All over for another year : Donald Clarke from the Irish Times reflects on the good and the bad of this year's festival. + more
access CINEMA release Our Children opens in Irish Film Institute and Triskel Christchurch from Friday May 10th
access>CINEMA releases the Belgian drama Our Children (A Perdre La Raison) at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin and Triskel Christchurch Cork from today, May 10th. + more
Bealtaine 2011 Film Tour - Recipes inspired by Julie & Julia
Try one of the delicious Julie & Julia inspired recipes from our expert food bloggers below
To link in with the film tour of Julie & Julia for Bealtaine 2011, access>CINEMA has asked the 5 nominated Food/Drink bloggers for the Irish Blog Awards 2011 to recommend a recipe in keeping with the film.
Have fun following their wonderful suggestions below and let us know how you get on!
Recipe Number 1
Courtesy of The Daily Spud
If you were to leaf through the contents of my cookbook stand, chances are you would find this recipe for rhubarb cinnamon torte on a little piece of card, handwritten by my mother. Mum got the recipe from Big Sis #1 and I have no idea where she got it from. Resident Sis, meanwhile, is in the habit of making it whenever there is rhubarb about and it’s always a good day when she does.
Now, as to the name, a torte is not actually a high-falutin’ name for a tart but, rather, a cake of central European origin involving many eggs and usually ground nuts. So I guess that this is indeed a sort of a torte. Or a cake. Or just something nice to have with a cup of tea. Whatever.
A note on the mixing method: The original instructions simply say to mix all of the ingredients (except the rhubarb) together, ’til it forms a ball. They don’t elaborate on any particular method of mixing. Sis says she has used the creaming method, creaming the butter and sugar, then adding the wet and dry ingredients, though last time she says that she just melted the butter, added wet ingredients to dry and the results were entirely lovely. That’s the method I’ve tried myself and included here.
170g ground almonds
170g caster sugar
170g self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
390g rhubarb, cut into small chunks
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
You’ll also need:
20cm round, loose-bottomed tin – mine is about 3cm deep. The tin should be greased and the base lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt the butter over a gentle heat
In a small bowl, beat together the egg and egg yolk.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ground almonds and sugar. Add a pinch of salt if the butter you’re using is unsalted.
Pour in the melted butter and mix to combine, then pour in the beaten egg and mix together to form a ball.
Using half of this mixture, cover the base of the tin and spread the mixture just slightly up the sides. Press down with a spoon, making a smooth layer, with no gaps.
Now pile the rhubarb on top, just away from the edge of the tin (and, yes, it will look like there is rather a lot of rhubarb).
Spread the rest of the cake mixture on top of the rhubarb – don’t worry if there are some lumps poking through the top.
Bake for around 1 hour, until well browned. Cool for at least 10 minutes in the tin, then carefully slide onto a plate and (if you like) dust with icing sugar
This is a very moist cake, lovely sliced and served with some yoghurt or a big blob of crème fraîche.
The cake is very moist and rhubarby – if you prefer a little more cake and a little less rhubarb, you can go ahead and reduce the amount of rhubarb used by about a third or so.
I rather fancy trying this with ground hazelnuts in place of the ground almonds.
Technically, this constitutes dessert for about 8 people. That assumes that you’re happy to share it with 7 other people though.
Recipe Number 2
Courtesy of Gimmetherecipe
This dish has taken inspiration from the people of Japan who have shown enormous resilience, humility and dignity in times of trouble. It is cooked without added fat or oil and is low in salt.
You will need:
2 salmon steaks
1 garlic clove
3cm chunk of ginger
3 tbsp Soy sauce (choose low salt version)
2 tbsp runny honey
4 spring onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Handful baby leaf salad (lambs lettuce, romaine lettuce, rocket)
Sheet of parchment paper
Pre-heat the oven to 180(fan)/Gas mark 6.
Place the salmon steaks in a small bowl. Add the crushed garlic, grated ginger, Soy sauce and honey and mix well to coat the salmon and leave to marinate for a minute.
Rinse and chop the white/light-green, firm end of the spring onions and reserve the greener stalk end for later.
Open up a large sheet of parchment paper and place the 2 salmon steaks in the centre.
Spoon the marinade and the chopped spring onion on top of the salmon and scrunch in the edges of the parchment paper to make an enclosed parcel.
Place the salmon parcel on a baking tray and bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
Thinly slice the green stalk ends of the spring onion into slivers and place in a bowl of ice-water to curl up.
Dry-fry the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan for a couple of minutes until turning golden and take off the heat.
When the salmon is cooked, carefully open the salmon parcel and place a salmon steak on each plate.
Arrange the cooked spring onions in a pile next to the salmon.
Drain the curled spring onion onto kitchen paper and arrange on top of the salmon.
Dress the baby leaf salad with the warm marinade dressing from the salmon parcel and scatter over the sesame seeds.
Recipe Number 3
Courtesy of Like Mam Used to Bake
You will need an 8” loose bottomed flan tin
For the pastry:
200g Plain Flour
100g Unsalted Butter, cold
2-4tbsp Cold water
For the frangipane:
125g Unsalted Butter, diced and softened
125g Icing Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
125g Ground Almonds
1tsp Vanilla Extract
3tbsp Good Quality Strawberry Jam
300g Fresh Strawberries, hulled and quartered (reserve a few whole for decoration)
For the pastry:
1. Place the flour in a bowl.
2. Grate in the cold butter.
3. Using a round edged knife (don’t use a sharp chopping/carving knife) cut the butter through until it is coated in flour.
4. With cold hands rub the butter into the flour, lifting it out of the bowl as you do so that it remains airy, until it resembles breadcrumbs. If your hands heat up during this process wash them with the cold tap to cool down.
