St. Patrick’s day , Craic and fried fish with lemon aioli

Knowing that St. Patrick’s day is this week , everyone is getting ready to eat corned beef and cabbage. Easy enough dish to cook. The fact is that it’s not Irish at all. It’s American.  Better known as a Boston Boiled dinner in an old copy of The Fanny Farmer’s Cookbook. If you check The History Channel you’ll find more information on how this became a St. Patrick’s tradition. It’s pretty interesting.

Irish are known to eat a lot more fish actually. Salmon being a favorite. I happen to love fish and chips. I don’t eat it this dish to often being that fried fish almost seems silly. Taking something healthy and frying. but I confess it’s so good. There is a pub here in the town I live that I feel has the hands down best fish and chips.

A few years ago I picked up a great cookbook called “The Irish Pub Cookbook” by Margaret Johnson. It has a lot of great recipes to get to you rethink Irish food as being boring. I figured I would share the following if your looking for something different to cook this St. Pat’s day. Or on good Friday or just because.

While the book calls for Smithwick’s in the batter, I have happily used Guinness. It gave it a slightly darker color. This time around I used Harp as , Harp and Guinness made for making better Black and Tans.  Use whatever ale makes you happy.

The Lemon Aioli was a lovely bright addition to this dish than your typical tarter sauce. I also put sliced lemons out for my family to enjoy.


Cod with Lemon Aioli (from The Irish Pub Cookbook)

Lemon Aioli

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • sald and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl , combine the mayo, lemon juice, zest, mustard and vinegar. Whisk  in the oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to state and cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hrs.

Batter for fish

  • 2 cups of self rising flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 cup of ice water
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold Irish ale (Smithwick’s or Harp )
  • 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds of cod fillets
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda , salt , and pepper. Stir in the water, vinegar, beer and grated ginger to form a batter. Do not overwork it.
  2. Coat 2-3 piece softwood with the batter and slide into a hot skillet that has oil in it. Fry the fish , turning frequently for 4-5 mins , or untill golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain and keep warm in the oven. Fry the remaining fish in batches, making sure to have oil heat back to 375 each time.
  3. Serve with Lemon Aioli.

The cookbook recipe has fried chips (fries) with this recipe but if your looking for healtheir way , serve it with baked sweet potatoes fries or a fresh salad. Or toss the healthy out the window and fry up some chips and enjoy.


Another fun option or predinner idea or after parade plate is putting out a cheese plate. After our town parade we enjoyed some libations and Kerrygold Vintage Dubliner cheese and a Kerrygold aged Chedder that had Irish whiskey in it and some vegetables, hummus.

However you decide to celebrate the Irish this week, have fun , or as the Irish call it, Craic, and please make sure to do it responsibly.



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