Back in Business!

Bibi's blog page has been well and truly neglected for the last year and is looking a bit sad! I now have two babies to look after...the cafe and my 6 month old son, Ben, who has terrorised me at night for the last 6 months! Hence, certain areas in my life have taken a back seat. However I am back in the land of the living with lots of new ideas for my blog.

We are posting the menu on our website as it changes every few days so I thought no better place to start than to introduce you to some of our suppliers. We endeavour to use local Irish suppliers as we have some top notch producers in this country. Anthony Creswell, of Ummera Smoked Products in West Cork, supplies us with wonderful Irish organically reared smoked salmon, smoked chicken and smoked dry cured back and streaky bacon. The bacon is a joy to cook with as there is no shrinkage or milky residue left in the pan. The smoked salmon is soft, silky, slightly salty and truly delicious to eat. The smoked chicken is lightly smoked and moist and is great in salads and sandwiches, which is how we serve it in the cafe. One of our more popular salads is with smoked chicken, avocado, mango, roasted peanuts and a maple and chilli dressing. Ummera products are available to buy in most independant food shops or, stock levels allowing, you could pick them up in the cafe.

The cheese used in our much loved pantoasted sandwich is from Gubbeen Farmhouse in Schull, West Cork. The Ferguson family run this business and it is truly inspirational to any food lover. They have their own piggery where a variety of pigs are allowed to run free. We use their cheese, bacon and wonderful chorizo in our dishes.

I am going to leave you with a recipe from the cafe for a smoked salmon bruschetta.
This recipe serves 4 people for lunch or 6-8 as a starter for dinner.

Smoked salmon bruschetta with cucumber pickle:
For the horseradish creme fraiche:
1/2 cup creme fraiche
50g creamed horseradish or 1 tbsp fresh horseradish
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch black pepper and salt
Mix all ingredients together.
For the cucumber pickle:
900g / 2lb very thinly sliced unpeeled cucumber
3 red onions, very thinly sliced
350g / 12oz sugar
2 tsp salt
225ml / 8floz white wine vinegar
Whisk the sugar, salt and vinegar together and mix in the cucumber and red onion. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
This recipe will make more than you need but it is great served with cold meats or as an accompaniment a burger or a toasted cheese sandwich.

To assemble the bruschetta:
4 large slices bread
olive oil
8 slices smoked salmon
4 dsp capers
rocket leaves
Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil and chargrill or fry on a pan until golden.
Spread each slice of bread generously with the horseradish creme fraiche and top with 2 slices of smoked salmon.
Sprinkle each with a dsp of capers, a good spoon of the cucumber pickle and top with a handful of rocket leaves.
Finish with a drizzle of lemon oil, if you have it in your store cupboard.

Hope you enjoy it!
Maisha xx