August 2013

Crab cakesThe long chive? “What is he writing about now?” you say. There are four of us who know all about the long chive. When the girls were only knee-high to a herb patch, the Wife and I tried many things to get them to eat anything green. One of my more successful ruses was ‘the long chive’. If I asked them to eat scrambled eggs with chives, they would both refuse. The conversation every parent knows “Ugghhhhh, I hate chives.” “Have you ever tasted a chive?” “No, but I hate them.” would ensue. My answer; The long chive.

Banana BreadThere is an old saying that predates the digital era; ‘the camera never lies.’ Any of you who have even a passing knowledge of Adobe Photoshop (it’s not a Mexican film processor btw) will know that time has passed that particular adage by. The camera is an almost compulsive teller of half-truths and worse. I relay this to you because I had a small amount of trouble when I decided to use up some festering fruit and bake a Banana and Walnut Bread. It was my first go and as regular readers know, not everything I try works out perfectly on the first attempt. 

Beef chiliNothing is likely to upset a Texan more than telling him you can cook a better chili than he can. No doubt, his recipe will have been passed down through generations of trail hardened cow-pokes. The exact mix of chili, the cuts of meat to use and the number of cans of beer are all closely guarded family secrets. They demonstrate their culinary prowess by boiling up great pots of the stuff on the back of pick-up trucks while downing slabs of beer, tipping back their ten gallon hats and belching to each other. Or so I hear…

Salmon with ancho chili rub (4 of 6)This is another post using Richard McGary’s parcel of chilis. It is a celebration of simplicity. I had originally thought I would do some fancy pants writing about Texas and Ireland. That would allow me set up a few jokes and ribald comments, poking fun at their propensity to eat extremely hot chili based food while gently admonishing us Irish for our ‘meat and two veg’ approach to things culinary. That was until I saw the beautiful colours in this ever so simple dish. So let’s park that and go for simplicity instead.

Peach MelbaIs this true classical cooking? While I cooked my first paté (and the second smooth one) and served it with Toast Melba, my Mum reminded me that Toast Melba, just like Peach Melba is named for Dame Nellie Melba, the hugely successful Australian Soprano. The paté (and the Toast Melba) turned out very well. So, I resolved to prepare the Peach Melba for Mum (and the rest of us) and show it to you all. It’s a really simple dish to prepare. You can do this while listening to Puccini’s La bohèmeIt is one opera that can, and often does, bring me to tears.

Lamb shoulderI’m a rugby fan. Irish rugby is united. United way ahead of the politics of our little island. So when Ireland plays internationals, there are two Irish ‘anthems’ played. One is the Irish national anthem “Amhrán na bhFiann” or “A Soldier’s Song”, representing the 26 county state of the Republic of Ireland. The second is “Ireland’s Call”. This is played as a unifying anthem, given that Ireland’s rugby team is drawn from all 32 counties on the island.

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