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12 New Signature NI Dishes Created at Balmoral Show 2013

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Food NI proudly presented the NI Signature Kitchen at this year’s Good Food Pavilion at the Balmoral Show, 15 to 17 May 2013. A line up of talented local chefs cooked up a delicious collection of NI signature dishes throughout the three days.

These dishes showcased the wealth of local produce available both to buy, and on restaurant menus, demonstrating that Northern Ireland can offer a high quality food experience for both domestic and international visitors.

The NI Signature Kitchen demonstrated the high quality food experience which visitors can expect when they stay in Northern Ireland, whether they choose to dine out, take a class at one of our cookery schools or opt to buy fresh local produce and prepare it for themselves!

Here is a collection of some of the recipes cooked up by our local chefs at the show:

Poached Glenarm organic salmon with crab and potato salad

This dish was cooked by Danny Millar, the Head Chef at Balloo House

Serves 4-6

For the salmon
4 x 100g Glenarm organic salmon
200mls fish stock
50mls white wine
2 parsley stocks
2 tarragon stalks
For the crab and potato salad
150g white Strangford crab meat
6 Comber potatoes
1 small bunch chives
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
4tbsp good mayonnaise

For the salmon
Bring fish stock, parsley, and white wine to the boil. Gently poach salmon for
4 minutes. Keep warm.

For the crab and potato salad
Cook potatoes, skin on. Drain and remove skins. Keep warm. Finely chop
parsley and chives. Add mayonnaise with herbs and crabmeat. Crush
potatoes with a fork. Combine ingredients. Check seasoning.


Finnebrogue venison with potato boxty and Spring vegetables

This dish was cooked by Danny Millar the Head Chef at Balloo House

Serves 4
800g Finnebrogue venison fillet, trimmed
100g butter
100g roasted hazelnuts
50ml rape seed oil
50g chopped parsley
Selection of spring vegetables
For the potato boxty
50g/2oz butter
100g/3½oz spring cabbage, sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
100g/3½oz bacon
200g/7oz potatoes, peeled, cooked and roughly mashed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the potato boxty, melt half of the butter in a pan until foaming, then gently
fry the cabbage, scallions and bacon for 4-5 minutes, or until the cabbage is
tender. Add the cooked potatoes to the pan, stirring well, then season to taste
with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to
cool slightly, then shape into four equal-sized patties.
Cook vegetables in salted boiling water.
Sear seasoned venison fillet in the butter and a little oil for 4 minutes either
side and set somewhere warm to rest. In the same pan add the hazelnuts, oil
and chopped parsley.
Cook the boxtys for 5 minutes either side in a pan with the remaining butter.
Place boxty in centre of plate and garnish with seasonal vegetables. Carve
venison, place on boxtys and pour over hazelnut dressing.

Trio of local seafood

(Walter Ewing smoked salmon, Kilkeel crab & prawn)
With black pepper mayo & ceviche dressing.

Cooked by the Chef Proprietor Anton Campbell from Del Toro Steakhouse & Urban Grill

7 ingredients: Finely diced red onions/ shallots, red chilli, juice of 2 limes, 1/2 avocado, coriander,
tomato concasse, grape seed oil. Season appropriately.
Black pepper mayo
Mix mayonnaise, black pepper & lemon juice.
Mixed leaf salad
Mix with honey mustard dressing.
Mix crab & prawn together with black pepper mayo.
Dress salad mix with honey mustard dressing & build on a plate. Use a round mould, add the prawn & crab first, then the smoked salmon.
Garnish with ceviche & serve with Anton’s homemade wheaten bread.

Gourmet Surf & Turf 

Cooked by the Chef Proprietor Anton Campbell from Del Toro Steakhouse & Urban Grill

Grilled Kilkeel lobster & chargrilled Hereford fillet with Dale Farm butter sauce
1 whole lobster
8oz beef fillet
Court bouillon
Chargrilled vegetables
Asparagus, red onion & handful of carrots
2 egg yolks
2oz white wine
Lemon juice
Cayenne pepper
Worcester sauce
Bring court bouillon to the boil & cook lobster for 4 minutes.
Refresh/ cool down lobster by placing in iced water.
Trim the fillet.
Make hollandaise (whisk yolks & wine, add clarified butter & season)
Season & chargrill the fillet (medium to rare, pink all the way through).
Split the lobster & grill for 1 minute with butter & lemon juice.
Garnish & present.

