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Wild Food Mary

Foraging, education, wild liqueurs – as seen on RTE (Lords & Ladles, Dermot's Secret Garden) & the Irish Times

Category

Recipes

Recipes for cooking and preserving your foraged bounty

Mushroom Butter,

This is quick and easy to make, keeps well in fridge for 2 weeks and freezes well. It is a method of saving flavour of your mushrooms for later. The butter is sublime on toast, risotto, baked spud or as a special treat with poached eggs.

Other mushroom combinations work also,this is based on my latest seasonal finds.

400g Winter Chanterelle,

100g horn of plenty, or tablespoon dried, soaked in red wine.

2 shallots, diced.

tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped.

Black pepper, sea salt and dash of truffle oil if you are lucky enough to have some.

450 g soft butter.

Heat a little oil in a heavy pan, Sauté the shallots, add mushrooms and seasoning, except truffle oil and cook ten mins on medium heat.

Allow to cool, when cool cream butter and add the mush mix, finish with drop or two of truffle oil. Pot into small jars and freeze if not using within 2 weeks.tray-of-mushroom-ballfin

 

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Vegan Gluten free Cake,

Recently baked this for The Happy Pear, they loved it. It’s a basic vegan cake which loves a drizzle of fruit juice or coffee and Beech Leaf Liqueur.I made it with Lime zest in it and topped with delicious Raw Fraughans, but you can use Rose petals, Orange zest, Lemon or even a few wild Hazelnuts in the mix.

For the topping, macerate Fraughans (wild Bilberries) in a little sugar or other sweetener, I use half weight sugar to fruit that is 100 grms fruit 50 grms sugar and a dash of organic lime juice and jest.Leave for at least an hour stir now and then.

For The Cake, Oven 175 degree C, Pan-20 Cm  springform pan, base lined with parchment.Or Muffin Trays lightly oiled.

150 grms Ground Almonds,

150 grms potato flour,

2 teaspoons of organic baking powder,

150 grms organic caster sugar,

50 mls ex virgin olive oil,

250 mls Almond or non dairy milk,

Zest and juice two limes,

teaspoon vanilla essence.

Method. 

Sieve the potato flour and baking powder into a large bowl, stir in ground Almonds and lime zest.

Put juice, oil Vanilla and milk into a jug and whisk together,

Stir the dry mix and while stirring pour the wet slowly in to form a smooth batter. If mix seems a little to stiff add a little more milk or oil.

Pour into baking pan or divide into muffin trays, (Silicone ones work really well)

Bake 20 minutes for Muffins or 25 minutes for cake, test and bake till just set.

Allow to cool in pan for ten mins then remove from tin and cool on wire rack.

Slice cake into 8 or twelve slices, pile Fraughans on top, allowing juice to run down sides, decorate with edible flowers and Mint leaves.

Split Muffins and fill with Fraughans, decorate with Mint and edible flowers.

 

 

 

 

Wild Garlic – A Word on Food Safety

Ramson’s wild Garlic is appearing in many a wooded spot around now. Easy to identify and very tasty this is a great “starter”forage food. But a few words of warning.

  • Learn to distinguish young leaves from the young leaves of Wild Arum which often grows near by and when small can be mistaken by the unwary.
  • Pesto seems to be the most popular use of wild garlic and while it is easy to make there are some safety considerations.
  • Any food stored under oil has a short shelf life of 2 weeks. There should always be a layer of oil covering the pesto and once you start to use remember to top up with with more oil.
  • Store your pesto in the Fridge, below 5 degrees centigrade. 
  • If any of your pesto shows signs of bubbling or pressure building up in the jars disgard the batch. Better to head out to the woods and start again.
  • Your pesto (or garlic leaves) will freeze well so you can keep a supply throughout the year.
  • So Keep cool, keep safe and happy. 

Wild Energy booster. 

This is my daily fix of wild power, packed full of nutrients and flavour. Recipe is for 1 large or two medium servings.

  • Handfull of fresh garlic leaves.
  • Handfull of fresh nettles,
  • juice and zest of organic lemon, if you don’t have organic leave out the zest.
  • 2 peeled apples or one ripe banana.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups filtered water.

Blitz together and enjoy.

Pesto Recipe.

Nettle and Parsley pesto.

Ramsons Garlic and Rocket Pesto.

These are versatile recipes using whatever combination of leaves you like.Oil can be Olive, rapeseed or a combination. Nuts can be Cashew, Walnut , Pinenut or again a combination. Cheese is optional, again I often use Mossfield mature or leave out altogether to suit those with Dairy intolerance. if you have nothing to hand but leaves and oil you can blend together and season later.

