Irish Restaurant Recipes

This Centerloin of Connemara Lamb is topped with a black olive crust and red and yellow bell pepper coulis. It is one of many modern Irish dishes served at Glenlo Abbey’s Pullman Restaurant in Bushypark, Galway. Photo by Veronica Hill.

This Centerloin of Connemara Lamb is topped with a black olive crust and red and yellow bell pepper coulis. It is one of many modern Irish dishes served at Glenlo Abbey’s Pullman Restaurant in Bushypark, Galway. Photo by Veronica Hill.

Ireland has experienced many changes throughout its long and embattled history. But one of its latest changes is not a political one, but a gastronomical one. With a thriving economy and increased tourism, Ireland is seeing chefs from around the world flocking to the island’s top restaurants and hotels. And why wouldn’t any passionate chef want to go to Ireland with its fresh selection of seafood, meats, poultry, produce and cheeses?

Yes, the Irish still love their brown bread and potatoes. But they’re not afraid to experiment anymore,
resulting in a delicious
fusion of Pacific Rim,
 Californian and Mediterranean ingredients and styles.

On a recent visit to Ireland, where my wife’s family lives, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Irish cooking ain’t what it used to be. Famed for its fertile soil, fresh seafood and free-range meats, Ireland quietly started its culinary transformation during the 1970s when cheesemakers including Veronica Steele, Giana Ferguson and Jeffa Gill, along with organic food farmers like Rod Alston, started paying attention to quality — not quantity — in their products. Suddenly, some of the country’s finest restaurateurs — like Myrtle Allen of Cork’s famous Ballymaloe House and Gerry Galvin of Galway’s Drimcong House — started taking notice.

Later, as the country’s economy began to boom, chefs from all over the world began flocking to Ireland for work.

Roasted Chestnut Cappucino from Peacock Alley, Dublin. Photo by Veronica Hill.

Roasted Chestnut Cappucino from Peacock Alley, Dublin. Photo by Veronica Hill.

“The change in Ireland’s cuisine is due to the influence of the different cultures that now live and work in Ireland,” said Laurent Janot, executive chef at Glenlo Abbey in Bushypark, Galway. Janot, who has worked in France, Switzerland and Australia, still loves traditional Irish dishes such as bacon and cabbage and Irish stew. “But I place a lot of emphasis on quality,” he said. “My cooking motto is to use fresh quality produce at all times that require as little preparation as possible.”

Janot and chef Ciaran Gantly specialize in fresh Irish produce and meat cooked to order with a modern twist. Among the items on their menu at the Pullman Orient Express Restaurant are Salmon Roulade on a bed of aubergine (eggplant) caviar and vermouth sauce and Centerloin of Connemara Lamb topped with black olive crust and red and yellow bell pepper coulis.

Most of Ireland’s undeveloped west and southern coast is prime grazing land for the country’s lamb and beef, which feed off lush green grass and sip from clean rippling streams.

“There are so many quality ingredients here,” said Hisashi Kumagai, executive chef at St. Cleran’s Manor House in Craughwell, County Galway. “My favorite Irish meats are lamb, farmed venison, wild mallard ducks and full range goose. There is also wonderful produce, especially Irish farmouse cheeses such as gubeen, cashel blue and St. Tola goat cheese.”

Kumagai, who came to Ireland from his native Japan, changes the menu daily as local ingredients become available. Among the dishes: Kinvara Irish Smoked Salmon with Caesar Dressing and Shaved Parmesan; Roasted Monkfish Tail with Thai Herb Sauce and Wilted Spinach; Cajun Spiced Guinea Fowl Spring Rolls with Hoisin Cream; and Pan-Roasted Wild Pheasant with Celeriac, Wild Rice and Sauce Poivrade.

“I use Irish ingredients combined with Japanese, Chinese, Thai and even Mexican cooking methods,” said Kumagai. “For example, Kinvara Oak Smoked Salmon is great for sushi. And I often use cabbage for duck leg confit by cutting it into strips and cooking it in the duck leg fat.”

Kumagai also has an interesting take on the traditional Irish dish of colcannon, cutting the potatoes into thick galette shapes and pan frying them with quinoa flakes. The dish is then topped with melted cashel blue cheese, fried and diced black pudding, and spiced granny smith apples.

This Roasted Monkfish Tail from Executive Chef Hisashi Kumagai of St. Cleran’s in Craughwell, Co. Galway, is served with a Thai herb sauce and wilted spinach. Photo by Veronica Hill.

This Roasted Monkfish Tail from Executive Chef Hisashi Kumagai of St. Cleran’s in Craughwell, Co. Galway, is served with a Thai herb sauce and wilted spinach. Photo by Veronica Hill.

