Mash Cakes and Red Pepper Sauce

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Mash Cakes and Red Pepper Sauce

When I was a kid, we had something at school called the “Cantine”, a self service refectory, subsidized by the State and for a mere £1 or 10 Francs at the time, you could get a three course meal. We didn’t realise then how lucky we were, just more interesting by what was on the menu. Yes, every Monday morning, during the 10 O’clock recess, a sheet of paper would be stapled on the notice board under the giant wooden porch. We gathered around, impatient with the excitement of youth, full of false expectations, a reminder that we were in here for the long haul, most of us against our will. So the menu, knowing what we were going to eat that week, was a little ray of sunshine, our way to cope with the long days ahead even if the week was broken in half, Wednesdays off but a long way to the Saturday’s lunchtime bell, the relieving sound of a long awaited short weekend…

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Cooleeney Brie cake with green cherry tomato coulis

Wood puff ball
Wood puff ball

After a walk in the local forest a couple of weeks ago, hunger came knocking with a vengeance. I had to get  off the woods, all those mushrooms and colours of October inspired me. I made my way back to the kitchen and just got an idea… A cheesy Autumnal treat.

Ripe Cooleeney
Ripe Cooleeney

I made a “champ”, mash potatoes with spring onions, with a bith of butter and milk but not too wet. I mixed in an egg yolk and a bit of flour… I chopped and sautéed a few mushrooms, with fresh organic Irish garlic and tender thyme leaves from the garden and chunk of Cooleeney Brie. I mixed the lot, made little cakes and covered them with flour. I fried them for a few minutes on each side and left them in the oven for a bit. My friend gave me some green cherry tomatoes and I had to find a quick and easy way to accomodate them into this dish…

Mushrooms'n' Green Cheery Tomatoes
Mushrooms’n’ Green Cheery Tomatoes

I sliced the green cherry tomatoes in halves, and fried them in a pan with coriander seeds and a red onion, added some lemon juice and a dollop of honey. Blitz the lot with a bit of water, sieved it in a pan for after. It was ready to go, with the flavours of October on a plate… Pretty comforting too, especially after an Autumn walk, of Brie,  green and gold.

Cooleeney Cakes with green cherries coulis
Cooleeney Cakes with green cherries coulis