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!
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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
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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!

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 7

In this week’s tips, tipples & table talk we reminisce about the fruit & veg wars we had at home when we were younger – and how those who still feel the same can tackle the problem today. We also look through the glass and discuss how you can make an average wine taste better and our what’s on this week includes babies carrying watermelons, fire breathers in Dublin city centre and 1970’s aristocratic Ireland.

Tipple tip of the Week: Through the Looking Glass – Why that wine glass really matters.

In our opinion, Riedel has perfected the art of making the right glass for the right wine. However, that said, you don’t need to spend a fortune on wine glasses for use at home. Here are some quick tips in choosing a glass for your wine.

Hang on, does it actually matter?

Yes it does! Did you know that you can turn a great wine into an average wine by serving it in the wrong glass – and make an average wine taste better by using the correct glass. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say.

Hmmmm, tell me more.

The bottom of the glass should be bowl-shaped, with the rim of the glass sloping inwards to capture and concentrate the aromas.
The bowl of the glass should be wider for red wines, which benefits from a little swirling around. On that swirling note, a good solid stem is always always important, nobody wants a broken glass! A more subtle light and delicate white wine will concentrate better in a tall glass with a tapered rim. Always use a tall, slim flute glass for your sparkling wine and champagne. This will keep the bubbles flowing and help keep its sparkle!

In an ideal world, we’d all wash our wine glasses by hand but we know as well as you do that this quite tedious. Most good glassware is dishwasher safe, just make sure to check before purchasing (or before you pop it in the dishwasher!).

More on ely’s wine appreciation classes here.

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Taste tip(s) of the Week: How to Eat Healthier – Even when you hate fruit & veg

We remember it like it was yesterday. Seven years old and sitting at the dinner table having a stand off with the ‘rents. Surely, they have to give in first. Surely, they couldn’t leave me to starve? Surely, if I could just get them to look away for a minute I can easily hide them in my lap. Or in my pocket. Or maybe in my Velcro runners. Give peas a chance? Not a hope. This was full blown veggie war, with only one winner.

Now-a-days, while we’ve out grown out of table tantrums, there are still many of  you who are just plain adverse to certain (or many!) fruits and vegetables. You know the advantages, you know it’s good for you and you know you should be eating more of it, but sometimes… y’ just don’t want to. Our taste tip of the week, here are a few easy ways to include more fruit and vegetables into your diet.

  1. Replace today’s soft drink or coffee for fruit juice – There are now some top class juice joints in Dublin city, Staple Foods and Green Beards Juicery to name only a few, so why not replace your sugary soft drink or coffee at least once a week with some fresh fruity goodness. Alternatively, head to the fruit aisle, grab a blender and make some yourself at home.
  2. Add a new vegetable to your regular meals – Take a staple dish that you love, like pizza or pasta, and try to add a different vegetable to it, at least once a week. Whether it’s adding peppers to your usual margherita pizza or mushrooms to your creamy chicken sauce, why not be brave and try it. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find you might actually like the flavour.
  3. Replace dessert with sweet fruits  If you’re used to eating something sweet after every meal, try sweet fruits like mangoes or strawberries for dessert instead. Similarly, frozen yoghurt with fresh berries, is basically ice cream… right? As featured on our blog a few weeks back, you can check out the recipe here.
  4. Dunk ’em & stuff ’em Like breads and crisps, sliced vegetables like carrots and celery also taste great dipped into humous or a (light) sour cream dip. Peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms can all be stuffed with pesto, cheeses and more, not only complimenting but enhancing the flavours.
  5. Vegucate yourself – Sure, we all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us but how many of us actually know the specifics? Particular fruits can help with everything from anxiety to acne and certain vegetables can cure ailments along with boosting energy, endorphins, stamina and much more. Read up, vegucate yourself and maybe it’ll tempt you to try something new.

Try new healthy, seasonal summer menus at ely wine bar.

fruit and veg collage

What’s on this Week

A big one on Merrion Square this weekend folks and so much happening at this year’s Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, formerly the Street Performance World Championship. The very best in family fun and entertainment, the event itself will be held July 11th – 13th but will also spread across Dublin city with concerts, family picnics, artisan food events and outdoor screenings until July 27th. The event map can be enlarged by clicking the image below and the full Dublin line up can be found here.

Just up the road from Merrion Square, ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place is open for Saturday lunch + dinner. 

laya map 2

The hugely popular Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage was put in the corner (of Grand Canal Square) last night and will run until the 26th July at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Featuring all the best bits from the film and more, this fantastic show still has some tickets left and can be purchased here.

Book pre-theatre at ely gastro bar, Grand Canal Square.

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One of Brian Friel’s finest plays, The Aristocrats, runs in The Abbey Theatre until August 2nd. A moving drama about a wealthy Catholic family in 1970’s Ireland, it surprisingly relates extremely well to current and modern times. With a fine cast executing Friel’s fantastic script with haunting undertones, this play is a must see for any theatre lover. Tickets are still available, to purchase click here.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC.

brian friel

 

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