The 15 Series, Week 1: 15 Essential Autumn Foods

ely restaurants celebrates its 15th birthday this year and each week, The 15 Series brings you 15 tips on topics such as food, wine, culture, lifestyle, craft beer and more!
#ely15years

 

15 Essential Autumn Foods You Should Enjoy

As the days slowly shorten and the sun plays harder to get, our appetites begin to change, too. Where just weeks before, it seemed natural to toss a salad together on a whim, now our thoughts turn to a bowl of soup, or a comforting casserole. Here are our tips on some of the foods you should be making the most of this autumn.

1. Pump Up The Jam
Photo credit: http://www.flynnsfreshveg.com

Get to a hedge and grab a handful because this time of the year is the best for blackberry picking! Their warming sweet taste can be enjoyed well into the winter months by making jams, chutneys, freezing for later use as youghurt and dessert toppings and work beautifully in berry mojitos and martinis.

2. An Apple A Day

Apples ripen anytime between the end of august and October. Commonly used this time of the year in pies and purées, you’ll also meet many of these cider apples when they leave the orchard and end up on your bar table in bottle form.

3. Crave and Carve
rtepumpkin

Photo credit: http://www.rte.ie

 Not quite there with the scale of obsession that the USA have with pumpkin flavoured everything this time of the year but nonetheless, we’ve embraced their ever popular pumpkin spice lattes with open arms. These colder days cry out for a bowl of hearty pumpkin soup and a wee sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger really enhances the taste.

4.  What A Pear

Now, poached pears may remind you of your granny but the juiciest of pears are plentiful and seriously tasty at this time of the year. Moving away from the citrus and tropical fruits of summer, poached pears with blue cheese or sliced pear with walnuts make a great addition to any salad.

5. Seasonal Seafood
ely hq halibut&beetroot gratin

Photo credit: ely restaurants

 Halibut is native to Irish waters and comes into season this time of the year. Its mildly sweet meat is delicious but dries out and cooks very quickly. Season the fish after it’s cooked as if you do so before seasoning, it’ll dry out. Lightly drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over fish and roasted autumn veg.

6. An Alternative Root

Many of us are familiar with beetroot, enjoying it pickled, raw, roasted and in soups, but did you know that the leaves are edible too? Extremely good for you, why not think about adding these to omelettes, salads and juices like you would with spinach or kale?

7.  Not So Offal 
ely kidney&mushroom pie

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Offal is a much misrepresented ingredient. Whether it’s lamb sweetbreads, oxtail soup or a wonderfully assembled in a rich sauce with wild mushrooms and flaky pastry (a la kidney and mushroom pie) there’s a, not so, offal dish for everyone to enjoy this season.

8.  Go Green

Photo credit: ely restaurants

This time of the year, you might be surprised to come across some green tomatoes, but don’t be alarmed! These last late ripening tomatoes left on the vine can still be enjoyed. The most common and delicious way is frying them up but these little green guys can also be used in salsas, relishes, chutneys and soups.

9.  Figuring It Out
Figs 367098

Photo credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk

The sweet honey taste of this fruit makes it a wonderful and popular pairing with pork and cured meats. Figs also work beautifully with rich desserts, fuller salads ans warm aromatic spices.

10. Not Just For Rainy Days And Tuesdays
ely pancakes

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Now, hear us out. Not necessarily an Autumn staple, and some of you may have over indulged on Pancake Tuesday (enough to have had your fill for one year) but the mouthwatering taste of maple syrup really does slide into our minds and our mouths with the change of the season.

11. Sweet Spuds

In the land of the traditional Irish potato, it’s hard to see how any other spud could ever make its way into our hearts. However, this creamy and sweet, healthier alternative is now featured almost everywhere. If you ever hear our friends from across the Atlantic calling out for “Yams” around Thanksgiving, these are those!

12. Toasty Nuts

Toasted, roasted and quickly devoured. Autumn’s hazelnuts add indulgence to any chocolate dessert but we’re also guilty of packing some into a sandwich bag for snacking on the go!

13.  Goldilocks And The Three Bears
rhubarb fool - ely

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Summer (at times) may have seemed too hot. Winter (most times!) can seem too cold. Many agree that the Autumn temperature in Ireland is just right. Light breakfast snacks give way to the blonde and her bears’ favourite dish. There’s nothing quite like the warm familiar taste and smell of porridge in the mornings.

14. Ireland’s Famous Fungi

And no, we’re not talking about the famous fun loving Dolphin, we sense that the Kingdom might not be too pleased about that! Autumn in Ireland brings foragers from all over Europe to try their hand at finding some of the season’s delicious and gourmet wild mushrooms. Be careful though, always go with a guide and if you do decide to go out to the woods today, you may be in for a surprise. Some poisonous species may just be mistaken for edible delights.

15. Cheater’s Cuppa
tea poster A3 final

Photo credit: ely restaurants

If we’re being smart about it then technically tea (leaf) is actually is a food. However, we’re know we’re cheating slightly with this last one. Iced coffees, smoothies and juices from summer just cannot compare to this nice warm, put-your-feet-up-after-a-long-cold-autumn’s-day delight. In fact, we’ve just popped the kettle on as we type this!

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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.

FthTed3

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.

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