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Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage Hardcover – March 16, 2012
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Ireland’s rich culinary heritage is brought to life in this new edition of Darina’s bestselling Irish Traditional Cooking. With 300 traditional dishes, including 100 new recipes, this is the most comprehensive and entertaining tome on the subject. Each recipe is accompanied with tips, tales, historical insights and common Irish customs, many of which have been passed down from one generation to the next. Darina’s fascination with Ireland’s culinary heritage is illustrated with chapters on Broths & Soups, Fish, Game, Vegetables and Cakes & Biscuits. She uses the finest of Ireland’s natural produce to give us recipes such as Sea Spinach Soup, Potted Ballycotton Shrimps with Melba Toast and Rhubarb Fool.
First published nearly twenty years ago, and now extensively revised and updated, this new edition allows Darina Allen to share her enthusiasm for Ireland's fresh, wholesome, seasonal food with a new generation of cooks.
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The recipes are easy to follow and almost completely in Imperial measurements, so don't be turned off by thinking you will have to do metric-to-imperial conversions. Each step is well explained, and the photographs accompanying the entries not only make you hungry, but give enough definition as to what the final dish should look like. The author is head of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, which after reading this cookbook, I now long to attend. She does use some ingredients that are either not easily available (nettles, wild game) or something that many of us would consider eating (blood pudding). This doesn't detract from the overall pleasure of selecting and crafting one of the many wonderful recipes in this book. Hard to find items often can be ordered over the internet, or with a little web surfing, a suitable replacement found. I've been successful in doing some of my own tweaking/substituting in recipes I've made a few times as well, too, so I like that her recipes are not 100% follow the directions or else failure will occur.
This would make a great gift for the beginning cook to the adventurous foodie.
A bit of warning: a small percentage of the recipes are similar to those in older cookbooks in that the ingredients are embedded in the explanation. Also, there are some ingredients listed that I think may be hard to get. Still, there are plenty of recipes we can easily make here in the US, and what I have made so far is so amazingly good that I know I will pull this book out again and again.
Then, I found this one. It still has the nice recipies (from Christmas Cake, a.k.a. fruit cake, to a million and one things to do with duck and game to which the typical northwesterner doesn't have daily access), which will be very handy if she ever has to cook duck.
What I like about this, though, is it has the practical, traditional recipies. It has soda bread (multiple types), it has blood pudding, it has buttermilk pancakes, it has soups, it has a Christmas dinner, etc. Because it's Irish, you've got to expect the bacon...it has that, too, along with a few funny stories in each section.