Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage
Kyle Books, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
arina Allen, '
Ireland's most famous TV cook
', brings us a
cookbook, whose chapters open on stunning photographs of Irish scenes. Categories range from
Food from the Wild
(e.g. mushrooms and berries). Intriguing Appendices discuss
Cheese & Cheesemaking in Ireland
The Potato and the Famine
Cooking Pits of the Fianna
. In her Introduction, Allen speaks of her '
magical Irish country childhood
', and of '
tradition based around local ingredients, simply and succulently cooked.
' Regina Sexton's Foreword gives a history of food in Ireland, including fish and shellfish, cereals, cattle and milk products, honey, the potato, and tea.
n to the best part, the recipes.
Soups & Broths
include many made with oatmeal, leeks, potatoes, shellfish or nettles. I have to make the
here, which sounds exactly like one my grandmother served to us every Saturday in my childhood, and my father would have loved
Giblet Soup with Dumplings
section includes ways to cook eels, limpets, cockles and mussels (I remember a very happy day collecting shellfish in the shallow waters of Loch Neagh in N. Ireland). I fancy the
Ballycotton Fish Pie
, and must try a version of
on my kids.
Roast Haunch of Venison
made me salivate, and the
will be on my holiday table this year, with
Ballymaloe Spiced Beef
for our New Year buffet. But I'll skip the
(salted pigs' feet),
(made from lamb's innards),
(cow's stomach) and
Black & White Puddings
(pigs' innards). There's lots here for potato lovers, from vatieties of
(one with seaweed) and
(potatoes and cabbage). And I'm delighted to have a recipe for
(which we always called
). Veggie recipes range from a
Carrot & Parsnip Mash
that I love to those using cauliflower, kale, asparagus or artichokes.
esserts have always been my downfall, and I found filling old favorites here, from
Traditional Irish Sherry Trifle
Ballymaloe Mince Pies
Irish Whiskey Cream
for the holidays. Speaking of filling, how about pancakes and breads? The
recipe here is almost the same as the one I make each Sunday, and those for
White Soda Bread
are similar to mine too. I have to try
Kerry Treacle Bread
. Then there are the cakes (
Aunt Florence's Orange Cake
looks delicious), sponges, meringues, shortbreads, and
that my mother once served at a birthday party.
hough reading this cookbook was an exercise in nostalgia for me, I also plan to make good use of it. Darina Allen's
Irish Traditional Cooking
offers an appetizing combination - fascinating Irish food history and a broad selection of tasty recipes that have stood the test of time.
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