Friday, August 8, 2014

Recipe Weekend/ Cookbook Review: My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Blogging for Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


my irish table cover

Synopsis: 

The debut cookbook from Cathal Armstrong featuring 130 recipes showcasing modern Irish fare, along with stories about Armstrong's journey from Dublin to Washington, DC, and becoming an internationally recognized four-star chef, the owner of seven successful food and drink establishments, and a leader in the sustainable-food movement.

With its moderate climate and amazing natural resources, Ireland is a modern-day Eden, boasting lush, bountiful produce, world-renowned dairy, plentiful seafood, and grass-fed meats. In My Irish Table, sustainable food movement leader and four-star chef Cathal Armstrong celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his culinary journey from Dublin to Washington DC, where he runs seven beloved and critically lauded restaurants.

Featuring 130 delicious recipes—from Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster with Parsnips to Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and Mam’s Apple Pie.My Irish Tabledraws on Armstrong’s Irish upbringing as well as his professional experience and French culinary training. In his hands, Irish food is comforting yet elegant, rustic yet skillful, and My Irish Tableinvites you into his kitchen to explore the vibrant traditions and rich culinary landscape of the Emerald Isle.

Review:

What draws you in immediately in this book is the photos- they are rich and colorful, and showcase nature's bounty, that Carhal uses in his recipes. By including Irish history, lore about traditional recipes and glimpses into his family's own life, the reader gains a very complete view of Irish cooking and the history of it! .He does use more traditional Irish meats of game, lamb, and fish, but you CAN substitute with other meats you have on hand for many of the recipes, they just won't taste quite the same! 
My favorite 2 chapters where the first one- First Thingy Breakfast, which lays out a FULL Irish breakfast and the recipes for you! It will definitely have you hungry by the time you get to the second chapter! The other was 'What Mam Cooked' as the recipes reminded me of old favorites from my Grandmother's kitchen. Which seems ODD, as she was French! But there was a heavy Celtic/Irish influence on the Norman coast where her people are from, so in theory it makes sense! Shepherd's Pie and Irish Stew are her recipes and the Cheese on Toast, was another favorite she would make for me!

Overall, this is a gorgeous recipe- full of all things Irish, and recipes that will make your mouth water! If you have a foodie on your Christmas list, or you want to add to your cookbook shelf, you can't go wrong with the lovely book!


Recipe:

This classic irish recipe is one that I remember my Grandmother making a variation of, so I was thrilled to see it in the book and to share it with you! You can substitute for the local sausages you have! It's a good last minute, comfort food, filling dinner, perfect for busy Fall nights, that the kids will like!




About the Authors:

Native Dubliner Cathal Armstrong was born into a family with a passion for food. That passion, unusual for families in Dublin at the time, was fueled not only by his family’s fruit and vegetable garden, but also by his father’s appreciation of other cultures and cuisines. Cathal’s father owned a travel business and would regularly take his family on holidays to neigboring Europen countries and around the world. Cathal was exposed to the markets, seafood and products indiginous to that nation. Each summer he lived with the same family, the Boudains’, returning to the truffle farms, peasant food and local vineyards.  

These influences instilled in Armstrong the importance of organic growing and sustainability, before they were buzzwords. Today he honors that tradition by demanding the highest-quality ingredients from a handpicked network of suppliers revered for their wholesome products, for his restaurant, Restaurant Eve (named after his first child, is located in Old Town, Alexandria, VA). His guiding principal: “Nature is perfect. Extract the flavor. Enhance it. Don’t take away from it.” As a father of two young children he has dedicated himself to educating children and families about healthy eating. Unsatisfied by the nutritional quality, in schools Armstrong founded Chefs as Parents (www.chefsasparents.com) a non for profit company that will partner with The Alexandria public school system to improving the school lunch system.

Chef Armstrong is a Best Mid-Atlantic Chef nominee by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, 2012, 2013; selected as both Food & Wine magazine’s “10 Best New Chefs 2006”and honored in Food & Wine magazine’s “50 Hall of Fame Best New Chefs”


David Hagedorn grew up in Gadsden, Alabama and Pittsburgh, Penn. before moving to Washington, DC to attend Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree. He then attended The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies to pursue a graduate degree in European Studies and International Economics.
Eschewing the diplomatic field, Hagedorn entered the restaurant business, enjoying a 25-year career as a cook, acclaimed chef and restaurateur before becoming a food journalist in 2005. After making his debut in the Washington Post with “On Cheapskates and Scams,” a provocative portrayal of his break-up with the dining public, Hagedorn became a columnist there.  In addition to his duties as a Washington Post contributor, Hagedorn regularly freelances for several major publications and is the dining columnist for DC Modern Luxury Magazine. 

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