Wow what a night.Last night was the third night of the 'Taste of Cork' series in Brennan's Cookery School and we had the pleasure of Lambros from Star Anise and his lovely wife. He started of with background information on his career and the beginnings of Star Anise. But then the 'serious' part kicked off. I was a very very happy woman as the menu was very diverse. He cooked Pan-fried Seabass with Aubergine Chutney and Paprika Oil. The skin of the fish was crispy, the aubergine chutney was spicy without burning the throat and the paprika oil added a nice touch to the dish. Then we moved on to a Tartiflet (basically a potato-onion dish with a big piece of cheese on top which melts devinely into the dish). The Bulgar Wheat with spiced butternut squash was a winner not only with me but with the rest of the 'gang' as well (this dish will find its way into my lunchbox, that's for sure). The slowcooked lamb in filo pastry looked impressive and the 'hmmms' and 'yums' were a clear indication how it tasted. But I think the star of the night was the prawn tempura with the fennel and orange salad....wow wow...couldn't stop nipping away on it...I might be using this dish actually in my next dinner party in 2 weeks.
I have been in Star Anise a couple of times over the last few years, mostly with French friends and was always impressed with the food (check out http://www.menupages.ie/Cork/Restaurants/Cork_Centre/Star_Anise.aspx for reviews). Will have to go back there soon.
Wine was again provided by Bubble Brothers and Clare does know how to make a woman (at least this one here) very happy indeed. She started of with a Raboso, a rose Prosecco (my favourite Prosecco in the whole wide world...just ask Austin at the English Market ;-). The red was a Sinfarosa Primitivio (2006) from Italy. A smooth wine with no harsh aftertaste. I haven't tried this wine before and now I wonder why that is...check out http://www.bubblebrothers.com/ for more info (they also have a cool blog with tons of information run by Julian). Clare also mixed a wine 'spritzer' for us which was a nice pre-dinner drink (a mix of Martini, white wine, sugar syrup, sliced oranges and lemon topped up with sparkling water).
Dennis Cotter is the star of next weeks 'show'. Can't wait for his new recipes. I really hope he will cook some dishes from his new cookbook.....watch this space....see ya later....