Mundy’s Spaghetti Aioli

Posted on: 27 August 2010 No comments

BIFFO’s always get a fierce hard slagging, much of it deserved and often it is not.  Yet their reputation is certainly not  enhanced by our current leader. Smoking illegally at Croker on Sunday was a new personal low for Brian Cowen. He would have been forgiven if he were a Dub though, blame it on the auld nerves getting the better of him.

I was in Hill 16 for that match. It had been a while since I was  last entrenched there for a Dubs  game. Big Ignorant Fuckers From Offaly are nothing compared to some of the degenerate junkie mankbags in blue.  There is surely no hatred more intense than the provincial variety, especially with scumbag Dubs, who obviously can’t stand anybody. One topless madoutofit right next to me quite literally came close to exploding with vitriol when Cork scored their final point against the boys in blue. I could be mistaken, but I’m quite sure his exact words were, “FUCK OFF! FUCK YOU! CORK’S FUCKIN THAT WAY!” Thankfully for all  concerned, no red shirts were in ear shot.

These are the true lowlifes of Ireland, yet we Dubs look down on poor defenseless souls like BIFFO’s. But to be fair, that’s our God given right, because we are better than them, yet that’s another day’s discussion… One particular individual from Offaly (it would not be fair to call him a BIFFO) who I’ve always got on with is Mundy. We were introduced on the stage of The Sugar Club at about 5am after a Heineken Green Energy wrap party  many, many moons ago. There were one or two kegs left over and somebody had to finish them off. An impromptu session with about a dozen drunken musicians and bartenders kicked off and it didn’t end til the cleaners turfed us all out.

I’d like to think that both Mundy and I are wiser now, but we’re probably not.  Given half a chance to demolish a couple of kegs of Heino and either one of us would run amok on it. Yet we’re both probably better at the soakage that should ideally happen beforehand. This week’s recipe is proof.

Mundy’s Prawns with Spinach, Rocket and Spaghetti Aioli


The Birr native loves his crustaceans.  He pan fries them and lashes
them in with some fresh rocket and spinach and serves it with some
spaghetti. When washing the prawns, he points out that it is essential
to remove what looks like the spine, as it is actually something that
is far more unpleasant. It’s shite. As they would say in Offaly, or anywhere else in Ireland for that matter.


1 red chilli
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
3 stalks of fresh parsley
1 bag of rocket
1 bag of baby spinach
Half a pack of spaghetti, the thin variety called spaghettini is best
20 fresh prawns
Juice of half a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Knob of butter
Nice bottle of white wine, whatever you reckon works best with fish
A pinch of salt and pepper

Finely chop the garlic, chilli and parsley separately and leave aside,
it should look the Italian flag, or the Mexican even!
Clean all the prawns by washing them in cold water
Boil a pot of cold water with a bit of salt and add the pasta when water boils.
Add the red, white and green to a hot pan of melted knob of butter and
cook for 4 mins until it’s all softened.
Now add the prawns for 2 mins, then the bag of rocket and baby spinach.
The Prawns should take on a lovely orange colour.
Add a splash of the white wine that you are going to serve with it and season
with salt, black pepper and lemon juice.
Strain the pasta but keep a little bit of the water.
Add the pasta to the pan with some extra virgin olive oil and the
pasta water. Mix the ingredients through the spaghettini and serve
straight away with a little really fresh focaccia if that floats your
curragh like.


Photos from The Dubliner Magazine

A Rasher And A Ride, Crumlin Surf And Turf

Posted on: 13 August 2010 No comments

After 4 weeks curing in my fridge and another week drying out, my bacon is finally ready! Can I interest any of you in a rasher and a ride? Then do please read on….


I recently had the great fortune to attend a beginner’s curing and smoking course over in Dun Laoighre with Hick’s Pork Butchers.  Myself and about another 10 carnivorous nutjobs (one of whom was definitely a sociopathic serial killer, but then again he probably thought I was one too what with my probing questions about body parts)  were in attendance as Ed Hick  showed us how to take a lump of meat and cure or smoke it. Or both. After a few hours we were all sent off on our merry way with a  nice chunk of pig flesh, an instruction sheet, some extra curing salts (enough for a xmas ham) and a bag of wood chips for smoking. Sure what else would you be  doing on a Saturday afternoon?

And now, 5 weeks later, I’ve got a kilo of genuine Crumlin bacon to play around with. No better time to get stuck into a good rasher and a ride methinks. Dublin 12’s version of the Surf n Turf.  You gotta get some nice big jumbo prawns, reef the heads and shells off them, devein them with a small sharp knife and give them all a quick rinse. Then you wrap them in some thinly sliced bacon and skewer them for the barbie. Get stuck into them with a salad or just wolf them down on their own.




