Friday, 23 January 2015

Kale...Queen among greens

"If the vegetable kingdom had supermodels, the girl of the moment would be Kale ". I am pleased to see this amazing green finally getting some recognition as I have always loved Kale. It is good for you and it's delicious, in fact it is trending as Thee Super food of the moment, from Kale Chips to detoxifying Kale juices, hence it came as no surprise that this super green is rapidly gaining in popularity and is being recognised for it's exceptional health benefits and flavour.
Belonging to the Brassica family( cabbage, broccoli,Brussels sprouts) with plain or curly leaves, ranging in colour from green,dark green to purplish red( Leaf & Spear, Curly kale, Cavolo Nero,Rape kale). It is rich in antioxidant, vitamins A,C &K as well as Calcium and is known to lower cholesterol.

In Ireland, we are mostly familiar with kale when mixed with mashed potatoes to make the traditional Colcannon. In Italy, Cavolo Nero is used in the Tuscan soup Ribollita,In China commonly used in stir-fry with beef or poultry,found in Portugal in Caldo Verde Soup and a firm favourite at Christmas with the festive ham in Scandinavia.
Kale is extremely versatile and makes a tasty addition to Soups, Casseroles or simply sautéed and even raw in a salad.
Look for firm, deeply coloured leaves and hardy stems. Smaller leaves will be more tender and milder in flavour hence ideals for raw salads. It is delicious when braised with smoked sausage or bacon.Very thinly sliced in a salad with pomegranate seeds, pear, avocado & nuts. Sautéed with olive oil, lemon and sumac, baked into a flan with nutmeg or herbs or blitz into a sauce to coat Farfalle or Conchiglie pasta.
 Remove limp, damaged leaves and thick coarse ribs and store kale unwashed,in a plastic bag in the fridge but it also freezes really well.

Here are a few easy ways in working this super green into your diet

Monday, 12 January 2015

The Greenery on lennox street & Donnybrook village. The New Kid on the block. The Taste Magazine Jan edition 2015

The New Kid on the block – The Greenery on Lennox street & Donnybrook village by Robert Jacob

The 1

Nestled away in the southern end of Donnybrook village beside the Old Wesley Stadium is South county Dublin best kept secret The Greenery, an all-day casual restaurant which is rapidly making it’s mark on the local clientele.With Havana next door, the temple for stylish dressing, one is not surprised to see the place bustling with fashionistas. Cream leather upholstered chairs and banquettes provides a contemporary look that is smart yet very comfortable and unpretentious.

The Greenery.. Cover Photo

Hence it was no surprise to see The Greenery branching out in another leafy suburbs, in Portobello this time around and on Lennox street to be precise. This new venture resides in the location formerly known as The Lennox Cafe which has been totally revamped and the decor is altogether brighter with an urban chic feel.
Both restaurants offers a varied menu with reasonably priced dishes and there is plenty of choice to satisfy all budgets and tastes.
While the breakfast menu has all the usual variations on eggs, from scrambled, baked or poached, you can also tuck in a Full Irish @ €10.50 or just simply have French toast with bacon & maple syrup @ €8.50. The lunch menu is rather more substantial yet light but still with plenty to choose from, a Warm chicken salad with avocado, sun blushed tomatoes, pesto and Parmesan shavings @ €12.50 to a classic Steak sandwich combo with crisp onions, slow roasted plum tomato & baby gem on toasted ciabatta @ €10.50 served with a choice of soup or fries.

The Greenery... photo 2

I have eaten there a few times and on each visit, the food has been very good. It is simple food yet very tasty and not compromising on flavours and every thing was served with good humour by a very cheerful team.
For breakfast or an early brunch, I would recommend the Egg Benedict @ €9.50 or the Egg Florentine also at @ €9.50.

The 3

With a silky herby hollandaise sauce enrobing the perfectly poached eggs which surrendered it’s runny yolks at the touch of ones fork, slow cooked ham for the first and well seasoned wilted spinach for the latter on warm toasted muffins, both were delicious and guaranteed to set you off for the day ahead on a good note. The coffee here @€2.20 is excellent and if it happens to be “en fin de semaine”, why not push the boat and go for a Mimosa @€8.00 or a Bloody Mary @€7.50.
For lunch, the Crab Salad with avocado, tomato vinaigrette @€13.50 was smartly presented and the combination of flavours in this colourful dish worked well together. There was just enough citrus zing to cut through the sweetness of the crab meat which was very fresh and smelled of the sea.