Dromoland Castle’s Earl of Thomond restaurant in Newmarket-on-Fergus also takes advantage of seasonal meat and produce. There, executive chef David McCann serves up a menu including Galway Bay Oysters with Smoked Salmon and Watercress Jus, Roast Native Lobster with Lemon-Herb Butter Sauce and a Terrine of Estate Game with Cranberry and Beetroot Compote.

Before arriving at Dromoland Castle, McCann honed his skills in some of Ireland’s finest restaurants including the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and Whites on the Green, as well as London’s Mirabelle and Connaught Hotel.

One of the most talked about chefs in the country, Conrad Gallagher is the owner of several Dublin-area restaurants specializing in modern Irish cuisine, including Peacock Alley, Metropolitan and Lloyd’s Brasserie.

Peacock Alley, Gallagher’s first venture, is a stylish restaurant located inside the Fitzwilliam Hotel where guests can watch the chef ’s talented staff at work through an open window in the dining room.

“Newness alone isn’t necessarily worth searching for anymore,” says Gallagher. “Depth and substance are our goals.”

Here, fresh ingredients are of paramount importance. The local salmon appears as a pastrami with pickled pear, cucumber, sticky rice and wasabi creme fraiche. Dublin Bay prawns (langoustines) are wrapped in a ravioli with carrot and ginger sauce, and native monkfish is roasted with a saffron and mussel emulsion.

Even Ireland’s mainstay, lamb, has an exotic twist: wrapped in sundried tomatoes with ratatouille, pesto couscous and a red pepper coulis.
Now that its long-depressed economy is booming, Ireland’s government is jumping on the culinary bandwagon. An Bord Glas, Ireland’s Horticultural Development Board, organized a seminar titled “Irish Potatoes — the Oldest and the Best” to show how to incorporate potatoes into the Irish diet in more interesting ways.

“Culinary Liaisons” was originally printed in 2001.

Peacock Alley’s Roast Chestnut Cappuccino

Serving Size: 4

Peacock Alley’s Roast Chestnut Cappuccino

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 1/2 cups peeled chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 6 ounces cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the shallots and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the rosemary, sage and thyme and cook for another minute. Add the chestnuts and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the Madeira and increase the heat slightly so that the Madeira reduces by at least half. Add the butter and gradually add the stock. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before placing in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth and pass through a sieve into a saucepan. Using the back of a ladle, push the chestnut pulp through the sieve. Discard any remaining.
  4. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, or allow to cool fully and reheat as required.

Conrad Gallagher, Peacock Alley, Dublin, Ireland

http://cookingsessions.com/irish-restaurant-recipes/

Glenlo Abbey’s Centerloin of Connemara Lamb With Black Olive Crust and Bell Pepper Coulis

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 4

Glenlo Abbey’s Centerloin of Connemara Lamb With Black Olive Crust and Bell Pepper Coulis

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces lamb centerloin
  • Bell Pepper Coulis:
  • 1 ounce vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 3 ounces onion, diced
  • 3 pounds red or yellow bell pep- pers
  • 8 ounces white wine
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Potato Gratin:
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cream
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • Black olive crust:
  • 2 pounds black olives
  • 4 ounces anchovies
  • 9 cloves garlic
  • 2 ounces pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Marinade the loins of lamb for at least 24 hours in a mixture of olive oil, chopped garlic and fresh herbs.
  2. Prepare the bell pepper coulis. Heat the oil and saute garlic and onion until translucent, without browning. Add peppers and saute until tender. Deglaze pan with white wine. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree in a blender and strain through a china cap. Adjust consistency and seasonings and hold for service.
  3. To prepare the potato gratin, peel and slice the potatoes (approximately 1/2 cm). Crush the garlic and bring to a boil with the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Place sliced potatoes in a baking dish with cream sauce and bake in a moderately hot oven (about 400 F) for 50 minutes.
  4. To prepare the olive crust, place the olives, anchovies, garlic and pine nuts in a blender and puree (not too fine). Season if needed.
  5. Season the loin of lamb with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan with olive oil. Place some olive paste on top of each loin and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes (for medium/rare). Place a spoonful of pepper coulis in the center of the plate. Place the lamb on top, followed by the gratin potatoes and a garnish.

