week­end bites

Irish Daily Mail - - Food and Wine -

This week I’ll be eating… cour­gettes, be­fore the first frosts hit them. I like to pick them small and, us­ing a potato peeler, cut them into very fine strips that can then be tossed to­gether with, say, lemon juice, olive oil and some sea salt or maybe a dress­ing made from a lit­tle soya sauce sauce, fresh ginger and roasted sesame oil. I also like them sliced thinly and cooked gen­tly for a minute or two in plenty of but­ter with some very finely chopped gar­lic and fin­ished with some pars­ley.

Marks & Spencer are in­tro­duc­ing some spe­cial cheeses for au­tumn and have looked far and wide to come up with a range that’s cer­tainly dif­fer­ent. There’s a tangy ma­ture goat’s gouda from Hol­land with a tof­feeish taste and crunchy tex­ture, the in­tense West­combe Farm­house Ched­dar from a small farm in Som­er­set, Western Eng­land, the creamy sheep’s cheese Bre­biget from south­ern France and Golden Ce­narth, a Camem­bert-like cheese from Wales.

On Oc­to­ber 6 at The Ice House in Bal­lina there will be a Har­vest Din­ner cooked by head chef An­thony Hol­land, pic­tured, us­ing veg and fruit from the kitchen gar­den at En­nis­coe House. When I first vis­ited as a teenager 40 years ago, the walled gar­den there was a wilder­ness. Many years of hard work has gone into res­cu­ing it and its unique mi­cro-cil­mate. It’s now an or­ganic mar­ket gar­den. €55 per head is great value and in­cludes wine pair­ings. You can stay overnight, with break­fast, for €320 for two. the­ice­house.ie; en­nis­coe.com

Ash­bourne butcher Hugh Maguire, pic­tured, makes his cel­e­brated smoked black pud­ding from fresh pig’s blood, some­thing that is now very rare. Most black pud­ding in Ire­land is made from im­ported dried cat­tle blood. At the Great Taste Awards he won the Golden Fork for the best award-win­ning prod­uct from Ire­land. Mak­ing black pud­ding the tra­di­tional way is hard (and of­ten dis­cour­aged by en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fi­cers) which makes his achieve­ment even im­pres­sive.

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