5. Add 2tbsp’s of water to the mix and again cut through with a round edged knife. If you find the pastry dough remains quite loose add an additional 2tbsp’s of water one at a time until the dough forms a ball.
6. Tip it out onto a piece of cling film and knead lightly. Wrap in the cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
7. Place onto a lightly floured work surface and roll with a lightly floured rolling pin until it is approximately 5cm bigger than the flan tin. Turn the dough a quarter turn after each roll.
8. Place the dough into the flan tin. Do not trim the excess pastry prior to baking so as to allow for shrinkage. Prick the base with a fork and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
9. Preheat the oven to 200°C/F/Gas Mark 6. Line the pastry case with parchment paper and add baking beans. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Place on a wire rack to cool.
For the frangipane:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/F/Gas Mark 5.
2. Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and cream together using an electric whisk/mixer.
3. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time and mix until incorporated.
4. Fold in the ground almonds and vanilla extract.
5. Spoon the strawberry jam onto the base of the pastry case and spread evenly. Pour over the frangipane mix and smooth with the back of a spoon.
6. Place the quartered fresh strawberries onto the top of the frangipane and pat down gently into the mixture.
7. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, cover with foil and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until firm but with a slight wobble.
8. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh cream or a good quality vanilla ice cream.
It is fine to use a shop bought pastry case or frozen pastry in place of homemade if you wish.
Recipe Number 4
Courtesy of Dinner Du Jour
Easy Sole Meunière, which appropriately enough is even featured in the movie - it's the first meal Julia Child had in France.
I hope the viewers will like this recipe.
Sole meunière had its five minutes of fame when the movie Julie and Julia was released, which renewed interest in Julia Child. The story did the rounds of how it was Julia’s first (and ultimately life-changing) meal in France, which she described as ‘a morsel of perfection’. It’s simple and delicious, a true classic.
Easy Sole Meunière
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten
60 g plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 100 g fresh sole fillets
90 g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Have 2 ovenproof dinner plates ready.
2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large, shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle one side with salt.
3. Heat half the butter and a splash of olive oil (to stop the butter from burning) in a large frying pan over a medium heat until it starts to brown. Dredge 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter, presentation side down. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes on the other side.
4. While the second side cooks, add 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 3 tablespoons lemon juice to the pan. Carefully put the fish fillets on the ovenproof plates and pour the sauce over them. Keep the cooked fillets warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining 2 fillets.
5. Sprinkle the cooked fish with the chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Recipe Number 5
Courtesy of I Can Has Cook
Julia Child, one of the most loved TV cooks of all time, brought high-end cooking into ordinary people’s homes. She made French cuisine accessible to regular housewives, with recipes within the culinary reach of the regular cook.
Below is a recipe for Asparagus Soup from Julia Child and Simone Beck’s classic Mastering The Art of French Cooking: Volume Two. Although there are definitely easier and quicker ways to make asparagus soup, it’s a joy to follow Child’s recipes. With none of the shortcuts found in modern cooking, the recipes demand your attention and commitment. But rest assured, the results are always worth the wait.
This particular soup is incredibly rich, with the egg yolks and cream added in towards the end of the cooking process leading to an almost overwhelmingly luxurious texture and taste.
I added a little twist by finishing off the asparagus soup with a slice of toasted bread topped with a deliciously runny poached egg. Just for that extra level of yumminess. If doing so, you could leave out the egg yolks in the below recipe to make it less of a cholesterol attack.
Recipe taken directly from Mastering The Art of French Cooking: Volume Two
Potage, Crème d’Asperges Vertes
Cream of Fresh Green Asparagus Soup
At the peak of the asparagus season, when you can bear not to eat it whole, here is a marvellous soup to catch all the essence of that beautiful vegetable.
Serves 4 to 6 people
1. The onion flavouring
1 medium sliced onion
2 oz. butter
A 5 pint heavy-bottomed stainless saucepan with cover
While you are preparing the asparagus, cook the onions slowly in the butter for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Set aside.
2. Preparing the asparagus
About 2lb of fresh green asparagus (24 to 28 spears)
Slice ¼ inch off the butt of each asparagus. Peel the skin from the butt ends up to where the green begins, and remove scales. Wash thoroughly in warm water. Cut the tops 3 inches long and set aside. Cut the lower part of the asparagus stalks into ¾ inch crosswise pieces.
3. Blanching the asparagus
2 ½ pts water
A 5 pint saucepan
2 slotted spoons
Bring the water and salt to a rapid boil, add the asparagus stalks and boil slowly, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove and drain, reserving the water and stir the stalks into the cooked onions; cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Meanwhile bring the water back to the boil, add the reserved asparagus tops and boil slowly, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until just tender. Remove immediately and drain. Set aside, reserving water for the soup base.
4. The soup base
4 tbl flour
The asaparagus blanching water
½ pt or so of milk if needed
After the stalks and onions have stewed together for 5 minutes, uncover the pan, stir in the flour to mix thoroughly, and cook slowly, stirring, for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and blend in half a cup of the hot blanching water; gradually stir in the rest, being sure not to add any sand that may be at the bottom of the pan. Simmer slowly, partially covered, for about 25 minutes or until the stalks are very tender. If soup seems too thick, thin out with milk.
5. Finishing the soup
The blanched asparagus tops
A blender/food processor
A 5 pint bowl
About ¼ pint double cream
2 or 3 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
Line up the blanched asparagus tops and cut the tip ends into ¼ inch crosswise slices; reserve as a garnish. Purée the rest of the tops and the soup base into a bowl. (Pass soup through sieve to remove any fibres, if you have used a blender.) Pour the cream into the saucepan, blend in the egg yolks with a wire whisk; by driblets, beat in ½ pint of the hot soup. Pour in the rest of the soup, and the sliced tip ends. Serve immediately.