tips, tipples & table talk – Week 12

We’ve got two amazing recipes for you in this week’s tips, tipples and table talk. One is a scrumptious Strawberry & Citrus Sangria, which some do say is the wine lover’s answer to strawberry daiquiris and the other, features the 200-year-classic Pernod adding a delicious twist to the classic mussels accompaniment. We also give you a little insight into our old friends and “Craggy Island” neighbouring farm, The Mc Cormacks who now run “Tea at Father Teds”. Up with that sort of thing.

Tipple Tip of the Week: Strawberry & Citrus Sangria

Although we’re reaching the end of the sunshine season, we’ve still got one or two summery drinks recipes up our sleeve! Some of you may have had the pleasure of visiting Spain this year but for those of you who haven’t, enjoy this fruity and sweet taste of Spanish Sangria, in only 4 steps and all without having to leave your house.

strawberry sangria summer fruits

What You Need:

  • 1 btl Rioja
  • ½ measure of Cognac/Brandy
  • 1 measure of triple sec
  • 1 ½ measures of fresh orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Soda water
  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 slices of lime, 10 slices of lemon, 10 slices of orange

How We Do It:

  • Cut the strawberries, mix with sugar and let sit for 4 hours.
  • Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Mix the strawberries with the refrigerated mixture
  • Add ice and fruit, serve and enjoy.

Enjoy specialty cocktails at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1. 

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Table Talk of the Week: Father Ted’s Farm

Father Ted’s house is an organic farm neighbouring the ely family farm  in national landmark, The Burren, Co. Clare. Long time friends of ely, Patrick & Cheryl Mc Cormack supply each of the 3 ely restaurants with their suberb organic Burren lamb. Fans will recognise the house as the location for the extremely popular “Father Ted” television series.

lamb

Joe Mardis, the location manager for the series, has family connections in the area and while having a drink with friends from the locality they came up with the idea of setting the series in the Burren. The experience was a very positive one for the Mc Cormack family, the show brought a lot of fun and income to the area and many locals featured in the series.

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You can now enjoy ‘Tea at Father Teds, which includes all home baking using only organic ingredients. Patrick Mc Cormack, a wonderful speaker, tells the story of the family’s Fr. Ted experience, the history of the house, providing guided walks of the farm and recommend other places to visit and things to do in the locality.

Learn more about the Burren, Co. Clare and the organic ely family farm here.

craggy island lamb

 

Taste Tip of the Week: Mussels with Fennel & Pernod

Adding Pernod, the French liqueur, to traditional steamed mussels gives them a deliciously gentle sweet flavour. This recipe offers a refreshing alternative to the popular dish of mussels with white wine and cream sauce.

A Note For The Cook:

Scrub the mussels first in clean water to remove the barnacles and pull off any beards. It’s much easier to do this if you take 2 mussels and use the pointed end of one to clean the other. Check if an open mussel is safe to eat by tapping it gently on a counter top. If it closes easily, it’s ok to eat. If it remains open, discard.

ely card musselsWhat You Need:

  • 1 fennel bulb with leaves, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 800g-1kg fresh mussels
  • 100ml pernod
  • 150ml cream
  • ½ lemon, sliced, to garnish
  • flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Serves 4

pernodHow We Do It:

  • Prepare the mussels (see note for the cook, above).
  • Sauté the fennel and shallot in a small amount of oil over a medium heat.
  • When they have softened slightly, add the mussels and leave for 1 minute, then add the pernod.
  • Flambé the pernod, then allow the alcohol to reduce. Add the cream and reduce again until the mussels are just coated.
  • Serve in a large bowl garnished with lemon slices, fennel leaves, sprigs of flat-leaf parsley  if  you like.

Enjoy fresh delicious seafood in Dublin’s iconic wine bar, ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 10

Is the phrase ‘leftover wine’ an oxymoron? We know a few friends and colleagues that might think so! Nonetheless, this week’s tips, tipples and table talk has a few ideas on what to do with that leftover wine. We also have an easy, simple risotto recipe for you to try, and we introduce you to the newest, hairiest member of the ely family – and no it’s not our new sous chef Steve (kidding)!

In case you missed it last week, don’t forget that we’re giving 10% back to you, our fantastic ely customers, all summer when you use your ely loyalty card. Don’t have one yet? And if not, why not? Sign up here

Taste Tip of the Week: Simple Risotto 

This popular dish is perfect for serving at a dinner party but equally so, easy enough to make for a delicious dinner at home for one. Light enough to eat during the summer heat, you can also include almost any ingredients to adapt to your tastes. Here’s a simple risotto recipe for you to try.

