Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a Fish Fry

As I mentioned in a previous post, my mother is Irish, so St. Patrick's Day was always a celebrated holiday in our house growing up. My mother would often make a boiled dinner with corned beef - and then proceed to tell us how it wasn't really traditional Irish cuisine. Before the last century or so, beef was expensive in Ireland and therefore considered a delicacy. More common meats in the Irish diet included pork and lamb. The traditional Irish boiled dinner would have been made with bacon joints (salted pieces of pork) and cabbage. Irish-American immigrants were unable to find bacon joints in their new country, so they turned to corned beef, which was an inexpensive cut of meat and similar in taste.

Sometimes my mother would make a more traditional boiled dinner with salted and smoked ham, but to be honest, it was never quite as good as that corned beef. Nonetheless, to this day, I find myself avoiding corned beef on St. Patrick's Day - almost in deference to my traditional Irish roots. Tonight I decided to try out some classic Irish pub food - fish & chips! (I know it's thought of as English food - but the Irish eat it too!)

I used Alton Brown's recipe from the Food Network Web site. I used Smithwick's Irish Ale for the beer and haddock for the fish. It was my first time frying fish and it turned out delicious. I served it with malt vinegar (a must!) and, of course, bottles of Irish ale.

The St. Paddy's Day Fish Fry might just have to be a new tradition in the ValleyWriter household. Though I think next year I have to add some green - maybe a side salad or coleslaw - just so I don't feel so guilty. Or, maybe I'll just have another beer and forget about the fried-food guilt!

However you celebrate St. Patrick's Day - enjoy! Erin go bragh!


Dietitian for Hire said...

looks good, like your site

Daily Spud said...

That sounds like a fine way to celebrate Paddys Day :)

Tangled Noodle said...

I love corned beef and cabbage and all other Irish dishes, but fish and chips take them all! These look great and I'm not waiting until next St. Pat's for 'em! 8-)

Nicole said...

Oh I have been wanting to make fish and chips at home but haven't done so yet... Looks great! Happy belated St. Patrick's day!