Beef Shin Burger

This dish was cooked by Chef Michael O'Conor of The Barking Dog Restaurant  


For the beef shin centre;
1kg beef shin on bone
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 small leek
1 head garlic
2 sticks celery
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 bottle red wine
10 white peppercorns
100ml Olive oil
2 litres beef stock
1 litres chicken stock

For the Burger;
100ml Olive oil
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
10 sprigs thyme (picked)
500g lean beef mince
¼ bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped)
50g tomato ketchup
25g Dijon mustard
1 small handful bread crumbs
1 small egg

For the beef shin centre;
Pre-heat oven to 110c
Place the beef into a large container and add the onion, carrot, leek, garlic, celery, thyme, bay leaves, red wine and peppercorns. Leave to marinade, in the fridge for 24 hours. The next day drain off the liquid and keep the liquid in a separate container.
Place a large pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Sear the shin in the hot pan, with no salt until golden brown all over. Place into a large tray that will hold all of the shin and vegetables. Place the reserved vegetables into the hot pan that the beef had been cooked in and colour them all over, add to the beef.
Place the beef and chicken stock into a separate pan and bring to the boil, reduce the liquor by half. Pour the reduce stock over the beef and cover with tin foil. Cook in the pre heated oven for 10-12 hours or until the meat is very tender and falling from the bone.

Co. Armagh Spring lamb Cutlets on a bed of Braised Red Cabbage, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with a wild Garlic Pesto Dressing.

This dish was cooked by Meryvn Steenson, Head chef, Groucho’s Cafe Bar.

8 x French trimmed lamb cutlets
For the braised red cabbage
1 small red cabbage, cored and sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
    150g/5½oz unsalted butter
200ml/7fl oz red wine vinegar
50g/2oz clear honey
100g/3½oz Demerara sugar
1 bay leaf
Sprig thyme

To make the red cabbage.
Mix together all of the ingredients. Put into a roasting tray and cover with foil. Place in the oven and cook for about 1½ hour, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Wild Garlic Pesto
 1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed
 1 small bunch of curly parsley, washed
 60gms walnuts
 60gms parmesan cheese
 150mls olive oil (I mixed half extra virgin, half normal)
 squeeze of lemon juice
 Salt and pepper

To make the wild Garlic Pesto.
Place all the ingredients into a food processor apart from the olive oil and blitz for a minute or two then slowly pour in the olive oil until blended.

To make the Lamb dish.
Make the braised Red Cabbage & put into oven, meanwhile make Wild Garlic Pesto.
When the Red Cabbage is ready, start the Lamb Cutlets on a hot pan with Olive Oil & cook for 2 ½ mins each side & put into oven for a further 3-4 mins with the Cherry Tomatoes drizzled with Olive Oil.
Then to assemble the dish, place the Red Cabbage on the plate & rest 3 lamb Cutlets on top, set the roasted Cherry Tomatoes to the side & drizzle around the plate & over the Cutlets with Wild Garlic Pesto.  Northern Irish Salt aged Beef Medallions with parisienne roast vegetables, beetroot puree, peppered savoy and balsamic reduction

Northern Irish Salt aged Beef Medallions with parisienne roast vegetables, beetroot puree, peppered savoy and balsamic reduction

This dish was cooked by Chef Stuart Hawthorne of Molly Browns Kitchen Bar

(Serves 4)

Butter/rape seed oil                                     
4 sprig thyme                                       
1 punnet cherry tomato's                  
1 sweet potato                                                           
1 courgette                                                                    
1 savoy cabbage
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 raw beetroot
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
15g cold butter
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
100ml apple juice
100ml chicken stock
salt aged beef sirloin/rib eye  

