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Kitchen Index • Irish Kitchen Library
Recipes for the Lenten Season
Contributed by Hartson Dowd
Herring or smelts have always been a mainstay on the Irish table, especially during Lent. But, to enjoy them to the fullest, they have to be as fresh as possible and preferably eaten on the day they are caught - or bought.
Fried Herring (Smelts)
4 whole fresh herring (mackerel is a good substitute)
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten (Or egg substitute, if you are observing the traditional Lenten abstinence from dairy, eggs and meat products)
2-tablespoons sunflower oil
1-tablespoon butter or margarine. (Or butter substitute)
1. The easiest way is to purchase fresh-dressed herring from the market. However, it's not that difficult to prepare fresh-caught fish yourself. First, remove the scales with the back of a knife, cut off the head and then gut.
2. Rinse off, pat dry, then fold the fish out flat and remove as many of the bones as you can without too much damage to the flesh.
3. Sprinkle the insides with lemon juice and season.
4. Dip the fish into the beaten egg, then into the oat flakes, and fry in the oil with the butter or margarine. Fish is cooked when it flakes easily with a fork.
5. Serve with tomato and mushroom sauce.
Tomato and Mushroom Sauce
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
4 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1. Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
2. Fry in a little oil until soft.
3. Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.
Editorial Note: Mashed potatoes and what Bridget's brother calls "mushy peas" will round out this Lenten supper. Of course, fresh-baked soda bread is a given, but during Lent, traditionalists won't eat dairy products, so no "lashings of butter." However, might we suggest dipping the bread in the tomato-mushroom sauce. Sounds really delicious to us!
Image: Aran Island Fisherwomen photographic print from Barewalls. See a great collection of other black and white old Irish photos here: Old Irish Photographs.
Any purchase made helps to support our site (and Bridget's fondness for tea towels). Thank you.
Sat, Feb 6, 2016
"...the freshest of food and
the oldest of drink"
- Irish Proverb
Darina Allen has reissued "A Simply Delicious Christmas". It's a chatty cookbook, annotated with brief childhood tales of making the pudding and suggestions for how best to enjoy the food. But it's also filled with smart tips, such as a guide to the recipes indicating how long before the holidays each dish can be prepared, and suggestions for edible gifts, from truffles to jams. The range of recipes is impressive, with alternate versions of several recipes provided to accommodate fussier eaters. All the traditional favorites are here, along with many new ideas for fabulous holiday entertaining.
Review by Deirdre McFadden.
Click here for Delicious Christmas
Celtic Folklore and Cooking
by Joanne Asala
Feast days, festivals, and informal gatherings all have something in common--food. But choosing the right food for the occasion can be difficult. Celtic Folklore Cooking takes the guesswork out of planning a feast, with plenty of sumptuous ideas for an entire meal, from soup to dessert and even drinks. Joanne Asala gathers generations-old recipes from Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, and England, associates them with appropriate festivals and times of the year, then sprinkles a dash of folklore between them. Perhaps you would like to learn the 400-year-old "Song of Harvest Home" while making Marigold Buns? Celtic Folklore Cooking is like having centuries of Celtic tradition in your kitchen, and it will help you find just the right flavor for your festivities. Review by Brian Patterson
Click here for Folklore & Cooking.
The New Irish Table
by Margaret Johnson
Margaret Johnsons love of Ireland permeates page after glorious page of mouthwatering Irish dishes, from Smoked Salmon Chowder to Raspberry Buttermilk Tarts. Lavish color photographs of the food, the landscapes, and the people are woven through the text, making The New Irish Table the next best thing to sitting down to dinner in Ireland itself.
Click here for New Irish Table.
With simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions, these recipes will help the home chef create a rich, plentiful feast! Among the 200 recipes are classics like Irish Stew, as well as Mince Pie, which Oliver Cromwell unsuccessfully attempted to ban because of its then-religious Irish shape. Each of the eleven chapters that puts the food into its context - whether its prepared for a celebration, to welcome guests - or even to seduce! Info' from back cover.
Click here for Feasting Galore.