And they took us to the Milk Market in Limerick to go food shopping. Conor suggested that I was to take care of the starter, while he would prepare the main course and Sharon would make something for dessert. I decided to improvise based on what I saw at the market, and to limit myself to Irish ingredients only. There was a lady from nearby Clare County who sold wonderful cheeses that she had all made herself on her farm, and one of them was a raw sheep’s milk blue cheese that was particularly fine. As Conor and the Wife had confessed that they had never tried mussels with blue cheese before, I thought it would be nice to pair the Irish cheese with Irish mussels. In Ireland the sea is always close by and the quality of the mussels was outstanding.
The market was also full of very fresh parsnips from local farms, and I thought that crispy parsnips would be a nice addition to the blue cheese and mussels. The sweetness of the Irish parsnips would be a good combination with the sweetness of the mussels. I also picked up some Irish onions, Irish butter, and Irish crème fraîche.
Back at the house the kitchen was big enough for all three of us to work together. This is Conor stirring the delicious mushroom and red wine risotto that he served with Irish flank steak, while the Wife was working on a delicious almond meringue cake with fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis.
You will notice that the photos in this post are better than what you are used to on my blog, and that is because Conor took most of them. He took lots of pouring shots, so Richard and the Baby Lady were there in spirit too. Apart from having a wonderful time I also learned a lot about food photography and photo editing. Thank you Conor.
And now without further ado, my not so Irish combination of very Irish ingredients.
1 kilo (2.2 lbs) Irish mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
1 kilo (2.2 lbs) Irish parsnips
125 grams (4.5 oz) Irish raw sheep’s milk blue cheese, crumbled
1 Irish onion
1 Tbsp minced Irish flat leaf parsley
125 ml (1 cup) Irish crème fraîche
2 Tbsp Irish butter
2 Tbsp Irish rapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF (fan forced).
Allow the mussels to cool somewhat.
Filter the mussel liquid with a paper towel or cheese cloth, and reduce it over medium heat. Add a bit of the concentrated mussel liquid to the sauce. Taste to find out how much you like, taking into account that the mussel liquid will also make the sauce thinner. I ended up using a few tablespoons.
Thanks again Conor and Sharon for a marvellous weekend. We hope you’ll come visit us again soon 🙂