Roasted Wild Salmon and Chunky Rhubarb

August 9th, 2011


1 lb Rhubarb cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)

1/3 cup sugar

Splash of dry white wine

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

6 Wild Salmon darn fillets from Connemara Smokehouse (or Organic Salmon Darnes)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat an oven to 230°/Gas 8 or its highest temperature.

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and wine. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 30 minutes, adding water if necessary. Add the lemon juice. The sauce should be fairly thin.

Put the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 190°/Gas 5 until the fillets are almost opaque throughout, 17 to 20 minutes.

Spoon the rhubarb onto the center of 6 warmed plates. Lift the fillets from the baking sheet, leaving the skin behind. Place the fillets on the rhubarb and serve immediately.

Serve the salmon with crusty bread or a potato gratin

Serves 6.

PARADOR EVENING with Lorna Roberts

July 20th, 2011
Connemara Smokehouse

Parador de Santiago

Lorna will be holding her 1st OPEN PARADOR EVENING here in Connemara this week on Thursday 21st July between 8-10pm. Lorna’s 2nd EVENING WILL BE THURSDAY 4TH OF AUGUST . Graham will be here with all his products from the Connemara Smokehouse and there will be wine from Marques de Caceres.

Lorna Roberts, is the official representative for the Spanish Parador hotels. This is a group of 93 state owned hotels all over Spain, many of which are in historic buildings – castles, palaces, convents etc. Others are in nature reserves, Medieval villages and in idyllic coastal locations away from the resorts.

The Paradores have many SPECIAL OFFERS & PROMOTIONS. Paradores are affordable and are also a wonderful romantic settings for Honeymoons and Weddings.

Lorna can check out the best deals available and help with route planning for those doing a fly drive holiday. She also accompanies small groups traveling around the Paradores.

She is holding “OPEN HOUSE” here in Ballyconneely at BARR AN BHAILE (on the road to the Connemara Golf Club) to hear more about Paradores and to enjoy some of the products from the CONNEMARA SMOKEHOUSE and some wine from MARQUES de CACERES in La Rioja.


Barr an Bhaile, Ballyconneely, Co Galway, Ireland in a larger map

The holiday in GALICIA: 10th – 17th September (Paradores at Santiago, Santo Estevo and Baiona) is almost full but able to hold 2 more rooms until next Friday – 22nd July. As the return flight on 17th September is now very expensive it is possible to join the group for 5 nights from 10th – 15th September which reduces the cost to 1195 +  much cheaper flights. This would be 2 nights in Santiago, 2 nights at Santo Estevo and 1 night in Baiona – arrriving in time to have the afternoon and evening at the Parador on the 14th and the morning of the 15th, (leaving for the airport at midday)
****I only have 2 rooms available and I do not expect to have any spaces in  the Paradores after 22nd July****

The 4-night mini break in the Parador at NERJA:  17th – 21st October. There are spaces on this short holiday which will be escorted for 5 days with all transport, excursions, dinner on 3 nights (with drinks – wine etc), – one of which will be at the Parador at Malaga Gibralfaro – and all tips and taxes included. As there are flights to Malaga every day, if anyone would like to extend the holiday, nights can be added in Nerja or Malaga either before the 17th or after the 21st, but it would be necessary to make your own arrangements for transport to or from the airport. We will be meeting the flight from Dublin on the 17th October and returning to the airport for the flight to Dublin on the 21st, but anyone extending the holiday would have to make their own arrangements for transport to the airport.  Price per person sharing:  845 Euro + flights. Single supplement 40 Euro per night. Supplement for a superior room (if available) is 30 Euro per night.

