Ballymaloe week two has been filled with early morning stock duty, fancy techniques, demonstrations, more vino and the odd slice of soda bread.
Monday shortcrust pastry yet again! This time I actually got it right (HURRAAAA). Pastry can get super wet so just being careful adding the wet ingredients is the key. This is what makes the crust ‘short’, buttery and yum. We used eating apples in the apple pie but in hindsight I would cook them off a little in a saucepan with some sugar so they get a little softer before adding them to the pastry to bake. I also made Jerusalem Artichoke soup which is full of velvety texture when blitzed up smooth. This grows in Ireland and even though we rarely see it, it is really good for the immune system (YASSSS).
On Tuesday we jointed a chicken with our instructors which is a fairly epic skill to have. Basically what I got from the demo was that if you are hitting bone that means you are not taking away any flesh… happy days! The more bone hitting the better. We made this AMAZINGLY GORGEY almond chicken (if anyone wants the recipe gimme a message). Served with crispy poppadoms and and an apple chutney. Your welcome. Oh and I made a textbook white soda bread ❤
Wednesday morning started off with Darina and Eddie O’Neill from Moy Park who is a cheese expert. Even coming from a dairy farm, I had no idea how much can be made from surplus milk. We had lessons on how to make cottage cheese and gouda which is pretty intense but if you stick to the science then it will work. Simple as. In the afternoon we had another wine lecture. This time we focused on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. I absolutely looooooved the Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux. I seem to have an affliction with red wine, I just can’t pick out the flavors I am supposed to. Oh well! Maybe in a few years or so…
The best Thursday EVER! Mexican food… YASSSS! Let me break it down to get the juices flowing…. chicken tostadas, quesadillas with green chillis and gruyere, mushroom and black eyed bean stew and creme caramel. I made the black eyed bean stew which I would recommend to absolutely anyone, it is nutritious and packed with flavor. I had a bit of time spare so I made caramel, spun sugar and made caramel shards. SO MUCH FUN!!!
On Friday we focused on filleting fish. To say my first try went dismally is the understatement of the century. The second time was better. Not good, but better. I have to ‘practice’. MORTIFIED! We made a fish pie with the ‘perfect mash’. The perfect mash has floury potatoes (golden wonders) and is packed with 400ml of creamy milk, 25g of butter and lots of seasoning. The mash is passed through a special thin sieve to get rid of the lumps. Then we piped the creamy mash onto the pie. These recipes are all in Darina Allen’s book about the Ballymaloe course. It’s pretty much a cookery bible. Even though we get these recipes printed, I got the book given to me by my aunt Ang (so sweet) and I am writing notes on the recipes just to jog my memory in the future. Nerd alert. I care not.
Time is going too fast and I literally don’t want this to end. Week three YAY! Anyone who wants any info I am happy to chat just email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.