Wild Irish Rabbit Terrine, accompanied with hedgegrown brambles, Mead Chutney, garnished with Armagh Apple Crisps, accompanied with Guinness wheaten bread.
Crystallized pan fried Wolf fish, served with Colcannon potatoes served with a white butter sauce, infused with Field Nettle emulsion, garnished with Irish streaky bacon and deep fried leeks.
White Chocolate Beehive, filled with a Hazelnut & Irish Mist parfait, served with a rich raspberry & thyme compote, and a splash of fresh cream, garnished with Ling honey comb.
The concept of the chase is the philosophy for the appetizer...
As a child one of the training tasks given to Cuchulian to help him improve his speed and agility as a Warrior was to chase and catch wild rabbits that played in the morning sun on hills of Clonmel in County Tipperary. Often, the chase would go from field to field through the apple orchards and would most likely end up in the thickets of the wild brambles amongst the hedge rows.
After a successful day the warriors would be served by fair maidens the rabbit made into a sumptuous terrine with copious amounts of mead prepared from fresh honey, and bowls of freshly picked Armagh apples from the nearby orchards.
Apple Crisps for garnish.
Apple crisps or any other hard fruit can be prepared well in advance and stored until in a tight fitted container when needed.
The secret of getting perfect apple crisps is to make them as thin as possible.
Prepare a thick sugar syrup and remove from the heat. Dip the apple slices into the syrup, just enough to get them coated well. Remove them from the syrup and let the surplus drip of. Place them flat on a bakers silicone mat or a piece of greaseproof. Bake in the oven until crispy at 120∞.
They should not become brown cook them very slowly. When finished place them on a sheet of paper towel inside a container with a tight fitting lid.
the Rabbit Terrine.
Slice the rabbit meat into thin slices. Season with salt & pepper and fry lightly in a hot pan to seal in the blood.
Try not to overcook the meat but do try to give a little color as this will show well in the terrine when sliced for presentation. Place on a piece of paper towel to remove any grease. Cover, cool and place to the side.
In a blender mix the rabbit meat for 3 minutes until a fine puree is obtained, add the egg whites and seasoning and mix well in. This is known as a (mousseline). Scrape down the sides and chill over a bowl of ice.
Mix in the cream and (do not over mix or the cream will curdle) and chill over a bowl of ice. Line the mould lightly with oil so as to cover the sides and bottom evenly the ends hanging over the sides. Cover the base of the mould with a little of the rabbit Mousseline mixture. Lay onto the mixture thin slices of Rabbit. Repeat this exercise twice enabling two layers of Rabbit, finishing with the Mousseline on top. Seal completely with the cling film.
Cook in a bain-marie (a tray of water) in the oven at 200°C (400°F). Cooking time will alter according to thickness. Cooking time approximately 30 minutes. The terrine should be firm to the touch. A good idea for checking if the terrine is cooked is by using a temperature probe. Aim for 70?.
Placing the food on the plate for the Appetiser.
Cool the terrine well at least a couple of hours before slicing and serving. Slice half the terrine into thin slices at an angle. Place gently on the plate, slices slightly overlapping. Leave a half inch border with the terrine and follow the direction of the plate.
Place a small mound of chutney next to the terrine. Garnish the side of the plate with blackberries. Just before service place upright 1 apple crisp, 3 chives through the centre and drizzle with a little Mead chutney juice.
concept of catching the Wolf Fish is the philosophy for the main
Within the deep pools of the mountains breeds a legendary fish known as the Wolf fish. They are found only in these pools of Clonmel and no other place in Ireland. The fish are as slippery as an eel but the flesh is delicate, translucent and has a taste unlike any other fish in Ireland. Two Wolf fish, only are allowed to be caught bare handed by the young would-be warriors.
This was another task set for them on the long journey of becoming a warrior. The ponds were surrounded with wild nettles as tall as the trees and their stings are said to be more painful than a thousand bees.
The morning before setting off for the task, fair maidens would help prepare there men folk, by smearing freshly made butter over there skin to protect them against the nettles. The journey would be long and arduous therefore, food provisions of fresh potatoes, cabbage, leeks and bacon had become the customary meal.
Recipe to follow...
Chocolate Beehive, filled with a Hazelnut & Irish Mist parfait,
served with a rich raspberry & thyme compote, and a splash of
fresh cream, garnished with Ling honey comb and sugar strands.
The concept of Cuchulian s homeland in Clonmel Ireland is the philosophy for the dessert...
Clonmel was a small haven surrounded by round purple topped mountains. The sides of the mountains were lush with all types of flora, and covered with an abundance of hazelnut trees. Within the hedgerows grew wild raspberries as far as the eye could see.
On the mountain side grew a wealth of fresh thyme. But, one flower in particular that outshone all others was from the Ling Heather. The Ling flower attracted the honeybee that collected the nectar to be converted into honey. This honey is known as the “Caviar of all honeys”. This is why Clonmel to this day is known as “The Vale of Honey”.
Below the mountains the earth was of lime and chalk, that turned the streams a milky colour and is as silky as cream. Each morning when Cuchulian awoke, his first sight was his beloved purple topped mountains covered in Irish Mist.
Recipe to follow…..
Roasted Honeyed Plum Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella drizzled
with a Honeyed Balsamic Reduction, garnished with a Wild Rocket Salad
This appetizer is very simple, and by looking at the photograph one can see how simple it is. For one portion you will need 1 ? plum tomatoes, cut them length ways. Prepare a small baking tray brushed lightly with olive oil, place the tomatoes face down on the tray, brush them lightly with warm honey sprinkle liberally with Rock salt, a few fresh leaves of thyme, finally diced clove of garlic and drizzle with a Balsamic reduction (equal quantities of honey & Balsamic vinegar reduce until the thickness of oil).
Place in a moderately hot oven to roast or under a hot grill. Do not overcook. The tomatoes should still be firm. Once cooked Set to the side to cool.
Place three halves of the tomatoes in the centre of the plate. Slice a piece of Mozzarella cheese about ? inch thick. Place this on top of the tomatoes. Add a little olive oil or dressing to the Rocket leaves and cradle into a ball passing from one hand to the other. Gently place on top of the Mozzarella. Drizzle the plate with the balsamic reduction by going in and out of the centre with one hand and rotating the plate full circle with the other hand to get the desired effect. As you will agree, that this is visually splendid and will enhance anyone's dinner party. This dish is also good on its own as an unusual snack.
Note: It is important to make sure you purchase real Buffalo Mozzarella to get the right taste.
More recipes to follow…..