For Online E-newspaper
The East African : March 17th 2014
The EastAfrican MAGAZINE MARCH 15-21,2014 food This fish doesn’t need any chips On a visit to I≥eland, DAVID TANIS enjoys some moist and juicy fish, and sha≥es the ≥ecipe I ’ll admit I was rather ignorant about Ireland in general, and Irish food in particular, when I stepped off the plane in Dublin for the first time last spring. I was headed to County Cork for a food festival put together by the Allen family of Shanagarry. For decades, the Allens’ restaurant and country inn, Ballymaloe House, has helped pave the way for a kind of revolution, a return to the Irish food of a time long before modern fast food invaded. Here’s the story: In the 1940s, Ivan Allen and his wife, Myrtle, purchased a large farm with an old stone house in southeast Ireland at Ballymaloe. It would be a good place to grow crops and to raise their six children. Myrtle was a fine cook and adept in traditional ways, using seasonal vegetables and supplementing them with other local products. Yes, lest we forget, “fresh, local and seasonal” is a traditional concept. Her insistence upon it was just a common-sense approach to food, learned from a previous generation. One day in 1964, at the age of 40, Myrtle thought, “Why not open a restaurant?” There might be smoked salmon and brown bread, a vegetable soup and a good roast, with homestead cheeses. A dessert trolley would have rhubarb tarts and fresh-churned ice cream. It was simple country elegance. The restaurant prospered. The Allen spirit is contagious. One of Myrtle’s daughters-in-law, Darina Allen, began to cook with her. Soon Darina was spreading the gospel, too. Eventually, with her brother Rory O’Connell, Darina opened an acclaimed cooking school on the property. She wanted to teach young cooks the true progression of seed to supper, t≥aditional Fish and chips is a hot dish of English origin, consisting of battered fish and deep-fried chips. Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in the UK as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea, and the development of railways which connected the ports to major industrial cities during the second half of the 19th century, which meant that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to the heavily populated areas. XI HOMEMADE Tu≥ning bags of co≠ee into clean wate≥ Not much, it would seem — except in the hands of Blake Mycoskie, founde≥ of Toms, the shoes found on feet a≥ound the wo≥ld. Mycoskie built his shoe empi≥e selling one pai≥ of inexpensive shoes and giving anothe≥ pai≥ away to a needy pe≥son, a model he also uses to sell eyeglasses. Now Toms has developed a line of co≠ee, the sales of which will be used to p≥ovide clean wate≥ fo≥ cooking and d≥inking as well as fo≥ sanitation to the mo≥e than two billion people a≥ound the globe the UN estimates lack such essentials. W “Once people get ove≥ the initial shock when they hea≥ we’≥e going into the co≠ee business, I think they’ll see that Toms and the oneto-one model is a platfo≥m fo≥ doing a va≥iety of things, not just a shoe o≥ eyeglasses company,” Mycoskie said in an inte≥view. He unveiled Toms co≠ee, A dish of Arctic char and potatoes in a butter, chive, tarragon, spinach and lemon sauce. Picture: New York Times ‘‘ There is this lovely dish, a whole fish wrapped in a foil package, seasoned with nothing more than salt, pepper, butter and sprigs of tarragon.” to show them that a meal starts in the field. At Ballymaloe, I tasted the fresh- est eggs, butter and cream; sampled the prawns and salmon of the surrounding seas; ate asparagus and lettuces straight from the garden; and dined on fine pastured beef and lamb. And there were foraged ingredients, like wild garlic and carrageen Deep-fried fish was first introduced into Britain during the 16th century by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain. In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London. In Britain and Ireland, cod and haddock appear most commonly as the fish used for fish and chips, but vendors also sell many other kinds of fish, especially other white fish, such as pollock or coley, plaice, skate, and ray (particularly popular in Ireland). In Northern Ireland, cod, plaice or whiting appear most commonly in “fish suppers.” moss, a type of seaweed. Everything was cooked