Walkers ‘Do us a flavour’ competition

17 Feb

Jennifer Maguire and Eoghan McDermott cooking up a storm….

Do you ever look at something in life and think- I could do this better? Now is your chance . Walkers recently launched their ‘Do us a flavour’ competition. The competition will crown one winner as Walkers’ first ever ‘flavour millionaire’ (#FlavourMillionaire). From now up until 4th March you can add your idea through the Walkers Facebook page . At that stage, a panel of judges will be in charge of whittling down the entries to six finalists, whose flavours will be launched during the summer and the Irish & British public will then decide on their favourite.

The competition (which those of us of a certain age will remember) first ran back in 2008. As a twist this year Walkers are asking contestants to pick from  Cheddar, Chicken, Pork, Sour Cream, Tomatoes or Beef as a base and then go crazy with another flavour.

 

What crazy concoction would you go for?

Competition time! -CLOSED

30 Jan

It has been a while since I have a run a competition here on ze blog. This one comes courtesy of Baking Mad.

The site is one stop shop for all those who are baking mad. See what I did there? It is a great resource for the home baker with a very helpful search engine on the site. It also is a very visually appealing place to peruse a few recipes for dessert!

Prize pack

Prize pack

The wonderful prize consists of a Baking Mad recipe book, along with icing, flavourings, sprinkles and fantastic ‘colour creators’. Everything a baker needs to make their creations stand out! Perhaps you could decorate a Victoria Sponge or personalise some brownies for friends?

 

the competition is now closed:

1) Subscribe to the blog in the box over there to the right ———>

2) For other chances to win- head over to my social medias below and follow the steps there!

Like The Silver Chicken on Facebook.

Follow @silverchicken1 on Twitter

3) For a bonus entry- leave a comment below telling me what your favourite thing to bake is!

 

Terms and conditions:

Owing to the bulky nature of this prize. Competition is open to residents of the UK and Ireland only. Sorry.

Competition closes at midday Wednesday 5th February.

Winner will be picked at random from all the qualifying entries.

 

(Note: The prize for this giveaway was kindly supplied to me by Bakingmad.com)

 

 

 

Review: Super Miss Sue, Dublin 2

21 Jan

I passed a building site a few weeks ago. It was a work in progress but it was clear it would become an eatery. Fast forward a few weeks and this building site had transformed into the Cafe portion of Super Miss Sue. It is one of 2 eateries to open on the site, the other restaurant will follow along with a gin bar.

3 of us got a table here the other night. I was first to arrive and I was seated by some friendly staff, set up with drinks and the menu was explained. When the other two arrived, specials were explained to us and we set to examine the menu. There are small plates, oysters and a selection of larger plates along with a selection of sides. They also offer grilled platters.

Salmon Gradvalax

Salmon Gravlax

Scotch egg.

Scotch egg.

We started with smoked eel croquettes, Gravlax with saffron and citrus and a final plate of a cod brandade scotch egg. The smoked eel croquettes were disappointing for €8. They lacked any taste of the promised horseradish, and lacked any discernible quantity of eel, despite having a smoky taste. It was suggested that perhaps they were made with milk that had encountered some other smoked fish once upon a time. The salmon also lacked any citrus punch and was slightly on the salty side. The saffron made an appearance in a few dabs of oil on the plate. The best of the starters was the cod brandade scotch egg. It was cooked perfectly, but again was a little heavy on the seasoning.

For mains I opted for the hake special. It was served with chorizo and chickpeas. The fish was cooked nicely, the chorizo didn’t overpower but the chickpeas were dry and chalky. Dining companion A went for the ray special. This was served with a tomato/pepper sauce.  A modest wing was served and she was ultimately pleased with the dish. Dining companion B (who cooks for a living) was not so happy with their battered haddock. The batter still needed work in his opinion and he felt it hadn’t sealed the fish properly, resulting in a slightly oily bit of fish. The peas served with it were very disappointing, they looked unappealing and were devoid of any flavour or seasoning. The tartare sauce was also very one-dimensional. Generally it was thought that if you model yourself as largely a fish joint, these basics should be nailed. They still need work.

We skipped dessert and got three coffees that were on the border between too strong/slightly unpleasant. With four glasses of wine (€8.50) and two glasses of prosecco (€6.50) plus two sides it totalled out at €138. Super Miss Sue is a nice venue with friendly staff. The food however lets it down. If you had eaten the same food as pub grub, you’d be happy. However at this price, you expect the execution to be of a much higher level.

 

Super Miss Sue,

Unit 2-3 Drury Street car park.

