Apple charolette

INGREDIENTS

1 lb (450 g) apples – half Bramley and half Cox’s if possible

1 tablespoon caster sugar

4 oz (110 g) butter

6 slices bread from a large loaf, about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick with crusts removed

1 egg yolk

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples first of all, rinse them in cold water and put them in a saucepan with the sugar and 1 oz (25 g) of the butter.

Cook them over a low heat until they are soft enough to beat into a purée. Beat them and leave on one side to cool. Meanwhile melt the remaining 3 oz (75 g) of butter gently, and cut each slice of bread into rectangles.

Next brush each piece of bread with melted butter (both sides), being careful not to leave any unbuttered patches, then line the pudding basin with approximately three-quarters of the bread (or as much as you need). Don’t leave any gaps between the pieces – overlap them and press firmly.

When the apple purée has cooled, beat the egg yolk into it and fill the lined basin with the mixture. Finally seal the top with overlapping slices of the remaining bread. Place a suitably sized ovenproof plate on top of the pudding and weight it down with a 2 lb (900 g) scale weight. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

After 30 minutes place the basin (with the weight still on it) in the oven to bake for 35 minutes. Then, with an oven cloth, remove the plate and weight, and bake the pudding for another 10 minutes to brown on top. Leave the pudding to settle in the basin for a minute after removing from the oven, then carefully invert it on to a warmed plate to serve.

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Paul at food on the edge

Food on the edge and a bank holiday weekend

As I sit here in the back room after service I have a chance to reflect on the week that it’s been for me personal and professional. Starting last Sunday the journey to Galway begins. Drive to Galway check in and time for beer. Monday bright and early off to NUIG for food on the edge, a few familiar faces appear a few new ones to acquaint with. For the most part I was alone, i.e. not with my group of Kevin Noel Dale and Dave. Rubbing shoulders with some of the best that the world has to offer and then there’s us. I really enjoyed the whole experience I met several icons for me including Neven mcguire (absolute gent). From there some of Ireland’s producers.

I’ve shorten the above from an essay to a paragraph as I believe nobody wants to read the rant of irrelevant nonsense. If your interested in Food from behind the pass or growing in the field or making cheese this is the place for you. Changed me personally and professionally.

Came back to a steak night provided by one of my old school friends, thank you that steak was amazing, thanks Dad for your input too, much too modest a man to take credit for what he’d deem to he his job and to tell the honest truth a dying art form true butchery skills pulling meat from bones on a carcass to a plate near you.

As always follow the page on Facebook and myself directly @chefpaulc on all social media platforms

Winter foraging

Winter

As it’s said on “game of thrones” a programme/ series I have no interest in winter is coming well sod that it’s here. Freezing howling winds on the coastline a warm car a short walk away I need to stay on the grass as the restaurant requires fresh sea greens as we once again run close. Now I don’t mind the cold, it’s now wet and cold it’s miserable and I’m stooped over some sea beet like I’m footing turf scanning around for the next plant to take a bit from.

While the forest still some respite from the elements, wild herbs still flourish and the hardier herbs remain, dandelion leaves still like through the undergrowth. While briars begin the annual purge of leaves, along with the rest of the deciduous trees, the sound of crunching leaves no matter how old you think you are brings the cheery child out of everyone. *kicks a pile of leaves.
Many of you know I enjoy forestry walks and have discovered mushroom hunting, Just wandering from a beaten track because something catches my eye, and intrigues my more inquisitive side regardless of my attire, in I go through mud, swamp, and water. Not often has my balance betrayed me when it does I have a soft/wet landing.

As always follow the restaurant on all social media @croitralee or myself @chefpaulc

Quick side note, butcher masterclass on the 15th November in the IT Tralee at 1pm. Check put our page events for more info.

