Monday, November 30, 2009

Funny Photo Shoot

I recently worked on a shoot with photographer Harry Weir so lots of giggles going on (especially as he loves tiggling me when I'm not expecting it!). Here are some photos from the day...

Harry tried his hand at some food styling when I wasn't looking!

Harry pretending to be hard at work

Someone's in trouble, she's got the hand on her hip!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sausages Sausages

Here are some snaps from a shoot a few weeks ago for Hodgins sausages. We shot some sausage recipes for their soon to be revealed updated website as well as product shots of their complete range.

The hodgin's sausage family portrait

I won't be getting a packing job at Hodgin's the length of time it took me to get the pack on the right looking up to scratch for it's portrait!

Photographer Ciona and assistant Aoife hard at work

Me, multi-tasking, zhushing some food while catchin up on the gossip with Cliona (with Maureen from Estuary Marketing in the background)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Neven Maguire - HOMECHEF

Ok, so it was exciting to be away last week but unfortunately I missed Neven Maguire's new cookbook launch, HOMECHEF (published by HarperCollins). It was such a shame as it would have been lovely to clink glasses with all the team who worked on it and generally have a good old catch-up (not talking too much about work)! Anyhow, I hear everyone had a lovely evening where Neven cooked up a storm as usual.
Homechef is out now so I can now start showing you some recipes to tempt you. The rain is pelting down outside and the wind is blowing a gale so I'm thinking comfort food (& follower Deborah was looking for some wintery recipes so hopefully this will do the trick)! Use any stewing meat in place of the venison if preferred.


Serves 4-6

2 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
25g plain flour
2 tsp paprika
1kg venison haunch or shoulder, trimmed & cut into 1cm cubes
225g baby shallots, peeled & halved (keeping roots intact)
100g rindless smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
100ml red wine
900ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
100g carrots, diced
75g button mushrooms, wiped clean
salt and freshly ground black pepper
mashed potatoes, to serve
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F / Gas 4). Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and half the butter in a heavy based casserole with a lid. Season the flour and place in a shallow bowl with the paprika, mixing to combine. Use to lightly dust the venison, shaking off any excess, then add to the heated casserole in small batched and cook over a fairly high heat until well browned. Transfer to a plate until all the meat has been sealed, then set aside.

Add the remaining oil and butter with the shallots to the casserole with the smoked bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until the shallots are lightly browned and the bacon is golden. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds. Pour the red wine in and allow to bubble down a little for 1-2 minutes, while scraping the sediment from the bottom. Pour in the beef stock and tomato puree. Return the meat and juices to the casserole and bring to the boil, then add the thyme and bay leaves. Season to taste, cover with the lid and transfer to the oven for 2 hours until the venison is almost tender and cooked through.

Remove the casserole from the oven, stir in the carrots and mushrooms and return to the oven to cook for another 30 minutes or until the venison and vegetables are completely tender. Season to taste.

Spoon the mashed potatoes into the centre of wide-rimmed bowls and spoon the venison bourguignon on top. Garnish with the parsley and serve at once.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kirstie's Homemade Christmas

If you watched the Channel 4 series, 'Kirstie's Homemade Home' earlier in the year you may be as excited as I was to hear that there is a three part Christmas special coming up soon (dates TBA soon). Although I am even more excited again as I actually got to work on it!! That was my secret trip....I have just spent the last week in Meadowgate, presenter Kirstie Allsopp's holiday let home which I watched unfold on the series, from a dilapidated house into the gorgeous home it now you can excuse me for busting at the seams to be actually working there!! And my, it is just breath-takingly gorgeous...

Kirstie got some Christmas cooking tips from the lovely Amy Willcock

gorgeous stylist chehvani dresses the table

ok, so it wasn't all glitz & glam....My home for the week was really a mobile kitchen.....but in fareness this has to be the best view from one EVER!

camerman Cliff films some food porn!

food porn....but more about that in future posts

Thank you so much to Karen Convery for all her hard work, perfectionism, organisation and calmness in helping me (once again)! Thanks also to amazing director Amanda Fidler for getting me on board in the first place! It was lovely also to work with all the glasgow gang of IWC Media who produce the show. Group hug!

P.S. Click here to check out Kirstie's tweet pics during filming!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho..'s off to work I go....this time I'm off on a job I have been trying to contain my excitement over for the last couple of months....finally it is here and I'm all packed up with everything including the kitchen sink as usual. Now filled with nervous anticipation I'm on my way. I'll be back in a week or so to fill you in on what it's all about and whether or not I managed to not burst a blood vessel with excitement!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cookbook award

How very exciting that a cookbook I worked on last year (as per this post), 'From Tide To Table' by Georgina Campbell, was recently announced as the winner of the Bord Bia / Listowel Food Fair 'Irish Food Book of the Year'. Pat on the back for all the team!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Christmas!

I know, sorry, I probably shouldn't mention those two words yet, but take pity on all of those who work a season ahead and have christmas in the summer. I actually enjoyed this christmas shoot for once mostly because I got to relish in a yummy Christmas lunch (and for someone who is now without a kitchen at home, entirely to the point of having the wash the dishes in the bath, this is a very welcome thing!). The shoot was for Country Living Magazine in the Farmers Journal with photographer Jack Caffery and thanks to Denise for her fab help once again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back from the abyss

Oops, where have I been?! Well, I pretty much haven't taken a breath since I finished working on Neven's series (and in fact I haven't even unpacked the boxes of gear yet, now that i think of it, darn)....What with 'operation move office' going on around lots of busy jobs and generally trying hard (but not always succeeding!) not to have a complete meltdown (agghh!)....But I'm back and there's lots to catch up on which I will try and do over the next couple of days. In the meantime, here's a mad snap of mad photographer Harry Weir on a mad shoot we did at Phelim Byrne's lovely and calm cookery school in wexford...d-e-e-p b-r-e-a-t-h-s a-n-d r-e-l-a-x...