Wednesday, March 12, 2014
A True Taste Of Ireland
With St Patrick's day arriving on Monday ,everyone starts thinking about Irish cuisine.Unfortunately there are still some Yanks who think that it must consists of boiled cabbage, boiled corned beef and beer.It's much more complex than that,being richly layered with flavors and textures.It reflects the island's harsh history and determination to live better. Both David Tanis and Melissa Clark wrote about Gaelic foods in both their respective columns in today's New York Times Dining section.Mr Tanis created and wrote about a type of fish and chips in his A City Kitchen.He combined Arctic char with a spinach butter. influenced by the Ballymaloe House cooking school.Their belief reflected Irish sensibility to cook with "fresh , local and seasonal" ingredients.That means freshly churned butter and freshly caught fish.It also is using seasonal veggies from the garden as opposed to imported,frozen or canned.Mr Tanis sticks to this philosophy when he sautes an Arctic char in creme fraiche and serves it with a spinach butter.New potAtoes act as an elegant side.If the local fish market doesn't sell char then substitute it with local pink trout Melissa Clark takes that other traditional St Paddy's Day dish, cabbage and trAnsforms it into something completely amazing and down right addictive.Instead of either putting it as a side or in a salad, she turns it into a main dish in the form of an empananda or tort a.She uses the sweeter Savoy cabbage ,a staple in Piedmontese cooking and first sautes it to make it tender.Fontina cheese is also added along with ham and onions for flavor.A dash of cider vinegar is thrown in for bite(although this is reminiscent of the Piedmontese stuffed cabbage and polenta dish pescoi.The result is pasty, with a crunchy butter crust with a mélange of flavors inside.Since Savoy or any cabbage has a tendency to retain water, bread crumbs are added.These can be plain however Ms. Clark adduced the flavor kind for extra oomph.Other fillings can be used such as stewed tomatoes, browned mushrooms, and olives and potatoes. Irish cooking is not what people think.It 's a rich array of simple ingredients made into complex and flavorful dishes.Try these foods for St. Patrick's Day for a more sophisticated turn.