’s Day

Sunday 10th of March


(and hopefully Mum will invite you too)

  • Overnight Accommodation with Full Breakfast.
  • Dinner in La Taverna Armento Restaurant (upgrade to The Wild & Organic Strawberry Tree Restaurant for an extra €35pp)
  • A 30 minute treatment in The Wells Spa – 10 different options to choose from.
  • Complimentary Access to The Thermal Suite in The Wells Spa.
  • Selection of Herbal teas to help Mum relax and unwind.
  • If Mum would like, we can run a bath for her in the comfort of her own bedroom any time before 8pm on Sunday evening.
  • Late check out until 2pm on Monday 11th.

What better way to show your Mum you care than to treat her to The BrookLodge for a day and night of Pampering on Mother’s Day. We will ensure that Mum is completely pampered from the moment she arrives. After check in, Mum can check out the facilities then head to The Wells Spa to get pampered for the afternoon. Treatments range from a Hot Stone Massage, Aroma Pamper Facial, Dry Float Relaxation to name but a few. Before getting ready for dinner Mum can request a jasmine bubble bath in the comfort of her own bedroom to give a complete sense of calm and relaxation. Depending on Mum’s choice, dinner will be served in either La Taverna Armento or The Strawberry Tree where Mum will experience many delights. After dinner Mum can retire to the cosiness of The Waterside Lounge before retiring to bed. On Monday morning Mum can have a lie in and relax with breakfast served until 11am or really spoil Mum and avail of breakfast in bed. Before departing BrookLodge Mum can take in some fresh air by taking one of our mapped walks around Macreddin Village. Now who does Mum take with her to BrookLodge…?

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Spring is in the air…

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Spring has arrived in Macreddin Village with the first of the snowdrops up in full bloom.

To celebrate this we have a great 3 Night Spring Special Offer available. Check out our special offers page for more details…

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