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Irish Egg Cake
contributed by Hartson Dowd

My grandfather's claim to the kitchen was this humble dish which he called egg cake. It consisted of only four ingredients - sliced potatoes, onions, eggs and streaky bacon. He would fry the bacon on both sides until it was well burnt, and then mix it with the other ingredients. At this stage he would remove the frying pan from the heat and replace it with a cast-iron lid, which he left until it got very hot. When the bacon had stopped sizzling, he would pour the egg mixture into the pan and cover the pan with the hot lid. This went back on to low heat for 20 minutes. It always had a tendency to be very brown on the outside and the potatoes were sometimes a bit raw, but the taste was delicious.
Here is a version adapted for today's kitchen.

2 pounds potatoes, peeled
6 eggs, beaten
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
One-half oz. Irish butter
Salt and pepper
10 streaky rashers of bacon*

Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
1. Instead of slicing the potatoes, grate them, and remove the excess moisture by squeezing them in a clean tea towel
2. Beat the eggs well, then mix with the grated potato
3. Place the onion, garlic and butter in a skillet (or an ovenproof frying pan), and gently fry until they are transparent
4. Remove from the skillet and mix with the potato and egg. Season with salt and pepper
5. Arrange the bacon rashers on the bottom of the skillet and pour the egg mixture on top
6. Place the skillet into a preheated oven at and bake for 10-15 minutes
7. When set, turn out by placing a plate on the top of the pan and turning upside down
Serve in slices with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Serves 4

Image: Country Cottage by D Elliott from All Posters

Darina Allen's Cucumber Pickle
Contributed by a friend in South Africa

This week, we're turning the tables a bit and giving a recipe to Hartson!
In December, 2002, Darina Allen took her renowned cooking classes to South Africa; an internet acquaintance was fortunate in being able to attend. Herewith, she shares a tasty recipe that will go well with barbecues and other casual summertime fare.

2lbs 4oz (1 kg) thinly sliced unpeeled cucumber
3 small onions thinly sliced
12oz (340 g) sugar
2 level tablespoons salt
8 fl oz (250 ml) cider vinegar

Combine the cucumber and onion sliced in a large bowl
Mix the sugar, salt and vinegar together and pour over cucumbers.
Place in a tightly covered container in refrigerator and leave for at least 4-5 hours or overnight before using
Keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator

Serves 10-12

Hartson offers this bit of trivia about cucumbers which he found in his grandmother's recipe book:
Cucumber: Bitterness Remover
This fact really surprised me, and I thought it was just another old wives' tale that had been passed down through the years and wouldn't work. To my surprise, it does!
The next time you purchase a standard cucumber (not the long, skinny, English variety) cut about 1 inch off one end and then rub the two exposed areas together in a circular motion while occasionally pulling them apart. This will cause enough suction to release a substance that causes the cucumber to sometimes have a bitter taste. Then throw away the small end you used to release the bitterness.

Image: Cucumber by James
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Thu, Jul 9, 2015

"...the freshest of food and
the oldest of drink"
- Irish Proverb

Set a lovely tea table with Bewley's!

Bewleys Tea Pot

Bewley's Shamrock Sugar and Creamer

Bewleys Shamrock Mug Set

Click picture for individual items. click here for Complete Set.
Salad Plates

Celtic pottery, made in Ireland. Two shades of green. Bridget is determined to have the lot!
Click here for Pottery Salad plates.

The New Irish Table
by Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson’s 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.


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March 4, 2011
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