Cookery Courses

Barbecue Joe comes to Cloughjordan House

Barbecue Joe comes to Cloughjordan House

It’s strange the way good things happen. On Friday afternoon last, a quiet weekend in prospect, I dropped into The Corkscrew on Chatham Row and spotted that signed copies of Neven Maguire’s MacNean Restaurant Cookbook were on special offer for €15. I hopped on Twitter to broadcast this good news – this great cookbook includes lots of the recipes that feature in Neven’s latest series on RTE in which he makes his more...

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Dumpling Pop-Up on the Eve of the Year of the Horse

Dumpling Pop-Up on the Eve of the Year of the Horse

It’s the Year of the Horse , the Wood Horse to be precise. According to China Sichuan it will be a time of fast victories and unexpected adventure, a great year for travel when energy is high and productivity is rewarded, a year when decisive action brings victory. You have to act fast in a Horse year but be careful not to gallop. My daughter in law Shan is a “Horse”. This will be an auspicious year for her, she will wear...

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Making Chinese Dumplings (jiaozi) from Scratch – an unlikely cure for jet-lag

Making Chinese Dumplings (jiaozi) from Scratch – an unlikely cure for jet-lag

It was a gloomy November Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after I had arrived back from Beijing. Winter had sneaked up on Ireland while I was away, the evenings were closing in and there was a noticeable nip in the air. I was jet-lagged and disoriented, my head and heart still drifting between two worlds, seeing in my mind’s eye the now familiar rituals of Shane, Shan and Dermot’s Sunday afternoon. I took refuge in cooking. I...

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Gong Bao Chicken

Gong Bao Chicken

One of the many things I love about a trip to Beijing is the chance to attend a few cookery classes, pick up new recipes and tips and improve techniques under the watchful eye of a professional Chinese chef. This recipe for Gong Bao chicken from my recent visit is so good that I feel like taking to the streets with a placard and megaphone to encourage everyone to try it. It has to be one the tastiest and best value winter warmers around and...

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Food Fit for an Emperor – Pine Nut and Beef Stir-fry

Food Fit for an Emperor – Pine Nut and Beef Stir-fry

My grandson is 7 months old today and I’ve found a good reason to visit Beijing in late October. Not that I need much of an excuse with him growing bigger by the day and a yearning to be with him that is almost a physical ache at times. The other day, as I passed though St. Stephen’s Green in the fading evening light, I spotted a woman of about my own age making cooing sounds at her tiny grandchild, their faces close together, while...

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Flavours of China at Donnybrook Fair Cookery School

Flavours of China at Donnybrook Fair Cookery School

Happenstance… Don’t you just love that word… Back in April I was at the Leinster Regional Awards of the Restaurant Association of Ireland and I got talking to this very nice guy, a professional chef who has worked in Chapter One and the Dylan Hotel and was formerly a fashion designer. After a few minutes chat I realised that he – Robert Jacob – was the chef who had taught me knife skills at a class last year and he...

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