Contact Lorna for more details:

Barr an Bhaile, Ballyconneely, Co Galway, Ireland
Keytel International Ireland,
Barr an Bhaile,
Co. Galway,
Tel: +353 (0) 95 23511
Fax: +353 (0) 95 23539

Western Civilisation – Cara Magazine

July 14th, 2011

Cara Magazine-Enjoy your flight-Aer Lingus-July Issue 2011


ALONG GALWAY’S RUGGED Atlantic coast, near the town of Ballyconneely, low-lying, whitewashed building sits perched on a pier, with the strong cold water of the Atlantic crashing almost to its door. This is the Connemara Smokehouse. It appears an unassuming place at first, until you step inside and meet the Roberts family. Graham, in thid mid-thirties, runs the smokehouse with his wife Saoirse and thier four young children (all artisan-smokers-in-the-making). Together they produce the best smoked Irish Salmon and line-caught Irish tuna you are ever likely to taste. There is a freshness and delicacy of flavour to Graham’s smoked salmon that is hard to equal. To taste it, with the mellow aroma of beech smoke in the air and the crashing waves of the Atlantic outside, leaves you in no doubt that this is, indeed, Ireland the food island.

We’re here in the west of Ireland, as part of a seafood appreciation weekend taking place in Ashford Castle. Arriving late at night after a long drive from Dublin, it’s hard not to be impressed by the stunning vista of the sweeping drive, bridging the river to the fairytale castle by the lake. Ashford Castle knows how to make a big impression, but David the doorman tops the lot – you’re definitely somewhere special when the doorman knows your name. All we have to do after that is settle into our sumptuous room, drink in the view over Lough Corrib and wander downstairs for dinner.

The next moring we get up early to head west, about as far west as you can go. Passing through the popular town of Clifden and on out to Ballyconneely and Bunowen Pier, we arrive at the smokehouse at the edge of the world. As Graham Roberts takes us on a tour of the smokehouse, it’s evident how hands-on he is at every stage of the process. As he deftly fillets, trims and preps a whole salmon in minutes, he explains the true depth of connection he has to the area. “fishermen I work with today are the sons of the fihermen my father worked with. Most of our fish come from nearby Killary Harbour. We have wild salmon in season in June & July (until stocks last), and we also get fantastic organic salmon from nearby Clare Island”. Graham opens the thick steel door of the smokery to show us the racks of salmon sides all deepening in colour in the fog of gentle beech smoke.

“We prefer to burn beech rather than oak,” continues Graham, “as oak contains more tannins and can produce a slightly more bitter flavour in the fish” Graham takes a side of salmon from the smoker to his slicing station where he still prefers to slice the majority of the salmon by hand. The way this man wields a filleting knife would make Nobu Matsuhisa look clumsy. A whole side of salmon is perfectly sliced in a matter of minutes. While he is doing this, his four immaculately behaved children hand out plates of smoked salmon and tuna for us to taste. The tuna is something you don’t see too ofter; it’s line-caught off the Irish coast, and Rick Stein was so impressed with it when he came here (to film Graham and Saoirse as part of his Food Heroes television series) that he now serves it in his famous seafood restaurant in Cornwall. Other piscatorial pleasures to stock up on are the Roberts’ family recipes of smoked tuna mousse, as well as gravadlax and traditional smoked kippers.

From one fish feast to another. We leave the Connemara Smokehosue to make our way to Rossroe Pier……

Graham Roberts, Traditional Irish Smokehouse, Ireland

Aer Lingus - Cara Magazine - July Issue

Other wonderful places/producers mentioned in this article:

Cullen’s Bistro – Ashford Castle

Air dried meats – James McGeough

Mussels – Marty’s Mussels

Stefan Matz – Ashford Castle

Seaweed – Seamus Moran Lo-Tide Foods

Butcher – Sean Kelly

Aran McMahon – Café Rua

Farmhouse butter – Cuinneog

Homemade Jam – Grove Jams

Mixed leaves – Stephen Gould

Cheeses – Carrowholly

Chocolate – Helena’s Chocolates..

To view this article I’m afraid you will just have to take an Aer Lingus flight to view their inhouse “Cara Magazine”.  Food & Drink – The West of Ireland – July Issue 2011

The Guard Premiere

July 6th, 2011

A lot of excitement around the premiere of the new Brendan Gleeson movie THE GUARD.

Connemara Smokehouse Organic Smoked Salmon features at the Irish Premiere after party for THE GUARD starring Brendan Gleeson, Pat Shortt and Liam Cunningham taking place in The G Hotel Galway.

Irish audiences will get an opportunity to see THE GUARD in cinemas when it goes on nationwide release on July 7th 2011.