Large Prawns, as many as you need

One thinly sliced rasher per prawn

Dalkey Dressing: 1 tablespoon Dalkey mustard, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic minced, pinch of freshly ground pepper and 1/2 cup of olive oil.

1 head of Iceberg lettuce, sliced finely

1 fistful of baby potatoes

1 finely chopped shallot

1 heaped tablespoon of sunflower seeds

1 stick of celery, slice finely in diagonal cuts

1 teaspoon of finely chopped chives, to garnish


Get all the ingredients for the dressing and blitz it all up in a blender.This makes quite a lot but it keeps for ages so just lash it into a jar.

Boil or steam the spuds with the skins on them. Slice thinly, drop them in a bowl with the shallot and smother in the dressing while still warm.

Dry fry the sunflower seeds in a pan, til they’re slightly toasted.

Prep the prawns as above. Wrap one slice of bacon around the exposed flesh of each prawn. Then skewer each one with a cocktail stick or do three of them together on a longer stick.

Barbecue them or put them under the grill.

Mix the spuds with the lettuce, seeds and celery. Place the prawns on top.  Sprinkle with chives on the whole dish. Serve with a bloody mary.

Dirty Epic Gambas Pil Pil

Posted on: 6 August 2010 1 comment

There is a legendary tale about a famous zoophiliac from county Wicklow by the name of Gus Kearney. He had a thing for donkeys. A MAJOR thing for donkeys.

The story goes that he was up in court for the second time, on a charge for interfering with a certain barnyard animal. He’s found guilty. Upon sentencing, the judge turns round to Gus and says:

“Mr. Kearney. This is a most heinous crime, one that you’ve been charged with not once, but twice. What do you have to say in your defense?”

“It backed into me your honour.”

I’ve been telling that yarn for so long now that the very mention of Wicklow brings on images of a village idiot making sweet, sweet love to a mule. Unfair, I know. Especially to this week’s contributor, SJ Wai, the lead singer from Dirty Epics who hails from The Garden of Ireland herself.

When I initially asked SJ to share a recipe, she got all excited and started telling me about her pan fried Chinese dumplings.  I proceeded to tell  her about the version that I had already uploaded. The two recipes appeared to be identical. If looks could kill…. Thankfully, she had other culinary treats within her arsenal. Namely, a fantastic take on the Basque dish Gambas Pil Pil,  SJ’s extra addition is some crab claws.   Fresh, zingy, spicy seafood. What’s not to like?


SJ Wai’s Garlic and Chilli Gambas & Crab Claws

Gambas can be purchased fresh in any good fishmonger. SJ  favours Kish in Smithfield for quality and price. Crab claws are also available there in cooked packets of approximately a dozen.


Photo taken from The Dubliner magazine.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2) :

8 fresh whole gambas

(to ensure freshness when purchasing have a sniff. If they’re a bit on the fishy side, beware, but if their eyes are still wet and and unshrivelled and they don’t smell too strong, you’re good to go)

One packet of crab claws

A slice of butter about an inch and a bit thick

Some fresh green and red chillis

About 4/5 cloves of fresh garlic

White and black pepper


8/10  cherry tomatoes

Cayenne pepper

1 Lemon


  • First rinse the gambas under fresh water.
  • Finely slice the garlic cloves. If you’re a bit worried about garlic breath, keep them chunky so you can avoid them easily!
  • Finely slice the chilli peppers.
  • Heat a big skillet and add the butter being careful not to burn it.
  • Add the chillies.
  • Add in the gambas first. It’s better to keep them whole so you get a much stronger flavour. Keep a lid on them to prevent them drying out.
  • If you want you can add a little water. Its nice to have plenty of sauce for dipping bread.
  • Add in the cherry tomatoes and the seasoning. I like lots of pepper in mine. Be careful not too make it too spicy though.
  • Throw in the crab claws when the gambas are nearly done. Keep the lid on it so its juicy and full of flavour.
  • Cooking should take no longer than 10  minutes depending on the size of the gambas. The cherry tomatoes should be really squishy.

To serve: pop the skillet in the middle of the table and squeeze some lemon juice over it. Slice some crusty bread for dipping and maybe enjoy a nice glass of gently chilled Beaujolais.

Check out Dirty Epics when they’re playing on Arthur’s Day on September 23rd.


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