March 7, 2016

Favorite Flavors of Ireland (Cookbook)

“The book brings home all the classics—Shepherd’s Pie, Bacon and Cabbage, Seafood Chowder, Bread and Butter Pudding—and provides an insightful look into the seasonal ingredients that shape the country’s cooking..” ~back cover blurb

Favorite Flavors of Ireland, by Margaret M. Johnson, takes us on a delicious tour of the Emerald Isle. There are over 100 recipes included, and judging from the ones I’ve tried, this book will not grow dust on it!

Even if you never cook a single recipe in this book (which would be CRAZY not too) it’s loaded with gorgeous, breathtaking photos—many of which were taken by the author herself—of foods, tables, gardens, animals, marketplaces, landmarks, and the lush Irish countryside.

I’ve been to Ireland twice, and though I’m not a fan of seafood (my hubby is though) I experienced so many new tastes while I was there. As a matter of fact, I had the best bowl of soup I’ve ever tasted at Dockyard #8 in Bray, north County Wicklow (just south of Dublin.) Mmm… With that, I hoped to find similar recipes in this book.

The book includes:
·      A lovely Dedication page
·      A quote page from other sources praising the book
·      An Introduction
·      A Note on the Recipes
·      4 Chapters of Recipes
·      A Glossary
·      Food, Drink, Tourism Websites
·      Index

The layout of the recipes is nicely organized into seasons:
Within the recipe pages, you’ll find interesting and pertinent information on Irish fairs and festivals.

Recipes I’ve tried:

            ** Chicken, Ham, and Leek Pie (on page 115) Oh…my…melt in your mouth! This recipe is full-bodied and creamy. I’m not overly fond of mushrooms, so I made half of the recipe with them, and half without, and cooking them in 4 individual (small) casserole dishes, rather than in one large dish. This recipe took approximately 45 minutes prep time (less if your chicken is cooked in advance) and 30 minutes baking. I love that the ingredients are items I use everyday, so no I’ll-never-use-this-stuff-again items.

            ** Peppered Pork Loin Roast (on page 119) If you look at the photo on page 118, you’ll know why this is one of the first recipes I made from this book! Yum-my! This recipe is easy, and the only off-the-grid ingredient I purchased was the Irish Mist Liqueur (a honeyed whiskey liqueur.) Also, I used regular store-brand butter, rather than Kerrygold Irish butter. The recipe is simple to follow, only takes a few minutes of prep time, (give yourself a couple hours of marinating time, though) and about an hour cooking time. So tender and satisfying!

            ** Guinness Onion Soup (on page 149) Okay – this soup has onions and Guinness beer in it. Need I say more? It’s much like French Onion Soup, but better. I used store-brand butter, rather than the Kerrygold Irish butter. Adding the cheese over the soup and placing the crocks (I used 4 individual crocks) under a broiler to melt and brown the cheese is a must! Makes it look great and taste delicious! (I used swiss on two crocks and provolone on two crocks. Both melted about the same, and tasted delicious.)

I haven’t tried any breads or desserts yet, but those are next on the agenda! Of the three recipes I’ve tried so far, I’d rate each with 5-stars. This cookbook won’t be gathering dust on the shelf. It’s becoming a favorite!

About the Author: Margaret M. Johnson is author of ten cookbooks. As a food and travel writer she’s contributed to publications in the U.S. and Ireland, and online sites. She frequently appears at Irish food and cultural events, and when she’s not visiting her ancestral home in Ireland, she lives in Westhampton Beach, NY.

5 Stars!

Cover: Love
Title: Love
Publisher: Ambassador-Emerald International
Pages: 192

I received a Review Copy from the publisher.

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