Hi and welcome to WildFoodMary.com!

Mary Bulfin - Forager

Photo by Harry Weir for Food and Wine magazine

Mary Bulfin,I am a forager, chef, and lover of all good food nature has to offer. I collect wild foods, use them fresh and also preserve, make all kinds of treats from delicious elderflower delight to relishes, dried mushrooms, and wonderful liqueurs.

I also give guided foraging walks and workshops to small groups throughout the year. Limited places are available so  book early.

If you fancy going out to forage yourself, check out my what’s in season now page for tips.

Some of you have asked for recipes recently and I am very happy to answer requests and swap ideas.

Also, please feel free to send me photos of species you want identified!

I can be contacted on my mobile at 087 7418536, or by using the form on the contact page.

Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur

Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur, where to find.

  •  Sweeney,s Glasnevin
  •  Redmonds; Ranelag
  •  McCabes; Blackrock
  •  Donnybrook Fair;
  •  Celtic Whiskey Shop;Stephen’s green
  •  Bradleys ; Cork North main St.
  •  McCambridges; Galway
  •  Harte’s Kildare,
  •  Supervalu;Birr,
  •  Supervalu;Roscrea,
  •  Egan’s Wine Shop, Portlaoise,
  •  Hugh Lynch’s, Tullamore, 
  •  Carry out; Tullamore.

Restaurants 

  • Chapter One,Parnel square.
  • Morehampton Brasserie,Morehampton Rd, 
  • Kai, Galway 
  • Loam Galway 
  • Ard Bia Galway.
  • Roundwood House: Co. Laois 
the bit on the back

The back label

Recommended serving idea’s  Personally I enjoy the Beech neat, but here are a few variations, suggestions very welcome also.

  • Frappe, over crushed ice;
  • 1 measure Beech to 4 measures tonic;
  • 1 measure Beech to 2 measures fresh orange juice;
  • 1 measure Beech in your favorite coffee,
  • 1 measure Beech, or to taste in hot Chocolate;
  • 1 measure Beech with dash hot water
  • Pour it over homemade ice-cream or drizzle over a Hazelnut or Almond cake.

I will be posting recipes shortly, meanwhile enjoy and please send on any comments or suggestions, thank you, Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur is a one of a kind liqueur made from leaves handpicked in the Irish countryside. Just a little is taken from each tree and then treated according to an old family recipe which has been refined and perfected by Wild Food Mary. The resulting liqueur has burnt toffee aromas and a pleasant smokiness to it, smooth on the tongue with a lingering satisfying finish. Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur has unique flavours and lends itself well to cocktails, or as a shot served with desert or beside a coffee. Presented in 350ml bottles, Wild Beech Leaf liqueur retails for about twenty euros. Hidden Ireland’s Roundwood House were first to include our liqueur in their menu. Three of Ireland’s Michelin Star chefs are also using the liqueur in their restaurants. Wild Food Mary is an experienced wild food crafter, who has had her recipes featured in Food and Wine magazine and on TV (Dermot’s Secret Garden and others). Mary is proud to bring you her unique liqueur produced with care and respect for nature.

Dinner Menu for a Sunny April Evening

Another beautiful day. I’m really getting used to the sunshine. This evening I’m cooking for my daughter Eve and her hubby Eoin. This is a healthy, vegetarian meal that will of course feature some wild finds as well as fresh garden produce.

The star of tonight’s dinner is the wonderful morel mushroom, locally foraged yesterday evening. These are so delicious I will be preparing them very simply. I am also whipping up a wild nettle frittata and we are sampling vegetarian puddings from demadfoodcompany.  These will be followed by some wheat and dairy free rhubarb crumble.

Let me know if you try out these recipes. Comments and suggestions always welcome. Instagram users please unload photos using the hashtag #wildfoodmary


Wild Nettle and Potato Frittata

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1L Jug loosely packed with fresh nettle tops, cleaned and roughly chopped

8 Eggs (I’m using a mixture of free-range duck and hen)

4 medium Rooster Potatoes, cooked and sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Crushed

1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped

Oil or butter for frying

* You can of course make your own additions like peas, peppers, feta or your favourite cheese. 

Method (10 Minutes)

Heat your oil or butter in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Sauté gently for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the nettle tops, cover the pan and allow to wilt for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and other vegetables if using. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the potatoes. Allow to cook until beginning to set. Now is the time to add your cheese. transfer your pan to a hot oven or finish under the grill to cook the top until starting to brown.

Morels with Truffle Oil

These delicious mushroom must ALWAYS BE COOKED. I am adding some extra flavour with white truffle oil, a gift from Italy. It can be purchased in Italian and other good food shops. This recipe is so simple that the real challenge is in finding the wild morels.

Ingredients

Morel Mushrooms (however many you can manage to find)

Sprig of fresh Thyme

Butter for frying

White Truffle Oil (A few drops for serving)

Method (12 Minutes)

Begin by roughly chopping the morels. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the morel mushrooms and fry for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and thyme. Remove from the heat and serve with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Wild Food Mary’s Rhubarb Crumble

My son-in-law Eoin has a serious soft spot for Rhubarb so I’m delighted to be serving up this dish from the years first cutting. This recipe is wheat and dairy free. I am also using xylitol instead of sugar. You can also use agave or honey. Cooking the base and crumble topping separately ensures a delightful crunch. They can also be stored separately keep well in airtight containers.

