The Irish Pub Cookbook

Eric Ed. Johnson, Author, Margaret M. Johnson, Author, Leigh Beisch, Photographer . Chronicle $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8118-4485-7

Imagine walking into a 400-year-old Irish watering hole with a thatched roof and open fire, the floor strewn with timber shavings and the walls packed with bric-a-brac, sliding into a snug for a pint and a hotchpotch, and instead being served Caramelized Duck Breast with Pineapple Chutney followed by White Chocolate Terrine. As in The Irish Heritage Cookbook , Johnson continues on her mission to inform Americans that contemporary Irish cooking means not just a rustic, stick-to-your-ribs Irish Stew with Brown Soda Bread, but also Green Tomato Tarte Tatin, as original and sophisticated as one found anywhere in Europe. The book reads like a tourist itinerary for hungry pub crawlers (if only it were arranged by county and in a portable format) and shares history on favorite pubs and their famous and infamous patrons and proprietors. Leigh Beish's full-page photos deliver elegant interpretations of humble pub grub like Bacon and Cabbage, and Ploughman's Lunch. It's inevitable that the recipes cover some well-trod territory, since it's difficult to imagine an Irish cookbook omitting Shepherd's Pie, but "Blackboard Specials" like Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Courgette Soup tend toward the global gourmet, and some were even developed by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, to promote traditional Irish products to modern chefs and consumers. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/02/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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