Tag Archives: soup

Making a Pig’s Ear of it on Nassau Street

13 Nov

I recently turned 25. I have come to the conclusion that life is practically over. I am sure within weeks, maybe even days, I will start to look haggard, forget things and refer to simpler times, “When I was your age…”

But before all that happens, I decided to celebrate with a few friends over the weekend in The Pig’s Ear on Nassau Street. I could only get a 9.30 booking but as we all had commitments earlier in the day it suited us to eat later.

Ham hock terrine

For starter I had a ham hock terrine which I very much enjoyed. It was served with a chopped hen’s egg and a nice piece of toast. It was a very pleasant dish, perhaps the terrine could have had a stronger flavour but it was a very clean plate returning to the kitchen. Another starter highlight was the cured salmon. It was served sliced slightly thicker than I have seen elsewhere and was delicious. Despite the cure you could still taste the salmon. It’s owner, a confirmed foodie, was very satisfied. Another hit was the Jerusalem Artichoke soup, which I also tried and while it isn’t something I would ordinarily order, it was very pleasant.

 

For mains I had the halibut, served with cauliflower and some potato in some sort of delicious citrusy dressing. There were also glazed sultanas on the plate and nuts. I really loved this dish, the fish was cooked nicely, there were wonderful contrasts on the plate, textures, sweet and sour notes. A real winner. The confirmed foodie had the venison and was very impressed with the celeriac it was served with. Others had the chicken, which looked very pretty. Reports suggest it was a little on the bland side for their tastes.

 

Desert was death by chocolate. I went for the warm chocolate tart. Myself and the confirmed foodie differed on the need for popping candy on it (I liked it-blame the fast disappearing child in me.) The tart had a rich, smooth filling on a good crust. Delicious.  Others opted for ice cream which was well received.

 

Unfortunately after a very pleasant meal, the evening took a bit of a turn. Only an hour and a half after ordering, the staff started a clear up in earnest. As we had our coffees, tables were moved around us, any wine glasses drained were whipped from the table seconds after putting them down, no fear of being asked would you like another drop. An unfinished water bottle was also removed from the table. While I appreciate people have homes to go to, if you take a 9.30 booking on a Saturday night- you should give them the time to enjoy their meal without feeling like an imposition. When kitchen staff came out and started chatting and joking with the waiters behind us, as coat stands and tables whirled by (literally), we called it a day and asked for the bill. The total (for 5) with wine came to €276, was the food worth it? Absolutely. Would I go back- not anytime soon.
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Pumpkin soup with Coriander drizzle

21 Oct

It’s that time of year, pumpkins are everywhere!! This year, I thought I would do something a bit more than just using them for decoration. This soup is so simple to make, and with the peppers and coriander it’s a real warmer-upper as the weather dives towards freezing.

 

Pumpkin soup with Coriander drizzle

Ingredients:

1.2 kg of peeled pumpkin with the seeds and core removed

1 x red pepper

1x yellow pepper

4 cloves of garlic

1 x large onion, finely chopped

5 stalks of celery, chopped

1 litre of chicken stock

25 g of coriander

olive oil

chilli oil (if you have it)

salt and pepper

 

First thing to do is to heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then peel the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and core. I found the easiest way was to cut it into slices as you would with a melon and deal with it piece by piece. I then chopped it into smaller pieces for roasting. Add the pumpkin to a roasting tray with the de-seeded sliced peppers along with the four cloves of garlic which I left whole. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes.

Ready to roast

 

About 10 minutes before the pumpkin and peppers are due to come out of the oven, in a large pan, heat some olive oil. Add the chopped onion and celery and cook until they have softened but do not let them colour too much. When the pumpkin and friends are done in the oven, add the stock to the pan before tipping in all the roast stuff. Cover and let it bubble away for 30 minutes on a low heat.

 

While this is cooking you can prepare the coriander drizzle. Wash the coriander and dry on some kitchen paper. Finely chop it, until it’s nearly minced. Place in a bowl and add a good glug of chilli oil. If you don’t have chilli oil, normal olive oil is just as good. Season with a little salt and pepper. You want a consistency that will just fall of the spoon.

 

When the soup mixture is finished cooking, blend until smooth, as you don’t want any lumps of garlic lurking in your soup!

 

Serve in warmed bowls and drizzle some coriander over the top with a spoon for a little extra kick.

 

Enjoy.

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