'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Real Irish Food!

click to purchase!

I checked this cookbook out of the library and went through it and marked each recipe I wanted with little post it notes. When I finished I realized I had probably marked half the recipes. So guess what Peggy's getting for her birthday?!

Lovely photos, fun stories, some food history, info on Irish agriculture and mouth watering recipes!  Here a couple samples of recipes in this wonderful, beautiful book.

Celery Soup

We love celery in Ireland, and I ate a lot of it growing up. funny enough, almost never in the raw form, as in celery sticks, but always cooked in soups and stews, and also cooked in thick slices until tender and tossed in a buttery cream sauce as a side dish. My American wife had almost the opposite experience; she mostly ate it raw, in salads or with tuna, perhaps stuffed with peanut butter, so she was surprised to see how often it showed u on Irish table as a cooked side dish. Celery's delicate, sweet flavor makes a wonderful soup.

Makes 6 servings
1/4 cup butter
1 head celery (about 1 lb.), trimmed and sliced thin
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 qts. (8 cups) chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. ground numeg
1 cup light cream
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the celery, potatoes, and onion, and cover the pot. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, to soften the vegetables without browning them.

Add the stock, bay leaf, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are completely tender. Remove the bay leaf, and with an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. Stir in the cream, heat through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

*note from me: I envision this served with fish!


"Real" shortbread is typically made with a little rice flour, which gives it that dry and delicate crunch. Instead of seeking rice flour, you can get an excellent result by using cornstarch to help achieve the classic texture. Sprinkle on a little green sanding sugar to celebrate "the day that's in it," as the Irish say.

Makes 1 8-inch round
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
 pinch salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
 green sanding or decorating sugar

Prehet the oven to 325* and lightly grease an 8 inch round cake tin.

Put the butter in a medium bowl and use a hand mixer to beat until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with your fingertips, and chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

Sprinkle generously with the green sugar and bake for 15 minutes, until just turning golden brown. While still warm, cut into 16 wedges with the tip of a paring knife. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

A side note with this recipe reads:

The Irish often use self-rising flour for baking, although it's much less common in the US. If you're following a recipe from an Irish book or site that calls for self-rising flour, many American substitution charts will tell you to substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp. baking powder. DO NOT DO THIS! It's far too much baking powder and you'll end up with a cake or biscuits that taste like salty aluminum. A far better proportion is 1 tsp. baking powder for every 2 cups of all-purpose flour.

Lots of wonderful stew recipes...
Beef and Guinness Stew
Finglas Irish Stew with Dumplings (can't wait to have this one!)
Beef and Barley Stew
Irish Seafood Chowder
and of course traditional Coddle!

How to make potted meats for sandwiches
Traditional Fry Up
Fish Cakes
Cheesy Baked Fish
Whiskey Chicken
Roast Potatoes
Mashed Carrots and Parsnips
Of course, Colcannon, Champ and Boxty
Scones, Brown and White Soda Breads
Moist Brown Bread
Irish Battenburg Cake
Gur Cake
Apple Snow
Yellowman (A famous Irish candy dating back to the 17th century!)

Pictures from the book:

Battenburg Cake

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

This post is linked with Beth Fish Read's Weekend Cooking!


  1. I was born in Ireland and go back to visit often.
    I decluttered a lot of my cookbooks but kept my Irish cookbook that I bought way back in the 70s!!

    1. I so love the potato recipes and the breads! I just can't seem to make them very well. Maybe with this book I'll do a better job with all his hints. Thanks for stopping over Jackie!

  2. P.S. we love colcannon and have it all the time.

  3. I saved the shortbread recipe. Special thanks for the note about the slef rising flour. I never knew what to substitute for it.

  4. My dad always calls stew "Irish stew" as though that is some kind of special designation. I wonder what the difference is. He can't remember where he got the term.

    Thanks for sharing this book with us. I need to read it myself.

    1. I make Irish Stew all the time, but I guess it's really not as Irish as I thought:(

  5. Thank you for the shortbread recipe.

  6. That is interesting, I am Irish and knew nothing about the celery in dishes. I never liked it much growing up, mom would put it in soup but that was about it. Now I only buy it is I am making something that calls for it which is practically never. I am however intrigued with the celery side dish you mention... I am going to have to look that up.

  7. OMG just the photos won me over, but I love cookbooks with stories and history. I'll have to track it down.

  8. Beautiful! And just in time for St. Patrick's Day. I hope my library has this one so I can take a closer look.

    1. Now you can have a 'real' Irish dinner not 'mushy' cabbage and corned beef as this author called it!

  9. I've never heard of celery soup!
    The Battenburg Cake and Barmbrack look so good! I'll have to see if my library has this, my mom is 1/2 Irish so it interests me.
    Here's My WC

  10. Yum yum yum! I want to get this book too! The shortbread recipe looks good -- I can attest that adding cornstarch is important and makes a difference. The battenburg cake looks so pretty and just the sound of "farmhouse vegetable soup" makes me feel so cozy.

  11. My daughter Shannon would love this book. She also thinks that there is a river named specially for her. I much perfer my celery cooked but have not tried making soup. great idea. This book does sound like a winnner.

  12. The Irish love their veggie soup. Sub any veg for the celery and you still have Irish vegetable soup. Some brown bread and good
    Irish butter and you are all set!

  13. I love a cookbook that has beautiful images of the food like the pages in this one you showed us. I had the opportunity to visit Ireland two years ago and it is a lovely country. I will have to check this book out. Thanks for sharing!
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  14. This cookbook sounds and looks great! I love potatoes cooked in just about any way, and soups and stews with potatoes in them.

  15. That is a good tip on the self-rising flour. Thanks. The celery soup sounds good. Do not believe I have ever eaten it.

  16. I never thought of celery soup, but that sounds really good!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...