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St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are looking for some great ideas of what to make this year or want something different beyond the usual corned beef and cabbage, New York Times Cooking has put together an excellent collection of recipes that cover everything you might need. From soda bread to side dishes to desserts and drinks, you will find it all. Check it out.

On a side note, I haven’t been around lately because I have been fighting a terrible cold for 2 weeks now. The cold has pretty much sapped all my strength and leaves me coughing quite a bit. When this has been combined with a heavy workload I have had recently, I have little time for blogging. I am hoping to kick the cold this week as it seems to be waning, and then I can get back to posting recipes. Please bear with me a little bit while I get my strength back. Thanks!

 

Source: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

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Savor the Luck of the Irish Today with Homemade Irish Cream

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everybody out there today! While many people may have done their celebrating this past weekend or are making plans for the upcoming weekend, I am sure some people are having a traditional Irish meal today or are planning on going out and doing some celebrating of their own at a local restaurant, club or bar. While making your own corned beef and cabbage dinner is pretty traditional today, at least here in America, you may want to give some different recipes a try to branch out a little bit for this particular holiday. We did our St. Patrick’s Day meal this past Sunday since Michelle was leaving on business today and would not be around. We had our corned beef and cabbage of course and some boiled potatoes to go with it, but we also tried a few new recipes for a couple of different things along the way. One in particular that I gave a shot to was making some homemade Irish cream. Now people may be familiar with the Irish cream that you can buy at your local liquor store (I know Bailey’s is Michelle’s particular favorite), but I was surprised at just how easy it is to make your own right at home with just a few ingredients. The recipe is really simple and you can have it put together right away and be able to use it for your dinner tonight. I got this particular recipe from Saveur.

Homemade Irish Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

3/4 cup Irish whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

In a medium-size bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream and the instant coffee and cocoa powders to make a smooth paste. Slowly add the remaining heavy cream, whisking the ingredients until they are smooth with. Add the Irish whiskey, vanilla extract, and the sweetened condensed milk. Stir all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Pour the mixture into a 24 ounce jar and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve, up to 2 weeks. To serve, pour the Irish cream into a tumbler filled with ice.

That is all there is to it and you can have Irish cream in an instant. I used Jameson’s Irish whiskey, which is my personal favorite, but you can use whatever Irish whiskey you like best. For me personally, Irish cream is not something I drink very often but I can appreciate it and the smell of Irish cream is very recognizable. You can certainly tell right away when you smell the mixture that it is exactly like what you would buy in the store. It makes an excellent drink all on its own with some ice or you can use it in any of the typical mixed drinks that you might use Irish cream for. It also makes a great addition to a nice cup of coffee, whether it is hot coffee or iced coffee. You could even pour some over your ice cream if you wanted a little bit of a different flavor to it or mix it in with a milkshake or even use it in some of your cake frosting to give a little bit of a sweeter flavor. I have to say I made the 24-ounce jar of Irish cream and we did not have any left by the end of the meal on Sunday night. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and since it is so easy to make I could certainly see making it again, particularly because buying a bottle of Irish cream at the liquor store can run you anywhere from $25-$35 and up. It is definitely one worth trying for St. Patrick’s Day or for any time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, have a happy St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoy your meal!

homemadeirishcream

 

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Beverages, Holidays

 

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A St. Patrick’s Day Treat – Skillet Soda Bread

Most people really only give much consideration to Irish soda bread on St. Patrick’s Day and may not think about it much the rest of the year. The problem is that most of the soda bread you find in local stores this time of year is very dense, very dry and very crumbly and just does not taste that good. Even some of the mixes I have tried over the years have been disappointing and I wanted to try to make one this year that would have the great crust a soda bread should have but the tender bread that was not tough to eat. I came across this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen last week and it was simple, basic and sounded perfect so I went about giving it a try to see how the bread would be.

Skillet Irish Soda Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon melted butter, optional

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the center position. Place the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingers until it is completely incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the buttermilk. Work the liquid into the flour mixture using a fork until the dough comes together in large clumps. Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead it gently and briefly until the loose flour is just moistened. The dough will still be scrappy and uneven.

Form the dough into a round about 6 to 7 inches in diameter and place it in a cast iron skillet. Score a deep cross on top of the loaf and place it in the heated oven. Bake the bread until it is nicely browned and a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and brush the top of the loaf with the tablespoon of melted butter, if desired. Cool the bread for at least 30 minutes before slicing it. Serve the bread slightly warm or at room temperature.

