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!

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 17

This week’s tips, tipples & table talk  is all about the beautiful Burren. We fill you in on our 15th year anniversary trip to our family farm and let you almost imagine it, as if you were there, and could feel the country air. We also infuse Moroccan and Burren cuisine with a gorgeous lamb tagine recipe, perfect for these Autumn months and we discuss some wine phrases in an ely urban dictionary’d language you can understand.

Enjoy!

Tipple Tip(s) of the Week: Wine Phrases Without the Pretension

Have you ever had somebody describe wine and find yourself nodding along without a clue? More often than not, these terms means something very simple and we’ve picked a few of the ones that some people struggle with, in a language you can understand. There are wine bores, there are wine snobs and there are those – like you and I – that just like wine.Big tasting

  • Austere

They say: Wines that are austere are generally not terribly pleasant wines to drink. An austere wine is a hard, rather dry wine that lacks richness.

We say: An austere wine is not necessarily a negative one. This would be that seemingly stern and formal gent you get seated next to at a dinner party. The quiet type, but as the evening goes on, you start to realise that there’s a lot more to them and certainly, they’re more fun the more you get to know them. 

  • Barnyard

They say: An unclean, farmyard, fecal aroma that is imparted to a wine because of unclean barrels or unsanitary wine-making facilities.

We say: Well that sounds horrible! Old Burgundys and sometimes, old Rhones, can take on aromas that you might find in, say, a “recently” cleaned stable or perhaps by the carriages around Stephen’s Green. Thankfully this is a great example of how wines don’t always taste like they smell.

  • Bouquet:

They say: As a wine’s aroma becomes more developed from bottle aging, the aroma is transformed into a bouquet that is more than just the smell of the grape.

We say: Really… just a poncey word to describe the scent of a wine.

  • Tannic:

They say: The tannins of a wine, which are extracted from the grape skins and stems, are, along with a wine’s acidity and alcohol, its lifeline. Tannins give a wine firmness and some roughness when young, but gradually fall away and dissipate.

We say: Tannins are what give red wine its colour and dries out your mouth.. A tannic wine is also what’ll what give you away the morning after, with your black teeth and stained lips! 

  • Hot:

They say: Wines with alcohol levels in excess of 14.5% often taste hot if the requisite depth of fruit is not present.

We say: Feeling a little merrier than you expected you might at 6pm? A hot wine describes nothing to do with the temperature of the wine, but suggests that the alcohol levels in the wine are too high (yes, there is such a thing!).

  • Lush:

They say: Lush wines are soft, richly fruity wines that are both concentrated and fat. A lush wine can never be an astringent or hard wine.

We say: Not just a brand of natural cosmetics or  what a young British bloke might holler at a particularly good looking lady, a lush wine is rich, smooth, full, fruity, velvety. Highly desirable, a lush wine is basically the Jessica Rabbit of wines.

Learn more about wine at our BIGGEST wine tasting event of the year, ely’s Big Tasting on Friday 10th October, 2014 at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC.

the BIG tasting September 2011


Taste Tip of the Week: “Craggy Island” Lamb Tagine

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but once you put a little bit of love into it, it’s really worth the effort. A Burren-Moroccan fusion dish and a nice alternative to the traditional Irish Stew.

What you need:

  • 800g–1kg lean lamb shoulder, diced (at ely, we use organic “Craggy Island” lamb)
  • plain flour, to coat lamb
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 1 each red and yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 small, red chilli, dried or fresh
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10g fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ground
  • 20g dried ground cumin
  • 100ml honey
  • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes or passata, or enough to submerge all ingredients
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 courgette

Serves 6

Lamb Tagine Collage

How we do it:

  • Lightly coat the lamb in flour and brown in a little oil on a hot pan. You will need to do this in batches. Set aside and remove any excess fat.
  • In one large frying pan (or two, if necessary), fry the onion, peppers, carrots and garlic in some olive oil until they are soft.
  • Add the lamb, bay leaves and fresh herbs.
  • Now add the chilli, cinnamon sticks, ginger and cumin. Stir well to coat the lamb and vegetables.
  • Drizzle the honey over the lamb, then pour in the tomatoes or passata. Stir well.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
  • Slowly reheat the tagine when you are ready to serve.
  • Chop the aubergine and courgette into large chunks, fry in some olive oil and add to the tagine. Doing this last prevents the aubergine
    and courgette from being discoloured by the sauce.
  • Serve with couscous (see note for the cook).

