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Recipes – The Glenribbeen Special.

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This is a recipe I invented to replace my favourite clam-dish after I became a vegetarian in the late ’80’s.

We used to go out to Ijmuiden near our hometown of Haarlem – outside of Amsterdam, N. Holland in The Netherlands, it was one of the bigger fishing ports along the North Sea and of course had some wonderful restaurants – if one was prepared to venture between all the fish-factories, smokers, boat-yards etc. Right at the end was a wonderful restaurant that server St Jakobs Musselen. A baked clam – in a clam shell, as a starter. I can’t remember any other dish though I can remember not being crazy about their rissotto !! But the St Jakob  ….  !!!

Anyway now I do it with an (unfertilised) egg. So for the first time the dish that made Glenribbeen famous and helped us win the coveted Georgina Campbell ‘good food’ Award. NB This dish requires a combi-oven.

The Glenribbeen Special.

One small dish – a bit bigger than an average hand.

1. tsp olive oil.

2 -3 tsp milk.

1 medium egg.

a good shake of Tabasco.

1/4 tsp Spicy Italian herbs or Herb de Provence.

mix well (like scrambled egg)  – Place in combi-oven and set time to two (2) minutes. at “Combi”. That’s 250C + 30% Micro. During this time get your cheese and yoghurt ready. I use a mix of (red) cheddar and Mozzarella shavings.

Dish out of oven – It should be almost firm – definitely NOT runny. (If needs be stick back in for some more time) Perhaps the egg was too big or there was too much liquid.

Good hadnful of mixed cheese on top – good Tblsp of yoghurt over that  – garnish with a pinch of chilli and some basil. We sometimes like to have a cherry tomato and use as garnish.

We serve the dish with fried mushrooms and a small garni of cucumber slices and potato-bread.

Baked Egg Special - Creamy with a hint of spice.Creamy – but with a hint of spice.


Another great photo this time of edible flowers. We use many of them as edible decorations for our breakfasts.


From the garden trail: lettuce is just the platform

One of the exciting things I have discovered about companion planting – using herbs and flowers to protect desirable edible and ornamental plants from insect pests in the garden – is that many of the companion plants themselves are edible, and very colourful. This applies especially to salads where the herbs and flowers can be used in their natural state, so blue cornflowers used to protect carrots from carrot fly attack, and red and orange nasturtiums used to protect apples from codling moth grubs which eat their way through the fruit, and petals of calendula and tagetes flowers in bright reds and orange, all end up in the salad bowl. 

This is just the beginning: rose petals which have a lovely fruity flavour, and taken from the flowers of rugosa roses flowers which I know have not been sprayed with things to control blackspot, add a fragrance to the dish; small amounts of raspberries and blackcurrants and tayberries which have escaped earlier harvest often because they were unripe at the time, all taste wonderful and add to the fragrance and colour of the plate.

The herbs provide a longer term supply of interesting flavours – black peppermint used to protect cabbages and the cabbage family from greenfly and caterpillar is beautifully sweet, and dill, which I use to attract hoverflies which devour greenfly, provides a rich liquorice fragrance and flavour. Sage helps protect the cabbage family from attack from the cabbage root fly, and a few sage leaves chopped and added to the salad or with roast potatoes are pure magic.

The photo above describes a platform of lolla rosa lettuce with cornflower and nasturtium flowers, ruby chard to crunch on, and dill and sorrel to add fragrance and flavour. Enjoy!

Mike McKenna writes from Blackwater Garden Centre, a member of the Waterford Garden Trail.



Grilled Avocado Guacamole  recipe from

by   on 08.17.11

Guacamole is one of my favorite things. I admit, I have eaten tacos made only of guacamole and a tortilla. While I don’t stray from my favorite guacamole recipe often, this one has a nice smokiness to it that’s a great fit for fajitas or anything grilled. I suggest a really bright white wine, one with lots of minerals. If you are more of a red drinker, avoid the fruit, stick to herbal notes or a smoky Mourvèdre.

4 ripe avocados
3 tomatoes
1 lime, zested
2 limes, juiced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, washed and dried
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 green onions, diced
1 serrano chiles, finely diced
2 cloves of roasted garlic
1. See how to properly slice and pit an avocado.2. Grill the avocado slices for five minutes.

Green Wine Guide Recipe: Grilled Guacamole

3. Scoop the flesh into a large bowl and mash.

4. Slice the bottom off each tomato using a serrated knife.

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Guacamole

5. Using the same knife, make “C” cuts to the tomato. The key here is to cut off the flesh and to avoid the seed membrane.

6. Dice the tomato slices. The remaining tomato ball is perfect for soup stock!

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Guacamole

7. Toss a handful of garlic cloves with olive oil and roast them for about 20 minutes or until your kitchen smells like you want to eat it.

Green Wine Guide Recipe: Grilled Guacamole

8. Mince the garlic and add it to the avocados.

9. Finely chop the red onion and green onions.

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Guacamole

10. Remove the cilantro leaves by holding the bunch with one hand and “peeling” off the leaves with a knife away from you.

