Monday, February 6, 2012

Been a while!!!! Thai Green Curry Wild Mussels

One of my New Year resolutions for 2012, along with giving up the ciggies and getting to the gym, was to start back at my blog again. Well one out of three is a start right!!!

So I have decided to add a simple but tasty recipe. I love all fish and shellfish and working on the west coast makes me feel lucky. The amount of fresh seafood and shellfish available in these areas really are second to none. I have some great local suppliers that I use at work and this makes my life sooo much easier. I was always told never to use shellfish in a month that doesn't have an 'R' in it, so we are still ok. Although with the amount of farmed mussels around now this rule doesn't really apply but I like to use wild so that rule still applies.

When cooking with mussels remember there is one major golden rule. If they are open before you cook them, tap them on the work top, if they close they are fine, if not then throw them away. Once cooked if they remain closed then do not force them open, throw them out. The last thing you want to do is to make yourself very ill form doing that.

Rinse the mussels under the tap for about an hour before you start to cook them. Wild Mussels will have large beards and lots of barnacles attached to them. Remove the beards with one sharp pull towards the smaller end of the mussel. Remove the barnacles with a household knife by tapping them with the back of the knife. Scrape any particles that remain on them. Don't scrub the mussels as this will give them a horibble grey colour when they are cooked. In a container place your mussels under the cold tap and cover with water. Throw in a handful of salt. This can help the mussels spit out any grit. Do this about half an hour before you cook them.

This dish will make a great appetiser for a dinner party or even a great snack for a group having a 'Desperate Housewife's night in :-)

Hope you enjoy it and look forward to keeping up the blog more often!

Thai Green Curry Mussels

Serves 4

For the curry paste:· 3cm/1in lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
· 1 1/2  kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
· 1 lime, juice only for cooking, zest for garnish
· 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
· 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
· 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
· 15g/.75 oz fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped
For the mussels:
· 1.6kg/3lb 8oz mussels
· 100ml/4fl oz dry white wine
· 1 tbsp unsalted butter
· 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
· 100ml/4fl oz coconut milk
· 25g/1.5 oz fresh picked coriander, chop 1/2 the leaves
· Bean sprouts, lime zest and shaved dried coconuts to garnish

Preparation method
1. For the curry paste, grind all the ingredients except the coriander in a pestle and mortar.

2. Add the coriander stalks and leaves and continue grinding until you have a smooth paste. Store in the fridge covered with cling film or in an airtight jar if you are not going to use the paste immediately.

3. Wash the mussels under cold running water in a sink, removing any beards and barnacles. Discard any mussels that float or remain open when tapped, drain the remaining mussels and set them aside.

4. Place a large, lidded saucepan on a high heat and add the butter, onion, curry paste and wine. Stir and cook with the lid on for one minute to soften the onion.

5. Add the mussels, replace the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels open.

6. Add the coconut milk and chopped coriander and stir. You will not need any seasoning as the mussels will release a little salt water when they open, which is just enough to season the dish perfectly.

7. Serve the mussels in a large warmed dish or four soup plates, or simply put the pot in the middle of the table for everybody to help themselves. Garnish with the beansprouts, picked coriander, lime zest and shaved dried coconut. Give your guests finger bowls and lots of good bread to mop up the wonderful juices. There might be a little grit remaining in the bottom of the sauce pan so when serving never scrape the bottom!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog is back

Watch this space. I finally got some time to do this again. See ya soon

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back at ya

Sooooo sorry it's taken me this long to get back to my blog. It's been that long that I even forgot my password.
Well what's been happening since my blog several months ago?
I'm now working in the fabulous Doonbeg with is no longer know as Doonbeg Golf Club but under the new title of "The Lodge at Doonbeg". well what can I say but wow. It's in a picturesque part of Ireland and I can actually look out the window and say the only thing between me and America is one big Ocean and lots of fish!! To wander off for a little please support Hugh Double Barrel and his fish fight. I do believe that what he is doing is for the benefit of all of us and believe me it's not a publicity stunt cause if it was, I'd be there, haha. Seriously haha Please sign up because what is happening is horrendous.
from today on I promise to keep my blog going to keep it country, our country and please support local as much as you can.
Oiche mhait

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Food and Wine Awards 2010

The Food and Wine Magazine awards took place in my old workplace, The Four Seasons Hotel, on Sunday last, August 22nd. What a day and congratulations to all the winners, too many to mention. I didn't pick up any prizes this year but did make it into the Top 20 Irish Chefs (No.18) for the first time. I am really honoured to be there in the top 20 when you consider the amount of chefs in Dublin alone never mind the rest of the country.
A fabulous lunch was provided by my old boss Terry White and the in particular his Sous Chef, Adam. Well done to all involved and I have just about got over the day, evening and early morning session

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm back

Hi all,
Sooo sorry for the delay in adding anything to my blog but been a crazy few months with lots of good and bad going on. Well where do I start??
Had a couple of beers the other night with the Legend that is Neven Maguire and his lovely wife Amelda. If you can get a booking def go to his restaurant Mac Nean's in blacklion County Cavan. He tells me to cope with the bookings they are adding 10 more bedrooms on next January. Now you will have a better chance of getting a table and a room in this class place.
I am on the move myself! I finish in Lisloughrey Lodge next Friday the 20th and will then be moving my little Wexford backside down to County Clare to the fabulous Doonbeg Golf Resort as Executive Head Chef. Going to be a challenge but hey. I will be very sad leaving Lisloughrey next week as it has been a huge part of my life over the past 3 and a half years. But onwards and upwards, that's what I say. Check out my new workplace on
More info to follow soon
All the best
Chef Wade

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas recipe - about time, hey?