Parisienne, sweet potato and courgette. Pan seared sweet potato for 3-4 minutes then transfer to oven at 180 degrees until tender then add courgette and tomato for a further 5 minutes with seasoning and thyme.
 Peel beetroot and dice. Add chicken stock and apple juice to pan and cook beetroot until tender. Remove and save the liquid, then blend beetroot with garlic, thyme and butter until smooth. Use saved liquid if needed to adjust consistency.
 Reduce balsamic vinegar with redcurrant jelly, add red wine and beef stock with sprig of thyme. Simmer until reduced to a third, skim then blend in butter.
 Add savoy leaves, trimmed to seasoned boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer to ice water. Pan fry with butter and cracked black peppercorns.
 Pan sear medallions to your liking and leave to rest. Arrange savoy and vegetables with beef, topped with beetroot puree and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Pan Roasted Turbot - Served with Samphire, Pickled Beetroot, Beetroot Purée & Deep Fried Boilie Goats Cheese

This dish was cooked by Chef Niall Gorham of Oysters Restaurant

Ingredients – Beetroot Accompaniments
(Sourced ex. Chef’s own garden)

5  x cooked beetroot
50ml / 2floz. white wine vinegar
50gms / 2oz. sugar
50ml / 2floz. blackcurrant juice
2 x star anise

Cooking Method – Pickled Beetroot
Cut 2 of the beetroot into 2cm / ¾” cubes. Meanwhile, place the sugar, vinegar and star anise in a pot and bring to the boil. Add the beetroot. Simmer for ½ min & remove from heat. Leave to one side.

Cooking Method –Beetroot Purée
Place the cut-up beetroot into a food blender together with the blackcurrant juice. Blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and season to taste. Leave to one side.

Ingredients – Boilie Goats Cheese
(Sourced ex. Fivemiletown Cheeses, Co. Tyrone)

12  x Boilie goats cheese
50gms / 2oz. plain flour
75gms / 3oz. fine head breadcrumbs
1 x egg
25ml / 1 floz. milk
250ml vegetable oil / rapeseed oil

Cooking Method – Boilie Goats Cheese
Sequentially, dip the goats cheese in the flour, the egg wash and the bread crumbs. Repeat the process to ensure a second coating.

Heat the oil in a pot to approximately 170°C (but not to boiling point). Add the goats cheese. Remove again when golden brown in colour. Place in kitchen roll and keep warm.
Ingredients – Samphire
(Sourced ex. Co. Donegal)

200gms samphire
10oz. butter
Salt & pepper

Cooking Method – Samphire
Place the Samphire in a boiling pot of water for ½ min, drain and place in a bowl. Add butter and seasoning.

Ingredients – Pan-roasted Turbot
(Sourced ex. Greencastle Harbour, Co. Donegal)

4  x 200gms Turbot
Salt & pepper
1 x tablespoons of rapeseed oil
25ml / 1 floz. butter

Cooking Method – Pan-roasted Turbot
Heat the oil in a frying pan (over a medium heat). Add the turbot (seasoned) and cook for 2-3 mins on each side. Remove onto a tray and place in oven for 3-4 mins.

Place the samphire in the middle of the plate, followed by the beetroot purée positioned at 12 o’clock, 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock. Run a teaspoon through the purée. Position one diced beetroot on top of each of the purées. Position the goats cheese on the plate at 2 o’clock, six o’clock and 10 o’clock. Finally, lay the turbot on top of the samphire.

Pork Fillet with a Leek Mash Potato, Sweet Red Onion & Seed Mustard Cream Sauce

This dish was cooked by Chef Martin McCann of Truffles Restaurant

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time:  30 mins

1 pork fillet
1 red onion
1 tub of mash
1 leek
1 tsp of seed mustard
300ml of double ceam
100g of sugar
30g of butter

1.  Peel red onion and cut into four
2.  Fry off leeks in butter
3.  Put sugar into water and boil
4.  Put 300ml of water on to boil for rice
5. Trim pork fillet and cut into, 1cm slices
6.  Add red onion to water and sugar, boil for ten minutes then leave to cool
7.  Heat mash and add little double cream and add fried leeks
8.  Fry off slices of pork
9. Toss cooked red onion in a pan with butter
10.Boil double cream and add salt and pepper with seed mustard