 

2 liter jug of young leaves of choice,

300mls of oil,

seasalt.

juice of 3 lemons,(if organic use zest also)

100grms nuts or seeds.

100grms grated Parmesan or mature cheese (optional)

First snip leaves with scissors, this avoids long strands getting tangled in your blender.

Blend leaves and oil, season, add lemon juice and zest, blend briefly, stir inchopped nuts and cheese if using, pot into small jars and refrigerate or freeze.

 

 

Elderberries

Elderberries are ripening in hedgerows, great news as these little berries are tasty, easy to identify and full of goodness. They are at least as valuable when it comes to boosting your immune system as Echinacea and available for free all around us.
So grab your bucket and get yourself some local free super food.

Elderberries are rich in vitamin C, they also contain high levels of flavonoids which inhibit the ability of flu virus to enter cells.
Elderberries are packed with all the essential amino acids, Vit A, B C and H, calcium, magnesium and Iron.Thus Elderberry is a strong immune strengthening herb.
They act as tonic, antibacterial,anti-inflammatory, and expectorant.

Elderberries can be used in relishes chutneys, jellies and syrups. They also contain high levels of tannins which makes these little beauties perfect for making homemade wine.I use Elderberry wine to blend with other fruit wines.
Here is a simple recipe for syrup which stores well, take a spoonful every day as winter tonic or every few hours at first signs of infection.

Elderberry Syrup, spiced.
Syrups are very versatile, they make a great warming drink, can be drizzled over ice-cream or pancakes or added to smoothies or even sauces.Take a Spoonful over porridge or in yogurt in morning. This is my favourite winter syrup. Great added to a hot port, guaranteed to cheer you up when the chills threaten.
I usually add cloves and cinnamon bark or star anise to the mix to give it extra warmth, you could try organic lemon juice and zest or organic orange jest

Equipment:
Saucepan, stainless steel if you have.
Jelly bag or old pillow slip for straining
Measuring jug
Weighing scales,
Bottles to store your syrup.screw top or clip top.

Ingredients:
Elderberries stripped from stems, enough to half fills your saucepan.
Water,
Cloves,
Cinnamon stick.
Sugar.white, unrefined or Demerara.(you can use xylitol for a sugar free version)

Citric acid or juice and jest of organic lemon (aids preservation)

 

Method:
Put berries in pan and cover with water, bring to boil and boil for 15 mins.Strain through jelly bag or pillow slip, squeezing to extract as much juice as possible. At this stage you can freeze some of the juice to later.
Sterilize bottles in oven ( not essential if for home use) 20 mins at 160.
Rinse saucepan and measure juice. For every liter of juice add 250grms sugar or xylitol to taste.

This is a small quantity of sugar but you can increase if you prefer a sweeter juice.

Use one teaspoon of citric acid or 2 lemons per liter.

Add spices if using, I usually add them directly into bottles, cloves in one , Cinnamon in another etc, about 4 cloves and 3cm cinnamon per 250ml bottle.
Heat and stir to dissolve sugar.bring to boil, turn off heat and allow to cool a little before adding citric acid, stir to dissolve and bottle.
Bottle and allow to cool completely before storing in cool dark place or fridge.

 

Walks & Workshops

Extra date 2017.

Mary has added an extra workshop for 2017.

  • Sunday December 10th @ Nenagh, run in conjunction with Steeples this will be a farm, wood and wetland walk followed by indoor lunch and workshop. Book with folks @ Steeples or through Mary 087 7418536 cost €50 includes lunch and tastings.

 

2018 dates, here are some dates for 2018, more will be added.

  • SATURDAYS @ ECOFARM GORT.
  • March 10th
  • May 12th
  • September 22nd
  • October 13th

 

  • SUNDAYS @ CLAREEN
  • March 11th
  • May 13th
  • September 23rd
  • October 14th

 Mary offers workshops to schools, primary, post primary, College and private groups, just call to discus  your own specially tailored event. See below for some scheduled dates.

Workshops can be themed around such topics as fun with wild flowers and plants. Biodiversity, Natural health boosters, wine-making. Fungi… So if you are looking for an unusual gift or a fun educational/cooking experience contact Mar

 

  • PLEASE  NOTE: workshops subject to minimum of 6 people, max 15.

 

 

To arrange a workshop for your family or group, home or away, please contact Mary.

mush Chantarelle basket 1

Featured post

Fraughan (Bilberry) frozen dessert, (Dairy, gluten and sugar free)

Ingredients,

500ml carton of Sojade organic soya yogurt,

750mls fresh Fraughans,

Juice and zest of a lime,

200grms Xylitol sweetener, or Agave syrup.

