Bake Away the January Blues & Flex your Culinary Muscles with Calum Franklin & Rory O’Connell

Of late I have invested more timing is preparing our evening meal, reading cookbooks, trying to create greater variety in our menu and so I turned to The Pie Room by Calum Franklin.  If you are looking for comfort food for the long January nights, look no more – Discover the definitive pie bible from self-confessed pastry deviant, chef and London’s King of Pies – Calum knows good pies and in his debut cookbook, The Pie Room, he presents a treasure trove of recipes for some of his favourite ever pastry dishes. Want to learn how to create the ultimate sausage roll? Ever wished to master the humble chicken and mushroom pie? In this collection of recipes discover the secrets to 80 delicious and achievable pies and sides, both sweet and savoury, veggie and meat, including hot pork pies, cheesy dauphinoise and caramelised onion pie, hot and sour curried cod pie, the ultimate beef Wellington and rhubarb and custard tarts.

Alongside the recipes Calum guides you through the techniques and tools for perfecting your pastry. Within these pages you’ll find details including how to properly line pie tins, or how to crimp your pastry and decorate your pies so they look like true show-stoppers. Say hello to your new foodie obsession and get ready to create your very own pie masterpiece.  I have baked the Stuffed Sea Bass en Croute (page 184)– it was delicious served with green beans topped with toasted slivered almonds, and cheesy dauphinoise (page 114).  Use the frozen pastry from the supermarket if you are stuck for time or ingredients.  The Chicken, Mushroom and Tarragon Pie (page 148)is another great recipe, although I would recommend using shallots in the cooking of the pie sauce.  Try serving Colcannon with kale as a side dish, and broccoli spears tossed in butter.


Rory’s book is aptly named, not only a collection of good things to eat, showcasing the best of Irish seasonal produce from Rustic Chicken, Swiss Chard and Tarragon Tart to Blackberry and Sweet Geranium Posset, The Joy of Food is also a celebration of everything Rory is passionate about: first-rate ingredients, simple and respectful cooking techniques and the absolute pleasure that comes from enjoying and sharing the result. Accompanying the recipes are Rory’s charming original illustrations and personal essays in praise of everything from hazelnuts to the humble hen. The Joy of Food is, quite simply, a book for every food lover’s home.

Much and all as I am enjoying this time spent cooking at home, here’s to a return to our wonderful local restaurants in Howth when restrictions are lifted.

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