With autumn upon us, I’ve been thinking about what foods I can preserve for my winter larder. Much in the way that I imagine Saint Patrick and his followers would have started to preserve food at harvest time for the winter ahead in 5th century Ireland.
So, I made a trip to a friend’s orchard to collect some ingredients to make the Apple and Plum Compote from page 76 of my cookbook Saint Patrick’s Plate. I also visited Saul Church, close to Downpatrick, which is said to be the site of Saint Patrick’s first Church in Ireland.
An amazing thing happened inside the Church at Saul. I was fortunate to meet some visiting pilgrims who sang an impromtu version of Ave Maria – in their own language it’s called Jina Maria – and it reminded me of my youth and the services at Church to celebrate the harvest.
Have a look at the video below to hear the beautiful singing from Saul and learn how to make a devine Apple and Plum Compote – it’s so versatile and is always a winner as an accompaniment with everything from porridge, to fresh brown bread and even with desserts.
While the summer weather continues let’s not mention the big C! Instead, lets enjoy the sunshine and good times and reap the rewards of the wonderful fresh fruits and produce available on our doorstep. This week, I decided to try the Summer Rhubarb Log in Saint Patrick’s Plate, using fresh local produce.
I’m sure Saint Patrick would have been proud to serve such a rich dessert to the high king of Ireland!
Check out my video below for the methodology and ingredients. This is a tricky one, but it’s so worth the effort. If you use an electric mixer the job is half done. My cameraman doesn’t like the loud noise so I mix everything by hand but there are shortcuts at your fingertips. It’s a delicious treat – why not try it with a glass of Elderflower champagne?!
As covid19 rumbles on around the world there is still a lot of uncertainty ahead. However, even in this uncertain world, seasonal produce is still available. So, I decided to create the baked crab recipe in Saint Patrick’s Plate, using freshly caught crabs from the Irish sea.
Check out my video below for the methodology and ingredients. This is quite a sophisticated recipe but once you master the skill of extracting the crab meat the rest is pretty straightforward. Your guests will be mightily impressed!
Shellfish has been widely eaten in Ireland since the earliest times. As Saint Patrick navigated the coast and rivers of Ireland he would have eaten shellfish and indeed baked crab, with the natives as he preached the gospel of Christ.
Strangford Lough is purportedly where Saint Patrick first sailed to on his return to Ireland after becoming a Bishop. The lough is also famous for its sweet tasting crabs.
I can just imagine the Saint tucking into a meal of Strangford baked crab at Saul, Co. Down, while converting the local chieftain, Dichu, to Christianity!
I’m delighted to be able to get out and about to forage in this beautiful early summer weather now that lockdown restrictions have been eased a little.
In my latest video below, I demonstrate how to forage for ingredients and how to make the Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup recipe from Saint Patrick’s Plate.
Both nettles and wild garlic have been used in herbal medicine since ancient times. It is said that Roman troops rubbed nettles on themselves to help stay warm, while they used garlic as a source of strength and courage!
What we do know about both ingredients is that they are full of vitamins and minerals as well as being excellent anti-oxidants. And, of course, they’re free when you forage for them!
In St. Patrick’s time in Ireland, both ingredients were in abundance, as they are today, and readily available to add to recipes. Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup may sound a little unusual to us, but my guess is this dish would have been very familiar to St. Patrick and his converts.
It is really delicious and simple to make so GO FORAGE and test it out!
As the lockdown continues, here is a really easy recipe to try out and a great way to get young children involved in cooking.
I’ve been making Saint Patrick’s Flapjacks while cocooning with my family and young granddaughter. She is really enjoying the fun and achievement of making the flapjacks, but, the best bit is that she is eating a healthy and wholesome snack! They taste great and are brilliant for energy before going out for some daily exercise.
Check out my video below for the ingredients and method for Saint Patrick’s Flapjacks.
In Saint Patrick’s time in Ireland, I imagine a version of these flapjacks being in the Saint’s satchel to give him vital energy for his travels and miraculous deeds!
I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy. Fingers xed we will start to see some relaxation of lockdown measures in the coming weeks.
