This year was different though, I did not go and get the blackberries in the bushes by myself. But instead, I enjoyed a great day cooking with them.
I was invited by my lovely blogging friend Rebekah to spend a day in Kilkenny with her and cook some delicious recipes. Rebekah is the American blogger behind Honeysuckle Life, a beautiful blog about modern vintage lifestyle, and moved to Ireland with her husband a year ago.
After picking me up at the Kilkenny train station, Rebekah took me to her lovely country house and we started cooking with a lot of blackberries, as it was the theme for our recipes. I had such a fantastic day being in a kitchen with a very different kind of scenery. And said kitchen was so much bigger than my little apartment one, I really enjoyed cooking in it! It was also really great working along with someone else as I am more used to have the kitchen to my own.
This month, we will both be sharing our recipes on our respective blogs. I start with two recipes I created for the occasion. One is a seasonal blackberry fruit salad that is lovely and refreshing after a warm autumnal meal. The other one is a savoury blackberry sauce that goes well with pork and red meats.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 green apples (peeled and diced)
50g toasted hazelnuts (halved)
2 tbsp lemon juice
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Wait 10 minutes before serving.
This fruit salad is really lovely on its own but would also be delicious for breakfast with a bit of Greek yoghurt and muesli.
2 small shallots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
200ml chicken stock
3 tbsp cognac (or brandy)
40g of diced chilled butter
1. Put the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and stir with a wooden spoon for 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Add the blackberries and mash them delicately in the saucepan with the back of the spoon. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a low heat. Cook for 25 minutes uncovered.
2. Pour in the cognac and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce through a sieve in a bowl and put it back in the saucepan (discard the rest of the ingredients).
Put the pan back over a medium heat. Whisk in the chilled butter and season with salt and pepper (if you have used a chicken stock that is already well salted, only use pepper).
Pour the sauce in a serving dish.
This sauce is a lovely accompaniment to red meats such as beef, duck and venison and is also delicious with pork.