Food Month Digest: Spend less, eat well, and food storage myths busted

Recipes, restaurant reviews, interviews, and what’s still to come this month

Bacon Jam Burger

It’s down to the last few days of the 10th annual Food Month at The Irish Times and there are plenty of recipes, reviews, interviews and ideas for you to catch up on. Here is a rundown of what you may have missed this week and a look ahead at what is still to come.

Spend less, eat well

Lilly Higgins brings you the perfect solution for your leftover mashed potatoes. What leftover mash, we hear you ask. Well, with this recipe you might want to make sure you keep some to the side. The resulting gnocchi are “delicious little pillows of mash bound together” with “a great depth of flavour”.

On the topic of leftovers, Dr Mary Lenahan of the Food Safety Authority busts some myths about food storage and meal preparation. She says that while leftovers are “a great way of making the most of your budget”, it is vital to “make sure that you are storing leftover food safely to reduce the risk of possible food poisoning”. Have a look at her safety tips here.

Looking for family-friendly recipes that won’t break the bank? Our Frugal Feasts series brought five new meals to readers this week that will feed four people for less than €10, including family favourite pasta e piselli, a one-pot sausage, tomato and butterbean stew, chicken adobo that tastes even better the next day, a chicken pot pie and bacon jam burgers for a family treat.


Heading out?

If you’re not in the mood for cooking, have a look at this week’s restaurant review. Corinna Hardgrave says this is the restaurant Dublin has been waiting for, with food cooked so precisely it could make you weep. “I want to eat every single dish on this menu,” she writes.

Meanwhile, Marie-Claire Digby checks out two new food buinesses in Dublin including Laurel in Blackrock. There the menu states: “No service charge: All gratuities go directly to staff.” One staff member is in control of the tips and the manager has no involvement. Is this the way forward for eateries? Read it here.

The philosophy of food

This week’s Unthinkable column explores the philosophy of our food choices and even suggests that Socrates would opt for a plant-based diet. Philosopher Dr Margaret Steele says: “For those of us who still love a non-lab-grown steak or a greasy takeaway, sustainable eating can be a hard sell . . . But the history of philosophy gives us reason to believe that eating sustainably is in fact a much more promising path to a pleasurable and happy life.”

Flash from the past

Marie-Claire Digby takes a trip down memory lane to compile a “rather unusual” shopping basket - filled with once-loved food that may have been forgotten about. “A trawl of three major stores in Dublin this week revealed that there are still plenty of old-school favourites nestled in among the sriracha sauce, tofu and oat milk,” she writes. Have a look at her basket here.

What’s next?

There are just three days left of this year’s Food Month but still plenty to look forward to including an exciting reader event at Richard Corrigan’s Park Cafe this Wednesday. Some of the brightest culinary talents in Ireland will be there, bringing a different course each that champions fresh, local and seasonal produce. Tickets for this sold out almost immediately, but a little bird tells us a few more could become available on Monday. Keep an eye out here.

The final of the K Club amateur wine expert competition will be held on Monday, with five finalists in the running for a prize worth more than €10,000. The lucky winner will play a part in The K Club’s wine team for 2023, including by shadowing a wine tasting and visiting Château Magnol, the vineyard of renowned wine-makers Barton & Guestier in France. The winner will be announced on Tuesday morning.

Lilly Higgins steers away from the one-pot stews and casseroles that we all know and love during the winter months to bring you a seasonal salad recipe. “As long as they’re substantial with warm elements and plenty of texture” salads still make a great winter meal, she writes. And her recipe coming on Monday, with roasted sweet potato, kale, pomegranate and grapes, is sure to fit that bill.

Mince pie season is just around the corner and this week’s Shelf Help column, online on Tuesday, gives you a must-have ingredient that will be “the star of your Christmas baking”.

For all of the fussy eaters, Jen Hogan is here to sympathise with you. In her column, she writes: “I’ve always been a fussy eater, since I was a small child. People confuse this with having a small appetite – I don’t. My two main food groups are potatoes and chocolate. My mother claims I’m a carbohydrate addict.” Read the full article on Wednesday.