A note for the cook:

  • This delicious lamb tagine tastes even better the day after cooking, when the flavours have had a chance to blend and settle.
  • It’s best served with couscous. Rub oil into the couscous (before cooking) to prevent it sticking together.
  • Mix equal quantities of hot stock and couscous, cover with cling film and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cling film and run a fork through the couscous to separate.
  • Season, add some fresh mint, and serve.

Enjoy grass fed, organic “Craggy Island” lamb, sourced through our family farm in the Burren, Co. Clare at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place.

craggy island lamb


Table Talk of the Week: ely’s Farm Trip to the Burren, Co. Clare 

On Tuesday 23rd September, to kick off ely’s 15th year celebrations, a gang of us slipped on our wellies, tucked our ponchos into our bags and headed out for a fun filled and insightful trip to the ely organic family farm in the Burren, Co. Clare.

The day started bright and early at 8am with the warming scent of homemade sausage rolls and brownies laid out for breakfast at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC. Fed, watered and one chorus of Irish mammy style “make sure you go to the restroom before we leave” later and we were off on the 3 hour luxury coach to Clare.

Our first stop found us outside of the coach and inside our TV boxes, at “Craggy Island Parochial House”. Father Ted’s house, the McCormacks’ organic farm, is where all of ely’s delicious organic lamb is reared. Cheryl McCormack, the lovely lady of the house, treated the gang to scrumptious home baking using only organic ingredients; scones, brown bread, home made jams made from their own fruit, organic tea and coffee, served in a welcoming home atmosphere. Patrick McCormack, the first speaker of the day, so eloquently recited the poem Lost” and discussed the simplicity and passion of a simple Burren farm life along with a much needed reminder, to always try to take a little “Burren time” for ourselves, in our fast paced and busy lives.

“Stand still. Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you. Are not lost.” – David Wagoner

Outside Father Ted's

The beauty of farming in the Burren, Co. Clare lies in the fact that it has been farmed in the same fashion for 6,000 – 7,000 years. We then visited a site, which to the naked eye might have just seemed like grass, rock and shrubbery, but which was in fact the home to rare and unique Burren flora and fauna. Paula and Sharon from the Burren Life Project spoke to the group about the importance of Burren landscape preservation, the difficulties that organic Burren farming faces and the strict grazing methods being used to counteract these difficulties.

Group at Burren Life Project

Following this, in true Irish fashion, the clouds began to darken and the drizzle appeared. With a few rumbling tummies and rain jackets zipped up to the neck, we hopped back in to the coach and headed off to the home of Hugh and Isobel Robson, the organic ely family farm, for a much anticipated farm lunch.

Having worked up an appetite, we were in for a treat. What awaited us was a feast of Burren produce featuring organic Burren beef tongue with black truffles, organic porchetta rolled in local Burren herbs and succulent organic Burren rib, all from the ely family farm. We also enjoyed nori, dillisk and kombu smoked organic salmon from the Burren Smokehouse and homemade MOPE (Most Oppressed People Ever) potato cakes from the Burren Spud Project, all accompanied with salads, quiche, artisan Burren cheeses, ely’s homemade Guinness bread and 7-day pickled eggs. Deirdre from the Burren Spud project spoke about the importance of the humble potato in the global food crisis while Birgitta from the Burren Smokehouse spoke about combining her love of the west of Ireland with her passion for organic smoked salmon.

All of this wonderful food for thought was washed down with Irish craft beers such as Orpens Irish Cider, O’ Haras Curim Gold and Trouble Brewing’s Sabotage IPA and enjoyed with wine favourites such as Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage Blanc and Thalran Syrah Castell d’Encus.

