Entertaining for Family and Friends

I am writing this on December 8th. Great childhood memories for me. My Mom had my brother and I up at dawn and into Clarendon

Santa sock's for Ciara, Colm and Máirtín

Santa Stocking ready for the goodies at Gorman’s

street for early mass and then on to visit Santa. The magic of it. It was the one day of the year we felt totally spoilt. We had the Santa ride in Pimm’s, the window in Switzer’s, gas balloons in Geary’s and then over to Cleary’s and finally Arnott’s. In Arnott’s we were also kitted out with the good winter clothes. In later years as we got older , we had the excitement of going to the pictures in town to see ‘The Film’. I remember ‘The Shoes of the Fisherman’ with Anthony Quinn. Big events in our lives, in Dublin of the 60’s and early 70’s
My Mam was great for celebrating events. She loved to cook and experiment and bring us new recipes. One of our family favourites that came to The Dingle Peninsula with me is her Spaghetti Bolognaise. Vincent has adapted this to a generous meaty Kerry style dish and we serve it with Tagliatelle which holds the sauce so well and renamed it as ‘ Vincent’s Beef Tagliatelle’.

We thought to introduce this to our guests this year. People are travelling around Ireland and staying bed and breakfast, eating out every night and they get tired of the big dinners every night. There are the night, where some crave, simple home cooking. ‘Vincent’s Beef Tagliatelle’ went on the menu in the restaurant at Gorman’s Clifftop House and was much enjoyed.

I would like to share it with you all for Christmas. Though not a Christmas style dish at all, we all crave something different once we have cleared the turkey and ham. It is simple to prepare, the meat sauce will improve with being kept a few days or you can even freeze it. Ticks all the boxes for entertaining family and friends.

Mount Brandon on The Dingle Peninsula

View of Mount Brandon on The Dingle Peninsula from our Kitchen

Entertaining should be about enjoying good food and good wine with good friends. Not at all about fancy food with difficult prep, that will have you so stressed out. Arm yourself with the best ingredients you can and keep it simple.
One pot dishes like this that can be mostly prepared ahead are perfect for entertaining. I usually serve a nice seasonal salad for starter, I love salads and I love playing around with them. I add all sorts of ingredients together. Some garlic bread. Then for dessert seasonal fruit compote, with Ice cream and Cream (decadent). On a healthier note, starter and dessert are packed with goodness, fruits, nuts and seeds get a good look in. Use your Farmers Market and your Local Suppliers for great quality food.

‘Vincent’s Beef Tagliatelle ‘ – Gorman’s Clifftop House & Restaurant

Food For Family and Friends – Vincent’s Beef Tagliatelle

Ingredients – 8 people
1 kg of good quality lean beef minced
1 large onion chopped
2 cups of Sweet Pepper sliced – Mix colours
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
4-6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
3 x 140gm Chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
Small bunch of Fresh Oregano (or herb of choice)
Salt and pepper
A few drops of tobacco
2 tablespoons of relish (this adds a little zest, play around with what you have)
600gms of Tagliatelle
Parmesan shavings to serve
Brown the mince in a large pan
Add vegetables and sauté for approx. 5 mins
Add herbs and seasoning cook for a further 5 minutes
Add tomatoes and tomatoes puree
Simmer for approx. 40 minutes.
Bring large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil.
Prep your salad – do not dress until serving
Simmer your seasonal fruits in fruit juice, add liqueur of your choice
Whip Cream
Set table.
My rule is 10 minutes before my guests arrive , I open the wine! and enjoy the scenery!
When you guests arrive
Serve what you haven’t drunk of the wine!
Stick the garlic bread in the oven
Dress the salad
Cook the pasta

Good Food, Good wine and Good Company!

Nollaig Shona – Happy Christmas