All about apples




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.

Oaxaca cheese
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.

Water Buffalo
The most prized mozzarella comes from buffalo mozzarella milk. It was the Normans who brought these animals to the Campania region.

XVI century
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.

Forage & grow

Forage and grow 2017
As the summer draws to a close, my strawberries come to the end of their season, wild berries come into full swing.
Over the last number of weeks blackberries,rosehips and hawthorn berries have been ripening. Hawthorn and blackberries cover our hedges and in my opinion underused in the industry and in general life.

I admit to being oblivious to the uses for hawthorn and rosehips, however as a child blackberries, were always a part of a country walk this time of year, pick a berry walk on oh that’s a big one look, *picks and eats said berry. In recent times I have discovered a fondnes for the hawthorn dipping sauce / dressing we make in the restaurant, I have also began to expand my range of the wild edibles, to the extent, the weeds I. The front lawn are no longer safe. (thanks Alan for stopping the spraying).

Now more so than ever foraging is a bigger part of my life, to the extent, that I can’t leave the house now without a tub, or scissors in the car, to the dislike of my fiancee that I stop in the most random places or so it would appear, to pick up something or to investigate a brief glimpse of something.

I’m looking forward now to elderberies which are fruiting, and ripening nicely for harvest o errors the next few weeks.

As for the tunnel well it turned into a weeding nightmare to the stage where I just got frustrated and pulled half of it out and in the process some of the plants with it. Most of them now to be fair are coming back with a vengeance. This mass weeding allowed more plants to flourish, green beans, tomatoes and butternut squash have taken over their own areas, quite literally making a carpet of green for me to pick from. Earlier I trimmed the white and red currant bushes to see if I can multiple them I am glad to report roots appearing so I now have about 5,of each so happy out. Along with my Logan berry bush which has produced berries.
Thanks to my aunt for apples and black currants, birds hot to the berries.

Stay tuned for more surprises on the Facebook page, and the restaurant page also.
Don’t forget we are doing a demo for the food festival in Tralee which is 23rd Sept at 12pm call by to see what we are getting up to.
Follow the blog for more or myself @chefpaulc on Twitter and Instagram

Davids biscuits & gravy


Biscuits & Gravy
I can across this recipe about a year or two ago, I was in a bind looking for something different to have for breakfast and also feed my daughter (she was going through a picking eating patch). This soon became a favourite not just for me but for the whole family, it’s quick and easy and the sauce/gravy is so versatile that anyone can put their own spin on it
So here’s the recipe I worked on
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon butter or margarine, melted
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Combine milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonful’s onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Stir in butter until melted. Sprinkle with flour. Gradually stir in milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Serve over biscuits.
(I doubled the recipe and got 4 big biscuit out this recipe)
(the spices I used in the gravy was paprika, cayenne, chilli, and garlic and touch of lime juice)

Davids strawberry mille feuille

Strawberry Mille Feuille
So with this dish I got my best results. It’s also a little special to me that I get the results in a dish like this as my dad is confectioner/baker and never taught me anything. So to be able rival his mille feuille was a nice feeling.
So here’s the recipe I worked on
• 1 sheet of puff pastry
• Small bit of egg wash
• 6 Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
Chantilly Cream
• 200 ml cream
• 100g icing sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
Take a sheet of puff pastry and egg wash it, and then fold it. Egg wash it again and cut it into the desired size/shape. Bake @ 175 for about 15 mins, take out and let cool for a further 10 mins. Cut in half fill with the Chantilly cream and strawberries and dust a little icing sugar on top.
In a mixer, beat the whipping cream alongside with the sugar until you get fluffy stiff peaks on the whisk. Next, add the vanilla to your cream and give it a last quick mix.

Honeycomb tips #cupcakehour


use a thermometer and take it to 160C

coat  in chocolate, tastes like home made crunchy!

1 hr- 1 hr 30mins the honeycomb will be hard and ready to crumble or snap into chunks.

Store in an air-tight container

Scrape into the tin immediately but be careful as the mixture will be very hot

tip in the bicarbonate and beat in with a wooden spoon

Once completely melted, turn up the heat a little and simmer until you have an amber coloured caramel

Try not to let the mixture bubble until the sugar grains have disappeared

Mix the caster sugar and syrup in a deep saucepan