TM: What’s not to love about Northern Ireland?
Helen: The rugged coastline and majestic Mourne Mountains of our home town of Newcastle, pictured above, are just one of the many great sights in Northern Ireland. Landmarks like Balintoy Harbour and Dark Hedges (made famous in Game of Thrones) have firmly put Northern Ireland on the map. Not forgetting, of course, the stunning Fermanagh Lakes, the legendary Giants Causeway, the walled city of Derry, and the Cathedral city of Armagh.
There’s so much to see and do in Northern Ireland, with outdoor activities, surfing, cycling, and hiking now as popular as ever. From a foodie point of view, Northern Ireland is making big waves with two new Michelin starred restaurants and countless fine dining gems spread across the country.
Our personal favorite has to be Brunel’s Restaurant in Newcastle. We’re a bit biased, as it’s on our doorstep, but it truly is something special – an intimate setting worth checking out if you visit the area of Newry & Mourne on your trip to Northern Ireland.
Here’s a blog post we did recently on our home town of Newcastle complete with video (which was viewed over 40,000 times on Facebook). This should give you a glimpse of what’s ahead!
To start you off, we wanted to share with you a recipe that will bring a taste of Northern Ireland to your home, wherever you are in the world.
An Irish Twist on Classic Crêpe Suzette
A visit to the Jameson Distillery in Dublin inspired us to incorporate the whiskey into some of our favorite recipes. We purchased some Jameson marmalade on our visit to the distillery and instantly thought of several dishes to use this in.
The dish that stood out the most was the French classic – crêpe suzette. This is a great breakfast or brunch recipe to try out for those of you with a sweet tooth. Crêpe suzette is traditionally made with brandy or orange liqueur but we have been inspired to try the Jameson marmalade in place of this. The Jameson adds a subtle undertone to the zesty orange sauce.
(Makes 8 – 10 crêpes)
For the crêpe batter:
- 8 oz (220g) plain flour
- A good pinch of salt
- 4 large free range eggs
- 14 fl oz (400ml) milk
- 6 fl oz (150ml) water
- Grated zest of 1 large orange
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 oz (85g) melted butter
For the sauce:
- Juice from 2 – 3 large oranges
- Grated zest and segments of 1 large orange
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 heaped tbsp Jameson marmalade (or Jameson whiskey)
- 2 tbsp clear honey
1. Preparing your batter:
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a small well in the center of the flour and break the eggs into it. Begin whisking, ensuring to incorporate all the flour. Mix the milk and water into a jug and gradually add this to the egg mix. Keep whisking this mix until all lumps are removed. Add the orange zest and caster sugar and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter to the mix. Once this is done, your batter is now ready.
Tip: Half fill a saucepan with boiling water and set a dinner plate on top. Keep the heat under the saucepan and set a piece of kitchen paper on top of the dinner plate. This will be used to keep the crêpes warm during the cooking process.
2. Making your sauce:
Pour the orange juice, caster sugar and honey into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the orange zest and segments at this stage and lower the heat. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until it develops a syrupy consistency. Add the Jameson marmalade (or Jameson whiskey) to the syrup mix and keep on a low heat until your crêpes are ready.
3. Creating your crêpes:
Pre-heat a large, non stick pan to a medium heat. Dip some folded kitchen paper into the remaining melted butter and grease the pan. Using a ladle, transfer some of the batter into the centre of the pan, tipping the pan to spread evenly. Cook until bubbles begin to appear and the crêpe moves freely once pan is shook. Flip the crêpe using a fish slice or spatula and cook on the other side for approximately 30 seconds.
4. Serve and enjoy:
Once all the crêpes have been made, fold into quarters and serve with the warm, zesty sauce. For extra indulgence, add a dollop of whipped cream.
About Nial & Helen
Nial and Helen are a newly married couple from Northern Ireland who share a passion for food and travel. They want to share their food and travel adventures through their blog Pikalily as they share some of their favorite recipes, dining experiences, and travel experiences.