Healthy Beef Stroganoff

This dish was cooked by Chef Martin McCann of Truffles Restaurant

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time:  30 minutes

500g sirloin cut into small strips
350g mushrooms
TSP thyme
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
Chicken stock melt made up in 300ml of water
200ml fat free yoghurt
Fry Light 1 tbsp smash (optional)
30ml of brandy(optional use 70 calories from bonus allowance if using brandy otherwise free)
Onion chopped
2 tsp lazy garlic

Instructions - Beef Stroganoff Health Option Dish
1.  Saute chopped onion with lazy garlic in fry light for 2 mins
2.  Add sliced mushrooms and fry for 1 min
3.  Add the gayenne pepper, mustard powder thyme and stock
4.  Bring to boil and reduce for 10 mins
5.  Add smash if required to thicken
6.  Take off heat and stir in yoghurt
7.  In separate pan add the steak strips with fry light in hot pan
8.  Fry 2 mins each side
9.  Add the optional brandy and flame if confident if not fry for 2 mins to cook off alcohol
10.Then add the mushroom sauce to steak and heat for 1 min
11.Serve with chips or rice.  Everything free except 70 calories for brandy which is optional
12. Great with chicken, pork or beef

Glenarm Smoked Salmon

This dish was cooked by Chef Jay Eisenstadt of the Stormont Hotel

3 oz. Glenarm organic salmon sliced thinly
1 oz. Kearney blue cheese mousse(recipe below)
1 slice Irwin’s potato bread
1 tsp. olive oil
2 oz. watercress
½ lemon (cut in angle and grilled-for garnish)

Drizzle olive oil over slice of potato bread and place in oven to warm, grill lemon wedge, toss watercress in olive oil. To assemble on wooden plate place warm potato bread, fold smoked salmon neatly on top of bread, top with a quenelle of Kearney Blue cheese mousse, on one side place grilled lemon on other side place dressed watercress, serve immediately.

Kearney Bleu Cheese Mousse

4 wheels Kearney Bleu Cheese 
1 litre cream
Chopped parsley
Cracked Black Pepper

Cut Bleu Cheese into small pieces, microwave for 10-15 seconds, place in mixer, mix on high speed gradually adding the cream until you have a light creamy texture, finish with chopped parsley and cracked black pepper.

Thai Green Curry of Prawns

This dish was cooked by ChefsTony O’Neill & Darren Baker - Happy Angels Restaurant

Green curries, along with red are the most well-known curries outside of Thailand. It should be a very hot curry with a small amount of sweetness, the Thais sometimes use no sugar at all, but I find a little sugar balances the flavours better and reduces the fierce bite of the chillies. Green curries are best served with fish, shellfish and chicken.
Start by frying the paste in separated coconut cream and finish with coconut milk, lime leaves and lots of fresh herbs.
The final flavour should be hot and salty with very little sweetness.
All of the ingredients for the Thai curry can be bought at Asian food stores and are all very handy store cupboard ingredients to have on hand, as they keep for a long time.
A fresh Thai curry is a blend of different strong flavours, balancing hot, sweet, sour and salty with none dominating the end result. This recipe can be made easier by buying a good quality curry paste but if you have the time it is well worth trying to make your own paste. The end results are a fresher tasting curry.

For the curry paste;
10 coriander seeds
10 cumin seeds
10 white peppercorns
12 green birds eye chillies, chopped
12 long green chillies, seeded and chopped
4 lemongrass trimmed and chopped
6 bulbs galangal
1bunch of scallions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup coriander chopped
2tblsp turmeric
Grated zest of 2 limes
10 lime leaves, chopped
2tsp roasted shrimp paste


Lightly pan roast the coriander seeds, cumin and peppercorns. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder. Add all the ingredients into a mortar and pound to a smooth paste.

