When I think of Irish food, I can’t help but think of kebabs. Yes, kebabs, as in middle eastern food that is prepared with a savory marinade then grilled to tasty perfection. Ah, Ireland, how I remember your kebabs!
Tucked away on Dublin’s Dame Street sits Iskander’s, a middle eastern take-away shop with quite a local following. I remember seeing long lines (queues) forming outside of the shop, as hungry people waited for the chance to order shish kebabs, shwarmas and other plated meals. Seeing the locals queue up convinced me I needed to give it a try — and I’m so thankful I did. Waiting inside are the friendliest workers and the most wonderful aromas. Not to mention, a simple menu and cheap prices!
When I took my first bite into the lamb shwarma, I couldn’t believe the rush of flavors: earthiness from the lamb, richly toasted cumin, a creamy, tangy yogurt sauce and a soft buttery taste from the freshly prepared pita. It was heavenly!
The great part about Iskander’s is the late hours they keep. When the pubs close, you can stumble into Iskander’s for a satisfying meal — which is exactly what my friends and I did. Several times.
If you can’t be in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, but still want to satisfy your Irish tastebuds, skip the corned beef and cabbage. It’s not really Irish cuisine. Instead, opt for colcannon, an Irish mainstay or take a stab at preparing boxty, potato pancakes that taste great in the wee hours of the morning. An easy recipe is below.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Erin Go Bragh, my friends. Ireland forever.
Irish Boxty (Potato Pancakes)
Mix both potatoes with the flour and sifted baking soda. Mix well, adding enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter that can form cakes.
Heat a deep skillet with butter and pan-fry the cakes until golden and crispy on both sides. Eat them straight from the pan with more butter, honey or a side of bangers (sausages).