Farm Dinner

A tour and insight into the organic ely family farm from Hugh Robson finished off nicely, what was an extremely special day out for us in the Burren, Co. Clare. We, at ely, were extremely privileged to share with our guests, the passion that our Burren community, friends and family feel about all of the different work that they are engaged in.

To experience ely’s organic family farm in The Burren, Co. Clare, without having to leave Dublin, visit any of our 3 ely venues. 

horses and cattle on the ely family farm

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 16

Slight warning folks, our dessert recipe in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk is sure to have your mouth watering so reader discretion (during work hours or you know, on a public bus…) is advised! We’ve also got some Bavarian beverages you might like to enjoy during Oktoberfest Dublin and we discuss what makes farming in the Burren, Co. Clare so very special.

Enjoy!

Tipple Tip(s) of the Week: Oktoberfest Dublin

In excitement of Oktoberfest arriving to George’s Dock (Dublin 1) this Thursday 18th, we’re getting our Bavarian dirndl dress and lederhosen together, and planning which German tipples we’ll be enjoying this week (and no, not all at the same time).

Oktoberfest-Dublin

  1. Erdinger Weissbier – From one of the world’s largest wheat beer breweries and the official sponsor of this year’s Oktoberfest Dublin, is one of the most famous weissbiers. While it is fruity, what we enjoy is that it isn’t too sweet either. Light and easily drinkable, this is a great thirst quenching beer.
  2. Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier – A well balanced wheat beer, you can certainly taste the yeast and banana, without it being too overpowering. Quite sweet which compliments the light bitterness, this medium bodied Weizen is fresh and flavoursome.
  3. Krombacher Pils This German Pilsner has nearly an all grain flavour with a minimal hop taste. This is a crisp and light bodied beer, best enjoyed on a warmer Autumn’s day. Brewed with natural spring water, this provides its refreshing taste.
  4. Wagner Stempel Spätburgunder – A German Pinot Noir, from the Wagner-Stempel winery encapsulates all that is great about Pinot as a variety, and Germany as a wine producer. This softly perfumed wine is delicate but beautifully flavoured, with raspberry, cherry and redcurrant flavours.

Pop in and enjoy ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1, when visiting Oktoberfest Dublin.

Oktoberfest Dublin Tipples

Taste Tip of the Week: Jamaican Coffee Pecan Brownies

As the days get cooler, we step away from lighter desserts and enjoy heartwarming indulgent classics. These gorgeous brownies are heavenly served with ice-cream and also ideal for storing as treats for your coffee break – if you can resist them for that long!

jamaican brownie collage

What you need:

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp finely ground Jamaican blue mountain (or your favourite) coffee beans
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g pecan halves
  • 6 tbsp freshly brewed Jamaican coffee
  • 100g dark chocolate,
  • 70% cocoa solids, chopped (Valrhona is ideal)
  • 30 thin strips crystallised ginger, or candied orange peel
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Makes 15

How we do it:

  • Line a baking tray, measuring approx 38 x 26cm, with greaseproof paper, or lightly grease a glass ovenproof dish. A lasagne dish is ideal. The tray or dish should be 2cm minimum in depth.
  • Combine the sugar, butter, cocoa, ground coffee and salt in a metal or heatproof bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and leave until the butter melts, stirring occasionally to help blend the ingredients – the texture will be grainy.
  • Remove the bowl from the water and allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.
  • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla
  • Sieve the flour over and fold in.
  • Take three-quarters of the pecan halves and roll up inside a clean tea towel. Bash lightly with a rolling pin to break up. Stir the pieces into the mix.
  • Pour the freshly brewed coffee over the mixture with the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared dish or tray and spread evenly.
  • Allow to cool and thicken for approximately 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the brownies comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cut into squares.

Dress the brownies with the reserved pecans and ginger or candied orange peel. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.

Or, let us do the work for you! Homemade desserts by ely’s executive pastry chef available at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place.

Pecan Jamaican Coffee Brownies

Table Talk of the Week: What Makes Farming in The Burren So Special?

For those of you who aren’t aware, the ely organic family farm is located in the Burren, Co. Clare (refresher here). Often people have asked us why we have chosen to keep our farm there and what makes farming in the Burren so special.