Sorry about the delay in getting a new recipe out to you guys! Silly season is keeping me too busy. So to make it up I have posted the recipe for the best Turkey you will eat. It takes time but the end result is well worth it........!

Apple Brined and Glazed Turkey

I know you’re thinking ‘what’s he on about, brining a Turkey? Honestly, this will give you the juiciest, most tender turkey ever! First time I did this, I nicknamed the Turkey ‘Julio’ (Iglesias) because it was so brown and crisp! Unlike most brined turkeys, this one can be stuffed because the cider brine contains less salt than the typical recipe. Begin brining two days ahead.

Servings: Makes 12 servings.

3.5 ltrs apple cider, divided
195g salt
35g allspice
8 bay leaves
3.5 ltrs cold water
1 20-pound turkey (neck and gizzard reserved)

Sage Broth
500mls chicken stock (cube)
1/2 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into 4 pieces
8 fresh sage leaves

½ ltr apple juice
115g unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
60 ml Calvados or Brandy

For brine:
Simmer ¼ of the apple juice, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in a large pot for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Cool completely. Add remaining ¾ apple juice and all the water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Drain turkey and rinse. Arrange on several layers of paper towels in roasting pan. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.

For broth:
Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan 30 minutes. Strain sage broth into bowl.

For glaze:
Boil apple juice in saucepan until reduced by 2/3, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter. Cool completely.

Set rack at lowest position in oven; preheat to 180°C. Remove paper towels from roasting pan. Pat main and neck cavities of turkey dry; stuff loosely with stuffing. Place turkey in pan, tuck wings under, and tie legs together loosely.
Roast turkey 1 hour. Brush with some of glaze. Roast until beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Cover with foil. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 80°C, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes and adding up to 1 cup water to pan if drippings begin to burn, about 3 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes.

For gravy:
Pour pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat. Reserve 3 tablespoons fat and degreased juices. Pour sage broth into roasting pan. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Combine flour, sage leaves, and reserved 3 tablespoons fat in heavy large saucepan; stir over medium heat 1 minute. Whisk in broth from roasting pan and reserved pan juices. Add calvados and boil until gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain into sauce boat. Serve turkey with gravy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Recipe of the week

One of my favorite things in the world to cook is risotto and when I do get the chance to eat out I am extremely fussy about how a risotto should taste and look. I really believe that it should never be so thick that it can be moulded and the rice should never be over cooked. To me it's a cardinal sin to serve over cooked stodgy rice.
I will try during my blog career to add a recipe each week that can be cooked at home but to a professional kitchen standard. This week it is a couple of my favorite things (just in case you didn't read the little spiel before) and they are risotto and butternut squash. Unfortunately in Ireland Butternut seems to be the only squash readily available. During my time working in Chicago one of the things I could not get over was all the different varieties of squash they harvest. If there's one thing I miss about the states then that would be it.
I hope this recipe is used and people will enjoy it as much as I do.
Happy cooking

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto
Toasted Pine nuts


1 large Butternut Squash
2 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
about 15 Sage leaves, chopped
flaked Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
3 large knobs of Unsalted Butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
400g/14oz Arborio Rice
2 glasses White Wine
1 litre/1¾ pint hot Chicken or Vegetable stock
good handful of freshly grated Desmond Cheese (if not use Parmesan), plus extra to serve
75g/3oz Pine nuts, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Cut the butternut squash into 6-8 wedges, remove the seeds and place in a roasting tray. Finely chop the garlic and add a generous glug of olive oil, half the sage leaves, sea salt and pepper. Tip into the tray and rub over the butternut squash with your hands. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until softened and becoming golden in colour (without browning too much).
3. Once the squash has cooked, cool slightly, then scrape the soft flesh away from the skin into a bowl. Lightly mash with a fork or potato masher until it is fairly chunky in texture. Scrape any sticky juices left in the roasting tray into the bowl and keep warm while making the risotto.
4. Heat the olive oil and a good knob of butter in a deep, heavy-based frying pan or saute pan. Gently fry the onion until softened. Add the rice and stir for about a minute until the grains are coated with the oil and butter. Pour in the wine and stir continuously until it has cooked into the rice. Add a good ladle of hot stock and the remaining sage and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down so the stock is simmering gently. Keep adding ladles of stock as it cooks into the rice, stirring and moving the rice around in the pan. After about 15-20 minutes the rice should be soft but still have a bit of bite left in it. Whilst making a risotto one of the most important things is to taste constantly. The texture of the risotto should be thick and creamy, but not too loose. Add extra stock if necessary. It may seem tedious standing and stirring but the end result will be worth it.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash into the risotto with the Parmesan, the remaining butter and seasoning to taste. Add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes as this will give the risotto an even creamier texture.
6. During this time, place the pine nuts in a fairly hot frying pan and toss around until golden. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and scatter with the pine nuts, extra Parmesan and drizzle with a little olive oil.