Rhubarb Cake

Choice 1
Rhubarb stalks

Since I was a little boy, I have loved rhubarb in the simplest of its cooking forms: compote. There was nothing fancy about it, stewed with a bit of sugar and served for breakfast, in a big old clay bowl that would make the food safety authority scream a loud and demented “J’accuse”. Sometimes, “His Highness” like my father called me, as I was a fussy little fecker, got served some rhubarb jam instead, in a jar, from the shop! Maybe she didn’t read the label? Maybe the beautiful rhizomes weren’t in season? With a disappointed pout and an exaggerated lift of the left eyebrow, I would push the jam jar away from me, in protest, with the tips of my fingers, before being clipped behind the ears by my father’s.

Continue reading “Rhubarb Cake”

Dirty Haricots

Aaaahhh the joys of summer and the simplicity of its cooking… If there is a veg that was always present on the August table was the green bean, or, like we called it “haricot vert”. My mother and grandmother used to simply boil them for a while ( I like to leave them with a crunch so 5 min in boiling water will do). It often accompanied a pork loin roast, with tomatoes and roasted garlic. To be honest, I just enjoy them like so, with or without meat… With a crumble of cheese at the end. Nice…

Haricot prep
Haricot prep

Continue reading “Dirty Haricots”

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart
Strawberry Tart

Did you know that the first garden Strawberries were first cultivated in Brittany? Yes, I can say that with a proud face, squinty eyes and hair in the wind while staring at the horizon from the bow of my ship; a mixture of Clint Eastwood and Jacques Cartier, Breton explorer, Canada discoverer and Strawberry amateur who brought back some Fragaria virginiana in the hull of his ship… The rest is history.

Continue reading “Strawberry Tart”

Breton Far Recipe

Breton Far was a big part of our table culture; my mother would make one at least once every fortnight. To describe it, would be a slow cook custard cake, with rum soaked prunes here and there… Yum. Anyway, here are a few pointers for a smaller version… It is quite rich, but a brilliant lift in the winter. First, soak a few prunes with dark tea and rum…

Soak the prunes with rum and tea
Soak the prunes with rum and tea

Continue reading “Breton Far Recipe”

Pork and Apple burger with Irish Apple juice sauce

Last Saturday, I visited my local butchers, like a modern yet nonchalant hunter and gatherer, I was getting my weekly food shopping of course, but also having an opportunity – an excuse – for a bit of craíc and banter, a chance to catch up with the local news (some might call it “gossip”, but I will not lower myself to that level… Anyway, keep that for yourself, I’ll tell you later…).
I got taken by their latest creation, a Pork and Apple burger. I didn’t want to just put it in a bun; after all, a lot of effort went into designing this dish. The previous night I had made some lovely mash potatoes, with some grated Coolea cheese from Cork, a two year old Irish Gouda if you prefer, sweet and parmesan like somewhat. That was half the battle…
For the sauce, I decided to do a creamy apple juice sauce. I had a small bottle of Karmine apple juice from Tipperary, “The Apple Farm”. It is sweet with a hint of tart, perfect for a family dish like this; its execution is actually quite easy, just a bit of preparation will go a long way. It is also a great wink to both Brittany and Ireland: they love their apples, in whichever form they come into. Pictures and recipes below.

Pork and Apple Burger

Continue reading “Pork and Apple burger with Irish Apple juice sauce”