Tel: (01) 6799009

 

Coffeeangel SNOWFLAKE Appeal

20 Dec

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Late 2012 and 2013 brought Dublin its first two Coffeeangel locations that weren’t on wheels. First in 2012 there was the popup on South Anne Street which thus far has forgotten to pop down. Then in 2013 the Pembroke Street Lower branch opened. During the last year I have got to know Karl and the gang in Coffeeangel- it’s always an enjoyable experience getting caffeinated in there. Consistently good coffee and served with a smile.

Anyways the real reason for this post is that on a recent visit I noticed some cool Christmas decorations hanging in the window. These stars are actually part of the above Snowflake appeal- and the monies raised will go to Barnardos. The limited editions stars are made from Finnish birch and are made in Dublin. The stars cost €6 each and you can read about them here.

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Swing by. The stars are available in both shops. Do some good and treat yourself to a coffee!

 

(All images used with permission.)

Review: The Greenhouse, Dawson Street.

28 Nov

This restaurant has caused quite a stir since it first opened. I had heard about head chef Mickael Viljanen from when he was in Gregan’s Castle. The words “Exciting food” were bandied about. When the greenhouse opened to very strong reviews- I waited to hear what the grapevine would say. Without fail, nothing but positive things came back about the work in the kitchen.  These reports came from friends who are very hard to please. All I needed was an excuse to go. When one arose, I leapt at the opportunity.

We were seated at banquette seating at the back of the restaurant. The soft furnishing and colours make the diners feel very cosy in what is effectively a glass block. As it was a bit of an occasion we decided the prudent thing to do would be to order the 7 course tasting menu. We told the maître d this. Upon which he did some thing rather peculiar. He asked would we not be interested in the chef’s surprise 5 course? Eh no. Why would a restaurant try to sell a cheaper menu?  In reality perhaps the kitchen were in trouble/short-staffed and they wanted to limit the courses going out. Anyways it wasn’t a great start. Just odd and we declined his suggestion. In addition to this the service throughout the meal was a little haphazard. I have the feeling our waiter may have been new(ish) and often his explanation of the various elements on the plate lacked any sort of detail.

The amuse-bouche were a pleasure to look at. Fennel meringues with an anchovy cream were a burst of flavour. Beetroot marshmallows were a big hit visually but lacked any depth of beetroot flavour. Little tartlets with a blue cheese filling were all sorts of salty goodness. In addition there were slightly larger chicken liver parfait tartlets too served with vanilla gel and gingerbread. Again there was no taste of gingerbread-but it was still delicious. I had major issues with the bread. It is far too delicious. It was a struggle not to fill up on it before the courses started arriving.

The first course of foie gras royale was a special bit of cooking. I don’t like foie gras. I loved this though. Served with various incarnations of apple coming in the shape of batons and gel. Add in a sliver of smoked eel, it made for an absolutely stunning flavour combination.

The langoustine with Brussels sprout and hazelnut was a bit of a hit and miss for me. I felt overall the dish was a little bitter and lacked balance. Saying that, it was still perfectly edible and I ate every bit.

Potato risotto was up next. Potato risotto is a dish I’m not sure about. If you want to feed me risotto, give me risotto. Potato risotto is either mash or cooked a little under. It is very hard to make the little shards retain their shape without it being undercooked. This was a very flavoursome dish but again I wasn’t wowed by its texture.

The fish course of glazed cod was stunning. It was served with an artichoke skin, and a scallop. Everything was cooked wonderfully and the flavours all worked together.

Up next was Bambi. Some delightfully rare venison was served with smoked milk, chanterelle, celeriac and elderberry. It was a glorious bit of meat cooked quite rare. It was full of savoury autumnal flavours and for me was probably the best course.

The first dessert was a sea buckthorn cream, gel and a caramel shard. I had never heard of this berry before let alone tasted it. I liked how light a plate of food it was after the heavier flavours of the preceding courses.

Dessert two was probably my least favourite course of the evening. It was a particularly nice chocolate disk in the center, imagine a dense mousse style creature. Then around it were dots of bergamot gel, prune and there was an accompanying hazelnut oil ice cream. Admittedly prune and bergamot are not my favourite flavours but I just felt this dish was a collection of random elements.

The petit fours were excellent with the exception of the smoked fudge. It was just too strong a taste at that stage in proceedings. The mini rum babas were a triumph. I would have eaten 7 courses of them, with their accompanying cream. The macaroons were also very pleasant creatures and the passionfruit chocolates were a zingy finish.

Some people talk about the Greenhouse as if it’s a religious experience. That it will change your life etc. It didn’t. Is it talented cooking? Without doubt. How other venues in Dublin have a star and this place doesn’t is beyond me. This truly is some of the most exciting cooking in Dublin. We all agreed though that the kitchen was let down slightly by the slightly skittish service front of house.

Would I go back? Definitely.

 

(I do better in soft lighting, but my photos don’t. I would be doing a disservice to the food to republish them here.)