Tag Archives: Irish food

Experience a real taste of Ireland

Ireland May 2015 I 069

The fish counter at Dublin gourmet market Fallon & Byrne’s.

Long before I started this blog, I was an evangelist for the high quality of food in Ireland where the seafood is literally fresh off the boat, cheese and butter come from grass fed cows, and local butchers still make their own sausages. In every home you will be offered a cup of tea, usually with a slice of cake or bread spread with deep yellow butter.  If you visit, you will quickly learn that hospitality is an intrinsic part of Irish culture and farm to table is not a fad, it’s a way of life.  Saveur magazine founder and award winning cookbook author Colman Andrews has called Ireland “…one of the most exciting food stories in the world today.”

If you want to experience a real taste of Ireland for yourself, Chicago travel company Global Gourmands,  is offering a culinary tour of the Emerald Isle this May.  Founded by luxury travel pros,  Susan Gillato and Claudia Royston, Global Gourmands specializes in small group tours that offer memorable food and adventures not available to the average tourist.    Forage for wild edible plants in a Wicklow forest.  Go fishing off the spectacular Dingle peninsula and prepare your catch at a local cooking school.  Explore the food stalls and make new friends at Cork’s historic English Market.  Enjoy traditional food prepared in new ways at world class restaurants.  The tour also includes two nights at the famous Ballymaloe House Hotel and a class at Ballymaloe’s world famous cookery school.

Wild garlic growing along a rural Irish road.

Wild garlic growing along a rural Irish road.

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork.

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork.

Listen to Susan and Claudia talk about their travel philosophy and the Ireland tour on Edible Chicago’s latest Deep Dish Cafe podcast.  Global Gourmands’ Ireland tour was featured in Edible Chicago’s Winter issue as well as the February 2016 issue of Irish American News.  For more information and recent news articles about the trip go to http://www.globalgourmands.com.  If you like this post, please share it.

Me with Cork's most famous fish monger Pat O'Connell of K. O'Connell's in the city's English Market.

Me with Cork’s most famous fish monger Pat O’Connell of K. O’Connell’s in the city’s English Market.



Irish Slow Food Event

This week an event at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago will show that there is much more to Irish food than potatoes.  On Friday, the Galway Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International will celebrate Irish culinary traditions and the Slow Food movement at Taste of Chicago Sister Cities: Slow Food featuring food provided by Irish owned Chicago restaurants and food providers such as the Gage, Farmhouse, Harrington’s Catering and Deli and Galway Bakers.  Non Irish participants include Slow Food advocate Quartino.

The event starts at 6 p.m., Sept. 20 at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Avenue, Chicago. Tickets are $50 and are available for purchase at www.ChicagoSisterCities.com. Proceeds benefit the cultural initiatives of the Galway Committee of CSCI, the Irish American Heritage Center and Slow Food.  Chicago Sister Cities is offering a discount on tickets with the promo code: SLOWFOOD.

The event is part of a series of culinary events sponsored by Chicago Sister Cities International highlighting the ethnic cuisine, dining traditions and modern food interpretations of Chicago’s 28 sister cities, including Galway. It is being held in partnership with the Irish American Heritage Center, Slow Food Chicago,Slow Food Galway,Slow Food City’s Edge, Irish American News, Windy City Chef’s, Food Industry News, The Academy of Irish Music and Top Box Foods.

Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement that envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, Slow Food strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.

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Mini Irish Sausage Rolls

Mini Irish Sausage Rolls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 25 mini sausage rolls

Mini Irish Sausage Rolls


  • 1 sheet of store bought puff pastry, thawed.
  • 1 tbsp. butter or oil to cook onion.
  • ½ pound (about 5) Irish style sausages removed from their casings.
  • 1 small yellow onion (about 1/3 cup) finely diced.
  • 1 tbsp. fresh herbs such as parsley, sage and thyme, finely chopped.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 1 egg and 1 tbsp. water for egg wash glaze.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.
  2. Saute the onion until softened, but not brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. When the onions are cool, add them to the sausage meat and chopped herbs in a medium bowl.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Roll out the sausage mixture into three logs about 10 inches long.
  6. Make an egg wash by whisking together one egg and a tbsp. of water. Set aside.
  7. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 10” x 9” rectangle about 1/8 “ thick.
  8. Using a ruler and bench scraper or knife, measure and cut the pastry into three 10” x 3” strips.
  9. Place a sausage log on each strip. Brush the sides of the pastry with a little egg wash and roll up around the sausage logs. Brush the top of the rolls with the egg glaze. Scatter finely chopped fresh herbs over the top.
  10. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the rolls into 1” pieces and place on baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature.


My 11 year old nephew loves Irish sausages, but is suspicious of anything green in his sausage rolls. When I'm making this recipe for him, I leave out the herbs. The rolls are just as tasty.

If you live in a city with a large Irish community, you can find Irish style sausages in Irish import stores or neighborhood butchers and grocery stores. Irish style sausages can be ordered online at:foodireland.com, shop.spencerfoods.com or winstonsmarket.net.


Irish sausage rolls are a popular snack that is quick and easy to make.   I’ve been bringing them to picnics this summer — including Ireland Network Chicago’s annual Bloomsday picnic at Montrose Beach.  In “Ulysses”, Leopold Bloom lunched on a gorgonzola sandwich with a glass of burgundy  — but sausage rolls are much easier to share.  For the gorgonzola sandwich recipe, check out Bryton Taylor’s entertaining food literature blog: http://www.brytontaylor.com/gluten_free/james-joyce/

Irish sausages are milder and the meat is more finely ground than American breakfast sausages.