Getting my Rave on in Lehinch, a seaside town on the northwest coast of County Clare
Ireland’s always been on my wish list! We get a surprising number of clients requesting an Irish flair in their menus and we’ve had several really warm & fuzzy Irish employees over the years that I’ll never forget, like Gary, the happiest guy on earth, who ended up staying in the US and marrying a beautiful american girl.
Travelzoo had an insane deal for 640.00 for five nights in pretty nice hotels dotted along a great road trip around the country starting from Dublin, a rental car & direct flights. Hard to resist.
Driving a manual on the “wrong” side of the road on the “wrong” side of the car was the challenge. The roads are often ridiculously narrow and harrowing, but Jeffrey, my fiance, truly nailed it and won my heart one more time.
We went from Dublin to Kilkenny, Claire, Galway and many little towns along the way. We had a blast stopping at the Cliffs of Moher. having a classic, glorious Irish breakfast in the Dromoland Castle and explored lots of other castles, ancient charming towns, restaurants & pubs.
A highlight was the Ard Bia Restaurant in Galway city, with organic roots in traditional Irish fare with a modern, worldly influence housed in an ancient tiny building perched on the edge of the River Corrib with old bare wood kitchen tables & low ceilings. The name Ard Bia translates to “High Food” in Irish. In this enchanted tiny space a a woman chef named Aoibheann and her team make magic and the feeling is warm & as welcoming as the food. Travelling is where Aoibheann gets her ideas and her menu is very biographical, I felt I’d found a fellow traveling creative, a kindred spirit in a far away place.
The Ard Bia cookbook is an inspiration. I’d like to share with you her recipe for bread & butter pudding, a rich luscious concoction with chocolate & brandy, perfect for the holidays or a sumptuous Sunday.
AOIBHEANN BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING
4 old croissants (fresh is fine too or panettone; (finally! a use of those things lol)
1 large bar of 70% chocolate
4 tbl brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 shot brandy
to serve: fresh whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 400. Generously butter a quart loaf tin, deep baking dish or individual ramekins.
Shave the chocolate with a knife or chop up into small pieces. Tear up the croissants and scatter into the baking vessel, layering the chocolate & croissants.
In a sauce pan mix the cream & sugar, vanilla seeds & pod, eggs & brandy. Bring to a boil, simmer 2-3 minutes & removed the pod. Pour the custard over the croissants and bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes.
See you out there~
With Love, Lynette La Mere, Pure Joy Catering, Executive Chef
a glorious classic irish breakkie at the Dromoland Castle Hotel.
the fabled Cliffs of Moher
Beef n stout pie, mashed peas & potatoes in Galway, and the ever present "Brown Gravy"
Classic Dublin pub Din Din
Lovely Irish chicks at Bunratty Castle from 1251
Sweet work of art at Ard Bia in Galway
A cascade of cliffs, the Cliffs of Moher