Fine, basic ingredients and simplicity, are hallmarks of Irish cooking. Garlic and spices enliven the food of many nations, while Irish cooks rely upon the quality of their ingredients, and trusted techniques, to ensure their dishes are truly delicious.
The food of my childhood was always fresh, plentiful and tasty. I believe Irish Americans have an unjustified, inferiority complex about the traditional cooking of their forefathers. Anyone who has tasted a Guinness beef stew, or a roast leg of lamb, can testify to the glories of Irish cooking.
The potato has featured in the Irish diet, since Sir Walter Raleigh first introduced the tuber from America, in 1565. No one has mastered the fine art of boiling potatoes, like the Irish. But rest assured there is far more to Irish cooking than potatoes.
My mother takes great pride in the art of baking. The smell of freshly baked bread, scones, buns or cakes wafts through her kitchen, on a daily basis. Like her, I also love baking. When I first tried to replicate her recipes here in America, my efforts were appalling. It took me many years to learn, which type of American flour, was most similar to Irish flour.
I am no gourmet cook, but I can now handle Irish recipes, in America, with flare. I have persisted and found American ingredients, which are most similar to their Irish counterparts. After years of trial and error, I believe I have tweaked my mother’s traditional recipes. Finally my Irish-American dishes come close to the Irish originals, in taste tests and quality. My husband is Irish. So when he tells me something tastes like his mother’s finest meal, I believe him.
In A Taste of Ireland, we will discover some uniquely Irish products and ingredients, from steak sauces to potato chips, which are loved by Irish men and women all over the world. I cannot wait to share them with you.
In the Recipes section I will show you how to make some of my favorite Irish foods. We will explore the ever-bubbling pot of soup, rustic starters, salmon mousse, meat pies, stews, scones and cakes. I may even introduce you to some international flavors, modern Ireland has fallen in love with, such as curries and mango chutneys.
So let’s raise a glass together, as we bring meat and potatoes to a new level of Irish excellence.
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