Baywatch – Irish Style

July 4th, 2011

Delicious Magazine – August Edition 2011 – Hungry Traveller by Les Dunn

The Connemara penisula, west of the city of Galway, is the Ireland millions of Americans imagine when, teary-eyed, they turn their thoughts to their homeland: still, silent loughs, grassy moors, ancient peat bogs, miles of stone walls, rolling hills and a craggy coastline of coves and inlets.  Plus the odd donkey. We’re off along the minor road that winds around the coast. Each mile we travel we feel more relaxed, like we’ve taken a slow-release narcotic.

In a beautiful location out on a lonely seashore, the Connemara Smokehouse proves worth the detour – the delicately smoked Atlantic salmon – they also do mackerel, tuna, herrring and sometimes cod and pollock – is subline. The secret’s in the beechwood smoking (it imparts a sweeter flavour than oak, apparently) – that and the extroardinary dedication of workaholic owner Graham Roberts. “If I come in at four in the morning” he explains, “there are no distractions.” With the fruits of his beyond-the-call labours in our cool-bag, we carry northwards.

To view more producers in this article get your copy of Delicious Magazine – August Edition and enjoy this 3 page article by Les Dunn

For more info on all featured, visit Discover Ireland or call 0800 039 7000

Graham Roberts, Traditional Irish Smokehouse, Ireland

Delicious Magazine Aug 2011

7 Students from St. Caillin’s N.S, launch their very own Books

July 2nd, 2011
© Saoirse O' Rourke

7 students of St. Caillin’s National School, Aillebrack.

Seven students from Aillebrack National School Authors: Amy Roberts, Celia O’Neill, Grainne King, Eimear Roche, Francesca McDonagh, Oscar Conney and Tadhag O’Neill took part in the 10th Annual Write A Book Awards 2011.

More than 500 budding young writers were honoured in Galway on the 6th of June, at a ceremony transmitted live on the internet, which was held at the Radisson Hotel Galway. The children received their prizes in two ceremonies, one in English and one in Irish. The winners were picked from a pool of 6,000 entries by a panel of literary experts. The students of Aillebrack National School launched their very own books in Clifden town Library this week.

The students come from a small rural, two-teacher school in Aillebrack, Co. Galway. Ranging from 3rd Class to 6th Class, each year they participate in a Reading Buddies Programme which involves the children in all classes, from Junior Infants to Sixth Class, doing paired reading. This is a simple and effective reading technique, which usually results in improvement in reading ability for most pupils. It tends to be a very enjoyable experience where pupils develop more positive attitudes to reading. The seven students are keen readers and with encouragement from Muinteoir Louise Roche to put their active minds into creative writing.

The Books are on display in Clifden Town Library for the full Summer 2011.

© Saoirse O' Rourke

So do drop in and check out their work.

Books on Display:

Amy Roberts – Amy’s Favourite Foods

Tadgh O’Neill – Ryans Story

Celia O’Neill – A Long Book of Poems & Short Stories

Francesca Mc Donagh – Sweet Pea Valley

Grainne King – The True Story of Goldilocks

Oscar Coneys- Max is Lost and Alone

Eimear Roche – Animal Pourquoi Tales

Winners of the Write A Book Awards from St. Caillin’s National School, Aillebrack at the Radisson Hotel Galway were:

Tadgh O’Neill – Ryans Story

Celia O’Neill – A Long Book of Poems & Short Stories

Francesca Mc Donagh – Sweet Pea Valley

Oscar Coneys- Max is Lost and Alone

All can be viewed in Clifden Town Library

Ask Bernie Jeffries or Paul Keogh for Details:

Monday 14:30 to 18:00 and 18:30 to 20:30

Tuesday 10:30 to 13:00 and 14:30 to 18:00

Wednesday 14:30 to 18:00 and 18:30 to 20:30

Thursday 10:30 to 13:00 and 14:30 to 18:00

Friday 10:30 to 13:00 and 14:30 to 18:00 and 18:30 to 20:30

Saturday 10:30 to 13:00 and 14:30 to 18:00

Also viewed on Galway Public Libraries Blog