Thursday, 20 September 2012

potato, coriander & chilli soup

Potato, Coriander & Chilli Soup

Well, the summer is finally starting to leave us here in Ireland (most of us question if we even had one this year!), and so it's time to bring out the comfort food. Last night was decidedly nippy, so I made this lovely belly-warming soup, plonked myself firmly on the sofa and focussed on warming my cockles.

This is a great soup for vegetarians too, and the vegans amongst you can simply replace the milk and crème fraîche with soy milk and soy sour cream respectively. The total cooking time, including chopping is around half an hour. Simple eh?! Oh and last (but not least), make sure you have a few chunks of crusty bread for dipping and mopping purposes...

Monday, 17 September 2012

the best malteser cake

Malteser cake

There comes a time in your life when you just have to go for it, and try to make the richest, sweetest, chocolateyest (is that a word? Definitely should be!) cake possible. After much searching around, and even more experimenting, I decided to go for a tried & tested recipe. Not only that, it just looked so good!!

Lorraine Pascale is a former model and pâtissière who is rising in the TV chef world recently in the UK, and it's Lorraine's recipe I had a stab at last week.

There's a link to the original recipe here, but I've also listed it out below for those of you too lazy to click!

Monday, 3 September 2012

review: green 19, dublin 2

Menu - Green 19, Camden Street, Dublin
Friday nights on Camden Street, just south of Dublin city centre, can be busy affairs, and stressful ones too. With so many eating & drinking holes to choose form in this buzzing part of town it's often a case of which pub to go to? And in which order? And where to eat?

Thankfully that last question doesn't take too much thinking about, thanks to the guys & gals at the uber-trendy Green 19. So popular is this cafe-cum-restaurant-cum-bistro-cum-gallery, that tables are always at a premium, whether it's funky Friday or mundane Monday.

Reservations can't be made after 6pm, so it tends to be a case of first-come first-served. No worries if you can't get in immediately though; service is fast & efficient (and friendly!), and turnover of covers is quick as a result.

We visited around 9pm, which I know from experience is one of the busiest times here. Not a bother though; an approximate waiting time of half an hour was given, names & numbers were taken, and we popped next door to Anseo for a glass of something suitably fizzy/dry/on the rocks whilst we waited. 15 minutes later the call came in, and we're told to "take your time - the table's yours whenever you need it". How great is it to hear that on a Friday night in Dublin when you haven't even booked a place?!

Specials Board - Green 19, Camden Street, Dublin
Specials Board - Green 19, Camden Street, Dublin
Having been here before, I know the portions are a good size, and will satisfy the hungriest of appetites, so we tried to play it safe with our starter. We went for the excellent sharing plate of cured meats at €8. A larger portion is available for €12 for those who haven't eaten for a couple of days.

The meats were tasty and reminded us of our recent trip to Barcelona - always a good thing! We had a good few slices of salami, chorizo, pastrami and Serrano ham; great with some bread, and a forkful of the accompanying dressed leaf salad. Incidentally, this all arrived (expertly draped across a wooden board), within around 3 minutes of ordering - fast as this may seem, it's a perfect example of the typical level of service you receive at Green 19, and always comes with a smile and an undoubted feeling of nothing being too much trouble.

Next up was the Mains event (see what I did there?)...

I opted for one of the specials of the night, the other being fish & chips, which had sadly sold out - not surprising; I've had it it the past and it seriously rocks. Instead I went for the round steak, which comes with chips and a Béarnaise sauce. I asked for it to be cooked rare, and rare it was - perfectly seared on the outside, perfectly red on the inside, and tender as you like, with my accompanying dagger sliding through it like the proverbial hot knife through butter; not easy to achieve with this particular cut of cow.

Her Majesty went for the veggie option, thinking it to be a safe bet for "not much". How wrong she was, and I could see her face recognise that fact when her Mexican Chilli Bean Burrito arrived. Falling off the edges of the plate, this also came with a more-than-generous serving of those marvellous hand cut chips. Fair play, she almost finished the lot, however had trouble speaking for a while afterwards, which isn't always a bad thing. After such a tasty meal I mean of course...

The wines we chose (white for the burrito, red for the cow) were brought towards the end of the starter as requested, with the white being crisp, dry, and cold as you like, and my Rioja at room temperature as is the standard these days. All very acceptable, and both very downed without a hint of a grimace.

Desserts were beckoning but sadly belts were busting so I settled for a small coffee whilst HRH stuck with the complimentary water. Shortly after that the bill came (with free mints woop!), we paid up, stood up (slowly), and waddled our way to the door.

All-in-all, a great meal in very cool and super-friendly surroundings. Head for Green 19 soon (and as often as you can), for perfect food, outstanding service and ridiculously low prices. What are you waiting for?
Our Starters
Selection of Cured Meats & Sausages (to share)

Our Mains
Mexican Chilli Bean Burrito
Round Steak, chips & Béarnaise sauce

Our Plonk
Viña Bujanda, Rioja
Bianco di Toscana Trebiano

Our Afters
Espresso macchiato

Our Bill
€49.00 + tip
Green 19
19 Camden Street Lower
Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 (1) 478 9626