What you need:

  • 1.75 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 85g butter
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • rock salt, black pepper

How we do it:

  • Bring the stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently.
  • In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  • Add the onion and, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, cook until it softens and becomes translucent.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, making sure that every grain is coated with oil.
  • Add 1 cup (250ml) of the stock and stir until absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock, about ½ cup (125ml) at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
  • When most of the stock has been added – this should take about 15-20 minutes – test a grain of rice.
  • The risotto is ready when the rice is just tender and creamy, but still ‘al dente’, with a little bite to it.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir vigorously for about 30 seconds to give a creamy, glossy finish to the risotto
  • Add in mushrooms, asparagus, butternut squash, prawns etc. Whatever you fancy – get creative!

You can now enjoy our great value early-bird menu all evening, Mon – Sat at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC. 

risotto collage

Tipple Tip of the Week: What To Do With Leftover Wine

As our executive wine manager Ian Brosnan would argue, leftover wine is somewhat of a myth. However, we do know that sometimes you are faced with some leftover wine and the thought of throwing it down the sink (we can’t watch!) pains you. Therefore, we’ve put together a few useful tips, cooking being the most obvious (great for also popping a good splash of white in when making the above risotto recipe!), on what to do with the remains from the bottom of the bottle.

ely empty wine glass

  1. Freeze Please – First things first, fill an ice cube tray with your leftover wine and pop it straight in the freezer. Now you can use a cube or two for cooking whenever you need to.
  2. Wine Syrup – This rich syrup a bit tangy, similar to Balsamic vinegar but simmering the syrup with cinnamon or vanilla makes it sweet and delicious enough to use on pancakes or with ice cream. In a wide saucepan, combine red wine with sugar (3 cups wine to 1 cup sugar), bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about a third of the volume. Let cool, bottle, and refrigerate.
  3. Save For Mulled Wine Season – Put leftover red wine into a freezable container and for use in the winter months. Empty the frozen wine into a large pot; add spices such as cinnamon sticks and a spoonful of whole cloves. Melt wine over medium heat, then sweeten to taste with honey, sugar, or apple juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in glasses with a citrus slice.
  4. Poaching – Soft foods taste amazing when poached  in wine flavored with aromatics and spices. White wine for eggs and fish, and sweetened red wine is perfect for poaching fruit.
  5. Salad Dressing – Leftover white wine makes for a flavoursome, fresh-tasting salad dressing. Blend wine, lemon juice, honey (if wine is sweet, leave out the honey) salt, and pepper in a bowl. Still blending (either with a fork, whisk, or the blender), slowly add olive oil. Voilà!

Learn more about wine in a fun and informal setting at an ely wine tasting evening. 

Table Talk of the Week: New Addition To The ely Family Farm

Well well, who do we have here? These magnificent creatures, and the newest additions to the ely organic family farm, are Highland cattle descendants from Scotland. These cattle are extremely adept at grazing on steep, mountainous lands which makes the limestone rocky slopes in The Burren, Co. Clare, an ideal place for them to rest.

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Natural born survivors, the Highland cattle’s long horns were developed to protect themselves and their flowing locks grown to shelter them from harsh, cold winters – which makes us think they must be a little warm at the moment! Their short, stumpy legs provide them with excellent balance and surprisingly, Highland cattle can be found up to 10,000 feet high up in the Andes.

Welcome to the farm guys!

We source all of our grass fed beef, pork and lamb through our organic family farm in The Burren, Co. Clare. 

 

 

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 8

What to get the wine or beer lover in your life that has everything? An ely gift card of course! Joking aside, we’ve got some awesome quick and easy DIY gift ideas you can make at home. While we’ve been blessed with sunshine recently, we’ve highlighted a few of the things to do in Dublin when it rains (which it still does, quite a bit). This week’s tips, tipples and table talk also looks at the, now controversial, Poolbeg chimneys of Dublin’s skyline and we get a little bit cheesy with our how-to-guide to serving the perfect cheeseboard.

Travel Tip of the Week: What To Do in Dublin When It Rains

Good aul Irish summers eyh? While the weather has been relatively good of late, us Dubliners have certainly noticed the humidity in the air and with that, the heavy rainfall. When it rains it pours and yes, while we would always advise popping into any of our 3 ely venues, hiding out from the rain and letting us pour you a little glass of wine or craft beer, if you find yourself as a visitor to Dublin during one of these spells or just feel like enjoying your city, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a short list of awesome things to do in Dublin, come hail or high water!

