The art of food
A hundred Irish and international artists combine their love for good food and art in 'The Artists' Cookbook' from SCOOP - Supporting Children out of Poverty - a foundation set up by brothers Calvin James and Andrew Sweeney. Here's a taste...
John Nolan - A Pair of Pâtés
450g pheasant or chicken livers
Milk (enough to soak the livers in)
110g butter + 2 tbsp (softened)
1 shallot, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp thyme, finely chopped, plus a sprig
4 tbsp brandy
Salt and pepper
1. Place the livers in a glass bowl and cover with milk (to get rid of any bitterness). Soak for 1 hour.
2. Heat a large frying pan over medium to high heat. Melt 2 tbsp butter and add in the livers (drained from milk), shallots, garlic and thyme.
3. Fry until the livers are browned, but still rosy pink on the inside. Then place the livers and shallots in a food processor and set aside.
4. Put brandy into the frying pan and reduce by half. Then, add the brandy, seasoning, cream and softened butter (110g) to the food processor. Purée everything to a smooth paste.
5. Pass the pâté through a sieve and store in small ramekins covered with cling film in the fridge before serving on toasts or crackers. Add a sprig of thyme for decoration
Aubergine and Mushroom Pâté
This is a delicious, light vegetarian pâté. Serve warm or cold with crusty bread.
2 small-medium aubergines
2 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
250g mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1 level tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
1. Place the aubergines on a baking tray and bake at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 30 minutes or until tender and the skins have begun to brown.
2. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and the mushrooms. Sauté while stirring until cooked, with the juices released and evaporated. Season with salt and pepper; remove and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat and add the other tablespoon of oil, the onion, chilli, garlic, and cumin. Sauté everything until softened, but not brown.
4. Cut the cooked aubergines in half, scoop out the flesh and any juices into a large bowl, and mash with a fork. Add the mushroom and onion mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh coriander.
5. Stir everything together for a rustic purée. Alternatively, pulse in the food processor until well mixed.
Dubliner John Nolan is a second-generation artist whose work is easily recognisable. He also teaches adult painting classes. His Still Life with Aubergine is acrylic on canvas.
PJ Lynch - Yummy Gluten-Free Brownies
My wife, Barbara, discovered she had coeliac disease a few years ago and I thought that would be the end of her baking for me and the family. Happily, though, she has found clever ways to make all sorts of delicious things that are wheat- and gluten-free. Here is my favourite - Barbara's recipe for yummy gluten-free brownies. The watercolour is of our daughter, Evie, enjoying them.
350g dark chocolate
250g butter, cubed
3 large eggs
250g demerara brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
100g gluten-free self-raising flour or 50g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
2. Butter and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment.
3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie over a low heat.
4. Whisk the eggs and sugar with a handheld whisk.
5. Gently add the milk to the butter/chocolate mixture, then add the egg/sugar mixture. When thoroughly mixed, beat with the handheld whisk for 1 minute - the mixture should be quite stiff.
6. Add the flour and baking powder and pour into the prepared tin.
7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
8. Allow to cool in the tin, cut into squares and enjoy!
PJ Lynch is Ireland's Children's Laureate and has been a children's book illustrator since he left college. He illustrated the book Patrick and the President written by Ryan Tubridy.
Gordon Harris - 60˚C duck egg with truffle and brioche Soldiers
This is a perfect starter or lush brunch dish...goes superbly with a chilled Sancerre or crisp Chablis. I like to serve this as one course of a seven- or 10-course tasting menu. Serves 4
4 duck eggs (free range)
60g black trumpet mushrooms, finely chopped
30ml sherry vinegar
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
1 brioche loaf
15ml rapeseed oil
15ml white truffle oil
10g chives, finely snipped
1. Place a sous vide circulator in a medium-sized pot three-quarters full of cold water and set to 60°C/140°F. Once at temperature, place the eggs in the water and cool for 50 minutes.
2. In the meantime, do all the other food preparations. After 35 minutes, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Place a small non-stick pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and sauté the mushrooms until soft. Add the vinegar and reduce. Season and remove from the heat and keep warm.
4. Cut 8 x 2cm slices of brioche, removing all crusts, then cut each slice into 2cm x 2cm fingers. Place all the fingers on a silicone mat on a baking tray and lightly brush on all sides with rapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven till golden brown, turning once. Remove and keep warm. When ready, remove the eggs and let them dry.
5. On four plates, place four espresso cups. Place an egg in each and carefully remove the top and season with salt. Spoon the mushroom mix evenly between the four and drizzle with truffle oil. Finish each egg off with some chive, and place 3 or 4 brioche soldiers on each plate with a Sunday spoon.
6. Eat and enjoy.
Gordon Harris is a self-taught artist from Cork, living in Galway, and his work is shown in collections internationally. His Egg Soldiers (left) is an oil on wooden panel with silverleaf.