I have to say it was the best soda bread I have had in a long time. No it does have raisins, or currants or any of that other stuff in it, but it doesn’t need all of that and that is more of the American version of Irish soda bread anyway. The crust on this bread has a wonderful crunch to it just like you want without it being all crumbly so it doesn’t fall apart when you slice it. The bread itself is nice and tender as well and goes really well with your corned beef and cabbage meal, if that is what you are having. You can make this on a baking sheet if you don’t have a coast iron pan or want to use one, but I think the crust comes out great thanks to the cast iron pan. If you can eat it while it is still warm it is that much better, but this will be okay for a day or two covered before it starts to dry out if you want to make it ahead of time. This will be my go to soda bread recipe from now on.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

skilletsodabread

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Breads, Cooking, Holidays

 

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Our Best Irish Recipes – Bon Appétit

Our Best Irish Recipes – Bon Appétit.

St. Patrick’s Day is under 2 weeks away so now is a good time to start planning out some of those great Irish recipes in advance of the day that is everything Irish. Bon Appetit has put together 18 recipes that are Irish-inspired recipes to help you celebrate the day with great drinks, corned beef and fun desserts. Check it out!

 

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Irish Food for St. Patrick’s Day Slideshow: bonappetit.com

Irish Food for St. Patrick’s Day Slideshow: bonappetit.com.

Okay, St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away and it is only a matter of time before we make corned beef and cabbage and all the other traditional parts of the meal. However, if you want to try something different, Bon Appetit has 21 recipes that are Irish-inspired that will be just as great. Check them out and see if you want to give any a try!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Holidays

 

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A St. Patrick’s Day Feast

Okay, so here we go with today’s menu. I do tend to go a little bit overboard on St. Patrick’s Day, but that’s okay. We have a lot of recipes to use today so let’s get right into it. I am making two corned beefs today and am going to make each a different way. The first one will be made in the pressure cooker and done in 45 minutes, while the second will be slow cooked in a low temperature oven for 4-5 hours.

Corned Beef  and Cabbage in the Pressure Cooker

1 (4 to 5 pound) corned beef brisket, rinsed

4 cups water

1 head of cabbage, cut into 4 wedges

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

Place the corned beef in a pressure cooker and cover with 4 cups of water (or more if needed). Allow the pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then cook at full pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. Bring the pressure down; after the pressure has come down, open and add the cabbage and carrots. Cover and return to full pressure and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the corned beef is fork tender. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and transfer to a serving platter. Slice the corned beef across the grain and serve.

I always make corned beef in the pressure cooker since it allows me to cook it in under an hour. This way I can cook one whenever I feel like it instead of just one day a year, or to make one to use for corned beef hash (tomorrow’s recipe). The next method is a little closer to traditional, although I personally have never liked just cooking corned beef in a pot on the stove. The meat comes out salty and dry and with not much flavor to it (that little flavor packet they give you does nothing to add flavor) and the vegetables, when cooked with it are usually very mushy. This method in the oven works better and tastes better, and it allows you to cook potatoes, cabbage and carrots in stages in the same pot while the meat rests after the fat has been strained from the cooking liquid.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 (4 to 5 pound) corned beef brisket, rinsed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

8 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 onion, peeled and quartered

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon whole allspice

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes

1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the beef, broth, water, 4 chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and allspice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake until a fork slips easily in and out of the meat, about 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Transfer the meat to a baking dish. Strain the cooking liquid through a strainer into a large bowl, discard the solids, and skim the fat from the liquid. Pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the meat. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, return the remaining cooking liquid to the Dutch oven, add the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the 4 remaining chopped carrots and the cabbage, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and season with pepper to taste. Transfer the beef to a carving board and slice. Serve with the vegetables.

Two quick points about this recipe: use a flat-cut corned beef, not a point-cut; a flat cut is more uniform in shape, cooks more evenly and isn’t as tough a cut as a point-cut. Second, when you cut the cabbage into wedges, leave the core intact. This will keep the cabbage from falling apart while it cooks.

Another side dish for corned beef that incorporates cabbage and potatoes is the traditional dish of Colcannon. it’s an old Irish peasant dish that literally comes from the Gaelic word for white-headed cabbage. In an old Irish custom, the cook would bury charms or coins in the dish, foretelling good luck or wealth, probably in a way to get the children to eat their vegetables. I’ll skip the burying of the coins and charms and just cook the dish myself.

Colcannon

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup milk

4 bacon slices, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1 large leek, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and thinly sliced

1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 small head napa cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped

1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Put the potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches and generously salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and milk and heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, 8 to 10 minutes.

Set a potato ricer over a large bowl and press the potatoes through in batches. Fold in the milk mixture in two additions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and set over a large saucepan of barely simmering water to keep warm.

Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat, add the shallots and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and toss just until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and toss until tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the mace and the bacon, and season with salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes into the cabbage mixture and serve warm.

I always serve corned beef with some mustard, and I found this recipe for Guinness mustard at Bon Appetit’s website. It sounded really good, so I am giving it a try.

Guinness Mustard

1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons regular Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Guinness stout or other stout or porter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon golden brown sugar

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Now, on to some dessert. I don’t make dessert often, but this recipe for Grasshopper Pie sounded perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. There’s lots of mint in this one, so I think it will be a good one.

