Food news: Instagram's It-Cookies
Every so often a recipe comes along that captures the imagination of home cooks around the world, and Instagram lights up with photos of their attempts to recreate it.
The 'it' recipe right now is for the Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, or Why Would I Make Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever Again? from California-based Alison Roman's book, Dining In (Clarkson Potter, US$30). There are have been literally thousands of photographs of these cookies posted online over the past few weeks.
Roman is the antithesis of old-school, fuddy-duddy food writing and brings a refreshing willingness to question the way that things have always been done. Joyful, fun, relaxed, unpretentious and artful, her book is, in its own way, as much of a game-changer as Nigella's How To Eat and the first book from Ottolenghi - a millennial's cookery bible, for sure, but with plenty to teach us dinosaurs, too.
Here's what Roman has to say about those cookies: "I've always found chocolate chip cookies to be deeply flawed...Too sweet, too soft or with way too much chocolate, there's a lot of room for improvement, if you ask me. But no one asked me, and rather than do a complete overhaul on the most iconic cookie known to man, I took all my favourite parts and invented something else entirely.
"Made with lots of salted butter (it has a slightly different flavour and a deeper saltiness than using just salt - I prefer unsalted butter everywhere else but here), the dough has just enough flour to hold it together and the right amount of light brown sugar to suggest a chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate is cut into chunks to prevent chip congregation, and once the dough is formed into a cylindrical log, the whole thing gets rolled in Demerara sugar for the crispiest-ever edges. Less chocolate chip cookie, more brown sugar shortbread with chocolate chunks - they just might be the cookie you've been looking for."
You'll have to buy the book to get the recipe, but it'll be worth it - just look at Roman's Insta if you need convincing. (My daughter made them last week and I can confirm that they are epically good.)
And while Roman's fans' attempts at the cookies show no sign of abating, new contenders for the title of most-Insta-ed recipe of the week are emerging. Let's hear it, then, for Whole-Wheat Pasta with Brown-Buttered Mushrooms, Buckwheat, and Egg Yolk.
MADE WITH LOVE
Chef Ryan Stringer's five-course Valentine's Day tasting menu at Dublin's Ely Bar & Grill includes lobster and a dark chocolate tart, with sommelier Ian Brosnan on hand to suggest pairings for each course. See elywinebar.ie, €50pp. Be sure to request the Valentine's Day menu when booking.
The Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny has opened a new family-friendly bistro, The Grill, where chef Fergal Phelan is serving up tomahawk steaks and lobster thermidor, a 'naked' burger with truffle chips, and Carlingford oysters topped with Bombay Sapphire & tonic jelly. See lyrath.com
At the Intercontinental in Dublin, chef Alberto Rossi has introduced a seasonal menu that changes every two weeks, featuring dishes celebrating the best of lrish produce. The six-course menu is priced at €65, and matching wines are €30. Call (01) 665 4000 or see intercontinentaldublin.ie