Sorry about how far behind I am on these supper posts. It's been a bit hectic lately. So today, I hope to tell you about two supper that have happened!
This was somewhat of a hurried supper, I had been working Galway at the Ocean Race and came back on the train to Dublin the night beforehand and was on a train back to Galway in the early hours of the morning the Thursday morning.
The idea for the dinner came to me while I was at Corleggy Cheese's farm preparing to go to Galway. I decided if I was going to be on the West Coast of Ireland I should mainly use what I could get my hands on there. I thought to myself that I'd just ask around the market and see who had the best mussels BUT everyone was talking about Marty's Mussels. So I went and found the number for them called and voilà, mussels. I talked to Catherine Nee (Marty's wife) she informed me all about their mussels, she also brought them to Dublin for me, which was very,very appreciated. They're rope grown, they've got a thinner shell and cook quicker than most mussels I've used in the past. I arrive in Dublin to find these waiting for me:
I got home Tuesday and began to prep, decided I was tired. So relaxed. I had my little sister over the next morning, so the Wednesday turned out to be a very busy day. The supper was easy and very manageable, the main prep came with the making of the ice-cream. The idea to infuse it with elderflower came when I was on the farm, the only problem was getting it to Dublin five days later. We had been infusing vodka with elderflower for some other fun projects so I decided to borrow some of it and make a syrup. I cooked down the vodka with some extra elderflower in it with 4 tablespoons of sugar, boiled off the alcohol. So I used the syrup as the sugar in the custard. Job done, I had elderflower custard. Left it to chill in the fridge for 8 hours or so. I got gooseberries from the McNallys and cooked them down with lemon juice and sugar. We served it with gingerbread people.
Cooking the mussels was simple, at Marty's they debeard nd clean all the mussels. I made my harissa and got a huge amount of coriander. In the bottom of my largest post I heated oil with chopped garlic and shallots. When te oil was hot enough I added the mussels with a glass of dry white wine. I didn't necessarily need the wine, but I want to get a good bit of steam to make sure I could get all the mussels cooked properly...I hadn't gotten around to cooking 5kg of mussels before..it went ok. There was a bit of pot shaking, but I just left them to it. IT was great with the thinner shells they cooked great. I put about 2/3 of the batch into a large hot pot and lay it out on the table, sprinkled chopped coriander over the top and it was ready to go.
As we worked our way through the mussels I served slices of sourdough bread to start to soak up the wonderful spicy juice in the bottom of the pot. With this meal we also had battered aubergines covered in honey infused with rosemary. With Aubergines I always try to get as much liquid out of them as possible before cooking with them. Battered aubergines are not the prettiest things in the world but that taste great. I also made a seaweed salad, with this salad, I rehydrated a mix of seaweeds and washed out a good bit of the saltiness. I then mixed the seaweed with spinach and some seared broadbeans, dressed it in a honey, lemon and dijon mustard dressing.
It all went well. The ice-cream was fresh and light, it was refreshing after a spicy and salty dinner.