About a week ago, in an effort to maintain sanity and stave off boredom, I thought I would take on the challenge of making some sourdough bread. Sourdough bread is notoriously tricky to make and can take around 7 or 8 days for the first batch. Check out my video below for the ingredients and the process.
The first recorded civilization to have used sourdough bread was the ancient Egyptians around 1500BC. The knowledge spread north to the ancient Greeks and the Romans in turn learned the art of sourdough bread from the Greeks, making improvements in kneading and baking.
So, my hypothesis is that given his Roman heritage, Saint Patrick would have been familiar with sourdough bread. I can easily imagine making sourdough bread being part of his daily routine. And what a way to impress the local Irish chieftains by serving up some sophisticated and exotic bread.
It just takes a little know-how, some time and lots of patience. While you have time on your hands during this period of lockdown, try it out, or for that matter any of the more than 60 recipes in Saint Patrick’s Plate.
REMEMBER! We ship Saint Patrick’s Plate to anywhere in the world. Simply go to www.saintpatricksplate.com and send a copy to someone to show you’re thinking about them during these socially distant times.
It’s been a bizarre St. Patrick’s week this year but there is something to look forward to this Sunday – in the UK and Ireland at least, it’s Mother’s day!
Mother’s day in the UK and Ireland is celebrated on the 4th Sunday in Lent, whereas in most parts of the world Mother’s day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. The tradition in the British Isles is said to come from early Christian times when children who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their ‘mother Church’. Inevitably, the return to the ‘mother Church’ became an occasion for family reunions and thus Mothers day was born.
To celebrate this Christian tradition, I am offering FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE for online orders of Saint Patrick’s Plate until midnight this Sunday 22 March. Simply go online to www.saintpatricksplate.com and insert the discount code MUM in the required field to get the offer.
With travel restrictions and social distancing in place at the moment, what better way to tell your Mum, or indeed a Mum that you know, that you’re thinking about her this mothering Sunday. Happy Mother’s day !
Terry McCoy I was interviewed on Today FM last Sunday by Mario Rosenstock
I am very grateful to Nicky Byrne of Westlife and Dancing with the Stars for helping me out with my latest video below. I’m proud to hear such positive words from Nicky, and can’t wait to see what he cooks up. We’re living in strange times at the moment but hopefully the world will continue to turn and things will get back to normal in time.
Thank you Nicky Byrne!
So, for the upcoming St. Patrick’s day festivities, whether you’re in quarantine or not, why not hunker down and try out a new recipe from Saint Patrick’s Plate ? There are over 60 to choose from, most use fresh local ingredients that are easy to source. You can even forage for ingredients like St. Patrick did to get out in the fresh air and get some positive perspective. Special thanks to Robert in Manor books of Malahide and of course thank you Nicky Byrne for your kind words! Is ”Cooking with the Stars” next?! Watch this space, and the video below…
Happy Saint Patrick’s Plate day everyone – Eat well and stay well!
A Taste of Saint Patrick – The Saint Patrick Centre is launching a new evening experience based around the story of Saint Patrick involving themed dining with recipes from RTE celebrity chef and former Red Bank owner, Terry McCoy.
Guests at A Taste of Saint Patrick on Friday March 13th, at 7:30pm will be welcomed with canapes and music in the foyer and taken to Ryan’s Garden Cafe where Terry will talk about his new book, Saint Patrick’s Plate.
Guests will then be served a choice of main courses from the book and a fabuluous dessert before being taken to the Saint Patrick Centre auditorium for a preview of the centre’s new Saint Patrick Story show.
Saint Patrick’s Story is a theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance produced by Belfast Hidden Tours and Unity Dance.
It brings the story of Saint Patrick to life in a stunning and stirring production featuring exceptional story tellers and musicians, along with former Riverdance and Lord of the Dance performers.
The Patrician Youth Centre will be supporting the event as a fund raiser for their organisiation and tickets are now on sale at £25 per person, which includes the meal and show. Call the Saint Patrick Centre on 028 44619000 to book your seat for A Taste of Saint Patrick today.