I tend, as I imagine do most of you, to read seasonal cookbooks during the particular season that they reflect. After all, it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, in doing so, I end up bypassing a lot of really good recipes because, during the season, I am usually too busy to make them.
While one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Irish Table by Irish-American culinary journalist Margaret M. Johnson, is not exactly seasonal, I tend to pull it out only during the month of March to find something appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. It features my kind of Irish food, namely that from pubs and bed-and-breakfasts (my favorite places to dine while traveling in Ireland), and certainly puts to rest the idea that all Irish food is bland and tasteless. In looking for a potato recipe to accompany tonight’s dinner, I chose this one. It was quick and easy to assemble, the not-too-fond-of-potatoes, Mr. O-P loved it, and how could I not be completely charmed by the name?
To serve, I baked it in a baking pan, as directed in the recipe, and then scooped it into warmed mini casserole dishes.
Murphy’s in a Clogher Valley Mist
Named for the Dungannon Valley where Grange Lodge, a small Georgian country house, is situated. This recipe is from proprietor Norah Brown.
1-1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, unpeeled (I used Melissa’s Baby Ruby Gold)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 slices bacon
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup (4 ounces) Smoked Gouda, shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 1-1/2 qt. baking pan.
Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Drain and let cool to the touch. Cut each potato into four wedges. Place the wedges, skin side down, into the prepared baking pan and toss with the butter.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Using a slotted metal spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Pour the cream over the potatoes, sprinkle with the grated cheese, and crumble the bacon over all. Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cream has thickened and the cheese has melted.
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