Sunday, 12 February 2012

Ballymaloe Day 20, 3rd February - Are the Urchins here yet?

End of Week 4 and my first week in Kitchen 2. Think I know where everything is now. I wanted to make the Brown Yeast Bread which I hadn't had a chance to make so far. Started afresh after my yeast didn't seem to work, it should fizz in the jug of treacle and water and froth like a pint of Guinness! Got that underway, then onto the Marzipan Apples, made marzipan! Which we then use to stuff some cored and peeled apples which are dipped in cinnamon sugar and baked. Loved the marzipan, would make that again as soon as possible!

I also chopped loads of mushrooms for the soup, good practice, also good practice sweating onions and cooking in the flour etc to get flavour into the soup. Bread done, soup done, apples in the oven, it was time for the eggs. I made the Smoked Salmon, Leek and Dill Frittata, but it started to get too hot underneath while the top and middle weren't cooked. Then I put it under the grill to finish it off while I got on with my French Omelette but there was so much going on it just ended up looking burnt and oily :( Left it to one side, should have taken it out the pan straight away, as a result it was definitely overcooked but once turned out actually looked okay. I made three French Omlettes, each one was not quite perfect, either the pan was too hot or too cold, argh! Rachel made it look so easy!

My Frittata on the right
Last demonstration of the week. I was tired but things got very exciting with the arrival of loads of Irish Shellfish. Langoustines, Shrimps, then several different types of Clams including Paloures, Mussels, Oysters, Periwinkles and Sea Urchin! I heard Rory ask the teachers in the kitchen, "are the Urchins here yet?" like you do. Makes me think of Oliver Twist. Anyway, before the Seafood Platter we also saw Dingle and Kerry Pie, Poached plums and Rhubarb, Banana Bread, Carrot Cake and Beetroot Cake, and a Carrageen Moss Pudding. Carrageen is a kind of seaweed you can forage for here in Ireland or buy dried and rehydrate.

It was loads to concentrate on for a Friday afternoon but enjoyed it. The plates of shellfish were particularly spectacular! And I now know how to prepare a Sea Urchin!

'Chanel Pink' Rhubarb to the left, Fruits de Mer to the right

Periwinkles

Spot the spiky Urchin


Beetroot & Walnut Cake