  1. Visit the Little Museum of Dublin. Right in the heart of the city, this little museum is a must visit. Located on 15 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, the Little Museum of Dublin embraces and collects the fun, cute and quirky things that make this fair city brilliant. Super knowledgeable and always eager to know more, their guides tell you true Dubliner stories in a fun and informal manner.
  2. Visit the Science Gallery. With some really cool exhibitions, this is no nerdy spot! Continuously changing, challenging and altering our perception of the normal, this interactive attraction in Trinity College is always fun. The Science Gallery offers events, talks, debates and workshops, giving guests a chance to get involved.
  3. Go vintage clothes shopping. Dublin’s vintage clothing selection is always getting bigger and better and what a good way to spend a rainy day by getting lost in the days of old. Siopaella in Temple Bar, Om Diva on Drury Street and The Harlequin, 13 Castle Market are all close enough to land yourselves triple the amount of bargains in just one trip to the city.
  4. Visit the RHA Gallery. The 184th Annual exhibition runs at the RHA on Ely Place until the 17th August so plenty of time to check out some of the works at Ireland’s largest open submission exhibition. With 567 works by 354 artists, a trip to this fantastic gallery is an ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon.
  5. Relax and unwine-d at an ely wine tasting. Good company combined with wine, food and fun at an ely wine tasting is a nice relaxed yet educational way to spend a rainy evening. Held every fortnight, each with a different theme, the full list of upcoming ely wine tasting evenings can be found here.

rainy day in dublin

Taste Tip of the Week: Say Cheese

“Age is of no importance, unless you are a wine or a cheese.” 

Cheese is perfect for a formal dinner party or equally, for a casual night in with friends, and needs very little preparation.

When you’re putting together a cheeseboard, try to buy where you can taste; your eyes will never tell you as much as your taste buds will. The general idea is to serve a selection of cheeses which will offer you and your guests contrasting flavours and textures.

Our ideal mix would be:

  • A nice soft cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • A hard cheese
  • A washed rind cheese (they’re the smelly ones with the pinkish rinds),
  • If possible, a sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese.

But remember, it’s better to have one ripe and gorgeous cheese than five mediocre pieces.

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After you buy your cheese, be sure to look after it. Cheese is a living, breathing food and needs to be treated with some care to get the best from it. This is particularly true of the softer cheeses. Cheese should always be served at room temperature because serving it cold substantially inhibits the flavour.

Fridges aren’t as bad for cheese as they are sometimes made out to be. The main problem is their dry atmosphere rather than the cold temperature. If you do store your cheese in the fridge, always remove it several hours before serving and make sure your cheese is well wrapped in a breathable covering eg. wax paper.

There are no set rules for the serving time of your cheeses; some people like to have their cheese before dessert and others prefer it after, or instead of, dessert. It’s always good to serve something with the cheese which acts against any richness and clean the palate between cheeses. Fruit is really good for this or if you don’t have any to hand, serving with a chutney or fruit jelly will do.

Enjoy a great glass of wine and a cheeseboard, at ely wine bar.

ely winebar cheese board

Tipple Tip of the Week: DIY Gift Ideas

Do you ever struggle with what gift to get the beer or wine lover in your life? They’ve already got a whole shelf of Riedel, Tipperary or Waterford Crystal wine glasses. The over sized German beer-stein glass has had its fun. When that occasion does come around, this time why not make something yourself?

Heartfelt, personal and usually low cost and simple – As Blue Peter would say, here’s one we made earlier:

Step one, drink wine and craft beer. Not a problem? We thought so. Step two, keep and collect all the bottle caps and corks. We are trying it keep it low cost though, so another idea is to get down to any of the three ely venues (or another good bar) who would be more than happy to give you their excess bottle caps after a night’s shift. Wine corks might be that little bit more difficult to source, but a good wine bar should have a few in stock, otherwise you can buy corks in bulk for relatively low cost online.

You’d be surprised by what you can make – everything from coasters and posters to magnets, picture frames and trays.

See how to make bottle cap gifts here and wine cork gifts here.

Wine corks bottle caps DIY

Table Talk of the Week: The Poolbeg Chimneys – Should They Stay or Should They Go?

The suggestion from ESB that the resources needed to maintain the unused Poolbeg Chimneys could be better spent elsewhere caused some controversy among Dubliners this week. The red and white towers have stood at the Poolbeg area of Dublin Bay since the 1970s and have raised the demand that these chimneys be protected. With many, both domestic and foreign, voices saying that they are an iconic part of the Dublin skyline, others argue that the towers are an “eye sore”, agreeing that the resources to keep them there could indeed be better spent elsewhere.

This is a topic that pretty much all Dubliners will have an opinion on, there is no smoke without fire (as they say), and no doubt will be very keen to share it. At ely, we love them – those red and white striped chimneys are one of the few genuine icons of the Dublin skyline. They are the first thing you see of Dublin when you fly home, or the last bit of Dublin you see before you leave. They are like two ever-present sentries standing guard over our city. Where some might see ugly, we see a certain “industrial charm”.

ESB say that a decision would be made on the future of the Poolbeg chimneys by the end of this year [2014]. Demolition is among the options being considered.

See a collection of images, memories and feelings about Poolbeg chimneys via thejournal.ie here.

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