150mls water.

Tablespoon dark rum (optional).

This frozen desert is so easy to make. Of course you can adapt and use all the sugar, whipped cream you like. I made it this way for a very special lady’s birthday along with an Elderflower version and rich Chocolate pots (all gluten, dairy and sugar free)

Method,

Put the berries water, juice and zest into a pan and warm till berries soften and the juice runs. Stir in xylitol or Agave syrup and taste. remember you will be adding yogurt so you can make it just a little too sweet. Remove from heat  sieve to remove seeds and skins. Allow to cool. Add yogurt and mix well to blend, taste and add a dash of rum if liked, adjust sweetness.

Put the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn till thick, about 15 mins,put into suitable containers and freeze.

Photod for July blog
Photod for July blog

Dairy Free Elderflower ice_cream

I made a very quick and easy Dairy free Elderflower Ice-cream for our forage @ weekend, here is the recipe

I used “Sojade” organic soya yogurt but you can also try mashed ripe avocado.

It’s best to use an ice cream maker if you have one. It is important to add lime and lemon juice at start to keep good colour and don’t overheat water, if you don’t have time to infuse overnight just leave flowers soaking for an hour at least.

Ingredients;

800mls water,

700grms un-refined sugar (or try Xylitol)

Zest and juice of 2 organic limes and 1 lemon (0r 3 lemons),

40 fresh Elderflower heads,

200g cornflour (or Kuzu)

2, 400g tubs of Organic soya yogurt.

Teaspoon of sea salt.

Put zest, juice,  and water into a pan and heat to hot but not boiling. Add flowerheads turn off heat, cover and infuse overnight if possible otherwise for at least an hour.

Strain, you should have a good strong Elderflower scented liquid.

Return liquid to rinsed pan and add sugar, heat stirring to dissolve sugar.

Mix cornflour to a thick paste with a little water, pour into pan stirring all the time, bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes stirring all the time.Turn off heat and taste, remember you will be adding yogurt and that frozen will taste less sweet. However I like to reduce the sweetness by adding a teaspoon of sea-salt at this stage.Cool the liquid, you can speed up the cooling process by putting pan into a bowl of cold water and ice cubes.

In blender  blend the yogurt and COLD Elderflower or use a stick blender and large bowl, when well blended, taste adjust flavour to your liking with more sweet, salt or lemon/lime.

Churn in ice-cream maker for about 20 minutes and scoop into container. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker place in freezer and freeze for hour, remove and mix to break up any ice crystals, return to freezer and repeat twice or till frozen.

Delectable with any desert, Try Fraughan syrup for a final florish.Elderflower ice-cream and rose petals

June Day, Roses and Elderflowers

 rose cake and jelly

The old fashioned roses are so fragrant just now and I’ve been working on ways to capture their fragrance so it can be enjoyed in depths of winter, very happy with this recipe for Rose Petal Jelly. In this recipe the petals are never boiled and retain their essential glory. Rose petals are also used as a remedy for many things.

  • Viral infection,
  • Hormone balance,
  • Dry skin,
  • Feeling unloved,
  • Grief,
  • Loneliness.

I can’t think of a better food to soothe a battered heart.

Rose Petal Jelly. 

5 large handfuls of fragrant rose petals,

juice of 3 lemons,

1.2 litres filtered water (1,200mls)

2 teaspoons rosewater (optional)

1kg jam sugar.

Have small jars clean and warm ready before you start to make. Put all ingredients except the petals into a stainless steel saucepan, bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 5 mins or so, test for setting point.

Meanwhile slice the petals into small pieces.

When setting point has been reached turn off heat and stir in petals.Pot while hot into jars distributing the petals evenly between jars. Seal as quickly as possible. The petals will infuse in the hot liquid, giving their heavenly scent and colour to the jelly.

The jelly freezes very well and is best in small jars so it is used quickly after opening.

 

 

I am also making a glycerite from petals and will report on progress over the summer.

 

New discovery

Beech n tea, Fairy foxglove 020John Wilson writes about making your own drinks in today’s Irish Times, he  has also tried our Beech Liqueur and  says “an intruiging perfumed nose with caramel, fresh nuts and a smoky touch…”Thank you John, look forward to introducing you to the Wild Damson in the very near future.

Meanwhile I have discovered that Choco yogi tea and Beech are very happy companions in a mug. A kind of big cosy bed time hug.

Martin Moran says pour it on your cornflakes!I like it on my morning oats, got to go see how chefs are using it.

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