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Sauces & Dressings

Irish Farmhouse Recipes: Entree Accompaniments
Contributed by Hartson Dowd

Long gone are the days when the main course would be seasoned or flavored with just salt, pepper and, in ancient times, honey. Nowadays, inventive farmhouse cooks create a wide variety of sauces and dressings to add flair and flavor to the Sunday Joint and other entrées.

Horseradish Sauce & Walnuts

A new version of an old favorite to serve with roast beef, it's also good with cold, pickled mackerel and herrings.

2 tablespoons horseradish, freshly grated
1/2 pint sour cream
12 walnut halves, freshly chopped
Salt and Pepper

Fold the freshly prepared horseradish into the sour cream with the nuts and seasoning. Taste and add a little more horseradish if necessary.
Makes about 1/2 pint of sauce.

Tarragon and Lemon Dressing
This can be used as a dressing for salads to serve with chicken, veal, rabbit, fish and shellfish. It can also be used as a marinade for these same entrées.

Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/4 pint olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and Pepper

Mix the lemon rind and oil together with a wooden spoon.
Beat in the lemon juice, sugar, tarragon, salt and pepper, in that order.
Makes 8 fluid ounces

Fresh Vegetable Sauce
This sauce should be used as soon as possible after preparation. It's good served with bacon and fried eggs, boiled potatoes, braised vegetables and most fried foods.

1/2 red or green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 very small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 sprig of thyme
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed, optional
Thin strip of lemon rind

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 1 minute. Turn out and chill.
Chopping all the ingredients very, very finely can also make this sauce. (Grandmother's way)
Makes 1/2 pint of sauce.

Hot Tomato Sauce
There are three quite distinct stages in the making of this sauce:
1) Softening the tomatoes
2) Cooking with the flavorings
3) Cooking to thicken the sauce

3 pounds ripe tomatoes
1/4 pint vinegar
4 ounces (1 cup) of onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 dried or 4 fresh chilies
1/4 oz. salt
3 oz. granulated sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 medium red pepper, seeded and sliced
Very small piece fresh root ginger, braised.


1. Put the tomatoes into a casserole, cover with the lid and cook at 275F, for 1-1/2 hours or until very soft.
2. Transfer to a pan, add all the other ingredients, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour.
3. Remove chilies and ginger and rub through a non-metal sieve. If possible, put through a blender first. Return to the rinsed pan and cook for a further hour or until thick. Pour into heated jars and seal while still hot.
Leave for 1-2 months to mature. Makes about 1-1/2 pints.

Cheese Sauce
Excellent with hard boiled eggs on fried bread.

1/2 cup flour
3 oz. grated cheese
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 pint milk
1/2 teaspoon mustard (optional)

Melt the butter over low heat, stir in the flour, then slowly add the milk stirring all the time. Cook over a low heat until thick and creamy (about 5 minutes), add the cheese a little at a time, mustard, salt and pepper. Keep hot.

Fried Bread
Cut 6 thick slices of bread, crusts removed, into dice about 1/2-inch squares and fry a few at a time in deep bacon fat until very crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and put in a shallow dish. Cut 6 hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise, place on the fried bread cubes, pour the hot cheese sauce over. Serve at once, as the fried bread will go soggy if not eaten immediately.

Image: Condiment Set from Irish Shop

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Thu, Jul 9, 2015

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

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 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.

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.


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March 4, 2011
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