I’ve had a wonderfully indulgent few weeks full of celebrations, houseguests, and travel. As I settle back into routine and process it all, I’ve realised a few things…
1. Explore your local. I’m incredibly lucky to live in a brilliant neighbourhood in Dublin that has burst into life over the last few years. My sleepy suburban village has recently become a proper haven for foodies. Particular shoutouts are owed to Green Man Wines, Craft Restaurant and Five Points who are all doing amazing neighbourhood dining. I mean, who doesn’t want to have smokey wild garlic rarebit topped with a poached egg and then paired with a perfectly pickled salad located almost on their doorstep? Not too far away is the equally fabulous Richmond, where I was recently blown away by the Tuesday Tasting Menu. 5 courses, €29.95, totally amazing.
The aforementioned rarebit.
2. You SHOULD meet your heroes. Last week, I dined at the truly special Ottolenghi. I’ve been an enormous fan of his column and subsequent cookbooks for years, so was highly anticipating my trip to his Spidalfields restaurant. And to be honest…it managed to surpass my expectations! Every dish was complex and simple all at the same time, and the food was, to be honest, full of joy. Inspirational and aspirational cooking. I mean, look how happy it makes people!
Yeah, we finished our desserts and then savaged all the remaining custard. It was the right thing to do. You would have done it too, so don’t judge.
3. Always check out the hole-in-the-wall with the long queue. On Sunday evening we stopped by Klaw to see if the rumours of authentic crab shack dining were true. They were. We ate the most beautiful salty-sweet oysters and washed them down with glasses of picpoul de pinet. Then there was a lobster roll that competed with my childhood memories of Maine summers. I snagged a bite of each of my companions’ Dublin Bay prawns (grilled with epic amounts and garlic butter), fish tacos (filets of John Dory with pineapple salsa, wrapped in a soft flour tortilla) and crab sandwich (a brioche roll stuffed with lightly dressed crab and salty bacon). There was even creamy, delicious mac & cheese to placate the threenager.
I managed to catch Dan sucking back his first oyster, but there are no more photos of the food because really, it just demanded to be eaten.
So, there’s been some knock-my-socks-off eating that has fed my belly and my soul and is inspiring me to challenge myself in the kitchen. I’m going to push the boat out and make a commitment to try one new recipe each week this summer, when life moves a little more slowly and so much produce is at it’s peak. I’ve started this week, and you’ll be delighted to know that it’s a dessert, and a chocolate one at that. My inspiration came from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen (yes, again…I just can’t get enough of her) and the fact that Tuesday is dessert night at our house (a reward for surviving swimming lessons…) I made these gorgeous little Belgian Chocolate Cakelets and so should you. Six ingredients, which you probably have in your house right now, and no special equipment required, save a muffin tin. Go on…you know you want to…
They are crispy on the top, gooey in the middle, just shy of tooth-achingly sweet, and absolutely fabulous. I followed the directions precisely, and they turned out perfectly the first time – a rare feat for me, as I’m not a natural baker.
Finally, in other food-related news…
- I loved this article about chef Wylie Dufresne’s daily eating habits
- I went day drinking at Teeling Whiskey Distillery with my husband & parents. I highly recommend it. Their Small Batch is phenomenal.
- Are you listening to Spilled Milk? You should be!