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The Irish Boutique - Long Grove, IL (847 634 3540)

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847 634 0339

The Irish Boutique is an Irish import store that has been located in the Chicago land area for over 40 years.  The shop stocks a variety of products ranging from Irish jewelry, crystal, china, food, sweaters, caps, t-shirts and a wide variety of Irish gifts. 

Cooking Blog

Visit our blog to read about Michelle Barry's adventures in cooking and eating Irish cuisine and to learn about new products and upcoming events. 

 

Filtering by Category: Lunch

Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

john barry

This one enjoyed her Holiday immensely - chocolate and whipped cream still on her face. 

This one enjoyed her Holiday immensely - chocolate and whipped cream still on her face. 

Happy New Year! How was your Christmas? We had the perfect low key day with our family and closest friends this year. According to my father-in-law, Christmas dinner in Ireland is usually a roast turkey but after just having one on Thanksgiving we usually find ourselves wanting something different. This year we decided to do lamb.  We also had mashed potatoes, rice, roasted vegetables, creamed spinach, green bean casserole and finished with a lovely Guinness pudding from the Boutique.  

I don’t do resolutions, not in the strict sense, but I’m doing a little bit of reorganizing around the house, donating some old clothes and hopefully, going to get around to decorating those rooms of the house that we somehow haven’t gotten to in the last five years (how did that happen?). I’m also thinking about all of the new recipes I want to try in 2017.  Actually, I keep a list.  I’ve been keeping a log of each new recipe attempted and notes about what worked and what didn’t since 2011. I think I can credit this blog with making my 2016 list the longest one yet. In 2017, I want to have more people over for dinner and I hope to get Isla cooking and Emmett taking on more complex tasks in the kitchen.  Yesterday he asked me for his own knife, so I think he’s ready to up the ante.

Today we are keeping it easy. Salad. Not because it’s a new year or because we were particularly gluttonous over the holidays.  We weren’t too bad, except that Emmett discovered the frozen disks of cookie dough in the freezer and realized that it meant we could make fresh cookies whenever we want. Then he FORCED us all to eat way too many cookies.  Oops, not that last part, but still.

Greens. While kale has become ubiquitous and somehow, against all odds, loved by all, Brussels sprouts remain sort of polarizing.  You either love them or hate them. I love them (I’m so predictable).  They are adorable. Mini-cabbages! Grown on a stalk!  What’s not to love? I never make them for the holidays because I’m pretty sure my brother-in-law doesn’t like them but now that Christmas is over, here they are. I think that even a Brussels sprout hater could get behind this shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad with maple-mustard dressing. I like this just the way it is but you could add bacon or chicken or both and make it more of a meal. It also travels well. And, because it is best eaten at room temperature, it’s a great option for those times when you have to bring something.

Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

For the salad:

1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts

2 cups shredded kale

1 large apple, thinly sliced

1 handful of dried cherries or cranberries

½ cup crumbled chevre, feta or blue cheese

½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

For the dressing:

½ cup walnut oil, or canola oil

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard

½ shallot, minced

2 teaspoons chives, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Ok. You know how to make a salad. For the dressing, I usually just shake up all of the ingredients in the cool little dressing shaker my mom bought for me, or when that’s already in use as it was today, a mason jar.

I think Paul and John were both happy that the kids wanted this toy cash register. The beginning of their training to work in the stores? Starting them young. 

I think Paul and John were both happy that the kids wanted this toy cash register. The beginning of their training to work in the stores? Starting them young. 

Split Pea Soup

john barry

"Bad hair day (every day)? Stained kitchen towel draped around my entire top half? Whatever. Nothing can get me down." - that's our Isla.  Keepin' it real. 

"Bad hair day (every day)? Stained kitchen towel draped around my entire top half? Whatever. Nothing can get me down." - that's our Isla.  Keepin' it real. 

I’ve documented how much these kids love soup. Also, the utility of leftover Irish bacon. The ever-frugal provider in me loves that I can make a meal that everyone will eat (and ask for seconds of) that is essentially made up of scraps from the fridge and leftovers. The only thing that could make this a better Sunday lunch? S.N.O.W. Tons of it. Oh, and brownies, from our new neighbors - to counteract all of the calories burned making snow angels and shoveling the drive.  Days like this make me feel less sorry for myself that we have to put up with the “bad” weather so many months out of the year. Kids teach you a lot. Mine have taught me to see things differently, to appreciate the wonder and fun in snow, the joy in anticipation of Christmas. I’m still not crazy about digging the car out or tackling most of the items on my December to-do list.  But, instead of just feeling overburdened by the responsibility of buying gifts and fighting the cold, for the past few years, I’m also remembering to enjoy it all a little more.

I really enjoy making this soup and how everyone lingers around the kitchen waiting for it to be ready to eat. Even the kids who, like most their age like something one minute and detest it the next, are guaranteed to eat a big bowl of split pea soup. Why wouldn’t they? It’s like comfort in a bowl.  Perfect for a snow day.

Split Pea Soup

About 8oz of leftover Irish Bacon (cooked)

1 large carrot, cut into small pieces

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

About 3 sprigs of thyme

6 cups chicken stock or broth

1 ½ cups dried green split peas

½ tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Place butter and olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until butter is melted and starts to bubble.

Add carrots, onion and celery and cook until onion starts to become translucent, about 6 minutes, turn down the heat if vegetables start to brown.

Add garlic, bay leaf, thyme and a little bit of salt and cook about two minutes more.

Add bacon and split peas and stir.

Add chicken stock or broth, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour to 90 minutes or until peas soften enough to thicken the soup. Serve with fresh parsley, bread or rice.

“Coldcannon” in the Heat of Summer

john barry

Summer in Chicago. The heat and humidity doesn’t exactly leave us longing for heaping portions of butter-laced potatoes, sausages, lamb stew or other such Irish specialties (as much loved as they are around here at other times of the year).  That being said, certain classic Irish flavor and ingredient combinations are always welcome on our table.

This salad is one of them.  I call it Cold-Cannon - get it? It’s a salad using the same ingredients as Colcannon but it’s cold. Thus, COLD Cannon.

Kidding.  Well, all that is true but really I’m just making fun of Paul again. Puns aside, the combination of greens, green onion and potatoes works as well here as in Colcannon, which is also delicious. Lentils add some protein and heft but can also be left out. I like that this dish can be eaten cold, at room temperature or warm (there goes it’s punny moniker) and gets better as it sits, making it an excellent candidate for a picnic, potluck or make-ahead side. It’s also vegan and gluten free.  Effortlessly so. Summer needs more dishes like this.

Roasted New Potato Salad with Kale, Lentils and Green Onions

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, cut into bite size pieces (if necessary)

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-3 cups kale, chopped

½ cup cooked French lentils

Juice from one half lemon

2 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped

2-3 green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Lentils and Vinaigrette.

Lentils and Vinaigrette.

Make vinaigrette. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, chopped green onion and capers. Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Place potatoes on sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with vegetable oil.  Toss potatoes in oil until they are lightly coated. Roast for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and toss with vinaigrette, lentils and chopped kale while still warm. Top salad with parsley and eat warm, cold or at room temperature.

I put the chopped kale in the bowl with the dressing and added the potatoes straight from the oven so that the heat would wilt the greens just a little.  Then I mixed the kale and potatoes until they were evenly coated with dressing before addng the lentils and parsley . 

I put the chopped kale in the bowl with the dressing and added the potatoes straight from the oven so that the heat would wilt the greens just a little.  Then I mixed the kale and potatoes until they were evenly coated with dressing before addng the lentils and parsley . 

I put my camera away and ate this immediately.  

I put my camera away and ate this immediately.  

Happy Heatwave! 

Happy Heatwave!