The Greenery.. photo 4

The Quesadillas with spicy chicken, roasted peppers @ €10.50 was equally delicious. The toasted and crispy tortilla wrap contrasting nicely with the softness of the chicken and peppers within. It was full of flavours, with a garnish of mixed leaves, crispy onions, guacamole and salsa, it was ideal for a light lunch.

The Greenery.. photo 5

For dinner, the daily catch of the day, whether it be the Sea bass or hake is excellent or a classic Beef Burger is equally good too.

The 6

So if you are around Portobello or venturing towards the South-side of the city, The Greenery is indeed an attractive spot for a bite to eat with really pleasant service and excellent value.

The Greenery, Café- Restaurant 3, Eirpage House, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.  
Tel: 01-2195966
The Greenery on Lennox street, Cafe- Restaurant 31, Lennox street, Portobello, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-4759743

Twitter Competition:
I have a voucher to give away for a VIP Brunch for 2 at the location of your choice.
To be in with a chance to win, simply
1. follow @jacobscrackers9 on Twitter
2. tweet Brunch #TheGreeneryonlennoxsreet
A Winner will be picked on the 25th of January 2015.

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Kinsale Gourmet Academy by David Rice . The Taste Magazine Jan edition 2015

Win & Cook like a Pro at the Kinsale Gourmet Academy with David Rice by Robert Jacob


Embrace the new year and learn a new skill in how to cook like a pro with Award winning Chef David Rice at the newly launched Kinsale Gourmet Academy.
Set in the private and exclusive environment of Ballinacurra House, against the backdrop of Kinsale with its rich history and culinary heritage,the new cookery school will further strengthen Kinsale’s reputation as the ‘Culinary Capital’ of the southern coast. It was one the key factors missing in Kinsale’s bid as ‘Foodie Capital of Ireland’ and will be the final piece of the jigsaw which will further add to the prestige of the town.
Before joining Ballinacurra House, David was a senior chef for two years at Dublin’s Michelin star restaurant Chapter One. Prior to that he was head chef at the Mustard Seed restaurant in Adare, Co. Limerick for three years. Whilst at the Mustard Seed he won Best Chef in Limerick at the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards 2010. In addition, the Mustard Seed won Country House of the year in 2008 and Best Use of Local Ingredients in 2009 at the Georgina Campbell Awards and he has also worked at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Claridges, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Cornwall as well as The River Cafe in London.
A large focus for this new state of the art cookery school will be building on their reputation in catering for private groups and corporates and work with them to design a bespoke course to suit their needs and objectives that will include a teambuilding element, adding in meeting time or other activities. But Individuals will also be able to book into scheduled courses which will range from half day, one day, two day and 5 day courses. Classes will be kept small to ensure that students receive the best quality and one-to one tutoring.

“Cooking should be accessible to everyone and I hope to demystify complicated cooking techniques in a fun and relaxed environment” says David.

The new Gourmet Academy will without doubt puts Kinsale firmly on the map as a culinary food destination and being able to offer gourmet tour groups a further reason to visit and stay in Kinsale, whilst incorporating a food demonstration or hands-on session as well as all the other elements on offer. Food tourism is a growing sector within Failte Ireland’s remit and the 18th Century 40 acre Estate offers all the luxuries you would expect in any 5 star setting in a prime location with unique themed rooms, 2 self catering coach houses, and impeccable service. It has attracted a blue chip clientele for the past 10 years that is looking for that special unique ambiance and quality that you cannot get by other standard offerings. The new Kinsale Gourmet Academy will certainly compliment that, not to forget world class activities locally including the Old Head Golf Course, the picturesque fishing village of Kinsale with it’s many award winning eating establishments such like Martin Shanahan‘s Fishy Fishy Restaurant and all will make it unique in the Irish cookery school market.
So if you have your own group of friends or work colleagues or just your good self and would like to expand your culinary repertoire then this is where you should be heading.

For further information:
Location: Ballinacurra House, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0) 21 4779040

For your chance to win a Voucher for 2 to one of their one–day course (value €290.00), simply follow & tweet @jacobscrackers9 on Twitter using the hashtag #kinsalegourmetacademy

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved