By Sarah Skerrett, Mr. Food Editor
Irish food gets a bum rap. Most Americans consider “Irish cuisine” to be an oxymoron, and that every dish is salt-laden, starchy and boring. Like England, their neighbor to the southeast, Ireland’s culinary repertoire is often judged on its Americanized counterparts – pub food like corned beef sandwiches, bangers and mash, colcannon, shepherd’s pie, and boxty.
But there’s so much more than meets the eye with Irish food, and with St. Patrick’s Day rapidly approaching, it’s a great time to check out some new and different Irish recipes that maybe you’ve never seen before. To shake things up, let’s start with the sweet stuff first and dig in to St. Patrick’s Day desserts!
- Irish Soda Bread is, and always will be, my favorite Irish treat. True, it’s not “dessert-y” like some of the other foods on our list, but there’s nothing better than fresh-from-the-oven soda bread and slathered with butter! There’s many variations but my personal fav includes golden AND dark raisins.
- Green bagels, green cookies, green beer…everything turns green for St. Patrick’s Day. Our Minty Green Mousse makes a neat treat for kids and mint-lovers alike. Make it fancier by serving it in chocolate cups with a sprig of mint and chocolate shavings!
- Milkshakes are a year-round delight but check out our blarney spin on an old favorite: the Irish Milk Shake with chocolate-covered milk patties. YUM. Or if you think one month a year of Shamrock Shakes at McDonald’s just isn’t enough, make your own at home anytime with this copycat Shamrock Shake recipe from our sister site, AllFreeCopycatRecipes.
- Layered parfaits look cool and are fun to eat. I really liked the Irish Trifle recipe from Hoosier Homemade – it’s fast, easy and budget-friendly.
- Potatoes pop up everywhere in Irish recipes, even in dessert-style dishes. I found this custard-like Irish Potato Pie on Have the Cake food blog, a great option if you don’t want to cook with beer or liquor. Not surprisingly, many Irish desserts rely heavily on those ingredients! (See below.)
If you’re like most, you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish fashion, i.e. with a pint or other alcoholic beverage! So I’ve gathered several recipes that include liqueur or beer, ranging from ice cream to brownies.
- For a sweet cake with an even sweeter glaze, do not forget to bring our Irish Cream Cake to your St. Patrick’s Day shindig! It serves 12 and gets a great kick from your favorite Irish cream liqueur.
- Similarly, these “boozy” Irish Cream Brownies, courtesy of Baking Bites, also feature cream liqueur, which is mixed in with the batter to infuse it with flavor. The delectable Bailey’s Irish Cream Mousse Pie on the Saving Room for Dessert blog features Ghirardelli white chocolate and a graham cracker crust. The picture alone is to die for!
- Finally, there’s a truly unique Irish dessert for those adventurous cooks who like a challenge. Beer pops up in many unusual places but how about about ice cream? Chocolate Stout Ice Cream, courtesy of The Pink Apron blog, was adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe. While the stout/ice cream combo may sound strange, it’s the same principle that propels the Guinness Milkshake. Not a beer fan? The chocolate helps balance the flavor of the stout so the result is a sweet (but not too sweet) and creamy delight!
Stay tuned for future posts covering popular St. Patrick’s Day favorites like corned beef, Irish stew, and more! Do you have any Irish recipes you make every year? Let us know!