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Friday, April 2, 2010

Irish Cuisine

The cuisine of Ireland can be dividend into two categories – traditional and modern. Modern are the dishes which are served in restaurants and hotels.Ireland is famous for the Irish breakfast which is usually a fried or grilled meal comprised of bacon, egg, sausage, black and white pudding, fried tomato and may also include fried potatoes.

Irish people have always consumed seafood. In recent times shellfish dishes have increased in popularity due to the high quality of shellfish available from Ireland’s coastline. There are many oyster festivals held annually around the coast where oysters are served with Guinness. The most notable one is held in Galway every September. An example of a shellfish dish is Dublin Lawyer which is lobster cooked in whiskey and cream. Salmon and cod are two of the most common types of fish used.

Appetizers: Cheddar Ale Pub Spread a cheese ball made of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, strong ale or beer and served with soda bread, crackers, or apple slices, Guinness Battered Onion Rings, Irish Potato and Apple cake consisting of dough made of flour and potatoes, on which are spread apples and then fried.

Soups: Broccoli and Parsnip Soup using stock, milk and cream, Carrot and Cardamom Soup with chicken stock and lentils, Green Soup with leeks, vegetable stock and potatoes, Guinness and Cheese Soup with Guinness stout and cheese spread, Irish Mulligatawny with lamb and vegetables, and Irish Nettle Soup with nettles and oatmeal, Pea and Ham Soup with dried or split peas and pieces of cooked ham or ham bone.

Meat dishes: Chicken and Leek Pie with chopped chicken, ham, stock and double cream baked in a pastry, County Cork Irish Stew with lamb, potatoes, cabbage, peas, celery and onions, Gammon with Whiskey Sauce with ham steaks in a whiskey sauce, Ham and Cabbage Hash with chopped ham, potatoes, cabbage and carrots, Irish Roast Pork with Potato Stuffing with pork tenderloin or pork chops and a stuffing made of mashed potatoes and cooking apples, Irish Shepherd’s Pie with minced beef and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, Traditional Irish Bacon and Cabbage with a slab of bacon, green and white cabbage and potatoes, Beef in Guinness shin of beef, onions, carrots with dry cider and Guinness, Dublin Coddle sausages, streaky bacon, stock, potatoes and onions, Sausage and Potato Hotpot Galtee sausages, potatoes and vintage Irish cheddar, Ballymaloe Irish stew lamb chops, baby carrots, baby onions and potatoes.

Fish dishes: Baked Salmon fresh salmon baked with dry cider and double cream, Cod Cobbler skinless cod fillets baked with a cheese sauce which is covered by scone rounds (biscuits made from dough), Ballymaloe Hot Buttered Lobster steamed lobster removed from shells. The meat cut into chunks along with green tomalley (liver) tossed in melted butter and replaced in the shells, Cod Baked with Cream and Bay Leaves with Dutchess Potatoes cod fillets, simmered in light cream flavored with salt, fresh ground pepper and bay leaves, Baked Fish with Cheese crust fresh or smoked haddock baked covered with a crust made of cheddar cheese and ale, Salmon with Bacon and Cabbage salmon fillets, baked with cabbage, Irish traditional bacon and some red wine.

Meatless dishes: Boxty Irish potato pancakes, Colcannon with diced potatoes and shredded cabbage, Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with green lentils, peas, potatoes and cheddar cheese, Baked Pasta with Cheese and Stout the sauce is made with Guinness, heavy cream and three cheeses – Irish Swiss, vintage cheddar and Dubliner.

Salads: Irish Potato Salad, Apple and Bacon Salad with cooked apples and bacon, Beef and Blue Cheese Salad golden raisins soaked in whiskey, a dressing of mayonnaise and buttermilk, blue cheese, lettuce and beef, Cheese Fritters with Garden Greens fried cheese balls, tossed greens with vinaigrette dressing sprinkled with cranberries and walnuts, Irish Cabbage and Potato Slaw potatoes, cabbage, carrots with a dressing made of buttermilk, Irish Pub Salad with pickled beets, cucumber, dice tomatoes, chopped celery, shredded cabbage and onion, lettuce and dressing with cheese garnish, White Fish Salad white fish fillet with a yogurt dressing.

County Cork Irish Stew
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cup Peas
1 1/2 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 white onions
8 Lamb chops
1 leek, sliced
some herbs (parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary)
Season Lamb chops with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat oil and brown the chops on both sides. Remove any melted fat that may accumulate. When all the Lamb chops are brown, add water to cover them. Bring to a boil. Add small amounts of parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary in cheesecloth. Reduce heat and simmer. Add potatoes, cabbage, Onion, leek, white onions and celery. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the Peas. If needed, add more water. Simmer for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are soft. Add seasoning according to your desired taste. Garnish with freshly cut parsley. Serve hot.

Irish Shepherd's Pie
450 g minced Beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
75 g carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
275 ml beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
900 g potatoes, peeled
50 g butter
In a frying pan, heat oil and fry onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots. Fry for another 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan. In the same pan, fry and cook the Beef. Add salt and pepper. Put vegetables back in pan. Add thyme and parsley. Add flour and stir. Gradually add beef stock to the mixture. Add Potato puree and reduce heat to low. Let mixture cook for 30 minutes. In a saucepan, boil potatoes for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. When potatoes are cooked, drain water. Add butter and mash potatoes. In a baking pan, pour meat and vegetable mixture. Spread mashed Potato on top. Bake for 25 minutes until golden on top.

Irish Pub Salad
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (regular or low-fat)
2 tablespoons malt vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons water
4 cups Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn
4 cups salad bar ingredients (sliced pickled beets, cucumber, diced tomatoes, chopped celery, shredded cabbage, sliced onions)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
4 oz Cheddar and/or blue Cheese, cut into wedges
In a bowl whisk to blend mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon and Dijon mustard. Add enough water to make dressing thin enough to pour. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange lettuce on a platter. Arrange salad bar ingredients over the lettuce. Place sliced hard-boiled eggs on top of the salad bar ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad. Arrange Cheese wedges around the edge of platter and serve. By Rasma Raisters

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