Go west fare for fine - surf and turf recipes from the Ardilaun Hotel
Enjoy the best our turf and surf has to offer this spring with these recipes from The Ardilaun Hotel.
Ultan Cooke had an early clue to his future - his surname.
An award-winning chef, Ultan is a native of Galway and, after 10 years in the UK, he returned to the county, bringing a wealth of experience. He previously worked with the illustrious JP McMahon at Aniar, which retained a Michelin star in that period. Ultan has now joined the team at The Ardilaun Hotel and his recipes for this tasty starter and timely Easter main course are real crowd pleasers. The delicious dessert was devised by The Ardilaun's pastry chef, Claude Richard. See theardilaunhotel.ie
1 litre fish stock - good-quality stock can be bought fresh in your local supermarket
500g chopped leek and onion
Splash of vermouth
500g mixed fish - your fishmonger will give you a good-quality selection of trimmed, inexpensive pieces including shrimp and smoked fish
Good sea salt
100g fresh parsley, chopped
In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. When mixed, keep cooking gently for 3 minutes to cook the flour. This is called a roux and can be used as the base of many sauces.
In a separate pot, simmer the fish stock with the chopped vegetables and add it to the roux, incorporating it all fully and finish by adding a splash of vermouth.
Add the cream and then add the fish; continue to cook gently for 5 minutes as it all thickens, but be gentle so that the fish doesn't break down - it should remain in nice chunks.
Taste and add sea salt if needed. Finish by sprinkling freshly chopped parsley on top.
Chocolate, Caramel and Raspberry Mousse with Vanilla Bavarois
3 medium egg yolks
125g sugar x 2
250ml whipped cream
75g raspberries, chopped
120g dark chocolate (at least 55pc cocoa content), melted
2 leaves of gelatine
1 sponge cake base (shop-bought is fine)
For the vanilla bavarois (Bavarian cream) 50g sugar
2 medium egg yolks
2 leaves of gelatine
170ml whipped cream
500g good dark chocolate
4 drops of vanilla extract
Raspberries, macarons, mini eggs or sprinkles, to decorate
Whip the egg yolk and 125g sugar together and fold in the whipped cream, raspberries and melted chocolate.
Boil the rest of the sugar and the water until it darkens to a caramel; leave to cool.
Soften the gelatine in cold water and fold into the caramel. Mix all together.
Line an 8in cake tin with layer of sponge. Pour the mixture on top of the sponge and leave in the fridge to set.
To make the vanilla bavarois:
Heat the sugar and egg yolk in a saucepan. Add in warm milk - be careful not to scramble your egg.
Soften the gelatine in cold water and add to your mixture. Fold in the honey, vanilla extract and whipped cream. Pour on top of the mousse layer.
Melt the dark chocolate in a saucepan and pour over the top of the vanilla bavarois as a glaze. Smooth over with a knife.
Decorate with raspberries, macarons, mini eggs or whatever sprinkles you have.
Braised Lamb Shoulder, Cavolo Nero, Barley and Shallots
1 lamb shoulder, boned and rolled (readily available in all good butchers)
Salt and pepper
200g button shallots, peeled and left whole
1 glass of red wine
1 litre fresh chicken stock (available in most supermarkets)
200g onions, leek and carrot, diced
A little butter
500g pearl barley
500g cavolo nero (substitute with kale or cabbage of your choice if you prefer)
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Preheat your oven to its highest setting.
Rub the lamb liberally with oil and season heavily. Put the lamb in the very hot oven to caramelise the outside - this will take 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, colour the shallots on a large ovenproof casserole dish and add the wine to reduce. When the wine is sticky, add the stock. At this point, your lamb should be nice and brown and you can pop this into your casserole dish and cover with stock.
Turn down your oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and place the dish in the oven uncovered. Allow the stock to reduce to sauce consistency as the meat cooks - about 2ƒ hours.
Sweat off the diced veg in a large pan with a little butter. Add the barley, cover with water and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand until needed.
When the lamb has rested, blanche the cavolo nero (or kale) in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, then gently toss in butter.
Warm up the barley again and season to taste.
Carve the lamb and present it on a bed of barley and cavolo nero, covering generously with the reduced braising sauce and shallots.
Guinness brown bread with walnuts
200g plain flour
200g brown flour
15g brown sugar
5g baking powder
5g bread soda
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (Gas Mark 4).
Mix the wet ingredients - egg, butter, honey, buttermilk and Guinness - together in a bowl.
Mix the dry ingredients - plain and brown flour, oats, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, bread soda and walnuts - together. Add the wet mix to the dry mix using your hands.
Bake in a rectangular bread tin for 1 hour.
Note: As an alternative to honey, you can use treacle or golden syrup. Instead of walnuts, you could use sunflower seeds or other nuts.