Was 16 when I was offered my first job, wasn’t chefing it was actually meant to be a kitchen porter, but my head chef and mentor for the past almost 8 years looked at me and said get a uniform you start Monday, I didn’t want to chef at the start, just wanted money cause I was Young, never liked the job as a chef until I was shown how to cook and found out you can never stop learning, fell in love with it and my trade and wanted to learn all the time, still to this day I google and research recipes and cooking skills, love what I do and I am always excited to learn more and will never get enough knowledge because it’s endless
Since all this started, I like many of my colleagues across the industry and in general the public have been afforded an opportunity to evaluate life, and the work life balance. Many people will have experienced this differently to what I did.
I’m fortunate in a sense that I live in the countryside, far from town and near to forestry walkways.
My wife has adapted to her new learning from the college i.e online classes and exams quite well with a nice set up in the kitchen.
All exams passed with flying colours.
For me I need to get out to and into a kitchen as they seem to be the only place my life makes sense I don’t know why it just does for me. I get to kill 2 birds with one stone I get to give back to the community and get out of the house and build a network for myself for the future. I’ve known my kitchen comerades Paul and Karl for a while but never really got to know them.
By providing meals on wheels for SVP I have learned that we are still a community at heart something that many believed myself included non existent previous to lockdown. The community approach to this has been fantastic across the country and the rural community ramped up production on their existing efforts in the rural centres for Irish life. Yes, I’m referring to villages and small towns with senior groups or aid groups for the community prime example my own village Knocknagoshel already providing meals laundry etc from the community centre added extra delivery and shopping from the village and they deserve a massive thank you.
Now as it eases and “normality” resumes now I hope that this community sprirt and local support continues. I now myself have had time to think and contemplate what aspects of what I want the new normal to be. I now have rearranged my priorities and I needed a kick up the backside to see what everyone has always said to me and others no doubt in my shoes since the dawn of time, choosing family over my career is now to the forefront of what I want and desire. Honestly I always believed it myself and was going my own way about it by putting in the work for my life to enable an ease of life later. Seems logical to me, not any more thankfully.
Chef Karl gave us a delicious roast pork recipe ideal for your Sunday Roast!
🌹1kg of Lion of Pork
🌹200g almond flakes
🌹200g almond flakes
🌹10g garlic salt
🌹1 teaspoon fennel seeds
🌹1 teaspoon salt
🌹2 slices bread
Blend all together to a fine bread crumb. Cut the eye of the pork open to make one long sheet of pork. Score the meat and pack the filling on top and roll the meat tight. Tie the meat up as best you can. Run plenty of salt on the skin.
Roast for 1 1/2 hour 170oc and turn the heat up to 200oc to create a crisp skin. PLEASE LEAVE THE MEAT REST FOR 10 MINS ONCE IT IS COOKED. Adjust the cooking time according to the weight of the meat.
Chicken chorizo roast potatoes easy peasy.
10g ground corrainder
10g Black mustard seeds
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin of chickpeas
Break chicken down as shown.
Season with paprika, ground corrainder and salt.
Pan fry add black mustard seeds and chorizo.
Season the baby potatoes and roast.
Blend the tin of tomato with a knorr stock cube add half a tin of water.
Pour over the chicken and Place a lid on top and cook for 30-35 mins until the chicken is falling off the bone.
Remove chicken from pan Place in the oven with potatoes.
Add one tin of chickpeas to sauce and reduce.
Plate up and get some napkins
#chicken #lockdowndinners #fingerlicking
6 chicken thighs bone-in
Salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic (or 8 cloves)
1 small yellow bell pepper diced
1 small red bell pepper diced 1 large carrot peeled and sliced
10 oz (300g) mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup pitted black olives
8 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons each freshly chopped parsley and basil plus more to garnish1 teaspoon dried oregano
150 ml red wine
28 oz (820g) crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
7 oz (200g) Roma tomatoes halved1/2 teaspoon
red pepper flakes
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a heavy cast iron skillet. Fry the onion until transparent (about 3-4 minutes) then add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add the peppers, carrot, mushrooms and herbs; sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables are beginning to soften.
Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden
Pour in the wine; allow to simmer and reduce down (about 5-6 minutes).
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Roma tomatoes and chill flakes. Season with salt and pepper to your tastes. Continue to cook over stove top OR in the oven following the instructions below
Cook on the stove top on low heat till the chicken is falling off the bone
As many in the industry will attest to back and knee issues as the time goes by in the industry strain builds up,
For me all this came to a head in late November last year, I felt a twinge and thought no more shake it off work on.
Next day I was fine for about 2 hours then a niggle, began to arise and grew to an unbearable agony I was on my knees washing down (shift nearly done). It’s a me thing I cant lie down I don’t go home early.
Day 3 I was handed some tiger balm to ease the pain for a small amount of time. I managed the weekend through deep heat and tiger balm so easy working, I still refuse to go home or stop it’s me most people no chance not coming in.