Grasshopper Pie

16 Oreo Mint n’ Creme cookies (with filling), broken into rough pieces

3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

3 large egg yolks

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch table salt

1/4 cup green creme de menthe

1/4 cup white creme de cacao

For the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grind the cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with butter, and toss well. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate and refrigerate the crust until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake the crust until set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Combine the gelatin, sugar, 1/2 cup of cream, and salt in a medium saucepan and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Whisking vigorously, slowly ass the gelatin mixture to the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Pour into a clean bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until wobbly but not set, about 20 minutes.

Beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Whisk 1 cup whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the gelatin mixture into the remaining whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and preferable overnight. Serve, topped with chocolate curls.

Okay, we have had corned beef and cabbage, side dishes, and dessert. Now how about some beverages? There’s two that I really like any time, not just St. Patrick’s Day. I make my own version of Irish Coffee and I think it tastes pretty good, so we’ll go with that first.

Irish Coffee

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 shot Kahlua

1 shot Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

8 ounces hot coffee

Whipped cream

1/2 teaspoon green creme de menthe (optional)

Fill an Irish coffee glass or coffee mug with hot water to warm the mug. Empty the water, then place sugar, Kahlua and Jameson’s in the glass. Pour coffee into the glass and gently stir. Top with whipped cream and creme de menthe, if desired.

Traditional Irish coffee doesn’t use the brown sugar, Kahlua or the creme de menthe. I like the flavor the brown sugar adds over white sugar and the Kahlua adds a nice toasted coffee flavor to the mix. The creme de menthe is really for show more than anything else.

Another favorite, of course, is the Black and Tan. There’s really no recipe here; you can use any stout and ale you like. I choose Guinness and Harp or Guinness and Bass Ale all the time, but take what tastes best to you. Just pour in the ale and float the stout on top, and you’re done.

Last, but not least, you need a drink for the kids (and some adults too) and what’s better than a Shamrock Shake? Well’ a homemade one is much better than the sweet one you’ll find at McDonald’s.

Homemade Shamrock Shake

1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream (you can use vanilla if you want)

1 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon mint extract (a little goes a long way, don’t use a lot)

3-6 drops green food coloring (same with the food coloring, don’t use too much)

Mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Other than having some Junior Mint cookies along with dessert (thank you Girl Scouts!) I think you’re probably all set. I hope everyone enjoys their day, no matter what they are doing, and plays safely. Enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dessert, Dinner, Potatoes

 

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A Couple of Extra Recipes For the Day

I am posting a couple of extra recipes tonight since I had a request for them. One is for a Potato-Leek Soup that I make, and the other is an early St. Patrick’s Day recipe for Irish Soda Bread. First, the Potato-Leek Soup:

Potato and Leek Soup

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

3 medium potatoes, any type, peeled and cut into small cubes

3 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced into thin rings

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or water

1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream, sour cream or yogurt

Put the butter or oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. When the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the stock, adjust the heat so it gently bubbles, and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool slightly and then carefully puree the soup in a blender or food processor or with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot you cooked in. Stir in the cream, sour cream or yogurt and re-heat gently; do not let it boil if you use yogurt. Add more salt and pepper as needed and serve.

If you prefer not to deal with the leeks and the cleaning they need, you can substitute a large sliced onion instead. If you want the soup even thicker, you can always add in more potato to thicken it. If you want to make this a Vichyssoise, don’t re-heat the soup. Instead, chill the soup thoroughly before serving. You can also garnish the soup with some minced chives or some crumbled bacon (Sean’s preference, of course). This is a great one pot dinner and even better the next day for lunch or dinner.

Now, for the Irish Soda Bread. I am no bread expert, but I can make this one. A lot of what you can get in the stores I find to be too dry. I know people who can make this better than I do, but this is still a good recipe.

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the  counter

1 cup cake flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup raisins

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray generously with vegetable oil spray.

Whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together in a large bowl. Work 2 tablespoons of the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork until the texture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk and raisins with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy, about 30 seconds (Do not knead until smooth).

Pat the dough into a 6-inch round about 2 inches thick. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cut an X into the top of the loaf using a serrated knife. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the loaf from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and brush it over the top of the bread. Let the loaf cool for 1 hour.

This bread is great not only to go along with your St. Patrick’s Day meal, but also as an accompaniment to soups, like the potato leek soup above, or any stew. It also makes great toast the next day.

I think that’s the end of my posting for today. If you have any questions or comments, or there is a recipe you would like to see or are looking for, just leave a comment, send me an email at IguanaFlats@msn.com, visit my Facebook page, or send me a note on Twitter @IguanaFlats. You can get the links to my Facebook or Twitter pages on the right. I hope you all have a great evening!

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Breads, Cooking, Potatoes, Soups & Stews

 

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