recipe: looking for: spicy irish

spencersmomFebruary 18, 2009

I am looking for ideas to cook something Irish that is also spicy, even though that sounds strange.

Has anyone ever dabbled in something Irish and spicy? I don't necessarily need a step by step recipe, just a brain spark.



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Well, when I was in Ireland the food was really all pretty bland, except for the whiskey :)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 5:03PM
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I agree with Woodie.........when we were there, the best meal we had was the Fish and Chips and there is surely no spark there. We did enjoy the food though, bland as it was.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 7:59PM
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There is no history of spicy food in Ireland. You could maybe add a dash of Cayenne pepper to seafood chowder or spice up some of the lamb or beef stew with some chiles.

The quality of food in Ireland is light years ahead of what it was just a few years ago.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Erin, maybe someone will come up with some ideas - but I think you may need to spice it up in a different way - Paddy said it beautifully (from experience I'm guessing) and the food in Ireland is good and hearty and tasty, just not spicy. We had lots of beef over there and chicken vol-au-vent (sp?) that was delicious at the pubs for lunch. Great breakfasts with delicious oatmeal and bacon (not like bacon as we think of it but more like what I think of as Canadian bacon), the best cheeses you'll ever eat and some fantastic brown bread, sliced tomatoes and baked beans were on the menu with breakfast every day.

So, if you're doing a party or something, I'd look in a different direction - brunch with Irish coffee! And don't forget the 40 shades of green.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:37PM
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This post made me laugh...Irish and Spicy...thats the people not the food LOL!! I thought about this and maybe just maybe (although not at al traditional) if you made Shepherds Pie you could add a bit of a kick to the meat mixture. Maybe a fish dish with a kick of spice in the fish batter. Im kinda stumped as my mother was a True Blue Irish Women as was my Grandma Kelly & Grandma Corcoran who certainly cooked like the Irish...Meat and Potatoes. The first time I ever tasted true Italian food (not Pizza Parlor) I was about 18yrs old (scarey being a New Yorker) But all our family was Irish(which ment they were cookin what my mother cooked LOL!!) and we never went to restaurants we couldnt afford it with a family of 8 plus Dad liked home cooking. Good luck im gonna keep a watch on this post Im very curious.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 8:40AM
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HAHA!! These responses are hilarious thank you. Yes, I agree the theme is weird but it's for a Pepper Lovers meeting so that is why spice meets the Emerald Isle next month.

I did think about Shepherd's Pie as well because it feeds a lot, it's easy and you have room to jazz up the meat and/or potatoes. I was thinking of calling it the Angry Shepherd's Pie :) I googled it just in case and didn't get any hits so I think I'm safe. I could add cayenne to the meat ... and something to the potatoes. Maybe dice some serranos in with the peas??

I posted this on the Hot Pepper forum as well (since they are heat seekers by nature) and Colcannon came up. Also easy to make, feeds a lot and I could subsitute hot capicola (or some other meat) for the ham plus add heat. Horseradish was a suggestion which I thought was interesting. I only think about that when I'm making a Bloody Mary. :) So Screaming Banshee Colcannon came to mind as a dish name.

Well I better tell the roommates to line their stomachs because here comes the test phase. This might be the weirdest thing I've made.. I want it to be good but I don't want to butcher an Irish classic.

I will let you know what happens. Who knows maybe it will end up on one of your tables on March 17th LOL!!

Thanks everyone for your input.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:52AM
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You could always do a traditional lamb (or beef stew) with Guiness and serve it over something like horseradish mashed potatoes. I don't have a recipe but I don't think that would be too hard to improvise. I loved the food in Ireland, but it wasn't "kicked up" lol!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:58PM
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Ok so here is where we are at... I would do a meat dish (meaning cuts of meat vice ground beef) but this is a fairly large group and don't want to spend that kind of money. If it were a small group.. oh yeah! But this could be about 30+ people. There also may be about 13 dishes so everyone takes a small taste of each. It's fun! SO! Here is the original recipe I found on the food network. I figure I should share the original recipe and then tell you what I did to it.. :)


3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups hot milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked the day before
4 scallions, finely chopped
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.

Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.

Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces.

Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.

Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.
So I didn't steam the potatoes, I boiled them. I didn't peel them either. I think skins add texture and flavor as well as vitamins.

I added 2 1/2 Tbs prepared horseradish to the mashed potatoes. Then I added.. about a tsp and a half of this Fatalii Fire sauce I like. Even though the Fatalii pepper hails from Africa, the sauce is wicked and its yellow so it blends in color wise with the mashed mix. Basically, any yellowish hot sauce could be used here if deisired.

I diced two jalapenos (I know.. Mexico..) and put them in with the cabbage while it was cooking.

For the ham, I found a Boar's Head Cappy Ham (really wanted Hot Cap but oh well). Got a half pound at a chef salad thickness, maybe a hair thicker. Cut it pretty small but not super small.

So far, I like it. It has flavor and a bite but thinking more bite.

What I would change at this point.. more horseradish possibly. The Fatalii sauce has a flavor that I don't want to add more of even though I like the heat. The jals are a much deeper green than the cabbage so maybe a Hot Wax or other pepper with a similar color... that can be found in the grocery store!

At any rate.. this is gooooood. :)

This is still a work in progress. If anyone has suggestions.. I'm open! I'm very close though.. :^)


    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 10:36PM
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How about:

Zippy Irish Bacon Broth (thick vegetable soup with barley, bacon and SERRANO CHILIS)

Cockle-doodle-DOO Soup (creamy scallop soup with celery and GARLIC AND CHILI PASTE)

Potatoes and chili (Irish potatoes -- baked -- topped with a lamb CHILI)

Dublin coddle, Latinized (stew of bacon, sausage, potatoes, onions and CHIPOTLE PEPPERS)

Hot Stuff Irish Stew (lamb, potato, onions plus GARLIC and CHILIS)

Colcannon Chinois (cabbage, mashed potatoes, carrots, turnips, with CHILI OIL AND GINGERROOT)


    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:53PM
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i hope this isn't too late for you, but i figure you were headed for a st pats day celebration.

i'd revisit the shepherd's pie recipe, but for the stew part
use beef in cumin sauce from the 'congo cookbook'-- just google 'congo cookbook' and look under meats in the recipe
index. you should be able to ramp up the heat if you want
but the combination of beef, cumin, onions, chilies and tomato is very good and would go well with a mashed potato topping.

but if you are also looking for other spicy dishes for other meetings you might consider piri-piri chicken form the same cookbook. i usually make a marinade with lime,
cayenne, habenaro, garlic, ginger and oil. the grill the chicken and simmer it in more marinade until tender and serve it over cous-cous.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:32PM
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