Ingrediets

For the Rhubarb Filling

4 Stalks Fresh Rhubarb

100ml water

1 capfull vanilla extract

xylitol to taste

For the Crumble Topping

60g Coconut Oil

200g ground Almonds

100g fine Oatmeal

Handful of mixed dried fruit (optional) 

1tsp mixed spice

zest of 1 orange

xylitol to taste 

Method (30 minutes)

Preheat your over to 180 degrees. Begin by preparing the crumble topping. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. In a bowl mix all of your topping ingredients except the coconut oil. Use a teaspoon to scoop in little lumps of coconut oil. Lightly rub in the coconut oil  until you have a crumb consistency. Spread the mixture out on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, give it a good stir and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until it is golden brown.

While the topping is cooking you can prepare the rhubarb filling. Chop the rhubarb. Bring the vanilla, water and xylitol to the boil. Add the Rhubarb, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook your rhubarb. It’s nicest when it keeps a bit of its’ shape.

Spoon rhubarb mix into a glass and cover it with the crumble. Enjoy!

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At last getting to grips with social media, so now you can follow me on twitter or instagram @wildfoodmary.

Forage photo diary of Easter weekend 2015

mary pictures april 2015 181 mary pictures april 2015 147 mary pictures april 2015 154 mary pictures april 2015 167 mary pictures april 2015 111 mary pictures april 2015 130 mary pictures april 2015 149 mary pictures april 2015 133 mary pictures april 2015 135 mary pictures april 2015 136 Sunny skies and plenty to gladden the senses, a walk by the lake in Cornamona, sounds of garden birds near the house then wild geese curlews and swans and ducks near the water. New lambs in the fields.

The air filled with the scent of Gorse and the sun giving it’s first real warmth of the year, heaven.

I started my weekend with meditation among friends, then a lazy lunch with Mum and few hours lying in the grass talking and laughing with my sisters, that night first campfire in garden at home, well wrapped up watching the sky darken and stars emerge. The Pipistrele bats on the wing.

Monday morning early packed the trusty Toyota with fruit trees and headed off to plant a mini orchard in Connemara, a few hours with pick, shovel and good strong helper and we downed tools and headed for the lake.

Dinner was fresh trout, thank you Tom, with wild and garden salad and of course spuds. Next morning a longer hike round the lake shore,  gathering  some Bog myrtle flowers along the way. I had some myrtle tea recently and was curious to see if Bog myrtle would be tasty, it has a strong scent and was used in beer brewing and also to keep insects at bay. The tea which I brewed with Nettles and some honey was far too bitter but I’ll try again.

Back to Offaly later and off to the food academy on Tues, on the way way home I went mushroom hunting on an impulse, bad news for my suit trousers, which are wrecked from brambles, but great news for dinner.

For me finding Morel mushrooms in Mar/April is like your team winning the triple crown, I feel a little bit like I’ve earned my forager credibility for the coming year.

As for how they will be served, I’m sure Antonio Carluccio has a few inspirational ideas.

O by the way those other mushrooms in the photo are dung mushrooms, growing on manure, DONT try these they are POISONOUS.

 

 

 

Kids Wild Food fun Sunday April 12th.

Come along and join in the fun.
Go exploring in the garden and under the trees with Wild Food Mary.
Dig for fairy potatoes, gather wild flowers to make edible treats.
Get to know which wild plants are good to eat and some that are NOT.
Workshop suitable for age 6-12, bring wellies and warm clothes.

2-5pm,  €15 per child, discount for siblings.

Call roundwood house to book on 057/8732120

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

 

Desert, Orange PolentaPolenta cake from Cake served with Wild Beech Liqueur.

IMG_0530 Tried out  recipe for this Orange Polenta cake from Ottolenghi, verdict? delicious….. even better with  a glass of Wild Beech Liqueur on side.

Baked Hake wrapped in Ramson’s Garlic

image image

Easy Fish recipe,

  • 4 thick Hake fillets,
  • Olive oil,
  • Sea salt and black pepper,
  • About 30 fresh Garlic leaves,
  • 50 grams butter.
  • 2 limes,
  • handful fresh Coriander,

Heat oven to 200, lightly oil baking dish and line bottom with garlic leaves. Add fish fillets and top with salt,pepper, chopped Coriander, zest of limes (after zesting cut limes into wedges, serve with fish)Dot with butter and top with remaining Garlic leaves. Cover the dish with baking parchment and bake 15-20 mins till fish is just cooked.

I served this with Sweet potato baked with Wild Leek pesto and a salad of Wild and garden greens, Corn salad, Sorrel, Cardamine, Beetroot leaves and young spinach.

Wild Soup for February and March

wild soup wild soup ingredientsLate February is letting us know that spring is in the air but there is plenty of cold weather about too.Here is a very easy  soup using the year’s earliest foraged greens, a real warmer and very good value.The basic recipe is Vegan and gluten free but you could adapt to serve with grated mature cheddar, crumbled feta or even bacon or ham chunks, also if you can mix wild greens a some frozen peas.

