Cambrian: Opinion

Ireland an inspiration to the palate

When in Ireland, do as the Irish do. Enjoy a hearty meal in a traditional pub, and engage with the locals.
When in Ireland, do as the Irish do. Enjoy a hearty meal in a traditional pub, and engage with the locals. Special to The Cambrian

Several folks have asked where one can find a plain brisket such as the one we featured on March 17 from Nancy Allen. She suggests Whole Foods in San Luis Obispo or Trader Joe’s in Templeton, where I saw some nice but expensive ones labeled kosher, for Passover. They may be available seasonally, so I am tempted to try tri-tip in the slow cooker as a substitute, but we’ll see.

That kitchen appliance has been in heavy use recently, as I keep on a steady supply of soups and an occasional rack of ribs with barbecue sauce.

As promised, here is a unique recipe, direct from Ireland last month. I was tempted to run a hearty leek and potato soup, but I recommend that you get yours at our farmers market when it comes available now that it is spring. No need for your slow cooker …

Balnamoon Skink

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 onion, chopped

6-7 scallions, sliced

Sprig of fresh thyme

1 tbsp. chopped chives

1 cup fresh peas, or frozen thawed

1 knob of butter (2 tbsp.)

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1/2 cup cream

Salt and white pepper

Heat butter in a 1-quart saucepan and saute the chicken on medium heat until browned; remove. Add onion to the pan and cook until translucent; add flour and stir well about three minutes. Slowly add the stock, and simmer about five minutes. Add peas, chives, thyme and scallions. Season and simmer about five minutes.

Add the chicken back in; simmer two minutes and remove from heat. Beat eggs in a bowl with the cream; add a ladleful of soup and stir to temper, then stir into the pot of soup. Simmer, but do not boil, until thickened. Serves six, with a side of soda bread.

On the wild west coast of the Dingle peninsula, we were intrigued by a full day of adventures in the wilderness. That night it was good to have a hearty dinner in the town of Dingle by the harbor at a traditional pub named Murphy’s, with the largest calamari rings I have ever seen (about the size of a baseball).

On the side were our favorite mashed potatoes, parsnips, carrots and broccoli, with a good wedge of brown bread, plenty for two.

The next day, we returned to take a picture of the pub in the sunshine. I engaged a local chap in a cap named Francis, who cheerily obliged us to be in the photo.

“Sit down here next to me,” he invited, and promptly scooted in really close. While daughter Kathy adjusted for the shot, he continued pressing closer, and when Kathy took the picture while laughing hysterically, he reached over and kissed me on the cheek. Cheeky fellow he was, and we left him there waiting for his daily bus, in the sunshine.

Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian, and appears on the third Thursday of each month. Submit recipes and ideas to her at The Cambrian, 2068 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428; or email to Cambrian@thetribune