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Myrtle Allen's Cooking at Ballymaloe House: Featuring 100 Recipes from Ireland's Most Famous Guest House Hardcover – November 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

Myrtle Allen's Cooking at Balymaloe House, first published in 1990 and now reissued, is a modern classic. Written by the proprietor and chef of Ireland's most famous guesthouse, the book presents a farm-fresh cuisine miles removed from the common notion of Irish cooking as savorless or indelicate. Most especially, it offers the voice, recollections, and culinary wisdom of a woman who has seen and understood much since she and her husband bought Balymaloe House in 1947. Cooks of all kinds will delight in Allen's observations (of her refusal to put carrots in a traditional Irish stew: "As this is a folk dish, I feel that the common practice carries its own authority") and hasten to try such recipes as Lettuce and Mint Soup, Baked Rainbow Trout in Spinach Sauce, and Beef with Stout.

Chapters explore soups and starters through breads, desserts, and drinks, and offer 100 or so accessible recipes for everyday and special-occasion dining. Present are traditional Irish favorites, including Dingle pies (a spiced mutton dish), Colcannon (potatoes mashed with cabbage), and brown soda bread, as well as the likes of Danish Liver Paté, Mussels with Mayonnaise, and Turnedos with Mushrooms. Readers with a sweet tooth will want to try Allen's Almond Meringue Gâteau with Chocolate and Rum Cream and Blackberry Sorbet, and an exemplary trifle featuring almonds, cherries, and angelica. Illustrated with color photos throughout, the book is a cook's treasure with delightful, sometimes provocative thought. --Arthur Boehm

From the Publisher

-An STC classic cookbook updated with a fresh design and additional photographs. -Makes an ideal gift for anyone who hails from, or has been enchanted by, the Emerald Isle. -A selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584790423
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584790426
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 18, 2006
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`Myrtle Allen's Cooking at Ballymaloe House' by Myrtle Allen is a really great collection of typically Irish recipes from a very personal point of view. In a sense, this book has as much or more in common with the great Savannah family restaurant book ` Mrs. Wilkes' Boardinghouse Cookbook' than it does with the average collection of Irish recipes. Not only are both books about local restaurant / hotels with a national reputation, they are also both books of incredibly simple recipes.

On the matter of the personal material, Myrtle Allen's book is far superior than the volume done in Mrs. Wilkes' name, since we are certain that all the anecdotes are first person memories, written by Ms. Allen herself.

The appearance of this book may give one the impression that it is not much more than a book length advertisment for the restaurant and Inn created by Ms. Allen and her husband and enhanced with the cooking school started by her daughter-in-law, Darina Allen and son, Tim Allen. Having seen a few such books, I can assure you it is not such a book. The extent to which it invites you to want to visit Ballymaloe House in County Cork is based entirely on a genuine feeling of dedication to hospitality, culinary arts, and natural attraction of the Irish landscape.

Not that Ballymaloe House needs much promotion. It is easily the best known rural hospitality hot spot in Ireland. I have seen Darina Allen on at least two different Food Network shows plus prominent mentions in `Martha Stewart Living'. So, it is the book which benefits from the preexisting reputation of the Inn, restaurant, and cooking school rather than the other way around.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cherise Everhard VINE VOICE on October 30, 2006
I received this book as a Christmas gift and use it regulary. Not only are the recipes wonderful, but so are the photos. You get a lot of history about the dishes, where they originated, etc. I have made a lot of the recipes in the book and have not had one disappointment. It's Irish cooking at it's best. I would recommend this cook book to anyone who loves to cook and enjoy's a good Irish meal. Two of my favorites are the Dingle Pie (spiced lamb pie) and Beef and Stout. Hearty meals, easy, delicious. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cariola VINE VOICE on August 25, 2009
After staying with a friend who used this cookbook exclusively over the weekend, I just had to have it. The one item that definitely decided me was the Tomato Chutney--but it isn't in this revised edition "for American kitchens." I had to email my friend for the recipe out of the 1990 edition. Of course, now I am wondering what else I am missing. The new edition's "100 Recipes" is rather top-heavy on desserts--not something I make or eat very often.

Aside from that, it's a lovely cookbook with great photos and appealing recipes. Most of Myrtle Allen's side chat remains as it was in the original. If the Tomato chutney recipe had been included, I would definitely have given it five stars.
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