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The Country Cooking of Ireland Hardcover – November 11, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW
Known for its scenic landscape rather than its gastronomic prowess, Ireland has never been considered a major force on the world's food stage. Until now, that is. Andrews, co-founder of Saveur magazine and author of Catalan Cuisine and Everything on the Table, provides new perspectives on the often maligned Irish cuisine. The breathtakingly beautiful photographs are alone enough to convince, but Andrews, calling Irish cuisine one of the most exciting food stories in the world today, lets the dishes make his case. Robust soups such as butternut and apple and roast pork belly start the mouth juices flowing. Andrews offers a culinary feast with everything from nested eggs and steak-and-kidney pie to Arlington chicken liver p t and battered sausages. Given its proximity to the ocean, fish and shellfish dishes are well represented, including mussels in cream and monkfish in beer batter. Must-have traditional dishes are also well spoken for in The Best Shepherd's Pie and Guinness cake. Andrews has done the near impossible in elevating a cuisine thought to be humble and drab into tantalizing fare that will have world-wide appeal.
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Top Customer Reviews
In several recipes so far I've found that I need to alter the quantities of various ingredients to hit a home run. The Irish Stew was simple, but maybe the best I've ever had, however the first time I made it I used all the potatoes and cream that the recipe called for, and I didn't get a nice crust on top. Dial back the thickness of the potato layer and a little less cream (plus 2 cloves of garlic all minced up, because that's how I roll), and then it was perfect. Likewise a 'bunch' of kale is apparently smaller in Ireland than here in Washington, so my first crack at colcannon soup actually "tasted green" according to my guests. It was still good, but next time I'm going to try with less kale.
Also, several dishes include ingredients hard to find in my city. Not the author's fault, of course, and probably not an issue if you live in a big city, but there you have it.
Overall, I am very impressed with this cookbook and will return to it often.
Case in point: Battered Sausages. If you make it as written, you won't get a batter, you'll get a thick, elastic dough that will not coat the sausages. Cut both the flour and yeast quantities in half, and you're good to go.
I'm always nervous cooking from a book after I discover such an error. It means either that the recipes weren't tested, or the book was poorly edited.
A shame, because the book is gorgeous.
From poultry to potatoes to puddings, no stone was left unturned in Andrews' quest for authentic recipes. It is a treat to not only cook from, but to read from cover to cover - tucked in between the recipes are pages profiling artisan cheesemakers, brewers, and bakers, gorgeous photographs of Ireland's rugged landscape, and engagingly written background information about the history of various ingredients and the specialties of the different counties.
In our test kitchen we tried out two recipes for a casual weekend dinner: glazed carrots and panhaggerty. The recipe for glazed carrots brought out their natural sweetness, and the simplicity of the recipe ensures that it will become a regular side dish at mealtimes in the future. We initially balked at the generous amount of butter called for in the panhaggerty recipe, but we gave it a try and were blown away by the extraordinary taste of this potato gratin dish. The potatoes, onions, bacon, and Irish cheddar played off one another marvelously.
Country Cooking of Ireland will come as a delightful surprise to both newcomers and old hands at the treat that is traditional Irish food.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Magnificent! Everything about this book is superb. Of course, the recipes, but more than that is the idyllic writing, the sublime photos, the layout, typography, printing, paper... Read morePublished 4 months ago by T. M. Kelley
This book is a treasure! I've already made several of the recipes and they've been fantastic. I love the photography, too.Published 7 months ago by Susan L. Moran
A beautifully written and photographed book of the "real" and delicious cooking of the Emerald Isle.Published 9 months ago by Michael Schwartz
Loved this book. Grear recipes and full of wonderful stories and history. Really enjoyed just reading it!Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this book! Not only are the recipes authentic and very delicious, I love to just sit and read through the book and enjoy the beautiful pictures throughout. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Betty
what a beautiful cookbook, not only does it have authentic Irish Recipes it has wonderful pictures and stories. A must to have if you have been to Ireland or you are Irish.Published 23 months ago by Karen S. Durivou