simply, with just enough interference from the kitchen to enhance these basic goods. For instance, there is this lovely dish, a whole fish wrapped in a foil package, seasoned with nothing more than salt, pepper, butter and sprigs of tarragon. The fish emerges moist and juicy, ready for a creamy butter sauce packed with chopped spinach and herbs. The family uses fat local pink trout, plentiful in Ireland, but this recipe calls for Arctic char, which is more widely available in the US. I’m returning to Ireland this year. I grew quite enamoured of the place and the people — and all that glorious Irish food. Arctic Char With Spinach Butter Adapted from 30 Years at Bally- maloe by Darina Allen Time: 50 minutes Ingredients 10 ounces baby spinach One Arctic char, about two pounds, cleaned and left whole Salt and pepper One teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus a few sprigs for inside the fish Two tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus six chilled tablespoons for sauce 1/2 cup crème fraîche 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon finely sliced chives 1 pound boiled new potatoes, for serving (optional) 1. Put spinach in a mixing bowl and pour boiling water over it to wilt it. Drain in a colander, rinse with cool water and squeeze completely dry. Chop spinach as finely as you can and set aside. 2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse fish and pat dry. Season fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Put a few tarragon springs in the cavity. 3. Line a roasting pan with a big piece of foil slightly longer than the fish, leaving ends hanging over. Smear middle section of foil lengthwise with one tablespoon of soft butter and set fish on top. Smear top of fish with the remaining tablespoon soft butter. Fold the sides of the foil to the centre and press against fish. Twist both ends of foil to make a tight package. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let fish rest five to 10 minutes, still in the foil package, while you make the sauce. 4. Put crème fraîche in a wide saucepan or skillet over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for a minute or so, until slightly reduced. Add cooked spinach, stirring to coat. Season with salt and pepper and turn heat to low. Quickly stir in 1 tablespoon chilled butter at a time. Each spoonful should be just melted before adding the next, to make a creamy sauce. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, tarragon and chives. 5. Transfer fish to a warm serv- ing platter. Carefully remove foil. (Fish should be cooked through but moist.) Peel away and discard skin from top of fish. Pour any collected pan juices into the sauce, then spoon sauce over fish. Serve with boiled new potatoes if desired. packed in blue-and-white bags mimicking Toms shoe boxes, on Tuesday at South by Southwest, the annual event in Austin, Texas, that b≥ings togethe≥ filmmake≥s, tech enthusiasts and musicians and se≥ves as a showcase fo≥ new p≥oducts and ideas. Eve≥y bag of co≠ee Toms Roasting sells will finance a week’s wo≥th of clean wate≥ fo≥ one pe≥son, Mycoskie said. Cups of co≠ee, which will be sold in what Mycoskie hopes will be a st≥ing of Toms cafe-sto≥es, could p≥ovide a day of clean wate≥ each. “The No 1 ing≥edient in making co≠ee is wate≥, and co≠ee is often g≥own in places whe≥e clean wate≥ is sca≥ce,” Mycoskie said. Since Toms was founded in 2006 as a p≥ivate company, the one-fo≥-one model Mycoskie pionee≥ed has mush≥oomed as new businesses have ≥ealised its att≥action to consume≥s and the p≥ized millennial g≥oup in pa≥ticula≥. New businesses like Wa≥by Pa≥ke≥ and Baby Te≥esa have emb≥aced it, as have blue-chip businesses like Neiman Ma≥cus and Gene≥al Mills, whose Betty C≥ocke≥ b≥and ties sales of its f≥uit snacks to the donation of compute≥s to child≥en in Af≥ica. To date, Toms has given poo≥ child≥en 10 million pai≥s of shoes, and clea≥ vision has been ≥esto≥ed to some 200,000 people as a ≥esult of sales of its eyewea≥. The idea fo≥ extending the model came to Mycoskie du≥ing a yea≥ in which he was ponde≥ing what to do to add≥ess c≥iticism that Toms’ one-to-one shoe p≥og≥am did little to add≥ess the fundamental p≥oblems develop that business. Stephanie St≥om, NYTS hat do shoes and co≠ee have in common?
March 10th 2014
March 24th 2014