Week Seven: Ballymaloe

It’s been the best week. Cooking is going to plan. The recipes are done acting the maggot. Exam results are out and I’m pretty happy. Everyone did well so it seems like they were easy enough on our several mistakes. Happy days! Also, I may have gotten some pretty shockingly good news, I need to confirm all the details first but it’s worth the wait ❤

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Candid shot on the beach with Charles

A good ole Irish Stew. Monday’s lunch was comfy and known. It was a blustery day and this was the perfect thing to cook. We used lamb cutlets with the bone left on through the cooking. At home we usually chop the lamb up slightly then cook but actually the bones add such a depth of flavor and the lamb cutlets are divine when the meat melts off the bone. Fab! I had some time spare in the day so of course I chose a really healthy option as you do.’Ruffles Brownies’. Actually they weren’t healthy, they had enough butter to clog a person’s arteries in one bite. I seriously think this recipe (which is Florie a tutors own recipe) is the best brownie recipe I have ever encountered. If you want this recipe please email me… I want people to enjoy this feast of chocolate fudge. My boyfriend Sean came to the school for lunch and a demo. Needless to say he had a brownie! Yuuuuuum.

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The lovely Colm

On Tuesday I made a deeply indulgent cheese souffle. They are such an effort but weirdly not as difficult as they are made out to be. Mine was a little salty which was slightly annoying as I used a pinch of salt but the cheddar cheese I used was too salty to begin with. Steph and I were pretty livid after all our work trying to get them light and fluffy. The real winner on Tuesday was this absolutely AMAZING toffee sauce. I can’t deal. Even thinking about it now makes me wonder if I could make enough to swim in??? Needless to say Annette my tutor thought it was bangin’. I spooned it over sweet crepes and thinly sliced bananas. I can’t!

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Another  Wednesday with Blaithnaid Bergin. All business, how to run a catering company and set up a restaurant. The amount of spoons you have to buy! Madness! Ah no but seriously we made a list four A3 size pages full with what you need to buy for your toolkit. Investors are welcome ❤

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Peachy with my dinner

Thursday was hectic, steak and mushroom pie with flaky pastry, Parmesan crisps on a bed of bitter leaves and blue cheese dressing and toasted hazelnuts. Christ. Delicious! I know what your thinking… the diet’s going really well then yeah? Moving swiftly on… The flaky pastry is oddly therapeutic and the recipe makes so much that I had enough for two pies (I made one Friday too). It takes a good while to chill and roll x4 but it’s just incredibly flaky and buttery when you home make it. Give it a go! It makes pies, sausage rolls etc. The Coach House crew are all making my mammy’s sausage rolls on Sunday with our leftover pastry.

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Thursday evening we got to have an extra lecture on hot and cold smoking of food. I don’t know if I’m alone here but I would smoke ANY food! I think it is just beyond good. Pat our tutor cooked a chicken breast with hot smoke and served it to us. It was moist, charred and smelled like wood. It is easy enough to do at home as long as you use food grade wood chippings and have a smoker of sorts which I am told are not super pricey (approx 50-60 euro). I hope I get to work with them a little more and perhaps for my final exam.

Apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Need I say more? No. But I will. APPLE PIE with left over flaky pastry and a shortcrust bottom, cooking apples and the cutest apple cutters known to man. The pie is labor intensive but so yummy I think it may actually be worth it. Making ice cream that is as creamy and packed with flavor as the Ballymaloe recipe is just so satisfying. When it works out and have a spoonful mixed with the apple pie it’s difficult to think of anything more wonderful. I am going to keep my eyes peeled for an ice cream maker so I can continue to ignore dieting.

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Apple Pie

On Saturday morning a bunch of us met our tutor Emer on the beach for a morning seaweed forage while the tide was out. I know. Who have I become? This is my life now, I’m embracing it. Tasting fresh seaweed is totally different to what you would expect. Pepper Dulse is a particular type that tastes slightly nutty and cheesy. It is actually delicious. It sticks to the rocks when the tide goes out and you just pick it off.

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Pretty Periwinkle

Happy Sunday,

Shauna xoxo

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