Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Irish Table

This is a review for My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.

The main author, Cathal Armstrong, is a Dublin, Ireland native.  This book describes his journey from his Da's vegetable garden to owning his own restaurant in Virginia and all the steps in between.  Armstrong fondly reminisces about his childhood and the work ethic and love of food his parents instilled in him.  He doesn't shy away from mentioning his own mistakes.  He has come a long way but he isn't haughty or entitled about it.  This book is the work of a street smart, Irish lad with common sense and humility.

The recipes in this book range from the incredibly simple, basic staples of Irish food to the fancy, decadent dishes served in a fancy restaurant.  As you read through the book there are stories and anecdotes about all of Cathal's family.  You get a real sense of who he is and for me that makes trying his recipes all the more fun.

The recipes in this book cover all the Irish basics including fish & chips, beef stew, shepherds pie, rack of lamb, scones and a wide array of potato dishes.  I haven't tried all of the recipes in here but what I have tried has been delicious.  Each recipe includes detailed instructions.  There are recipes for people of all skill levels.  Every recipe uses ingredients that are readily available.  You may have to stop at more than one store but you should be able to find most everything you need if you live in a decent sized town.  You will need to track down a butcher for some things like sheep kidneys for steak & kidney pie and a few of the rarer ingredients have websites listed where you can look for things you may need as well.

If you like traditional Irish food or want a really well written recipe for something a little fancier you should check out this book.  If you want a mix of the two then this is definitely a book you should get your hands on!  This cookbook will be staying in my kitchen for years to come.

You can check out an excerpt of this book on the publisher's website here.

I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

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