Making the curry;

3 tins of coconut milk *
100ml veg oil
2tblsp green curry paste *
3 lime leaves, crushed in your hand *
2tblsp fish sauce *
1tblsp palm sugar *
32 prawns per person, peeled and deveined
2 long green chillies, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 aubergine, peeled, diced and sautéed
4 small Bok choi, sliced *
1tblsp coriander chopped
1tblsp Thai basil shredded


Remove the solidified coconut cream at the top of 2 of the coconut tins and place into a wok. Place the wok over high heat and add the oil and bring to the boil. Keep stirring all the time, the coconut cream and the oil will split and the cream will release a very aromatic flavour. When this happens add the paste and the lime leaves, keep cooking, stirring continually until all the aromas come out of the paste and it is sizzling fiercely. This will take about 10mins, be careful not to burn the paste. Add the fish sauce and the sugar, cook for 1 minute, then add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add the prawns, chillies and aubergine and cook very gently until the prawns are just cooked. Stir in the bok choi and the basil. Ladle into large bowls and serve with steamed Thai rice.

* all these items are available at Asian supermarkets.

Thai Roast Pork Belly & Pineapple Salad

This dish was cooked by ChefsTony O’Neill & Darren Baker - Happy Angels Restaurant.

Salads are very important to the Thai’s. The word for salad in Thai dialect is yam and basically means toss together. Salads in Thailand are very different to that of western cuisine. Where we would associate a salad of a selection of green leaves with mellow vinaigrette, the Thai yam would be an assortment of ingredients tossed in a very pungent dressing, and most of the time there are no leaves present at all. All Thai salads are famed for their distinctive flavours that tantalises and cleanse the palate as well as add a lot of heat during a banquette of dishes that would be served at a Thai meal.

Serves  4

For the salad;
2 baby gem lettuce, ripped
½ ripe pineapple, peeled and diced
14 fresh mint leaves
12 coriander leaves
4 scallions finely sliced
2 red shallots finely sliced
2 Birdseye chillies, sliced
1 small cucumber peeled, deseeded and sliced

For the dressing;
500ml brighter gold rapeseed oil
2 shallots, finely diced
1tblsp red curry paste
1 large knob ginger, peeled and diced
4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
100g palm sugar, grated
100ml rice wine vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
50ml fish sauce
Coriander chopped

For the syrup;
Trim from the pineapple
100g palm sugar
100ml water
4 star anise

300g piece of pork belly, salted and roasted

For the dressing;
Heat 3tblsp of the oil in a wok and add the shallots, paste, ginger and chillies fry over medium heat and cook until the paste smells very fragrant. Add the sugar and the vinegar and cook to a light syrup.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and the remaining oil. Finally add the coriander, taste to make sure the flavours are well balanced.
The taste should be hot, sweet, sour and salty with no flavour overpowering the other.

For the syrup;
Place all of the ingredients into a pot and bring to the boil. Turn to a simmer and cook for 5-6mins or until a light syrup is achieved. Remove the star anise and pass the syrup through a sieve pushing as much of the pineapple through. Set aside and leave to cool to room temperature.

To complete the salad;
Place all of the salad ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Add 4–5tblsp of the dressing and mix well. Dust the pork belly slices in a little rice flour and toss well. Deep fry the pork at 180°C in a fryer until golden brown and crispy.  Place the salad onto a serving plate and pork belly and arrange on top.  Drizzle over a little of the syrup and serve at once.

Tom Yum

This dish was cooked by Chefs Tony O’Neill & Darren Baker of Happy Angels Restaurant

Tom yum is a spicy clear soup typical from Laos and Thailand and is widely served in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Tom Yum has been popularised around the world. It is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, Kaffia lime leaves, lime juice, fish sauce and hot chilli peppers.

1ltr of chicken stock
1 stalks of lemon grass, sliced
1 bulb of galangal, chopped
3 lime leaves, crushed
150g tom yum paste
8 green birds eye chillies, finely sliced
50g Palm sugar
50ml Fish sauce

To Serve;
Portavogie prawns
Coriander and Thai basil chopped
Scallion chopped
Oyster mushrooms torn
Cherry tomatoes cut in half
Lime juice

Bring the stock to the boil, add the lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves and tom yum paste, simmer for a minute. Add the chillies, sugar and fish sauce. The soup should taste sour but balanced and fiery hot.

To Serve;
Place a portion of broth into a pan and bring to the boil, add the prawns and simmer for a minute, add the herbs, scallions and the mushrooms. Finish with lime juice and serve.


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