Executive Chef Laurent Janot, Pullman Orient Express Restaurant, Glenlo Abbey, Ireland

http://cookingsessions.com/irish-restaurant-recipes/

St. Cleran’s Roasted Monkfish Tail with Thai Herb Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Serving Size: 4

St. Cleran’s Roasted Monkfish Tail with Thai Herb Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Ingredients

  • 4 8 oz. pieces monkfish tail, cleaned
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper flour for dusting monkfish
  • 2 tablespoons clarified unsalted butter
  • Thai Herb Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon clarified unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried green and red hot peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon grass, finely chopped, see notes
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped galangal, see notes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped kaffir lime leaf, see notes
  • 1/2 cup Noilly Prat, see notes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon medium hot curry powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Wilted Spinach:
  • 8 ounces (1/4 pound) spinach leaves, cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Monkfish: Preheat oven to 375 F. Season the monkfish with salt and white pepper. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then dust with flour.
  2. Place the frying pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons clarified butter and sear the monkfish. Cook until light brown. Place the fish in the preheated oven and roast for about 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Place the fish on the paper towels and keep warm.
  3. To make Thai Herb Sauce: In a heavy sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon clarified butter. Add the peppers, lemon grass and shallots and cook over high heat for 1 minute; add ginger, galangal, lime leaves, Noilly Prat, white wine, fish stock, cilantro, turmeric and curry powder. Blend well and continue to cook over high heat until liquid is re- duced to glaze level. Add heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and return to boil. Pass through sieve and keep warm.
  4. To make the Wilted Spinach: In a saucepan, bring light salted water to a boil. Add cleaned spinach and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain the water well and put back into the saucepan with 1 teaspoon soft butter and seasoning.
  5. To serve: Place the spinach in the center of the plate and sliced monkfish (or if preferred whole) on top. Pour the sauce over the fish.
  6. For garnish: Your choice of julienned apples, chopped chives or parsley or tomato concassee.
  7. Yield: Serves 4
  8. Source: Hisashi Kumagai, Ex- ecutive Chef at St. Cleran’s, Craughwell, Co. Galway

Lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf and galangal (a relative of the ginger root) can be found at Asian markets. If you can’t find galangal, ginger can be substituted. Noilly Prat is an apertif that is found in the liquor department.

Recipe by Hisashi Kumagai, Executive Chef at St. Cleran’s, Craughwell, Co. Galway

http://cookingsessions.com/irish-restaurant-recipes/

Dunraven Arms’ Cassoulet of Scallops with Black Pudding and York Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 8 large scallops
  • 2 slices black pudding
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fish stock
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter Brandy
  • Dill, chopped
  • 4 leaves York Cabbage Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Pan fry scallops on hot a hot pan, add shallots which have been finely diced. Flame with brandy, add fish stock and reduce down. Add cream and reduce down with slow heat. Whisk in butter and chopped dill. Season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Pan fry the black pudding.
  3. Shred the cabbage, blanch, and then pan fry with butter.
  4. Place the cabbage on a plate, then place the pudding and scallops on top and pour sauce around the scallops.

Source: Sandra Earl, Head Chef, Dunraven Arms Hotel, Adare, Ireland

http://cookingsessions.com/irish-restaurant-recipes/

Dromoland Castle’s Brown Bread Souffle

Ingredients

  • Pastry cream:
  • 1/4 litre milk
  • 1/4 litre cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • For souffle:
  • 4 slices of Irish brown bread
  • 1/2 litre pastry cream
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. For the Pastry Cream: Place milk, cream and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a bowl, whip egg yolks and sugar together; add flour and mix well.
  2. Pour boiling liquid onto egg mixture. Stir until mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat. Pour into cool container and allow to cool before using. (Remove vanilla pod).
  3. To finish: Crumb brown bread and mix with pastry cream. In another bowl, whip egg whites and add sugar. Fold this into the bread-pastry cream mixture.
  4. Place mixture in greased soufflé dish. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sandra Earl, Head Chef, Dunraven Arms Hotel, Adare, Ireland

http://cookingsessions.com/irish-restaurant-recipes/

Peacock Alley’s Bailey’s Irish Cream Truffles

Rating: 51

25-30 truffles

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons good quality dark chocolate, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Instructions

  1. Whisk the sugar and eggs until pale. Place over a bain marie and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.
  2. Bring the cream to the boil and carefully pour onto the chocolate. Stir until the choco- late has melted and then mix with the egg mixture. Add the Baileys and cool. When the mix- ture is cool, place it in a freezer to set at least 30 minutes.
  3. When set, roll teaspoonfuls of the truffle mixture into balls and lightly coat with cocoa powder. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Truffles will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 week in the freezer.

Source: Conrad Gallagher, Peacock Alley, Dublin, Ireland

http://cookingsessions.com/irish-restaurant-recipes/