Showing posts from February, 2012

Dutch Cuisine

As part of my trip to the motherland I was determined to eat all of my favourite Dutch food as you can see below. It was also my goal to have Joanne try as much Dutch food as possible.

1) Rookworst sandwich, chips and Chocomel

The minute I got off the plane I was heading for the Hema food stall over in the Amsterdam Airport train station. Its my treat when I arrive in Schiphol, rookworst is a smoked Dutch sausage, its so flipping good and tasty. I like to wash it down with my favourite chocolate milk drink.

2) Pancakes on the Kalverstraat

MMMMM this pancake was beautiful, covered in thinly sliced streaky bacon and drenched in stroop syrup, HEAVEN!

3) Ertwensoep - Dutch split pea soup

With the extreme cold two weeks ago this soup was great for warming the body up. Its a thick split pea soup that has a smokey flavour from the rookworst from above chopped inside the soup. Its also served with gorgeous smoked ham on dark rye bread.

4) Stroopwafel

Joanne tucking into a large stroop wafel a…

Pancake Day @ Fallon & Byrne

Yummy pancakes at Fallon & Byrne today, 4 for 1.70 euro.

Belgian Beef Carbonnade / Vlaamse Stoverij

This week Joanne happened to say to me that she fancied a big warm and comforting stew for dinner. Naturally I obliged with something a little different, I decided upon making a Belgian Beef Carbonnade. A carbonnade is an onion, beef and dark beer based stew. Unlike the traditional recipe below I decided to serve the carbonnade with some nice fluffy Maris Piper potato mash.

From wiki:

A carbonade flamande(or à la flamande) (in DutchStoverij or Stoofvlees), is a traditional Belgian sweet-sour beef and onionstew made with beer, and seasoned with thyme and bay. Mushrooms or spiced bread can also be added. The type of beer used is important, and traditionally an Oud bruin, Brune Abbey beer or Flanders red is the beer of choice with a somewhat bitter-sour flavor.In addition to this and to enhance the sweet-sour flavor, just before serving, it has a small amount of cider or wine vinegar and either brown sugar or red currant jelly stirred in.

It is often accompanied by french fries or boiled p…

Dutch Coffee ( Yup the next few posts are all being preceded by the word Dutch )

First off I think coffee really has taken over my life, its all my fathers fault. That man has been feeding me coffee since I was a child. The man is nuts when it comes to coffee , he drinks copious amounts of the stuff and has passed on his love of the black stuff to me as you can see with my coffee mission etc over the past 2 months. This post is more or less a narrative on diffrent coffees I had whilst on holiday last week. I tried not to drink too much but when I did I took some pics of the coffee I am deemed to be good.

Before I begin here is some information on the history of coffee in the Netherlands sourced from Wiki:

The race among Europeans to make off with some live coffee trees or beans was eventually won by the Dutch in 1616. Pieter van der Broecke, a Dutch merchant, obtained some of the closely guarded coffee bushes from Mocha, Yemen in 1616. He took them back to Amsterdam and found a home for them in the Botanical gardens, where they began to thrive. This apparently…

Oudt Leyden - Dutch Pancakes

This is my first post based on my trip to the motherland with Joanne. We were on holiday last week in the Netherlands, naturally it was always going to entail a visit to a Pannekoeken Huis (Pancake House) what with my obsession for pancakes. On Saturday of last weekend we took a train to the town of Leiden in the South of Holland, we were there to go shopping and browse around the Saturday market.

To be honest and I didnt tell Joanne this, I was there for one reason and one reason only it was to pay a visit to my favourite pancake place ever. Its called the Oudt Leyden, I was first here two years ago with my brother Steven and his girlfirend Sarah (my fellow pancake fiend). Its an old yet very elegant old style Dutch pancake house, who serve all manner of Dutch food but their USP is their amazing pancakes.

We arrived weary ( well I was after all the shopping) around 1pm, we both ordered the same pancake being Naturaal( powder sugar with lemon wedges on the side). I also ordered a c…

Coffee mission takes a break

For the past few weeks I have been reviewing cafes in Dublin with the exception of the Brass Rail in London. I am taking a break for a while with reviewing cafes as I am about to embark on something more special. For so long I have tried to find a cheap yet great homemade coffee solutions, I love my dads coffee machine (which is this just for reference ) but I dont want my own as I dont drink coffee at home, I drink all my coffee at work so I have tried endless amounts of French Presses, and also the Aero Press which I never liked at all. However.... I think I found what I have been searching so long for whilst on holiday in the Netherlands recently( in a store called Simon Levelt ), its called a Chemex, here is some information:
From Wiki :
The Chemex Coffeemaker is a coffee-making device. It was introduced and continues to be manufactured by the Chemex Corporation. Pittsfield, Mass. It was invented in 1941 byPeter Schlumbohm. The device consists of an hourglass-shaped glass flask rese…

Peter Ward Thank You

This morning I was at the Milk Market in Limerick as ever after breakfast with a friend of mine. We both invariably always visit Peter Ward's Country Choice Delicatessen. My friend always buys Peter's sandwiches, he swears by them and always gets two of them for each Saturday. Its always a sausage & black pudding bread roll with barbecue sauce and ham/cheese bread roll. Peters food is always so good, he sells all manners of cheese, meats, salads, wines, Italian foods and desserts. Its also where I first bought this black pudding which is absolutely gorgeous, click here. I also get a selection of nuts and cranberries here each week I am down in Limerick. I love cranberries and hazelnuts they are so more-ish and the young lad who is in charge of the nuts section is also so enthusiastic, without the guy's enthusiasm I would have never tried the nuts and berries combo.

I also need to give a special mention to the cheese Peter introduced me to. We tasted some very good Com…

Coffee & Scone @ The Brass Rail - Selfridges

On Thursday last week I had the pleasure of paying a visit to the Brass Rail restaurant in the food hall of Selfridges on Oxford St. London. I was over in London for a conference with work and I had an hour to waste beforehand so I stopped in to Selfrigdes. I had been here once before maybe 4 years ago but didnt get the chance to browse around properly. I love the food hall in Selfridges, its excellent so much good food to choose from, I only wish I had some money to spend as I would have bought loads. Anyhow as I was dying for a coffee and small bite to eat for breakfast, I decided upon the Brass Rail at the side entrance of Selfridges food hall.

Their speciality, and god I wish I had got it, Salt Beef with pickles, it looks phenomenally good , see pics below. I decided as it was my breakfast though to get a coffee and scone. The coffee was beautifully strong and the scone was gorgeous. My mum is English and it tasted just like her scones that she used to make when I was younger ( s…

My Bramley Sponge Pudding

This weekend in an effort to create something of my own and not follow a recipe this is what I came up with ( because I had all the ingredients to hand in my parents house ). Being honest it produced a really fluffy and moist sponge, its certainly something I will be making again. The only thing it was missing was some cream or custard. However I added some vanilla extract which gave the sponge a custardy flavor that works incredibly well with the apples. Anyway I hope you make this , it was really nice even if I say so myself.


225g Flour
225g Sugar
225g Butter
4 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
4 Bramley cooking apples
Juice of 2 lemons


1) Preheat your oven to 180c/160c Fan/Gas 4.
2) Grease and flour a 30cm x 10 cm dish.
3) Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
4) Slowly beat in one egg at time mixing well, adding the vanilla extract once all eggs are added.
5) Sieve the flour into the batter whilst beating.
6) Quarter the apples and slice thinly l…

Cinnamon Cafe Ranelagh - Coffee Challenge / Mission Week 5

This lunch time I decided to pay Cinnamon Cafe a visit in Ranelagh. Its been on my radar for quite some time now as its again supplied by the guys over at 3FE. With me thinking 3FE can do no wrong, Cinnamon wasnt what I was hoping it would be. Firstly I love the layout I have included a few pics from their Facebook page, and as you can see from the sign its a Cafe, Foodhall, Wine, Bar.

I only brought with me 5.50 euro, thinking that should be enough for some cake and a coffee like the 3FEs and CUPs of this world. I thought wrong, the cake is quite overpriced in here at 4.95 for all the treats. The only thing not 4.95 was a croissant so I ordered that and a cappuccino. Pictures are included below, the croissant was really good, very flaky served with some butter and jam. I was actually kinda glad I had ended up getting the croissant because it reminded me how good they can be. My coffee however wasnt as good, it looked nice but I found it to be quite weak in comparison to the coffee I…

Boojum - Mexican Eatery

On Wednesday of last week I visited Boojum in the Italian Quarter at the back of Jervis Street Shopping Centre, for the first time with some friends of mine. I have never eaten burritos before until then. Boojum is very nicely set out with benches for the diners , making the experience very communal. I chose to get a burrito and root beer, in my burrito I opted for shredded pork with cheese, jalapenos(1.50 extra), salad, pinto beans and hot sauce, I excluded the usual rice option as it comes laced with coriander ( I hate coriander ). Anyhow I found the burrito to be good but by no means amazing, in my opinion it was a sloppy mess and would not be on my list of places to go again.

There are certainly other options out there I would enjoy a whole lot more than Boojum, I dont know whether its Boojum I dont like or burritos on the whole. I work very close to Pablo Picante on Pembroke St another mexican take away place, I think I would like to try their burritos to compare, as they always…

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige 2010

Bear in mind I am still learning so take what I say about wines with a pinch of salt. This is the second wine I got off Damian out in La Touche Wines last weekend.  He recommended this Pinot Grigio from Trentino, Italy.  Generally I am not a fan of Pinot Grigio as I find it generally watery or bland, something Joanne would drink while out to dinner ( Joanne doesn't generally like wines and always sees something like this as a safe option). Anyhow I decided on Monday night to open up the bottle, yes a Monday, and yes it was needed after work.

I am happy to report yet again Damian shows how well he knows his stuff, this wine is beautiful. It was so crisp and dry ( not like the cooking oil haha ) and tasted like tart apples with a background sweetness. The wine has a golden yet slightly pink hue to it and to my mind doesn't resemble regular Pinot Grigios. If you do want to pair this with food I think it would go really well with risotto or a chicken based dish, although it would…

Saturday evening Vino - Domaine des Lauriers Picpoul de Pinet

This afternoon I paid a visit to my favourite off license in Leinster, La Touche out in Greystones Wicklow. Thankfully Damian Sherlock was working as the man never steers me wrong with his recommendations. Today I wanted 2 whites for about 25 euro, this is the first one Damian suggested to me of which I will review, its a Picpoul de Pinet from Domaine Lauriers in the Languedoc France. The grape variety Picpoul is a very old grape variety in France. I found the wine to be quite citrusy, tasting like grapefruit, ( I hope I am getting this right ) and I really enjoyed it. I cant wait for the 16th of February as La Touche are hosting a wine tasting event where I work , it will be a great opportunity to taste some wines I have never had before and also do a review on.