11. Don’t worry if you get some stems. Finely chop the leaves.

12. Finely chop the serrano chile. Wear latex gloves if you are sensitive to the oils. Seed first if you want less heat.

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Guacamole

13. Add the above ingredients to the avocados.

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Guacamole

14. Zest one of the limes. Add the zest and the lime juice to the mixture. Juice the second lime and add it.

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Guacamole

15. Mix enough to coat all of the ingredients with the mashed avocado. Salt to taste.

16. Reserve some for yourself because once your friends and family get a hold of it, they will eat it all! Trust me.

Green Wine Guide Robert Hall Recipe: Vegan Fajitas

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Rigatoni Pasta with Goats Cheese and Spinach Marinara

Rigatoni Pasta with Goats Cheese and Spinach MarinaraWineport Lodge is well known to viewers of RTE’s ‘The Restaurant’, as it has been the location for the show during the last few series of the programme. Beautifully located on the eastern shore of Lough Ree, near Athlone, Co. Westmeath, it is a gorgeous place for a real restaurant at other times and chef Cathal Moran makes sure that guests remember the dining experience as much as the view. 

This tasty vegetarian dish is a home cooking suggestion from Wineport. 

Serves 4

350g / 12oz rigatoni pasta or use penne or fusilli
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
400g / 14oz can chopped tomatoes
100g / 4oz baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon basil pesto (homemade or shop-bought)
100g / 4oz soft goats’ cheese, cut into cubes (or use Boilie goats’ cheese from a jar)
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
A little salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve: Tossed green salad

1. Place the pasta in a large pan of boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes until ‘al dente’, ie tender but still with a little bite, or according to packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and continue to cook over a low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated then sauté until the liquid has completely reduced and formed a nice glaze.

3. Add the tomatoes to the onion and balsamic mixture and bring to a simmer, then stir in the spinach until just wilted. Stir in the pesto and season with a little salt and pepper. Gently fold in the goats’ cheese and remove from the heat.

4. Drain the cooked pasta and quickly refresh under cold running water, then fold into the tomato sauce and divide among serving bowls. Scatter over the pine nuts and basil to serve. 

5. Serve with tossed green salad.

Cooking al-fresco as teenagers.

We used to make ‘bread-on-a-stick’ when off fishing. We’d cycle along the roads going fishing and regularly ‘confiscate’ a chicken for crossing the road without due notice or care to the cycling public. At the river/lake we’d rub mud into feathers n skin of now deceased fowl. We knew where the fulach fia-s were (bronze-age cooking holes – well known to ever kid of my generation that lived outdoors) and would start a fire on top using fairly thick branches to support the fire until they burnt through and anyway we’d put big stones on top of the fire as soon as it got going well. The whole mess would collapse into the hole – we’d fish out some big stones (hot) and dump the muddy chicken in the hole with the hot stones on top and  cover the lot with a sod – we’d then go fishing.
While the fire was warming the stones and the fulach fia, we’d make the stick bread by mixing flour, water, salt and perhaps butter (scraped from sandwiches- mother made). The idea is to wind the dough around a ‘green’ stick and turn often to avoid burning ! but later we learnt to keep it adjacent to the rocks – to cook slowly and later even wrapped it in doc-leaves to put in hole with chicken (sometimes we might do with a fish if no wandering chicken was answering questions).
After a couple of hours the bread was ready (Though very doughy) and the chicken/fish too. Crack the crust on a rock and the meat was divine. All feathers/shin came off with the crust and the guts were a marble in the hollow of the bird.
I’ve NEVER tasted better chicken, though the bread wasn’t great – unless we bothered with a second fire to ‘brown’ it further. The trick with the bread is to cook it slowly – never a good word when one is a hungry teenager.
To my ever-lasting sorrow there are no photos extant of those wonderful feasts. Quite a few of fish though and my buddy Martin Duffy ! Though they’re hard to tell apart.

Recipe of the Week – Pea and Mint Soup

You might baulk at the idea of eating soup in July, but thanks to the mint and peas this is a super-refreshing soup and can be eaten hot or cold.


• 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
• 1 potato, peeled and diced
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 850ml vegetable stock
• 250g shelled peas
• 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
• large pinch caster sugar
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 150ml sour cream

Put the spring onions into a large pan with the potato, garlic and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is soft. For a garnish, blanch 3 tbsp of the shelled peas in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, put in a bowl of cold water and set aside. Add the remaining peas to the soup base and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the mint, sugar and lemon juice and then blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Stir in half the soured cream, taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining sour cream and the drained peas.


Fig and Walnut Tapenade with Goat Cheese. Longtapanade
Prep Time 15 minutes – Serves: 10

1/2 cup dried Calimyma figs,chopped and stemmed
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped, pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5.5 oz soft, fresh goat cheese
1/4 can chopped, toasted walnuts
1/8 can toasted walnut halves
fresh thyme sprigs
salt and pepper to taste
assorted breads and/or crackers

1. Combine chopped figs and 3 tablespoons water in heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl.
2. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Can be prepared up to three days ahead.
3. Bring to room temperature before serving.  Stir chopped walnuts into the tapenade; arrange tapenade around goat cheese log in the center of a small serving dish.  Garnish with walnut halves and thyme sprigs if desired.

Serve with breads and/or crackers.


About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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