Dairy Free Elderflower ice_cream

I made a very quick and easy Dairy free Elderflower Ice-cream for our forage @ weekend, here is the recipe

I used “Sojade” organic soya yogurt but you can also try mashed ripe avocado.

It’s best to use an ice cream maker if you have one. It is important to add lime and lemon juice at start to keep good colour and don’t overheat water, if you don’t have time to infuse overnight just leave flowers soaking for an hour at least.

Ingredients;

800mls water,

700grms un-refined sugar (or try Xylitol)

Zest and juice of 2 organic limes and 1 lemon (0r 3 lemons),

40 fresh Elderflower heads,

200g cornflour (or Kuzu)

2, 400g tubs of Organic soya yogurt.

Teaspoon of sea salt.

Put zest, juice,  and water into a pan and heat to hot but not boiling. Add flowerheads turn off heat, cover and infuse overnight if possible otherwise for at least an hour.

Strain, you should have a good strong Elderflower scented liquid.

Return liquid to rinsed pan and add sugar, heat stirring to dissolve sugar.

Mix cornflour to a thick paste with a little water, pour into pan stirring all the time, bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes stirring all the time.Turn off heat and taste, remember you will be adding yogurt and that frozen will taste less sweet. However I like to reduce the sweetness by adding a teaspoon of sea-salt at this stage.Cool the liquid, you can speed up the cooling process by putting pan into a bowl of cold water and ice cubes.

In blender  blend the yogurt and COLD Elderflower or use a stick blender and large bowl, when well blended, taste adjust flavour to your liking with more sweet, salt or lemon/lime.

Churn in ice-cream maker for about 20 minutes and scoop into container. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker place in freezer and freeze for hour, remove and mix to break up any ice crystals, return to freezer and repeat twice or till frozen.

Delectable with any desert, Try Fraughan syrup for a final florish.Elderflower ice-cream and rose petals

June Day, Roses and Elderflowers

 rose cake and jelly

The old fashioned roses are so fragrant just now and I’ve been working on ways to capture their fragrance so it can be enjoyed in depths of winter, very happy with this recipe for Rose Petal Jelly. In this recipe the petals are never boiled and retain their essential glory. Rose petals are also used as a remedy for many things.

  • Viral infection,
  • Hormone balance,
  • Dry skin,
  • Feeling unloved,
  • Grief,
  • Loneliness.

I can’t think of a better food to soothe a battered heart.

Rose Petal Jelly. 

5 large handfuls of fragrant rose petals,

juice of 3 lemons,

1.2 litres filtered water (1,200mls)

2 teaspoons rosewater (optional)

1kg jam sugar.

Have small jars clean and warm ready before you start to make. Put all ingredients except the petals into a stainless steel saucepan, bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 5 mins or so, test for setting point.

Meanwhile slice the petals into small pieces.

When setting point has been reached turn off heat and stir in petals.Pot while hot into jars distributing the petals evenly between jars. Seal as quickly as possible. The petals will infuse in the hot liquid, giving their heavenly scent and colour to the jelly.

The jelly freezes very well and is best in small jars so it is used quickly after opening.

 

 

I am also making a glycerite from petals and will report on progress over the summer.

 

Dinner Menu for a Sunny April Evening

Another beautiful day. I’m really getting used to the sunshine. This evening I’m cooking for my daughter Eve and her hubby Eoin. This is a healthy, vegetarian meal that will of course feature some wild finds as well as fresh garden produce.

The star of tonight’s dinner is the wonderful morel mushroom, locally foraged yesterday evening. These are so delicious I will be preparing them very simply. I am also whipping up a wild nettle frittata and we are sampling vegetarian puddings from demadfoodcompany.  These will be followed by some wheat and dairy free rhubarb crumble.

Let me know if you try out these recipes. Comments and suggestions always welcome. Instagram users please unload photos using the hashtag #wildfoodmary


Wild Nettle and Potato Frittata

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1L Jug loosely packed with fresh nettle tops, cleaned and roughly chopped

8 Eggs (I’m using a mixture of free-range duck and hen)

4 medium Rooster Potatoes, cooked and sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Crushed

1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped

Oil or butter for frying

* You can of course make your own additions like peas, peppers, feta or your favourite cheese. 

Method (10 Minutes)

Heat your oil or butter in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Sauté gently for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the nettle tops, cover the pan and allow to wilt for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and other vegetables if using. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the potatoes. Allow to cook until beginning to set. Now is the time to add your cheese. transfer your pan to a hot oven or finish under the grill to cook the top until starting to brown.

Morels with Truffle Oil

These delicious mushroom must ALWAYS BE COOKED. I am adding some extra flavour with white truffle oil, a gift from Italy. It can be purchased in Italian and other good food shops. This recipe is so simple that the real challenge is in finding the wild morels.

Ingredients

Morel Mushrooms (however many you can manage to find)

Sprig of fresh Thyme

Butter for frying

White Truffle Oil (A few drops for serving)

Method (12 Minutes)

Begin by roughly chopping the morels. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the morel mushrooms and fry for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and thyme. Remove from the heat and serve with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Wild Food Mary’s Rhubarb Crumble

My son-in-law Eoin has a serious soft spot for Rhubarb so I’m delighted to be serving up this dish from the years first cutting. This recipe is wheat and dairy free. I am also using xylitol instead of sugar. You can also use agave or honey. Cooking the base and crumble topping separately ensures a delightful crunch. They can also be stored separately keep well in airtight containers.

