All posts tagged: the mc bride guide

A guide to Belfast, bite by bite

This article was originally published in The Irish Times. Imagine a meal that begins with the snap of crusty sourdough spread generously with Co Down’s golden Abernethy butter. Then move on to a plate of just-out-of-the-water Carlingford oysters, before a main of Mourne mountain lamb with buttery local potatoes. Round it off with a chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream from Glastry Farm from the Ards Peninsula or, for cheese lovers, Northern Ireland’s only raw milk blue cheese, Young Buck. This is just a tiny example of the endless bounty of Northern Ireland’s food produce you will find on menus these days in Belfast. Its restaurant scene has never shone brighter, making it the perfect time to visit. OX restaurant in Belfast. The past decade has seen the growth of the relationship between Northern Ireland’s producers, suppliers and restaurants. As the political situation stabilised, Belfast saw a surge in tourism with visitors taking in tourist attractions such as the Titanic visitor centre or stopping off in the city before a trip to the Giant’s Causeway or …

Recipe – Mustard and coriander cured salmon by Wade Murphy, 1826 Adare

With the abundant smoked salmon at every social occasion over the festive season, it feels just about the right time to introduce it to the taste buds again. And this showstopper of a recipe from the exceptionally talented chef Wade Murphy from 1826 Adare is one hell of a way to serve it. Curing your own salmon might seem like a lot of work but it is so deliciously worth it. The key is to start with excellent salmon and treat it with some love and care. Mustard and Coriander Cured Clare Island Salmon -1826 Adare No. of portions: 4-6 Ingredients For the oil: This is best prepared 2 days in advance 2 carrots peeled and finely sliced 1 medium red onion finely sliced 1 stick celery finely sliced 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1 teaspoon coriander seed ½ teaspoon juniper berries 2 bay leaves finely sliced 1 sprig fresh thyme vegetable oil/ olive oil Method Marry the half vegetable oil and half olive oil with half of the herbs, vegetable and spices. Leave in the …

Recipe – Domini Kemp – Crab salad in baby gem parcels

One of my very favourite people, Domini Kemp, has shared this delicious recipe for a crab salad. Shellfish and Summer are a heavenly match and this is great for dinner parties and outside entertaining, the Tabasco adds a gorgeous punchy finish. Crab salad in baby gem parcels by Domini Kemp This dish, featuring baby gem is a great bit of party grub. Mixing the crab salad with some crème fraiche and a little splash of anchovy sauce (my new secret ingredients for mega-umami hits) and Tabasco was really delicious. This was a great dish to have instead of a “starter” as friends just grabbed one along with a napkin and wolfed in. It is also extremely quick and handy as you can easily buy frozen crab meat in plenty of fishmongers and supermarkets. Just thaw it out, wash your hands really well and have a little search and rescue for any excess shell. It’s not entirely necessary (unless you run a professional kitchen and are in the restaurant business) but every now and then you …

A secret spot for a great martini – The Funky Fish on Dawson Street

Oh I do love a proper martini. And it’s all the sweeter when it is being created and served by someone who knows how. The barman in Dublin’s “The Funky Fish” bar which is tucked in like a secret to the back of The Seafood Bar by Wrights of Howth, makes one of the best I have ever had. A soothing haven for all martini lovers right in the centre of town. The Seafood Bar by Wright’s of Howth 35 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 http://www.theseafoodbar.ie T: 01 5312260

Dining in Donegal 2018

Donegal is magical, majestic and full of mischief. My home county is the most beautiful in the country. Of course I’m going to say that, but it’s true. You’ll find warm people, freezing North Atlantic waters crashing onto dreamy beaches, good food, cosy pubs, rich Gaeilge and the song and story that comes from it, and us. Then there are sights like Mount Errigal, Malin Head, Sliabh League and the magnificent Glenveagh National Park. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve been warmed by a Donegal turf fire, its fizzing and crackly breath embracing you into the very heart of its mountains, its sea, its people and its soul. Grá mo chroí.   Here are some of my favourite restaurants: Harry’s Bar and Restaurant What can I say about Harry’s? I’ve written a longer piece here about this fine restaurant, but what makes it so special is how much they care. The owner Donal Doherty and head chef Derek Creagh are passionate about using local produce that comes from the surrounding area of Inishowen and …

Dressing up for ‘The Restaurant’

Going back to the Restaurant was a little bit like bumping into an old boyfriend, except I was given a little more warning so wanted to make sure it wasn’t dressed with a hoodie and last night’s mascara on my face. As a former producer and director, I had once enviously watched the diners from the kitchen while they sipped wine and commented on how rubbish or wonderful that night’s chef’s offering was for four years. Everyone who works on The Restaurant crew works very, very hard and the actual shoot day runs as a real restaurant with prep from early morning until the afternoon’s tastings and then diners arrive in the early evening and the kitchen kicks into service. I started as a runner on the series in 2008 and loved every step of the journey to becoming Series Producer in 2011 when I last worked on it. Seeing everyone again was a gorgeous reunion. Going on as a diner was as much exciting as it was nerve-wrecking. I was often asked ‘Where on …

Recipe – Coffee cake

One of my favourite things is a cup of scalding hot, delicious coffee, the type you could inhale all day, and a slice of buttery, indulgent coffee cake. This recipe is one I make based on two of my favourites from the queens of baking, Darina Allen in Ballymaloe and Mary Berry. I leave out walnuts because I can’t bear them, but like to decorate with pecans. Coffee cake with mascarpone icing Ingredients 250g real butter, softened 300g self-raising flour 4 eggs, beaten 250g light soft brown sugar (Or I like to use 100g dark muscovado sugar and 150g caster sugar) 1 tsp real vanilla extract 200ml of very strong coffee, (real or instant) cooled For the mascarpone icing  250g mascarpone 500g icing sugar Cooled, sweetened coffee to taste Cocoa powder to decorate Pecan nuts to decorate (optional) Method Preheat oven to 180C or Gas mark 4. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until light, pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract. …