I’ll be cooking for eight and have sourced my turkey from two fields away where he is currently pecking about under the trees oblivious to the Victorian delph platter that awaits. Jamie Oliver’s Dublin eatery may be so so, but his delicious Brussels sprouts recipe never fails – roasted with garlic, bacon lardons and cream. To start I’m serving Mag Kirwan’s smoked Goatsbridge Trout with wasabi and for sparkle, a scattering of her Trout Caviar. Pudding will be the traditional French Galette des Rois – more strictly for the epiphany but we love it at Christmas – puff pastry, almonds, cream and a secret hidden jewel.
There are gorgeous gifts for Foodies this year including hand made serving boards for cheese and antipasti from Terry Cullen who makes Fallon & Byrne’s beautiful examples. The effervescent Birgitta Curtin’s Burren Smokehouse offers online ordering for her award-winning smoked salmon, cheeses and chutneys.www.burrensmokehouse.ie For decandent foodies, white truffles from Alba have outstandingly deep flavour and can be bought from www.buywhitetruffles.co.uk.
Foodie books this Christmas are all about bandwagons and jumping on them.
50 Shades of Chicken features recipes for Dripping Thighs and Mustard Spanked Chicken. And in case you thought vegetables weren’t sexy, its rival 50 Shades of Kale promises “Fifty new pleasing ways to partner kale, including Thai’d up Roughage”. Oh yes, yes, YES!!
If you’re on a tight budgets check out Aldi’s Christmas offerings. Their Christmas pudding just beat Fortnum and Mason’s in a taste competition and I happen to know some great Irish cheeses sold there under private label. Keep a secret? Me?
|Waterfall farm shop|
If you fancy a free range turkey they can be ordered at Waterfall Farm Shop outside Enniskerry. I’ll be at their Christmas Food and Crafts Fair and will try to not to leave this time with a baby goat. If we don’t stop borrowing things from the neighbours (last week it was a gigantic John Deere), we’re going to get a reputation to add to the one we already have.
|The Cellar Bar in the Merrion Hotel|
On my pre-Christmas eating plans are The Good Food Ireland dinner at the Shelbourne and lunch at The Cellar Bar at The Merrion Hotel for Jane Russell’s organic pork sausage and their doesn’t-
taste-skinny skinny soup. Churpy Strahan’s Lolly and Cooks makes a hip pit stop at Georges Arcade for a warming chorizo and lentil stew and if you’re rushing in Dublin’s Southside try Urban in Cabinteely for decent coffee in New York inspired surroundings.
For #dudefood a la the US I’ll be visiting just-opened Asador on Haddington Road from Eric Mooney (ex One Pico) and Shane Mitchell (Peploes). On their massive grill are meats from artisan producers and if you’re planning bodice ripping high jinx later, there’s Irish lobster, and Champagne of course.