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Barbecue

Barbecued Faux Fillet (9 of 9)The cock crows. It’s about 4.30 in the morning (or so it seems to me) and it is time to get out of bed and get busy. The Wife, lying beside me, grumbles and turns her face to the wall. In the half-light, I stumble to the kitchen and make a ‘tray of tea’ to tempt her into wakefulness. Why do we need to be up so early? We are on holidays for goodness sake! Move the clock forward by an hour or so. We are in the car, driving towards a market. They start early. Long before any civilised nation would be thinking of a mid morning coffee, they then close for lunch. The lunch closure lasts for a number of hours. So if one wants to get anywhere in time to see it open and populated by French people, one needs to be up with the lark. Some holiday!

Barbecue Rack of Lamb (9 of 9)It seems that my “Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients” series is gaining some traction. I was happily cooking, writing and posting about the fantastic foods we are so blessed to enjoy in Ireland. Happy, that is, until I got the call from the Section for Magnificent Dining Experiences. Yes, such a Section really exists.  It is housed in a secure area in a sub basement below the Department of Agriculture. Secret access is through warren-like passages hidden behind a false freezer door in the kitchens of a well-known Molesworth Street hotel. The secrecy is vital, I am told, to protect the Section from the now regular attacks by disgruntled farmers who, depending upon market pricing and rainfall levels, overrun the Agriculture offices with sheep, cattle or pigs.

Chicken Sekela Those of you who don’t know me so well would not know that we are a reasonably far-flung family. My sister and her family live in Norway and my youngest brother (the baby, ahhh.) and his family reside in Tanzania. As you could imagine, there is high excitement in our household when youngest brother and family and eldest sister come to visit. It’s not often we have such an international get together. Part of this excitement manifests itself in my cooking for them and us. We try to do it nice and casual and allow the meal act as an excuse for enjoying each other’s company. However, I do like to experiment where I can.

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.

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.

Lamb with yoghurt, mint and cumin (1 of 8)I entered the Irish Blog Awards, as most of you darling people know by now. While perusing the Blog Awards Ireland site and dreaming of the personal gratification and glory that could (might, may, may not, probably won’t, no chance sucker…) be bestowed on my humble blog, I noticed a Glenisk competition. Those who have read my rant on the subject of blog sponsorships / advertising might be forgiven for assuming (ass of u and me) that I did not approve of such things. Let’s get the record straight….

Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks (6 of 7)

I laughed at the word NOMINATE. I am destined to get your vote. Think about the appropriateness to a food blog; NOM in ATE. Get it? Of course you do. Now, if I expect you to nominate me in the Irish Blog Awards, I need to give you something. So I am giving you this fantastic recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks. I came across the recipe and modified it from The Barbecue Book by Eric Treuillé & Birgit Erath published by DK – The best barbecue book I have ever encountered. 

Lime and Coriander Chicken (2 of 10)Glen Frey did a great job with ‘The Heat Is On’. I find it hard to imagine that I could raise any enthusiasm for the opposite. Imagine a song called ‘The Heat Is Off’. I had received my instructions from Texas (more of that here) and I was going to cook a pretty tongue melting chili concoction for my invited family guests. They were going to enjoy one of the hottest dishes I have ever created. It was going to be hot and great. For sure, the heat was on! That was until I got an early morning call from my mother. 

Three chili chicken with limeThere’s an old story about a farmer from Texas visiting Ireland. When he got to his three storey hotel, he tipped back his ten gallon hat and remarked that in Texas they had hotels that reached the sky. He went on a bus tour of Connemara and when he saw the mountains, he said that the mountains in Texas were at least ten times bigger. Just outside Lisdoonvarna, the tour bus broke down and the Texan had to walk into town.

Barbecue litThere are plenty of topics on which I flip and I flop.
The cork v screwcap
On the one hand, the screwcap keeps the wine in perfect condition and allows you re-seal the bottle. On the other hand, you would have difficulty making a cool notice board from 500 screwcaps and I rarely find the need to re-seal a bottle.

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