A Taste of Ireland: Secret Chef Recipes and Whiskey Pairings

Chef Kevin Dundon, one of Ireland’s most popular chefs, shares some of his favourite recipes, including this Thai green chicken curry. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dundon

We love our wine and food pairings, but we’re inspired to go beyond the wine rack. For those of you who like your whiskey, whether neat or mixed into a cocktail, or even if you’re teetotaller, there’s something here for every taste.

We spoke to our friends at Tourism Ireland and they asked Chef Kevin Dundon, one of Ireland’s most popular chefs, to give us some of his favourite recipes along with a suggestion of a whiskey cocktail pairing. The chef, who is also regularly seen on television and heard on radio on the Emerald Isle, practices his culinary artistry at Dunbrody Cookery School. 

Located on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford in southeast Ireland, the school is part of the Dunbrody Country House Hotel he runs with his wife Catherine. Here, he uses the best of Ireland’s bounty of seafood and produce, including from the kitchen gardens at his hotel, to create his dishes. Cheers!

 

Goat’s Cheese and Wild Mushroom Terrine

 

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dundon

 

Serves 4 – 6

2 tbsp olive oil 

175 g forest mushrooms, chopped

3 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

300 g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled

80 g mature cheddar, diced

80 g Brie, diced

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 fresh figs

2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Handful of Melba toast

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Season generously and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes until coloured. Remove the pan from the heat and add the goat’s cheese, cheddar and Brie with the mustard, parsley and pepper. Toss the pan gently to soften some of the cheeses. Transfer the goat’s cheese mixture into a tin lined with cling film. Leave to cool and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight to firm up.

When set, turn the terrine out onto a chopping board and peel away the cling film, then cut into individual slices. Arrange on serving plates with the fresh figs and a few pine nuts.

 

Photo Courtesy of Vivian Vassos

 

Cocktail pairing: Up your typical spirits and cola

 

120ml Irish Whiskey, such as Tullamore Dew Triple Distilled 

120ml Fig liqueur 

8 ice cubes

240ml Cola

In a jug, pour in the whiskey, the fig liqueur and the ice cubes. Stir to chill the mix and pour in cocktail glasses and top with cola. Serve immediately. 

 

Grilled Prawn With Bisque Sauce

 

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dundon

 

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil

12 large prawns, with shell

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots, trimmed, roughly chopped

35ml brandy

100ml white wine

500ml fish stock, heated

5 sprigs tarragon

1 tbsp tomato purée

100ml cream

½ lemon, juice only

salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g clarified butter

4 pinch lemon pepper and salt

Peel the prawns. Keep the shells and heads in a bowl and keep the prawns flesh in a second one. 

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the prawns shells and heads. Cook over high heat for 3 – 5 minutes until colour then add the onion, carrots, celery and herbs and cook for a further 2 minutes. Pour the brandy and carefully ignite, taking care to keep the flames away from your face. Let the flames flare up, then die down and return the pan to the heat. Then add the white wine, fish stock and tomato purée and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and pass through a muslin cloth to obtain a clear stock.

Place the prawns stock into a clean pan with the cream and bring to a simmer for a further 5 – 7 minutes until coating the back of a spoon. Add lemon juice and season to taste, with salt and pepper. 

Preheat the oven to grill and lay the prawns tails on a greased baking tray. Brush them with clarified butter and season with lemon pepper salt.

Cook the prawns for 3- 5 minutes until cooked through. 

Place the prawns in a serving bowl and drizzle some bisque sauce around prawns until just covered. 

Photo courtesy of Bushmills

 

Cocktail pairing: Try this twist on a classic highball

– 1.5 oz Bushmills Original

– 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

– 2 Lemon wedges

– Top with premium Soda water, such as Fever Tree

Build the Cocktail in a highball glass. Add 1 lemon wedge to the bottom of the glass to release the oils and the citrus.  Add bitters, Bushmills original, followed by ice. Top with premium soda water. Garnish with a lemon wedge. 

 

Thai Green Chicken Curry

 

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dundon

Serves 4

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 chicken breasts – shredded very thinly

½ green pepper, thinly sliced

½ red pepper, thinly sliced

2 kaffir lime leaves of 

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp thai green curry paste

400ml coconut milk     

100ml chicken stock warmed

1 tablespoon mango chutney

2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

Heat the wok with the coconut oil over a medium to high heat.

Add in the finely sliced chicken and cook very quickly for approximately 2 minutes.

Next add in the vegetables and cook quickly for another moment or two still on a high heat. Add the curry paste to the pan and fry this for 1 minutes to coat the chicken and vegetable with the paste.

Pour the coconut milk into the pan, add the chicken stock, kaffir lime leaves and the mango chutney at this stage. Cover the pan with the lid and allow to simmer for 5 minutes over a medium to low heat.

When the curry is cooked, serve with extra coriander leaves.

 

Cocktail pairing: Add a tropical punch to your libations

100ml coconut water

20ml sugar syrup or simple syrup

120ml blended whiskey, such as Northern Ireland’s Hinch Irish Whiskey, aged 5 years

Place the coconut water, sugar syrup in a bowl and stir to combine. Place the coconut water into an ice cube tray. Leave 2 – 3 hours in the freezer to set. Pour a measure of whiskey and serve with an ‘icicle’ of coconut water. 

 

Apple & Cloves Tart Tatin

 

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Dundon

Serves 4

1 sheet of puff pastry 30cm x 30cm

100 g soft brown sugar 

1 lemon, juice

100 g butter

4 pinch ground cloves

4 dessert apples – peeled & cored

100 ml clotted cream, to serve

Select four individual sized ovenproof frying pans approximately 10 cm diameter. Cut 4 pastry discs to fit the top of the frying pan.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

In each pan gently melt the sugar with the lemon juice until the mixture begins to caramelize to a golden blond colour and all the sugar has been dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Combine the butter with the caramel to create a smooth sauce. Add a pinch of ground cloves in each frying pan. 

Meanwhile, cut the apples into 2 – 3 mm wedges and lay overlapping in the pan.

When the apple mixture has cooled slightly, fit the disc of puff pastry onto the top of the apples and tuck into the edge of the pan.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 – 18 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes.

Invert the pan onto a plate to reveal a glorious pastry case laden with caramelised apples.   Serve immediately with clotted cream.

 

Cocktail pairing: Stick with the theme of your dessert

 

140ml Irish whiskey, such as Fercullen 8-year-old, from The Powerscourt Distillery

100ml apple cordial

100ml cloudy apple juice

Pinch cloves

1 egg white

Ice cubes

Pour the whiskey,  apple cordial and juice, egg white and cloves  into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a whiskey glass and serve immediately.