The Irish Cookbook
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Jp McMahon, a Galway-based chef, cooking instructor, and food festival organizer, has carefully gathered modern and traditional recipes from around Ireland into this impressive book. His recipe head notes provide perspective on ingredients and dishes alike, citing sources as diverse as a 9th-century story cycle, 16th-century histories, and accounts of how the 20th-century revival of Irish cheese making was fueled by the determination of two women on opposite sides of Cork, aided by a network of bus drivers.
His investigation and commentary is so interesting that it's a pity there isn't more of it, despite its abundance.
What will you find among the more than 450 recipes McMahon provides? A simple onion soup with hard cider and cheddar cheese. Wild salmon with scapes and pickled wild garlic buds. Hay-smoked chicken with wild-mushroom barley. Lamb shin with blackened leeks. Brown soda bread with stout and treacle. Buttermilk and elderflower tart. It's refreshing to see a big serious book like this on any national cuisine.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.