Food File: The weekly food news round-up
Assiette of hors d’oeuvres on the Nostalgic Tasting Menu at Dromoland Castle
Earl and Countess invite you to a picnic at their pad
Ocean Spray dried cranberries, €2.25 in Dunnes Stores
A grand affair
When the Beatles visited Dromoland Castle in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare in 1963, it’s a fair bet that there weren’t any Linda McCartney vegemince burgers on the menu in the Earl of Thomond restaurant. The hotel marks its 50th anniversary this year, and as part of the celebrations, chef David McCann and restaurant manager Tony Frisby researched what would have been served in the restaurant at the time of opening and spoke to past employees before devising a rather grand “Nostalgic Tasting Menu”. The eight-course dinner, which features hors d’oeuvres, consommé, sole Princess, Champagne sorbet, Tournedos Rossini, peach melba, Cashel Blue melt and petits fours, is being offered for €80, or €100 with wine pairings. Pictured here is the assiette of hors d’oeuvres which features Dublin Bay prawn cocktail, foie gras pâté with melba toast and smoked salmon mimosa. See dromoland.ie for more details.
The lovely gardens and grounds of Castlemartyr Resort in Co Cork are being opened to the public on Bank Holiday Monday, August 5th, for the John Saul Picnic and Vintage Fair, named in honour of the horticulturalist who was born there in 1819 and later in life shaped some of the most prominent public space in Washington DC. You can bring your own picnic and spread your blanket on the lawn, or buy supplies from the food stalls that will be in attendance. Of course house dogs Earl and Countess, are far too well brought up to stage any picnic raids. The vintage fair will have both outdoor and indoor attractions and admission is €6 for adults, children free.
As well as hard-to-get spices from the wonderful Penzeys in Grand Central Market, my suitcase on returning from trips to New York in the past would also be stuffed with a few bags of dried cranberries and sour cherries, which used to be hard to track down here. They’re more widely available now, and Ocean Spray dried cranberries, called Craisins, are now available in Dunnes Stores. The sweet and sour berries cost €2.25 for a 150g resealable pack. Use them in baking, sprinkled on salads, and as a handy on-the-go-snack.
Food writer Niamh Shields, who blogs at eatlikeagirl.com, has decided to go the self-publish route for her second book, which will be all about bacon, and has launched a funding drive on Kickstarter, which at the time of writing was 34 per cent funded, with 20 days to go. You can still buy into the project as backing is accepted until August 21st. See kickstarter.com and you’ll find it under Project Bacon. if the project reaches its £20,000 target, the book will be available next February. In the meanwhile, you can pre-order Bacon Nation, a collection of 125 recipes by Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama, published by Workman, which goes on sale here on September 5th.