The Friday Five – Making St Patrick proud

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Getting ready to celebrate St Patrick's Day the food lover's way

Today’s five is in anticipation of St Patrick’s Day next week, and to show that there truly is so much more to Irish cooking, and celebrate some of the great Irish talent. Go on, have a great new book! Here’s my choices:

Trish’s French Kitchen by Trish Deseine – a surprising one to start perhaps, given that Trish seems like the ultimate Parisian, but she’s actually from Belfast. Discover what she loves about French food, from a wide variety of regions and for all kind of occasions. And love the fact that this woman from Belfast teaches the French about French food!

Kitchen Hero by Donal Skehan – get your pre-order in now for Donal’s new book out at the end of the month. I know, he looks about as old as Justin Bieber, but there is no doubting his enthusiasm for great food and you can see why his style has earned him the title as “Ireland’s answer to Jamie Oliver”. You certainly get some sense of that with the chapters of the new book, which include Meals in Minutes, Stretch Your Meals and Comfort Food. Still, makes a nice change from the cheeky Essex lad!

Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen – really the grand dame of Irish cooking, this is a great book for things you perhaps didn’t know you needed to know! So, if you suddenly find yourself wondering how it is that you smoke a mackerel, cure your own bacon or make your own butter, then this is the book you need.

The Clatter of Forks and Spoons: Honest, Happy Food by Richard Corrigan – I love this title, as it just sums up what food should be about, and the scene it should conjure up. Richard Corrigan always comes across as so enthusiastic about great food that I would imagine this is as good a read as it is cookbook. I’d give it housespace!

An Irish Butcher Shop by Pat Whelan – The fifth generation of his family to be involved in farming and meat prep, not to mention living above the shop, Pat Whelan knows his meat. And he suggests this is the book for you if you don’t know a lot about meat, and want to know how to choose it and cook it. And for a guide to help you, then I can’t think of a finer guide.

So go ahead, celebrate the best of the Irish in all its magnificent variety!

Cake photo by Becka Spence on Flickr.

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Helen Tarver

Collector of great gifts and fabulous food, mum, cake baker & eater, wine opener. I write about food and the gift of it in its many forms.

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