Melon and Mint Ice Cream

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Melon and mint ice cream

Something amused me the other day; I stumbled upon a new trend called “Avolatte” or for you and me, a latte or a flat white coffee being made in an avocado skin. That is right, you read correctly. Maybe it was a bit of Australian humour, hippsterization of food gone wrong, a world gone mad in search of novel ideas… I just smirked all the way home, feeling a bit sorry for people who clearly had lost it… Yes, I smirked and that very night I woke up smelling a strong whiff of humble pie, freshly baked, the sweet aroma of revenge filling up my room…

Hipp salad (2)
Tabouleh with Avocado Latte

You see, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I saw some pretty crazy stuff being served at our table, one of them came back to me with a vengeance, involving the beautiful Charentais Cantaloupe melon, bright orange and full of sweet flavours. A real taste of summer for me. You know what the adults did? They used to cut it in halves, scoop the seeds from the middle and then poured a healthy dose of Port right there in the centre. A serious chance to get pissed before the main course arrived, that is for sure! Seriously guys?!? What were you thinking!?!

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Charentais/ Cantaloupe Melon

So in order to make amend, repair this crime against gastronomy, I decided to make a little something special with my melon, a delicate ice cream, with fresh mint from the garden, perfect for the little heat wave we are having here in Ireland ( 25c I am not even joking!), also a way to reconnect with fond summer memories and this is how it went…

You’ll Need:

  • 180 g of Cantaloupe Charentais melon ( organic)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 cl of double cream
  • 15 cl of hot milk
  • 50 g of organic caster sugar
  • Few leaves of fresh mint
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Fresh mint from the garden

How To?

Put the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl and whisk until it’s nice and creamy…

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Creaming the eggs

In a jar, put 15 cl of milk, and bring to the boil or rather just below, then just pour it over the egg mix…

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15 cl of milk

Put the peeled and seeded melon in a mixer, with the fresh mint and double cream and whiz the lot; you will then add it to the mix with a spatula…

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Melon and mint

While you do that, put the egg and cream bock on a low heat, keep stirring until it gets a bit thicker…

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Custard like, nice and smooth…

Pour the melon mix over in a bowl…

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Melon, cream and mint mix

Then pour the whole mix in a dish, ready for the freezer…

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Ready for the freezer

I live the Ice Cream in the freezer for a couple of hours, then give it another go in the mixer for potential ice crystals… I served the ice cream with melon and watermelon balls, but the flavours could also leave the door open to a savoury marriage I think, even blue cheese maybe… Now, there’s a thought for another experiment…

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Melon and mint ice cream
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Melon and mint ice cream
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Melon and mint ice cream

Keep Well and Eat Happy,

Slán Tamall

Franck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lemon Tart for Nikki

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Lemon Tart and Coffee

In 1982, we left the city for an idyllic life by the shores of the “Golfe”. Building a house was a big deal then, and I guess it always kind of is, especially the first home you are going to owe, move in as a family. The wonderful adventure lasted 8 years, all the ingredients for happiness were obvious, laid magically in front of us, vocations were born there, the start of a long life as a “Blown In”, a life of never really belonging anywhere and a talent for making new friends quite easily… Yes, a lot happened under that roof in 8 years; life changing moments? Absolutely! Life shattering? Definitely! By 1990, it was all over, my parents separated and my sister and I kindly refer to our childhood and teenage years’ abode as “The House of Hell”…

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Quick Provençale Tart

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Tarte provençale ( Provençale tart)

Oh man! Between my ornithological outings, and organising our 8th annual Irish Food Festival at work ( plus a disastrous broadband at home), blogging recipes and stories has been have been a bit of a challenge! Anyhoo, I couldn’t let this little ripper being unshared! I make this great recipe in the summer, to put me in the mood I guess; I call it “Tarte provençale” or ” Provençale Tart” it’s all good I swear, all good!

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Gnocchi, on Heaven’s Door

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Gnocchi with saffron and red peppers sauce

Yesterday was a strange kind of day. This time of year is Dawn Chorus month and for the last five or six years, my two compadre from “Birdwatch Ireland Meath” and myself lead a group of very brave people, on a nocturnal procession in various locations of our county to listen to a new Dominical Dawn, bird waking up, welcoming daylight by the banks of the Boyne river. This good natured affair is also an early one, as we start the walk at 4 am, meaning I have to be up at 2:30 am, and in my car by 3:15 am latest. I normally return to bed between 6 and 7 am, waking up again later, never feeling fully restored and having that uneasy feeling that I have already had a full Sunday… As you can see, I don’t do too well on sleep deprivation!

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Homemade Baked Beans

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Baked Beans, poached eggs, buckwheat pan cake and asparagus.

I realised that I have been away from the house quite a bit lately; for work and leisure or a bit of both, spending a bit of time North Westward has been good to me. Then my sister came to visit, we haven’t seen each other in a year and a half and spending a bit of time with her, her partner and my nephews was refreshing and made me concentrate on other things. We visited the area, Fore and the Cairns of Loughcrew, Dublin for a bite and a bit of shopping, the Natural History for the boys or a day trip to Sligo, Mullaghmore and Glencar. They left on the Friday, and when my birthday came the following Tuesday, I felt a great sense of emptiness – not necessarily unpleasant- rather a time to reflect on the things in life that matters; nature and nurture… I needed to treat myself; I had soaked some beans the night before, stuck “Siouxie & the Banshees” in the CD player, opened a bottle of wine and started cooking…

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North by North West

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Traffic Jam in Mayo

I haven’t been very well for the passed three weeks, a bit of a dose I often get in Spring, people say it is the change of season, I blame the “put the clock forward for a bit of light” malarkey; this messes me up big time! I mean, seriously? Who had the brain wave? A former French President claimed it was to save energy, I think there is something much more sinister behind it, a hidden agenda… I told you I was feeling feverish. Anyhoo, instead of taking a good rest, I went gallivanting in Killybegs with a healthy stock of paper handkerchiefs, and the week after my colleague “Murph” and I had planned to visit a few customers out west, and a cheese and wine tasting in Letterkenny. It was on the card for a couple of months, and the sensible thing would have been to stay at home; I really wanted to go, helping my colleague of course, but I also wanted to see what was happening out there. Sniffling and coughing I went, stubborn like a pig headed Breton, delusional like a teenager who keeps believing that “it’ll be alright”! Thinking about it, I must have been a charming traveling companion, trumpeting like John Coltrane one minute, sounding like a husky hoarse Barry White an other. Our first stop was in Oughterard, a lovely shop in the heart of the town, O’Sullivan’s…

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Killybegs, Diplomatic Ties

Killybegs Seafood Platter
Killybegs Seafood Platter

I love my job; I know it is cold in this old railway train engine maintenance stone building from the 19th century, pretty much winter for seven months of the year, yes, perishing actually! I have often joked about my age with customers, claiming that I was in fact 78 years old, preserved like a Dorian Gray Popsicle if you wish… Yes, I love my job, being surrounded by great food all day, food and farmhouse cheese, made by people with incredible stories that I like to pass on. But what really gets me going is the people; you never really know who is going to walk through the door, folks with lives and stories, big and small and I love that! I really like listening to them, the quirks and anecdotes, “queer as folk” the expression says, or like the local accent dictates, it is often pronounced “quare” in that unmistakable Irish twang.

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