Ingrediets

For the Rhubarb Filling

4 Stalks Fresh Rhubarb

100ml water

1 capfull vanilla extract

xylitol to taste

For the Crumble Topping

60g Coconut Oil

200g ground Almonds

100g fine Oatmeal

Handful of mixed dried fruit (optional) 

1tsp mixed spice

zest of 1 orange

xylitol to taste 

Method (30 minutes)

Preheat your over to 180 degrees. Begin by preparing the crumble topping. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. In a bowl mix all of your topping ingredients except the coconut oil. Use a teaspoon to scoop in little lumps of coconut oil. Lightly rub in the coconut oil  until you have a crumb consistency. Spread the mixture out on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, give it a good stir and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until it is golden brown.

While the topping is cooking you can prepare the rhubarb filling. Chop the rhubarb. Bring the vanilla, water and xylitol to the boil. Add the Rhubarb, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook your rhubarb. It’s nicest when it keeps a bit of its’ shape.

Spoon rhubarb mix into a glass and cover it with the crumble. Enjoy!

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Forage photo diary of Easter weekend 2015

mary pictures april 2015 181 mary pictures april 2015 147 mary pictures april 2015 154 mary pictures april 2015 167 mary pictures april 2015 111 mary pictures april 2015 130 mary pictures april 2015 149 mary pictures april 2015 133 mary pictures april 2015 135 mary pictures april 2015 136 Sunny skies and plenty to gladden the senses, a walk by the lake in Cornamona, sounds of garden birds near the house then wild geese curlews and swans and ducks near the water. New lambs in the fields.

The air filled with the scent of Gorse and the sun giving it’s first real warmth of the year, heaven.

I started my weekend with meditation among friends, then a lazy lunch with Mum and few hours lying in the grass talking and laughing with my sisters, that night first campfire in garden at home, well wrapped up watching the sky darken and stars emerge. The Pipistrele bats on the wing.

Monday morning early packed the trusty Toyota with fruit trees and headed off to plant a mini orchard in Connemara, a few hours with pick, shovel and good strong helper and we downed tools and headed for the lake.

Dinner was fresh trout, thank you Tom, with wild and garden salad and of course spuds. Next morning a longer hike round the lake shore,  gathering  some Bog myrtle flowers along the way. I had some myrtle tea recently and was curious to see if Bog myrtle would be tasty, it has a strong scent and was used in beer brewing and also to keep insects at bay. The tea which I brewed with Nettles and some honey was far too bitter but I’ll try again.

Back to Offaly later and off to the food academy on Tues, on the way way home I went mushroom hunting on an impulse, bad news for my suit trousers, which are wrecked from brambles, but great news for dinner.

For me finding Morel mushrooms in Mar/April is like your team winning the triple crown, I feel a little bit like I’ve earned my forager credibility for the coming year.

As for how they will be served, I’m sure Antonio Carluccio has a few inspirational ideas.

O by the way those other mushrooms in the photo are dung mushrooms, growing on manure, DONT try these they are POISONOUS.

 

 

 

Christmas and New year 2014/15

Sunset, frozen lake 2 Mini forest Billy eve at sunset boathouse Crib D Max Oys Detail Fireplace Front door gifts Gorse bloom 2nd Jan Hellibore (2) Hiker's shadows kitchen ceiling Me n oys stump place setting 2 Scoops waiting for Santa Sphagnum mossThis time of year it’s special to find something to collect, a stump of fallen Beech passed many times suddenly blooms with a large crop of Oyster Mushrooms and a mountain hike has Navelworth and early Gorse blooms. The real stars at this time are the winter sunlight and the colours of bogs and mountains, tiny details of moss and lichen, frozen branch and droplets on grass.

In the garden I have planted spuds, peas and garlic in polytunnel and harvested very last Tomatoes, a huge bunch of Parsley and some Beetroot along with wild Corn salad. The Parsley goes to make fresh zingy pesto with walnuts and cashews, later in spring I will make it again with addition of Nettles.

The other thing winter is great for is using your store cupboard foods, this year we made Elderflower ice-cream, Wild mushroom risotto,Pigeon breast with Blackberry sauce,Nettle cordial, Blackberry Liqueur, spiced Elderberry syrup. Damson Vodka and a very unusual dish of Sauterkraut with Wild mushrooms, damson vodka and Juniper berries. 

 

Winter is here.

Today I woke in Dun Laoire  to a bright sunny but chilly morning. An early morning run,  the sun lighting  up the yellow and Bronze leaves and sparkling on Dublin Bay, poetic pinks and blues of the early morning sky.

I’m out again in the afternoon another walk, this time in woods and by river suck in county Galway, low sun through the trees and on the water, flocks of ducks and waders, Blewits and Cloudy Agarics under the trees, I’ll serve these with cous-cous and veggies and a handful of Stellaria with it’s tiny white flowers.

In the fields shaded from the sun patches of fog and frost linger all day, on way home something catches my eye and I jump the wall to investigate, my curiosity is rewarded with a large patch of Horse Mushrooms. November 23,2014 003

My fleece top makes an instant “basket” to carry home the booty.

November 23,2014 007 November 23,2014 009

Meanwhile I am busy introducing my Wild  Beech Leaf Liqueur to the best outlets and will have stocks in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Tullamore, Portlaoise  and of course Birr shortly. Thank you all for inquiries and your patience. tasting at Egan’s wine shop Portlaoise Friday November 28th.

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