On a recent trip to the Milk Market in Limerick with Stefan, I was highly impressed with the locally grown winter vegetables. I was also pretty awe-stricken by the prices. And, not in the usual way I am stunned by Irish prices. The carrots, parsnips and turnips were all fresh out of the ground and really great value. This is a rarity in our green and pleasant land. Such a rarity, that my enthusiasm got the better of me and I completely over-bought on the carrots.
If you’ve come this far with me in this little series, you may as well go the whole way. No, this one can’t be done with your usual supermarket ingredients. You are going to have to make a trip to the Asian supermarket. But, before you throw your hands in the air and mutter something that demeans your spirit, take my word for it, the journey will be worth it. This is probably the most famous dish from the Szechuan region, a provence famed for it’s fiery food. The bad news is that it is very, very (extremely very) hot. The good news is that it is really easy to prepare. The bonus is hot or not, it is delicious.
THIRD PLACE! I don’t do third place when it comes to my cooking. When the weekend comes around in our house, I am master of the kitchen. I rule. What I say goes and everybody likes what I produce. Possibly because there is no competition but that is another story. But there was little I could do in this instance. Shockingly, the Wife and Stefan both conspired against me….
It hurts me to write this post. I feel like I am putting another nail in my blogging coffin. You see, this post has me acting as “you’re in my way in the kitchen” photographer while the Wife prepares a recipe given to her by my revered mother-in-law. The real problem for me is that it is the dessert course of our multi-blog meal where we cooked along with Stefan on his and Kees trip to Tipperary. That is only a problem because my best efforts were knocked into a pretty degrading and distant third place.
We were out of chorizo sausage and the Wife was cogitating a Jambalaya. That’s why eldest daughter and I ended up in the Saturday Market in Kilruddery House just outside Bray in County Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland. As we made our way past the various stalls heading towards the chorizo man, I was halted by “Well hello young man, would you like to taste our chutneys?”. Given that the inviter was a good decade my junior, I smiled, stopped and tasted. I’m a sucker for the self-delusion.
I have nothing against the Spanish. How could I hold a grudge against the nation that gave us the joys of bull fighting, Torremolinos holidays and jugs of sangria? No, my gripe is with weasel words and how some use them to fool the unwary.
A couple of months ago, I did a post on my banana bread with walnuts. It was not a highlight in my culinary achievements. Part of me enjoyed doing the post. It was a bit of fun. However, I know that some people depend on me to guide them through the food world and my directions need to be straight. Time to put the record straight. Time to straighten out the banana bread (if not the banana).
I’m not a big fan of pork fillet. Traditionally, here in Ireland, it would be prepared by slicing it open and pounding it flat with a mallet or rolling-pin. Then it would be filled with a breadcrumb based stuffing, wrapped up and roasted for about an hour longer than needed. The result was always dry, flavourless and, strangely, prized at dinner parties.