Seashore Safari (Aillebrack Beach)

June 19th, 2011

Seashore Safari

The Beaches of County Galway, today the 2nd event of interactive walks took place in Aillebrack, Ballyconneely where we explored the wonders of our coastal habitat with Marine Biologist J.P. Tiernan of Irish Marine Life.

To view photo gallery click on photo…

Click to view more...

There is 9 more locations with:

Trá Cill Mhuirbhigh on Inish Mór

Bog’s Bay, Roundstone

Dumhach, Inishbofin

East End, Inishbofin

Trá sn Doilín, An Cheathrú Rua

Ceíbh an Spidéil

Trá Mór, Indreabhán

Long Point, Loughrea

Trá Inish Oirr

For more details on these events contact: Biodiversity Manager Elaine O’Riordan

Tel: 091 493863

Email: elaine.oriordan@nuigalway.ie

National Fish & Chips Day

May 25th, 2011

National Fish & Chips Day 25th May 11′

(How do you like yours!)

Salmon in paper with Chunky Chips

Salmon Baked in Paper – Serves 6

* Note: Prep the chips first as the salmon will not take as long to cook!

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano or

1/2 tsp. dried

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for oiling paper

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6  salmon darnes from Connemara Smokehouse, Wild/Organic

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 230°C.

In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes, shallots, marjoram, lemon juice, the 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper.

Rinse the fish and pat dry. Cut 6 sheets of parchment about 12 inches square. Fold each sheet in half, open like a book and brush the paper to one side of the crease with olive oil. Place a fillet on each oiled side. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fish, dividing it evenly.

Fold the parchment paper over the fish. Tightly seal each package by folding the edges over several times and creasing firmly. Place the packages on 2 baking sheets.

Bake until the salmon is opaque throughout, about 15 minutes at approx. 190°C. To check for doneness, open a package and pierce the fish with a knife.

Slide the packages onto individual plates and allow the diners to open their own packages.

The steam that forms inside the paper envelope infuses the fish with the flavor of the seasonings and keeps it moist and tender. You could serve your guests the unopened packets and let them unwrap them at the table, releasing the fragrant steam.

Chunky Chips (everyone favourite)

Ingredients

4 large potatoes weighing about 200-250g each

5-6 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tbsp rosemary leaves

3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC

2. Halve the potatoes then cut each half into six or seven chunky chips. Place them in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for three to four minutes then drain in a colander.

3. Heat the olive oil in a roasting tray in the oven then add the potatoes, garlic and rosemary, season and roast for about 45 minutes, turning them a couple times during cooking, or until the potatoes are crisp and cooked through.

4. Scatter over the parmesan and return to the oven for about 10 -12 minutes.

For Foods Sake -Are Irish Restaurants up the Swanny?

May 18th, 2011

FOOD TALK, TASTINGS, INSPIRATION & ENTERTAINMENT

After the success of March’s discussion on the future of Irish food production, chaired by Aoife Carrigy of HolyMackerel.ie (former Deputy Editor of FOOD&WINE Magazine), now turn their attention to the restaurant industry.

The Restaurant Association of Ireland, who will announce their annual restaurant awards on Wednesday 25 May, are warning that the industry is in crisis.

We will ask the following panelists: ‘Are Irish restaurants up the swanny?’

• Joe Macken, restaurateur (JoBurger & Crackbird)

• Enda McEvoy, chef (Gregan’s Castle & Cook Wild Project)

• Paul Cadden, restaurateur (Saba restaurant & former President of RAI)

• Caroline Byrne, food writer (Bridgestone Guide Dublin editor)

If we have had one Irish restaurant or coffee shop closing every day in the last two years as the RAI have reported, and if we are to expect 10 closures a week over the next year, as they have warned, is this an inevitable thinning out of an unsustainable ratio of restaurants to hungry punters? Do we have too many mediocre restaurants in the country who have gotten used to being able to serve overpriced food? Is competition not a good thing for consumers, and will the result be that only the fit will survive? Or are all restaurants struggling with unsustainable rents, wages and rates? And will the result be that only the bland survive and that restaurants aren’t in a position to take risks with their menus? Is it a race to the bottom?

And for all the restaurants that closed last year, what of those that opened? Is there a certain type of restaurant doing well at the moment? Do they have a formula that the others should follow? Should we focus on the success stories rather than the failures?

There will also be TASTINGS from several Irish artisan producers who will tell you a bit about why they do what they do. There will be a chance to win some great foodie PRIZES, and an inspirational talk from an Irish chef just back from a coveted stage at NOMA in Copenhagen, recognised as the top restaurant in the world. Manager of The Sugar Club and food writer (www.rockcookbook.com & The Ticket’s Booking the Cooks column), Oisin Davis will host a KARAOKE COOK-OFF between DJs Conor G and David De Valera, who will pit their toastie sandwich-making skills against one another! And of course there will be a FULL BAR to help get the conversation going.

