Quick Guide To Good Seasoning

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Follow our quick guide to good seasoning here, for all your Christmas cooking this festive season!

Sprinkle the salt, grind the pepper
There are a few little tips for  the correct use of salt  and pepper in your dishes.

  • Chefs add salt to dishes as they cook, for very good reason. The heat of the dish helps the salt grains or flakes dissolve properly, creating a carefully balanced and rounded result in the final dish.
  • At home, if you add salt carefully as you cook, tasting as you go, you will know when you hit the right balance.
  • Adding salt at the table to already salted foods, can swing the balance of flavours out, as well as leading to excess salt use over time, as the palate gets used to wanting a more intense salty flavour.
  • The quality of the salt you use makes a massive difference to the taste of the dish and the amount you need. 
  • Professional cooks and food writers are not being snobby when they tell you to use freshly ground black pepper. When you freshly grind your pepper for each recipe, you get a truly aromatic heat to the finished flavour.
  • Invest in a decent pepper mill - or write it down as a gift on your wanted pressies list!
  • Buying whole dried black peppercorns in bags is cheaper than buying the small containers of them in supermarkets. When you have opened your bag of peppercorns to fill your pepper mill, secure the bag and store it in a plastic snap top box, so the remaining peppercorns won’t lose flavour.
  • Mix whole dried black, white and green dried peppercorns in your mill for a colourful blend with subtle peppery differences in flavour.
  • Season your festive meats with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, prior to cooking. This will help infuse the seasoning into the meat as it cooks.

Sourcing Great Sea Salt
Three Good Food Ireland members concentrate on making pure natural sea salt from waters harvested around the west and east coasts of Ireland. Both have a story to tell!

Rebirth of an ancient tradition
There has been a longstanding tradition of sea salt production on Achill Island in Co. Mayo. In recent years Kieran O'Malley, his wife Marjorie, son Seán and daughter Maebh have re-rejuvenated the practice by producing Achill Island Sea Salt in the old fashioned way, from the pure water of the Atlantic Ocean. Fresh seawater is harvested from the ocean by hand, just like in previous generations, except Kieran and his family have replaced the buckets once used for tanks that can hold 2000 litres. This water is then made into a brine, before being crystallised and dried to produce a flakey, crunchy salt, much loved by chefs and consumers alike.

The complex mineral character of this salt comes from minerals naturally occurring in the Atlantic Ocean around Achill Island, and the spring waters which flow down from the mountains on the island into the sea. A little goes a long way here, as the taste is complex, minerally and balanced.

Heading to Gifted - The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair this weekend? Make sure to stop by Achill Island Sea Salt's stand at the fair. 

Re-discovering the ancient Kingdom of Oriel
The ancient Kingdom of Oriel, which includes Co. Louth, has thousands of years of history. Clogherhead, the majestic coastal headland which was part of the ancient Kingdom, is named from the Irish word ‘clogher’ meaning rocky. This was the place from where Neolithic settlers found the large rocks and boulders used to build the famous Newgrange Neolithic Tomb in the Boyne Valley. Going further back, Clogherhead is credited with being the ‘Birthplace of Ireland.’ Five hundred million years ago, this part of the coast was the center of an important Tectonic Plate shift, which saw the continents of America and Europe collide.  Geologicial experts say the ‘concertina’ folds in the rocks at Clogherhead show the smashing together of the land in this huge shift, to reveal how the island of Ireland was formed. Add to all this unique history, the fact that the waters around this part of the coast are richer in salt and minerals than any other part of Ireland.

This designation helps secure true regional culinary identity for Ireland. Oriel Sea Salt is a fine grained salt, available as a natural, slightly clumping sea salt, or a kiln dried free running. Both are intensely flavoured with the natural salt and mineral content of the water here. You don’t need very much to enhance your Christmas cooking. Oriel Teeling Whiskey Smoked Sea Salt is a brilliant product for marinades for meat or fish this Christmas.

Duvillaun Fine Foods
Jane Harnett is a woman of many talents. Her family and her have already set up a successful food business, Harnett's Oils on their Waringstown Estate in Co. Down, which has been producing Award Winning Oils for some time. All of Harnett’s oils are made from homegrown seeds, cold pressed and bottled at the farm. Hemp oil is unique among edible oils for its perfect balance of Omega 3,6 and 9 essential fatty acids, highly acclaimed for good heart health and skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Dubh Salt is branded under the Duvillaun Fine Foods label, and comes in handy 100g bottle salt grinders. It has a strong fresh salty flavour of the sea and a little goes a long way to seasoning any dish. A perfect partner with Harnett’s Culinary Oils, for making any dish taste absolutley delish!

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