Fishing for Mackerel

Summer time fishing for Atlantic Mackerel!

There's nothing quite like a fresh mackerel, under a grill or on a BBQ with lots of real Irish butter.  So, with that in mind there was a trip to the attic to retreive the rods and tackle, last year's success lingered slightly in the tackle box!

Still, you can't beat the excitment of the first cast - youthfully anticipation abounds... and as it happens was all around as my boys were with me [managing multiple children, rods, hooks - that's another story].

Thankfully we managed to lose all that old tackle, wasn't upto much anyway, and as the tide started to turn the number of bites intensified.  Surely soon we'd have the makings of our meal.  Alas, as the tide ebbed so too did our anticipation.  It wasn't our day.

The rods will be out again tomorrow and we'll catch our mackerel, the tug on the line and flash of silver will make the heart leap.

As for How we'll cook them? Let's catch the little buggers first.
Just add butter and a hot grill!

Pan fried corn on the cob

 Corn on the cob - with a twist

  • 4 cobs of sweetcorn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 10g chopped rosemary, finely chopped
Place the cobs in a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook until tender.  Remove from the water and allow to cool slightly so you can safely handle them.  With a very sharp knife, slice each cob into rings about 1" thick.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the corn rings.  As the cobs turn golden add the butter and rosemary - as the butter melts, spoon it over the cobs and allow to become a wonderful nutty colour.

Transfer to a warmed plate and spoon over any remaining butter/rosemary.  Serve warm.

You cold also do this on the BBQ using foil.

Blackberry Ice-cream

A summer delight and a childhood reminder

  • 450g / 1lb blackberries (freshly picked are best but nit always available)
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 50g / 2oz caster sugar
  • 1 x 400ml can evaporated milk
  • 150 ml double cream, whipped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

Place the blackberries, honey and sugar in a medium pan over a low heat of 10-15 minutes until the berries are soft and mushy.  Transfer to blender a whizz until smooth.  Pass through a sieve to remove the pips and allow to cool.

Meanwhile whip the evaporated milk until it starts to thicken  Fold in the cream, lemon juice and the blackberry puree.

Transfer to a container suitable for the freezer and pop into the freezer for 45 minutes, or when it starts to freeze around the edges.  Remove and give it a good beating to break up any ice crystals.  Repeat this freezing / beating several times to ensure a smooth result.

Kick back and enjoy.

Tarragon Mayonnaise

Spruced up mayonnaise- great on burgers.

Ingredients:  Use home-ade os hop bought mayonnaise.
  • 200lm mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
Directions: Mix all the ingredients together and set aside in the fridge.  Delicious on bbq burgers.

Tomato & Mozzarella Crown Loaf

A delicious variation of the COURONNE loaf - super for picnics.

The name COURONNE comes from the French for Crown - shaped in a circle so it could be easily carried on your arm.


For the bread: 
  • 500g Strong White Flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried active yeast
  • 175ml warm water
  • 200g natural yoghurt
For the filling:
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ball (approx 100g) mozzarella drained and diced
  • Hand full of fresh basil, torn.

    Create the dough in the traditional way - add the yeast to the warm water and allow to activate, then mix in the yoghurt.  Add to the flour and salt and mix into a soft dough.  Kneed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Set aside for ~1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

    Knock back the dough and kneed for another few minutes.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle (approx 10 x 13in).  Cover the dough with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.  Roll it up from the long side until it resembles a Swiss roll.  At this point, you can bring the two ends together to form a circle or for a more interesting bread, cut length ways along the roll and not quite to one end.  You will have two long pieces joined at one end; plait them together.  Twist into a circle shape pressing the ends together to join.

    Place the dough on a greased baking tray and place a small bowl over the dough to help it keep the shape. Leave to rise for ~30 minutes.

    Bake in a preheated over at 220c for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Best eaten when still slightly warm.  Not my picture, but this is what you should get - looks nice!

    Variation: You could also use this to make rolls -divide the dough into twelve balls.

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