Roasted Cherry Toms and Pea Quiche

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Roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh peas and goat’s cheese quiche.

It was a funny day yesterday… I was enjoying my breakfast, a nice mug of breakfast tea in one hand, the other holding the left side of my face, elbow on the table while listening to the usual gobbledygook on the radio, bis repetita placent blabla that it becomes quite entertaining and then voosh! Lights and radio out, silence broken only by the cats purring somewhere under the table. I just cursed a bit and without real conviction, acceptance while looking at the ESB reminder pinned on the “do not forget” board in front of me and for the past ten days. The skies were grey, raining and humid, it was going to be a long afternoon… No TV, no internet, too sad out to go for a walk or even a drive so I did what I do sometimes, sat in the hall of the cottage and went through six boxes of pictures, a life documented like many others, six boxes and something like 25 years in the making, moments I remembered a bit more than others, I couldn’t stop…

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Fresh Fig with toasted St Tola and Aronia coulis

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St Tola goat’s cheese with fresh ripe fig and aronia coulis.

Not a lot of people know this, but I grew up in a school until I was ten years old. My Mother was a teacher and we had moved a fair bit by the time I reached the age of five. Questembert first, after I was born in the Sacred Heart Clinic in Vannes, just off Roosevelt avenue, then Belz, not too far from Auray where a Guineafowl kept on chasing and terrorising me, where my child minder used to call me “Figure de poire”, “Pear Face”, a nice lady though… Then finally Vannes. By the time I was five, I had lived in three schools. In France at the time, a teacher didn’t earn a lot of money, but one of the perks of the job came with a descent amount of holidays, and a “logement de fonction” ( work accommodation) for the whole family, until you were senior enough and with a reasonably comfortable income to get your own…

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St Tola Raviole and the Chinese TV Crew

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St Tola Raviole and spinach broth

I can’t believe it has been three years already; I was sitting on the garden table, sipping on a nice coffee and honey, just the way I like it when the phone rang. ” 9 am!” I thought, “can’t a man enjoy a wee bit of peace before heading to work?”. It was a lady from Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland if you prefer, “Fáilte” meaning “Welcome”; by the sounds of things it seemed to be important and it came from the top, well you know, top enough! A camera crew from China, CCTV to be precise were touring Ireland; they wished to stop at my work place and wanted me to speak about cheese…

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The Pizzaiolo (Recipe)

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Chestnut Flour Pizza, with mushrooms and leek, St Tola goat’s cheese and raw cream

First, I would like to dedicate this post to my fellow blogger Julia from “Julia chews the fat”; she inspired me to speak about an important part of my life, the day I became a “Pizzaiolo”, or for you and me, a pizza chef. The story started in autumn 1995, after spending five months in Galway, “Blue eyed girl” and I were coming back to Sligo. “Arnold The Hero” gave us a lift back, the skies were very low like today and my mood wasn’t much higher. Maybe it was the fact that I was leaving the “City of Tribes” for another little bit, maybe it was the fact that he played a cassette of Mano Solo ( son of “Cabu”, one of the cartoonist killed in the Charlie Hebdo murders). Don’t get me wrong, his material is great, just freaking depressing when you are hangover and rain is battering the Western land… Or maybe it was the fact that I had to find a job, no pressure so… A few days later, I saw an ad in one of the Italian restaurants of the town; bold as brass, I jumped in thinking I would have nothing to lose, I had no experience in the food business, or very little. I remembered what one of my peers once said to me: “ If you are in a night club, and you fancy a girl on the dance floor, if you stay on your chair, your chances are virtually none; if you get up your ass, and ask that girl if she would like to dance with you, your chances suddenly jump from 0 to 50%”. That is more or less what I did that day… And I got the dance…

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Eggs Meurette Style

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Eggs Meurette Style

The last time I did this traditional recipe from Burgundy was a couple of years ago, around this time of year… It was for an idea of a post for work, my vision of celebrating Easter I guess, with the whole egg thing and all that. Unfortunately, I did it on a “Good Friday”, where the whole of Ireland goes dry. The pubs are closed, no one drinks alcohol and meat especially pork is absolutely forbidden… Hahahaha… Hum… Sorry, I just had a moment here. So as I said, I meant well, but since my religious education is literally inexistent ( I have culture about religions, just no education), I unleashed the ire of Mujahideen of the Holly Bible… I failed twice, with the bacon and the wine… They came down on me frantically and verbally gesturing on the web like a bunch of sweepers around a Curling stone… Guys , I meant no disrespect, so sorry again hey?

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Cucumber and Kiwi Salad

If like me you feel a little fragile today, after watching the amazing win from the Irish team against France, during the Rugby world cup yesterday, I have a lovely little salad for you. Don’t knock it until you try it, it really works! I often have this for breakfast…

Cucumber and Kiwi salad
Cucumber and Kiwi salad

Cucumber and Kiwi salad

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