Since returning home from three weeks in Europe I think I have gotten more questions about Ireland than anywhere else we went. And I will tell you what I tell everyone else when they ask, Ireland is like the girl you knew in high school who was gorgeous without any make up. Ireland doesn’t need fountains, architecture, bridges, or art to be beautiful, it just is beautiful. Stunning in fact. Without even trying.
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Getting Around: Not Going to Lie, Terrifying
Only the strongest of relationships can survive the “steering wheel on the right, drive on the left” experience. If you have any doubts, take a bus tour.
Where We Stayed and What We Did:
We traveled up the west coast of Ireland spending 2-3 days in each town we visited. Our first stop was Cork, then Killarney, then Dromoland. We found this book by Rick Steves invaluable when planning our trip!
In Cork we stayed at Hayfield Manor and we loved it. The staff was great, the hotel was quiet, fairly small and quite lovely. The food was amazing! (and inspired the recipe below) They even had chickens on the property that provide the restaurant with fresh eggs!
Cork and Kinsale:
We spent two days in Cork but took a day trip to the nearby seaside town of Kinsale. We happened to visit on the day of their Farmer’s Market. Lucky us! And then we spent the day perusing the local shops.
Here come the iPhone photo tips…
The town was colorful, tidy and charming!
I had heard from many people that the food in Ireland was…well, how do I word it nicely…not good. Is this reputation deserved? No… and yes. Eating well in Ireland takes a bit of effort. We found that the nicer hotels had amazing chefs. You can make reservations for dinner without being a guest in the hotel, so that is what we did almost every night. We had pretty good luck finding small cafes in Ireland for lunches, but it took some patience. Google was really helpful and so were the locals!
So although eating in Ireland was a little more challenging than eating in London and Paris where cafes are on every corner I came home inspired to make what turned out to be a new favorite recipe, this gorgeous Caesar Salad with Prosciutto and Perfectly Poached Egg!
The Recipe: Caesar Salad with Prosciutto and Perfectly Poached Eggs
Tips and what you will need: To learn to perfectly poach an egg, watch this 3 minute video. I recommend making your own mayo for the dressing! ( swear it’s easy and takes only a minute! You will need a microplane to grate Parmesan, a Y peeler to shave Parmesan, and sea salt. (affiliate links)
- 1 large head butter leaf lettuce washed, dried and torn
- 16 sliced prosciutto
- Parmesan cheese freshly grated with microplane
- 4 perfectly poached eggs see video posted above
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2/3 cup mayo preferably homemade, recipe linked above
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan plus more for shavings
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 generous pinch sea salt a few turns of freshly ground black pepper
Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
Place four slices of Prosciutto on each plate.
Wash, dry and tear lettuce with hands.
Toss lettuce with dressing (you will have leftover dressing) and place in equal amounts on top of prosciutto.
Use a "y" peeler to shave Parmesan onto each salad
Poach eggs two at a time, retaining water from first two eggs to poach the second two.
Place one egg on each salad, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper if desired. Serve
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