Ingredients,

400 grms potatoes, cut into cubes, skin on or off as you like,

30 grms (1cup) fresh wild leek leaves,snipped

30 grms (1cup) fresh wild nettle leaves,

30 grms (1cup) small young ground elder leaves,

2 liters organic stock,

Good sprig Thyme, 3 Bay leaves,

Organic Atlantic sea salt, Black pepper,

Splash of olive oil or sunflower oil,

In a heavy pan warm the oil,add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook gently until potato is softened.

Remove the Thyme sprig and Bay leaves and blitz the soup with a stick blender, taste, adjust seasoning, serve with a scattering of wild gorse blossom or topping of your choice, Creme fraiche; a little feta;grated mature Cheddar; croutons etc.

Pack this if you’re off hiking or foraging or on the sideline cheering on your little champions, Enjoy.

Chilly weather, Feb3rd /15

February 3rd and a very chilly snow sprinkled morning,the ground is too frozen for foraging so it’s a day for baking, using some store cupboard foraged ingredients, something sweet methinks, though sugar free.. I will use some of my store of Hazelnuts and a dash of Beech Leaf Liqueur in a cake which will be wheat and dairy free and I will also make a spread from raw Cacao soft avocados and sweeten with  Xylitol and/or Agave syrup, maybe add some milled Hazelnuts to that also.Xylitol is derived from Birch trees so even though I did not gather and process, it is a wild ingredient.

Shelling your own Hazelnuts is slow, wrap nuts in a tea towel or clean cloth and bash with a rolling pin, you will get to know just how much force to use so as to crack the nuts but not crush them.Then you can toast them carefully and rub off the skins,  blitz in blender, in batches till fine.In the recipe I use 300grms of hazelnuts but you could make from a mix of Hazelnuts and  Almonds.

 

Hazelnut cake with Beech Liqueur drizzle .(wheat, dairy and sugar free)

Oven 175 degrees; 20cm round springform cake tin, oiled and base lined with baking parchment

300grms Ground Hazelnuts,

Half teaspoon of baking powder.

5 medium organic eggs.

Tablespoon of Agave syrup.

1 shot of strong espresso,

1 shot of Beech Leaf Liqueur.

In a bowl mix almonds, hazelnuts and baking powder.

Beat eggs till pale and add agave slowly with mixer on slow speed, when well mixed gently fold in dry ingredients,  to combine taking care not to overmix and loose volume.

Pour batter into prepared tin and bake at 175 degrees for 20 mins, insert skewer into center of cake to test and bake a little longer if needed.Cool in tin for ten mins and then remove from tin. When cooled place a circle of parchment over top of cake, invert carefully and peel off parchment cake was baked on, turn cake right side up onto serving plate.

Combine espresso and Liqueur and drizzle over cake.

Enjoy.

If you like dairy you can also serve with whipped cream or Creme Fraiche laced with a little more Liqueur.Or use dairy free yogurt.

If you want to omit alcohol you could serve with Elderberry syrup.

 

 

2015 Diary dates Jan, Feb, Mar.

2015, my workshops will be getting off to an early start this  year.

January Sat,24th Roundwood House Laois, see http://www.roundwoodhouse.com or call 057 87321

February Sunday 15th Roundwood House Laois, book as above.

February Saturday 21st, Clareen Offaly, book 087/7418536.

March 21st, Clareen Offaly, book 087/7418536.

March 29th, Roundwood House Laois, book 057 87321.

The Sunday at  Roundwood House is offered as part of overnight stay,  also open to non-residentsapril-pics-046

Pignut

Pignut / Fairy Potato / Prata Sioga

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

day visitors, call Hannah or Paddy for details.

Christmas and New year 2014/15

Sunset, frozen lake 2 Mini forest Billy eve at sunset boathouse Crib D Max Oys Detail Fireplace Front door gifts Gorse bloom 2nd Jan Hellibore (2) Hiker's shadows kitchen ceiling Me n oys stump place setting 2 Scoops waiting for Santa Sphagnum mossThis time of year it’s special to find something to collect, a stump of fallen Beech passed many times suddenly blooms with a large crop of Oyster Mushrooms and a mountain hike has Navelworth and early Gorse blooms. The real stars at this time are the winter sunlight and the colours of bogs and mountains, tiny details of moss and lichen, frozen branch and droplets on grass.

In the garden I have planted spuds, peas and garlic in polytunnel and harvested very last Tomatoes, a huge bunch of Parsley and some Beetroot along with wild Corn salad. The Parsley goes to make fresh zingy pesto with walnuts and cashews, later in spring I will make it again with addition of Nettles.

The other thing winter is great for is using your store cupboard foods, this year we made Elderflower ice-cream, Wild mushroom risotto,Pigeon breast with Blackberry sauce,Nettle cordial, Blackberry Liqueur, spiced Elderberry syrup. Damson Vodka and a very unusual dish of Sauterkraut with Wild mushrooms, damson vodka and Juniper berries. 

 

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