Ballymaloe Day 58: Would you like fries with that?

My hands moved up and down dimpling the dough, it looked like the most uncomfortable back massage ever invented.

After yet another dodgy sleep, I woke up with a tired and drained feeling. Almost forgetting my knives (again), I headed into the kitchen for a busy day of cooking.

As an extra task, I added focaccia to my list of things to-do and got to work on a rather squidgy dough.

Leaving it to rise, I started on my dessert which was very similar to a panna cotta but with yoghurt and cream that was flavoured with cardamom.

Waiting around for my bread, as well as spending a lot of time deep-frying batches of pakoras (Indian deep-fried vegetables), I was glad to see lunchtime come around.

(My dessert of yoghurt with cardamom cream and pomegranate flavoured with rose water)
(My Indian pakoras with mango relish)

Despite all the hanging around, I was proud of my focaccia baby (though he could’ve done with a bit more olive oil) and I brought him home to the Coach House for a rest before we dissected him.

Demo was all about butchering beef and cooking “shteak” (as we Kerry-folk like to call them), and I was excited straight away about tasting.

Like a pro, Rachel took apart the beef loin into the sirloin, fillet and flank. The beef had been hanging since the 15th September and I had a feeling that it would taste pretty awesome.

Serving up generous cuts of meat from blue to well-done, the sizzling noises and smells were astonishing.

Accompanying the steak were chips and béarnaise sauce, and as I lashed into my sliver I savoured the taste of well-hung meat (I’m a fan of the blue I must say).

This week we’ve only three days in the kitchen so we’ll have two days of learning until Friday. Phew.

Slán agus beannacht!

Some random things I learned today:

  • It’s so important to look at the packaging, “Irish smoked salmon” usually means imported salmon that’s smoked in Ireland, whereas “Smoked Irish Salmon” means that it’s from Ireland AND smoked in Ireland.
  • Chimichurri sauce comes from Argentina.
  • Brown beef stock’s flavour can by browning the bones and vegetables in an oven beforehand.
  • To make deep-fried onions even crispier, add whisked egg white to the mix that coats the onion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *