Hopefully when this appears I will be on an aeroplane whizzing towards Denmark to spend the weekend with my family. As I am off galivanting I will leave you with the treat of another competition. This time the lovely people from Robert Roberts have a hamper of their award winning tea and coffee to give away.
At the Great Taste Awards, products are blind tasted by a panel of judges. In order to win 1 star, 8 judges have to agree upon its merits and to gain 2 stars, at least 20 judges have to agree. So you can understand that Robert Roberts are pretty happy about their products collectively gaining 12 stars.
What have you got to do in order to get your hot little hands on this basket of goodies, that includes products such as their Campbells tea and their range of coffees? Leave a comment below stating the strangest place you have ever had a cup of tea or coffee. Oddest place, as chosen by my independent adjudicator will be notified as the winner.
Deadline is 10pm Wednesday 18th August.
Please note that we will use your email address to contact the winner and by posting in the comments section you are agreeing to this.
UPDATE (19/08/10): After much deliberation and discussion, the winner of the Robert Roberts Hamper is Siobhany! Congratulations, you'll be getting an email from me to your inbox very soon.
This is the recipe for the tart I made as the starter for the #twishparty evening last Friday.
I was originally inspired to make this recipe after having a taste of the mini quiches Mags from Goatsbridge Trout had on her stand at the Bloom Festival. Hers contained smoked trout, leeks and Knockdinna Cheese. They were little bites of heaven. So when I had some of her smoked trout sitting in the fridge along with some leeks and the end of a piece of aged gouda, I knew I had to give it a go. The resulting tart was delicious!
When I heard Mags was judging the seafood cookalong I knew I had to have another go at the tart to serve as a starter. Unfortunately, I was foiled in my plan to influence the judge by not being able to get any smoked trout from my nearest supplier, Donnybrook Fair. Instead I decided to go with the hot smoked salmon from The Burren Smokehouse as it has a similar texture to that of the trout.
The resulting tart was just as delicious as the original and was described by my friend Shelly, who was helping out with the cooking and eating, as a "foodgasm". Hopefully, you'll think so too.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Make the pastry as described in this recipe. Alternatively you can use a sheet of ready made short crust pastry.
While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, clean the leeks and cut up into 1cm pieces. Melt a little butter in the frying pan and add the leeks. Cook over a low heat until they have become soft and silky.
Leave the leeks to one side to cool, while your prepare the pastry case. Grease the tart tin well and remove the pastry from the fridge, and place on a well floured board or worktop.
Roll out the pastry so that it will cover the whole tart dish with a bit of overhang. Carefully roll the pastry up onto a well floured rolling pin and gently unroll over the dish.
Gently push the pastry down into the dish and ensure that all parts are covered. Prick the base and sides all over with a fork. This will ensure that any trapped air will escape during the baking.
Cut out a sheet of baking parchment, large enough to cover the tart dish. Place over the pastry and fill the centre of the dish with clay baking beans, or you can use dried rice, lentils or marrowfat peas. These help to keep the pastry case from bubbling up while you blind bake it. Blind baking will prevent the pastry from becoming soggy when we add the filling, and beacuse the filling has a shorter cooking time than that of the pastry. Put the pastry case into the oven and bake for 15 - 20 mins.
While the pastry case is baking, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Grate the cheese and put to one side. Break the salmon into pieces, I found this easier to do by hand rather than with a knife.
Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream and beat well.
Season with salt and pepper. Add thyme (if using) and beat again.
At this point the pastry case should be about ready to come out of the oven. It should be a very pale golden colour. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans. Add the leeks to the pastry case and spread evenly over the base.
Nice it's time to start layering in the other ingredients.
Spread half the hot smoked salmon over the leeks then sprinkle over half the gouda.
Next, layer on the remaining salmon. Reserve a handful of the cheese, then spread the remainder over the top of the other fillings.
Carefully pour in the egg and cream mixture. Pat down any floating filling ingredients so that they become coated with the egg mixture.
Sprinkle your reserved handful of cheese over the top of the tart. Next, carefully cut off the excess pastry from the edge of the tart. Try not to take too much off, or you might spring a leak!
Take a moment to admire your handiwork, before transferring the tart into the oven for 30 mins.
After 30 mins the filling of the tart should be firm to the touch and have turned a golden brown colour. If it still seems either a little runny or pale, return to the oven and check at 5 min intervals. Allow the tart to cool a little. Enjoy a slice on it's own or served with a salad.
This is the fish dish I cooked as our main course for the #twishparty last Friday. As I previously explained Fiskeret translates from the Danish as "fish dish" or "fish recipe" and as this is my grandmother's fish recipe we call it Granny's Fiskeret. She learnt it years ago from someone else (who's name is lost in the mists of time) and modified it slightly to get the version we cook today.
This recipe is very simple and the flavours in it, while they may seem a little odd, combine to make a very Scandinavian tasting dish.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease the oven-proof dish, to stop the fish sticking to it, and cut the haddock fillets in half to make nice portion sizes. Arrange comfortably in the dish and leave to one side.
With the fish out of the way it's time to make the sauce to cook it in. First measure in the mustard and the curry powder. I used Sharwood's Hot Curry Powder, but I know my mum has made this dish with a milder curry powder and it still tastes just as nice.
Next add in the oil, tomato pureé and vinegar to the mixture.
Finally add the ketchup and stir everything together.
To finish the sauce and create the right consistency, add the cream and stir through the rest of the mixture thoroughly.
Pour the mixture over the fish and spread evenly so that every part is covered.
Next, finely slice the half onion into rings. If you really like onion then you could use a whole one, but I found that half was perfect for the amount of fish I had and size of my dish. Place the rings of onion over the top of the sauced fish.
Place the bay leaves on the top and put into the oven for 20 - 30 mins.
The fish is cooked through when it becomes flakey and easy to break apart. Take out of the oven and serve with potatoes and green beans (which I forgot to buy). I served it with mash but boiled new potatoes are just as nice an accompaniment.
Please let me know if you try this as I would like to know what you make of the Scandinavian flavours in the dish.
Having already had a bit of a seafood feast the previous week, complete with scallops, giant prawns, mussels and squid, I decided to raid the family cook book for a suitably fishy dish. I also decided that I would recreate a tart that I had made a couple of weeks previously which contained smoked trout from Goatsbridge. I admit that this may have been an attempt on my part to influence the judge.
Unfortunately they were completely out of stock of the trout in Donnybrook Fair, the closest supplier of same, so instead I went for the Hot Smoked Salmon from the Burren Smokehouse. I combined this with leeks and a mature gouda called Old Amsterdam.
The resulting tart was described by my friend Shelly (my glamorous assistant for the evening) as a "foodgasm".
With one success under my belt it was time to tackle my Danish fish dish, which I call Granny's Fiskeret. Fiskeret translates as "fish dish" or "fish recipe". My grandmother learnt it from someone else and modified it a bit. The flavours in this dish are quite distinctly Scandinavian and I thought that it would be a bit different from the usual fish dishes served in Ireland.
This dish also got the thumbs up from both Shelly and the Beau, who had turned up at this point.
The recipes for both dishes will be appearing in blog posts this week and I'll be sure to keep you updated on who the winner is this time around.
UPDATE 23/10/10: Turns out the winner is me! Mags from Goatsbridge announced the winner at Food Camp, part of the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. I was amazed and thrilled at the same time. She said that she really liked my fish tart. My prize was an amazing basket of produce from Kilkenny and Clodagh McKenna's Fresh From the Sea. Thank you very much Mags!