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The beauty of farming in the Burren, Co. Clare lies in the fact that it has been farmed in the same fashion for 6,000 – 7,000 years. This way of farming, where your animals are up on the hills in the winter months, is unique only to the Burren, Co. Clare. Due to its limestone structure, the Burren landscape acts almost as a storage heater. The land receives heat from the Atlantic drift in the summer and it stores that heat for the winter as the soil depths are so shallow. Gentle heat releases from the limestone all winter making for very little frost, and allowing the animals to be happier and warmer on the hill (also called the winterage) than in the valley. The animals then come down to the valley for the spring and summer months.

Burren Farmland.

Also unique to the Burren is the way in which land is distributed. Land in The Burren is sold, not by the area, but by the numbers of animals you keep or feed. Summer land is matched with the winter land and you always have enough winter land to maintain the animals you keep on the summer land. Many of the cattle farmers in the Burren might produce calves in the spring, feed them on the rich pastures of the valley in the summer, sell the calves in the autumn and put the cattle back up on the winterage in the winter.

Life in the Burren always works as a balance.

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

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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. 

dsc_2086

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.

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 6

In honour of this Friday, the 4th of July, we reviewed some un-brew-lievable (sorry) American craft beers along with one for you to enjoy in the summer sunshine, the easiest fro-yo recipe ever, in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk. We also look at 50 Shades of Grey in Ireland and no, not the book: Why you you should be visiting the uniquely stunning Burren, Co. Clare this summer.

Craft Beer(s) of the Week: Red, White and Brew  

Independence day is upon us this Friday 4th of July,  so we thought it only fitting to put our star spangled banner of approval on our favourite American craft beers. There are now over 2,700 craft breweries operating in the U.S, the highest total since the 1880s according to the Brewers Association, which made our decision a tough one, but here it goes: Our top American craft beers of the week.

  1. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout – Which is the stout that us Irish folks love to drink? Just can’t quite think of the name right now but it is because of our love for this stout that makes it difficult for others to get a look in. However, this Californian stout is seriously interesting with a thick, rich and full body along with hints of chocolate and coffee. When the waiter offers us the dessert menu, we simply say we’ll have another one of these.
  2. Brooklyn Lager – Some might argue that, hang on, this isn’t really a craft beer anymore but that’s where some might respond that hey, this is the original craft beer… of New York anyway. According to Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Lager is New York’s “hometown” beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Light bodied, this craft beer is easy, drinkable and can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
  3. Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – The team at ely are huge fans of the Flying Dog Brewery and their classic pale ale is still one of our favourite craft beers out there. Fantastic summer drinking, its floral citrus aroma runs all the way through and can also be found in its well balanced taste. 5 out of 5, wonderful stuff!
  4. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – This beer from the folks at Lexing Brewing Co. (Alltech) is a whopping 8% but what we like about it is that it’s surprisingly drinkable and smooth, despite its high alcohol volume. True to its name, you can certainly taste the bourbon but it’s accompanied by a lovely, nutty oak taste along with dark fruits, figs perhaps. Not a beer for a big night out but for a relaxing, much like the beer, well balanced evening.

 beer collage blog

WIN an Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling craft beer & bourbon hamper worth €250 at ely bar & brasserie’s 4th July BBQ this Friday. Click here for details.

hamper alltech 2

Taste tip of the Week: Frozen Yoghurt Berry Cup

Fresh, fruity and good for you – this quick ‘n’ easy frozen treat offers delicious and guilt-free indulgence this Summer.

What you need:

  • 200g mixed nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • 500g mixed berries (fresh or frozen) plus a few fresh berries to serve
  • 500g organic plain yogurt, chilled
  • 2 tbsp good quality honey
  • mint leaves, to serve

How we do it:

  • Toast the nuts by placing in a frying pan over a medium heat and tossing until golden brown – take care not to burn.
  • Put three-quarters of the fruit in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  • Add the yogurt and honey and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Taste for sweetness and add more honey if necessary.
  • Layer the yogurt with the remaining berries in tall glasses, bowls or cups and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • To serve, top with toasted nuts and some mint leaves.

