Editor's Note: Sue McGlaughlin, coowner with her husband Keith of Toski Sands Market & Wine Shop, periodically provides our readers with a delicious recipe read.
By Sue McGlaughlin
When we think of Irish cuisine, what comes to mind is Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shephard's Pie and similar type dishes. Potatoes were the staple. But the potato came to Ireland only 400 years ago. Did they create the traditional dishes without the potato?
If you go back farther into their culinary history, they were hunters and gatherers. The land was rich in heavy forests and travel was done by boat along the coastline and down the rivers. Fish and seafood were a main source of nutrition, salmon being a part of that.
There is a famous Irish legend about the Salmon of Knowledge. When Fion mac Cumhall was a young boy he was sent to live with a very wise man name Finnegas. Finnegas lived along the River Boyne. Legend had that in the river lived the salmon of knowledge and if you ate this salmon you would have all the knowledge of the world. Young Fion cleaned and cooked for his teacher in exchange for the education he was receiving. Having caught a salmon, Finnegas gave him specific directions not to taste the salmon (if this was the magical salmon of knowledge, he wanted it for himself). As Fion cooked the fish over the open fire, some oil from the fish burnt his thumb. He stuck his thumb in his mouth to relieve the pain...and the knowledge became his!
I feel I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world surrounded by very smart and knowledgeable people. It was confirmed when I learned our Boyne River was named after the River Boyne in Leinster, Ireland. The Knowledge of Salmon!
Crackers: Kii Naturals Organic Date & Almond Artisan Crisps & Delallo Original Crostini
Condiments: Mileeven Honey & Irish Cream
Irish Whiskey Glazed Salmon
¼ cup Irish whiskey
3 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoon olive oil
6 - 6 oz filets of salmon
Combine all of the marinade ingredients. Place salmon in a large plastic zip lock bag. Marinade in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove salmon from marinade and place on a foiled line baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Place under the broiler for an additional 2 minutes to create a golden exterior.
Sweet Mint Pea Puree
2 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 pound (16 oz) frozen peas, plus 4 oz for garnish
2 teaspoon sugar
¾ cup chicken stock
6 mint leaves
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
Rinse the peas in cold water, reserve ½ cup of peas for garnish and set to the side.
Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Add the peas, sugar and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook until peas are tender.
Strain the peas and shallots, save the stock.
Add the peas, shallots, mint and ½ the stock to a blender. Puree, slowly adding additional stock, until the puree is smooth and not too thick. Season with the sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Transfer to a sauce pan and keep warm until ready to serve. The puree is good at room temperature too.
Warm Cabbage Salad with Granny Smith Apples
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, cut in to thin round slices
3 pound cabbage, sliced ¼ inch
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
3 Granny Smith Apples, cored and sliced thin
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Sauté the shallots until soft, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes.
Add the cabbage and caraway seeds. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally.
Add the apples and cider vinegar. Stir to incorporate them into the cabbage. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the apples are soft with a slight crunch.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Irish Stout Floats
Jeni's Butter Almond Brittle
Petoskey Brewery Stout or Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing