Fish & Chips at Quinlan's, served with mushy peas!

Our theme this month is Irish music, but before we dip our toes into that I wanted to share a recipe for an Irish staple. Yup, mushy peas.

I found myself thinking about mushy peas yesterday and wondering why this culinary delight has not crossed the pond to America…I have decided that it’s all in the name. While “mushy peas” doesn’t sound appetizing (actually, it sounds like something you’d feed a baby) it is a fabulously delicious side dish in many Irish eateries, traditionally served in a small ramekin bowl alongside fish & chips or lamb.

Easy to make, and trust me on this, it will become a staple in your cooking repertoire once you try it. There are scads of recipes floating around in cyberspace, but it’s childishly simple. Easy-peasy, if you’ll pardon the pun.

If you start with

  • Dried Peas: Cover with water & bring to a boil, let sit overnight

  • Fresh Peas: Cover with water & bring to a boil, simmer until a bit overdone

  • Frozen: Cook as directed on package, but add a few minutes to the recommended time

  • Canned: Make sure they are large peas, and not petite

Some people like to add a potato or two to the cooking peas, for an extra rich consistency.

When fully cooked, add salt and pepper to taste. Some folks add a few sprigs of fresh mint and a dollop of cream at this stage.

Now, just mash the peas to the desired consistency, using a potato masher or food processer. You’ll want a creamy texture, but you also want to maintain some “lumps.”

ag ithe sona! (happy eating!)

My traveling companions and I were served mushy peas at a couple of establishments during our recent trip to Ireland, but nowhere were they as good as at Quinlan’s. Quinlan’s is a “must visit” for Irish Fish & Chips, with locations in Tralee, Cork, and Killarney (which is where we enjoyed our meal).

Under the gorgeous Irish sky

Here’s a link to a recent review from “Ireland Before You Die” which is an amazing site in and of itself. It’s a great resource, and whether you’ve been to the Emerald Isle or a trip is still on your bucket list, you’ll find everything you need right here.

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