For more recipes, see ely’s award-winning cookbook here.

berries

Travel tip of the Week: The Burren, Co. Clare

“The Burren? Sure that’s only rock, there’s nothing there!”

We still remember when we first advised one of our overseas customers to go and visit The Burren, Co. Clare during their round trip of Ireland, and the quote above that somebody quipped in with. Now, while the person did have a point about the rocks (The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘Boíreann’, meaning a rocky place), they were wrong about the ‘only’ part. When you think of Irish landscapes, you picture every shade of green while in the Burren, you find 50 shades of grey with only a bit of green thrown in. This strange beauty is what makes the Burren so uniquely stunning and gets our recommendation for Travel tip of the Week.

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The Burren’s unusual landscape, created by limestone erosion from the rain, plays host to a truly unique ecosystem of alpine, arctic and Mediterranean plants, see Burren Beo for moreDue to this rich wildlife, the area allows for some of the best farming in Ireland along with delicious seafood (à la Burren Smokehouse) and proudly, The Burren is home to the ely organic family farm. The area’s large amount of butterflies, animals, flora and fauna wonderfully and amazingly all survive in a land that appears to be composed entirely of rock.ely family farm_Burren farmland_low res

The Burren, also rich with historical and archaeological sites, is an ideal location to combine a trip with the nearby Cliffs of Moher or perhaps, for a stop off along the way. Colours of the Burren change with the light, weather and season, making it a fantastic place for the many artists who visit to set up their easels for the day.

To learn more about visiting The Burren, Co. Clare visit: www.burrennationalpark.ie 

ely family farm_Burren farmland_collage

 

So the first ely Big Tasting of 2014 is finally upon us!

Thanks to all of our brilliant suppliers, along with many of the ely favourites, we have some wonderful new wines, craft beers and ciders for you to taste.

ely_Big_TastingDon’t miss the new Romanian Pinot, or the sparkling wine from Hungary. Try the Ballyhook flyer or Stonewell ciders alongside some of the finest of Irish cheeses, or the organic smoked beef from our family farm matched with some great craft beers. There will also be a fantastic selection of wines from France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Argentina, USA and beyond.

Bar manager at ely gastro bar, Barry Rowan will be plucking out some of his favourite Irish and International craft beers from ely gastro bar’s range of over 50 craft beers.

Don’t forget to make sure you get the chance to taste the Nyetimber- an English sparkling wine that rivals many a Champagne for quality.

However, the purists among you can rest easy- we’ll have some Champagne superstars there too! It’s looking like it’s going to be a beautiful day- come join us on the terrace for a glass of bubbles before, or a cleansing craft beer after!

Download ely_Big_tasting_wines_2014

Follow us on twitter @elywinebars #elybigtasting

Grapecircus @ Sheridans
Gruner Veltliner Arndorfer, Austria 2011
Edalo Blanco Contreras Ruiz 2012
Rosso Piceno Vigna di Gino San Lorenzo
Rosso di Monteraponi, Tuscany
Chianti When we Dance, Il Palagio 2012
Barbera Conterno Fantino, Piemonte 2011
Tenuta di Aglaea ‘N’anticchia’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2009

Febvre
Benziger Merlot, Sonoma Valley 2010
Benziger Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley 2012
De Martino Legado Chardonnay, Chile 2011
De Martino Organic Sauvignon Blanc, Chile 2012
De Martino Legado Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Paparuda Pinot Noir, Romania 2012
Paparuda Pinot Grigio, Romania 2013
Taittinger Nocturne Champagne
Warres Otima 10yr Tawny port

Nomad Wines
Lombeline ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ Loire Valley 2012
Lucien Crochet ‘Le Chene’ Sancerre 2012
Domaine Chavy-Chouet Meursault ‘Vireuil ‘2010
Chateau de Leyguette Bordeaux 2011
Domaine Hauts Blanville ‘Peyras’ Coteaux du Languedoc 2010
Simon Bize ‘Les Perrieres’ Bourgogne 2009

