Thursday, 24 May 2012
I think I firstly need to apologise for my lack of blog activity lately. I seem to have been distracted by the sudden appearance of the sun and also by my mum coming to visit…so yes I might just blame my absence from the blogging world on my mum!!! But whilst she was visiting we were out enjoying eating food prepared by other people rather than spending time in the kitchen ourselves.
We enjoyed a particularly delightful dinner at the bistro at Balloo House, a pub and restaurant to the west of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. Whilst my mum enjoyed a triple helping of duck for her main, a duck breast served with duck egg and gorgeously light and crispy chips fried in duck fat (well it was her birthday), I tucked into Dexter beef served on a wonderfully smooth truffle mash which definitely beats my best efforts despite the my recent investment of a potato ricer. I then enjoyed a buttermilk panna cotta which displayed the perfect amount of wobble and sat plumply on the plate next to gingerbread ice cream and rhubarb…mmmmm. All the food was beautiful and the service and atmosphere were great but I think both myself and my mum had the greatest pleasure eating the petit fours we ordered to accompany our coffee. There was a wonderfully light melt in the mouth shortbread, a delicate and zesty mini wee lemon tart, a chewy bite of chocolate brownie and then a perfect cube of glossy, smooth and rich chocolate truffle with a delectably devine gooey centre!! I think I might be starting to get a little bit carried away and am at serious risk of drooling on my keyboard so now onto some of my own food (but if you get the chance I would highly recommend a visit to Balloo).
I thought now that I have been living in Northern Ireland for 3 months it was about time that I posted an Irish themed recipe…with a twist of course. Potato farls are a staple over here and an obligatory part of any respectable Ulster fry. Affectionately referred to as ‘tatty bread’ by my dad this classic Irish recipe is a great way to use up any leftover mash. But rather than using the traditional potato I decided to use mashed celeriac instead…possibly a little controversial but a great excuse to use my potato ricer again!!!
200g mashed celeriac
100g plain flour
Makes 2 farls
Take 200g of cooled mashed celeriac.
To make the mash peel and chop roughly half of a medium celeriac and boil in water until tender. Drain the celeriac and leave it for a few minutes to allow excess moisture to steam off before passing it through a potato ricer. Then stir in a good knob of butter and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix the mash together with the flour.
Take half of the mash mixture, form it into a rough ball shape and place on a work surface that has been generously dusted with flour. Don’t worry if the mixture seems a bit sticky and wet at this point.
Dust the top of the ball with more flour and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circular shape.
Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add a little cooking oil to lightly grease the pan. Transfer the farl to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes before carefully flipping over the cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. If a little more colour is needed cook for another minute or two on each side.
Turn the farl out of the pan and cut into quarters and then repeat the above process with the remaining mixture.
The farls are best eaten warm although they can be frozen and then popped into a toaster to heat up when required.