Doors 7pm (with discussion kicking off at 7.30pm sharp)

Admission is €5

For more info and updates on these events check out Holy Mackerel because food’s worth it!

The West

May 17th, 2011

Newstalk – Staycations

Roundstone to Clifden

The R341 shadows the coast from Roundstone to Clifden. Beaches along here have such beautiful white sand and turquoise water that if you added 10\*C to the temperature, you could be in St Barts. About 2.5km from Roundstone, look for the turn to Gurteen Bay. After a further 800m there is a turn for Dogs Bay. Together, the pair form the two sides of a dog-bone-shaped peninsula lined with idyllic beaches. Park and enjoy a day strolling the grassy heads and frolicking on the hard-packed sand.

If you’re curious to discover how the area’s famous salmon is smoked, you can tour the family-run Connemara Smokehouse (tel 095-23739; www.smokehouse.ie; Bunowen Pier, Ballyconneely; tours 3pm Wed Jun-Aug). Tours show you the hand filleting, traditional preparation, slicing and packing of the wild and organic salmon, and shed light on various smoking methods before finishing up with a tasting. Advance reservations are essential. Outside tour times it’s  possible to stop by the smokehouse and stock up.

For Fish’s Sake

May 17th, 2011

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

For Fish’s Sake

“Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is.” This saying was originally coined by American writer P.J. O’Rourke but it can easily be used to reflect Ireland’s attitude towards fish. During the first For Food’s Sake discussion in The Sugar Club on Thursday 31st March, under the topic ‘What’s the Future for Irish Food Production?’ the debate turned to why we have failed to embrace seafood despite been surrounded by sea. Graham Roberts of the Connemara Smokehouse took centre stage as he enlightened the 100-strong crowd with his insider knowledge.

Graham journeyed deep into our history to explain why Ireland has never fully indulged in the great variety of fish we have in our seas. Surprisingly he linked traumatic childhood fish experiences to Ireland’s poor attitude. However there were no psychological scars with the audience as they devoured Graham’s smoked tuna earlier on in the evening.

“Traditionally in Ireland all the good fish is exported and the leftovers stay here. A lot of people here don’t like fish because we have been left with these leftovers. This leads to certain negativity towards fish because I think people became daunted by the idea of preparing fish. Any kid who had to prepare these leftovers would be put off fish for life.”

But Graham knows how to turn kids towards the light as he has successful proven with his own children. “I feel very strongly when preparing fish for my kids that the bones are removed and it looks appealing. Fish won’t be an issue for them in the future.”

If there was anyone in the audience suffering from childhood psychological fish trauma Graham was able to provide some therapy. “Go to the fishmongers and have the fish prepared. Fish is the ultimate fast food; if you got a fillet of fish prepped then it takes just a few minutes in a pan, add some seasoning and lemon, and that’s it. Combine some vegetables with that and you have a really cheap, quick and healthy meal.”

After Ireland’s attitude towards fish was put aside the panel discussion went on to address the future of the Irish fish industry. Graham explained how the fish industry in Ireland has the potential for growth while putting Irish fish back onto Irish shelves:
View Larger Map

“The industry is struggling but I believe the future lies with these small fishermen. The quality of fish coming in is higher with smaller boats and there is also the question of fish sustainability. Small fisherman are going out and not catching huge volumes of fish so there is a future for fishing generations to come. It is something that I feel very strongly about because of the fishermen I work with. I would love to think that our future generations will work together.”

Launch of the Galway County Fleadh 2011

May 14th, 2011

Clifden Comhaltas were delighted to announce that Clifden was selected to host the Galway County Fleadh 13th – 15th of May 2011.  It was a huge honour for the town to be selected.  It has been 21 years since Clifden last hosted the Galway County Fleadh.

A weekend of Music, song and dance and it brought in people from all over the County of Galway, Connaught and beyond.  One of the main aspects of the Fleadh is the competitions.  This is where people start their journey on the road to becoming an All Ireland Champion.  The Competitions took place on the Saturday & Sunday of the weekend in the Clifden Community School and was open to the public to sit in on the competitions.  These competitions were for all ages groups as well as for Group and Band competitions.

Highlights included a gig rig on the Square of the town, with visiting competitors and groups performing and also local and visiting musicians.

Clifden Branch of Comhaltas also produced a souvenir programme for the weekend, which included local business advertisements, old and new stories and lots of photos.

The official opening & concert took place in the Station House Hotel and was. addressed by Comhaltas Connaught Chairperson Michael Brennan. Connemara Smokehouse provided the canapes for the evening with Organic Smoked Salmon on home-made brown bread and Line caught Smoked Tuna with lime. The evening was followed by pub sessions around Clifden town. On Sunday Morning a unique Fleadh Mass was held in St. Josephs Church.

Photo Gallery

Click on photo to view more of the opening night…

Click to view more!

Video Clip Galway County Fleadh Opening