Vinostito
La Goya’ Manzanilla, San Lucar de Barrameda
Rafael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello, Valdeorras, Spain 2012
Ch. La Grolet, AoC Bordeaux, France 2010
Domaine Moureau, Madiran, France 2010
Acon Roble, Ribera del Duero 2011
Bodegas Ponce ‘P.F’ Manchuela, Spain 2010
Bodegas y Vinedos Gancedo ‘Xestal’ Bierzo, Spain 2007

On the Grapevine
Verus Pinot Gris, Slovenia 2012
Waltner Gruner Veltliner, Austria 2013
Kiryianni Petra, Greece 2013
Kiryianni Ramnista, Greece 2010
Les Hauts de Montforts, Minervois, France 2011
Degani Amarone, Italy

Wicklow Wine Company
Gruner Veltliner HASEL, Birgit Eichinger, Kamptal, Austria 2012
Riesling trocken, Wagner-Stempel, Rheinhessen, Germany 2012
Vinhas do Lasso Branco , Lisboa, Portugal 2011
Spatburgunder, Wagner-Stempel, Rheinhessen, Germany 2011
Sa de Baixo, Douro, Portugal 2012
Paco dos Cunhas, Dao, Portugal 2010

Le Caveau
Domaine de Ménard “Cuvée Marine”, Cotes de Gascogne, France 2012
Bodegas Menade, Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2013
Valli Unite “Ciapé”, Cortese, Piedmont, Italy 2012
Henri Marionnet, Touraine Gamay, Loire, France 2012
Poggio Argentiera, Morellino di Scansano, Tuscany, Italy 2011
Domaine Chaume Arnaud ‘Vinsobres’, Rhone, France 2011

Liberty Wines
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, England 2009
Vesevo Falanghina, Campagnia, Italy 2012
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2013
Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris, Yarra Valley, Australia 2012
Azamor, Alentejo, Portugal 2009
Alpha Zeta ‘R’ Ripasso, Veneto 2012
Domaine Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2012
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico, Tuscany Italy 2011
Willunga 100 Grenache, Mclaren Vale, Austraila 2010
Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy 2013
Innocent Bystander Syrah, Yarra Valley, Australia 2010

Nicholsons
Finca Montepedrosa, Rueda, Spain 2012
Soalheiro Alvarinho, Portugal 2013
La Source de Vignelaure Rose, Provence 2012
Domaine Joncier “Le Gourmand” Lirac 2012
Cline Pinot Noir, California 2012
Carmelo Rodero ‘9 months’ Tempranillo, Pedrosa del Duero 2012

Wines Direct
Domaine Feline Jourdaine Picpoul de Pinet 2012
Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ 2013
Craiglee Chardonnay, Sunbury, Victoria 2009
Bret Brothers St. Veran, Burgundy 2011
Haut Rian Cuvee Prestige
Paper Road Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ 2012
Mas Julian, Les Terasses du Larzac 2010
L’Hortus Grande Cuvee, Coteaux du Languedoc 2010
Feytit-Clinet “Les Colombieres”, Pomerol 2011
Chateau Haut Segottes St. Emilion Grand Cru 2006
Chateau Lalande, St. Julien, Bordeaux 2008

Cellar Door Wines
Mohua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ 2012
Mohua Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ 2009
Perigrine Pinot Noir, Marlborough NZ 2009
Findlater Wines
Bollinger ‘Special Cuvee’ Champagne NV
Pionero Mundi Albarino, Spain 2012
St Clair Gruner Veltliner, NZ 2012
Cono Sur ’20 Barrells’ Pinot Noir, Chile 2011
Penfolds Koonunga Hill ’76’ Shiraz Cabernet, South 2012
Beringer Zinfandel, California 2011

Mitchells Wine Merchants
Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Frizzante
Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Dry 2012
Alta Vista Premium Malbec 2012 150cl
Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2010
Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2011
Sipp Mack Pinot Blanc 2012
Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado
Lustau Solera Reserva Brandy de Jerez

Irish Craft Cider
Craigies
Longueville
Stonewell

Irish & International Craft Beers
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