Food, wine, travel, music
Rory O’Connell is a master educator. Whether at Ballymaloe Coookery school or on RTE1’s television programme How To Cook Well, he is at ease with words, knows his topic and communicates as if he were chatting to us individually.In this second of his books, following the prestigious André Simon award for his first Master It, we find recipes seasonally sectioned. Heading for the winter solstice, we go straight for a warming (and nutritious) lentil and kale soup, parsnip soup with harissa, roasted cauliflower with spices, celeriac fritters. Menu lists have a balance that will help readers. Beef carpaccio with wild greens are drizzled with an oyster mayonnaise (only four rock oysters needed) which can also be served with a fillet steak. Follow this with ham hocks, celery with tomatoes, fennel and raisins, and finish with a vanilla mousse with espresso jelly (a change from Christmas pud?).
One of my current favourite ingredients pangrattato (breadcrumbs tossed with olive oil and fried in the oven) is used in a dish with grilled spring onions, mushrooms, anchovies and a poached egg. As in Italy, the best of simple food.
Think about making preserved lemons or harissa to give as a gift. They don’t have to be made far in advance and will keep for ages.
Well edited by Kristin Jensen, with evocative photographs, this will have appeal to all ages and ability.
In hardback from Gill Books €24.99