Cookery Feature - Taste Causeway

A great sense of post-pandemic reconnection came out of a very enjoyable trip around Donegal and some of the more northerly parts of Northern Ireland recently, inspiring me to take another deep dive into Paula McIntyre’s most recent book, Taste Causeway – Recipes and Stories. And what a lovely read it is.

As much a travel guide as a cookbook (so a map or two would be a nice addition) it conveys a tangible sense of place and an intimate connection with the locations she so warmly describes, along with the people who share Paula’s enthusiasm for the superb produce of the area and her commitment to promoting it. Scenery is, of course, the Causeway Coast and Glens’ main claim to fame, so the area’s diverse range of outstanding foods and drinks may come as a surprise to some visitors. The two in combination – along with the rightly famed Northern Irish hospitality – are a powerful mix and this book, which includes a good sprinkling of places to stay and eat as well as producers, is sure to inspire a host of first-time visitors to come and see it for themselves.

The diversity of produce and businesses featured within a relatively small area is remarkable. The contents are arranged alphabetically by name of business rather than location or what they do, so there’s a constant element of surprise – Causeway Coast Foodie Tours, for example, is sandwiched between Causeway Coffee and the fishing boat Causeway Lass, all of which have delicious related recipes.

One or two of the forty or so businesses featured have sadly fallen by the wayside during the pandemic, but happily almost all are thriving – and very well worth exploring.

*Taste Causeway – Recipes and Stories by Paula McIntyre. Hardback, 160pp, colour photography throughout; price £25. Buy online from Taste Causeway Northern Ireland.  Also available from some of the member businesses featured.


Broughgammon Farm veal scallopine with Islander Kelp salsa verde grilled leeks
The main ingredients in this recipe combine the produce of two of the region’s most visionary producers - the Cole family’s Broughgammon Farm near Ballycastle, and Kate Burns’s Islander Kelp, across the sound at Rathlin Island. It’s all about sustainability - of community as well as produce. If you don’t eat veal for ethical reasons, Broughgammon veal will make you think again - and a recipe for their goat meat is also included in this book. And as for Islander Kelp and the idea of farming seaweed, its time has well and truly come. GC 


4 Broughgammon Farm veal escalopes - about 125g each
50g plain flour
1 Glenballyeamon egg
150g fresh white breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
4 tablespoons Broighter Gold rapeseed oil
25g butter

Grilled leeks
2 medium leeks
1 tablespoon Broighter Gold rapeseed oil
25g butter, melted
4 tablespoons Islander Kelp salsa verde

Place the flour and breadcrumbs in separate bowls.
Whisk the egg and milk in another bowl.
Dip a veal escalope into the flour, shake off the excess and then dip in the egg mixture to coat.
Add to the crumbs and ensure its completely covered.
Repeat with other escalopes.
Heat half the oil in a frying pan with half the butter.
When foaming add 2 pieces of the veal and cook for 2 minutes each side.
Transfer to a tray and keep warm in the oven.
Repeat with the remaining veal.
Grilled leeks
Split the leeks lengthwise and wash thoroughly.
Place in a large pan of simmering salted water and cook until just cooked through. Drain and pat dry.
Brush with the oil.
Heat' a ridged pan until smoking hot and add the leeks. Cook to scorch marks on them.
Mix one tablespoon of the kelp with the butter and brush all over the grilled leeks.
Place the veal on a plate with some leeks on the side and spoon over the remaining kelp salsa verde.

Mackerel, butterbean and chorizo stew, lemon oil 
This is from Wendy Gallagher of Causeway Coast Foodie Tours, whose experiences include a ‘Catch and Sea’ outing, to give people a taste of fishing and eating ‘fresher-the-fresh fish. The group set off from Portstewart harbour at first light aboard local fisherman Peter Boston’s boat, the Boy Matthew. After a real hands-on trip they finish up at Warke’s Deli where owner Jacqi Warke cooks the fish and serves it in a dish ‘made entirely of this place’. The way Paula describes it makes you want to race up to Portstewart and sign on, right now. GC

Butterbean and chorizo stew
250g dried butterbeans, soaked in cold water overnight
75g Corndale Farm chorizo, chopped
2 tablespoons Broighter Gold rapeseed oil
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
400ml passata or chopped tinned plum tomatoes
250ml chicken stock 1 bay leaf (optional)
8 mackerel fillets
Sea salt
Broighter Gold lemon oil for cooking

Butterbean and chorizo stew
Rinse the soaked butterbeans. Cook the chorizo in the oil gently, in a casserole pot, to release the fat.
Add the onions and celery and place a lid on top. Gently cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so
it doesn't stick.
Add the butterbeans, passata, stock and bay and bring to a simmer.
Put a lid on top and simmer gently for about an hour, stirring every now and then.
Add water if it starts to dry out.
When beans are tender, check seasoning.
Brush the fillets with the oil and season with salt.
Take a couple of non stick frying pans (if you don't have any line the bottom of regular pans with
parchment paper) and heat over medium high heat.
Place mackerel skin side down into the pan.
Cook for about 2 minutes or until skin is crisp and flip over.
Cook for 30 seconds on the other side or until the mackerel has a little give but feels quite firm.
Spoon the stew into bowls, top with the mackerel and then garnish with some herbs and a little extra slick of the lemon oil.

Native Seafood lobster roll
Also all about sustainability, Rebekah and Stevie McCarry’s Native Seafood at Portstewart (and now also at Lir, Coleraine) is not a long-established business, but boy is their ‘clean, simple and exciting’ local seafood having an impact. Paula tells their story and explains their philosophy in detail and it is nothing short of extraordinary - a must-read if ever there was one. This is one of the trademark dishes that earned them a huge following from day one. GC

1kg live lobster
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon harissa paste
1 teaspoon chipotle chilli paste
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
Pinch paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 baby gem lettuce
4 brioche hotdog buns
Soft butter

Place live lobster in the freezer (in accordance with animal welfare guidance) for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Bring a big pan of water to the boil and season so you can taste the salt in the water - roughly a handful of salt.
Add the lobster and cook for 7 minutes. Remove and place in iced water to stop the cooking process.
Remove the main body of the lobster, the tail and then the claws.
Crack the claws with a rolling pin and remove the meat using the stem of a teaspoon. Crack the lobster tail and remove the meat in a piece.
Chop the meat from the tails and the claws into 2cm sized pieces.
Mix the celery, harissa, chipotle, mayonnaise, paprika and cayenne in a bowl and check seasoning.
Fold in the lobster meat.
Split and toast the buns and butter.
Separate the lettuce into leaves, wash and pat dry.
Shred the lettuce and place in each bun. Top with the lobster meat mixture and serve.





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