Autumn

Autumn

As my summer harvests draw to a close the autumn/winter crops begin to flourish, amid shades of red orange yellow and green, whilst a hazy sunrise listens over the coast. A lapping tide caresses rocks with pools of seaweeds, and sea grasses.
The coast i find is an amazing place this time of year so peaceful and beautiful, yet silently deadly at the safe time as I fell foul of rock lucky to escape with bruising.
While near the coast a number of people who walk regularly whether with a dog or by themselves have come to associate me with the restaurant and my mandatory gangster gear.
Berries cascade from briars, along a pathway near the beach. Morning gangster, or chef, or Jez your out early to some new faces. A conversation about food and their memories usually ensues, I find these interesting and borderline inspirational, people talk about their childhood memories about picking this or that or my grandmother used to do this is that long-go (abbreviation intentional).
My forestry trailers still find my presence amusing, a hearty morning and continue on with their business, that is until they see tree leaves in my tub and all of a sudden, using those really??? Total confusion, tell them it’s dinner and this look quickly turns to disbelief, a little explaining and they turn to shock and awe, that idea is class.

Till next time people.
Follow on all platforms @chefpaulc and the restaurant the same @croitralee.

pastel de elote,Mexican corn cake

melted butter, to grease
500 g(3 cups) fresh corn kernels
395 gtin sweetened condensed milk
80 gbutter, melted
1 tspnatural vanilla essence or extract
4eggs, at room temperature
110 g(¾ cup) plain flour
2 tspbaking powder
½ tspsalt

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 9 cm x 21.5 cm loaf tin with the melted butter to grease and then line the base and two long sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper.

Combine the corn kernels, sweetened condensed milk, butter and vanilla in a food processor until almost smooth. Add the eggs and process briefly until just combined. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and process until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool

Mushroom hunting paul

Mushrooms

Recently Marcus Karl and 8 visited killarney to do a spot of mushroom hunting, with Marcus as our guide.
As luck would have it not 5oo many to be found. The summer has dried u o most of the moisture that would sustain these fungi throughout the summer months, heavy drought did not help. Never the less still some to be found if your eyes are peeled. To the right eyes mushrooms are easily found, Karl’s and mine not so good. However in the absence of fungus I spotted wild herbs that I myself required for the restaurant, decided to hijack the mushroom hunt for some green foraging.
Help a fella out. The day after Marcus and I met up once more and went hunting in another area, rich in hard white inedible “mushrooms” we noticed a number of these flying through the air, best not to follow as a 9 iron may be following the strange flying mushroom.
Anecdote over. Mushrooms are elusive just because they appear in one spot this year does not mean the same spot next year will be as plentiful.
As always with mushrooms be sure you have identified the mushroom as many dangerous ones share very similar characteristics as their safe to eat cousins
Chat soon folks

Chefs why we do it

Why do we do it……..

Family and friends will never understand
We work every weekend, holiday and special day
Mother’s day, fathers day, birthdays you name it we work it
Unless you have worked as a chef you could never understand the…Why….
For reasons you won’t understand…. not that’s it’s personal well it is but, beyond mosts to really understand ,
Our shortest days are longer than your longest
15 plus hours in a sweat box of heat under pressure from the moment we start till long after you go to bed
While you put on the pjs and brush your teeth we are scrubbing down writing orders filling out paper work only to start early again the next day
And for what…..!!!!!
To express ourselves through food , to tell our story
Lost on most
Boiling pots, sizzling pans , sharp knifes, in a tight space with everybody running around shouting behind , passing,
We cut ourselves, enough to send you to the doctor , we just use duck the or glue and carry on , pain …… we have no time for it …. No place for it ,
Burns that will blister , you don’t stop because of it

The order fly in the pressure mounts but it’s not just physical but mental it will test you and break you nightly
Phyiscally mentally and emotionally every night
For what ……. the few who get it …!!!!
Or care to ..
Well yes ,
We believe or hope that we make a difference to somebody sometime even onetime
Cause that makes it worth while
All the shit,the pain,the missing family
Yes it is worth it
That one moment
Makes it worth while
That one moment that one comment
The best meal ive had
You have made our night special
Yes it easier way the shit the pain the missing
For everybody …..No not even close.
Artist who’s art is never again seen
Poets who’s words are heard once
Painters who’s art is edible
Story.tellers …. but not our story…theirs the producers the grows the farmers
Their stories
We tell theirs not ours
We are the teller.of stories not the story ,

Does it make sense…. not even to us