I then received a number to go to a person in Castleisland who I now refer to as my pint size punisher.
I explained my story and she said come in and she’d look at it.
Met her on the Tuesday and my 1st session I was in pieces the day after I barely moved Thursday I felt back to “normal” no pain working that weekend.
The next week another session and the week after another session.
Moral of my story ask for help. The stain on muscles builds up over time and it takes time and is extremely sore to put it right. Worth every penny of the recovery not for the pain just not worth it when you feel the knots in your shoulder popping like bubblewrap, sorry but no chance.
I’ve been planning this piece for a bit but never came to the right way to put it.
Her information please contact me directly.
As always @chefpaulc on all social media
a little bit on mozzarella
The Campano town of Aversa, near Caserta, has been a fundamental center for mozzarella since the time of Norman domination. This is still where the majority of buffalo mozzarella is produced.
Very similar to mozzarella, burrata is made in the Puglia region. It’s a creamy whey cut by hand into threads, enclosed in mozzarella.
The Consortium for the Protection of the Buffalo Cheese of Campania is the association that oversees the quality of buffalo mozzarella.
In March of 2008, the New York Times exposed the danger of dioxin contamination in mozzarella, caused by environmental pollution. Proven true, many countries blocked the importation. Italian authorities immediately revoked the contaminated products from the market and began a strict method of checks. The mozzarella industry quickly returned to its prior excellence.
One of the most beloved dishes in Italian cuisine is Eggplant Parmigiana: slices of eggplant are covered with mozzarella, tomato and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, then baked in the oven.
Fiordilatte – Is a variant of mozzarella obtained from cow’s milk, coming from the regions of Puglia and Campania. Perfect for fillings and frying.
Goat’s milk mozzarella is made in very few dairies. As goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk, many producers have begun increasing quantities. Called “caprotella” (capra the Italian word for goat), it’s light but also very flavorful.
Traditionally, mozzarella is cut by hand. In fact, it’s name comes from the verb “mozzare”, which means “to chop”. The technique is carried out by holding the cheese between the index and the thumb, and ripping off one section at a time.
Mozzarella is now produced in many countries, thanks to Italians who have emigrated abroad. The best in the world, however, is still made in Southern Italy, where it’s been made for centuries. Juncus – In the past, mozzarella used to be conserved in reeds and leaves and stored in rattan baskets.
In 2011, the famous Serbian director Emir Kusturica produced the film Mozzarella Stories directed by the young Italian director, Edoardo De Angelis.
Mozzarella is rather high in calories. One hundred grams contains about 288 calories (for buffalo mozzarella), or 260 for the fiordilatte variant. Many producers make a “light” version weighing in at 170 calories per 100 grams.
Buffalo mozzarella is mentioned by the beloved film actor Totò in the film Miseria e Nobiltà by Mario Mattioli and To Rome With Love by Woody Allen.
According to some studies, mozzarella originated in Campania – not from the local people, but from the Normans who invaded Southern Italy in the 11th Century.
Dominican friars imported the mozzarella-making technique to the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Because they had no buffalo’s milk, they used normal dairy cow milk. While not the same, Oaxaca cheese is a distant cousin of mozzarella.
Many restaurants use a mozzarella variant that contains less fat and water than traditional mozzarella, as it ensures easier cooking and a less soggy crust.
The quality of mozzarella is certified in Italy and Europe, according to many different standards and parameters that vary according to type of cheese and its origin. It’s also a product safeguarded by UNESCO.
Despite being used in many recipes where it undergoes cooking, the best way to enjoy a premium mozzarella is raw – garnished with just a drizzle of oil.
In Sardegna, it’s common to find mozzarella made from sheep’s milk. Treccia – Mozzarella is commonly found in the shape of a treccia, or “braid”, in which the two ends of the cheese are woven together to form one long piece. Mozzarella in this shape can weigh up to 3 kg. U
Mozzarella is sometimes used to describe someone unsuited for a task.
There is just one place outside of the Campania region that can carry the DOP (of protected origin) label on Campana Buffalo mozzarella. It’s Venafro, a small village in the Molise region.
The most prized mozzarella comes from buffalo mozzarella milk. It was the Normans who brought these animals to the Campania region.
The term “mozzarella” came into official use thanks to Bartolomeo Scappi, one of the most celebrated chefs of his time, who used the word in a recipe book in 1570.
In order to be enjoyed at its peak, mozzarella should be eaten the day it’s made – or at the latest, the day after. This is way for many centuries, it was only found in the regions that produce it.
In the Italian comedy Benvenuti al Sud the leading actor Claudio Bisio, invents a kind of mozzarella, which he calls the “Zizzona di Battipaglia”, which allegedly weighs an incredible 5 kg. After the film’s success, in 2012, the trademark Zizzona di Battipaglia was registered, for a brand that produces 800 g mozzarellas in the shape of a breast. In Italian, “zizza”, is a slang word for breasts.