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.

Tips on pie making


processing fresh mint with the sugar before tossing it with the fruit, you can permeate the whole filling with a fresh, herbal flavor

peaches and cherries can be especially juicy when they’re ripe, you’ll want to collect it.boil it .add it back

For a blueberry pie spread creme fraiche across the par baked crust

add a generous amount of lemon zest in the filling and as garnish

Add fresh herbs. Chop them up and mix them with the fruit; pulse them into the sugar

Add tarrogon scented butter to peach pie

try rubbing citrus zest—lemon, orange, lime, even grapefruit—into your sugar before mixing it with the fruit

For a concentrated flavor, add a drop (go slowly) of lemon, peppermint, or almond extract

For another layer of toasty richness,brown a few tablespoons of butterbefore mixing it into the filling

Sprinkle a layer of cookie crumbs over the dough before piling in the fruit.